Could one of the Russian ladies become the best ladies skater EVER next season?

Dawn825

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Jan 19, 2021
And yet there are quite a number of critics and skating fans who argue, not just that he is not the greatest (which is an opinion anyone is entitled to even if I disagree) but he doesn't honestly merit being called one of the very greatest of all time, that pretty much every one of his major rivals has had a better claim.
Is there? I must hang out in the right spaces, I thought he was the only one everyone could agree on 🙃
I'm not - as I said (and you austerely overlooked?) I was making a point about the whole OP's whole question, which was could one of the Russian ladies become the accepted best ever and what would it take. And my point was, it's hard enough to get critics/fans/anyone at all to agree on who merits the label 'one of the greatest', let alone The One And Only Lonely at the Top.
I think this is a harmless discussion where everyone is allowed to disagree. No one is suggesting the ISU should actually give a GOAT award to someone, lord knows the sport doesn't need that kind of violence.
 

Adjesusluvsu

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Is there? I must hang out in the right spaces, I thought he was the only one everyone could agree on 🙃
You do hang out in the right spaces! Yuzuru’s not always on people’s GOAT list. (Sadly, at least in my opinion.)

But sorry for the tangents from the Russian ladies, I’ll shush about Yuzu :)
 

TallyT

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I think this is a harmless discussion where everyone is allowed to disagree. No one is suggesting the ISU should actually give a GOAT award to someone, lord knows the sport doesn't need that kind of violence.
Given the enthusiasm everyone showed (not) for their awards, I agree.

Have to say I wish we could go back in time and get HD film/video of all the earlier to earliest greats. I have a feeling it would shake things up a little because their skill sets were so different.
 
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Scott512

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Feb 27, 2014
Just think about how hard it will be to qualify to Russian Nationals next year:

Shcherbakova, Valieva, Trusova, Kostornaya, Usacheva, Khromykh, Tuktamysheva, Akatyeva, Samodelkina, Petrosyan, Muravyova, Sinitsyna, Frolova, Tsibinova, Samodurova, Guliakova, Nugumanova, Gubanova, Berestovskaya, Tarakanova, Medvedeva, and Zagitova are all eligible

The fight to even get there will be insane.
Expand the roster. So many girls deserve to be there but wont.

There is no one greatest of all time lady figure skater. It's all who each person perceives it to be.
 
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Skatesocs

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Have to say I wish we could go back in time and get HD film/video of all the earlier to earliest greats. I have a feeling it would shake things up a little because their skill sets were so different.
You should check out the channel Floskate on YT.
 

AshWagsFan

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Simple answer: no

Closest Russian lady to goat status is probably either Medvedeva or Slutskaya. One could argue they were both ahead of their times, and they both won 2 world titles and 2 Olympics medals.

To be a true goat, longevity and consistency play a bit of a prominent role (but not entirely - as Sonia Henie would then be the GOAT with 3 Olympic golds and an insane amount of world titles - and I don’t think she did double jumps).

The closest ladies to GOAT status worldwide are most likely Michelle Kwan, Midori Ito, Kristi Yamaguchi, Evgenia Medvedeva, Yuna Kim, Irina Slutskaya. I think that if any of the ladies who are prominent now in Russia stick around for another 4 years, they can be on par with these other GOATS of the sport :)
 

macy

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Nov 12, 2011
after reading everyone's responses, i guess the next appropriate question would be this-

in the current state of Russian ladies skating where top skaters are replaced every couple seasons, is it really even possible for a Russian lady to become a GOAT today? or would she need to be so ahead of her time she can't be beaten or kicked off a podium for several years? is that even possible? when will we see things stagnate out again, leaving room for a skater to be so dominant the way Medvedeva was? or Yuna, Mao, Carolina, Michelle?
 

Bookseller

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It is possible that Kamila or Anna could be the GOAT IF they continue to add difficulty, improve their artistry and stay competing for more than 2 years and keep winning. But they aren't there yet. Most of the Russian Ladies have found it very difficult to continue competing past puberty. And at 14 or 15, you can have some tech skills, but lack the depth and polish that longevity produces. As long as they keep getting better, then the possibility exists. One of the reasons those girls train so hard is that it delays puberty. But they can't delay it forever. There are a lot of talented skaters out there past puberty, that can't get past a scoring system that rewards pre-pubescence in girls.
 

Skatesocs

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is that even possible? when will we see things stagnate out again, leaving room for a skater to be so dominant the way Medvedeva was?
I think, theoretically, it will be possible only when we return to the Medvedeva situation. If you remember, the only way one could one-up Medvedeva was with a 3A or +3Lo - but at her time, Asada was already mostly done, and Zagitova next season did upset with gaming the CoP even better and adding a +3Lo. So we basically need to reach a point where a skater is consistent enough with 3 or 4 quads in the ladies field. Then we'd have to have a skater landing 5 quads consistently to upset her - which I'm not sure will ever happen (even in the men's field, we don't often see 5 quads landed consistently, so).

I do think people forget Medvedeva was only dominant for two seasons though (three if we're counting her JWC season). It will move way fast. I don't think anyone's going to land more than 4 quads consistently, but in that particular case, the physical tax one must pay will certainly be more of a factor - IDK if we're ever going to return to the Kwan-like dominance, or the Asada/Kim wars.
 
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Gabby30

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Aug 8, 2019
Just think about how hard it will be to qualify to Russian Nationals next year:

Shcherbakova, Valieva, Trusova, Kostornaya, Usacheva, Khromykh, Tuktamysheva, Akatyeva, Samodelkina, Petrosyan, Muravyova, Sinitsyna, Frolova, Tsibinova, Samodurova, Guliakova, Nugumanova, Gubanova, Berestovskaya, Tarakanova, Medvedeva, and Zagitova are all eligible

The fight to even get there will be insane.
Not really. You could also name half of the field in Japan or the USA and say "the fight for the spots will be insane". Most of the names you listed are irrelevant, you just did it to make it look "crowded".:laugh: You could also add names like Pogorilaya, Sotnikova, Radionova,( maybe they'll come back from retirement, who knows...) to make it look even more spectacular ;)
 

FelineFairy

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Sep 13, 2020
Simple answer: no

Closest Russian lady to goat status is probably either Medvedeva or Slutskaya. One could argue they were both ahead of their times, and they both won 2 world titles and 2 Olympics medals.

To be a true goat, longevity and consistency play a bit of a prominent role (but not entirely - as Sonia Henie would then be the GOAT with 3 Olympic golds and an insane amount of world titles - and I don’t think she did double jumps).

The closest ladies to GOAT status worldwide are most likely Michelle Kwan, Midori Ito, Kristi Yamaguchi, Evgenia Medvedeva, Yuna Kim, Irina Slutskaya. I think that if any of the ladies who are prominent now in Russia stick around for another 4 years, they can be on par with these other GOATS of the sport :)
Why are you counting out the ones prior to Kwan/Slutskaya times? What are you criteria apart from longevity and achievements? If jumps play a significant role, (and you counted out Henie because of that), then what jumps? Are doubles enough (Fleming)? Or should triples be decisive? Why not Katarina Witt, then? You see, it seems to me that when people name someone as a GOAT, it is closely connected with the moment they got deeply interested in FS and the skaters who (first) produced an everlasting impression. This is the reason why those who date their interest in ladies' FS from Lipnitskaya will look for GOATs in current Russian ladies and might add quads to those criteria. No one is right or wrong in this discussion, there are simply no GOATS at all. Only great skaters limited by their time.
 

CarolPooh

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I don't think it is possible or meaningful to compare across different eras, so I only talk about how I personally think the greatest skater of an era should be. Surely, there is no objective criteria and it is just my personal opinion.

I think these skaters should be special and distinct from their comtemporaries. They should be the icons when general skating fans are refering to their respective period even long after they retired (i.e., those retired skaters mentioned in this thread).

If there are many skaters dominating in 2 seasons, a skater doing the same is not special enough, especially as an Olympic sport with a 4-year cycle. If 10 skaters are landing quads at the same time, a skater doing the same is not special either. For example, if a female skater is able to continue to add difficult jumps after puberty (like Tuktamysheva), while having insane consistency and full package, she will be special.

Russia has done enough to differentiate herself from the rest in ladies skating, so I will remember this period in ladies skating as the Russian era. Unfortunately, none of the individual skater has done enough (imo) to stand out yet. I look forward to some of them standing out in the future.
 

Mathman

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Jun 21, 2003
Sonia Henie's hardest junp element was two single Axels in sequence. She did her single Lutz in the opposite direction from her spins and other jumps.

Besides all of her titles -- she took on all challengers for ten years and never lost -- she then brought figure skating to Holltywood and created the first fusion of competitive level skating and show business, turning the sport into world-wide entertainment.

There are several skaters who deserve mention in all-time great discussion. Cecelia Colledge was the first lady to do a double jump -- can you believe it? TWO complete revolutions! -- she almost nipped Henie at the 1936 Olympics and would have been the favorite for the gold medal in 1940 as well as probably 1944 if the Olympics had been held in those years.

Carole Heiss has five World Championships and two Olympic medals, one gold and one silver. She is the first woman to do a double Axel. (Not to mention, she starred in the movie Snow White and the Three Stooges -- you have to know how big the Three Stooges were, especially Curly, in the U.S. to fully appreciate that achievement. ;) )

Herma Szabo won 7 world championships (5 in singles and 2 in pairs) and the 1924 Olympic gold medal. She retired after the 1927 judging scandal where Henie won the world championship by receiving first-place ordinals from the three Norwegian judges on the panel of five, , while Szabo won the votes of the two German-Austrian judges.

And of course Madge Syers won the silver medal at the 1902 World Championships when the ISU was unable to find an explicit rule that said women were not allowed to compete in skating contests. (It was just taken for granted -- who would ever imagine such a thing?!)

She won the (then newly minted) ladies' event at the 1908 Olympics. Her tech score was totally dominant, drawing raves for "the wonderful accuracy of her figures, combined with perfect carriage and movement." In the free skate, she "excelled in rhythm and time-keeping."

Hah! I bet Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova would not dare to go up against Syers in a "perfect carriage and excellent time-keeping" contest.

Edit: Come to think of it, Anna could compete in the rhythm and time-keeping segment, based on the dance videos she has posted.
 
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Skatesocs

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May 16, 2020
Sonia Henie's hardest junp element was two single Axels in sequence. She did her single Lutz in the opposite direction from her spins and other jumps.
She was really ruining figure skating, IMO. This isn't what Ladies Figure Skating a la Madge Syers was intended to be (women being barred notwithstanding).
Cecelia Colledge was the first lady to do a double jump

The ABSOLUTE worst. Dammit, this is where figure skating died, with those many revolutions, just jump-jump-jump :rolleye:
 

jenaj

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Simple answer: no

Closest Russian lady to goat status is probably either Medvedeva or Slutskaya. One could argue they were both ahead of their times, and they both won 2 world titles and 2 Olympics medals.

To be a true goat, longevity and consistency play a bit of a prominent role (but not entirely - as Sonia Henie would then be the GOAT with 3 Olympic golds and an insane amount of world titles - and I don’t think she did double jumps).

The closest ladies to GOAT status worldwide are most likely Michelle Kwan, Midori Ito, Kristi Yamaguchi, Evgenia Medvedeva, Yuna Kim, Irina Slutskaya. I think that if any of the ladies who are prominent now in Russia stick around for another 4 years, they can be on par with these other GOATS of the sport :)
I would say Slutskaya is the only Russian lady who is close. She had a long career, won multiple international medals including two Olympic medals and two World golds. She won 7 European titles and won gold at the Grand Prix final four times. She was a strong competitor and almost always a threat for gold at her peak. That said, I don't think Irina is even arguably the GOAT. But she is among the great skaters and is certainly a candidate, at least, for greatest Russian ladies skater of all time.
 

Imagine

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Feb 22, 2014
There are many different, subjective, ways to measure greatness. People here seem to equate longevity with greatness. Personally, I don't agree with that, but by that definition, no I don't think any of the Russian ladies will ever meet that marker. The game has changed, and the level that the Russian ladies are now at does not allow for long careers.
 

Adjesusluvsu

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There are many different, subjective, ways to measure greatness. People here seem to equate longevity with greatness. Personally, I don't agree with that, but by that definition, no I don't think any of the Russian ladies will ever meet that marker. The game has changed, and the level that the Russian ladies are now at does not allow for long careers.
I think longevity plays into greatness, but it isn’t the sole factor. Longevity only matters if the athlete is especially dominant or groundbreaking as well. However, a season or two of dominance or a groundbreaking performance only matters for GOAT status if it is paired with the ability to sustain that. So for me, it’s both.

I am curious to what your definition of greatness is if it does not include longevity.
 

yume

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 11, 2016
Simple answer: no

Closest Russian lady to goat status is probably either Medvedeva or Slutskaya. One could argue they were both ahead of their times,
How?
The closest ladies to GOAT status worldwide are most likely Michelle Kwan, Midori Ito, Kristi Yamaguchi, Evgenia Medvedeva, Yuna Kim, Irina Slutskaya. I think that if any of the ladies who are prominent now in Russia stick around for another 4 years, they can be on par with these other GOATS of the sport :)
Not even Mao in this list. With 10+ active years of skating and more titles than some ladies you named.
 

macy

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Nov 12, 2011
to me, being a GOAT combines longevity with dominance. Simone Biles is the pinnacle of a GOAT- she has no competition besides herself. she breaks her own records and has been undefeated basically her entire senior elite career, since 2013. she continually pushes the technical boundaries of the sport, trying new things every year and putting them in competition. she not only does the hardest stuff, she does it better than anyone, and she in no way lacks in the artistic side of the sport either. you really can't ask for a more well rounded athlete.

IMO, there are several GOATS all being replaced by new ones as the sport advances. Sonja Henie was a GOAT of her time. she was around for a while and won many big titles, but eventually there came someone who could beat her. this doesn't take away any of her accomplishments, or the fact she was revolutionary in her sport.

today, Hanyu can easily be considered a GOAT. he has pushed the sport, been dominant for many years and has won 2 olympic titles- only the 2nd man in history to do so. he has the difficulty, the execution, and the components. Michelle Kwan is one, lacking only an olympic title. just because Kwan was a better skater than Henie, doesn't take away the fact that Henie was also a GOAT in her time.

i think we will need to see the sport level out technically before we see someone who can even come close to the dominance skaters like Yuna had. right now there are always girls coming up the line with harder stuff than the current top skaters, but there will come another point where they max out technically. i don't know what that looks like- can these girls just keep doing harder and harder jumps and layouts every single year? will quads have to prove detrimental to a young, growing body and new rules put in place someday? will quads and 3As stay as the norm for the future for ladies skating? will that point come when someone physically hits the limit for what a human body can handle?
 

FelineFairy

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Sep 13, 2020
to me, being a GOAT combines longevity with dominance. Simone Biles is the pinnacle of a GOAT- she has no competition besides herself. she breaks her own records and has been undefeated basically her entire senior elite career, since 2013. she continually pushes the technical boundaries of the sport, trying new things every year and putting them in competition. she not only does the hardest stuff, she does it better than anyone, and she in no way lacks in the artistic side of the sport either. you really can't ask for a more well rounded athlete.

IMO, there are several GOATS all being replaced by new ones as the sport advances. Sonja Henie was a GOAT of her time. she was around for a while and won many big titles, but eventually there came someone who could beat her. this doesn't take away any of her accomplishments, or the fact she was revolutionary in her sport.

today, Hanyu can easily be considered a GOAT. he has pushed the sport, been dominant for many years and has won 2 olympic titles- only the 2nd man in history to do so. he has the difficulty, the execution, and the components. Michelle Kwan is one, lacking only an olympic title. just because Kwan was a better skater than Henie, doesn't take away the fact that Henie was also a GOAT in her time.

i think we will need to see the sport level out technically before we see someone who can even come close to the dominance skaters like Yuna had. right now there are always girls coming up the line with harder stuff than the current top skaters, but there will come another point where they max out technically. i don't know what that looks like- can these girls just keep doing harder and harder jumps and layouts every single year? will quads have to prove detrimental to a young, growing body and new rules put in place someday? will quads and 3As stay as the norm for the future for ladies skating? will that point come when someone physically hits the limit for what a human body can handle?
In many sports people say that the records are close to the physiological limit. One can't run faster, one can't jump higher, etc. However, new materials for the pole allowed new records for pole vault. A new type of skates increased the speed of speed skaters. Maybe there will also be something new invented for figure skating? Then we could get another era, etc. etc.
 
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