Your five favorites of all time in each discipline
If you had to choose five favourites of all time, in each of the four disciplines, who would they be? Note: favourites, not who you think are the best (I realise that choice might be very different). Give reasons, if you can!
Here are mine (bear in mind I watched FS erratically through most of my lifetime):
- Victor Petrenko (Just majestic on the ice)
- Phillippe Candeloro (just so much damn fun with his originality and sense of humour)
- Johnny Weir (Elegant movement that mesmerised and moved me)
- Daisuke Takahashi (charisma and musical interpretation to burn; wonderful connection with the audience; gives me goose bumps on a regular basis)
- Yuzuru Hanyu (Has a fresh intensity that draws me in and makes me feel I'm almost interrupting sometimes; gorgeous spins enthral me especially)
- Honourable Mention as before my birth: John Curry (My mother spoke of him so, when YouTube came on the scene and his skate at Innsbruck in 1976 was uploaded, I watched his performance and was mesmerised by its supreme display of glorious technique with truly dazzling presentation)
- Katarina Witt (I remember watching her and being entranced as a child)
- Oksana Baiul (fresh enthusiasm; charming; extremely engaging to watch; beautifully elegant)
- Akiko Suzuki (elegance and beauty to spare)
- Mao Asada (charming and engaging)
- Yulia Lipnitskaya (compelling viewing, those spins!)
N.B. I have never really followed pairs much at all so these are more because I saw one or two excellent performances that stuck in my mind.
- Ekaterina Gordeeva / Sergei Grinkov (elegance and haunting beauty)
- Natalia Mishkutenok / Artur Dmitriev (dramatic and intense)
- Zhang Dan & Zhang Hao (bravery for continuing after that awful fall!)
- Stolbova & Klimov (interesting, unusual routine- Addams Family)
- Volosovhar / Trankov (real stories being told in their routines, amazing whole package)
- Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (couldn't take my eyes off any routine they did; the first ice skaters I remember; rhythmic and innovative; not histrionic in their routines like I found some other couples of the day)
- Isabelle Duchesnay & Paul Duchesnay (original, intense, mesmerising)
- Susanna Rahkomo & Petri Kokko (innovative, engaging, fun, never boring)
- Shae-Lynn Bourne & Victor Kraatz (engaging and interesting moves)
- Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (emotionally compelling, dramatic)
I would love to read others' lists!
Evgeni Plushenko - he has it all, a true inspiration...love everything about him!
Daisuke Takahashi - for his artistry and style...can't take my eyes off of him
Johnny Weir - one of the few true originals in US men's skating, always stayed true to himself. Thanks to Johnny, I started really paying attention & loving the sport.
Stephane Lambiel - see Takahashi
Yuzuru Hanyu - just...wow!
Rudy Galindo - the more I watch of his old programs the more I'm in awe...love the campy stuff, but his serious programs are equally compelling
Shawn Sawyer - so flexible and creative!
Mao Asada - pushed the limits, always interesting
Midori Ito - amazing
Sasha Cohen - just like her style
Julia Lipnitskaia - might be a little early to call this one, but I like what I've seen so far
Akiko Suzuki - charming and lovely to watch
I really only started paying attention recently because of Voloszohar/Trankov...they're easily my favorites, of course I was aware of the Gordeeva/Grinkov story & so I would pick them as classics, and I did like Savchenko/Szolkowy too. But mostly my heart belongs to V/T!
I follow ice dancing even less...I like certain programs, but don't really have favorite teams. I will say that Papadakis/Cizeron seem very intriguing right now.
- * -
Kurt Browning - Great programs, great artist, nice guy, and a world champion to boot
Shawn Sawyer - same thing as above, and he's also very attractive!
Daisuke Takahashi - Basically the same thing as the first two, wonderful artist and programs, and not a bad technician, either
Elvis Stojko - Great technician and always a fighter, I much respected how he skated at the 1998 Olympics even though injured, and skated in the 2002 Olympics for the country's sake, even though he no longer had a chance to medal
Jason Brown - Maybe it's too early to be putting him on this list, but the way I fell in love with his two beautiful programs this season makes me think he belongs there, and he seems like a really nice, genuine person too
Elizabeth Manley - I loved her gutsy skate at the '88 Olympics, even though I didn't see it until a few years later.. she's the last gutsy lady Canada has had in awhile, unless you count Osmond/Daleman, who are still moving up the ranks (Rochette was good, but I wouldn't necessarily call her gutsy).
Ashley Wagner - She's gutsy too, and even though some people dislike her personality, I find it endearing. I also respect the work ethic she's developed over the last three years or so.
Michelle Kwan - I actually didn't get why everyone loved her while she was competing, but in the past few years, looking more closely at her programs, I understand why everyone loved and still loves her. She was basically perfection on the ice, minus a few jumps.
Irina Slutskaya - While not as exquisite as Kwan, she was a formidable force in her era, and I admired her guts too, coming back from an illness to become World Champion again. She was always knocking off 3-3s as if they were nothing, too.
Julia Lipnitskaya - Like Jason Brown, she's new, but I believe she belongs on my list because I have never enjoyed a young skater as much as I've enjoyed watching her this season, and I'm just astounded by her supreme flexibility. If I watch a ladies' event without her, it seems like there's something missing.
Brasseur/Eisler - Although I've lost some respect for Lloyd, they were my first favourite pair, and I love their tricks. I feel a bit personally connected to Isabelle after reading a couple of their books, too.
Savchenko/Szolkowy - They've had great longevity and have come up with many unique, interesting programs over the last decade or so.
Pang/Tong - I only became a big fan after the 2010 Olympics, but at that competition, they were on fire. Some of their programs since then, such as "Pearl Fishers" and "I Dreamed a Dream" have been beautiful, too.
Shen/Zhao - They went from being a pair with just technical tricks to one of the most strongly artistic pairs of the prior decade. They also had great programs.
Petrova/Tikhonov - Them being on this list is more sentimental than program-related. I grew attached to them since they stayed around for such a long time, and I also didn't like B/S, and felt like P/T were overlooked in favour of them a lot (yes, B/S got good results but P/T were right up there, too).
Bourne/Kraatz - I love almost every single one of their programs they've ever produced. The only one I didn't like was March With Me.
Belbin/Agosto - Love their perky style, a great contrast to the dramatics of the early to mid-'00s.
Denkova/Staviski - Maybe the best ice dance team to never win an Olympic medal, their programs were always original and well-skated. I believe they should have won the 2004 Worlds.
Duschesnays - Always full of originality, and while they weren't technically the best, their programs are the most memorable ones from the '90s for me.
Navarro/Bommentre - Not the best team technically or results-wise, but I loved the themes of most of their programs, especially their U2 FD and Beatles FD. I've followed Kim on social media for the last while, and she seems like a great person.
Men (I follow this discipline the least, just FYI):
1. Sasha Cohen
2. Mao Asada
3. Alissa Czisny
4. Julia Lipnitskaia
5. Ashley Wagner
1. G+G (perhaps my absolute favorite skaters)
2. Shen & Zhao
3. Martiusheva/Rogonov (I know she couldn't land her jumps, but they were just stunning to watch)
5. Pang & Tong
1. Virtue & Moir
2. Ilinykh & Katsalapov
3. Weaver & Poje
4&5. Not sure if I have specific people for the last two spots, but I love Sinitsina/Zhiganshin, Papadakis/Cizeron, Hurtado/Diaz, and Hawayek/Baker
I would have to think to give five..
1. Mishkutenok & Dmitriev
2. Brasseur & Eisler
3. Rodnina & Zaitsev
4. Savchenko & Szolkowy
5. Gordeeva & Grinkov
Men (random order)
1. Virtue & Moir
2. Belbin & Agosto
3. Pakhomova & Gorshkov
4. Moiseeva & Minenkov
5. .. I don't know. So many of them. Maybe Ilinykh/Katsapalov? Maybe not?
5. Slutskaya. I was tempted to include Lipnitskaya, but it's too early yet. She still needs to prove herself.
1. Mao Asada - exquisite, playful, care-free and innocent; emotionally resonant, tragically poignant; alternately ethereal, sultry and fiery; displaying a full range of expression on the emotional and spiritual spectrum; persistent commitment to high artistic and technical ideal; remarkable perseverance, redemption and resilience; wonderful whip-like revolutions on tightly spiraled jumps with hand and arm gestures on exit that captivate with wave-like grace; peerless beauty, prima-ballerina posture and movements; entranced by her arabesque, Biellmann and leg extensions; gutsy, and suspenseful- waiting with bated breath for the smooth landing on her triple axel, and the utterly timeless Sochi performance- my favorite of all time.
2. Chen Lu - silky smooth skating skills, remarkable dramatic presence, beautiful balletic flow and posture, sensation of flying through the sky into a more wonderful space and time, emotionally compelling and genuine, seamless transitions, grand hand and arm gestures that sweep me away with their dignified elegance.
3. Midori Ito- triple axel, triple axel, triple axel, incredible height, distance, power and passion in her jumps, stupendous skating speed, penetrates the greatest depths of the spirit and emotions, feel her soul surging through and skating with Mao when she becomes a fighter after landing her triple axel,
4. Michelle Kwan- passionate and vulnerable, remarkable spiral sequences, pours out her soul in all her movements, which glide like a seagull soaring through the sky.
5. Shizuka Arakawa - graceful and powerful triple jumps, my favorite lay-back position of all time- her Ina Bauer, remarkable leg extensions, and skates with consummate sophistication and purity.
Raughly and in no particular order:
Slutskaya, Asada, Kostner, Wagner, Cohen
Plushenko, Lambiel, Takahashi, Hanyu, Fernandez.
B\S, S\Z, S\S, T\M, A\B
V\M, K\O, C\S, D\S, G\P
For me it's
Men: Lambiel, Buttle, Chan, Abbott, Takahashi
Ladies: Yuna, Joannie, Sasha, Michelle, Katarina
Dance: V/M, D/W, G/P, the Kerrs, B/K
Pairs: P/T, G/G, S/S, S/Z
1. Evgeny Plushenko - Great showman and jumper. The most clutch skater ever.
2. Jason Brown - Brown is the first American skater that I've been genuinely excited about since Michelle Kwan retired. I hope he continues to develop!
3. Daisuke Takahashi - Gorgeous step sequences and artistry
4. Timothy Goebel - ALL THE QUADS. Even though people complain about his lack of choreography and posture, he always had an easy quality on the ice.
5. Rudy Galindo - His 1996 US Nats LP!
Honorable Mention(s): Alexei Yagudin, Ilia Kulik (gorgeous jump technique) and Philippe Candeloro (showmanship)
1. Michelle Kwan - Needs no justification.
2. Oksana Baiul - Her Olympic ex was a thing of beauty.
3. Mao Asada - My favorite active skater.
4. Janet Lynn - A pioneer; pushed the sport towards greater emphasis on free skating
5. Surya Bonaly - People complain about her, but she made a powerful impression on this sport
Honorable Mention(s): Carolina Kostner, Sasha Cohen, Tonya Harding pre-1994.
I don't watch pairs and dance as much as I should, but I've enjoyed Gordeeva/Grinkov (pairs), and Davis/White, Torvill/Dean, and Bourne/Kraatz (dance).
Say no to horrendous costumes
Men: Yagudin, Plushy, Lambiel, Kulik, Hanyu
Ladies: Baiul, Kwan, Caro, Midori Ito, Yulia
I don't watch ice dance and pair that much to have a favourite.
(I only watch figure skating since 2004)
Pairs: Volosozhar/Trankov, Pang/Tong, Totmianina/Marinin (+Stolbova/Klimov new entry)
Men: Lambiel, Hanyu, Plushenko, Ten, Takahashi
Ice dance: Virtue/Moir (by far), Navka/Kostomarov, Davis/White, Delobel/Schoenfelder
Ladies: Mao and Yuna, Slutskaya, Akiko
1 The Propotovs
2 Brezhnaya / Sikhuralidze
4 Volosozhar / Trankov
5 Pang / Tong
1 Gracie Gold
2 Midori Ito
3 Dorothy Hamil
4 Carolina Kostner
5 Julia Lipnitskaia
1 Yuzuru Hanyu
2 Evgeni Plushenko
3 Han Yan
4 Jason Brown
5 Elvis Stojko
1 Klimova / Ponomarenko
2 Davis / White
3 Krylova / Ovsyannikov
4 Pakhomova / Gorshkov
5 Sinitsina / Katsalapov
Not Likeable skaters
1 Sale / Pelettier
2 Gordeeva / Grinkov
3 Shen / Zhao
4 Totmainina / Marinin
1 Ashley Wagner
2 Katarina Witt
3 Kaetlyn Osmond
1 Torvill and Dean
2 Grishuk / Platov
3 Virtue / Moir
4 Usova / Zhulin
1 Patrick Chan
2 Evan Lysacek
3 Scott Hamilton
Hmmm - this is challenging.
Kurt Browning - amazing feet, amazing musicality, amazing originality, amazing personality
Stephan Lambiel - no better spinner in the world and he's quite cute
Adam Rippon - because he's absolutely elegant on the ice (wish he was consistent)
Johnny Weir - there isn't a more graceful male skater
Jason Brown - because I think he's going to be one of the greats
Alexei Yagudin - because he always embodied, for me, the men's Olympic Champion
Michelle Kwan - because
Mao Asada - because
Jill Trenary - I don't know why!
(can't think of another one)
Gordeev and Grinkov - they set the bar
Shen and Zhao - their connection was astounding. Better than anybody out there now!!!
Sale and Pelletier - their Love Story is a classic
Berezhnaia and Sik - incredible grace
Davis and White - all time favorites
Weaver and Poje - my new favorites for the coming years
Bourne and Kraatz
Torvill and Dean
Just in ladies since I don't know that well in other disciplines:
Katarina Witt(my mum's favorite too haha)
Michelle Kwan(Beautiful performance!+very charming person)
Midori Ito(wow her jumps were HUGE)
Carolina Kostner(Very elegant and unique choreos)
Yuna Kim(emotional, elegant, captivating altogether, +nerves of steel)(oh and I like her interpretation of the music)