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Thread: In Celebration of Phenomenal TECHNICAL Single Skaters! (;^D

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    Thumbs up In Celebration of Phenomenal TECHNICAL Single Skaters! (;^D

    Yep!

    I've noticed over the years that those single skaters whom excel in the presentation/artistry aspect have always been given more credit than their peers whom excel in the opposite direction ~ i.e. those whom are equally phenomenal, except in the technical/jumping department.

    Consequently, the idea (light bulb goes on :D ) came to me while sitting outside w/my dogs (enjoying the last dying rays of the sun) while listening to disc four of Led Zeppelin's 4-compact disc set ~ aha, why don't I start an end-of-the-season thread over @ GoldenSkate solely dedicated to the aforementioned skaters! (;^)

    Thus, the following is my list of phenomenal technical skaters - those whom make you hold your breath, heart beating double-time as they enter the arena (reminiscent of a warrior or gladiator come to life from medieval legend), adrenaline pumping, imagination on overdrive as his/her program is about to begin - all eyes/ears/senses on the ONE whom literally has the ability to blow the field away with his/her once-in-a-lifetime jumping prowess: ***Note: lovers of said skaters need post only; thank you!***

    Midori Ito - the greatest of them all....hands down.....no other lady has come close to replicating what she did out on the ice. Yes, a few have officially landed the 3A, but with nowhere near her height & power on that awesome jump (let alone the other triples, the 3/3s, & spins). Japan was dead-on when they gave her the highest honor a country can, by choosing her to light the Olympic Cauldron @ the 1998 Olympics in Nagano ~ with "Madame Butterfly" playing eloquently in the background ~ as she stood there in all her ancient Japanese finery. Aaah, that image has been forever emblazoned into my memory (no lie)...

    Kurt Browning - the first man to ever officially land a quad in competition, but he was so much more than that when it came to the jumps (and the spins & footwork as well)........truly a natural........stepped right up into the jumps, didn't commence rotating until he attained the height (rare btw; so many start rotating even before getting the jump off the ground), completed the rotation in the air, and then landed with finesse!

    Elvis Stojko - aaahhh, what can you say about the King! Heart of a lion & the courage of a gladiator........never backed off the jumps........come injury, he** or high water, he did them & did he ever! He is, after all, the ONE whom started it all when it came to the quad - meaning one needed one in order to compete with him in his prime (no lie). BRAVO [two thumbs way up]!!!

    Tonya Harding - say what you will, she was something else when she entered the arena & put her money where her mouth was ~ nobody could touch her when she was on ~ literally blew the field away (& not only in jumps, but spins as well). And boy did she have the ego to back it up (lol)! :D Not only that, but she literally had the competition watching & waiting & sometimes shaking in anticipation for her appearance - would she show up out of shape? (thus her competitors had a fighting chance if so) or would she show up cut???

    Evgeny Plushenko - still competing as an eligible & going strong, baby! Nobody but nobody can touch this man when he's at his finest (even when he's not, lol).......only one presently skating today whom can consistently land quad after quad after quad......with finesse, I might add. Not only that, but he is also the only male that can do a Biellmann Spin. 'nuff said. (;^)

    Miki Ando - just recently arrived on the Sr. international scene, but if Juniors is anything to go by, the Srs. better start watching their back......first lady to land a quad in competition at age 14 in 2002........and blasted her way into Srs. with her phenomenal debut @ 2004 Worlds, with an impressive 4th place finish (TWO 3/3 combos. to boot)!

    ***Note: can't wait till May 9th! That's when we'll finally be able to see the last competition of the season aired ~ wish it would hurry up (lol) ~ b/c I don't consider the season officially over until it is (no lie).***

    In closing, just wanted to say that I appreciate artistic skaters as well (aka one of my all-time favorites, Oksana Baiul, is the best that ever lived in my eyes as concerns natural/innate artistry). However, it has been my observation over the decades that the athletic skaters whom excel in the jumping aspect, are not thought of in quite the same light and/or regard as the former type of skater (underdogs, so to speak). Thus, the reason for this thread. Btw, my ideal skater would be the ONE whom is a combo. of Midori Ito & Oksana Baiul ~ haven't found her yet, but she will come one day yet, be it tomorrow/next year/in a hundred years/but she will be born (one day)...

    Peace & Loving Life (can never get enough of those gorgeous sunsets nor Led Zeppelin, aaaahhh), Nadine (:^D

    "The phoenix, originating in the mythology of ancient Egypt, is a universal symbol of rebirth and the most famous of all fabulous birds. Clad in feathers of red & gold....the color of the rising sun....it had a melodious voice that became mournful with approaching death. Other creatures were then so overcome by its beauty & sadness that they themselves fell dead. According to legend, only one phoenix could live at a time."



    MODIFIED TO ADD: Miki Ando (aka the girl/woman with the "golden blades") - love the fact that she wears these.......a glimpse into her psyche, one might say ........looking forward with anticipation & apprehension to see if she can back it up. For now, I just appreciate the fact that she has chosen to make such a bold statement via her blades, especially given her youth/young age. Not only that, she disproves the myth that most Asian women are meek, mild, et al. Also evidenced in her choice of music for her Exhibition (aka "Carmen"). (:^)
    Last edited by Nadine; 04-13-2004 at 11:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    I agree with you list Nadine!!

    I would also like to give props to Elvis for skating in leather pants... those were artistry in and of themselves

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    ITA with Midori Ito. As Scott has always said about her: "It'll be another 50 years before you'll see another Midori!!!!"

    Yevgeny Plushenko: HE IS AN ICE GOD!!

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    Nadine:

    Great post! I am a huge Zeppelin fan my myself. One of my favorite Elvis programs was his "Stairway to Heaven" solo in 1992. It was awesome. Also Kurt skated to "Bonzo's Montreux ." He hit every beat. Of course, Kurt is more of an artistic skater, but also a technician as well.

    Yes, sometimes we do tend to overlook the talents of these technicians. Being a great jumper is an art in itself and we should pay "homage" to these great skaters, just as you have done here.

    Great. Thanks.

    PS - About Midori - Kurt used to comment that Midori's jumps were so great she could compete with the men!!! Quite a complement!

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    Re: In Celebration of Phenomenal TECHNICAL Single Skaters! (;^D

    Originally posted by Nadine


    Elvis Stojko - aaahhh, what can you say about the King! Heart of a lion & the courage of a gladiator........never backed off the jumps........come injury, he** or high water, he did them & did he ever! He is, after all, the ONE whom started it all when it came to the quad - meaning one needed one in order to compete with him in his prime (no lie). BRAVO [two thumbs way up]!!!
    One could also say that Elvis was the one who *needed* a quad to be able to compete with other top skaters. As a competitor I have the highest respect towards Elvis, he was a tough one.

    Marjaana

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Nadine, Great post! I love the athletes and the artists, and those who have qualifications in both areas.. They all push the sport ahead.

    I'd like to add Elaine Zayak to your list! Even though Elaine only had half of one foot,due to an accident with a lawn mower when she was a toddler, she could rip off more triple jumps than the other women with 2 feet, to such an extent that a rule was made to keep her from piling up a lead by repeating jumps. She was such a competitor that even though 1984 was her last year competing, she was able to qualify for senior ladies in 1994, and finished fourth to Tonya Harding and Michelle Kwan in 1st and 2nd.

    And Denise Biellmann who not only could land a 3lutz, but originated the Biellmann spin.

    Finally, I think we should add Tim Goebel to the list, as the first to land 3 quads in a program, and the only man to be able to sustain landing both a 4t and a 4s in a program in a consistent way (1999-2003). Although he has had his troubles this year, I hope he will return to full health. Even in this year when he could not land his trademark 4s, he was able to change that for a 4t3t combination, which he landed twice at Cup of China and I think at least once at NHK, but am not sure.

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    YAY Midori!!!

    She has and still remains my all time favourite skater! Her technical accomplishments are unsurpassed - the only one with a hope is Miki Ando but noone jumps with the spring and power that Midori had.

    Just look at her accomplishments. She landed her 1st triple aged 8
    By 1981 she had all triples through lutz
    1982 lands 1st ever triple triple combo aged 12 at JWC
    1984 Lands 7 triple jumps in Skate Canada aged 15 - another 1st ( ie all triples thru lutz and 3/3 combo)
    1984 NHK Gala lands triple axel in public for the 1st time in ex
    1988 lands 1st triple axel

    Her variety of combo's was astonishing too
    3t/3t 3x/3t (but never did it in competition) 3z/3t, 3l/3l

    She was doing 2l/3l in the sp at least as early as 1983 Junior Worlds.

    Sorry to go on but she just rocks my world!!!!
    :D

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    Great thread! ITA that it seems that the more athletic skaters don't seem to get the same props that the more artistic skaters get. And I also totally agree about Midori - she was a phenomenon. (Floskate - I thought she landed the first 3axel in comp in 89? I might be wrong but that's just what I thought.)

    ITA also with Elvis Stojko. Not onyl with the jumps he could do and his "firsts", but at 98 Olympics, he still went for every jump (and landed every one) in the LP, despite his terrible injury. Incredible, an amazingly gutsy skater. Performances like his prove that skating *is* a sport.

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    She landed the 1st in major international competition ie: Worlds in '89 but she had already landed it in Aichi Prefectural championships, Japanese Nationals and '88 NHK which were all before that. The Aichi one is the recognised 1st IIRC. I have Japanese Nationals and NHK on tape and they were both clean with perfect landings unlike Paris where she overrotated slightly and had to swing to hold on.

    Oh the memories....... I miss her so much.

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    Thanks for a great topic, Nadine. I too have been impressed and awed over the jumping abilities of some mighty fantastic jumpers/spinners in competition.

    Let me second the addition of Denise Bielmann, she not only was the first woman to do a 3 lutz, she kept her technical abilities throughout her pro career, still turning 3T and 3S 'till she was nearly 40 and STILL was the best conditoned athelete on the tour....WOW

    I'd add Debbie Thomas to that mix. While Debbie was also considered solid artistically, her jumps were a thing of joy. Like Angela, she tended to bale on a program at times if an element went south, such as in Calgary. However, when she was on her elements were breathtaking.

    Kudos to some great former American champs with similar abilities...Gordon McCollum, Scott Davis (OMG! Those Spins!), Lisa Marie Allen, and Charlie Tickner among others....

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    How about John Misha Petkevich for all the old timers out there? I was watchng a clip of him on Magic Memories on Ice and boy did he get some height on his jumps. I just know him from his skater's bible but I'm sure there is someone on the board who remembers his skating.

    Denise Biellmann was a great technician... imagine if she had competed in 1984, she might have given Kat a run for the money.

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    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Ahhhh..........John Misha...be still my heart. His death drop was enormous (move over Brian B.) I totally agree with everyone's choices, and let me add Jumping Joe Sabovich (sp) for his incredible "mile-high" tuck axel and his full layout back flip. I would have loved to have seen him perform in person. 42

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    If we are looking at delayed axels, Robin Cousins was absolutely fantastic in that area.

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    Re: In Celebration of Phenomenal TECHNICAL Single Skaters! (;^D

    Originally posted by Nadine
    Yep!

    ***Note: lovers of said skaters need post only; thank you!***

    Evgeny Plushenko - still competing as an eligible & going strong, baby! Nobody but nobody can touch this man when he's at his finest (even when he's not, lol).......only one presently skating today whom can consistently land quad after quad after quad......with finesse, I might add. Not only that, but he is also the only male that can do a Biellmann Spin. 'nuff said. (;^)

    Thank you!

    also to add, he does evry unique combinations of jumps that made him even better.

    Too bad (for me I mean) that I hadn't had a chance too see any other of the skaters you mentioned in their time. I started watching figure skating because of SLC so most of them were already pro or soon to become pro.

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    Quote about Plushenko:
    "Not only that, but he is also the only male that can do a Biellmann Spin. 'nuff said. (;^)"

    I "think" - haven't seen with my own eyes, LOL, that Andrei
    Griazev can do a Biellman...he can definitely do the donut spin.
    But either way....he's got a long ways to go to catch Plush...
    but he's gaining on him - interesting to see in two years
    where both will be.

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