Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Favorite Figure Skating Memories #2: Michelle Kwan's Lyra Angelica at 1998 US Nationals

I have loved Michelle Kwan ever since I started following the sport of figures skating in 1994. This program to Lyra Angelica by William Alwyn, her free skate at the 1998 US Nationals in Philadelphia has long been regarded as the most exquisite performance of her illustrious career. What I have always admired about Michelle Kwan is her consistency and her performance quality. It is interesting to look back on a program that excelled in Figure Skating's now long gone 6.0 system. Here we see Michelle receive eight 6.0's for presentation out of a possible nine scores. Now, with the new code of points system, skaters are able to rack up points for every element in their program in hopes that the programs will be more unique, more technically daring, and more complete. But in my opinion, the downside to the new system is that falls and mistakes do not hurt a skater's scores nearly as much as they could in the 6.0 systems. So now it is a rarity to see a near perfect performance in this day and age that Michelle Kwan was known for delivering in her prime. With a record 9 US Titles, 5 World titles, and 2 Olympic medals, Michelle Kwan is arguably the most renown figure skater that has every taken the ice and the world is still waiting for the next dynamic female skater who can combine technique, artistry, and consistency to take her place. 

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