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Thread: "The Prometheus: Why Patrick Chan Means More for Figure Skating History Than Plushenko"

  1. #46
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    IMHO Chan’s career to date has had three stages. In the “busy feet stage” he presented something truly unique (not counting Kurt Browning as a pro) and made us sit up and take notice. I still say Patrick’s all-time defining performance was Four Seasons at 2008 Canadian Nationals.

    In the “quad stage” he added quads to his repertoire. I don’t think his quads were more special than other guys’ quads, but in combination with his blade skills it looked like he would be unbeatable. And he was. He fell a lot, but the judges forgave him because he had it all.

    Almost all. The only thing missing was “artistry.” Patrick’s Elegy exhibition program showed that he had it in him. He parted ways with his coach and went with a dance instructor. He tried hard. I can’t say that his performances actually got any more artistic in this third stage, but good for him for attempting to improve in a previously neglected direction. His technical skills leveled off, but this happens to everyone regardless (even the Zeus-like Plushenko).

    In the end what happened to Patrick is what happens to everyone who declares himself the fastest gun in the west. A younger kid comes along.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadya View Post
    That's why I think his cannabis was excellent.
    Where is he dealing?

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    I think you guys are missing the point of the writer and what he means when he calls Patrick Chan a Prometheus.

    It means that the way that Patrick Chan set the direction of Men's figure skating in this most recent Olympic cycle refocused it on demonstrating great basics besides just having strong jumps. The article also mentioned that Chan additionally inadvertently set up his own undoing, by way of the very talented Yuzuru Hanyu who studied Chan's strengths and also worked on great basics + jumps.

    Meanwhile, the writer points out that early genius Plushenko was capable of doing the same but that in his pragmatic quest for victories, he, along with Mishin, betrayed their true ideals of the sport ("jumps as extensions of glides") and "stripped" down his later performances. The writer admires the struggle and imperfection of striving for well-rounded excellence rather than a clean empty product, hence his appreciation of Chan and Hanyu despite their mistakes at the Olympics.

    I thought the article had very interesting insights and makes me respect Mishin as a coach even more.
    I agree. While this article is a bit aggrandizing, it really does make some good points.

    "When Mishin stripped away Plushenko's genius bit by bit, he was being pragmatic. With no strong rivals, the strategy to deliver the maximum became the strategy to deliver the necessary minimum."

    Truer words.

    And 25 quads under CoP is much more impressive than 25 quads under 6.0.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    And 25 quads under CoP is much more impressive than 25 quads under 6.0.
    Looking at individual quads rather than per-competition quads (BTW, how many were there in Torino?)... umronnie from FSU tracked down everyone's quads a while back, and this was the most recent update (add three Sochi quads for Joubert, not sure how many for the others). Plushenko landed nearly 100 quads over the course of his career. I don't know how many were under each system, but given that he only skated the equivalent of about three-four seasons' worth of competitions under the IJS, I would imagine most were under 6.0. So what? Joubert has landed more quads than anyone, and I bet nobody has landed more under the IJS, either - though Fernandez should get there eventually. Chan hasn't even landed the most among Canadians

    Plushenko delivered what he could and later on, once the injuries began to pile up, what his body allowed him to deliver. Since we don't know what he would have done with more transitions or how Chan would have fared skating Plushenko's programs, the question is moot. I don't see anyone surpassing Plushenko's competitive record any time soon.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    Lambiel or Takahashi were not dominant enough to be consistent champions. They are usually considered to be artistically gifted, charismatic skaters who could, at their best, do difficult jumps, excellent spins (Lambiel), or excellent footwork (Takahashi), but not consistently. At Chan's best, he could (and sometimes did) combine the hardest yet most effortless-looking quads, nice 3Axels, breath-taking footwork, and good choreography (even if some can criticize his performance abilities.)

    Umm, Plushenko stripped down his programs not just at the injury-riddled end of his career...he did it during the peak of his rivalry with Yagudin, as well. Just as the article said, he and Mishin saw that Yagudin was making a comeback before 2002 SLC after his struggles, and they apparently changed their strategy. It wasn't just the 6.0 judging system...I recall that Yagudin included some dramatic highlights in his programs that weren't jumps; in particular, I love his Gladiator FS where at one point he drops low and slides on the ice. From 2002-2006, Plushenko had quite hollow programs.

    Chan was not incredibly innovative but he did the things you mention + the most difficult jumps extremely well. He is a very good all-around skater. Also, he had some of the most technically difficult footwork seen in singles competitive programs and the purity of his edges in his basics are greatly admired. He and his coaches/teachers invested in that; he wasn't just born with those skills.
    Chan's skating has been studied by many others to improve their own skating skills. Once in a video (in Chinese) the commentor said this piece of Chan can be used as a teaching material for Chinese skaters.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    And 25 quads under CoP is much more impressive than 25 quads under 6.0.
    Landing 25 quads would be impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Landing 25 quads would be impressive.
    Joubert scoffs at a mere 25 quads.

    When umronnie first mentioned Fernandez's total just before 2013 Euros, he had 33. Using the most recent update and adding his three from Sochi, Javi now has 51. That's 18 in just over a season. The mind boggles.

    Note that umronnie counts anything that's not a fall/UR/really messy, so some of the quads might not have been pristine clean.

    It's worth pointing out that quads are worth more now than they were in Vancouver, judges are more generous with the +GOEs, and -GOEs are not penalized as harshly: -GOEs for quads used to be 1.6 per unit, while +GOEs were just +1s. The ISU has also added a differentiation between minor URs and bad URs, so skaters no longer run the same risk of having their quads simply called UR and marked as badly done triples; 70% of the BV for a quad isn't that bad a deal. To demonstrate: at 2010 Worlds, Dai got 3.90 for his UR 4F and Jeremy Abbott's quad fall got a 5. Four years later in Sochi, Kevin Reynolds got 5.54 for an underrotated 4S (I'm not aware of any 4F attempts since Dai's), while Tatsuki Machida netted a 7.30 for his quad fall. Lower risk, higher reward - that might have had something to do with more men attempting quads, becoming more consistent with them, and putting them in their programs. And the more skaters do an element, the more it becomes a competition standard.

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    25 quad attempts and the messiest, most unwatchable men's competition in memory. Not sure how much it would push the sport when you're essentially just sacrificing one thing for another still. More potential but less actual delivery. Like maybe if these guys were actually performing up to standard consistently with this level of difficulty but so far I see a lot of trying and that's it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moviechick View Post
    25 quad attempts and the messiest, most unwatchable men's competition in memory. Not sure how much it would push the sport when you're essentially just sacrificing one thing for another still. More potential but less actual delivery. Like maybe if these guys were actually performing up to standard consistently with this level of difficulty but so far I see a lot of trying and that's it.
    Failure to Launch? (Sorry, couldn't help myself. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatedreamer View Post
    Failure to Launch? (Sorry, couldn't help myself. )
    I think their balls just haven't dropped yet

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    Quote Originally Posted by moviechick View Post
    25 quad attempts and the messiest, most unwatchable men's competition in memory. Not sure how much it would push the sport when you're essentially just sacrificing one thing for another still. More potential but less actual delivery. Like maybe if these guys were actually performing up to standard consistently with this level of difficulty but so far I see a lot of trying and that's it.
    Sometimes you got to fall before you fly. I recall not too many years ago, 3-3 combinations were deemed as "messing up" the ladies events, but eventually it becomes a standard as more and more are able to execute it. With CoP it becomes particularly hard to get well-rounded programs with the quad, but it is possible. And this is what the article mentions in that Chan's ambitiousness in terms of difficulty and everything else in between has forced the other guys to up their technical game, which lends itself to more errors - even if it makes the field more ambitious instead of taking it easy.

    Figure skating should not be clean programs all the time - that means the athletes aren't challenging themselves. If people want to watch pristine programs without quads they can go back to the 80's and 90's, or if they want to see programs with 1 or 2 quads, they can check out videos from the 2000's, when footwork sequences were a couple quick mohawks down the ice or spins had 5 rotations in 2 basic positions and jumps were telegraphed.

    I think the magic of figure skating more currently is when a skater does exceptional difficulty of CoP with all the added goods. Something like Takahashi at 4CC a few years ago, or Hanyu's Olympics SP, or Chan's TEB performances, or Javier's Euros from 2013. It shows athletes being able to reach the pinnacle of their potential instead of playing it safe and delivering something that merely looks clean.

  12. #57
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    Lbr, the reason they do this is cause falls aren't punished very severely in this system and you can rack up points in other areas to cover your ***. As opposed to competing in a system where falls were the kiss of death, being perfectly clean was necessary to win. No one's intentions are that pure (as in reaching the pinnacle of the sport). They're all responding to the points and how they can win.

    Chan's quad is a perfect calculation in that sense too. He's not really doing it on principle a la Joubert or Plush, he does it cause he needed it to win post judging changes and his next hardest jump (3A) is so weak.

    If once in a blue moon, you get lucky and manage to go clean, that's great but tbh I probably won't be watching that comp cause it's not on tv.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Sometimes you got to fall before you fly. I recall not too many years ago, 3-3 combinations were deemed as "messing up" the ladies events, but eventually it becomes a standard as more and more are able to execute it. With CoP it becomes particularly hard to get well-rounded programs with the quad, but it is possible. And this is what the article mentions in that Chan's ambitiousness in terms of difficulty and everything else in between has forced the other guys to up their technical game, which lends itself to more errors - even if it makes the field more ambitious instead of taking it easy.

    Figure skating should not be clean programs all the time - that means the athletes aren't challenging themselves. If people want to watch pristine programs without quads they can go back to the 80's and 90's, or if they want to see programs with 1 or 2 quads, they can check out videos from the 2000's, when footwork sequences were a couple quick mohawks down the ice or spins had 5 rotations in 2 basic positions and jumps were telegraphed.
    As I wrote above, I'd argue that the changes in the scoring are what pushed more men into trying quads, more so than anything Chan did.

    If skaters can't deliver more than one clean program on a season, maybe they are challenging themselves too much. The idea of the IJS is to reward both difficulty and execution. In Vancouver, it went to far in the direction of execution over difficulty. Now it's the other way around. When a quad fall becomes a strategic move and transitions lead into badly done elements, skating doesn't come out looking very well.

    There is a middle ground between the worst of the IJS and the worst of 6.0. I'd rather see a spin with fewer revolutions and a less difficult position that's fast, well-centered, and features attractive positions. And I'd rather see a step sequence that last 20 seconds, goes with the music, follows some kind of pattern and showcases blade skills - which means holding edges and not just changing them - rather than focusing on upper body movement. If that means I'm behind the times, so be it.

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    I agree. A quad fall as a strategic move or transitions leading to poor quality elements does diminish a program. There's a fine balance between attempting difficulty and throwing yourself in the air. What I'm basically saying is that programs should have some level of risk, but it should be a calculated risk. Obviously skaters shouldn't attempt things they are incapable of, but on the other hand they shouldn't be doing programs that they are easily capable of.

    I also agree that a spin with fast, centred aesthetic positions is a lot better than a spin that's attempting to get 5 position changes or hold a position for 8 revolutions (the WORST are the upright "butt" spins held in that position, like what are they thinking!), or a step sequence that's simply attempting to get all the difficulty crammed in there. There's certainly a lot of changes that need to be made but it's getting there.

    Some skaters also like to push themselves, like Chan with many transitions or Hanyu with difficult entries. Personally, as a skater, I know that (thanks to skaters like Chan and Hanyu) I'm far more cognizant of transitions and I actually am striving to be more creative with my jump entries than as a teen when I used to usually stroke into them (as pre-CoP jumps/choreo tended to be).

    Programs are getting more difficult, elements are getting more creative, skaters can come back if they go for broke (instead of being marginalized by factored placements). That's a good thing. The consistency will come with time. Eventually skaters will realize that they must opt for difficulty if they want to rise to the top. The Olympics were a unique scenario in that all the guys have show consistency and ability but most showed lack of experience and genuine nervousness because of the occasion. I hope that Worlds will be a lot better.

  15. #60
    Landing 3As in my dreams! skatedreamer's Avatar
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    Maybe this belongs in the "Stupid Questions" thread but here goes:

    An earlier post mentioned that 25 quads under CoP is more impressive than under 6.0. Explanation, please?

    Thanks much!

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