Mishin once described Elvis' skating as Karate Chops choreography with quads. lol I think Elvis forgot that. Who on here is suprised that someone with karate chops artistry would think that hip grinding, posing and blowing kisses was good enough for Olympic Gold? I seem to recall that Goebel did more quads than both Yagudin and Plushenko in Salt Lake City, but no one thought he should have won. We all agree Plushenko is special and amazing. Even with his average spins, arm flailing footwork and front loaded program, he could have won with better executed jumps. Maybe he should have been "masculine" and been brave enough to put a jump in the last minute of his program? Man up!
Last edited by Toby1Dawg; 02-21-2010 at 01:50 PM.
But in the theatre, it is the actor, singer, or dancer who draws the audience in, and NOT the actor, singer, or dancer who goes after the audience.
However, we are talking Sports and that is different from theatre.
Good point! I wonder what Plushenko thinks about that.
Odd how two people can see the same thing, but in totally different ways.
For example, I've never ever gotten Yagudin, period. I thought he was & is overrated. I don't see artistry, nor dancing, nor stretched out legs, nor anything, though I do give him kudos for great jumps. As God is my witness, he reminded me of a crab with bent over poor posture & bowed legs, especially when he was doing his footwork. In contrast, I would have this ideal of Kurt Browning in my head ~ beautiful straight posture & legs dancing down the ice like Gene Kelley. But it was John Curry whom was the true male ballerina on ice.
None of the male Olympic Champions over the years have ever moved me except Curry & Plushenko. Period.
When I see Evgeni perform "Once Upon A Time In America" or "Carmen" or "The Godfather", I see everything that is great about this sport I love so much. True athleticism mixed with showmanship/art/whatever you want to call it. The complete package, and that's the honest to God's truth.
He has the perfect physique with beautiful posture & stretched out limbs, especially evident in his camel spin. None even come close. And when he is ON with the perfect vehicle to show off all his gifts, there's nothing like it! This is why I was so disappointed with his LP this year (not so much his SP, though it could be a tad better).
It's good & necessary to have an ego when competing, to believe you're the BEST, and he is! But that must be tempered with an understanding of COP & a willingness to conform to it, including a program that will draw the audience in, music that is familiar.
Like I've said since the beginning, this is a humbling & necessary experience for Evgeni to go through. I just don't want it to break his spirit.
You still are the BEST, #1, Numero Uno, et al. But your hubris must be tempered with what I said above.
Watching Universal Sports Figure Skating Review and Preview. Hosted by Terry Gannon, Kristi Yamaguchi and Pater Carruthers. Here are their collective comments on the 2 men and the circular footwork in particular.
Plushenko - level 3 on cicular footwork. 3.3 base value - got 4.1 points. Slow, skating on one foot in a still upright position. Stepping forward on toes picks practically standing still. Felt more like it was a rest period vs skating.
Evan - clean. Used the sytem. Can do a quad, but did not due to risk - nothing wrong with being a smart risk taker, after all, he would've been out of any medal if he had fallen. Entire body is moving -both body and feet (Plushenko might be moving his upper body, but his feet aren't usually doing anything interesting simultaneously), which is harder since it can throw body off blance. Quicker. 5.1 from the judges.
Every year, features are added. Plushenko front loaded his program and adding a jump or 2 in the back part of the routine might've given him the win. Plushenko's team failed to adjust to the changed system.
Anyway, with his gold plus 2 silver medals Plushenko is the best Russian male singles skater of all times, and that is a big achievement.
Last edited by Jaana; 02-21-2010 at 02:33 PM.
There are a few other 3 time Olympic medalists in figure skating as well. Like the most recent two, Xue Shen and Hongbo Zhao. How soon we forget. There's also Artur Dmitriev, The Brunets, Klimova/Ponomarenko and Beatrix Loughran.
Yes, I know about all 9 figure skaters that are part of that rare select group (click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...figure_skating)
That said, Evgeni & Gillis & Sonja are the only ones of that elite group that are singles skaters (Beatrix Loughran doesn't count as her 3 came from both singles & pairs).
They are The Immortals, period.
As I've said before, this boils down to the same old, never-ending argument that's been going on in skating for decades: athleticism vs artistry. Of course this is far too simplistic an argument to make, but it makes it easy for casual fans to be drawn in to watch and comment during the TV and internet age. Skating is by nature athletic, so it's disingenuous to imply that "artists" lack athleticism. By the same measure, skating has an inherent beauty due merely to its gliding movement that can be described as artistic even among the so-called "athletes". It comes down to degrees of each and striking the right balance. While Plushenko's style on the ice has never really been my cup of tea (I preferred Yagudin in the old days), his earlier programs had paid more attention to better construction when he had an acknowledged rival to measure himself against.
After SLC, I got the sense that he felt that he really was only competing against himself. It worked in Torino because his rivals collapsed and the IJS was still not yet clearly defined. But the last four years have been filled with pretty intense rivalries among the top skaters with no dominant skater until the last 12 months. The IJS has been clarified as well. So more guys were primed to be competitive, at least in some segments, this time around. I think Plushenko ignored his competitors and the adjustment to rules and standards to his own detriment. (To be fair to him, however, the competitions he did compete in prior to Vancouver mirrored Torino in that most of the competitors failed to meet to challenge of skating against him.)
Lysacek did the opposite. He set a long term goal and made his plans based on competing against the top guns. Small setbacks along the way were acceptable because he was looking at the big picture. He knew he was not the best athlete among the top guys. So he had to win by being a smarter competitor. That's what makes all sports fun, figuring out how to win when the odds are not in your favor. Otherwise it would be more like the Westminster Dog Show. In competition, the best or most talented athlete does not always win. Sometimes the smartest or hardest working one does, or the best strategist. The more paths to victory there are, the more legitimate the sport becomes. Michael Weiss echoed this point yesterday on UniSports when he used a football analogy. A team can score a touchdown lots of different ways. You can use a really long hail mary pass that catches the defense off guard or a multiple play drive that takes ten minutes. While the big pass is more spectacular and crowd pleasing for an instant, the long drive is no less legitimate and both score six points. I would add that the long drive also eats up more of the clock, giving the scoring team a strategic advantage. Dan Hollander and Tracy Wilson have also made equally adept analogies using other sports.
In skating, if we are really to buy into Plushenko and Mishin and Stojko's arguments, then we might as well declare someone like Beatrix Schuba (1972 Olympic champ) an illegitimate winner because she won on the strength of her unmatched compulsory figures. After all, she was not a spectacular free skater and we've all been instructed by these three that jumps are all that matter. So let's strip her of her title and give it to Karen Magnussen or Janet Lynn instead. For that matter, let's strip Peggy Fleming of her gold medal because she had some mistakes in her free skate which did not hurt her because her overall quality was considered superior to more dynamic jumpers and was miles ahead after the figures anyway. Then go after Dorothy Hamill for not attempting a triple jump in 1976 in a tight contest and winning with a clean skate against other women who tried triples, but made errors. What about the 1980 games where Denise Beilmann won the free skate and did a triple lutz (which even the men's OGM, Robin Cousins, did not attempt) but won no medal because her figures were poor? Same with Ito in 1988? Let's revise skating history and make them both OGM's just to satisfy some lurking desire to play armchair judge, jury and executioner to the rules and results of skating as we think they should be.
Or we could be adults and remember that skating's scoring system gets tweaked about every five or ten years in response to trends, errors, and advancements and you have to skate and win under the rules that exist on that day, not some purist, ideological ideal of what skating should be. The goal is neither to create an exhibit for the Louvre or to earn skating entry into the X-Games. It's to create the best vehicle for the skater to display his/her skills as required by the rules at hand and to win on those merits alone. The performance can be beautiful or revolutionary, certainly, but it is more important that it is complete as the rules require. In truth neither Lysacek nor Plushenko broke new ground in what they did . Evan's skate was well choreographed, but other champions have been as well. Evgeny landing a quad was not new either and any pretense to the contrary is dishonest. Both did what they do well. It came down to how well they did everything and how what they didl fits into the rules at the time. If they agree to compete under rules, they should agree to accept the result.
I think the only reason Evgeni came back was to make the statement that he could come back after 3years away, and still beat everyone else. I also think he was trying to prove that you can't win without the quad. He was cocky, he put down other skaters, and he didn't make his programs anything exciting to watch because he really didn't think he needed to. He thought he could step on the ice, do the bare minimum, and as long as he did the quad well, he would win. He failed and now he's cranky. Evan may not be the greatest skater out of the men's group, and he may not be the best olympic champion, but he was the best in this event and so he did deserve to win. We can't focus on past performances of the other skaters. They didn't show up when it counted, and Evan did. Let's not forget the upset by Sarah Hughes.
I am one who tends to like the skaters that go for the big jumps in the major competitions. After all, it is competition and sport. I have been a fan of skaters like Elvis Stojko, Jozef Sabovcik, Brian Boitano, Surya Bonaly, Midori Ito, and others who have pushed the jumping side of the sport ahead.
But I am also not naive, and I understand the history of skating and how it has been judged for the past 70 years. There has never been a time when artistry hasn't been important in skating (even when it was just figures alone). There was ALWAYS the all important "second mark". So it's a little strange when I read complaints as if this is the first time skating has been looked at as an artistic sport. The quality of the elements has ALWAYS been judged.
The results here are no different than they have been forever in skating. Someone doesn't like it, someone is happy with it, blah blah blah. What kills figure skating is article titles like these and bitter skaters making comments about the sport. Comments like Elvis' about going to watch hockey since it's a real sport. That's pretty ungreatful. Skating gave him a career, and still does. He went in knowing all the rules and the tendencies of the sport and then acts like this is the first time in history that it has been judged in a way that some people don't agree with - as if skating has ever been judged in a way that EVERYONE can get behind.
Skating has always been about what traditions are important at the time. At one point it was figures. Then it was jumps. Then more artistry. Then the whole package. There have also been style trends - athletic and straightforward, complex and busy, Russian style, north american style. It goes through cycles.
Yes skating is a sport and it continues to have quads - some years more than others like it has been since quads started appearing in competitions. It will always have them whether the COP is designed to reward them "properly" or not, because some people just like that side of skating.
If Plushenko does believe what he said about quads then he should have a problem with the 2002 results. Who knows what he really thinks but he wasn't protesting then......
And I hope he went a shook Tim's hand after the event.
What kills the sport are whiners who can't handle the outcomes of the events. Former skaters and commentators who put their unfounded negativity out on the airwaves for the people to read and take up as a banner when in fact most of the people that read these comments don't really know very much about skating.
I challenge these people to be more responsible about the things they say and how they say them. They are creating the negative press about the sport. If they disagree with the results, then of course they can say as much. But I believe they should say so with the overall attitude that what was done was in fact within the rules and therefore acceptable. A better luck next time attitude.
You have to remember that it is a lot easier to comeback at his age now a days. The training is better, the athletes know more about taking care of their bodies, the training facilities are better