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Thread: What skaters have left the biggest legacy?

  1. #21
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGFan View Post
    I'm definitely not trying to shortchange the great spinners of the past (Krieg, Bielmann, Ruh etc) but when the IJS came about it felt like a lot of the skaters trying to get their levels were emulating Stephane Lambiel positions.
    Cool observation! I think there is something to that. Ironically, in my opinion Lambiel himself became less innovative and natural as a spinner once the IJS became rigidly encoded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ic3rabbit
    Dick Button, Scott Hamilton, Robin Cousins, Paul Wylie, Kristi Yamaguchi.
    Scoott Hamilton deserves a double does of praise because of his talent not just as a performer but as a producer and impressario. With Stars on Ice he introduced the novel concept that male ice skaters can be popular entertainers, too, and not just in the sense of Frick and Frack comic relief.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrrice
    Katarina Witt!! Such a long and successful career including 2 OGM'S. Being from Germany, she was a huge star and though I was in the US by the time she became famous, she always had a special place in my heart.
    I second the nomination. As a skater from the Cold War Eastern bloc, Witt was equally popular in the West and, in my opinion, did more than anyone else to bring into focus how silly all that turned out to be, as applied to ISU politics.

  2. #22
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    Torvill and Dean will always be at the top of my list.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsHt7DRxpxA

  3. #23
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ic3Rabbit View Post
    Dick Button, Scott Hamilton, Robin Cousins, Paul Wylie, Kristi Yamaguchi.
    I loved the little flourishes that you can’t do now that Robin did. There was a pro routine of his where he did a delayed double axle into a sit arabian. I mean imagine that!?

    Also he was artistic without being just classical, he won his gold with a Disco Free! I miss him as a skater (though I was born too late to really enjoy him!) but his legacy isn’t just his marvellous skating but his hard work in British Skating. He was a big reason why we hosted Euros 2012.

    Torvill and Dean go without saying. Their legacy isn’t just Dean’s amazing choreography but that for several generations in the U.K. they *are* ice skating.

    I think Dick Button is the same in America but not being American I can’t be certain. I certainly hope to hear him commentate again!

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSQ View Post
    Torvill and Dean go without saying. Their legacy isn’t just Dean’s amazing choreography but that for several generations in the U.K. they *are* ice skating.

    I think Dick Button is the same in America but not being American I can’t be certain. I certainly hope to hear him commentate again!
    Agree 100% with you and Basho that Torvill and Dean are unsurpassed in their legacy for ice dance. Others may equal them someday; it will be interesting to reassess the impact of Zoueva, Shpilband, Virtue/Moir, and Davis/White in 35-40 years, for example.

    As an American who has spent significant chunks of time in the UK, I'd say that Torvill and Dean have a profile among the public at large that far surpasses Dick Button's, and are synonymous with skating in a way that I don't think any American skater is. I've been following skating in the US since 1988, and I've never seen more than the odd clip of Dick Button doing a spin or landing a jump. I've certainly never seen footage of a full program. But my sense is that even many British people who don't really follow skating have seen footage of "Bolero" at the very least. I think Torvill and Dean are really known as skaters, while Button is more familiar as a commentator--a voice of skating rather than a skater himself, if you like.

    And even that familarity, I think, is limited by generation in a way that Torvill and Dean's isn't (and probably shows my age!) Because different American television networks have aired the Winter Olympics at different times, there was a gap of nearly 20 years, from 1988-2006, when Button didn't cover the Olympics at all. (Scott Hamilton took over, with Tracy Wilson and Sandra Bezic as his usual partners.) Button did continue to do commentary for Worlds, but of course many people watch skating only during the Olympics. And he did some commentary in 2006 and 2010, but not much. I completely agree with you that I'd love to hear him comment on skating again--I'd love to hear his thoughts on Yulia Lipnitskaya's spins, Savchenko and Massot's Olympic LP, Jason Brown, Carolina Kostner...

  5. #25
    GS Supporter el henry's Avatar
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    Toller Cranston.

    Without him, you have no John Curry, no Robin Cousins, no battle of the Brians, none of them.

    Janet Lynn.

    She's why we have a short program.

    And you know what? Neither won Olympic gold. Toller never won a world championship. Those things do not ensure a legacy

    For ID, I agree with Torvill & Dean. Ice Dance before them was a far different discipline. Far far far different......
    Last edited by el henry; 11-26-2018 at 11:32 PM.

  6. #26
    On the Ice lanceupper1114's Avatar
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    The Surya Bonaly back-flipping back-to-the-judges finish FU to the skating system at the Olympics has always stuck with me, even tho i was too young to understand what it was when it actually happened.

  7. #27
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    Kurt Browning, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Brian Orser

    Torvill and Dean

    Gordeeva and Grinkov - most talking heads still consider them the top pair that all pairs teams should aspire to

    Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy Hamill, and Peggy Flemming... and as much as it kills me, I guess I have to say Michelle Kwan lol


    I'm more of a "Golden Era"/North American legacy list, I suppose.

  8. #28
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by ribbit View Post
    Because different American television networks have aired the Winter Olympics at different times, there was a gap of nearly 20 years, from 1988-2006, when Button didn't cover the Olympics at all. (Scott Hamilton took over, with Tracy Wilson and Sandra Bezic as his usual partners.) Button did continue to do commentary for Worlds, but of course many people watch skating only during the Olympics. And he did some commentary in 2006 and 2010, but not much.
    I didn’t realise! Thank you.

    I remember looking up when he won his gold medal and I think it was because the Olympics was fully televised and I was shocked how long ago it was!

  9. #29
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    The Scandinavian/Russian from 3000 BC who used primitive animal bone ice skates.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_figure_skating

    I'm always stunned that people forget about him/her. Such disrespect.

  10. #30
    Medalist Sam L's Avatar
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    Two words: Nikolai Panin

  11. #31
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    Midori Ito. She showed that 3-3s and 3A were possible for women. And was doing rippons before the birth of Rippon.

  12. #32
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    Belousova-Protopopov.
    They skated in shows after 60+.

    RIP Belousovsa. Never to be forgot.

  13. #33
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    I am interested by Wylie and Yamaguchi. I am not refuting, just curious why one would say so. I loved their skating at the time,but I haven't ever really thought about their legacy. What is it? Dorothy Hamill, however always seemed to be being held up when I was a child (in a way that Peggy Flemming wasn't), long after she retired.
    In Canada Barbara Ann Scott was THE queen of skating for as long as I can remember. She had a legacy that I would say outran her actual achievements (not that I am belittling those)
    Torvill and Dean seem indisputable as do the Protopovs (much more than Irina Rodnina interestingly).
    I would say the Duschenays also had a greater legacy than their medal record.

  14. #34
    New quad, new drama GGFan's Avatar
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    Somewhat tongue in cheek: Trixi Schuba. She was so amazing at figures that they had to lower their value lest worldwide audiences revolt!

    Peggy Fleming. Not just the iconic chartreuse dress in 1968, but she signaled that American skating was back after the 1961 tragedy. Her style and her spread eagle axel spread eagle sequence left their mark.

  15. #35
    On the Ice Spinning's Avatar
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    Lu Chen left quite a legacy for Chinese ladies Figure Skating. Strong but lyrical skater who represented the Chinese females to the world.

  16. #36
    New quad, new drama GGFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugbyfan View Post
    I am interested by Wylie and Yamaguchi. I am not refuting, just curious why one would say so. I loved their skating at the time,but I haven't ever really thought about their legacy. What is it? Dorothy Hamill, however always seemed to be being held up when I was a child (in a way that Peggy Flemming wasn't), long after she retired.
    In Canada Barbara Ann Scott was THE queen of skating for as long as I can remember. She had a legacy that I would say outran her actual achievements (not that I am belittling those)
    Torvill and Dean seem indisputable as do the Protopovs (much more than Irina Rodnina interestingly).
    I would say the Duschenays also had a greater legacy than their medal record.
    I think some of this also has to do with timing and luck. Some skaters cross over into the popular imagination in ways that have nothing to do with their skating. The Dorothy Hamill haircut, her personality, etc made her a long lasting influences for non-skating reasons.

    Torvill and Dean were not only excellent and groundbreaking, they had the focus of a nation in a way that American figure skaters rarely do.

    In terms of Wylie and Yamaguchi. I love Kristi and rooted for her in 1992, but it's hard for me to look at any skaters since and say that they were following her styles or her moves. However she may have encouraged lots of skaters to start skating in the first place. She also has a great legacy of consistency and longevity.

    Paul is even more difficult to assess. He did beautiful things. I love his camel, his footwork, etc. This is one where I hope that skaters are looking at what he did but I wonder if they really are.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I would say that Sonja Henie had the biggest impact by far. She single-handedly changed skating from a man's sport to a women's sport, from somber gentlemen carving figures to show-girls cavorting in short skirts. After winning ten straight world championships and three Olympic gold medals, she then took figure skating to Hollywood. She became one of the highest-paid movie stars in the world and transformed skating from a Scandinavian and Alpine amateur hobby to the realm of main-stream spectator entertainment.

    Others also contributed to this revolution of course, but none to be compared to Henie's influence, IMHO.
    With all due respect to Henie's influence, it was Madge Sayers who triggered the need for a "ladies event" in figure skating. Madge won the silver at Worlds in 1903, beaten only by Ulrich Salcow, and shortly thereafter, the ISU instituted a separate event for women.

    IIRC, Henie's influence was not limited to costumes, but also included the introduction of choreography (i.e., actually skating to music, not merely having it in the background), she influenced all disciplines, not just ladies.

  18. #38
    On the Ice Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugbyfan View Post
    I am interested by Wylie and Yamaguchi. I am not refuting, just curious why one would say so. I loved their skating at the time,but I haven't ever really thought about their legacy. What is it? .
    I think there are two reasons why Kristi Yamaguchi deserves mention here. The first is her pro career. She competed in 7 Landovers (World Pro Championships), winning 4 golds and 3 silvers, and this was back in the days when professional skating ruled and rocked. She was the guts and glue of the Stars on Ice crew for a decade, never failing to delight the packed house. The previous model for "pro skating" was shows like Ice Capades, which were more a Las Vegas Review on ice.

    The second reason was mentioned briefly up-thread. Asian-Americans have for decades been the silent and forgotten minority in the United States. For many youngsters of the right age, Kristi was the first sports hero that they could really relate to. Even today if you search the Internet you will come across literally dozens of testimonials like this one from the New York Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/m...yamaguchi.html

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basho View Post
    Torvill and Dean will always be at the top of my list.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsHt7DRxpxA
    I honestly can't think of anything by them other than bolero....

  20. #40
    On the Ice StephenGfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrrice View Post
    Katarina Witt!! Such a long and successful career including 2 OGM'S. Being from Germany, she was a huge star and though I was in the US by the time she became famous, she always had a special place in my heart.
    shes kinda overrated tbh. she didn't really do much for figure skating other than popularized carmen. Even in her era she wasn't the best in many eras

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