Why on earth would you label Plushenko's return in 2010 a failure--let alone a bigger failure than Irina Slutskaya in 2006? Plush retired with a bunch of injuries, didn't compete for four years, and ran around in shows doing triple toe loops. He came back, won Cup of Russia, won Europeans, won Olympic silver and in the process became the only man since Grafstrom to win 3+ Olympic medals. IIRC, he was the only person in Vancouver to land quads in both programs and skate clean. The biggest change seems to be the way the judges (and rules) were scoring people: the quad being out of favour, the Olympics happening in North America, Plush seemingly just waltzing in back here for a second gold--all of which worked against Plushenko. The situation changed a lot more than his skating did. No, of course he wasn't as good as he was back in 2004. But compared to returning pros of Lillehammer--the precedent--he did remarkably well.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
Why would you expect the men's event to be well-skated anyway? It's always been a splatfest, with the person who survives winning (until people started winning with multiple falls, anyway). If the other medal contenders can't stay on their feet while old Plushenko can, well, that's what happened in 2002-06 too.
Irina Slutskaya was the favourite going into 2006, an active competitor and often the champion. The IJS looked perfect for her, because of her jumping ability and flexibility in getting the spin levels. "Artistry" also got broken down into categories like "skating skills," which would probably kill her mark less than it did in the 6.0 days. Irina didn't skate well, and lost the gold medal, despite everything working in her favour. She also didn't already have an Olympic gold. The Olympics look like a far bigger disappointment for her than they did for Plush.
Eeek, accidentally hijacked a Chan thread. Well, I predict silver for Chan in 2018! Following in the steps of Brian Orser and Elvis Stojko.