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

  1. #166
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    Have to say, as sacrilegious as this sounds...I prefer Jason's half-Biellmann to a full Biellmann on anybody, man or woman. It doesn't matter which gender does it it always looks forced and painful to my eye.

    But yes: just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it never happened, and no other male skater in the world at the time was doing one.

  2. #167
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    @karne
    Jason's really flexible! I'm not partial to the half-Biellmann myself, but I enjoy how he integrates his flexibility into his programs, especially that free skate. And it doesn't look forced at all.

  3. #168
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    Well, actually when Plushy was under 20 his Biellmann looked really great. It just in his after years I felt uncomfortable on behalf of his back. If Plushy hadn't suffered from that back problem, who knows how much better he could have archived?

    Same thing with Yuzuru. When he did it at WC 2012 I think his Biellmann looked okay, but this year I think he should stop it. I hope next season they won't include that element in his long program. I hope the kid will stay healthy and compete in the field for at least 6 years in the future. So, if it's better for his health, then I hope he will stop it.

  4. #169
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    But Plush stopped his Biellmann at 22. That was nine years ago. (He did do half-Biellmanns--spins and spirals--at Japan Open and some Artistry on Ice shows in 2010, but I don't think those few instances are big factors). I don't know if the Biellmann is responsible for his current problems. I suspect the quads are much, much worse.

    Imo, his final Biellmann at 2005 Worlds was actually one of his better ones in later years. Probably he sensed he was going to lose it soon (to injury more than age, but still), so he decided to do it one more time for old time's sake, in front of his home crowd. I think Plush had a connection with the Biellmann the way Mao has a connection with the triple axel. Even though it was a difficult move for their respective genders, they both want to do it (and keep doing it as long as possible) because it had become their trademark.

  5. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    But Plush stopped his Biellmann at 22. That was nine years ago. (He did do half-Biellmanns--spins and spirals--at Japan Open and some Artistry on Ice shows in 2010, but I don't think those few instances are big factors). I don't know if the Biellmann is responsible for his current problems. I suspect the quads are much, much worse.
    Then Yuzuru will likely not stop doing Biellmann in the next 1 or 2 year, I'm afraid so. Plushy is his hero and the main reason for Yuzuru's Biellmann is because of Plushy. Like "my idol does Biellmann so I also do Biellmann". Heck, Yuzuru even kept his mushroom hairstyle for years (only changed his hair when he turned senior) because that was Plushy hair. The kid surely takes fandom to another level.

    Back to topic, I don't think either of them is the better skater, given that Yagudin retired so early and Plushy has stayed on the field for so long.

    But if you compare their Olympic gold medal programs, I would like to say I would chose Yagudin's.

    Personally I think Yagudin's short career does harm him when people compare him to Plushy. But let's face it, people are still coming back to his 2 programs at Salt Lake City, and they still say: "Oh I miss these days!"
    It couldn't be helped, given the tedious men event in Sochi. But let's admit it, that year was still the best of men competition we have ever seen by far. We have both Yagudin and Plushy in one Olympic, both are incredible skater, powerful jumper, and let's not forget Timothy Goebel. So personally I think the quality that of year was the best.

    Plushy is known by more people, thanks to his longevity, but I think his performance in Torino were not his best. He was better than everyone there, so of course he won. I remember, right only in half of his program, the commentator said: "The rest can forget about gold." There was no one who could be an equal to Plushy that year. If Yagudin had stayed in the field and competed in Torino, I think he had little chance of winning Plushy. But because of that, it lacked true rivalry.

    Intense rivalry is the reason I value the men event at Salt Lake City more.

  6. #171
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    You're probably right about Yuzuru keeping the Biellmann. I think he has a slight edge in terms of better modern rehabilitation and whatnot (as Plush stated in an interview, that was severely lack in Russia during his youth). Also, hate to stereotype and whatnot, but considering Yuzu's tiny bone frame, he'll probably have an easily time maintaining flexibility than Plush (I get the sense that, at least to some degree, Yuzu is naturally flexible. Plush is very flexible for a relatively large man--by figure skating standards--but he attained that Biellmann by working his butt off).

    I'm neutral on whether Yuzu keeps the Biellmann or not. I'm glad he did it--I like to see people try different things--but it doesn't have to keep doing it if it becomes difficult. Plush maintained his Biellmann because he was the first to do it, and the only one, so it likely felt like an obligation to keep including it (just my speculation, of course).

    I agree that Yagudin's set of winning performances were better than Plushenko's. And that SLC >>> Torino as a competition. But I'm not sure if that proves who's better and whatnot (well, nothing's going to prove who's "better," but you get what I mean). I will say, I did really enjoy Godfather as well. It wasn't Plush's best, but no one else could've skated with the conviction required to pull off that program. I'm glad it's in his repertoire.

  7. #172
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    If it's true that Plushy is 1m78, then he is not small at all. Not a 6'' but I think that is enough to be considered tall. For him to keep Biellmann for years, it's kinda awesome.

    I don't know who would the judges choose if they skate to their full potential (both at the peak) in one competition. What a pity Yagudin is 2.5 years older, so their peak would never be in-tune at all. Just saying I enjoy both of them. Such a golden era. I don't see anyone has the same charisma as these 2.

    Well, Yuzuru and Jason Brown has that "it factor" but more like puppies than powerful men like Yagudin and Plushy. It's part of their charm so I don't expect these kids to change into sexy men, though. (Well, especially Yuzuru, I think he probably still looks 20 when he turns 30, because of that boyish gen).

    I hope Yuzuru will be more consistent. Mainly because Plushy favors him that much, so I hope Yuzuru will stay on his feet, most of the time, like Plushy has been.

  8. #173
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    I don't think Plush and Yags ever went head-to-head with them both skating lights out and clean, even. Usually one or the other would have mistakes, and that would decide the competition. I really think a perfect Carmen (coupled with a perfect short program that didn't make a bad impression in the judges' minds) could've challenged Yagudin's long program. Heck, even with the mistakes, the American commentators were convinced Plush had won the free after Yagudin skated with only one triple axel. But Scott Hamilton is so inconsistent with his commentary that I have no idea what he really thinks anymore.

    Yagudin put together the two best performances of his life, short and long, at the Olympics. I feel like that is why he goes down as one of the greats (vs. other champs like Urmanov, ect.). It was such a phenomenal night that people often forget Yagudin's had his share of bad performances and won two of his World titles by default because everyone else messed up along with him. Not saying any of that detracts from his greatness, but that's just the narrative I gleaned from his career. Plush, on the other hand, put out a series of great performances over many years, but didn't put his two best together, and certainly not at something as high-profile as the Olympics.

    EDIT: And yes, Plush is a pretty large man by figure skating standards. Another reason he stood out to me and I remembered him (well, and the hair ) I was under the impression, especially at the time, that figure skating is more suited for shorter, stockier people like Yagudin or Stojko who have better balance to land the jumps, even if they don't cut as graceful a figure.

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by gallavich View Post
    I love it when men do Biellmann spins. I really dislike the idea that any skater should limit themselves, or skate a certain way, because of their gender...whatever style they feel comfortable with is what they should use. Period.
    I like it as well, but when it's execute properly. Plushenko's Biellman was astonishing when he was younger, but as he got older and his body aged, it turned into a strained awkward spin and not something that I found particularly aesthetically pleasing. It got to a point where his left hand wasn't even close to the boot and was holding his right elbow practically and the arch in his back wasn't there. Hanyu's and MCM's Biellmanns on the other hand are absolutely lovely to watch, and with their smaller frames probably easier to execute.

    I used to do Biellmanns too, and they are NOT easy for guys to do without straining, and I give Plushenko props for doing it about as well as you could expect a man (man, not boy) to do it.

    I'd love to see Brown do a full Biellmann... I think he's got the flexibility and strong spinning ability to pull it off (or up as it were). His back Camel one-foot Biellman is lovely though (and the layback!).

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