04-19-2014, 12:53 PM
04-21-2014, 02:15 AM
I am restricting my post to only singles as those are the main ones I follow.
Men, Technical : I am putting my bet on Elvis Stojko and Brian Orser for initiating the push towards quads and athleticism in FS. Plushenko for accelerating it. Chan and Hanyu are the successors to the movement.
Men, Artistry: For sure its Cranston and Kurt Browning who introduced that novelty and character roleplay so well. This was pushed further by skaters like Lambiel and Daisuke Takahashi. Among the current crop, I can think of Javier Fernandez and Jason Brown being the leading artists.
Ladies, Technical: Definitely Midori Ito and may I say Kristi Yamaguchi. These two pushed each other. To keep up with Ito, Yamaguchi went for the 3Lz-3T. Innovation wise, I will rather put my dollars on Yamaguchi rather than Yuna Kim who while great, to me was inspirational mainly in putting SKorea on the FS worldmap but innovation wise?? Ito - mother of the 3A and the 7 triple programme for ladies. She defined what is technical perfection. To date, only Mao comes closest to the Ito 3A (actually not very close quality and height wise). To date, only Irina Slutskaya (and a very few others e.g Miki Ando) has exceeded Yamaguchi's 3Lz3T with the 3Lz3R. The best technical skaters among current ladies are the Russian babes and possibly Polina Edmunds (superb potential).
Ladies, Artistry: Certainly the Americal greats such as Flemming, Lynn, Hamill were the prototypical artist with good athleticism. The class performer has got to be Baiul (terrible technically though), Kwan and Butyrskaya. Asada is definitely a compelling artist with great technical ability to match along with Yuna Kim and Caro Kostner. Among the younger crop of current skaters, I do not see any who can develop the level of artistry like a Kostner or Kwan but then, I do think this will come in time as they mature. My personal fave has got to be Elena Radionova - think she has the sunny personality and posotive energy to boot.
Artist vs athlete. I especially love it when you have two rivals pushing each other, say Stojko vs Browning and Slutskaya vs Kwan. For instance, during the 6.0 era where the impressionistic marking favoured the lovely artistic skater, Kwan's pushing of the whole package artistry forced Irina to improve herself in that area and also to push for the super difficult technical contents (2 x 3-3s, loop combinations, 3 jump combinations, one foot fast footwork sequence etc) in order to challenge the more graceful Kwan who was easier on the eye. In return Kwan was also challenged to up her technical content and go for a 3T3T which I believe would not have happened had there not been Slutskaya there pushing her. Thus, I do not think of Kwan or Slutskaya individually as having pushed innovation in FS but as a pair, I think these two epitomises how a compelling artiste and a fiery competitive athlete can push the level of their sport to the next level.
04-21-2014, 09:58 AM
I would totally add Kristi to the list. She was also one of the few pro-competitors who still did 3F and 3Z long after retiring from amateur competition.
04-21-2014, 11:17 AM
Landing 3As in my dreams!
Originally Posted by Meoima
04-21-2014, 02:39 PM
I agree, except for Julia Lipnitskaia's spins. I never thought somebody that flexible would also be such an elite level skater. She really does have some of the finest spins in history, and some like her biellmann never even seemed possible. Hanyu's axel entry is probably revolutionary in itself (I know Ito did it on a double axel, but to do it on a triple axel with control is crazy). These are just singular element things, but both have a way's to go before transforming the sport and revolutionizing it. I think it is possible for Hanyu to do something super extraordinary in terms of elevating the technical level of the sport... his technique is superb and he's still very young. Lipnitskaia needs to mature a bit before I'm convinced she can be included in one of the all-time greats, but the potential is there.
Originally Posted by Meoima
04-21-2014, 02:46 PM
Peggy Fleming, for elevating the artistry of free skating and Janet Lynn, for making free skating the "main event."
04-21-2014, 03:23 PM
It occurs to me, that those of us who reference Janet Lynn, may not have given folks under 50 enough of an explanation for how she revolutionized figure skating.
Originally Posted by jenaj
Janet Lynn had the best free skates of the early 70s. She was elegant, but she also had enthusiasm and connected with the audience (not quite Jason Brown level enthusiasm and connection, but close). At that time, tracing figure eights constituted the compulsory skate. It was deadly to watch. A skater named Trixi Schuba excelled, excelled, excelled at figure eights, but was, well, to say "wooden" in her FS would be charitable. Because her compulsories were so high, she won OGM at Sapporo, and Janet Lynn, the crowd favorite and best free skater, won bronze.
The outcry, and dismay, actually did *change* figure skating: compulsory figures were eliminated from competitons. Spins and jumps are fine and dandy, but Janet Lynn inspired the elimination an entire portion of the competitive program. And why those of us of a certain age cannot say that Julia, or Yuna, or Mao, or any current skater is revolutionary. Maybe later, but not now.
04-21-2014, 03:49 PM
it safe to say Gracie, Yuzuru and Julia
are the 3 big names to watch out for this quad
have the potential to set new records and make innovations and make an impact in their countries/regions
04-21-2014, 03:52 PM
Size 7 Knife Boots
I'm not sure anything in this sport is safe? I prefer the term hopeful or even likely. Here is to success all around!!!
04-21-2014, 03:57 PM
Gracie Gold already making an impact in the US
inspiring young skaters: http://distilleryimage4.ak.instagram...c91228d0_8.jpg
04-21-2014, 04:06 PM
Landing 3As in my dreams!
Originally Posted by el henry
Whoa, hang on there! I understand and completely agree w/ your basic point, but the figures portion of the competition wasn't just figure 8's -- there were many others. See link below, and also the USFSA website (search "compulsory figures").
Figures were an art unto themselves. They required incredible control, focus, and perfect edging. Don't forget that when the OWGs first started, figures were the only event in the skating competition -- hence the name "Figure Skating." (Speed skating wasn't added until 1924.) Jumps and spins and the other goodies we love so much didn't happen until later. Yes, figures were deadly dull to watch, but they also formed much of the basis for the astonishing technique and artistry of skaters like John Curry.
It's been pointed out to me that Janet Lynn herself acknowledged Schuba's superiority in figures. Also, it took almost 20 years after the '72 Olympics for figures to be eliminated entirely.
As for Asada, most women today don't even think about including a 3A in their programs, much less land one in competition. Mao is one of the few (other than Midori Ito & Tonya Harding) who have ever done it -- so how is that not revolutionary?
BTW for purposes of full disclosure: I'm also "of a certain age" (dang it all!).
Last edited by skatedreamer; 04-21-2014 at 04:15 PM.
Reason: had to get my speed skating facts straight...more or less...
04-21-2014, 04:18 PM
Gracie is a pretty girl and all, but how is a girl who is so stiff and expressionless ever going to make it as an actress?
Originally Posted by sky_fly20
Athletes don't have much luck crossing over into other areas of the entertainment industry. Sonja Henie was an exception, but she succeeded as a novelty act. There would be no place for her in the Hollywood of today. The only Olympic-level skater I can really think of who had the personality and ego to succeed as an actress was Pasha Grishuk.
04-21-2014, 04:22 PM
take a look at Gracie's twitter/instagram following, her Hollywood connections
Originally Posted by donezo
though Sonja Henie was the first to transcend into Holywood successfully,
Gracie being an American herself nowadays should give her an advantage to capitalize on
she is getting many endorsements, she is also managed by IMG, a New York based modeling/elite athletes agency
04-21-2014, 04:30 PM
Thanks for the more detailed explanation; I think it is a great guide for (not just of a certain age). I did go overboard for purposes of illustration.
Originally Posted by skatedreamer
Then again, as an American teenager, I was completely dismayed with Trixi's win myself, so all I remember are the figures eights.
04-21-2014, 04:35 PM
I learned about Janet Lynn from YouTube, so you don't have to be "of a certain age"--just an uber-fan of the sport. I don't think it has been pointed out that the short program was essentially created for Janet Lynn, to give her (and other, future free skaters) a shot at a World title. Figures were devalued to something like 30-35% at that time. Ironically, Janet did pretty well in figures at '73 Worlds, but botched the short program. She ended up with the silver medal.
Originally Posted by skatedreamer