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Thread: Alina Zagitova, the Greatest?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lariko View Post
    however, in this particular discipline, what inspires awe in me personally is someone who still stands on the podium at 30.
    Or in the near future for the ladies - the way things are going - 21.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott512 View Post
    Fair. But even at the tender age of 16 Alina was already one of the GOATS due to the fact she won all major competitions as a Junior and senior by age 16. Completely unprecedented to do it by that age. But yes she still has more to give as long as that tricky left knee of hers holds up.
    While true, she was lucky that she was born in a manner that coincided with the Olympics, so even if say Sasha were to win the next Olympics it would never be by 16. As such i would argue that remaining on top over a longer period of time is a requirement for GOAT status rather than medal/title count. To me that’s what make Yuzu a GOAT; titles, sport advancement, and longevity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott512 View Post
    Fair. But even at the tender age of 16 Alina was already one of the GOATS due to the fact she won all major competitions as a Junior and senior by age 16. Completely unprecedented to do it by that age. But yes she still has more to give as long as that tricky left knee of hers holds up.
    But young age works in the favour of females, not against them. And not every girl happen to have the Olympics on their 15th birthday.. for example some didn't meet the Olympics age till they are 19.

    I know Yuna and Alina are the only female to achieve the grand slam...but the only reason Katarina Witt and Sonja Henie don't have the grand slam is because the GPF didn't exist at their time, despite both probably won more medals than any other female skater.

    Alina is on her way to be one of the greatest, but to be in the same status as say Yuna, Katarina and Sonja she probably has to stay on the top for another 2-3 years to make up at least one full quad. Doesn't have to be wining gold all the time, but at least a podium contender. Now you might say why is longevity important - it is because it determines whether you have a lasting impact in the history of skating. Someone who has been competing at the top for one to two full quads, will naturally be remembered more than someone only competing for two years. And I think Alina understands that hence why she is continuing competing despite lots of people think she should just stop and retire now. Girl is ambitious.

    Quote Originally Posted by yume View Post
    But i agree that olys are not enough to call someone GOAT. It's just one competition, even if it's the most prestigious.
    Winning the Olympics isn't enough to make one a GOAT, but one who doesn't have an Olympic gold or in the alternative multiple Olympic medals could hardly be one. If you are one of the greatest ever, getting an Olympic medal shouldn't be a problem, particularly for those that had participated at least twice.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    What do you guys think?

  5. #25
    Bona Fide Member yume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ankifeather View Post
    But young age works in the favour of females, not against them. And not every girl happen to have the Olympics on their 15th birthday.. for example some didn't meet the Olympics age till they are 19.

    I know Yuna and Alina are the only female to achieve the grand slam...but the only reason Katarina Witt and Sonja Henie don't have the grand slam is because the GPF didn't exist at their time, despite both probably won more medals than any other female skater.

    Alina is on her way to be one of the greatest, but to be in the same status as say Yuna, Katarina and Sonja she probably has to stay on the top for another 2-3 years to make up at least one full quad. Doesn't have to be wining gold all the time, but at least a podium contender. Now you might say why is longevity important - it is because it determines whether you have a lasting impact in the history of skating. Someone who has been competing at the top for one to two full quads, will naturally be remembered more than someone only competing for two years. And I think Alina understands that hence why she is continuing competing despite lots of people think she should just stop and retire now. Girl is ambitious.



    Winning the Olympics isn't enough to make one a GOAT, but one who doesn't have an Olympic gold or in the alternative multiple Olympic medals could hardly be one. If you are one of the greatest ever, getting an Olympic medal shouldn't be a problem, particularly for those that had participated at least twice.
    Well, i don't know a lady in modern era who won everything but an olympic medal. Kwan, Slutskaya, Asada, Kostner, they won all major titles, don't have oly gold but olympic medals.
    A skater like Asada who won multiple times GPF (record holder with slutskaya), 4CC (record holder with Suguri), Worlds (just behind Kwan in modern era), all GPs (the only one, and record holder with 15 GPs), an oly silver, can pretend to be amond the GOATs .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    You made me look it up! Yes, there was an Olympic medalist in ladies' single skating who was over 30. Ethel Muckell of Great Britain got bronze in 1924 at age 38.

    Coincidentally, the youngest was also from Great Britain. Cecelia Coledge got silver in 1936 at age 15 years 79 days. (Alina is fifth and sixth on the youngest list, counting her team silver and individual gold.. )
    I have a weakness for looking up the last centuries photos & sometimes I browse the world titles from the 1800’s and 1900’s... it is certainly different kettle of fish.

    Overall though, the sport’s talk about ‘making history’ with every record set and with the history of pro sports growing long, athletes being many, titles being many, becoming a legend requires either a long peerless record; or a pop-culture profile that propels them. Which is more and more difficult to do in the world that has become an entertainment bazaar, where everyone want you to go see this, read that, and play that other thing.

    At a guess, more people recognize Katarina Witt as a name of a Figure Skater than Zagitova’s (or Harding for entirely different reason).

    Honestly though, when I tell people in the office that I am going to Skate Canada, they politely ask me if I am going there to compete, from which I gather that FS is not quite well-known to an average person, so Zagitova (or anyone else) has her work cut out for her.

  7. #27
    Bona Fide Member heyang's Avatar
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    I think she has the potential to be one of the greatest but I think she has to continue to grow artistically while maintaining consistent jumps, etc.

    At the last Olympics, I didn't feel that she performed better than Mededeva, but her ability to out jump her all in the 2nd part of the program made her the winner IMHO. She correctly took advantage of every opportunity for points which I don't blame her for doing but the 1st 1/2 of the program was forgettable. I can only comment about her performances in 2018 because I wasn't paying much attention to World's skating during last season.

    If you consider her record, she hasn't won of all her competitions in a single year YET. 1st yr of seniors she was 5th at World's. 2nd year of seniors she was 2nd at GP Final and Europeans.

    She definitely has the talent and the drive and we can only hope that her body will allow her to develop to her full potential.

    Also, GOAT isn't just for Olympic medalists. Fabulous skaters like Kurt Browning, Janet Lynn and Michelle Kwan have won multiple titles - the only one to elude them was Olympic gold. However, you shouldn't dismiss multiple national and world titles.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott512 View Post
    Fair. But even at the tender age of 16 Alina was already one of the GOATS due to the fact she won all major competitions as a Junior and senior by age 16. Completely unprecedented to do it by that age. But yes she still has more to give as long as that tricky left knee of hers holds up.
    I don't know that 'having it all' at 16 makes you a GOAT on its own, when the future is so unknown and it could (I hope not for her sake, but could) be over by 18. Child or teenage prodigies burn out a lot, and it's a sad probability that she will be overtaken techwise before she is old enough to prove enough mature/deep artistry to rank right up there for that as well.

    I don't have any deep attachments in her discipline so I can cheerfully hope for her sake - she seems a nice kid - that she does have whatever is now meant by a long career for a lady, even if her chances of gold/podium in 2022 are shaky (hell, the little quadsters coming up this year may be overtaken by then!) But if she doesn't, would a short but incandescent career do it for GOAT? (thinking of Yulia Lipnitskaya here, who was surely legendary if not GOAT and yes, there is a difference, to me at least)

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by lariko View Post
    Honestly though, when I tell people in the office that I am going to Skate Canada, they politely ask me if I am going there to compete, from which I gather that FS is not quite well-known to an average person, so Zagitova (or anyone else) has her work cut out for her.
    I have the same experience too in Australia haha... whenever I say I am going to a skating competition, people's first reaction is "oh you compete in skating?" Now I have to say I am watching a skating competition.

    Also, GOAT isn't just for Olympic medalists. Fabulous skaters like Kurt Browning, Janet Lynn and Michelle Kwan have won multiple titles - the only one to elude them was Olympic gold. However, you shouldn't dismiss multiple national and world titles
    That is why I said Olympic gold or multiple Olympic medals to cover someone like Kwan.

    Nobody is dismissing multiple national and world titles ..every female named in this thread has plenty of those, and people are hinting Alina needs more seasons to cement her status. But the importance of at least an Olympics medal shouldn't be dismissed either when skaters themselves value it so much. Someone with Olympic medals and also world titles will have a better claim to being the GOAT than those with only multiple world titles. If you keep loosening the definition of GOAT to try to cover every good or memorable skater, than it starts to loose its meaning. And I can't think of a multiple Olympic and worlds medalist who wasn't a cultural phenom in their own country during their era.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by silveruskate View Post
    I think it's unfair to call any skater the greatest just because they've won everything.... particularly the Olympics given it happens only once every 4 years and has become extremely dependent on when you turn senior. Not to mention quads have hardly even come yet so which seniors have faced this competition?

    Alina is such a wonderful skater, but others are too....Yuna's résumé surpasses hers, Slutskaya's aside from 1 Olympic medal also does in all fields, Zhenya is of the same generation and aside from the Olympics has more of everything else. Alina is already one of the great skaters as almost any Olympic and World champion is, I'm not sure why it's necessary to say anymore.
    Greatest well I am not sure but we live in a crazy and changing world especially the scoring system. It has changed majorly again. World records should not exist they mean nothing as the rules and even values change faster than some skaters change coaches or gulp countries.

    I think Irina has two olympic medals but yes, Irina, Michelle, Katarina, Oksana, Sonja, Yamaguchi et al all can be seen as the greatest for different reasons.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ankifeather View Post
    But the importance of at least an Olympics medal shouldn't be dismissed either when skaters themselves value it so much.
    You only have to look at Evgenia's devastated face after the free skate at PC to know how important the skaters themselves see the Olympic gold (or listen to Plushenko on the subject, and he should know. Or all the Canadian men who missed it by... so little, it seems) or to their countries at large. Maybe it shouldn't matter that much more than Worlds, but the simple fact is, due to its rarity (only 6 in each discipline this century), prestige and much bigger audience, it does.

    On the other hand, the young skaters like Tara and Sarah who seem to retire the minute the gold is round their neck never get mentioned in these discussions, so even if OGM is the biggest thing it certainly isn't a decider. Full kudos to Alina for pressing on, she could very well make both GOAT and legend (not undisputed, because the one thing I have learned since coming to skating is that there ain't no such animal.)

  12. #32
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    Maybe if she learned how to use edges, learned how to actually move her body in a coordinated way, and do like a proper lutz, then, yeah, maybe.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    Maybe if she learned how to use edges, learned how to actually move her body in a coordinated way, and do like a proper lutz, then, yeah, maybe.
    Umm... there probably isn't a single GOAT in the history of, well history, who hasn't gotten similar caveating comments all through their career which sort of reinforces what I said about undisputed....

    I'm not saying that the caveats aren't merited (not my place) but that it never stops people getting crowned.

  14. #34
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    Alina has accomplished a lot and no one can take that away from her. I think she already made her mark on the history of the sport due to the titles she has won. Do I wish she had more musicality and better choreo? Yes. Also, my wish for her is that she doesn't end up leaving the sport too young due to injuries/growth and that she continues to be a podium contender for at least a full quad. I think the only thing missing from her career are longevity, and perhaps better programs ?

  15. #35
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    All Alina's achievements are very remarkable, but in my opinion 2 senior seasons are not enough to decide whether someone was a GOAT or not.

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    Lmao, no.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    At 17, she already has the Grand Slam: Olympics, Worlds, Europeans and GPF. I have respect for past greats but the competition is much tougher these days and the skaters are pushing the boundaries with quads, so it's amazing that she's achieved all that with this level of competition. She still has many years left in her career including a possible second Olympic gold but even with what she has I'm ready to call it for now. What do you guys think?
    She is on the way and as Cavafy would have said, the journey is what matters.

  18. #38
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    No, she isn't. Number of gold medals isn't what makes skater the greatest. Longevity, technical development, influence, artistic growth - those are marks of great skaters. Tara Lipinski is the youngest World Title winner, has two golds from GPF and is the youngest Olympic Gold Medalist among ladies (sorry Yulia fans - I don'r count Team Event medals). Do we consider her the Greatest? No.

    I'm not saying that Alina's achievements aren't impressive but compare them to Madge Syers, Sonia Henie, Midori Iro or from more recent history Mao Asada and Yuna Kim. Not only they won multiple gold medals but also they changed sport and inspired generations. All of them (except poor Madge) had long and successful careers and if we ignore Mao's flutz (which was almost fixed at the end of her career) all of them were really good technicians with wide range of artistic showings.

    Does Alina have chance to become The Greatest? Of course she does but I wouldn't call her like this right now.

  19. #39
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    If Zagitova stays in the Russian top 3 till 2022, that would be a big achievement. 5 seasons at the top in this era while being Russian would be a great longevity. Because no one before her had to deal with an army of quadsters or skaters with incredible tech contents in her own country. She can't afford to lower her tech, skip nats, half of seasons like previous GOATs candidates. And i think that taking it easy some seasons helped them to have this longevity.
    The level of internal competition should matters. Mai Mihara's 4th place at JPN nats has more value than 1st place in most of countries.

  20. #40
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    During her last show in Japan Alina crashed her 3Lz and could not quickly recover. It took some substantial time for her to return to senses, raise and repeat the jump.
    She landed one good 3Lz and left the ice.

    Not the greatest. OK... But neither the mediocre one.

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