Thursday, March 18, 2010

Debate: Plushenko Deserved the Gold?

Last week I asked, "Who was more deserving of Olympic Gold...Lysacek or Plushenko?"

Plushenko won the poll 57% to Lysacek's 34%...8% felt another skater deserved the Gold Medal.


Now I ask those who voted in support of Plushenko...Why was he more deserving of the Gold?

Be prepared to defend yourself in the first ever official Axels, Loops, ans Spins Debate!


rachel e said...

That is such BS! The only argument anyone could possibly make is to say that Plushenko had better jumps (I mean, he self-admittedly has no transitions), but that's not even true! Evan BEAT HIM IN THE TECHNICAL SCORE!

I didn't get to vote in this poll since I was traveling, but I definitely would have so I'm adding my two cents now.

Aaron said...

I think there must be some good reasons why people think Plushenko should have won...???

Anonymous said...

Plushenko's argument are very compelling, there's no denying that. Evan skated very pretilly, but he unashemedly "played it safe". Really, are the Olympics a time to play it safe, or is it a rare opportunity to take heroic chances, excel, awe and inspire with the potential of human endeavor?

And the fact that Evan withdrew from competition in Torino to do Dancing with the Stars just this whole thing stink even more. It's obvious that Evan just wants to be an entertainer, rather than an athlete.

Queen of the Road said...

I'm not an Evan fan, but he's won every title there is. He's the James Brown of figure skating. (Stay with me here.) Why shouldn't he cash in, and get rewarded for all the sacrifice while he's hot?

Plushenko's argument seems to be "if you land a quad, you win." Then why bother scoring any of the other elements? A big part of sport isn't muscle, it's brains. Evan figured out the new system. Plushenko did not. Plushy was way overscored all season - including the Olympics. One could argue he didn't even deserve the silver.

Adrian said...

@ Queen of the Road

Plushenko wasn't the only one overscored all season. Evan was too, especially in Vancouver. I don't take a side on the gold medal debate, but Evan didn't deserve all the points he got, either.

Also, Evan probably wasn't the one to "figure out" the new system. That was probably Mr. Carroll, along with a hell of a lot of politicking behind the scenes.

Queen of the Road said...

All skaters are the sum of their coaching, their work ethic, their families, etc etc. It's never just the athlete. (Most glaring recent example: the Dutch speed skater whose coach told him to switch lanes mistakenly, costing him the gold medal. And perhaps, Tamara Moskvina reportedly telling her pairs team not to do the quad throw before the long program.)

I also wanted to add to my comment above that it's not only quads that push the sport forward. When Lucinda Rue did her amazing spins, when Yagudin unveiled incredible footwork - both those things pushed the sport forward. If Evan's not doing a quad had the potential to set the sport back, why didn't Plushenko's rudimentary footwork and spins have the same potential?

Anonymous said...

I didn't bother vote for that because I do believe Evan deserved to win the gold because he did skated better than Plushy on that night. Frank "figured out" how to win the gold for Evan despite him not doing any quads. Good for Frank. It almost feel like Evan won on technicality than talent. But whatever it is, Plushy (and or his team) was too arrogant to bother to "figure out" the system thus the loss. Had they study the system more, even with Plushy's wobbly jumps, I believe he would have won. He just didn't do his homework.

Evan's win certainly didn't do men's figure skating any favor. Technically men's figure skating has regressed. and there's no ifs and buts about that. A triple triple doesn't equal Yagudin's quad triple double at 2002's Olympic or Plushy's quad triple double at 2006's Olympic. But I do seem to recall there are a few triple triples in ladies LP this year. Either the girls had caught up to the guys or the guys had regressed. I wonder which one?

Anonymous said...

General public respond to jumps more than to foot works or spins. To them, those two elements are not as risky as the jumps. And the truth of the matter is they are not as risky as jumps. Jumps are what garner woos and haaas while foot works and spins collects claps. Since we are talking about popularizing figure skating in America, the general public's opinion wins out the hardcore fans.

GeoTro said...

Didn't vote either, but I would be on the 'Evan should have won' side--and Evan is one of my least favorite skaters, actually.

If it was easy to do transitions in and out of jumps, reel off complex spins in great positions, use perfect mechanics on all elements, and skate on deep edges, all skaters would do it, because these elements not only look good, they garner points.

The fact that many skaters don't indicates how hard it is to do a program with all of this, as well as triple axel combos, 3-jump sequences, and quads. I think saying technical difficulty has regressed is overlooking all the difficulty in what is a complete program under IJS. Even at his technical best (which he certainly was far from, in Vancouver), Plushenko did not include this complexity.

I was never so glad to see a result as when Plushy did NOT win for doing his difficult combo followed by flawed jumping, a lot of posing, and a lot of empty, meaningless meandering around the ice. The fact he didn't win was good judging of the actual skating.

wagrobanite said...

@the first anonymous, Evan was actually asked BEFORE the Olympics to do Dancing with the stars. And he basically said that he would only do it after the Olympics because he only wanted to concentrate on that goal.

suteneko said...

It's interesting when someone pointing Kim's ridiculous high score out, you say "stop a feud", and now Pulshenko won the poll, you say "let's start a debate".

Aaron said...

To suteneko, my "Stop the Feud" plea has nothing to do with scores...nothing. It's a about petty bickering between over-invested fans. But this post isn't about that...

To Anonymous 1, it's hard for a Plushenko supporter to use the Evan withdrew from Worlds cop-out...Plushenko withdrew from Worlds in 2006 after winning Olympic it goes both ways.

I hear lots of reasons why Evan deserved (got?) the Gold...but I'm still waiting for solid arguments why Plushenko deserved it...

rachel e said...

When you (Anonymous @ 7:12) say that "Technically men's figure skating has regressed" I think you need to consider that less people may doing quads, but the whole sum of the program has gotten a lot harder. Sure, go ahead and say that the jumps have regressed, but I don't think you can say that skating as a whole has regressed.

I would say that Plushenko's program, though he may have had the most "difficult" jump passes, was not overall as difficult as the rest of the competition (not JUST Evan's program...most everyone's, certainly the top competitors).

Furthermore, it's not as if the people who are going around bemoaning the loss of the quad are actually all that great at doing it! Plushenko couldn't do it flawlessly in the Olympics LP, which says a lot about his ability to deal with pressure and stress (a big part of a sport that is not just, "do something" but performace as well), and Brian Joubert, another one who talks his mouth off about the quad, obviously can't even live up to his own standards.

I think Evan said it best when he said that (and I'm paraphrasing) if it was just about the jumps, it would be called figure jumping, or skate jumping (or whatever term he made up) not figure skating.

For those of you who think that the jumps make everything, you should read this great article by Dan Hollander, an amazing pro skater:

Anonymous said...

Even if Plushenko didn't skate perfectly, and even if Evan won the gold fair and square under the new rules, it still doesn't invalidate Plush's argument: the sport needs to progress, and athletes need to show courage, take chances and excel at the Olympics.

Ice skating is all about defying impossibilities (sliding and jumping on a thin blade on ice -- without falling!), and in the Vancouver Games Plushenko was defining of this daring human spirit: a 29 y.o. past youthful physical peak returning to the ice and willing to take those risks to show the world the tenacity of the athlete! More than points or medals, that's what a champion is all about.

The other Olympic skaters are now busy preparing for Torino. Meanwhile, the gold medalist Evan is busy moisturizing his face in preparation for the camera close-ups in DWTS.

Aaron said...

This debate isn't about Plushenko's argument of progressing the sport. That's a whole different debate...

I'm still waiting for solid arguments as to why PLUSHENKO deserved the Gold in Vancouver since 54% of poll respondents said he did. We are 15 comments in and no good reason yet...

Din said...

If the poll had been won by Lysacek, would you also ask for solid arguments?
Or is it because you do not like the result now?
Evan should have won the Lp and not the competition, in the sp during the season his marks were on the level of Oda and suddenly he jumped to 90 or 89 at Gpf. Thre is no way his program was on level of Takahshi and Plushenko. I would put Takahashi 1st, Plushenko second and Lysacek far behind 3rd.

Plushenko was overscored in pcs but Lysacek was also, and he got huge GOEs. His 2nd 3x was iffy.

There was also a same poll on Eurosport UK site, right after Olympics, and Plushenko won the poll by 3000 votes to 1000 of Lysacek, fortunately nobody asked for solid arguments after.

Stella said...

I think that Aaron is asking for a solid arguement for the poll results because more than half of those who responded chose Plushenko and because this is in diagreement with the Olympic results and therefore, with the judges, he's looking for reasons why.

Some people, for example those 3,000 who voted for Plushenko on the Eurosport UK site, disagree with the results - I think it's totally reasonable to ask why people think this. I think it's totally fishy that no one can seem to articulate why they think Plushenko should have one.

Meri said...

I'll venture a guess as to why you're not seeing anyone making the case for Plushenko, despite the poll results, but it'll take a while to get there... Here goes:

My feeling is that figure skating preferences, like many other attitudes, perceptions and behaviors, are affected by cultural factors, and that the reactions to the Olympic results and the aftermath reflect these differences. While most in North America apparently feel that Lysacek won fair and square, those on the other side of the Atlantic are more likely to disagree and to view Plushenko as the rightful winner (I can't venture an opinion, myself: it was in the middle of the night, and the result left me uninterested in watching the taped coverage). Over on Golden Skate, there was a thread with a roundup of what TV announcers in various countries thought; the European ones mostly thought Plushenko had won.

My point is this: I imagine that as a relatively high-profile skating blog, Axels, Loops and Spins has at least some international readership. This likely means that not everyone who reads this blog is a native English speaker who will feel they can articulate their views in a foreign language. Voting in a poll doesn't require this, but arguing what is an unpopular suggestion to many is much tougher. So people may have felt more comfortable expressing their views in this limited way.

Now, I think that these cultural differences are an interesting subject to explore, but this is Aaron's blog, not mine, so I'll obviously let him decide what subjects he wants to tackle.

Aaron said...

Thank you Din for providing the first decent argument. It's appreciated.

The PCS is that murky grey zone of opinion for the judges. Interestingly, Plushenko and Lysacek tied there. Plushenko is more impassioned on the ice...but Lysacek was steadier on his skates. A tie seems fair. The one with the best components on the night, Takahashi, in fact won the portion of the score.

As I have learned over the course of this season, scores cannot be compared from competition to simply will not find consistency. Each competition is it's own entity so looking at past competitions and comparing is not helpful.

The poll results don't match what happened so I'm curious to know why. If Plushenko had won the Gold and Poll respondents said Lysacek should have won I would have raised the same questions.

Meri, I think there is truth to what you say. I think there is a cultural gap in skating and in skating preferences. I've put myself to task on this very issue:

If a language barrier is preventing anyone from commenting, please post in your native language...I can translate!

Anonymous said...

Figure skating is not all about jumps. But jumps is what the general public understand. I can say 99% of the people out there can't tell the difference between triple axel and triple loop. To them it's all about jump in the air and turn three times. Now apply that to foot work or spinning. Most people just see skaters turning left or right or spin really fast. They can't tell the difference. If figure skating wants to be popular, it must be easily understand by general public not just skating fans. The was easy to understand. adding points isn't. And no wonder the popularity of figure skating is dwindling. People understand quads is much harder to do than triples. Thus a skater skating quad should win if he/she doesn't fall. But now we have a person who did easier jumping pass but won over someone who did harder jumping pass, no wonder general public believe Plushy should have won over Evan. Evan was clearly over scored for his sp. He should have gotten somewhere closer to Oda. To have his sp score higher than (or even near) Takahashi's is a travesty. It's nowhere nearly as sophisticated. Had his sp be correctly scored, he would have gotten a silver instead of a gold.

Aaron said...

Over's so hard to say that about skaters in a given competition. Lysacek and Takahashi were close at the Grand Prix Final in the SP so it is not a shock to me that they were even closer given that Evan skated an even stronger SP in Vancouver than in Tokyo.

We have to remember, Evan and Frank Carroll were very smart with that Firebird SP, it was fiddled with all season to gain the maximum amount of points. Lysacek, by my observation, is very formulaic and rehearsed and not necessarily the most impassioned guy on the ice. But he is great at being a walking calculator and we can't really say he didn't deserve the Gold because he was a master code cracker. That's the scoring system.

I'm with you that the judging system should be made easier for the public to understand. But I'm pressed to think if people watched Lysacek and Plushenko FS back to back with an unbiased eye that even people who don't know a lot about figure skating would think Plushenko won.

mm said...

Hi, I did not vote, but have read the comments and debates above with a great interest.

Having said that, I found having to argue for one's opinion of who deserved the Olympic Gold more than the other a little pointless, considering what figure skating means. To myself at least, the beauty of figure skating lies in its complexity and multi-dimensional, richly diverse nature. How could one compare the grace of Stephane's spins and the excitement of Pulshenko's 4t-3t and Evan's ability to execute his own routine perfectly and Daisuke's breathtaking expression of emotions, etc?

OK, COP tries hard to establish some criteria and put some order in figure skating. ISU did their best to bring some 'fairness' in the sport called figure skating and I appreciate their effort! OK, I enjoyed the excitement of 'who will take the Gold?' . Surely, I greatly appreciate competitive skaters' hard work to win. But, hey, at the end of the day, that's someone else's order, someone else's criteria, not my own. I can live with that, but I do not have to agree.

I do not think COP's hierarchy of difficulties of elements universally true
either. Examples: 4T is given more points than 3A because the former is supposed to be more difficult than the latter. But I am sure Stephane disagrees! Daisuke seems to find 3A easier than 3Lo. More skaters succeed rotating and landing 4T than achieving Lv4 stepwork sequences but 4T gets more points, etc, etc. But the rule is the rule; we must follow regardless.

For those reasons, I can happily live with others' verdicts on who deserved Olympic Gold. I love figure skating because it is unlike ... let's say, 100m sprint. It's not only about the excitement of who is better / faster / higher, etc than who. I can also interpret figure skating. I can sympathise with it. I can feel it. It's not black and white. It's subjective to some extent. That's lovely. (Maybe I am more of a fan of le patinage artistique than figure skating?)

Finally, being Japanese (though living abroad for over a decade) and a long time fan of Daisuke, I was overjoyed with what he achieved in Vancouver. He's overcome that horrific injury. He did not give up. He aimed high. He worked hard. He prepared himself. His performance was perhaps to the maximum of his capability at the moment, considering what little time he'd had to prepare for the Olympics since his return on the ice April last year. And at the Olympics, he showed me, through his performance, who and what he is as a figure skater. He laid it all out. He moved me. That was the highest moment of the competition for me. I was of course delighted he was awarded the Bronze. But did he 'deserve' it or did he 'deserve' something better? I do not care that much.

Apologies this post went a bit off tangent! (Oh, and it's soooo long!)

suteneko said...

I think the result of the poll shows most of figure skate fan making their judgement with the way of 6.0 system, instead of current judging system which is so complicated and more unreliable, as Plushenko pointed out, judge could arrange score easily. I am surprised to see not a few people says Takahashi was more deserving of gold. He failed to execute his quad, fell on the ice and made some small mistakes. When Weir finished his FS with almost no-mistake, i almost gave up Takahashi's winning any medal. Weir's low-score was so unexpected, as I believe "clean performance" is what current judging system requiring most.

"It's interesting when someone pointing Kim's ridiculous high score out, you say "stop a feud", and now Pulshenko won the poll, you say "let's start a debate"."

Please let me say what I have felt frankly. You sometimes talk about feud between Japan and Korea, but I'd been impressed with your dislike for Russia or Russian artistry. When Plushenko lost gold medal, I simply thought "He lost, because he is in North-America". Is it my shallow misunderstanding? My bias? I would like to know.

Aaron said...

A previous commenter eluded to the fact that we naturally have some cultural bias. It's not a stretch to think had this final taken place in Sochi, Plushenko might have eeked out a win...he would have had greater crowd support and that might have tipped the scales his way.

A judging panel is geographically diverse though, so I don't think someone who favors a more Russian style would be swayed away from it just because they are judging an event in North America.

In the's kind of the luck of the draw as far as the panel is concerned.

Weir had lower scores because he lacked tricky transitions and intricate choreography.

And the "Stop the Feud" call has nothing to do with high scores, but rather fringe fans who are out of control, to the point they are outright bashing skaters.

Plushenko may well have won in the 6.0 system...but we don't have that anymore. Why does Plushenko deserve to win with the current judging system?

Anonymous said...

I am sometimes read this blog, and I was very satisfied with figure skating knowledge and cultural level of author. BUT... the text "Spilling the Beans..." I barely managed to read half and I gave up, as well as many of my other friends. So, from him is it obvious that the author of this blog came under the impacts of North American media as the most naive viewer from North Dakota (sorry, If there has fans skating) to whom television full ears and brain with the same phrases which I read and hear a month.

Please - be at least a little creative, if you want to destroy Plushenko's place in the history of skating.

I and my from all over the world came to vote for Plushenko in your poll, because we think that he deserves it, but we do not want to argue with "media blinded" people.

din said...

Probably the area of voting pays some role. Maybe most people who voted in this poll were from Europe or Asia, I dunno. Commentators of many countries thought the same before the marks were out.

As a simple figure skating viewer I thought Plushenko and Lysacek would be almost a tie when the latter finished his Lp, as it happened. Nevertheless Lysacek did not skate falwlessly in Lp as I read here. And did not get a UR for his second axel, and he had only a ! (in the flip? I do not remember). On the other hand technical pannel gave ! on Takahashi's Lutzes, URs (justifiable this maybe, they seemed to emptied all the severity on Weir and Dai. Anyway..
As I said there is no doubt that Lysacek should have won the Lp but FS result is a sum of a two nights skate and my objection was in the sp.

The quad is not everything but in sp the combo 4-3 is so much riskier and I cannot see his program up to there with Plushenko's riskier of the night one (which I did not like it much as a program, but the man delivered) or Takahashi's whose program was the best of the night. Of course I am biased since I find Lysacek's skate pretentious as a good rehearsal to a wellknown music and probably his steps are good enough to get a level 4 but (for me)they are unbereable to watch.

And the debate could go on for years since the result had 1+ points difference. If Takahashi had landed the quad we would not have this discussion now anyway.

The first thing CoP would change is the combo marks. There is no reason a combination to count as the sum of two seperate jumps, the treat the combo as two individual elements but the GOE as a packet.

Now PCS hysteria has been abandonned, I think the boost is given now by either GOE or levels.

Aaron said...

My post "Spilling the Beans" has nothing to do with being biased by the media and everything to do with a competitor who was whining and complaining like a kid whose parent refused to buy him candy at the super-market. He acted like he was owed that title and had a childish temper-tantrum in the media when he didn't get it.

I'm a grown up and can take, even welcome, criticism of my writing. It's part of what being a blogger is...

But criticizing me on my viewpoint doesn't answer the question of why people felt Plushenko deserved the old that night?

Din has offered the only argument for that case, believing Plushenko should have won it in the Short Program. Lysacek IS a robot on the ice...rehearsed, formulaic, and over choreographed but he knows how to work the point system for all it's worth and that's how he (along with Takahashi) managed to go toe-to-toe with a guy with a quad combo in the short program.

Final call...and I'm swayable here if someone can give me a compelling argument...Why did Plushenko deserve the Gold Medal? Don't criticize me or say "if the judging system was different" or present hypotheticals that didn't exist...give me a solid argument given the rules of of play as they stood.


Svetlana said...

"... competitor who was whining and complaining like a kid whose parent refused to buy him candy at the super-market. He acted like he was owed that title and had a childish temper-tantrum in the media when he didn't get it."

I have not seen any of that - he had every right to say his opinion - why should only Plushenko were forbidden to bring him? The media asked him what he thinks about Lysacek's skating and win, and he said what thinks about it.
Your statement is offensive in many aspects, and has no connection with those how Plushenko then actually behaved.
What then should be said about Chan's statements by the media? Why no one attacks him?
Only North American/UK media (not and other European or Asian media) - so, only they are "noticed" and constantly repeated how Plushenko "unsportsmanlike" received defeat ... Why does no one American media, not mention one good American feature: "Do not hit an opponent who is already on the ground"? Lysacek's subsequent "patronizing" stories by the various TV shows, as he "surprised with Plushenko's behavior" is just that! Where is his sense of fair play, why no one criticized the winner?

Din mentioned sum scores of SP and LP ... by me, Plushenko had to get at least 4-5 points higher for SP than other competitors, as it is deserved - then the final order was completely different.
Not to mention that in this case, all skaters would otherwise performed in the LP's, and when Lysacek and Takahashi would not "breathed to neck" to Plushenko...

I would like, that you give me comment and answer me on a few questions:

... about Plushenko's SP scores...
- how I know, from 9 judges scores randomly is selected 7. From this 7 should be rejected the lowest and the highest score... in Plushenko's case, in a "strange concurrence of circumstances", fall out of best scores, and remain the 3 worst.
- is there a judges protocol for the short program, that scores for the same skater can not be estimated with a difference of 3 points? In the "Transitions / Linking Footwork" & "Choreography / Composition" scores for Plushenko, you have a lot of examples of violations of the rules:
- also, note and the marks of the 3rd, 7th and 8th judges:
Skating Skills: 3 - 7.75, 7 - 8.25, 8 - 7.00
Transitions / Linking Footwork: 3 - 5.00, 7 - 5.00, 8 - 6.00
Performance / Execution: 3 - 9.25, 7 - 8.75, 8 - 7.50
Choreography / Composition: 3 - 7.75, 7 - 6.00, 8 - 7.00
Interpretation: 3 - 8.00, 7 - 8.00, 8 - 7.50
... It does not look strange to you, that the same judges gave scores 8 and 9 for other elements, and only 5 and 6 for the transition and choreography, with which they put Plushenko on unbelievable 21 or 22nd place?!
- in every case - it was a competition of choreographer or skaters?

I can not for sure to say, that this the choice of scores by computer was "fixed" ... but I can assure claim that the 3 judges were, at least - "unprofessional" (mildly speaking)... and that by all objective criteria - Plushenko received at least 4-5 points less than he deserved for SP!

... about Lysacek "Axel" ...
whether Lysacek, in the general, jumped any valid Axel on competition ... or it should be called before: Salchow?
Why is then he received a base values for 3.5 Axel, or even any GOE for not existing jump?

Aaron said...

Svetlana...I love the passion you gave that comment!

Plushenko's Transition scores. That is one of the biggest weakness in his skating, that's no secret. 5 points looks a bit low compared with the other marks, but one could argue that 8.75 points was a bit high. In any case, I would have had him in the middle there, somewhere around 6.5 points. rather than looking at individual judges, look at the average score he recieved for Transitions vs Evan. Evgeny got 6.8 where Evan got 7.95. Is Evan's transitions 1.15 points better than Evgeny's...I say easily. But for arguments sake, even if we gave Evgeny the same transition score as Evan...he still misses the Gold by 0.16 points.

As far as Evan's axel, he often has a small skid on the take-off. In the free skate they dinged him for it, he barely got above base value for the first and lost points on the second. The one in the short looked pretty good to me. The technical specialist said he completed triple axels. If you don't think so, that's a beef you can take up with the technical specialist who called the free skate...he's from Finland.

I did call Patrick Chan out for his comments at World's last year (called out Brian's too). Can't call Evan out because he's been ridiculously PC.

Finally, Evgeny did have a hissy fit in the media. You are right, everyone is entitled to give their opinion...but it's important to be mindful of how you give it. His conduct in the media (and I was there in Vancouver for the whole thing) was unbecoming of a three time Olympic medalist.

Svetlana said...

You and "technical specialist", not convinced me about Lysacek's Axel, at all...

Here are more strange comparative scores for SP....

Circiular Step Sequence:
Plushenko .... CiSt3 3.30+0.70 = 4
Lysacek ... CiSt4 3.90+2.20 = 6.10
2.10! .... really is there so much qualitative difference? Plushenko received 8.20 for Skating Skills, but I do not know for what? .... considering that he was so bad in steps...

You not responded to me about the importance "scoring" for the choreography - whether is "fair", that is in some "marginal" elements - which depends primarily upon the work of other people, not of the skater personally! ... can accumulate scores for the entire program?
Choreography / Composition:
Plushenko 7.85
Lysacek 8.50

... or interperetation... come on - Lysacek and "artistry"? :-D
Plushenko 8.25
Lysacek 8.75

"....His conduct in the media (and I was there in Vancouver for the whole thing) was unbecoming of a three time Olympic medalist."

But and the bid was inconceivable big!

If anyone has the right to be angry, he has - because the current "unclear" rules. Does were in right judges at the European Championship, or they - almost the same, at the Olympics?
Just because he was a three time Olympic medalist - he has every right to requires changes in the current skating. That he had not raised the voice and "tone", where to go Men single skating next years? Do you like the direction where it went?

... and just one more question:
Is president of the World Skating Federation has the right to criticize and make comments about some skater - during, or just before some the competition?

I can continue with more similar questions, if you want...

Anonymous said...

One way of the other, Plushenko has won the Vancouver Olympics because he exposed the core direction of Figure Skating as sport. His stance is also validated by solid quad jumps.

Because of this, Plushenko will tower historically above all other skaters who competed in Vancouver, long after Lysacek has been forgotten. The reason Lysacek is insignificant is because is not a competitive rivalry in the Plushie-Yagudin mold. It's one guy calling the shots defining the issue, and the other one making excuses and apologies rather than delivering.

The only way Lysacek can shut people up is by getting back into competition and landing some decent quads. But I am not hopeful: Evan is practically retired from competition now, and is actively pursuing an entertainment career.

Aaron said...

I think we have a stalemate here.

I think Lysacek does deserve higher marks in all those areas you pointed out.

I don't think Lysacek is the most artistic guy out there. But what he did brilliantly was take each of those component marks with his coach and his choreographer and worked out how to pull every point he could. The end result was a program that was full of extra little point opportunities that Plushenko didn't take. I don't think Plushenko thought he needed too...bad call. Plushenko should have saw this coming when Lambiel beat him in the component marks at Europeans with a far less technical skate.

And again, Plushenko has every right to give his opinion to the media...but it's how he did it that was so distasteful.

I have no idea what you are talking about with Cinquanta...but nobody listens to him...he's an idiot.

Finally, Lysacek doesn't have to shut anyone up...he has the Gold around his neck.

Svetlana said...

I think we have a stalemate here.

No - you're in the minority, especially in relation to your Pool :-D

...The end result was a program that was full of extra little point opportunities that Plushenko didn't take....

Little points - little accomplishments :-(

And again, Plushenko has every right to give his opinion to the media...but it's how he did it that was so distasteful.

By me - not. He was always honest, and if his statements in English were too direct and a have "raw tons" - you must to understand that he does not handle well with this language.
I, for example, do not know how my comments to you sound, because I write at an "elementary" English, using foreign grammar.... and can think, and I am not currently excited, as it was then Plushy ;-)

Here you have Russian news and his interview on Russian, with english subtitles:

I have no idea what you are talking about with Cinquanta...but nobody listens to him...he's an idiot.

But "presidential idiot" - with no small influence on judges, public opinion and future development of skating :-(

suteneko said...

"And again, Plushenko has every right to give his opinion to the media...but it's how he did it that was so distasteful."

Who to be called "distasteful" is judge... not the skater. Plushenko is just too brave to keep quiet.
Judge has no right to give his intention on his judgement, intention which appears especially on GOE.

Aaron said...

I will give you, a language barrier may have been part of why his comments came across poorly.

For example, your writing sounds very angry...not a lot of softening of the thoughts there.

But still with Plushenko I can't believe he would say something like "Lysacek can't be considered a true men's champion without a quad." That's harsh...and at least by American standards, being a sore loser. And then to say, "Then, in the free program I was the last to skate, did everything clean and still didn't get the marks. I thought I had done enough to get the gold but the judges gave it to someone else."...well that's just false because he didn't do everything clean. Some of those jumps were a bit of a struggle.

Again, it was the arrogance of it all that left many cold.

Svetlana said...

For example, your writing sounds very angry...not a lot of softening of the thoughts there.

Oh, you have no idea, how much I abstain here and "played" fineness! :-P

But still with Plushenko I can't believe he would say something like "Lysacek can't be considered a true men's champion without a quad." That's harsh...

Plushenko never said: Lysacek ... he said - "an Olympic champion must have a quad", or variations: "I can not imagine the Olympic champion without a quad" ... the fact, that in this place by "accident" found Lysacek, is not his fault :-D

See here Johnny Weir's interview (from 3:24")

... he said that he also does not jump quads, but he is not found insulted because Plushy's statement. "We do the same thing - Plushenko pushes the progress in the technical sense, me in artistic...."

... well that's just false because he didn't do everything clean. Some of those jumps were a bit of a struggle.

I told you to check out his interview in Russian - he not said that he was no errors.

Again, it was the arrogance of it all that left many cold.

But even more people is angry, because Plushenko did not get a gold medal ... they would have to say much more offensive terms at the expense of the judges, the North American media, conspiracy "against him", "for someone", etc...

... and at least by American standards, being a sore loser.

"Sore loser, sore loser"... do you, Americans have an expression, and that is not cliche? :-P

What happened with the basic cultural behavior of one who is the winner, which is silent and do not jubilate over the defeated?

What do you think is continuing harangue against the person who is lost, it is worse, than the first turbulent reaction of one who is lost? I think it is.

And I think that Lysacek has no right to take more Plushenko in mouth, and shares his tips in Hollywood style "sweet condescending patronage" (for me personally, it's an insult of common sense).... :-(

“The Russian federation and Evgeni were plotting for him to win that gold medal 365 days for three years, and that’s why he came back in the first place. I am sure it was a tough pill to swallow.

“But just as it is taking a long time for my medal to sink in, I think it’s the same for him. I think Evgeni finally will realize it is such a special thing to win three medals in the three Olympics, and I think he will be proud.”

... maybe it for him more than enough, but just because of the differences - Plushenko not, and will never be a mediocre skater, as Lysacek.

Din said...

The debate turned nice by the way, interesting posts, I was expecting a massacre!
Plushenko said he did not think therewould be an Olympic Champion without the quad. Have you seen his interview? He did not mention Lysacek personally. Of course he meant Lysacek, but the twist of words especially when he spoke in russian is tricky. I think he wanted to focus on the quad as a significant element that the Olympic Champion should have, rather than diminishing the skater himself.
In any case media got this interview and played it for a month cause Plushenko did not do any other declarations after. He said he is getting used to silver and moves on some days after. Nevertheless media played the same quotes over and over, Stojko spoke out and made it worse, platinum medal was a fluke and has nothing to do with Plushenko himself, and I think everything got out of proportions.
Media could do whatever they liked after Olympics, but I do not agree with the massive articles even before he went to Vancouver, from Inman letters to Sale quotes, Frank Caroll's quotes, they took his practices in Vancouver under a magnified glass, they did not do this for any other skater. Peletier quoting on Tv that he should get low marks on transitions while the competition had not even started, Sale saying "I do not buy it", Nbc calling he has no artistry (Lysacek had), even so the skater had not skated yet his programs. They called him Quadchenko and Villain and what else. That was the turn off for me and the Sp night had not even started.

Svetlana said...

... from Inman letters to Sale quotes, Frank Caroll's quotes, they took his practices in Vancouver under a magnified glass, they did not do this for any other skater. Peletier quoting on Tv that he should get low marks on transitions while the competition had not even started, Sale saying "I do not buy it", Nbc calling he has no artistry (Lysacek had), even so the skater had not skated yet his programs. They called him Quadchenko and Villain and what else...

Oh, Din ... you just stole my well prepared "weapons" for the eventual next debate:
"How to make Olympic winners for 6 months by rumors and statements in the newspapers?" :-D

...but I still have links and quotes :-P

crimsonwitch_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sirius said...

This is the opinion of the Turkish figure skater "Kutay Eryoldas":

"Evan’s landings weren’t always that safe, and he didn’t really hold his landings for long. But as opposed to Plushenko, he showed a three jump combination (triple Flip-double toe-double loop). Technically he was strong, but his skate didn’t feel free, as if he wasn’t there during his performance. I couldn’t see him become one with the music. And when that doesn’t happen, the excitement doesn’t really come across for the audience. Personally speaking, I found it very frustrating that a skater with a technically good performance but average program and most of all an inhibited skate could become Olympic Champion.

Plushenko meanwhile gave everything. I think that he showed amazing choreography and high technical content. Interestingly Evan’s and Plushenko’s PC scores were tied, and Plushenko was beaten on his technical score in such a big competition. Yes, there were small technical flaws in his program, but when it comes to the quad, I share Plushenko’s and many other skaters’ point of view; an Olympic Champion should at least have a quad in his program. Since the quad doesn’t get the points it deserves, more and more skaters choose to play it safe and go for triple-triple combinations instead. Of course the quad alone shouldn’t be a deciding factor to hand anyone an Olympic Gold, but at the same time, skating skills alone shouldn’t either. It should be a combination of both that makes an Olympic Champion and therefore in my opinion the skater that showed both and who should have won this competition, was Plushenko."

You see this is Kutay's opinion(figure skater not from Russia,not from America),and also Yao Bin (trainer of the Chinese couples) said that Plushenko would have won if the olympics were somewhere. else..

Anonymous said...

Just so people know, not all Americans think Lysacek deserved gold. I think Plushie should have won gold, Lysacek should have gotten a chocolate medal wrapped in gold foil.