You only get to pick one skater per discipline.
If you really don't like a discipline, ignore it, but please explain why your favorite is you favorite. Is it pure skating quality? Athletic ability? The perfect blend? Or is it something else you admire - a personal quality, philanthropy, perseverance in illness?
I find this very hard to do and I hope I am able to ignore national bias, but given that I have been most exposed to us skaters, I supose that is inevitable. What is hardest to do is pick just one, so given that I remember skaters back to Fleming and like so many, I'm challenging myself and who ever cares to join in, who and why.
Ice Dance: I know least about this and it's not my exactly afavorite discipline anymore, but I have to honestly pick Torvill and Dean. Watching 'Bolero' at the time was riveting. I liked every thing about them, and they were truly innovative. At the time, everyone knew they saw something different and performance was spot on perfect. That goes back 20 years now. I have another Canadian Pair who I think equal them, but that is breaking my own rule! (stuggle going on with brain, pick B&K, idiot! sigh*** remembering 'Riverdance'....)
Pairs: Goordeeva and Grinkov. They had the advantage of being kids, then friends, then lovers then a married couple. Physically they were georgeous, they personnified romance, they prepared beautifully and they were great skaters. It's hard to pick a favorite Russian pair, let alone favorite pair ever. I did not like her pairing with Kulik as it looked amateurish in comparison, nor could I enjoy her as a single as she fell so much, but they were truly memorable. I wish I could have seen them in person. The unison when he was so much taller when younger must have been hard to achieve. (Biting at me for current is the best North American pair in so long, Canada's S&P, but I can't go there) Oi I'm confused)
Men: This one is really tough and it took me a while to come up with who I really think was the best skater, and I finally have to say over time, I have really been amazed many times by the incredible footwork of Canada's Kurt Browning. He's down to earth, and while I don't like the clownstuff, I think his footwork, his athletic ability and jumps never came together at the Olympics, he has shown great resilence. He is older now and we won't see him much anymore, but I think he's the best all around skater, but not competitor I've seen. My runner up, Scott, a once really great skater/entertainer is my runner up, (Ok have runner ups!) They do at Miss America, is most admired for his philanthropy and overcoming physical adversity, but he agrees with me and says Kurt is the best he's ever seen. I wish I had a compilation tape of his. Gotta Skate 1 is very memorable for his skating. Hope I'm not disloyal to Americal,lol. My last and toughest category by far is ladies.
Ladies: I thought about how much I loved our ladies here in America and how hard it was to pick 1 from 4 decades of watching skating - well not quite but almost, I have to pick as best female lady, Kristy Y who has impressed me most with her work ethic. Granted she was not in eligible skating after her gold medal, but then how many Oly gold champions stay, right? It's the fact that I never saw a bad performance, that she always tried her very best and kept all her triples or close to, as a pro through many years. So many skaters let us down with cheesy skates or vamping (none more so than that chinese goddess favorite of mine, LuChen, but Kristy, she is the total package and has had great luck to be loved and nurtured so much in her Japanese family. Also a good philanthropist with her Children's Wish foundation.
My runnerups are all American skaters. I think their has to be a favorite per decade. Of all those, I have to say Nancy Kerrigan, people don't realize what she went through in training and rehab to give that performance in 94 Olys. I don't know another top skater who could do what she did, and she was so bashed again by the media for a couple dumb comments. It all took its toll on her pro career. She is not bitter at all about any of it, which amazes me.