In term of performance and choreography undoubtedly Lambiel's Poeta.
In term of performance and choreography undoubtedly Lambiel's Poeta.
Plushenko's jumps + Lambiel's PCS
Also, the spins that the men in 2002 had to do were novice spins in comparison to today. Some lasted 4 or 5 rotations and they called it a day, and the positions for the men... so many of them did just a one rotation camel spin as a formality before going into the sit in combination spins, and the variety of positions, well... there wasn't much variety of positions. Most spins from 2002 would probably get a level 2 tops, and a level 1 or B usually. As for difficult steps/turns? Hah, you'd be lucky to see a counter, rocker, bracket, loop, choctaw, and twizzle all in the same competition, let alone all in the same program.
Interpretation is just that - up to interpretation. A skater isn't prevented from interpreting music if they are good at it - Kim's Send in the Clowns, or Takahashi's Blues for Klook are great examples of how you can weave interpretation in. And not every skater does histrionics/dramatic expressions and calls it interpretation, some actually use their body and, you know, actual skating ability to interpret music... Chan, Abbott and Buttle are great examples of this. I think actual skating and not as much dramatics is more important now -- if we want to see skaters win an Oscar, watch their exhibitions, but people should appreciate that the actual programs are highlighting more of what the sport of figure skating is actually about and making skaters more well-rounded.
It's a very good thing that technical skaters and jumpers like Joubert and Plushenko are getting phased out, and rewarding more well-rounded skaters who can (finally!) jump while doing the other stuff is the new wave of skating. Skaters like Buttle, Lambiel, Chan and Takahashi were a huge part of that. It took about a decade, but CoP might finally be headed in the right direction.
Now if they could only get the anonymous judging crap sorted out!
Yagudin is definitely the gold standard of modern skating. He had it all, amazing choreography from Tarasova (before her senile days), incredible footwork, skated with amazing power and had great basics, but also with overwhelming passion and heart. Was great at interpreting different types of music and brought them to life, his programs contained alot of choreography for the time (less than today but that is due to the rules), variety of field moves, and he skated with command, attack, maturity, grace, strong lines, and an overall presence. Good spins (not great by any means, but good) and humungous jumps which were pretty consistent. While he didnt exactly push the envelope technically, still had the difficult quads, quad combinations, triple axels that were needed to be on the leading edge of difficulty, and which some champions many years later still didnt have (eg- Lysacek, Buttle, Lambiel).
If I had to pick the combination of all though. Mroz's quad lutz, Goebel's quad salchows and quad salchow combinations, Plushenko's quad toes and quad toe combinations (in his prime), Yagudin's or Eldredge's triple axel, Weiss's triple lutz, the remaining triple jumps of Hanyu on a good day, other than the flip where I would probably pick Plushenko again, the spins of Eldredge or Lambiel, the interpretation and choreography of Lambiel, the performance level of Takahashi or Fernandez, the transitions of Savoie or Buttle, the skating skills of Boitano, the line and positions of Curry or Buttle, the overall elegance of Curry, the grace of Lambiel or Buttle, the style of Curry or Cousins, the maturity and sophistication of Curry or Courins, the footwork of Browning or Hamilton, the spirals and laybacks of Petrenko, and the mental toughness of Stojko or Boitano. That is about the perfect skater.
4S: Goebel (although Zhang's was also very good when he landed it, Fernandez also has a good one)
4T: Chan or Hanyu (Plushenko's is more consistent but there's a long setup and he doesn't get as much flow on the landing as the other two; Sandhu also had a spectacular one when he nailed it)
3A: Hanyu or Yan (Yagudin's was also strong, but the other two have either harder setups, or have much greater distance and height)
3F: Buttle or Yagudin
3L: Hard to compare... there's not many great male loop jumpers... maybe Kozuka because of his difficult spread eagle entry
3S: I certainly wouldn't pick Hanyu or Plushenko for this considering the number of times they've errer on it... maybe Goebel again, or Browning
Of course, it's rather predictable that you wouldn't include Chan in any of your criteria (especially when he has the best skating skills, bar none - even moreso than Boitano), but here's my rundown:
Overall Skater: Yagudin
Overall Jump Consistency: Plushenko (followed by Stojko)
Overall Jump Quality: Yagudin (I'd pick Hanyu if not for the lip)
Spins: Elredge/Lambiel/Buttle (I'd add Chan/Hanyu if they weren't prone to spin errors, even though their basic positions and variety, respectively, are probably the best)
Interpretation/Overall Artistry: Takahashi
Ice Presence: Yagudin/Stojko/Plushenko
Skating Skills: Chan
Hip Thrusts: Plushenko (but only because we can't count Kostner's Bolero )
Yes, and there's no need for 7 or 8 jumping passes when 2 will suffice in an SP and 4 or 5 will suffice in an LP. Arguably, those are also detracting from potential choreography/interpretation.
Not every movement has to be purposeful and not every element needs to match the structure of the music. Music is hardly written with the intention of lasting the length of a spin. A skater doesn't have to design their program to match the music spot on... they need to design it to pick up highlights and subtleties in the music, not mimic it step for step, element for element.
I would rather watch a complex, well-executed spin or footwork sequence, than see some of the spins from the 90's/2000's where the skater would do a flying camel for 3 seconds to get it out of the way. Also it's highly unlikely that skaters in 2002 could have done the spins we see today and maintain the consistency.
Goebel shouldnt be picked for any jump besides the quad salchow and maybe quad toe (although he would never be my first choice for the quad toe). His triples were all unremarkable and small, with fugly technique. His rep as a remarkable jumper was purely his quad ability, without his quads his jumps wouldnt even be noticed.
I wouldnt pick Buttle for any jump either. He didnt have particularly big or overly impressive jumps of any kind even when landed.
I wouldnt pick Chan for any jump. Too inconsistent on all his jumps, and there are skaters with bigger and more impressive jumps than any type he has landed anyway.
Plushenko often did a triple flip right out of a triple axel sequence (super hard) and still did it huge and beautifully with great flow out. He never had an edge call and I dont see any edge issue with his jumps. He is definitely my pick for that jump, and if it werent him Kulik, Boitano, and Oda are the next best choices.
Hanyu, Oda, Kulik, Yagudin, Millot, and Orser are all skaters who had an excellent triple loop. Millot would do many difficult combinations ending with a triple loop, and this was in the mid 90s. Probably Millot or Kulik would be the best choice.
Boitano, Browning, Oda, Kulik, Joubert, Chengiang Li, are all good choices for the triple salchow. Although Midori Ito had a better salchow than any man ever has had.
I forgot Boitano's 3 lutz somehow. He is the easy choice for that jump.
3A and musicality Ilia Kulik, all my life.
Overall skater Yagudin.