Five Skaters' Profiles
The Great Sonja Henie
Sonja Henie, a giant in the early figure skating
Henie was not only a figure skating queen but also one of greatest stars in her time.
No one has ever dominated the sport like her - except that figure skating in Sonja Henie's time was too premature as a sport to be called "figure skating" as we know it.
Even in today's standard, Henie's move on ice and her skills were remarkable, far ahead of her time. As her three time Olympic gold record testifies, Sonja Henie left an indelible impact to advance the sport. Sonja Henie was the one and only name in the early figure skating.
Henie's name has often been synonymous to timeless greatness of ladies figure skating.
Peggy Fleming: Queen of Classic Figure Skating
Since Sonja Henie, many champions had come and gone, and they left behind timeless legacies through technical innovation and style.
And among them a skater stood out, demostrating the ideal balanced between compulsories and free skating.
It was Peggy Fleming.
Fleming was the first global sensation since Sonja Henie, and the final version of the compulsory era. With rock solid mastery of compulsories and competent free skating, and stylistic elegance and personal charm that laid out an enduring image of ice queen, Fleming was a fulfillment of the classic figure skating.
It was through Peggy Fleming that people began to envision the image of ice queen. Few then thought the establishment of figure skating would ever be challenged. And fewer thought a little pixie blond girl from Illinois would challenge the meaning of the sport.
Peggy Fleming's Demonstration: since the orginal link is broken, I add an interesting clip from Sesame Street
Janet Lynn, the founder of modern figure skating
In the history of ladies figure skating, there was no one greater than Janet Lynn.
Lynn was a founder of modern figure skating and a visionary skater who not only knew the ideal of the sport but also internalized and manifested it in her skating.
The rare 1972 Olympic footage shows how Janet Lynn performed her compulsories. She looked just a little frightened child in that footage, as if she would do anything to get out of the warehouse.
But that little dame redefined the sport, considered by many as the greatest of all.
People marveled at Lynn. In Lynn's every move there were the joy of skating and purity of aesthetics.
Lynn was everything ladies figure skating ought to be. To simply put it, people wanted a sport in which Janet Lynn wins.
Janet Lynn, the skater who defined the sport.
Janet Lynn's story
Dorothy Hamill: The American Sweetheart
Janet Lynn gave the world of figure skating the ideal but she didn't fulfill the ideal in a form of winning.
It was Dorothy Hamill that fulfilled that ideal. As a direct beneficiary from both Lynn and Fleming, Hamill showed the world the ideal package possible in a female figure skater.
Hamill, armed with speed, power, balance, accuracy, competitiveness, inventiveness and style, was the most articulated and ideal skater of all time. Not only was she competent in technicality and artistry but also competitively as strong.
Hamill's reign wasn't long but, her talent and skating assets were incomparable and timeless.
Dorothy Hamill's interview on the booing incident in 1974
Yuna Kim, a skater who defined quality
Last of all, not in the least, was Yuna Kim.
Kim, who recently retired, was the strongest champion of all time. Shown in Sochi Scandal, only fraudulent means can beat Kim when she was on.
Under the COP system, Kim was the only skater who seamlessly balanced both technical proficiency and artistic interpretation.
Kim's biggest contribution was a dimension of quality she added into the ladies figure skating with her pristine technical mastery.
Kim's all podium career was the very magnitude of Sonja Henie's. Yuna Kim was the greatest skater since Dorothy Hamill.