ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Figure Skating: Great Skaters' Evaluation

Updated on October 7, 2016

Great Skaters and Great Performances

Thanks to TV coverage introduced in 1970s, figure skating, once considered a tedious sport, especially in compulsory time, became a gemstone in winter sports.

Figure skating is particularly a cruel sport. Skaters endured years of training but more despair than hope awaits them. Injury is a parasite that feeds on them - their sweat, time and efforts.

You landed jumps successfully so many time in practice, perhaps tens of thousand times, but when it matters the most, you bombed. You were left with nothing but failure.

And sometimes you became a victim of wrong, or even fraudulent, judging.

The latest example is Yuna Kim in Sochi Olympics in 2014. Although Kim retired unceremoniously, her glow like other legendary predecessors' before her won't diminish soon.

Great Peggy Fleming


Peggy Fleming: Greatest in compulsory era

Peggy Fleming was a visionary skater who paved the way to the modern figure skating.

Fleming's dominance coincided with TV coverage of figure skating. In her time, figure skating was understood in terms of compulsories discipline.

Compulsories are no long relevant to today but the original concept of figure skating derives from compulsories, not free skating.

In compulsory time when competition was divided into two: compulsories and free skating, 60% and 40% respectively, Fleming was an ideal itself.

Her commanding in compulsories and awe inspiring free skating were an ultimate dream charged with aesthetic vision.

Often Fleming was called the first ballerina type female skater and some even prefers to call her the founder of modern figure skating.

Fleming's line and extension and technical accuracy were something today's skaters couldn't emulate.

What to Evaluate

What makes skaters special are :

  • Degree of bodily freedom
  • Technical proficiency
  • Flexibility
  • Edgework and skating skills
  • Degree of artistic expressiveness
  • Creativity
  • Competitiveness

How to Evaluate Skaters

There are several categories that you need to consider in evaluating a skater. The first and foremost factor is degree of bodily freedom on ice.

This is the most important factor that defines and measures a skater. When a skater moves on ice, he or she can't move the way he or she does off the ice.

There is a limit by ice physics to a certain type of moves or postures. For example, upper body on ice is strictly subject to a skater's direction, speed, center of weight in motion, etc.

While proficient skaters show higher degree of bodily freedom on ice, lessor skaters often appear stiff only able to perform a limited set of moves. Typically they lack of balance, flow, and continuity between moves.

This leads to extensions and lines. There are two types: those who are able to create lines and who cannot.

Speed is also one of telltales that hints degree of bodily freedom, because the faster a skater move, he or she faces higher risk of falling or losing balance.

In a nutshell, those legends showed an incredible degree of bodily freedom on ice compared to their peers.

Fleming in Spread Eagle
Fleming in Spread Eagle | Source

Peggy Fleming: the name to remember

What was astounding in Fleming skating is in her time, no skater was expected to skate that well in free skating because the competition was heavily weighed with compulsories.

It's like Yuna Kim devoted herself to ballerina lessons in order to make better extension and lines or mastering pointed toe or something while neglecting triple jumps.

Fleming was a master skater in both compulsories and free skating. There is no doubt Janet Lynn inherited much asset from Fleming.

Take a look at Fleming's double axel. That was fifty years ago. Especially in her double flip jump you will see how Yuna Kim's jump techniques are indebted to Fleming.

Peggy Fleming in 1968

Vote that counts

Besides Yuna Kim, who do you think is stylistically close to Peggy Fleming?

See results

Leave your comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)