Men (the ones I feel strongly about):
- Plushenko: Extremely versatile range of performances and the most compelling to watch. Can be dramatic and serious in one program, and fun and lighthearted in the next. (Favourite performance: Tribute to Nijinsky at the Russian Nationals will forever be an all-time great in my heart).
- Takahashi: No one has his attention to detail. Every single gesture, every position, is just perfect. (Favourite performance: Luv Letter at the Vancouver Olympics gala is the best example of his attention to detail).
- Yagudin: His performances are a bit like the skating equivalent of big diva ballads (the good ones). Bombastic, serious, dramatic as hell but always impressive. (Favourite performance: The Man in the Iron Mask at the Salt Lake City Olympics. I know everyone else likes Winter, but this is the performance that embodies what I personally like about Yagudin).
Ladies (In flux. I stopped following the discipline closely after Michelle retired, and am just catching up now):
Michelle Kwan: The eternal queen of ice. If I must describe her in one word, I would use "inspiring." (Favourite performance: Tosca at the US Nationals. I find it actually holds up better than her well-known earlier routines. Will need to refresh my memory for a lot of them though).
Mao Asada: I love how she combines attack and grace. (Favourite performance: LP at Sochi, when she knew she had no chance of a medal, she went and delivered that).
Yuna Kim: Pure elegance, with her feathery-light landings and expressive but subtle performances. (Favourite performance: no single one stands out. Kiss of the Vampire, Send in the Clowns, Concerto in F, and the James Bond Medley are all wonderful in their own ways).
I follow pairs/dance even less so this is more of a "liked what I saw" list.
- Gordeeva & Grinkov
- Volosozhar & Trankov
- Pang & Tong
- Shen & Zhao
- Torvill & Dean
- Virtue & Moir
I think it has to do with Ekaterina herself a bit. I admired G/G, but I think Ekaterina overspent the popularity she inherited from G/G. Just my humble opinion I don't expect to be shared or disputed. For me she made some decision I don't necessarily agree with, but it's just me...
I'm not interested in pairs and ice dance.
I really have never heard the opinion that T/D were overhyped.
Weren't they one of the first pairs to compete a quad twist?
I think they deserved their win over M/D, even with Sergei's mistakes. Anyway, the win will be debated but at least both teams put in good overall routines, which is better than many other competitions where it becomes "who was less awful."
Between them two I was going for M/D, but I have to say G/G's Rachmaninov was spectacular too. Actually, I was going for B/E, but I knew they had no chance against the Russians.
And who is talking about innovations? This thread is about faves, not innovating, isn't it?
Shen and Zhao
Gordeeva and Grinkov
Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler
Mandy Woetzel & Ingo Steuer
Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao
Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman
Rena Inoue (by herself - she landed those throw triple axels in spite of her partner)
Isabelle & Paul Duchesnay
Susanna Rahkamo & Petri Kokko
Barbara Fusar-Poli (she had more than enough talent for the entire team)
Kim Navarro & Brent Bommentre
Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Sky, innovation isn't the only thing that skaters bring to the feast. The thing that Gordeyeva/Grinkov did better than anyone else was the quality of each move. Their unison was extraordinary, and their lightness and speed across the ice was unrivaled. Though that doesn't obligate you to like them, you might be able to acknowledge their suitability as near-universal favorites among skating fans, just as I can acknowledge Plushenko's precision and creativity and his place on the list of all-time men's favorites.
CezarMart, perhaps you are referring to the few years in there where Katia almost seemed to be living publicly on the memory of Sergei, with the books about their life that she collaborated on and the Target perfume and so forth. I agree that this isn't something I would have felt comfortable doing, but I think that part of her actions at that time stemmed from the fact that she was still processing her loss, as were her fellow skaters. This was a way to keep alive the memory of not just Sergei as an individual but of Gordeyeva/Grinkov. Also I suspect that Katia was approached by people who found her marketable, and either she liked the idea or was persuaded to do it by her agent, or maybe even Scott Hamilton. But that phase didn't last all that long. I notice that almost from the moment she entered into a committed relationship with Ilia, she stopped having such a public private life, and she rarely showed up in non-skating media after that. Thereafter she became part of the general texture of the skating scene once more, I think. And even at the peak of Katia publicity, she was never as in-your-face as some other celebrities. It was all pretty tasteful, I thought.
Aww, thanks Olympia. It's good that even when we don't always share the same favourites, it's possible to appreciate different skaters what for they brought to be table and to understand what other people saw in them. This is why I included some brief descriptions about why I liked certain skaters (for singles, since I'm not entrenched deep enough in pairs/ice dance to be articulate there). I'm glad at least one person found my post a worthy read. I'm still prepared to get roasted for the "big ballad" comment (sue me, I like those).
I may be out of the line in saying this, but I think it's best not to take Sky too seriously. I agree with some of Sky's opinions but the way they're expressed, well... Anyway, G&G were awesome and I'll just leave it there.
G&G are my all time favorite pair team probably, and I do think they are the best ever, but I have to disagree had M&D won people would have complained about the result. Even those who defended G&G's win, or agree with it, would not have complained about the result with M&D winning as with their spectacular and perfect performance and G&G's mistakes it would be impossible to.
That is the way I measure in the closer controversies (not the blatant ones like Sotnikova vs Kim and Kostner in Sochi, or Chan vs Ten at the 2013 worlds, which are too obvious) and determining if the right person won. Do people complain about who won and would any if the other had. In the case of G&G vs M&D in 94 I dont think anyone would have complained the other way, and many did the way it was, so was probably the wrong outcome that night. Same with Chen vs Kwan at the 96 worlds. Yes close, but nobody would have complained if Chen won and some did that she didnt, so probably the wrong result. The same could be said of Chan vs Takahashi at the 2012 worlds. Nobody would have complained had Takahashi won, even those who defend Chan's win, while obviously that is the not the case with the actual result.