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Thread: World Renowned Figure Skaters

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  1. #1
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    World Renowned Figure Skaters of All Time

    Who are some figure skaters that come to your mind (Top 3). I know this can be very biased but I wanted to see some consistency so I'm putting Top 3 to narrow it down. And I'm pretty sure the Media may think differently from the people here on this forum. Who do you think has the most impact and presence in figure skating history as a whole in each discipline.

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    Currently competing? Recently retired? Of all time? Just in terms of free-skating, or do figures count?

    I'll need some clearer parametres.

    EDIT: It's late and my spellcheck is trolling me...

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    Of All Time. Any disciplines will do male or female or both. I guess an impact and presence in figure skating history as a whole.

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    Wait, Top 3 ever, all disciplines put together?! I'd have an easier time of this if it were Top 3 of each discipline (how on earth am I supposed to compare G&G with Dick Button?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    Wait, Top 3 ever, all disciplines put together?! I'd have an easier time of this if it were Top 3 of each discipline (how on earth am I supposed to compare G&G with Dick Button?).
    Each discipline.

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    Okay. I should probably get to sleep, but what the heck, let's go for it.

    I've divided it by era, since otherwise I'll have no way to pick. I've decided to include one modern figure in every discipline, to keep things controversial--er, I mean, lively.

    Ladies:
    Early pioneer- Sonja Henie. But you can make a case for Cecilia Colledge, who was more influential despite being less successful.
    Later pioneer- Janet Lynn. She changed the entire emphasis of figure skating, with the creation of the short program and the eventual elimination of figures. However, again, lots of other possible choices here (Fleming for good figures + free skating, Witt for competitive record, Ito for technical innovation).
    Culmination/Last hurrah of 6.0- Michelle Kwan. Put everything that came before her together. Really promoted the seven-triple LP as well as a more refined, subtle style of skating.

    Men:
    Early pioneer- Simply can't pick between Gilles Grafstrom and Ulrich Salchow. One is the most successful figure skater in any discipline. The other's influence is undeniable. I think Salchow might be a tad more renowned just because he has a jump named after him though.
    Later pioneer- Dick Button. Two-time Olympic champion. Introduced the triple jump and double axel to figure skating.
    Last hurrah of 6.0/Dominant across judging systems- Evgeni Plushenko. Only person to medal in four Olympics since Grafstrom. Showman, innovator, and the face of men's figure skating for many years.

    My system breaks down a bit for pairs/ice dance, but...

    Pairs:
    Early pioneers- The Protopopovs. Irina Rodnina has a superior competitive record though.
    Pinnacle of the sport- Gordeeva/Grinkov. Unmatched in unison and perfection. A case can be made for Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze, but their frequent meltdowns didn't help things.
    Last great team/Dominant across judging systems- Shen/Zhao. Combined artistry with technical strength.

    Ice Dance:
    Early pioneers- Torvill/Dean.
    Last great 6.0 team- Anissina/Peizerat. A very creative team, with magic that can't be recreated. (Grishuk/Platov were more successful, but I think A/P were the true culmination of 6.0 ice dance)
    COP pioneers- Virtue/Moir. Combined strong technical elements, great skating, and excellent chemistry/artistry. Davis/White were arguably more successful, but they seemed to built on V/M's foundation, imo.

    And off I go now. Apologies for leaving off a lot of people, because there are more than three greats in any discipline. Apologies if I messed up names/contributions. In writing this post, I realized some people with great influence weren't necessarily the most decorated. In most cases, I try to pick the person who is more strongly remembered (hence Henie over Colledge, but not Witt over Lynn).

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    Yes. You are terrible. Shame on you.

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