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Thread: Favourite European Figure Skaters

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    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    EUR Favourite European Figure Skaters

    Sk8kirsty started a thread about favourite Russian Figure Skaters (including ones from the past), so I thought I could do the same thing. Only for European Figure Skaters excluding Russians (because they have got one of their own). I'll start with my own list of memorable and favourites.

    In Pair Skating both Aljona/Robin and Aljona/Bruno come to mind with a personal preference for the last couple (also they won Olympic Gold). Innovative, classy, and just beautiful to watch.
    Another European pair I liked at the time were the Czech skaters Radka Kovarikova and Rene Novotny. World champions in 1995. Beautiful skaters, but could be a bit inconsistent.
    Vanessa James and Morgan Cypres are my current favourites. They did some pretty amazing things to transform pair skating. Great. They're not the first from France. I loved Sarah Abitbol and Stephan Bernardis.

    In ladies I always like the Finnish and French. Finland had quite some success with Kiira Korpi, Laura Lepisto and Susanna Pyokio. I hope the bronze medal at Europeans last season for Viveca Lindfors is the start of another Finnish Renaissance. France has so many good lady skaters, although often a bit inconsistent. Venessa Guzmoroli comes to mind on the inconsistency bit. Suraya Bonaly was one very succesfull lady but had some problems with the artistic part (not very good on edges). However her back flip with a one foot landing is gorgeous. And that girl could jump. Very athletic.

    In men it's the South. The French, the Italians and the Spanish. Well, only one Spanish skater - Javier. France has more of a history with Brian Joubert in first place (6 world medals, 11 european medals). But they've also got Florent Amodio, Philippe Candeloro (two Olympic medals!) and the rather inconsistently skating Stannick Jeannette who could be superb if he was on. Of course they've got a new talent on the rise now: Kevin Amoz. Italy had Samuel Contesti for a time (who originally skated for France) and now has Matteo Rizzo and Daniel Grassl, both looking good.

    In Ice Dance France has the top guns. Of course everybody knows Gabrielle and Guillaume who are the current leaders, but they also gave us Marina Annessina and Gwendal Peizerat (Olympic champions). And let us not forget Sophie Moniot and Pascal Lavanchy and - more recent - Nathalie Pechelat and Fabian Bourzat. One of my secret favourite teams are Isobel Delobel and Olivier Schonfelder (2008 WC). The Italians have quite a few good examples as well: Barbara and Maurizio, Federica and Massimo, Anna and Luca, and currently Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabri. Looking good for them. The Finnish had an excellent couple too, Suzanna and Petri. Spain is on the rise currently with two good couples in the mix.

    What do you think? Any other ones, skaters I forgot? For good order, mentioning skaters from former USSR members is fine, as long as it's after Russia as a single country again came into being. Skaters from Ukraine can be part of this from app. 1993 for example.

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    On the Ice sk8kirsty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyjane View Post
    Sk8kirsty started a thread about favourite Russian Figure Skaters (including ones from the past), so I thought I could do the same thing. Only for European Figure Skaters excluding Russians (because they have got one of their own). I'll start with my own list of memorable and favourites.

    In Pair Skating both Aljona/Robin and Aljona/Bruno come to mind with a personal preference for the last couple (also they won Olympic Gold). Innovative, classy, and just beautiful to watch.
    Another European pair I liked at the time were the Czech skaters Radka Kovarikova and Rene Novotny. World champions in 1995. Beautiful skaters, but could be a bit inconsistent.
    Vanessa James and Morgan Cypres are my current favourites. They did some pretty amazing things to transform pair skating. Great. They're not the first from France. I loved Sarah Abitbol and Stephan Bernardis.

    In ladies I always like the Finnish and French. Finland had quite some success with Kiira Korpi, Laura Lepisto and Susanna Pyokio. I hope the bronze medal at Europeans last season for Viveca Lindfors is the start of another Finnish Renaissance. France has so many good lady skaters, although often a bit inconsistent. Venessa Guzmoroli comes to mind on the inconsistency bit. Suraya Bonaly was one very succesfull lady but had some problems with the artistic part (not very good on edges). However her back flip with a one foot landing is gorgeous. And that girl could jump. Very athletic.

    In men it's the South. The French, the Italians and the Spanish. Well, only one Spanish skater - Javier. France has more of a history with Brian Joubert in first place (6 world medals, 11 european medals). But they've also got Florent Amodio, Philippe Candeloro (two Olympic medals!) and the rather inconsistently skating Stannick Jeannette who could be superb if he was on. Of course they've got a new talent on the rise now: Kevin Amoz. Italy had Samuel Contesti for a time (who originally skated for France) and now has Matteo Rizzo and Daniel Grassl, both looking good.

    In Ice Dance France has the top guns. Of course everybody knows Gabrielle and Guillaume who are the current leaders, but they also gave us Marina Annessina and Gwendal Peizerat (Olympic champions). And let us not forget Sophie Moniot and Pascal Lavanchy and - more recent - Nathalie Pechelat and Fabian Bourzat. One of my secret favourite teams are Isobel Delobel and Olivier Schonfelder (2008 WC). The Italians have quite a few good examples as well: Barbara and Maurizio, Federica and Massimo, Anna and Luca, and currently Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabri. Looking good for them. The Finnish had an excellent couple too, Suzanna and Petri. Spain is on the rise currently with two good couples in the mix.

    What do you think? Any other ones, skaters I forgot? For good order, mentioning skaters from former USSR members is fine, as long as it's after Russia as a single country again came into being. Skaters from Ukraine can be part of this from app. 1993 for example.
    Wow there's a lot of great skaters there!! I feel honoured to have been mentioned in this x

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    As for the European ladies, gotta add Carolina Kostner.
    Another one whose programs I always check is Ivett Toth, who is a bit different in her choices from most other ladies.

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    Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps el henry's Avatar
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    Don’t we need to include the British?

    Torvill & Dean

    John Curry

    Robin Cousins

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    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lappo View Post
    As for the European ladies, gotta add Carolina Kostner.
    Another one whose programs I always check is Ivett Toth, who is a bit different in her choices from most other ladies.
    How terrible. I didn't mention Carolina, although I love her skating. Especially her 2014 Olympic's programmes, both the Short and the Free. She got her first World medal in 2005! Speaking of longevity, because she got herself a medal at Europeans in 2018. That's 13 years of successes. Although there was of course a time out in-between.

    Like your mentioning of Iveth too. Yes, she is different, and that's admirable.

    I also forgot Loena and Kevin, both from Belgium. Loena has had some injuries regrettably (which applies to any skater with injuries) but it was looking so good for her. And Kevin..well, I'll never forget his quad toe-triple toe-triple toe at world's 2010.

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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    Don’t we need to include the British?

    Torvill & Dean

    John Curry

    Robin Cousins
    Definitely. Torvill and Dean are of course the Ice Dancers who made it all really start (sorry earlier champions), and both John and Robin were icons of the sport. One for his beautiful balletic vision of Figure skating and the other for his musicality and jumping ability (even though his olympic skate wasn't his best on that score). Thanks El Henry!

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    Paul & Isabelle Duchesnay, France—among my all time favorites!

    Also, Drobiazko/Vanagas, Lithuania; Denkova/Staviski, Bulgaria; and—perhaps a bit less distinguished, but equally memorable—— Zhiganshina/Gazsi, Germany

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    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    Thank you seven sisters. Paul & Isabelle illustrate the point that the French are top guns in Ice Dance. They were the only ones to be able to compare with Marina klimova and Sergei Ponamarenko. The French always have nice skaters, or a good couple coming up. Yeah, nice.

    And of course I recall Drobiasko/Vanagas (the only couple I really thought 'was robbed' of a medal once. I hardly ever use this term because it's so nasty towards other skaters) as well as Denkova/Stavinski. Loved them at the time as well. While the Germans definitely were fun.

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    I went through the list of European Figure Skating Championship participants from 1980-2000 who haven't been mentioned yet:


    Rahkamo and Kokko

    Poor Drobiazko and Vanagas, the Rodney Dangerfield couple of their day. They never got the respect they deserved

    Denise Biellmann

    Petr Barna

    Surya Bonally

    Krisztina Czakó [for her Addams Family program, which is still one of my all time fave raves]

    Mandy Wötzel/Ingo Steuer

    Anna Rechnio

    Laetitia Hubert [though whether she is truly French or simply out of this world is still up for debate!]


    I know most people would include Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio. but frankly I was never a fan. Same for Sophie Moniot and Pascal Lavanchy. And Mr Ham and Cheese himself - Phillipe Candeloro.

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    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Stéphane Lambiel (SUI) or Michal Brezina (CZE)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seven Sisters View Post
    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Stéphane Lambiel (SUI) or Michal Brezina (CZE)
    I was going to say Stephane!!! - along with Kevin Aymoz, Florent Amodio, Torvill & Dean (my earliest memory of anyone on ice), Queen Aljona with both Robin and Bruno, Nelli Zhiganshina & Alexander Gazsi (personal quirky but deep love)... oh and my soft spot for Kevin Van Der Perren, it cannot be denied.

    But of course and above all Javi

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    Two Frenchmen I always wanted to do well: Yannick Ponsero and Stanick Jeannette. Ponsero winning the LP and still missing out on a medal at Euros 2009 was an injustice.

    Still the only Finn (men included) to skate a 7 clean triple program at major championships (Euros 2003): Alisa Drei.

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    Marchai/Hotarek! Still heartbroken he didn't want to keep skating... but still hopeful for her return.

    Agreed on Kostner, the Duchesnays, Rahkamo/Kokko, Jeannette... all skaters that delight me when I watch old videos. And Lindemann! KvdP!

    In general, Italy and France for Olympic team medals in Beijing

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    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    I went through the list of European Figure Skating Championship participants from 1980-2000 who haven't been mentioned yet:


    Rahkamo and Kokko

    Poor Drobiazko and Vanagas, the Rodney Dangerfield couple of their day. They never got the respect they deserved

    Denise Biellmann

    Petr Barna

    Surya Bonally

    Krisztina Czakó [for her Addams Family program, which is still one of my all time fave raves]

    Mandy Wötzel/Ingo Steuer

    Anna Rechnio

    Laetitia Hubert [though whether she is truly French or simply out of this world is still up for debate!]


    I know most people would include Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio. but frankly I was never a fan. Same for Sophie Moniot and Pascal Lavanchy. And Mr Ham and Cheese himself - Phillipe Candeloro.
    I think I mentioned Rahkomo and Kokko (except I did use first names) in my first post, and Surya too. But some nice additions..Denise Bielman of course. And mentioning her reminded me of Spin Queen Lucinda Ruh, also from Switzerland. Thinking of spins of course brought up Stephane from that same country!

    I don't remember Petr Barma that well, so I'll go and find some programmes to watch. Laetitia I do remember, but still nice to look up some programmes. The funny thing is that I was looking at some of Mandy and Ingo's programmes just last week and I still forgot to mention them in my own post. Thank you WeakAnkles for these additions!

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    GS Supporter ladyjane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seven Sisters View Post
    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Stéphane Lambiel (SUI) or Michal Brezina (CZE)
    Agreed. Good to mention them. Thanks! Thomas Verner as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by medoroa View Post
    Marchai/Hotarek! Still heartbroken he didn't want to keep skating... but still hopeful for her return.

    Agreed on Kostner, the Duchesnays, Rahkamo/Kokko, Jeannette... all skaters that delight me when I watch old videos. And Lindemann! KvdP!

    In general, Italy and France for Olympic team medals in Beijing
    Yay! It certainly would be great to see some other countries on that team podium. Italy was pretty close at both events.

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    Sarah Meier and her beautiful layback spin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyjane View Post
    I think I mentioned Rahkomo and Kokko (except I did use first names) in my first post, and Surya too. But some nice additions..Denise Bielman of course. And mentioning her reminded me of Spin Queen Lucinda Ruh, also from Switzerland. Thinking of spins of course brought up Stephane from that same country!

    I don't remember Petr Barma that well, so I'll go and find some programmes to watch. Laetitia I do remember, but still nice to look up some programmes. The funny thing is that I was looking at some of Mandy and Ingo's programmes just last week and I still forgot to mention them in my own post. Thank you WeakAnkles for these additions!
    I had a big Doh! moment when you mentioned Lucinda Ruh -- how could I forget her???

    I was trying not to duplicate names, but of course I did! More coffee!

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    Bona Fide Member iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Javi, The Kerrs, Sarah Meier, Lucinda Ruh, Matteo Rizzo, Capelinni & LaNotte, Michal Brezina, Alexey Bychenko (Israel is included in the European Championships), Carolina Kostner, Valentina Marchei, Silvia Fontana, Stephane Lambiel, Delobel & Schoenfelder, Ilia Kulik, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Denise Bielmann, James & Cipres, Aliona & Robin, Aliona & Bruno ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvtodd View Post
    Javi, The Kerrs, Sarah Meier, Lucinda Ruh, Matteo Rizzo, Capelinni & LaNotte, Michal Brezina, Alexey Bycehnko (Israel is included in the European Championships), Carolina Kostner, Valentina Marchei, Silvia Fontana, Stephane Lambiel, Delobel & Schoenfelder, Ilia Kulik, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Denise Bielmann ...
    Oh, yes, the Kerrs...

    (I wonder which of the fellas will be the next to be brave enough to skate in a kilt?)

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