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Thread: Does Plushenko's longevity make him a better skater than Yagudin?

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    Does Plushenko's longevity make him a better skater than Yagudin?

    Yagudin won most of their head-to-heads at the big competitions and seems to be the more beloved one in English-speaking forums, but Plushenko continued and dominated while Yagudin got injured and retired. Do you consider Plushenko greater than Yagudin?

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    Well, that's not fair. I can't imagine Yagudin got injured on purpose! If Yagudin could have continued, I'm sure he would have. And oh, to imagine the battles we could have seen!

    I consider Plushenko greater than Yagudin for different reasons, one of which is that Plushenko was never afraid to raise the bar when needed. Yagudin matching you with a 4T and 4T-3T? Well, I'll just come up with the 4T-3T-2Lo. Oops, Yagudin's started doing that now? Hmm, time to try the 4T-3T-3Lo. It's the Olympic season - maybe I should try a different quad - Quad Lutz? Maybe not, I might get hurt. Oh crap, I muffed the SP and need a miracle to win the LP - let's just toss in the 3A-half loop-3F to up the difficulty!

    Plushenko's iron will and unbelievable mental strength is undoubtedly his greatest quality. But to say he is greater than Yagudin because Yagudin had a career-ending injury and Plushenko did not until twelve years later is WRONG.

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    Agreed about raising the bar when needed. I think even if Yagudin hadn't been injured, Plushenko would've surpassed him due to pushing the technical content too far for Yagudin to keep up. Yes, Yagudin was more watchable for most, but Plushenko actually attempted to keep his programs interesting when Yagudin was around.

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    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    I always thought Yagudin was the far more interesting skater. There's a lot to admire about Plushenko's talent and accomplishments... but I've never much enjoyed watching him while I could enjoy watching Yagudin just skating around without doing any scoring elements.

    jmo

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    No. I actually was just wondering this yesterday so I went and watched a bunch of videos of both of them at their peak. If you compare 2002-Yags with 2006 Plushy, Yags is significantly better. He has the technical goods as well as the artistry. A complete skater.

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    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Yagudin is the standard of a complete skater!!! No one can be more complete than him!! He is an artist and an athlete at the highest level of figure skating! Hence my avatar!

    But on the other hand, Plushenko is the one who always to raise the bar higher!! He is the one who constantly push figure skating forward!! He is another kind of champion!! His longevity, his love for figure skating, no one can deny that! He is the pioneer!!

    Both of them have big impacts on their own ways!

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    I'm not sure that it is safe to assume that if Yagudin could have continued, he would not have pushed his tech content as well. We have to consider that the same physical problems that forced him to retire also limited his ability to push himself further technically. No physical limits = no retirement = Yagudin pushing himself as much as Plush.

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    I'm not a fan of these types of threads because there will never be a definitive answer to a question like this. Everyone has different opinions and the idea of who is the greatest of this or that can be very subjective.

    That said, between Yagudin and Plushenko, I think Plushenko will be the skater who'll likely be most remembered as the decades go by due to his unusually long career (multiple titles) and the way he pushed men's figure skating.

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    Yes, Plushenko has better career but..Go youtube and watch Yagudin!! He is a total package!

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    I'm laughing at a "clean Weiss" or "clean Sandhu." Did that ever happen?

    I, too, found Yagudin to be a more interesting skater choreographically. I also found him more "user friendly" without the monumental ego. But you can't deny the fact that Plushenko (as much as it pains me to say this) had the longevity. I still watch Yagudin's GM performances over and over and I've never rewatched any of Plushenko's performances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    This is a debate that will go on forever most likely. I would rank them both in the top 3 or 4 in history though. If pushed to choose I would say better skater Yagudin by a hair, better career Plushenko by more than a hair at this point.
    But better hair goes to Yagudin.

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    Yulia and Ruslena team forever! Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    Yagudin is the standard of a complete skater!!! No one can be more complete than him!! He is an artist and an athlete at the highest level of figure skating! Hence my avatar!

    But on the other hand, Plushenko is the one who always to raise the bar higher!! He is the one who constantly push figure skating forward!! He is another kind of champion!! His longevity, his love for figure skating, no one can deny that! He is the pioneer!!

    Both of them have big impacts on their own ways!

    This.

  13. #13
    The King has arrived - no questions! plushyta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarneAsada View Post
    Does Plushenko's longevity make him a better skater than Yagudin?

    Yagudin won most of their head-to-heads at the big competitions and seems to be the more beloved one in English-speaking forums, but Plushenko continued and dominated while Yagudin got injured and retired. Do you consider Plushenko greater than Yagudin?
    I dont read all previous posts, but here is my opinion:

    - Plushenko is better skater, because he is more versatile skater - he has more different memorable programs and exhibitions... Yagudin, much less.

    - they are mostly aligned with the number of wins and losses - Yagudin mostly win in the "early" Plushy's years, when he was still a junior. In the last 2-3 years, Yagudin constantly losing from Plushy, except 2 last competitions - GPF and 2002 Olympics... which can not be proof for final judgment about "who is better" - since Plushy was then only 19 years old, and in the following years he would certainly much more winning Yagudin (that he could continue to compete)

    - Yagudin is more "beloved" in US - because he and Tarasova made a PR campaign in North American media: how Yagudin is "persecuted and unpopular with Russian Skating Federation" ... and because he trained in America

    - Plushenko is greater than Yagudin - not only because he had a longer career (which is not his advantage, than disadvantage - given that he was struggling with injuries since 2001) - than because Plushenko is more than 2.5 years younger than Yagudin (almost a generation younger), and winning a "grown" Yagudin even while he was still a teenager!

    P.S. I do not want here to talk about their "human and moral" qualities, which are again, for me - on the side of Plushy

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    Plushenko was the better athlete. Yagudins generally had better programs and was more reliable under pressure for a span of time. I got the idea that Plush was so consistent in practice that he sometimes didn't even know how to manage the situation when he made major errors.

    Both of their basics left a lot to be desired. Back pumping in crossovers, dubious posture especially Yagudin (commentators used to mention that in 98/99 and he never improved there) etc.

    I have a hard time calling what they did footwork sequences, but it worked for that era...

    I'm pretty sure Yagudins big muscled jumps were a factor in his injuries. Better technique does mitigate injury. It is a major factor in correctly dispersing the energy in those jump landings, which itself is a major factor in overuse injuries for figure skaters.

  15. #15
    The King has arrived - no questions! plushyta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Components View Post
    Plushenko was the better athlete. Yagudins generally had better programs and was more reliable under pressure for a span of time. I got the idea that Plush was so consistent in practice that he sometimes didn't even know how to manage the situation when he made major errors.
    ....
    On the contrary! Plushenko has always been much more reliable and "cold-blooded" - many TV commentators mentioned his "nerves of steel". Because these "nerves of steel", Plushenko's mostly winning Yagudin - especially at the Russian National championship.... That's enough to say that Tarasova hired psychologists (parapsychologists ? ) in 2001/2002 season for Yagudin's problems with self-confidence and weak nerves.

    --------------------------------

    Here is additional arguments in the debate about Plushenko's artistry, from someone who certainly knows well what is "art" - translation from his official forum:
    http://evgeni-plushenko.com/forum/vi...tart=40#p56790

    http://www.sport-express.ru/newspaper/2006-02-22/7_1/
    ПЛЮЩЕНКО: КРАСИВ И НЕДОСТУПЕН

    Maya Plisetskaya, the ex-prima ballerina of Bolshoi, expresses her admiration of Plush after the Torino Olympics (from the interview by E.Shainskiy for sport-express, February 22, 2006).
    ------------------

    PLUSHENKO: HANDSOME AND UNREACHABLE

    E.S. - I cannot not ask you about Plushenko.
    M.P.- He is our favourite. He is so good that it looks like nobody can beat him. I can't imagine who can be better. He is a master, a great master who does everything beautifully, brilliantly and artistically. Also, he always looks so confident that we, his fans, cannot be not confident. He skates like an artist who knows that he is the best. Other skaters think that they are good too, but they have doubts and get nervous. Plushenko on the contrary always knows that he is much better than others, and he convinces all of us in it. He not just "works" on ice, he dances on ice masterly, and that is a wonderful thing to see.

    E.S.- What do you think about his appearance?
    M.P.- I think his appearance is fine. He is tall, striking, with a handsome body and long arms. He is not some cute guy from the postcard, thanks god he is not!, but he has the perfect face for the stage. The ice is the stage too.

    E.S.- Who does he remind you among ballet dancers?
    M.P.- He looks like Godunov, the Russian ballet dancer. The same type- tall, handsome, self-confident, with long waving in the wind and pirouettes blond hair. In ballet he would be perfect at parts performed by Godunov. He has the temperament and virtuosity for that."

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