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

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenaj View Post
    Peggy Fleming, for elevating the artistry of free skating and Janet Lynn, for making free skating the "main event."
    Interestingly, Peggy Fleming, who was very graceful and a good jumper, was also good at school figures. In fact, if I recall correctly, it was the school figures section of her skating that put her ahead at the 1968 Olympics, and it kept her ahead even though she skated conservatively in her free program. So Peggy was really an all-around skater at a time when that description had to include school figures. Janet Lynn, on the other hand, was strong in free skating (both artistically and in terms of jumps) but generally faltered in school figures. These two ladies did a lot to usher in the era of artistic ladies' skating. They were a kind of one-two punch: Peggy's era of dominance was from about 1965 to 1968 (three World championships and then the OGM), and then Janet took center stage in the U.S., though she never won a World or Olympic gold medal. Her most immediate rivals were Trixi Schuba and Canada's Karen Magnussen, who won the World Championship in 1973 when Janet fell. (Magnussen was also the Olympic silver medalist in 1972, behind Schuba and ahead of Lynn.)

    I feel that had the plane crash that killed the 1961 American team not happened, the change in ladies' skating would have happened earlier, because Laurence Owen seems to have had that quality of grace plus athleticism that might have turned the tide then. I am too young to have seen her live, but there are one or two YouTube videos available, and no less a voice than Toller Cranston thought very highly of her skating.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    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").
    Well, the school figures are all in the shape of an 8 (two tangent circles), except for the three-circle figures, which is a variation on the same theme.

    But the turns and loops and changes of edge on the basic 8 pattern are what made the more advanced figures more demanding.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    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.
    Then again, as an American teenager, I was completely dismayed with Trixi's win myself, so all I remember are the figures eights.
    el henry -- you're actually right re: figure 8s and I stand corrected (post from gkelly).

    Loads of people were upset about Trixi's win. Which makes sense b/c if they hadn't watched the figures judging and/or didn't know that scoring @ the time was heavily weighted toward the compulsories, her OGM would have seemed off the wall. I myself didn't discover Janet Lynn until many years later when a friend clued me in. A few weeks ago, just for the heckuvit, I looked up some videos of figures competitions on YouTube. Watching the skaters' concentration and realizing the kind of precision it took to produce the figures gave me a new respect for specialists like Schuba.

    jenaj -- Re: addition of the SP for Janet L & devaluing the figure score, I completely forgot that part of the story. To you & gkelly, thanks and a big !

  4. #124
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    Anyone with a move or rule named after them, definitely; or who instituted any sort of a change in scoring
    Elaine Zayak (rule)
    Janet Lynn (short program)
    People back in the day, like Axel and Salchow (moves named after them)
    Denise Biellmann (spin)
    Evan Lysacek (quads were re-scored, partially because of his win)
    Sale and Pelletier (their complaint contributed to the change in scoring system)
    Tonya Harding (for bringing a lot of (negative) attention to the sport and starting the pre-reality show skating blitz of the 90's)

    People who greatly influenced the style of skating:
    Michelle Kwan--I credit (or blame) her for the change to very soft music, tasteful costumes and sober buns that you see today. Because of her, routines like Nancy Kerrigan's or Oksana Baiul's look completely dated now--gold dress, pony tail, Neil Diamond or show tune music. . .

    Torvill and Dean--the first or one of the first to add modern dance elements to ice dancing.

    Excellent skaters I don't think were revolutionaries:
    Yuna--she's the best of her generation, but didn't do anything that much different than anyone else
    Mao--along with Kimmie, did the triple-axel without being a powerhouse like Tonya or Midori--but I don't know if she's a revolutionary.
    Alexei Yagudin, Evgeni Plushenko, Shizuka Arakawa, etc.--excellent gold medallists, but not revolutionaries
    Davis and White--can't tell. They might be or they might be just the fastest and twizzliest of the fast/twizzly ice dancing era.
    Virtue/Moir--definitely not. Someone said they brought romance back, but Sale and Pelletier and the 2006 Canadians also did romantic themes.
    Patrick Chan/Hanyu--almost started a trend of winning while skating badly. Let's hope it doesn't catch on!

  5. #125
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the discussion of the Schuba-Lynn-Magnussen era. Fascinating stuff for figure skating history buffs.

    Beatrix Schuba was the greatest skater of school figures of all time. Her figures were huge, plus she was so precise that she deliberately went a little off on her second tracings so the judges could tell she actually traced the figure twice. She absolutely 100% deserved every title that she won.

    But television must be served. Janet Lynn was the poster girl for free skating, but it was ISU councilperson Sonia Bianchetti who deserves primary credit for actually bringing about the changes to the sport that made it more viewer friendly (hence more lucrative). Interestingly, the large federations, including the USFSA, were against diminishing and eventually eliminating figures. The new deal was pushed through by a coalition of smaller ISU powers that felt they had no chance to compete with the major powers in figures because they did not have the facilities and resources for skaters to train hour after hour on their own little patch.

    Janet Lynn turned pro and signed a 1.5 million dollar contract with Ice Follies, making her the highest-paid woman athlete in the world. Dick Button started the Landover world professional championships in 1973 just to feature (and make money off ) Janet Lynn.
    Last edited by Mathman; 04-21-2014 at 09:49 PM.

  6. #126
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    I'm going to go for an old-time skater who changed figure skating for the better. (Flexibility and balletic style well before Sasha)
    Belita Jepson-Turner
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDvAFbi-ats

    And, for one, unsung hero, who taught many to become better-to-watch skaters.
    Ann-Margreth Frei

    Dick Button for his media contributions.
    Scott Hamilton for carrying the Olympic flag, Stars on Ice & his many, audience performances.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverdull45 View Post
    I'm going to go for an old-time skater who changed figure skating for the better. (Flexibility and balletic style well before Sasha)
    Belita Jepson-Turner
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDvAFbi-ats
    Wow! So elegant, and that back spiral...

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Wow! So elegant, and that back spiral...
    I'm with you there. She was calm and totally in control of her performance. Love how she used her body language. The last spiral was amazing even for this year and age. Can't believe someone mention spiral as an ugly part of skating.

    Never saw her video before but love it so much. Thanks Neverdull45 for posting it.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by BusyMom View Post
    I'm with you there. She was calm and totally in control of her performance. Love how she used her body language. The last spiral was amazing even for this year and age. Can't believe someone mention spiral as an ugly part of skating.

    Never saw her video before but love it so much. Thanks Neverdull45 for posting it.
    I loved that little stop she does in the arabesque position.

    A spiral is only ugly if a skater executes it poorly... and while it seems like a simple move, it's really difficult to execute well.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverdull45 View Post
    I'm going to go for an old-time skater who changed figure skating for the better. (Flexibility and balletic style well before Sasha)
    Belita Jepson-Turner


    Holy moly.

    So soft and fluid. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how it's done!

    I'd never heard of her -- thanks so much for the link.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I loved that little stop she does in the arabesque position.

    A spiral is only ugly if a skater executes it poorly... and while it seems like a simple move, it's really difficult to execute well.
    Definitely. Controlling the edge is essential. Position of the free leg is not the easy tasks either. I just wish they bring back the spiral sequences. Just one set of step sequence is more than enough.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    Holy moly.

    So soft and fluid. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how it's done!

    I'd never heard of her -- thanks so much for the link.
    Bellita is the bomb of women's figure skating. Her camel spins are worlds above what is done today, even at World's level. My old lady back (45 years old) can't make that beautiful arched back. I envy it greatly, and try, try, try to get my head and foot both above my hip. Only to sadly fail.

    Bellita is the reason I tell the moms at the rink to emphasize real ballet at a real ballet school for their daughter's skating. Yes, a real school is going to do some of the moves differently and it's going to take some time away from ice . . . .but, Bellita type skaters are the result. Bellita was also a high tested and performance ballerina.

  13. #133
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodlepal View Post
    Excellent skaters I don't think were revolutionaries:
    Yuna--she's the best of her generation, but didn't do anything that much different than anyone else
    Mao--along with Kimmie, did the triple-axel without being a powerhouse like Tonya or Midori--but I don't know if she's a revolutionary.
    Alexei Yagudin, Evgeni Plushenko, Shizuka Arakawa, etc.--excellent gold medallists, but not revolutionaries
    Davis and White--can't tell. They might be or they might be just the fastest and twizzliest of the fast/twizzly ice dancing era.
    Virtue/Moir--definitely not. Someone said they brought romance back, but Sale and Pelletier and the 2006 Canadians also did romantic themes.
    Patrick Chan/Hanyu--almost started a trend of winning while skating badly. Let's hope it doesn't catch on!
    - Yuna: I agree. Her consistency is incredible but not revolutionary. Still, it's to die for.
    - Mao: Not sure. But I suppose there will be more ladies with 3A from now on. I suppose she has influence somehow.
    - Alexei Yagudin, Evgeni Plushenko: excuse me!!! if these 2 are not revolutionary, then who else? They are the best of their generation. They push each other so much, at the same time they push figure skating to a new barrier. Their dramatic program, their jumps, their footworks!!!
    - Shizuka Arakawa: Not her fan but her Ina Bauer is to die for. It's easy to write off her jumps, technique or anything else but you can't write off her Ina Bauer.
    - No comment about the ice dancers.
    - Patrick Chan/Hanyu: Excuse me, they are young, so of course they are not revolutionary yet. Doesn't mean that they won't make any impact in the next three or four years. Isn't it too premature to write them off this time?

  14. #134
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverdull45 View Post
    Dick Button for his media contributions.
    Scott Hamilton for carrying the Olympic flag, Stars on Ice & his many, audience performances.

    And Brian Orser, his second triple Axel at the end of the program at WC 1987 was a first.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post

    And Brian Orser, his second triple Axel at the end of the program at WC 1987 was a first.
    In this video, they talked about his revolution of 3 Axel.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frWn06X2fZ4

    Also his delayed axel was something. Love to see someone bring it back in present time.

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