Olympia, that's an interesting point of view. I think the exact opposite - if Kim won silver, she'd still make Korean history, bringing it its first Figure Skating Olympic medal. When one comes from a dynasty, OTOH, silver is irrelevant - in essence Asada "lost" Japan its silver. When Gedevanishvili made it into top 10 at Worlds, it was a big deal in Georgia, precisely because it's never happened before; for a skater from Russia, this wouldn't even be considered an achievement at all.
Generally I'd agree with you, Ptichka. But in this case, everything seemed to point the opposite way. Maybe it's the fact that Korea is on the rise as an economic power and felt as China does that a sport victory is a sign of the country's increasing prestige in the world. I also get the feeling that in Korea and in Japan, skating is followed with a near-religious intensity, the way Americans view football (American style football) or some other countries grind to a halt for the World Cup playoffs. Whatever the reason, I think this was a huge moment, and this girl was standing under a hanging rock the size of which we don't often see. Remember that by all evidence, YuNa is considered the best-known person in Korea--and a Korean is the current Secretary General of the U.N.!
I do agree that Mao was under tremendous pressure from Japan, because people there are just as devoted to skating as Koreans are. If there was ever a time I could have wished for a tie for gold, this was it! But huge as the stakes were for Mao, I think they were a bit bigger for YuNa. Or maybe that's where the tie was--both ladies were under equal pressure! I know my heart was in my mouth for both of them, and I was equally proud of the drive and coolness that both showed that night. Weren't we lucky to see it?
I think Olympia's post is eloquent and full of many nice thoughts. I agree with most of it.
The feelings she describes are her own though. The feelings of 60 million Koreans are also their own thoughts.
Yuna was very well trained, believed in herself when it came time to skate - and in her own words "did not feel so much pressure."
She did no interviews and was sequestered leading into the Olympics. Orser did everything possible to keep her in the right frame of mind.
Orser himself was impressively calm and his experience can never be overlooked.
Anyway - a contest about who felt the most pressure - when we will absolutley never know - is a definite sign that the off-season is here
I apologize if my posts on this upset any Yuna fans. I happen to be a Yuna fan myself and think she is a wonderful and historic Olympic champion.
And I think Sarah pulled off an upset in SLC that was also historic in it's own way. I don't believe a single word from any fan who tries to play it down by saying Sarah was not under pressure.
How silly to think Sarah grew up and DID NOT DREAM of becoming Olympic champion.
Like Yuna, Sarah had her monment and made the most of it.
I don't think anybody said Yuna can feel pressure but not Sarah, but that Sarah was able to skate "free" compared to her competitors (like Irina & Michelle) because she wasn't under some crushing pressure or expectation to win OGM, esp. given that she didn't finish top 3 after SP.
Many were skeptical that she would be at her best in SLC.
That season Sarah had already beaten Michelle and Irina. Her program easily help up or surpassed them on difficulty.
She was the world bronze medalist. She was among the favorites to medal in SLC.
To make it sound like she came out of nowhere to steal the Gold is not true.
She was a very competitive girl. As it turned out she was a little too competitive for Irina, Sahsa and Michelle.
There is always a teeny element of luck in any sporting event. Sarah "made her own luck" by skating her best at the Olympics. But even so, there were a number of things outside of Sarah's control that had to fall just right.
Sarah was somewhat held up in the short program. She received scores as low as 5.1 and 5.2 in technical merit, and could easily have been placed behind both Funie Suguri and Maria Butryskaya. If she had come out of the SP in 5th or 6th it would not have mattered how brilliant her free skate was.
Plus, in the SP many observers thought Slutskaya should have placed first with Michelle second. If that had happened, Slutskaya would have won the overall gold no matter what Sarah did in the LP.
Then in the LP, Michelle did not have to beat Sarah to win the gold. All she had to do was beat Slutskaya for second. Michelle fell and Slutskaya teetered and tottered but stayed on her feet, inserting herself between Sarah and Michelle in the LP and giving Sarah the victory, five judges to four. Slutskaya and Hughes were tied in factored placements overall, and Sarah won on the tie-breaker.
Well, that's sports. Good for her.
Most of the people I knew felt like Sasha would be the one that would sneak in there if the better skaters Michelle or Irina faltered so although Sarah beat Michelle...and Irina that one time not many people seem to pick Sarah.
It is sport...I'm glad this time the favorites (the overall best skaters) went 1-2. I didn't care which order.
Last edited by lavender; 05-12-2010 at 09:24 PM.
This "little" magazine featured Sarah on the cover of their Olympic preview:
and they predicted her as the one to beat in their feature skating article about the Ladies event:
And here is how it ended when the skating was over:
At the end of this clip it shows a four year old Sarah saying " I want to to go to the Olympics and win the Gold medal. Maybe that is why she had "no pressure" - because she already knew at age 4 she was going to be an Olympic Champion.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-12-2010 at 07:50 PM.
Nah, this article was Time magazine's little attempt at trying to find something mildly controversial to say about the Olympics. Time's editorial staff was based in New York and this article was pretty much just smiled upon in the skating world as playing up the "home-town girl nakes good" angle.
In sober fact, Irina Slutskaya was the Olympic favorite, Time magazine's patriotic flag-waving about an American sweep notwithstanding. Time didn't even assign a sports writer to do the piece. (Alice Park is Time's senior science reporterr. She writes about health and medical news.)
When Sarah won, Time came up smelling like roses.and got to lord it over all the other prognosticators.
I saw yesterday a fluff of her in a grand slam or something of 1999, then I liked her more cause she had not skated in Slc yet! I was bad and immature I know but her placement after Olys didnt help either! Great skate of the night yes, but one of the greatest in Olys? Hardly.. I have SLC too recent as I rewatched all events last month, and while i watched men with a smile, and even pairs, the ladies i watched like "please someone get me a time machine"! Her program looked better this time but if it wasnt for youtube ..previously I had no memory of her program at all, I only remembered the color of her dress and her reaction at k&c. And I dont even remember the sp. And that were enough considering she beated Michell and Irina in the same night and none has OG now, I have a tendancy to erase quickly the bad memories!..At least Michelle has a phd now