Who is the tallest figure skater in the world?

Evan Lysacek was the tallest men’s singles figure skater the sport had ever seen. Now retired, Lysacek (USA) has held the titles of Olympic Champion, World Champion, two-time Four Continents Champion, Grand Prix Final Champion and two-time United States National Champion. When Lysacek was still competing, he was one of the sport’s top athletes, the best male skater to come out of the United States since Dick Button.
Standing at 6 feet and 12 inches (1.88 meters), Lysacek towered over his competitors. If he was active today, this fact would not have changed. Could her height be the secret to her incredible track record?

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Lysacek against other top skaters

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At the beginning of the 2000’s, by Lysacek the biggest rivals were Russian Alexei Yagudin and ice king Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko was 5’10” (1.78m) while Yagudin was only 5’9″ (1.75m) and yet these two Russian skaters absolutely dominated the sport.

Of the currently active skaters, the strongest male opponents are Yuzuru Hanyu (JPN) and Nathan Chen(UNITED STATES). Hanyu’s height reaches 5’7″ (1.72 m) and Chen reaches 5′ 6″ (1.68 m). These two athletes brought about revolutions in the sport, pushing it further and further. Hanyu was the first man to break the 100-point barrier in the short program, the 200-point barrier in the free skate, as well as the 300-point combined score barrier. Chen is dubbed the quad king who most consistently lands all quadruple jumps in his vast arsenal. Shoma Uno (JPN), standing just 5’2″ (1.58m), would be Hanyu’s successor in Japan.

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Other top skaters have since retired, including Canadian Patrick Chan (5’7″), Spaniard Javier Fernández (5’8″) and Swiss Stéphane Lambiel (5′ 9″). Admittedly, size doesn’t seem to be a big factor in figure skating, unlike other sports like basketball.

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What matters in figure skating?

Figure skating is a sport that favors lightweight athletes over taller skaters. The amount of body control affects the speed of pirouettes and rotations in a jump. The higher an athlete can jump, the more rotations they can perform in the jump. This requires a strong lower body. However, with too much volume, skaters would be unable to launch into the air.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Preview of Nathan Chen’s preparation for the 2022 Stars on Ice tour with Jason Brown, Mariah Bell and other American figure skating stars

Figure skating is a sport of elegance, with clean lines, deep edges and beautiful pirouettes. Although smaller and lighter athletes fit the quota better, this is by no means a one-size-fits-all story. Different body types have different strengths. Skaters constantly surprise the industry and push the boundaries of the sport.

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