While there's nothing wrong with holding your own interests dearly at heart, I guess it's a matter of how far you are willing to go to secure it. In my mind, his behavior and the consequence of it make him a very poor sportsman.
ETA: not to mention that I can't completely shake off the suspicion that his battered back just might've held up if he had known that he could have made the podium, or to the top with the way judges have been helping.
Didnt I read when a team event was announced that Plushy would skate just that...and they were told that a competitor must be one of the individual skaters. Thus sounds to me like they threw Kovtun under the bus to get Plushy...to skate just what was planned.
May have figured K wouldnt place high enough to do them any good in future slots...and that he might stay around another 4 years as he is so new. Just my thoughts...
I think it was mostly to secure that team gold and put butts in seats. A youngster who has never medaled at worlds and probably has like zero name recognition is not going to draw the crowd that Plushenko, their most famous athlete, can. The mass exodus pretty much told you that. I mean, if your goal is to sell the event, you bring back ancient Michael Jordan and not some current bench player.
Russia's men's skating just hit the bottom. But the good news is that is can only go up now. Kovtun has a lot of potential. Let's see how he does.
Kovtun competed in the Grand Prix and in my humble opinion he deserved to go to the Olympics whether he was good or bad. How did we know he was going to be bad??? I guess that's the vibe I'm getting here. So other than the Team Gold how what else has been proven???
^ I think the team gold is the answer. Plushenko wanted it so that he could go down in history as having won medals in four Olympics. The Russian federation (not to mention President Putin) wanted it because of the Olympic motto: more medals, more medals, more medals. The Russian fans wanted it so they could cheer for their beloved hero one more time.
Win, win, win, provided the wounded warrior could summon the strength for one last battle.
I honestly don't think Plushenko would have withdrawn if he thought he was able to compete in the slightest. But saying that, he should have withdrawn at the end of the team competition and let Kovtun skate in his place. That way he still went out as a hero instead of someone who backed out last minute and deprived a spot from another skater. He knew he was hurt after the team competition and he should have just backed down then but maybe he wanted to believe he could still do it.
IMO Kovtun didn't deserve to compete in the team.Yes, sometimes he hits. But also, when it counted, he didn't. He could have let down the team. When you choose a team, you don't choose who deserve to be because it did ok in GP, but who will help better the team. Between someone with one russian title, one 17 place at world and one 5th place at European Championship and someone with 3 medals at oly, loads world medal and loads european titles and loads russian titles, who was reliable when it was important for Russia - who is better for a team, to support them , to give them reliable points?
When the team was choosen, it was not clear which skaters will go in the teams of Canada and USA, so someone not hitting would have jeopardized the team work. Perhaps for you the team gold is not important. For the russain was.
As none Kovtun, Plushenko or Voronov had really chances for a medal in individual was very clear that the criteria would be who can help more the team. It was wise to choose Plushenko who delivered and delivered. It sucks big time for Kovtun, so he has to learn from it and learn to deliver under the pressure. Other way in 4years time a younger skater may come that will bring what it takes to be a champion.
Maybe if they knew that Canada and Japan would be pulling their best skaters from the long program, they might've gambled on Kovtun but even then, that kid cannot handle pressure while Plushenko has been known for being incredibly tough and consistent even after years of not competing.
Yes they do, and how many of the people trying to kick him while he's down have 4 Olympic medals exactly?There are many skaters that have incredible legacies.
With how things turned out, Plush could have done 2 programs in the team and received the gold, or if there wasn't a team he could have possibly competed individually and received a bronze. Record wise, he made out better and Russia made out better.
Yeah, I love Yagudin as much as anyone but he's not exactly in a place to judge at least on the injury/withdraw issue. A case can definitely be made about whether Plushenko should've even tried to be there, but withdrawing because of pain is not something you ***** about when you've done the same thing.
If the Russian federation were actually a fair and honourable entity, then perhaps Kovtun coming 2nd or winning Euros might have been enough to cue him over Plushenko, but the odds were stacked heavily against all the Russian men when Plushenko came back and the Russian fed was looking for any excuse to send him (Kovtun certainly gave them one).
If anyone should defect, it's Voronov, as plenty of countries would welcome him gladly and give him legit opportunities. I mean, Voronov isn't even going to Worlds, right?