Barely a teenager when she appeared on the senior scene, Irina Slutskaya competed on the international circuit for more than a decade.
The tiny powerhouse helped put Russian ladies' skating back on the global map, winning seven European and two World titles and capturing Olympic silver and bronze.
Known for her big combination triple jumps, flexible spins and larger than life presentation, Slutskaya was rarely far from the podium.
The 2005 World Championships were held in Moscow and it proved to be quite an emotional homecoming. Stronger than ever after spending much of the previous season off the ice struggling with a serious heart problem, Slutskaya captured gold with a display of fire and passion.
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Often derailed by nerves or injury, Alissa Czisny has had a career filled with joyful highs and devastating lows. Known as one of the best spinners in the business, her presentation has sometimes been compared to that of the legendary artist, Janet Lynn.
When the United States Championships were being held in her home state of Ohio, Czisny put it all together and performed the short program of her life.
Skating to "The Swan" by Saint Saens, Czisny was breathtaking. Combined with the free skate two nights later, her ethereal routine helped her secure the 2009 national title.