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Thread: Plushenko or Kovtun?

  1. #106
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    If Plushenko were to skate in the team competition, and Kovtun in the individual competition, then Plushenko would have a very good chance at a team medal without the responsibility of the individual competition. Plushenko would have the privilege and glory of representing Russia in the home Olympics without the perception of "bigfooting" young Kovtun and depriving him of the same privilege and glory. Medal or no medal, Kovtun would gain valuable Olympic experience and exposure that would be beneficial in his future career. Etc., etc.
    Considering the team event rules allow countries with qualifiers in only three disciplines to add skaters who aren't even qualified for the individual event for the forth discipline, I don't see how that's a remotely persuasive argument.

    The Olympics and the team event do not exist for the purpose of providing Maxim Kovtun with experience and exposure. If the Russian federation feels that Plushenko is the better choice for the team event, Kovtun should be happy if he gets the chance to skate in the individual. Plushenko has earned the honor of representing Russia at a home Olympics and whatever glory might ensue; this wouldn't be charity being sent his way.

    Yikes. I agree to strongly disagree.
    I really hope that Plushenko will not stoop to the level of flouting the rules. He is a champion, and fair play should mean something to him -- even if it means nothing to you.
    So only you care about fair play? That's not agreeing to disagree, that's being smug and condescending. If your definition of fair play has an athlete forcing himself to compete beyond what he is able in the interest of creating an appearance of fairness, then we indeed very strongly disagree. I think most skating fans realize that Plushenko is limited in how many competitions he can do, certainly within a short period of time. Limited does not imply completely unable, as you seem to believe. Blame the IOC and ISU for coming up with such ridiculous rules and timing for the team event, not Plushenko for wanting to skate and contribute to his team's success.

    “In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.”
    How would Plushenko competing only in the team event and withdrawing for medical reasons circumvent this oath? It would abide by the rules, there's no doping, the glory of the sport seems obvious - he'd be skating to the best of his ability - and the honour of the team too, since he would be contributing to their success. I think it would be very fair to do what he can in the team event and then let another skater have a shot at the Olympics on home ice. I find it sad that you would paint such a thing as contrary to good sportsmanship.

    Michael Phelps is irrelevant, of course. Elite skating puts a lot more stress on the body than swimming.

  2. #107
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    I agree with Golden411 that It's bad sportsmanship to plan an injury withdrawal in advance. I also agree with LRK that Plushenko probably would not go along with something like that. And I think he has said that he will participate only if he is strong enough to skate four good performances?

    Anyway, if a nation gambles with their injured best skater, and then substitutes him/her, it's impossible to prove if it was planned or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post

    But Plushenko could do what Kwan did. March in the opening ceremonies,wave the flag, get interviewed for TV, then decide that his body is not up to it after all.
    The men's team short program is the day before the opening ceremony, so Plushenko has to decide on February 6th whether he will compete or not. (Or when the last time for withdrawal is.) Sure he could still walk in the parade, but I hope in that case he is on stage in the ceremony

    Did Kwan really do that although she knew she couldn't compete??!! And did Emily Hughes then have to travel to Torino on short notice, or was she already there?

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    The Olympics and the team event do not exist for the purpose of providing Maxim Kovtun with experience and exposure. If the Russian federation feels that Plushenko is the better choice for the team event, Kovtun should be happy if he gets the chance to skate in the individual. Plushenko has earned the honor of representing Russia at a home Olympics and whatever glory might ensue; this wouldn't be charity being sent his way.


    So only you care about fair play? That's not agreeing to disagree, that's being smug and condescending. If your definition of fair play has an athlete forcing himself to compete beyond what he is able in the interest of creating an appearance of fairness, then we indeed very strongly disagree. I think most skating fans realize that Plushenko is limited in how many competitions he can do, certainly within a short period of time. Limited does not imply completely unable, as you seem to believe. Blame the IOC and ISU for coming up with such ridiculous rules and timing for the team event, not Plushenko for wanting to skate and contribute to his team's success.


    How would Plushenko competing only in the team event and withdrawing for medical reasons circumvent this oath? It would abide by the rules, there's no doping, the glory of the sport seems obvious - he'd be skating to the best of his ability - and the honour of the team too, since he would be contributing to their success. I think it would be very fair to do what he can in the team event and then let another skater have a shot at the Olympics on home ice. I find it sad that you would paint such a thing as contrary to good sportsmanship.
    That isn't fair. If he is capable of competing in the individual event, he should do that, otherwise it's very bad sportsmanship.

    Perhaps how Plushenko fares in the team event would even determine whether he skates in the individual event. After all, he only competes if he thinks he can win or medal and if he bombs in the team event, in which case Russia would still likely medal, then he can cite injury and pull out to let Maxim place however he places in the individual event, and then Plushenko goes out on a high.

    Really, what should happen is that Russia should only be allowed 1 spot for the entire games, in both team and individual. If that entry ends up getting injured after the first event, then they should be out the rest of the Games. If they cite injury before the first event, then they should be allowed to put in a replacement who gets to compete the rest of the games. That, to me, is the fairest way -- otherwise you can get countries like Russia potentially manipulating the rules in their favour.

  4. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Really, what should happen is that Russia should only be allowed 1 spot for the entire games, in both team and individual. If that entry ends up getting injured after the first event, then they should be out the rest of the Games. If they cite injury before the first event, then they should be allowed to put in a replacement who gets to compete the rest of the games. That, to me, is the fairest way -- otherwise you can get countries like Russia potentially manipulating the rules in their favour.
    This is what I thought the rule was for all nations with one spot in any disciplin? The speculations about alternates after competitions started are new to me.

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    Really, if any country has little shot of medalling in the team event, but has hopefuls in the individual events, they might as well say that their Olympic "team" consists of their would-be alternates. Then the alternates cite injury after competing in the team event, allowing the country's medal hopefuls to compete fully-rested in the individual events (instead of expending energy for a non-podium team placement).

    What if China decided to say Nan Song was their Olympic entry, instead of the much-better Han Yan? Nan Song competes in the team event, and skates however he skated -- China wouldn't win a medal regardless of how he did; however this benefits Yan and lets him rest up instead of wasting energy to compete for China's 4th or 5th place in the team event. Song cites "injury" after the team event, and a fully-rested up Han Yan gets to compete in the individual event.

    China could also say that their pairs contingent is Sui/Han and Peng/Zhang. Either (or both) competes in the team event to rest up Pang & Tong. The one who performs worse in the team event cites "injury" and Pang/Tong are able to compete in the pairs event, fully rested.

    Italy could put in Glada Russo (or whoever places 3rd at Italian nationals) and Valentina Marchei as their 2 ladies. After the team event, Glada cites injury and a fully rested Kostner can compete in ladies.

    Spain could put Javier Raya in the team event and after that's over, Raya cites "injury" and Fernandez is able to compete in men's, fully rested.

  6. #111
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Spain could put Javier Raya in the team event and after that's over, Raya cites "injury" and Fernandez is able to compete in men's, fully rested.
    Spain has two men's entries for the Olympics. But having qualified in only two disciplines, I am pretty sure that they can't be in the team event anyway. So both Javiers should be well-rested for the individual event. We'll see if that ends up being an advantage for Fernandez vs. the Canadian and Japanese skaters who will be in the team event.

    Really, if any country has little shot of medalling in the team event, they might as well say that their Olympic "team" consists of their second-tier skaters. Then the skaters cite injury after competing in the team event, allowing the stronger skaters to compete fully-rested in the individual events (instead of expending energy for a non-podium team placement).
    What if Japan decides to let Suzuki or Murakami skate in the team event, and then Mao doesn't have to and she has an unfair advantage over Yuna... oh wait, she wouldn't. The ISU and IOC are asking for trouble by structuring the team event in such a way that disadvantages some skaters, especially those whose countries have little chance of a medal but who are expected to compete anyway. That's not fair play and it's not an even playing field.

    The suggestion that a country should not be allowed to replace an injured skater (be it Plushenko or anyone else) between the team event and the individual is very unfortunate and I am glad that the ISU and IOC do not share your views.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    The Olympics and the team event do not exist for the purpose of providing Maxim Kovtun with experience and exposure. If the Russian federation feels that Plushenko is the better choice for the team event, Kovtun should be happy if he gets the chance to skate in the individual. Plushenko has earned the honor of representing Russia at a home Olympics and whatever glory might ensue; this wouldn't be charity being sent his way.
    They also do not exist to give Plushenko a final performance at his home Olympics if another skater like Kovtun is more deserving to compete instead of him. If Kovtun soundly defeats Plushenko at Russian Nationals/Euros/etc. then Plushenko getting to compete in the team event with the inevitable intent of him pulling out after the team event IS charity being sent his way, because according to the rules (Russia is only allowed 1 entry) and fairplay, Kovtun should be competing in both team and individual events.

    Note that countries like Germany/France/Italy/Spain will not be doing my absurd suggestion of submitting alternates as their "team". Even though this could be giving experience to these alternates, while resting up their medal hopefuls. Like Plushenko - nobody could really say that an alternate that cites injury was or wasn't truly injured. However, this would be an affront to the rules in play. Just like Russia deliberately submitting Plushenko (even if Kovtun is the better skater) for the team event, just for the purpose of getting him a final performance.

    If anything, it would be hugely unfair to Maxim as it would deny Maxim a practically guaranteed Olympic medal (while Plushenko has 3).

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    What if Japan decides to let Suzuki or Murakami skate in the team event, and then Mao doesn't have to and she has an unfair advantage over Yuna... oh wait, she wouldn't. The ISU and IOC are asking for trouble by structuring the team event in such a way that disadvantages some skaters, especially those whose countries have little chance of a medal but who are expected to compete anyway. That's not fair play and it's not an even playing field.
    Japan has a shot of medalling in the team event, so they wouldn't rest up Mao, when they need her to claim a medal.

    I was saying for any country that qualifies for the team event but has zero chance of medalling (since it'll be Russia/Canada/Japan/US covering the podium) they could submit alternates as their "team" (which isn't going to medal anyways) and then have the alternates all pull out due to "injury"... and then their medal hopefuls in the individual events are more rested.

  9. #114
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    They also do not exist to give Plushenko a final performance at his home Olympics if another skater like Kovtun deserves to compete instead of him. If Kovtun soundly defeats Plushenko at Russian Nationals/Euros/etc. then Plushenko getting to compete in the team event with the inevitable intent of him pulling out after the team event IS charity being sent his way, because according to the rules (Russia is only allowed 1 entry) and fairplay, Kovtun should be competing in both team and individual events.
    The Russian federation has its own selection procedures. We saw that last year, when Kovtun got a Euros assignment over Konstantin Menshov, who had a good GP season and finished higher at Nationals. Plushenko has a much stronger competitive record than Kovtun and if the Russian federation wants to base their decision on that, it's their prerogative. They are not obligated to follow the equivalent of Canadian selection procedures.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Japan has a shot of medalling in the team event, so they wouldn't rest up Mao, when they need her to claim a medal.
    Yes, with their strong dance and pairs entries, I am sure Japan stands an excellent chance at a team event medal.

    Again, the team event has been structured in such a way as to make it rather unattractive for skaters with a realistic chance at an individual medal, especially if they are not from countries with a realistic chance at a team medal. I wouldn't be surprised if the various federations plan accordingly.

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Plushenko has a much stronger competitive record than Kovtun and if the Russian federation wants to base their decision on that, it's their prerogative.
    What does past competitive record have to do with anything? So the US should send Evan Lysacek instead of some of the other men, then because he has a better competitive record? Russia (and any country) should send their best entries, not the sentimental favourite or the one who will make the biggest news headline. Of course it's their prerogative to be unfair (as we saw by them sending Kovtun to Worlds). But to say that "it's their prerogative to bend the rules to suit them" isn't exactly sportsmanlike.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Yes, with their strong dance and pairs entries, I am sure Japan stands an excellent chance at a team event medal.
    They were 3rd at World Team Trophy last year, without even including a pairs team. Easily defeated Russia, China, and France.

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    What does past competitive record have to do with anything? So the US should send Evan Lysacek instead of some of the other men, then because he has a better competitive record? Russia (and any country) should send their best entries, not the sentimental favourite or the one who will make the biggest news headline. Of course it's their prerogative to be unfair (as we saw by them sending Kovtun to Worlds). But to say that "it's their prerogative to bend the rules to suit them" isn't exactly sportsmanlike.
    Are you familiar with the selection criteria of the Russian federation? They get to decide what their criteria are, and it's not bending the rules if they are following their own rules. BTW, sending Kovtun to Worlds was perfectly reasonable, since by then he was the top Russian at Euros.

    Lysacek last competed in 2010. Plushenko last competed this month, and skated well. He also won 2012 Euros with a very strong score. Try again.

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    They were 3rd at World Team Trophy last year, without even including a pairs team. Easily defeated Russia, Germany, and France.
    You are aware, of course, that in the World Team Trophy there are two men and two ladies for each country, but there is only one entry per discipline in the Olympic team event? I think it's safe to say that the different format should have a significant effect on the likelihood of some of the participating countries getting medals.

    Germany has never competed in the World Team Trophy.

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Lysacek last competed in 2010. Plushenko last competed this month. And won 2012 Euros with a very strong score. Try again.
    It was just an example of how "track record" doesn't mean anything. Should we send Leonova instead of the other Russian girls because she got a World silver in 2012 Worlds and has a better "track record"?

    I honestly can't believe some people think that Plushenko going to the team event and then deliberately pulling out to allow Kovtun to compete in individual events is fairplay. They are allowed 1 entry, and orchestrating it to allow 2 entries, is simply unfair (regardless of who Plushenko is or isn't).

    What if Kovtun wins a medal in the individual event? So, in spite of only 1 entry allowed, they get 2 different male skaters with medals?

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Are you familiar with the selection criteria of the Russian federation? They get to decide what their criteria are, and it's not bending the rules if they are following their own rules.
    Who they send is their prerogative. That isn't bending the rules. But I'm saying if they have the intention of putting in 2 entries (when they're only afforded 1) by citing injury to the first entry after the team event, that is foulplay.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Did Kwan really do that although she knew she couldn't compete??!! And did Emily Hughes then have to travel to Torino on short notice, or was she already there?
    What I posted above about Kwan’s situation was “in retrospect.” What I believe is that at the time, indeed for the whole year leading up to the Olympics, Michelle had some bad days mixed in with some not so bad days when she was feeling well enough that it didn’t seem utterly outrageous to hope for a miracle.

    About sponsorships, television, etc., Michelle always took her contractual obligations seriously. She never missed a cheesefest or appearance if she was contracted to perform.

    Emily Hughes was on standby back home. Michelle withdrew before the Games actually began, giving Emily plenty of time to fly to Torino well before the ladies figure skating competition began.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Japan has a shot of medalling in the team event, so they wouldn't rest up Mao, when they need her to claim a medal.

    I was saying for any country that qualifies for the team event but has zero chance of medalling (since it'll be Russia/Canada/Japan/US covering the podium) they could submit alternates as their "team" (which isn't going to medal anyways) and then have the alternates all pull out due to "injury"... and then their medal hopefuls in the individual events are more rested.
    Japan failed to qualify a Pairs team for the Olympics, which means they have to compete with only 3 disciplines. While technically, they still have a chance but without points from the Pairs event and a Dance team that will surely finish near the bottom, their chance of getting a Team Medal is very remote to none.

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