The only way for the Quads to not become 100% mandatory, though, is for the PCS to be scored correctly. You have to win the competition on PCS if you can't win it technically. That's why overscoring is such a huge problem. If you give a Quad skater a 9 for Performance/Choreography/Interpretation when they really deserve an 8 or less, then there is no room for a masterful program and performance without a Quad to ever win.
For example, I think Jeremy Abbott's performance at the 2008 GPF would have deserved to beat Patrick Chan's at 2011 Worlds. That never would have happened with the way the judges hand out their scores, though. And the scoring system itself is still flawed because mistakes on jumps are not penalized enough. The -GOE deductions need to be increased.
My interpretation, FWIW, is that as Olympic champion, Lysacek has the name recognition (reaching beyond serious skating fans) that led the USOC to include him in the announcement.
My hunch is that several more skaters (not limited to the men's discipline) will participate in the event, although it takes place smack in the middle of GP season -- so the necessities of giving up some training time and enduring extra wear and tear of travel could help determine who will take part.
Of the other nine winter athletes named in today's announcement, I do recognize off the top of my head that several of them are past Olympians -- who (like Lysacek) presumably aspire to Sochi as well. (I think they are Olympic medalists as well -- not sure if their medals all are gold.) Examples: Kelly Clark – snowboarding (halfpipe); Steven Holcomb – bobsled; Hannah Kearney – freestyle skiing (moguls); Ted Ligety – alpine skiing.
I'm only talking about the Long Program. Jeremy absolutely should have had higher components than Chan in every area, except for Skating Skills. His transitions were more difficult, his performance more virtuoso, his choreography more varied and cohesive, and his understanding of the music far more mature and insightful.
And yes Chan certainly DID deserve less than 8 for Interpretation. That was the weakest area of his skating by far and he did not reflect the character of the music very well. Phantom of the Opera? It was like Phantom of the High School Play. Not that you have to skate to music playing the character(s) it was written for, but regardless there was almost no unique/special artistic display from Patrick (when talking about World-class level).
Also, remember that Patrick stepped out of his Triple Axel. He deserved the higher technical score still, but I believe Jeremy's components should have been enough to win the LP. That is one of the best programs ever and he skated it perfectly, aside from one little misstep at the end of his second footwork sequence.
I think the first part of that is some of the ramifications from Vancouver. The huge controversy and talk about a skater like Evan winning without a quad, a skater who cant even do a proper triple axel and doesnt have anymore than generic "good" artistry, doesnt have amazing skating skills either, was seen by many as the ultimate low for the sport. It would be one thing seeing a great skater without a quad (eg Jeff Buttle) or a great skater without a triple axel (eg Stephane Lambiel) winning but a skater like Evan winning without the quad? So to make sure something like that never happens again they made changes, raising the value of quads, giving out far more generous PCS to those who did quads especialy who had deserved fairly good PCS to begin with, and ended up overcompensating too far to the point nobody without a quad now has a chance, even vs messy performances with those with one.
As for Abbott vs Chan though, that isnt really a good example as the judges have always believed (rightly or wrongly) that Chan is way superior to Abbott. Even when Chan wasnt even trying a quad and Abbott was sometimes attempting/landing them, Chan would always easily beat Abbott with comparable performances. Just look at the 2010 Worlds for instance. So Abbott skating great without a quad like the 2008 GPF having no chance to beat Chan skating well with quads had nothing to do with the quad inflation of today, they simply never viewed Abbott in the same class period. This even BEFORE they began viewing Chan as some god from another planet who is 5 falls better than his nearest competitor.
I have mixed feelings about the quad jump. Typically it takes a long time to set up, during which there is not much skating going on. In contrast, the most exciting men's programs are those non-stop dervishes that keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. For me, this is Patrick Chan's best performance (2008 Canadian Nationals):
Musical interpretation? Heck, yeah! The fiddles fiddled as fast as they could fiddle and Patrick skated as fast as he could skate.
Jeremy Abbott, on the other hand -- every time he takes the ice I find myself imploring, don't try a quad, don't try a quad, don't...oh, bleep.
Here is Abbott's 2008 GP finals performance. Comparing this to Chan, Abbott's music is more sophisticated than any that Patrick ever used, and Jeremy hits every note. In fact, it is hard to think of any program ever that contains a quad and at the same time deserves better marks for choreography and interpretation than this on does.
This will be Jeremy's final season of competition. He should skate for himself and not worry about points and placements. Body of work.
Last edited by Mathman; 09-23-2013 at 11:42 PM.
I thought, maybe Blades of Passion has gone to bed. I will help out. I realized too late -- wait, Blades is on the West Coast.