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Lysacek won the Olympic gold; Plushenko won the argument

34 Comments
By John Leicester

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Can't remember who, but somebody said recently that the Winter Olympics is just "eighteen different ways to slide." Dead right.

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Winter sports like skating, skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey and so on need skill, balance, power and finesse. Besides ice hockey, most winter sports are individual sports, and most people don't have a chance to try them due to geographical and/or financial constraints. Soccer and rugby have their place, but not in the Olympics, not even the summer games. Their place is behind the local high school, so all the other kids have a chance to play. But not in winter. Now they're all watching the Olympics and wishing they could skate or ski.

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Plushenko is a sore loser plain and simple. His actions and manner before and during the awards ceremony on the podium were childish and extremely arrogant- not the stuff of an Olympian- cept for Kokubo maybe.

The quad is not the saving grace for the mens tournement. To date it's been a 50-50 wild attempt at acrobatics. If this was the direction Plushenko wants figure skating to go- then bring on the gymnasts ! Lets see more of those front somersaults on skates again. Funny Plushenko wasn't trying that move when it appeared 10 years ago now was he ! Like I wrote before- instead of running your mouth at the competition- work on that hair doo ! Sporting a "mullet" a "mud flap" in 2010 is fashion faux pax extrordonaire !

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Plushenko just didn't skate well - he barely held on to certain jumps and overall did not give a gold medal performance. Lysacek didn't land the quad but it was a completely clean program with many more techinical elements and transitions than Plushenko's. A four and a half minute program shouldn't be decided by one jump.

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Figure skating is exactly what it sounds like: skating figures. If it were all about jumps, it would be called jump skating, or technical skating. In my opinion, the quad is RUINING men's figure skating. Branded (above) puts the completion potential at 50-50, but I think it's even lower than that. Figure skating is about more than landing difficult jumps. It's about the rhythm and fluidity of the entire performance. If it were just about jumps and spins then they wouldn't bother with choreography, music and elaborate costumes. It would be like Lysacek says: the athletes would get a limited amount of time to display their most difficult skills, rather like the vault in gymnastics.

Plushenko is a sore loser blowing smoke. He acts like he got no credit for landing the quad when the exact opposite is true: he received 14.6 points for that combination. Compare that to Takahashi who fell on his quad and only received one point. Plushenko acts like being able to land a quad should guarantee him the gold medal, despite the fact that the rest of his program was sloppy and lacked the grace and artistry that has always defined figure skating. It's like a college student complaining to their professor that, "I should have gotten an A on this paper because I TRIED really HARD!" while ignoring the fact that the paper is a mess of grammatical mistakes, poor spelling, and incorrect formatting. The bones of the piece might be solid, but an academic paper is as much about the quality of the presentation as it is about the facts presented. The same thing goes for skating.

Takahashi was unable to successfully land his own quad, but he STILL GOT THE BRONZE MEDAL. Why? Because the rest of his program was technically and ARTISTICALLY sound. The fact that he received 13.6 points FEWER than Plushenko for that particular element yet still managed to stand on a podium is clear indication that Takahashi -- not Plushenko -- will be the force to be reckoned with come 2014. If he is able to successfully land a quad AND keep up the level of artistic technique that helped him secure this bronze, I don't think there'll be anyone who can stop him.

Except maybe that adorable kid from Kazakhstan. ;)

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If skaters are rewarded a lot for attempting a quad, then ALL skaters would attempt it. A quad is great but I just don't think it should determine who wins and who loses. Why bother doing anything else after landing the quad then?

mnemosyne23:

Except maybe that adorable kid from Kazakhstan. ;)

You sound exactly like LoveUSA!

work on that hair doo ! Sporting a "mullet" a "mud flap" in 2010 is fashion faux pax extrordonaire !

Mullet, not nice. The nose didn't do it for me, either.

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You aren't saying that looks are important in figure skating, surely? It's a sport, right? How about the downhill skiers or bobsledders, do any of them have facial features/hairstyles you don't approve of?

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I think it turned out like it should have. Getting any metal is a major accomplishment and Plushenko is just being a sore loser. I agree that figure skating is about the complete performance and not just about throwing the dog a bone to see it do new tricks. That is part why I enjoy skating and likely would loose interest as what would be the point otherwise. I personally miss the days of Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Christi Yamaguchi, Elvis Stojko and others which was even more about the performance then it even is today. Johnny Weir and others have addressed concerns that skating is becoming less of a art form and more of a display of mathematical equations which is hurting the sport. I tend to agree with that observation. Plushanko has no grounds as if anything the scoring system as it stands currently is more in his favor. While as Takahashi may have only gotten bronze he was a class act unlike Plushenko. That was the face of a true champion as I congratulate Japan for their first metal ever in the sport.

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ReikiZen - don't forget the chicks! This is Japan's first MEN's figure skating medal - but Ito and others have won before.

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You sound exactly like LoveUSA!

lol - this is a good thing because peace and harmony will prevail.

I think that Plushenko is right that he wants more difficulty in the programs. for example Mao Asada is the only one pushing the limits of women's figure skating with her triple axels, one in combination. She is skating with the same difficult as men. Without her efforts there won't be any development. Everybody will perform the same things year after year. Yuna is perfect but it is Mao who challenges the most difficult things. I think if Mao completes her program withot mistakes, she should win over Yuna even though Yuna is the most graceful and elegant, just because Mao perfroms more difficult things.

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The biggest travesty since the Salt Lake Debacle.

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Plushenko did NOT win the argument. The fact that Plushenko landed the quad doesn't dismiss the rest of his stiff jumps. If the competition was solely about the level of difficulty, then how about everyone just attempt the most difficult jump they can think of without a program and call it the end of the day? Why are we even wasting our time watching the other elements? You take a gamble when you choose what elements go in your program. So you win some and you lose some. Boo hoo. Stop being a cry baby.

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Lysacek won the Olympic gold; Plushenko won the argument

rather have the gold

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I agree with Plushenko. We want quads... and lots of them!

And then we need to progress to quintuples for the next Olympics.

And looking forward to 2018 we need septuples

Oh, and Lysacek shouldn't be champion simply because of his oily hair... that looks horrible.

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Gold equals winner.

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I agree with the "figure" in figure skating but I also want to see the sport pushing its boundaries specially at the Olympic level. The ISU should revert to its old judging system and make the quad a required element.

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I agree with the "figure" in figure skating but I also want to see the sport pushing its boundaries specially at the Olympic level. The ISU should revert to its old judging system and make the quad a required element.

That's not pushing boundaries; that doing what was done before.

Say you make quads required. Then what? How are the boundaries pushed further? There are limits. Nobody is going to whip out a quint, so if quad is the standard then figure skating will surely become irrelevant as innovation will naturally reach its limits.

Or maybe it's not about the most gymnastic move? Maybe it is about artistry as well? I think people care much less about the raw numbers of 'how many rotations someone made' and more about the artistic + athletic mix.

Plushenko could have won gold had he skated more cleanly. That's what cost him, nothing else. He needs to accept that he didn't win.

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Very obviously there must be a balance between pushing physical limits while maintaining artistic value and--let's not forget--keeping your balance. There is nothing fun about watching some guy doing a b__tslide across the ice.

As for Plushenko and his terrible performance, he is just a bigmouth who came out looking like a big_$$. Maybe they are going to have to make rules about sporting conduct if this is the class of people who are going to be working the sport.

Some other disgraced skaters have made it big in amateur boxing. I wonder if the Russian has any prospects?

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I agree with this.. it is just dancing when you don't get rewarded to take risks to set yourself apart.

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Basically, all sports that depend on judges' opinions should be eliminated. Races, timed events only should be allowed.

OR, there should be internet judging like American Idol. We may not know the scoring system so much, but we know what is fun to watch:

Daisuke Plushenko Weir (for his eyelashes alone!) who cares
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Kozuka too who even if landed cleanly a quad and all his other jumps placed just 8th.

Weir was better than lysacek in my opinion.

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is it an argument if only one side is complaining ? i think not

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stirfry: why on earth would Lysacek complain?

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I would rather see a clean triple than a sloppy or missed quad any day. Doing a quad is a quite a big risk and it should be up to the skater if they want to take that risk. Or maybe they should separate skating into two competitions--figure skating and jumping.

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"Plushenko won the argument"

If he'd won the argument, he would've won the gold. Hey, at least he had fun jumping over the gold medal podium to reach the silver medal platform.

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Plushenko did not win anything beyond the silver which he got only because he is Plushenko and Russian. If he insists competitors should be awarded for their quads, and everyone should try it, we need a new event, the ice skating acrobatics next to or instead of the figure skating.

Plushenko is a sore loser plain and simple. His actions and manner before and during the awards ceremony on the podium were childish and extremely arrogant- not the stuff of an Olympian- cept for Kokubo maybe.

I agree with you here, Branded, and the rest of what you stated!

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stirfry: why on earth would Lysacek complain?

he wouldn't, which makes this a non-argument

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Way too much dorama in this sport = becomes not a sport, but the score is by a point systeme. Highest point total wins -everyone knew that.

Plushenko was off-axis on many of his jumps (points taken off). -Still would have gotten < 1st.

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Go for quads. But, if you don't execute them well, you will be deducted points and may not win, cry baby!

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I know bugger all about this daft so-called sport but I was surprised by the winner's performance....great dancing but nothing too challenging in terms of technical difficulty. You have to worry though that the judges are so influenced by the raucous crowd. Didn't see the Russian lad I have to add but did hear he was far more daring technically speaking.

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Perhaps the term "figure skating" needs to be replaced with the seemingly more apropo term "Jump skating".....

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Plushenko should be awarded at least a consolation prize, perhaps a new Toyota Prius...?

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Plushenko's free programme itself was flawed. He put all his jumps in the first 2 minutes (he needs all the speed he can for the jumps, so no place for the slower feet moves and spins) and all feet moves and spins in the last 2 minutes (when tiredness would add difficulty to his jumps). There's no balance and variety; makes for a more boring performance. 3-to-4th-minute jumps when tiredness sets in is more daring.

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This is not just a case of sour grapes or disappointment. Plushenko & Mishin started the quad campaign weeks before the Olympics started to sway the media and the judges in advance.

Truth be told, Evgeny Plushenko could have kept his gold crown if he had only done the math!

“Quad is quad,” said the Russian. Er… not exactly.

Plushenko had planned to open with a quad-triple-double combo. However, he did not land his quad cleanly. That threw off his triple jump which then forced him to skip the double jump. The double jump was worth 1.5 points. Lysacek won by 1.31 points.

The defending champ could have inserted that double jump anywhere else later on in his free skate in combination with another jump, but he didn’t. Instead, he blew kisses to the audience/judges and wasted time undulating his hips and related body parts.

Quad or no quad, Pleshenko let the gold medal slip through his fingers, and Evan Lysacek was right there with enough hard-earned points to intercept it cleanly!

Paul Wylie compared Plushenko to an (American) football team that depends on long passes into the end zone and Lysasek to a team that methodically plows its way down the field to score touchdowns. Within the rules of the game, both approaches are 100% valid. There is no debate about which strategy has more merit, and there's no law against mixing both modes of play in the same game.

PS. Regarding Shaun White, whom I love to watch, his first run in the half-pipe was considered to be conservative. He did the same tricks his competitors did, only MUCH better. Shaun didn't throw in his new double McTwist 1260 into his second run until he'd already nabbed the gold with his first run's score. Why? Because half-pipe snowboarding is a JUDGED SPORT!

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