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The Greatest Retired Figure Skaters of All Time

Updated April 16, 2019 3.3k votes 716 voters 8.7k views41 items

List RulesGreatest figure skaters in the history of the sport -- retired.

The best retired figure skaters in the history of the sport have left their mark on figure skating forever, even if they've been on the sidelines for quite some time now. Both male and female skaters of all nationalities can be found on this list, from German skating legend, Katarina Witt, to American skating powerhouse, Scott Hamilton. 

Although many great figure skaters come from Russia and America, figure skating is extremely popular around the globe, with phenomenal skaters coming from a variety of countries. What figure skating fan, for example, isn’t familiar with Oksana Baiul, who skated for the Ukraine? Baiul was, in fact, the first skater ever to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating for the Ukraine, and as of 2014, she’s still the only one to have done so.

Of course, men from all over the world have left a legacy in figure skating, too. The American skater Dick Button is surely known by figure skating fans everywhere; he not only won two Olympic gold medals but also invented a new skating move: the flying camel spin. Because of his amazing medal-winning record, his skill, and his inventiveness, he is definitely remembered as one of the greatest figure skaters of all time.

This list contains all of the greats from figure skating history. Although these skaters have retired, they’re remembered as the best figure skaters to have competed on the ice. Most hold Olympic medals and multiple championships in their home countries, and some have moved into coaching, furthering the greatness of the sport. No matter their record or post-skating career, these skaters are remembered as the greatest figure skaters of all time.  

Vote for the best retired figure skaters ever below. If you don't see your favorite, feel free to add them! 

  • Sonja Henie
    Video: YouTube
    Sonja Henie, in addition to holding ten titles at the World Figure Skating Championships, was a highly respected actress.
    Agree or disagree?

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  • Katarina Witt
    Video: YouTube
    Katarina Witt is an Olympic gold medalist twice over — she took the top spot at both the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Winter Games.
    Agree or disagree?
  • Surya Bonaly
    Video: YouTube
    Surya Bonaly’s career highlights include winning the gold at the French Figure Skating Championships nine times.
    Agree or disagree?
  • Alexei Yagudin
    Video: YouTube
    Alexei Yagudin is not only a four-time gold medalist at the World Figure Skating Championships but also a three-time gold medalist at the European Figure Skating Championships.
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    #5 of 51 The Greatest Male Figure Skaters of All Time#2 of 32 The Greatest Russian Male Figure Skaters of All Time#4 of 37 The Greatest Russian Figure Skaters of All Time