Thursday, March 04, 2010

Spilling the Beans...

Everything I wanted to say in Vancouver but didn't...

So, I'm going to say it, yell at me if you want..."I'M OFFICIALLY SICK OF EVGENY PLUSHENKO! I'M DONE!" In the aftermath of his not so shocking loss at the Olympics, I just kept saying in my head..."Will he shut up already?" I hate nothing more than a sore loser. And Elvis Stojko's nonsensical babble about how figure skating is hurt by Plushenko's loss didn't help the situation either. Fine Elvis, go watch hockey. If that's the boost of testosterone you need and it gets you out of my hair...more power to you! I get that Plushenko and Stojko think the quad is like the 'Holy Grail' of figure skating but after the quad, Plushenko's technical performance was not great in the men's free wasn't great at all. But of course none of that should matter because if you do a quad you should win...ugh. Did anyone notice that he did two triple axels in his exhibition...just to show he could land them without a struggle. I think just to infuriate me he was threatening to make another comeback in Sochi. It's bad enough he'll be in Torino at World's. Good grief!

What was up with Belbin and Agosto missing out on the Bronze medal? What? And they couldn't even be upset about it because it was their training mates that edged them. Even their coach, Natalia Linichuk, had that look in her eyes..."You guys were clearly way better but the judges are propping them up...sorry." The even sadder part about it was that everyone (media, announcers, press) just went with it was an agreed upon deal. "Okay, we won't complain that Tanith and Ben get screwed so long as North America goes 1-2." Ummm...North America should have went 1-2-3! Rogge will have to forgive me if I disagree with his assertion that the figure skating judging in Vancouver was "impeccable."

Finally, Grades of Executions were making me so mad at the Olympics. Why is that when a skater from, oh I don't know say, Turkey, does a perfect triple salchow she gets no positive grades on the jump? But when a skater from, oh I don't know say, U.S. or Japan or Canada or Korea or Finland, does the same jump, the positive GOE's flow like Manna from the Gods. While in Vancouver a "very knowledgeable voice" showed me some shocking trends and revelations in the current judging system. I'm going to go on record now and say that I think the point system is, while flawed, not a totally bad system, but the people behind the judging monitors from all corners of the globe, are often greasy scoundrels!

That is all...I'll get off my soapbox now.


Ice Mom said...

Hi, Aaron!

I totally agree with you.

Plushenko does not have a champion attitude. And he has a mullet. Mean, but true.

Elvis? Honestly. As Frank Carroll said: it's figure skating, not figure jumping.

I do think that judges carry a bias. Ugh.

But, it was fun to watch, wasn't it? I imagine it was more fun from the stands...(again with the jealousy.) :)

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Honestly, ice dance seems so "unjudgeable" to me that I would feel uncomfortable saying that Tanith and Ben got screwed. Everyone's dances and themes are so different, and everyone twizzles and footwork looked pretty good, so I have no idea who should have placed higher than who. I could recognize that the top 2 were clearly superior in terms of lifts, and that Domnina/Shabalin's OD was nonsense, but other than that, I have no clue. I even heard some ice dance fans calling D/S "technically complex". So the whole thing just seems nearly impossible to judge to me. Everyone's opinions seem so different! Maybe I'm just not educated about it enough.

I totally agree with you about GOE. I am amazed that the judges often get the placements right, because the GOE often make no sense. I am wondering if the GOE DID make more sense if it would mean that the right winner WOULDN'T win? For instance, maybe a mediocre skater could rack up points with a bunch of 3Ts and 3Ss, but wouldn't deserve to beat someone who maybe wasn't as clean, but had much harder content-- hence why the skater with harder content would have to receive higher GOE, even if her jumps aren't as well done as a lower skater.

My point is, maybe calculating the number of points can't always ensure that the best skater will win, and therefore, not everyone can receive the same GOE for a similar looking jump.

Anuradha said...

I love Evgeni Plushenko! <3

Anonymous said...

I agree. Looking at protocols can be extremely frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Re. Plushenko read the Save Skating blog.
It was stupid of him to behave the way he did, because now everyone looks at him as a villain. I think the real skandal is that the president of the ISU and an international judging celebrity can say something mean about a skater's technique/programs BEFORE the Olympics and - OOPS - he gets downgraded. That Johnny Weir says something about the judging celebrity - BEFORE the Olympics - and - OOPS - he gets downgraded, too.

Ice Charades said...

Judge the Judges - say it with me people, judge the judges. If that ever happened, the skater from Turkey would get the right score. Don't get off your soapbox, maybe a groundswell from fans can make the changes and make skating more respectable.

If you think Plushenko is bad now, I fear for the atmosphere in Sochi four years from now. This is the country that is rewriting history books about Stalin ... just google "rewriting stalin" and be very afraid. But back to figure skating ...

Plushenko's argument has no basis, because they did the same with the ladies ... they went with overall vs. triple axel - the holy grail for the girls.

Glad you're back and opinionated again. Can't wait to hear all of the behind-the-scenes stuff. Way to go Gold Blogger - did you get to keep the jacket? What other swag did you get your hands on? Do tell!

kevin hsu said...

What Plushenko said was true. Men's figure skating technically is regressing. Men should be doing quad quad not triple triples by now. Let's see, if Shaun White did what he did four years ago, I doubt he'll even get a bronze. Did Evan skated better overall when compare to Plushenko's skate? Of course. Therefore he justifiably won. Did Evan regress men's figure skating technically by winning without even throwing in a quad? Of course, even the girls are doing triple triples or triple axels. You would think men, who are build stronger than women, should be minimally doing quad triples. The last three Olympic champions all did minimally one quad, for Evan to not even do one is a let down. period. No ifs and buts. It's a regression for men's figure skating technically. Period. No ifs and buts. Fact is a fact. His won is very reminiscent of Arakawa's win. When everyone falls, the one that's left standing wins. He didn't beat people because he out skated them. He beat them because the other skaters sucked that night. Had Plushenko not landed his jumps all wonky, he would have won. It's that simple. Plushenko have only himself to blame for not skating clean.

Can someone tell me when was the last time a second placed ice dancing team at the Grand Prix Final beat out the first placed dancing team at the GPF for close to six points at the Olympics game that followed? Talk about giving out frivolous GOE points!!! The bottom line is Domina/ Shabalin deserve their bronze as much as Virtue/ Moir deserved their gold. Yeah yeah, Davis/White will have their shot at Sochi. Oh wait, Sochi is at Russia. Never mind. They'll be lucky if they get a bronze. (see Belbin and Agosto)

Ann Marie said...

I just recently discovered your blog and want to tell you that:
1) I love the uncensored, non-PC posts, and
2) I completely agree with your post.

Anonymous said...

I would think the reason Plushy is going to the Worlds is that he hopes he and Artem will place high enough to send three Russian men to the Worlds next year? Plus he's already in a competition shape so why not?

Evan isn't going to the Worlds which is smart. Nothing looks worse if he goes to the Worlds and don't come out golden. He may of course ended up with another gold but why take the chance? I wonder if Weir is going? Hopefully Jeremy can redeem himself. I guess Ryan is going since Evan isn't going. I hope Ryan does well. He's a very likable guy.

Xan said...

Hooray, Aaron's back! Michelle Kwan nailed it--she said it didn't matter what judging system you use if the judges themselves are biased or corrupt (go MK!). I find it interesting that most of the shenanigans went on over the bronze medals; with the possible exception of the ladies (and even that was arguable) every bronze went to the wrong person. Not sure if it was corruption, but there was an undeniable political aspect to it, ie keeping Americans off the podium where possible. So if by "impeccable" Rogge meant "no one was caught passing actual envelopes full of cash" yeah, I guess it was impeccable.

Aaron said...

I was okay with Takahashi, Rochette, and Savchenko/Szolkowy...those were justifiable bronzes, but Domnina and Shabalin...that just made no sense.

I might have felt better about had Domnina and Shabalin lost points to the field, namely Belbin/Agosto, in the OD and FD and managed to hang on because of their compulsories which in fact were quite good. But they just kept gaining points on Tanith/Ben with dances which weren't even close to the caliber of their training mates...that bugged me.

I'm waiting for someone to make a solid argument on how Domnina and Shablin were better than Belbin and Agosto...anyone?

Laura said...

I agree about Domnina and Shabalin. And I admitted that I liked their compulsory dance effort the best, so I feel like if they had truly done a good job on the original and free, then I could have admitted it despite preferring other pairs. But their original dance and free dance were so far behind the rest of the top pairs that I could barely watch it - I don't understand the scores, either.

I think you're right in your's like we were supposed to be so happy that Canada and the US snagged the top two steps that we aren't supposed to be annoyed about the bronze or something.