~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Both Asada and Kostner are "Skater's Skaters"
It is very rare for a skater to earn this compliment and even more rare for two skaters in a row, but that is exactly what happened at the World's and also the Olympics with Mao Asada and Carolina Kostner. In fact, Kurt named Mao's short program skate at the Worlds as the "performance of the day." He also said Carolina again "weaved magic" as she skated her short program like she did at the Olympics. A skater who can inspire other skaters is truly a "skater's skater." Both Mao and Carolina are the type of skaters who skate for the joy of skating. Their every move is exquisite and inspiring to watch. You wish that you could skate like them. The figure skating world has surely been enriched by both of these talented ladies.
Huge Scott Moir Fan
I wouldn't call them skater's skaters though. For me that has a slightly negative connotation meaning that the general public doesn't appreciate them enough. But I think that Mao and Carolina are amazing skaters who skaters and the general public love!
There is something very similar in art. Artists who are appreciated by other artists and professional critics, but are not as successful in finding connection with the casual public. Or dancers who are loved by choreographers, but don't click as well with ordinary viewers.
I am kind of active in the photography community and it's the same there: photographers who have high reputation among other photographers, but are not appreciated by general audience. And the opposite: artists or photographers loved by common uneducated people, but looked down upon by his/her high-end colleagues.
Personally I appreciate ability to connect with the general audience much more than ability to establish reputation among other artists.
In figure skating I classify myself definitely on the general public side, I am not educated in the skating techniques at all, but I am just emotionally connecting with the skaters and their performances. And I have to say that while I am getting occasional hints of connection with Mao, I have ZERO connection with Carolina. In fact, as a casual uneducated viewer, I don't care about Carolina at all. She is completely awkward to me, most often even annoying, and every time she performs I have urge to fast forward.
And at the same time I have (and had) strong connection with skaters who usually are not appreciated in the educated skating community. I love new skaters, unestablished, fresh. And I find it appealing when kids are beating the old divas. I simply love that!
I loved when Tara beat diva Michelle, when Sarah beat divas Irina and Michelle, when Adelina beat diva Yuna. They were true treats!
It's interesting to me that this has a negative connotation to some. I find it to be a compliment of the highest order. I do think it refers to possessing qualities that "lay" viewers might not pick up on or appreciate (edging, in particular, comes to mind), but I don't think it means the skaters themselves are unappreciated by the greater viewing public (just, perhaps, appreciated for different things).
Although I like both Carolina's and (even more so) Mao's skating, I would classify neither of the two as "skater's skaters." To me, Yuka Sato, Shizuka Arakawa, and Patrick Chan are skater's skaters that come immediately to mind. They all had or have such a smooth quality to their skating that is just so appealing.