winter olympics

Lysacek upsets Plushenko for figure skating gold; Takahashi takes bronze

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Hey, three of the ten medals promised by the Japan Olympic Team head. Better hurry up!

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Well done and congrats Takahashi. Went for the gold with the quad, ended up with the bronze. At least he went all out and didn't skate conservatively.

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Eagerly await "What Would Evan Lysacek Do?"

Congrats to Takahashi. I'm sure he'll be happy with Bronze!

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It is strange how Plushenko did a quadruple-tripple combination and lost to Lysacek who did not try even a single quadruple. It was not fair at all/

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Takahashi has got to proud to be the first Japanese male to win a figure skating medal at the Olympics. Great job!!

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Too bad about Oda. I guess his laces broke. Regarding Plushenko, he is a great jumper, doing the quad-triple combination, but the competition is figure skating. Gotta be artistic too. Congratulations to all three of them. Looking forward to the ladies' competition.

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Great achievement for Takahashi, he was really great and at least tried to jump a quadruple which Lysacek did not even attempt. The golden medalist skated at the level of figure skating of 20 years ago, though without mistakes. I am sad how risk and strong combinations like quadruple-triples are not rewarded. So sad.

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PS. Lysacek is handsome and normal size, I wonder if it is hard for tall men to skate...

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LoveUSA, I hate subjective judging, but you're saying they should get extra points for attempting jumps and failing. That's the risk they take. If they nail it it's a no brainer and they win. Fail and they lose.

In basketball a dunk looks better, but it's still only 2 points and equal to the boring lay up.

Takahashi should be commended for going for the gold by doing the quadruple, but shouldn't have won. He didn't hit it.

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"Great achievement for Takahashi, he was really great and at least tried to jump a quadruple which Lysacek did not even attempt."

This is exactly how Arakawa won the Gold- she skated conservatively with no flaws or mistakes. Lysacek nailed what few jumps he attempted, it's as simple as that.

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Lysacek nailed what few jumps he attempted, it's as simple as that.

But Johnny Weir nailed also all his jumps (no quadruple), he was as good or even better than Lysacek, why he did not take a medal then?

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I am sad how risk and strong combinations like quadruple-triples are not rewarded. So sad.

They are rewarded if you do them without falling flat on your a**. he is lucky to get a medal at all, even if it is a 3rd place bronze

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They are rewarded if you do them without falling flat on your a**. he is lucky to get a medal at all, even if it is a 3rd place bronze

Well, Takahashi did not attempt a combination if you had watched the competition, you would know.

I was talking that Plushenko did the quad combination but lost to Lysacek who is the first gold medalist since the end of 80s who did not perform a quadruple.

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"But Johnny Weir nailed also all his jumps (no quadruple), he was as good or even better than Lysacek, why he did not take a medal then?"

Good question ! I had him taking the bronze over Takahashi ! Early feedback from "the experts" is that Weir's program was too conservative, some labeled downright "simplistic". America can't complain though- they took the Gold and landed all 3 competitors in the top 10- Slight disappointment for Jeremy Abbot though. The US champion was no where near his level back in January, lets hope he learns from this and kicks butt in Russia 4 years from now.

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The Japanese did very well in this event overall -- three in the top ten. I was a little worried when Takahashi got second place (the commentators sounded like they already decided on gold!) with the two remaining competitors, but knew he would get a bronze when the second to last guy (name I can't remember at the moment and don't want to scroll up) messed up.

I didn't see Lysacek's performance, though I did catch Pluschenko's, so I can't say whether it seemed fair or not. Either way, a major upset for the Russians, and victory for this young man and the US. Great job!

Was happy for a brief moment when Chan got first place, but knew it wouldn't last. For a kid who's only 19, though, he'll have a few more chances to improve his game -- he did foul up twice after all.

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Branded, ok, thanks for the explanation. The results are very doubtful for me but this sport is judged subjectively and there is always an element of unfairness. I am sure the americans will think they deserve the gold. Some people will differ about it. If Lysacek did something more interesting and original than Plushenko, I would have never complained.

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"If Lysacek did something more interesting and original than Plushenko, I would have never complained."

Actually I think if you understood the scoring system more- you wouldn't complain. A quad is worth a max of 9.8. The triple, in the bonus segment of Lysacek's program was worth a max of 9.5. Not much difference really. A solid triple in the bonus can actually be worth more than a poorly executed quad.

Personaly I think that if Plushenko was really serious about taking his sport to the next level, he'd stop running his mouth about what the competition is doing and do something about that mud flap he was sporting- A mullet in this day and age- even in Canada is hardly cutting edge stuff !

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(the commentators sounded like they already decided on gold!)

It was funny too since the commentators already conceded the gold to Lysacek even though Plushenko still had to skate. Takahashi looked a bit worried because he knew that the bronze medal wasn't guaranteed until Johnny Weir skated. In any case, I liked Kozuka's reaction. He wasn't too upset at all (I guess it's because he is only 19 and will probably be in the Olympics again). He just said that he was happy that he landed his quad and gave it his best shot in his first Olympics. He is certainly enjoying the moment. Congrats to everyone! Skating conservatively (as in not doing a quad for men, and triple axel for women) helps, but hats off to all who had the balls to do so.

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I wonder why all the specialists in figure skating say that the wrong man won.

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PS I wonder how Lysacek program is different from a woman's skating program without a quadruple. Mao Asada will outjump Lysacek with her two triple axels, one in combination. Lysacek's program does not belong in the mens' competition (I do not say that he is gay, just that he does not skate like a man).

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"Takahashi looked a bit worried because he knew that the bronze medal wasn't guaranteed until Johnny Weir skated."

And he should have been worried ! Weir was robbed ! Who knows why- maybe it was because he refused to leave the Olympic village due to threats against him. Whatever the case, the fans in the stands gave him the only standing ovation of the night after a virtually flawless performance. One slip on a spin was all he failed to negotiate. Takahashi crashed out of his quad and had 3 more minor slips in his program. When Weirs scores were posted the booing from the crowd was most obvious. Too bad- Wait for the fallout over the next week from this decision.

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"the kiss-and-cry area"

Tee hee!

LoveUSA - "I wonder why all the specialists in figure skating say that the wrong man won"

Are you referring to the specialists who know what they be talking about or the specialists who don't know what they be talking about?

By the way, Evan Lysacek was the #4 choice of women who were asked who the sexiest non-Japanese Vancouver athletes are.

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By the way, Evan Lysacek was the #4 choice of women who were asked who the sexiest non-Japanese Vancouver athletes are.

Who is number two and three?

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Okay, have now watched the replays of the top six except the Swiss and Weir and I think Pluschenko was robbed. I think if he had made a bunch of mistakes Lysacek would have deserved it, but he didn't, and Lysacek did nothing special to deserve the medal, in my opinion. Perhaps the bronze -- as I think Takahashi did better -- but there you have it; figure skating has always been flawed when it comes to judging.

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figure skating has always been flawed when it comes to judging.

The subjective element - someone else mentioned it already. The judges are, well, the judges. They decide, not the audience. This time the gold was to be returned to the USA - must have been the consensus.

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I read Elvis Stojko's comments and he was livid with the judging on Plushenko and Takahashi.

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Okay, have now watched the replays of the top six except the Swiss and Weir and I think Pluschenko was robbed.

I agree. Pluschenko should have been first, with either Lysacek or Takahashi second and third. Johnny Weir and Stephane Lambiel skated great performances too, but that's why they skate a short and free routine. It would've had to take a major collapse by the top three for anyone else to even sniff a medal, since they were so way off in the short routine scores. But that's the sport of skating.

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presto: you're right -- the skating events are always subjunctive, and we can't forget that in times past, particularly with Russian and American judges (foot tapping caught on tape, etc), they are often full of corruption.

I don't think that was the case here, but I think the world knows, minus perhaps Americans, that the Russian deserved the gold. I think Takahashi deserved silver, and Lysacek Bronze. Of course, I'm not a judge so it doesn't matter, but wins like these make figure skating the kind of unreliable sport it has been, and clearly will continue to be, in terms of who's really 'the best'. Lysacek didn't try nearly the jumps that the others did -- and they SUCCEEDED in doing, for the most part.

I'm not saying Lysacek isn't a good skater -- but he didn't deserve the gold.

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Don't get too carried away, the US news has lead stories clearly indicating the gold medal win was controversial...

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Presto: Oops! That's SUBJECTIVE, not 'subjunctive'... to many 'what ifs'... haha.

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I think most Americans would agree that the gold could have went to Lysacek or Plushenko and lived with that result. Of course if they were Lysacek fans they would have been bummed, but only a few would say he was robbed. But for some to get on here and say Takahashi , who didn't just miss his jump, but completely fell on his keister and had a bobble later in the program, should be scored ahead of Lysacek??? You just lose credibility and are scoring with your heart and not the real numbers. He did great but he was lucky to hold onto the bronze with that complete fall.

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Don't get too carried away, the US news has lead stories clearly indicating the gold medal win was controversial...

I also read that news. I do agree with Elvis Stojko, when he asks "How can you win the gold when you don't even attempt a quad?"

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/figure_skating/news?slug=es-thoughts021810&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

I guess it goes to show you that you shouldn't even attempt anything difficult.

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Do you ask how you can win the WBC without power hitting? Did Arakawa do it with jumping prowess? Consider the source....when you consider Stojko. Plushenko or Lysacek a subjective call? Yes. But so were 3 through 6.

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I was surprised and impressed when I saw how carefully these guys are judged. There are around 30 scoring categories.Takahashi actually finished about 10 points behind Plushenko and only half a point ahead of the Swiss guy (overall).

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Don't think Pluschenko was "robbed." there were a few noticeable mistakes and still Pluschenko scored that high. Imagine if he tried a little harder, he could have easily won it. anyways "robbed" is the wrong word to use.

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Congrats to Takahashi! His skating is always so strong and expressive; very fun to watch. And considering he just recovered from a knee injury, winning the bronze must be that much more satisfying for him. You should be proud, Daisuke!

Lysacek deserved the gold, I think, even though he didn't try a quad; his jumps and all of his movements are so clean and sharp; very beautiful. I just think--Wow! He is really good at what he does.

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"Of course, I'm not a judge"

But you pretend to be one. Not only in figure skating. And even from work!!

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roomtemperature: "But you pretend to be one. Not only in figure skating. And even from work!!"

Hahaha... yeah... I go home and have a mini-Olympics judges desk where I decide I'm allowed to have an opinion on the athletes!

I know you're carrying around a lot of baggage from other threads, but grow up, dude. People are allowed to criticize and to give their opinions on things. Every single human being is judgmental on certain issues, if even that strong, but if you think that makes them Olympic judges you're simply a bigger fool that you normally appear to be.

But hey... go ahead and point out where I actually said I think I'm an Olympic judge and denied something was simply my opinion.

The funniest part of your post is that, of course, as with every single other you've ever posted save perhaps two or three, it has nothing to do with the thread.

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After watching all of the skaters again (since they showed it on TV again), Lysacek's performance was perfect ... Neither inspiring, nor difficult, but flawless. That is why he won. Plushenko obviously had the more difficult moves and performed a near-flawless routine. He had a few shaky landings, but he had no deductions for falls, and his jumps were powerful. Daisuke Takahashi had that one fall on the quad, but of course he had great artistic expression and that world-class step routine throughout his routine. I really thought Johnny Weir had a great routine too (flawless), but on further review of the judging sheet (on the official Vancouver Olympics website), he was marked off on jumping off and landing from the wrong side of his foot. I didn't realize that that kind of thing is important, but now I know. I think it's the same kind of error that Mao Asada gets downgraded sometimes on her triple jumps. But, I guess having home-ice advantage gave the nod to Patrick Chan placing ahead of Johnny Weir. Oh well ...

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I liked Lysacek's performance better. It was pleasing to watch. I think he was the best hands down.

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Plushenko's performance was not perfect, inspiring or artistic and that is why he lost. USA, USA, USA!

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I like Elvis Stojko`s point: "In what other sports do you have to hold back in order to win?" Great comment. Sooner or later figure skating can be out of the Olympics. At all started in 2002, dirts for money.

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I like Elvis Stojko's comment that he will stop watching figure skating and will watch hockey - a real sport.

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Lysacek's performance was boring. Not enough speed - I thought I was watching it in slow motion for a sec. He won the gold but doesn't mean he is the best. I wanted to see Johnny preform at the exhibition....zannen. Maybe we'll get to see the SEX BOMB!

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That was no upset,that was robbery.But it was done as appreciation for Canadians calling themselves "North Americans."

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Here are my thoughts. Takahashi should be very satisfied with what he's achieved. That's what happens when you work hard and don't trivialize or belittle the Olympics - you have a very good chance of getting onto the podium. I hope the idiot Kokubo was watching.

I thought Plushenko had been acting as if he was a shoo-in for the gold medal. Sure, he's one of the best skaters (ever), but I thought there was a bit of cockiness there. Kim Yuna is the over-whelming favourite in the women's, but I don't think she would just assume that the gold was hers before the competition. Lysacek skated cleanly, but, although he can't help it, I don't feel he's that good to look at because he looks extremely tall and slim.

It was a shame what happened to Oda. I'm glad the crowd cheered him on. Whenever I look at him, I see a small 13-year old, especially when he starts crying.

It was a bit disappointing for Chan and damn right disappointing for Joubert (I heard he got a right telling-off after his SP). When Chan is good, he's really good, as in his last season. But with injury, and lack of competitions, I just didn't see him having a big chance of getting a medal. But he did his best in the free.

Next Olympics, I think we'll see Chan and his peers like Oda and Kozuka. Look forward to that.

Final remarks. The top skaters were falling left, right and centre. I enjoyed watching the gold and silver medal winners in the pairs more than the men's. Now those two performances were top notch (and breath-taking). Can't wait for the ladies. Forget the ice dance - especially when you see Japan's costume.

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smithinjapan laments;

"the Russian deserved the gold. I think Takahashi deserved silver, and Lysacek Bronze. Of course, I'm not a judge so it doesn't matter, but wins like these make figure skating the kind of unreliable sport it has been, and clearly will continue to be, in terms of who's really 'the best'. Lysacek didn't try nearly the jumps that the others did -- and they SUCCEEDED in doing, for the most part."

Plushenko's performance was chock full of little mistakes here and there- and by the end of the program he looked slow and tired. He loaded up the front end of his performance with jumps and then tried to coast through the end- fine, if your jumps are perfect, his were not.

Lysacek borrowed a trick from the 2006 womens gold medal winner Shizuka Arakawa. By winning the mens' "figure skating competition in part by being able to finish without falling" or making any major mistakes. The judges at the Olympics have actually become very reliable and consistent in this matter. I still thought Weirs program was head and shoulders above Takahashi's error filled, and somewhat childish program. weir got a standing ovation- rightly so ! the judges got booed for the low marks- rightly so ! next time give the audience 25% of the vote- they know what they saw !

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When Plushenko’s scores were announced, Lysacek, the current world champion, jumped in elation backstage. Plushenko simply smiled and walked out of the kiss-and-cry area.

There's always controversy surrounding the scoring of top figure skating events. People need to get over it. It will never change.

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"There's always controversy surrounding the scoring of top figure skating events"

Controversey ? Try illegal fixing like we saw with the French judge at (?)Salt Lake. Personaly I'd like a better exlanation into Weir's low scores except for- "he jumped off the wrong foot."

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Finally got to see the skating. Mixed feelings: pleased for the wife as Takahashi scores Japan's first men's skating medal. I thought Plushenko was better and I prefer his style of skating....As an american I don't like it when my the US wins but not clean...anyway Lysacek' performance was certainly medal worthy: gold or silver... Plushenko will skate in the next olympics - I am almost sure of it...

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Personaly I'd like a better exlanation into Weir's low scores

Branded: Here is the explanation:

Yes, he did a deduction-free routine. However, his routine was not difficult at all. Many of his components had low base values to begin with. His step routine was particularly faulty in this area. For example, his step routine was below the level of a skater like Takahashi, who does a straight line sequence with a little more speed and balance. Also, Johnny had a planned quad toeloop, but ended up doing only a triple flip. Yes, he didn't fall, but not doing the element that you were supposed to do also downgrades your score. And if you want to blame someone, you should also blame his coach (or whomever choreographed his routine). The choreography was also not graded as high as some other skaters. You have to remember that it isn't only about nailing your jumps, but also how the movements match the music.

I agree that for the casual spectator, "landing on the wrong side of the foot" is a bad way to be judged. However, if it isn't fair to someone like Johnny Weir, then you also have to agree that it isn't a fair reason for being deducted on a routine for anyone else, like Mao Asada (who often gets deducted points for a minor thing like this even though she almost always performs a flawless routine). I propose we get rid of this infraction, but the experts are judging this and not us.

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Figure Skating judging is always questionable. It is much better than it used to be. But to understand it perhaps a comparison with Poker might work. Plushenko pulled out the "a hand of aces" but lost to the simple yet very difficult "straight flush".

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I see that the delusional Plushenko has give himself a plantinum medal, ha ha!

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