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Thread: What skaters have left the biggest legacy?

  1. #141
    Bona Fide Member noskates's Avatar
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    Just to further elaborate on my choice of Shen and Zhao... look back at some of their earlier programs when they first came on the scene. Shen had a mouthful of crooked teeth, her costumes were uninspiring, and their choreography and music choices were nothing to comment about. When they retired from competitive skating the Chinese federation had become more professional - her teeth were fixed, her costumes were gorgeous, they brought in choreographers from the US, etc. etc. Yao Bin realized to promote his pairs team and make China competitive he had to step it up - and he did!! They always had the talent - just didn't have the packaging. And from that one pair look at all the pairs that have followed and the success they've had. And now Zhao has picked up the reins and is continuing "the legacy!"

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bcash View Post
    All that makes a good narrative but that's no legacy. Her skating and moves look very dated to the contemporary eye.
    I guess this is in the eye of the beholder. FOr example I think PC are wonderful lyrical skaters but NOT legendary. Others who love them will disagree.

  3. #143
    Bona Fide Member yume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    This thread has a serious flaw that I must address. It is nearing 100 posts, and yet no one has mentioned Irina Rodnina.

    Now, I love the Protopopov's. I think they represent the pinnacle of one type of pairs skating. But Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanov (and later with Alexander Zaitsev) followed them with a completely different style - strong, fast, and athletic. They were a brand new breed of pair skaters.

    And, by the way, if you're looking for a competitive legacy... with two different partners and a baby thrown in for good measure...

    3 Olympic Titles
    10 World Titles
    11 European Titles

    Beginning with her first European Title in 1969 until her retirement following the Lake Placid Olympic Games in 1980, she NEVER lost a competition. EVER.
    Rodnina is not human.

  4. #144
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    Yuna Kim
    She made history

  5. #145
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    Sonja Henie, Dick Button, Scott Hamilton, in terms of what they contributed to the sport. Of those three, I think Dick Button is number 1.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    I guess this is in the eye of the beholder. FOr example I think PC are wonderful lyrical skaters but NOT legendary. Others who love them will disagree.
    I also want to stand up for Oksana's legacy. It was not a legacy built on longevity, but based on inspiration, I think she brought a lot of people into the sport, and maybe back to the sport. She was the reason Johnny Weir got hooked on skating, I seem to remember hearing, and Johnny was very influential on many skaters, including Yuzuru. I remember I myself had largely tuned out skating in young adulthood/the early 90s, after quitting competitive skating in my mid-teens. I still loved skating, but wasn't paying much attention, and Oksana totally bewitched me and brought me back. I can't be the only one who experienced that. I also think she brought a balletic look and focus on grace and beauty back a bit. It never really left, of course, after Peggy, Janet, and John Curry, but I seem to recall that the 80s and early 90s were a time when a lot of the women had short hair (e.g., Trenary), and four or five different music cuts to new wave, rock, Broadway music. The focus on technical content and triples for the women was intense. Soon after Oksana, all the little girls had their hair in buns, and most still do. There were a lot of little swans skating around. As I said, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to the era immediately preceding Oksana, but it seems to me she really did change the sport for the inspiration she provided for skaters in her wake.

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by icetigger View Post
    To me legacy means influence over the sport or discipline. With that said-

    Torvill and Dean- redefined the skating programmes are thought about over all four disciplines, from 1981 up to 1996, including show programmes and programmes of theirs that were adapted for the Duchesnays
    Midori Ito- smashed through a technical ceiling and influenced the technical content of every skating female that followed even up to today; also was first Japanese skater to win a world title.
    Yao Bin and Shen and Zhao- brought the Chinese on to the pair scene.
    Dick Button- first triple jump, double axel in competition and also invented the camel spin. Commentary and other post competitive career achievements.
    Tatiana Tarasova- was a skater, became the most influential coach of all time; particular influence in Ice Dance.
    Proptopopovs- introduced three of the death spirals; other technical and artistic innovation.
    Madge Syers- the reason we have ladies figure skating.
    Stephane Lambiel- hard to find a top level male skater today who does not have content influenced by Lambiel.
    Mishin, Plushenko and Yagudin- standardised the two quad programme FS for men at the top level between them.
    Gordeeva and Grinkov- the byword for the gold standard of the Russian Classical style in pairs.

    Current skaters that will leave a legacy- P/C and Hanyu. Also Eteri Tutberidze and her school- albeit potentially a negative legacy as much as positive one (such as the rules having been changed with regard to backloading, for example)
    Completely agree with everything you said.
    Even though Trusova is really young I think she is responsible for the popularization of quads in women (I know some women have done them before, but none at trusovas level)
    P/C I think will be remembered as the best ice dancers of their time (Dean and Torvill have commented that they have the best connection they have seen in decades and Dean choreographs for them. Also, we already see so many other teams trying to replicate the P/C style.)
    I also think V/M will be remebered (probably more for their rivalries then their actual skating sadly-because they didn't have one distinct style that people identify with them)
    The same probably applies for zagitova and medvedeva

  8. #148
    Bona Fide Member yume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1904sk8 View Post
    . Also, we already see so many other teams trying to replicate the P/C style.)
    I also think V/M will be remebered (probably more for their rivalries then their actual skating sadly-because they didn't have one distinct style that people identify with them)
    Sad that versality is not a good thing in some cases.

  9. #149
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    I would say Lipnitskaya because of all the new fans she attracted. I view her as an artist, not exactly a skater; there's something truly magical about her skating and presence. The fact that she had a short career somehow makes it even brighter. Also, there is some talk about naming a spin Lipa, so she may receive that recognition (not sure how possible or real this is; just read it somewhere).

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    Oh sure, because whatever Jayne Torvill says must be gospel.

    Also, we already see so many other teams trying to replicate the P/C style
    .

    Which team is trying to replicate the P/C style that AREN'T coached in Montreal? H/B and H/D aren't trying to replicate P/C's style, their styles are influenced by the fact that they share the same choreographer with P/C. At the most recent GPF, all 6 teams (except H/B- who share the same choreographer as P/C) had very different styles than P/C.

    When V/M entered the ice dance scene, the whole talk of the skating community was the effortless quality that V/M brought to the discipline which was unseen before. The effortless quality of their footwork, elements was hailed as novel and unexpected in that regard, and everybody was talking about this pre-2010. It did not just start with P/C even though they set a new standard for this concept with their own talent and qualities. In another 10 years, there will be another team to which the novel and "effortless" stamp will be applied to, and then P/C's "influence" will fade.

    V/M raised the level of ice dance more than any other team since the inception of the (now, not so new) rules. They raised the standard and quality of the discipline far more than any other team by a mile, and no one even comes close. They made every competitor raise their own game and the reason ice dance is at such a level it is today is because of V/M.

    It is no surprise then, that almost every currently or recent competitor, coach, etc. singles out V/M with acclaim. They are universally respected, and without V/M, P/C would still be getting +2 GOEs and still winning every competition.

    P/C have unique and magnificent skating qualities. They are skaters first, and they want to let their skating transcend the sport. That's all well and good, but I argue that their one dimensionalness actually strengthens the "legacy" that their hardcore fan base likes to impute to them. I hope that within these 3 years, there will be some team to challenge P/C so that we can see if P/C have other qualities besides their skating that are worthy of acclaim. Only then, IMO, can P/C only enter the discussion of "legacy". Unique, magnificent, skating skills, IMO, is not enough. So definitely a NO for P/C (as of now).

    Hanyu on the other hand, a yes.

  11. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by yume View Post
    Sad that versality is not a good thing in some cases.
    Yes. If you recall, when V/M first entered the ice dance scene, they were the ones that were praised with their ease of movement, ability to execute difficult footwork effortlessly, and were the epitome for a long time of the "two-skating-as-one" concept in ice dance. This was the talk of the skating scene. Basically, the praise that is being heaped on P/C now was already heaped on to V/M....10 YEARS AGO!

    Over time, V/M went beyond being the young skating wunder-sensations known for their ease of movement and skating quality. Their versatility, musicality was noticed and of course, their comeback wins at the old ages of 28 and 30 really cemented how much they pushed the sport forward during their competitive career. Ice Dance is at the level it is now because of V/M.

    P/C's rhythm/short dances, whatever you want to call them, rank far below the litmus test standard for me. Adding to P/C insistence on skating to similar genres/way of movement because they are so stubbornly wedded to the "ice as canvas" concept that they've known forever to be THE only way of performing and moving, generates disappointment in me. There was an article not so long ago, shortly after V/M's comeback, that Cizeron admitted that their mentality before V/M's comeback was basically that they could assure themselves of not being perfect and not get all +3 GOEs and still could win.

    Like I said in the earlier post, P/C's lack of versatility/one-dimensionalness really strengthens the "legacy" argument that their fans are building for them. It is actually a bit funny and ironic.

  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenaj View Post
    Sonja Henie, Dick Button, Scott Hamilton, in terms of what they contributed to the sport. Of those three, I think Dick Button is number 1.
    For me it would be Sonja Henie. Ice skating is probably the only sport where females can easily outstrip the earning potential of males and Henie led the way.

  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    I'd say Toller Cranston has had a huge impact on development of artistry in the men's side of skating and he was always avant garde in his approach to performing.

    Even though she doesn't have an Olympic gold, Michelle Kwan is absolutely iconic, and the epitome of incredible skating even, for those who don't closely watch the sport.
    As a fellow Canadian and former FS I have to add Karen Magnusen in here along with Toller Cranston. She put Canadian ladies skating on the map and inspired generations of young ladies to take up figure skating - me included. Oh I should also give a nod to Barbara Ann Scott, who won Gold at the 1948 Olympics and Don Jackson who landed the first triple Lutz at the 1962 Worlds and won the Gold

  14. #154
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    Yuna Kim for the korean skaters definitely.

  15. #155
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    To the casual fan, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Tonya Harding, and Michelle Kwan.

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    Just to further elaborate on my choice of Shen and Zhao... look back at some of their earlier programs when they first came on the scene. Shen had a mouthful of crooked teeth, her costumes were uninspiring, and their choreography and music choices were nothing to comment about. When they retired from competitive skating the Chinese federation had become more professional - her teeth were fixed, her costumes were gorgeous, they brought in choreographers from the US, etc. etc. Yao Bin realized to promote his pairs team and make China competitive he had to step it up - and he did!! They always had the talent - just didn't have the packaging. And from that one pair look at all the pairs that have followed and the success they've had. And now Zhao has picked up the reins and is continuing "the legacy!"
    While I mostly agree with your evaluation on the contribution by Shen and Zhao along with Yao Bin, I'm puzzled at why Shen's fixed teeth has to be mentioned in the context. Figure skating tends to place a high value on skaters' appearance, but that's nothing to do with their legacy.

  17. #157
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    I became a fan of FS in 2014 so I'm not that familiar with Yuna - in what way did she make history? The world record?

  18. #158
    Bona Fide Member noskates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inessence View Post
    To the casual fan, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Tonya Harding, and Michelle Kwan.
    Unfortunately, Tonya Harding's legacy was a pretty big smear on figure skating. I prefer to think of legacies in a positive note.

  19. #159
    Shepherdess of the Teal Deer Metis's Avatar
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    What skaters have left the biggest legacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rissa View Post
    I became a fan of FS in 2014 so I'm not that familiar with Yuna - in what way did she make history? The world record?
    She is responsible for the rise of South Korea as a skating powerhouse, for a start.

    In her entire career, she never finished off a podium. Ever. Which is insane, as her career was not a short one. She is regarded by many — I would say it’s a consensus view in the mainstream, just not perhaps on GoldenSkate, as we’re uber-fans — as the best ladies single skater of all time. In terms of artistry and technique, she was unimpeachable: long, liquid lines; perfect posture; great skating skills (there are a fair number of crossovers, however, as she skated in the era before Transitions were a word commentators oft employed); one of the best Lutz jumpers in ladies singles history (and once she got the edge issue on the flip fixed, she pretty much just owned the toe jumps). There’s a reason she’s called The Queen, Queen Yuna, etc.

    Every first in South Korean ladies figure skating history is hers. (Junhwan Cha is the second Korean figure skater to qualify for the GP final and the first male singles skater to do so, for example. Actually, Junwhan Cha should be on the legacy list as he’s going to own almost every first possible for the Korean men.) When she began skating, South Korea wasn’t exactly overflowing with ice rinks, so she trained in public rinks in poor conditions, had frequent boot issues due to lack of availability in South Korea, and dealt with injuries that could have put her out of competitive skating to win the 2010 Olympics. Her post-2010 career didn’t involve much international competition — though her “hi, I’mma just show up and win Worlds 2013” moment is rockstar-level stuff — as she was very involved in the South Korean campaign to win the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. (And she lit the torch at the opening ceremony.) Brian Orser and David Wilson both became household names as her coach and choreographer, respectively, so without Yuna, there wouldn’t be the Toronto Cricket Club as we know it.

    As for records: she set them 11 times in the short, free, and total scores. Eight of those records were her beating her own prior best (similar to Hanyu). Her record free skate score from 2010 Olympics — which included an additional technical element (the spiral sequence) and the ability to repeat the 2A three times, to be fair — stood until Medvedeva broke it at Worlds 2016. Six years is an eternity in figure skating. In fact, until Medvedeva, she held the record for breaking world records the most times (11 to Medvedeva’s current 13).

    Her final competitive skate was at Sochi, which was when Julia Lipnitskaya became famous and the “new” style of figure skating became more established: a greater emphasis on transitions, min-maxing points, etc. (Not to say Yuna didn’t min-max herself, but we were not yet at that point that the new Russian school had become the established norm. Ladies were also not awarded a Level 4 in the step sequence for most of Yuna’s competitive career. So things were, if not very different, at least notably different, and that context is important.) A common criticism is that her programmes are relatively empty and contain little in terms of transitional content — I actually think that she was rather forward-looking in terms of transitions at the time, and she had a signature 2A entry she arguably overused that was more transitional content alone than was seen in plenty of programmes at the time — and I don’t find her programmes to be empty. Your mileage may vary. She also stopped performing the 3Lo in competition due to back injury she sustained early, so her technical difficulty in 2014 was slightly lower than Sotnikova’s (Sotnikova had one more triple jump than Yuna due to Yuna not performing the loop). I will also happily stipulate that Yuna’s spins later in her career (i.e., 2014) were not exceptional. Some of that was due to the back injury (which made certain positions painful to the point she elected not to do them and sacrificed a level), and some of that has to do with how much you agree with Dick Button on the importance of a pointed toe.

    Yuna also became the biggest star in Korea, by a landslide, and carried the country’s hopes on her back. As she said of the 2010 Olympics, she felt that if she didn’t win, Korea would turn its back on her. Part of what cemented her legend status was her composure under immense pressure and her ability to deliver that night. (Mao experienced much of the same. Despite all the talk of the two of them being rivals, they really weren’t. Yuna said that with Mao retiring along with her in 2014, she was losing the one person who had also endured the pressure she had.)

    Regardless of how you feel about Sochi and who should have won and your personal affinity for Yuna’s skating, I think it’s a fair summary to say she’s unquestionably a legend for beginning the South Korean figure skating tradition and being the best in her field for years. (Again: never finished off a podium.) This is arguably more controversial on GoldenSkate than among more casual fans, but Yuna is also considered to be the author of the textbook in terms of jumps: her flip, Lutz, toe, and Axel are the gold standard for modern women in terms of take-off, height, speed, distance, etc. (People weren’t kidding when they said she jumped like the men, just better.) Edge jumps were not especially her thing, though. And her competitive career largely ended after 2010, as she didn’t compete in the Grand Prix series again. But the number of new fans she brought to the sport, the emergence of South Korea as a skating powerhouse... that was Yuna.

    Here’s Yuna’s 3Lz-3T combo in the 2010 OWG short programme compared to the same combo by Evan Lysacek (who won the gold in men’s singles that year): https://youtu.be/oAt1egywlys

    Seriously, she jumped better than most of the men at the time and many of the men now. She also worked on the 3A, but never tried it competitively.

  20. #160
    Bona Fide Member yume's Avatar
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    A very passionate explanation.

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