I don't think that Chan is not liked because is a main rival of Plushenko. Lambiel was too,Joubert was too, Yuzuru as well and they are very liked by the russian. I don't know what Chan has so unlikeable about him, but somehow it doesn't charm the ocasional figure skating whatcher. He miss something, i cannot put my finger on it. When i watched him i can admire his qualities and i am still very cold towards him. When Yuzuru skates is all there: charisma, spark, dynamic. He gives the image of a complete sportsman, while Chan give the image of an artist. I Think that the most occasional FS fans want to see a sportman as they are whatching a sport and a competition.
Plushenko has always been well received by US audiences. I've been to competitions where he got a standing ovation even before he started to skate. US audiences are a little stingy with standing ovations---they don't give them for US skaters unless they turn in an outstanding effort. But they will stand up for a great skate by anyone, regardless of nationality.
OTOH, in Canada, all the Canadian skaters get standing ovations before and after they skate, no matter what kind of performance they gave. Non-Canadian competitors have to be truly exceptional to get anything other than polite applause.
I appreciate Chan, but I can't say I like him. I usually expect him to win, but he never impressed me. But this is just my personal opinion. However, I can say I can't forget how he won the WC last year, with two (let's say two and a half) falls, compared to Denis Ten's almost perfect program.
Yes, Lambiel was an artist too (and Yuzuru is also), but what i mean is that they have as well what i think to be the best qualities for a sportsman: charisma, dynamic, spark , athletics qualities. They all have power. I don't feel power from Chan (well, it may be a cultural thing how we feel the power and what we call power).
Audience is supportive of all skaters but they are too loud for Russians, I mean it extreme level and I ve been to many competitions to compare, arena is also huge and when they use drums and make noise with their feet for Russians it sounds like the end of the world is coming.
I've attended competitions in France, US, Canada and Japan and while the home bias was more or less there, it was never as obvious or almost cold as it seems here in Sochi! I mean you only have to look at the crowd after each performance. Their hands are not where you expect them to be! The crowd here is almost mute for non Russians, with a few exceptions.
Another thing is Olympics seem to attract more casual audience compared to Worlds and other comps. Nagano '98 vs. Tokyo '07, Vancouver '10 vs. Vancouver '01/London '13, Sochi vs. Moscow '05/'11 (and no I didn't attend all these comps- I wish!!)- the former (Olympics) always a bit more subdued than the latter (Worlds)?? Olympics audience are not as 'sophisticated' I guess.
I have no intention of generalizing about all russians or the whole audience or to make the russians out to be not as good a crowd as who knows which nations crowd is, but I don't like the "Russia! Rissua!" calls at all. Hanyu even warned the other Team Japan members not to get scared, and that the screams would be so loud you can't hear anything else, not even the commentator! That's too much. These athletes have a lot of pressure on their backs anyway, and they have the right to have a calm minute to come down and focus before they skate. Worst thing is, that there was no russian skater in Hanyus warm-up group. I get shouting to support skaters that are on the ice, but what are you screaming "Russia!" for if there is no russian on the ice to support? You can even hear them scream before Chan and Hanyu started to skate, and again, no russian skater in sight at all! IMO, that's disrespectful and disruptive to those skaters, who must feel like they aren't very welcomed. It's even halfway okay if they are more lukewarm about non-russia skaters and won't applaud as much, but if the skaters are getting scared, something is very wrong.
It's even more lovely to see how the skaters, even from different nations, cheered for each other. Ashley and Charlie were cheering for absolutly everyone, everytime I saw them, and not to forget "Team every1".
Hopefully it will be different for the individual events. This audience + the weird scoring must be really disappointing for the skaters (at least what's a lot of their faces looked like in the K'n'C too).
I did sit behind people who made personal comments about Sokolova & Volchkova while waving the US flag.
Also, do not accuse me of lying. Just because the section you were sitting in was okay does not mean others were the same.
The Ice Dance free in Vancouver 2001 was silent apart from when the US couples skated. Turn that around to Nice in 2000 or Dortmund 2004 or Moscow 2005 & the Non-European couples were given lot's of cheers & support.