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Thread: Skaters who revolutionized/made an impact in Figure Skating

  1. #31
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    Chan is a very talented skater, woth great skills. But i count him out of revolutionising FS. He had just used very clever the point system. The same goes at the moment for Hanyu, but he seems to have great abilities to go further in the technical part. So now is too earyl to put him on that list, but in 4 years he might earn that place.

    Personally from the modern era i would put Plushenko and Kwan, as those two who transcendent the FS little world and became the image of FS for many poeple outthere.

    As legendary as he is , i woudn't count Yagudin, he was not so influencial for the generations to come and while he won the most times over Plushenko, he actually went with the trend made by Plushenko. I give more Stojko the edge, he brought the sport further, he pushed like Plushenko the borders.

    How about Scott? Not only for his amateur competition, but more for his involvement in FS after going pro?

  2. #32
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    EDIT: Nevermind, Jammers reread my post, it seems.

    ^Also, pretty much agree with the above poster. Kinda what I was trying to say with my other post. Plushenko was pushing the technical stuff and Yagudin followed suit so he wouldn't fall behind. I give Yagudin a nod because while he didn't do the innovating himself, his presence probably pushed Plushenko to innovate.

  3. #33
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    Peggy Fleming was definitely the prototype for the All-American ice princess. I don't think Dorothy Hamill's astronomical post-Olympics fame would have been possible without Peggy opening that door in 1968. It's easy to see the impact Peggy had on how top American ladies' skaters were packaged through the years: look no further than Dorothy, Linda Fratianne, Roz Sumners, Nancy Kerrigan....

    I would also add Bestemianova/Bukin for ice dance. I think the sport's reputation as theatrical and over-the-top has a lot to do with their dominance in the mid-late '80s.

  4. #34
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    Hamilton could be mentioned for bringing more advanced footwork and making non jump elements like spins and footwork important to mens skating and results for the first time, and for creating Stars on Ice and much of the pro circuit as we came to know it.

    Yu Na Kim's biggest legacy will be adding a new Asian power country to the sport (especialy if any future Koreans win medals or Korea atleast becames more a fixture in the sport), and most of all for making the difficult 3-3s being included consistently in both programs paramount for the first time. Everyone now is trying triple lutz-triple toe or triple lutz-triple loop or triple flip-triple toe type combinations in both programs and that is mostly due to Yu Na.

    Mao for pushing the triple axels which had become an extinct jump for many years post Ito, and still managing to deliver a beautiful overall package of skating even while trying the technically hardest programs by a women ever to do.

    Ito for being many years ahead of her time in athleticsm and jumping, but she was already mentioned. Plus for being the start of the rise of Japanse skating.

    Fleming was the first to really bring femininity and delicate artistry to modern day ladies skating, while Lynn was the first to really skate with her heart and soul and for it be very organic in nature.

    I am not sure if Hamill revolutioned the sport per say, even though she became a huge star an iconic figure. Maybe she could be credited for making spins, and complete technical skating, not just the jumps very important. What set her apart more than her artistry amongst her competitors, was that she had outstanding spins, spirals, footwork, and stroking, which set her far above her competitors even though a few of them could do triple jumps and she wasnt doing them. Plus her huge double axels.

    I agree that neither Hanyu or Chan, while excellent, would go down as revolutioning the sport in anyway. Maybe Chan could be credited for making skating skills and complex programs a more prominent focal point. I think that impact would have been felt if he had been more consistent, but unfortunately it just gives the impression this is too much to reach for and doesnt really push future skaters to want to follow that.

    Browning revolutioned the sport in the sense of making programs more diverse and showing you could display a whole range of styles and skating themes, both as an amateur and a pro. You didnt have to be pigoneholed into just one style of skating if you didnt want to be (although that was fine as well if it suited you best).

  5. #35
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    I don't want to get into an argument over specific choices, but this thread is a great way to think of skaters, and I like that you go back practically to the start of competitive skating rather than concentrating just on the recent past. Definitely Toller Cranston and Janet Lynn need to be on this list, because though they never won an international gold medal, they helped to usher in the era of more expressive skating. Cranston shares that distinction with his almost exact contemporary, John Curry, and Lynn probably can be thought of in conjunction with Peggy Fleming.

    For the ice dancers, I'll leave it to better informed people (or just more emphatic people!) to argue, except to say that Torvill and Dean most assuredly do belong on this list.

  6. #36
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    Some people are bending over backwards to come up with an excuse to include their favourites. Like Chan being "one of the first to do the half loop 3S sequence". Midori Ito did it in the 80s. She also did 7 triple LPs a decade earlier than Kwan. (I have nothing against Chan or Kwan.)

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pohatta View Post
    She also did 7 triple LPs a decade earlier than Kwan. (I have nothing against Chan or Kwan.)
    She did, but Kwan did more 7 triple LPs and almost everyone who won Worlds during her era needed 7 triples to do so. (I think Irina in 2002 and Kwan in 2003 did 6)

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    I didn't say Kwan was the first to do seven triples... right? I apologize if I did; I'm hardly the go-to person for figure skating history. I think Kwan is important because she made the seven-triple performance a mainstay, at least to some degree. And that's not even getting to the artistic side. Just like how Yagudin and Plushenko weren't the first ones to do quads (lol), but they both pushed quads to become more common and essential.

    Speaking of rivalries and innovation, anyone have an opinion on the Brian's (Boitano and Orser)? Or Katarina Witt for that matter? I don't think any of them did any major technical innovations (that I recall), but maybe they should be considered if we look at performance as a whole. Of course, again, I'm not well-versed in the era.

  9. #39
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Yu Na Kim's biggest legacy will be adding a new Asian power country to the sport (especialy if any future Koreans win medals or Korea atleast becames more a fixture in the sport), and most of all for making the difficult 3-3s being included consistently in both programs paramount for the first time. Everyone now is trying triple lutz-triple toe or triple lutz-triple loop or triple flip-triple toe type combinations in both programs and that is mostly due to Yu Na.
    I'd revise that to say she gave the country relevance and notoriety but not necessarily any power outside of herself. "Asian power country" is a pretty big stretch especially seeing as how Yu-Na is the only skater from the country to have found any significant success in the sport so far. It's more of a testament to her personal legacy than the sport as a whole. Without Yu-Na the country has no power whatsoever.

    Hopefully So-Youn, Hae-Jin and some of the others will step up in the coming years and become contenders but there's no guarantee that will happen. Look what happened to China after Chen Lu...it's taken nearly 20 years for China to produce another possible contender in the ladies and even she isn't a sure thing.

    Essentially, in terms of impact/contributions to the sport, I'd say Yu-Na put Korea on the map and laid the groundwork for it to become a power country...whether or not that will happen is TBD.

  10. #40
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    From this standpoint Ito should be mentioned as the first one who broke the assumption that only Europeans and North Americans are capable of world class skating.

  11. #41
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    I think that Sasha needs to be put on this list. She was probably the first one to promote flexibility and innovative spins so strongly. It was only after her that I-spin became so popular and it's clearly visible she inspired many skaters. Kiri Baga had just the same short program to Dark Eyes, Fumie had similar clothes, Julia's music choices especially in the 2011-13 seasons were clearly inspired by Sasha. I would say many young skaters followed her path and these are just some examples.

    Many say that Mao made an impact but even though I truly love her, I would sadly say she didn't make much of an impact. Maybe after some time we will see more ladies trying the 3axel or in general programs with the highest difficulty level possible. As of now I think Kim is the one that had a bigger impact, as somebody already wrote, now most girls are relying on their 3Lz-3T, which became a standard combination for top female skaters partly because of Yuna.

    The same with Midori - yes, she and Asada were pushing the technical envolope but who was in fact inspired by Ito? Well, except for Mao

    I'm not trying to diminish their achievements, as both Mao and Midori are my favourite skaters but it seems to me that sadly not many people follow their path.

  12. #42
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    I'm going to with Yuna on this one. She along with Mao showed the world an artistic, complete skater that had difficult 3-3 combinations. With her steady 3-3s since her junior days, in combination with her artistry, has made the 3-3, almost mandatory for any top skater.

    Mao has also had a great influence on what constitutes a complete skater. Unfortunately, I think some of her influence was lost due to some inconsistencies, later in her career. While we might not see 3As in many more women after Mao. Mao has influenced many ladies into attempting more difficult programs.

  13. #43
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherryy View Post
    I think that Sasha needs to be put on this list. She was probably the first one to promote flexibility and innovative spins so strongly. It was only after her that I-spin became so popular and it's clearly visible she inspired many skaters. Kiri Baga had just the same short program to Dark Eyes, Fumie had similar clothes, Julia's music choices especially in the 2011-13 seasons were clearly inspired by Sasha. I would say many young skaters followed her path and these are just some examples.
    I agree about Sasha. She was one of the first baby ballerinas to pop up with super-flexibility. I do think Sasha should be credited for bringing more attention to and demanding more requirements spins and spirals, especially under IJS. She owned both of those categories for about two years until Caroline Zhang, Mirai Nagasu and the other set of baby ballerinas emerged.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cherryy View Post
    I'm not trying to diminish their achievements, as both Mao and Midori are my favourite skaters but it seems to me that sadly not many people follow their path.
    I do think she made an impact on the sport. Because of Mao the women have the option to do a 3A in the SP...that wasn't an option pre-Mao.

    No, not many will follow in Mao's path but it's not b/c they don't want to...it's b/c they can't. It's a testament to how incredibly difficult that element is that only a handful of women in history have managed to do it.

    Mao is extraordinary because of that. A 3-3 is a very difficult element but many women are capable of doing it which doesn't make it as impressive as performing an element no one else can. The bar Mao set with the 3A is impossible for most to reach but that doesn't lessen her impact/contribution to the sport.

    Mao pushed the boundaries of what a woman can do in this sport from a technical standpoint. That is her contribution and the impact she's had...and it's a pretty big one.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Chan, Takahashi and Buttle were arguably the faces of CoP where a complete, well-rounded skater who mastered all facets of skating started to be appreciated, not just the jumps. The same way Curry revolutionized the sport artistically. I would arguably add Goebel and Fernandez for their technical brilliance and mastering quads and the 3-quad freeskate, in a similar way Plushenko/Yagudin/Stojko mastered the quad in general. Of course Yagudin is the perfect blend of artistry and athleticism and his Olympic performances still stand as the best of all time (although I'd put Hanyu's Sochi SP above his).

    For ladies, Ito obviously. Kim as well given her balance of technical and artistic. Kwan for her artistry. Asada for pushing te technical envelope.

    Pairs, Shen/Zhao - they were the first to really THROW and have huge twists. Before it was all about the SBS jumps but S/Z really drew attention to other spectacular elements.

    Ice dance - D/W and V/M revolutionized how dance can be masterfully difficult and still artistically engaging. Torvill and Dean were the masters for their time and exhibited how ice dancing is an art but these two recent teams have showcased how ice dancing can be a sport, this changing the perceptions of many that ice dancing is merely theatre on ice.
    Theater on ice? More like Lawrence Welk on ice. Every LD was the same: three parts, change of rhythm for the second part. And costumes that would not look out of place on The Lawrence Welk Show. There was a reason why ID was the perennial butt of every "How is this a sport" joke. ZZZZZzzzzzzz.

    Torvill and Dean answered that perennial problem handily. There is a reason why Mr/Mrs/Ms Only Watch During the Olympics know who Torvill and Dean are--decades after they won gold. There's more than one way to be revolutionary.

    And besides, you can also make an impact by being a consolidator, by bringing together all previous developments into one superior package. Dorothy Hamill certainly fits that description. So does Michelle Kwan.

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    Torville & Dean, John Curry, Ulrich Salchow, Belousova / Protopopov and Pakhomova / Gorshkov

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