If Quads Don’t Mean Much in Men’s Figure Skating, then Why Not Tear Down Gender Barriers?

Everyone who watches men’s figure skating pretty much knows by now that Evgeni Plushenko has said the quadruple jump is the future of men’s figure skating. A few egotistical judges, who self-appointed themselves to be the judge of that, rewarded Evan Lysacek with the Winter Olympics gold. Supposedly, Evan’s his triple jumps and graceful artistry while dressed like a grease ball in a black jump suit with sparkles was superior to the ultimate ice showman’s quads and other skills.

The main defense of Evan’s gold being fair and legit is that this is the new scoring system (see summary below the poll).

OK. Let’s theoretically accept that is correct for a few moments.

If so, then why not tear down the gender barrier and have the ladies compete with the men?

Queen of the Triple Axel, Mao Asada of Japan

20 of the 24 male figure skaters at the Olympics level didn’t do a triple Axel. Rod Black and Tracey Wilson cited on CTV during Olympics exhibition gala broadcast. Meanwhile, Mao Asada of Japan, the Queen of the Triple Axel, can do them like crazy. She did three in her free skate! That gives her a pretty good chance at 4th place right off the get go, She can do other jumps and combinations like the men. And who’s going to tell me her artistry and grace is worse than any of the men?

So if some of the ladies can jump better than most of the men, and they’re more graceful and artistic, what chance would Evan Lysacek have for the gold if he competed against them?

He’d get bronze, at best, with stiff competition from Johnny Weir. Top two spots would be contended by Mao Asada and Yu-Na Kim of South Korea. Mao only got silver… and not because she was a jumper and not artistic, either. She was elegant, skilled and graceful. She was just beaten by a better skater on the night. Both were beautifully artistic and graceful, having great footwork and covering the ice at least as good as the men, and could jump better than many!

So under this new scoring system, if you could get away with winning on triple jumps and rely on footwork and artistic impression to win, then let’s get the women a chance to skate with the men. Let them show Evan what that’s really all about, cause artistic grease balls in black jump suits with sparkles ain’t doing the trick for me to watch the sport.

Get a few girls who can kick some guy butts? Now you’re talking! 😉

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.4



The New Figure Skating Scoring System

The International Skating Union introduced a new scoring system that took effect internationally in the 2005 season. It is intended to shift focus away from the judges and onto the skaters.

The system is designed to allow judges to focus on the quality of each element performed and the five program components. It also eliminates the scoring of skaters in relation to other skaters.

Oversees the judges to make sure they follow the proper procedure

Technical specialist
Identifies each element as the skater performs it

Technical controller
Supports technical specialist

Assistant technical specialist

Program components

  • Transitions
  • Interpretation
  • Choreography/composition
  • Skating skills
  • Performance/execution of elements

Grade of execution
Awarded on a scale of up to plus or minus three points

Base value
Each technical element has a pre-assigned base value

Program component score
Sum of points awarded for each of five components; points given on a scale from 0.25 to 10

Technical score
Each element performed receives a base value plus a ìgrade of executionî

Total score
Seven of the nine judges are randomly and anonymously selected by computer. Scores of the other two judges are thrown out.


6 thoughts on “If Quads Don’t Mean Much in Men’s Figure Skating, then Why Not Tear Down Gender Barriers?

  1. If I may say so, if what you say is true, I don’t think it would be fair to stick them together. After all, you said yourself, the women would most likely win. I don’t think it’s fair to eliminate any man’s chance of getting the gold. That being said, I don’t believe that the women would necessarily win, and I don’t believe the men would necessarily win.

    It should be known that I think they should break the gender barrier at the Academy Awards, (and the barrier between actors in a leading role and supporting actors). I would rather there be four or five acting awards where everyone is compared with everyone. This is because let’s say there are two actresses that were both in supporting roles. They were better than any of the men and leading women, but only one of them gets an award, when someone with not as good a performance gets one. I doubt there are going to make these changes though.

    On another note, I think Johnny Weir should have gotten the bronze. The guy who did get bronze fell, Johnny didn’t. It was pretty obvious to me at least that the judges scored him lower because he is controversial.

    • Interesting thoughts, JPendragon. Thanks for sharing!

      In skating, the quads are still worth something. I think the guys could still get a chance to win by doing a bunch of quads the women currently cannot do, but that would be their advantage to perhaps make up for their less artistic nature compared to the women, IN GENERAL. Let’s not stereotype anything fully here. And I agree regarding Johnny Weir, but it was close. I think Johnny’s controversial nature had something to do with a lower score. Remind you of anyone controversial who got a lower score than he should have? 🙂

      As for the Academy Awards, I’ve never understood that gender barrier. Question to me was always, can you act well or best, or can you not? What does being male or female have anything to do with it? It’s not like athletics where you could scientifically prove the male and female bodies have advantages in certain capabilities, IN GENERAL. What is the point, then? Perhaps some reader could enlighten us.

    • I felt sorry for the Russian guy. I watched him getting gold in Torino..:D he had difficult jumps and the greatest choreography, I thought, and so did in vancouver. And the American guy, still I cannot remember what his name is, was just fine(not enough to gold). He had lots of jump issues and most of all, he didn’t perform quard.
      I like figure skating as a sport(though, of course it has a side of art). So for me, “The figure skating is not just for quard”, the American guy said, seems like some kind of excuse. I love quard and I love many competitors who want the jump and try to get that. Likewise I also thought the japanese girl’s triple axels should have treated more than that. The GEOs she got were so little which I couldn’t understand at all. She is lady!! who can show me triple axels!

      • My argument it’s a sport and not an art cause it’s not like those moves are THAT artistic or anything. You try any half original dance moves, even theatre dance rather than something like hip hop, and you’d be blasted out of the competition for lack of artistry! It’s pansies’ politics, as far as I’m concerned, to take away the value of jumps the way they are doing these days. We don’t need to make it just a jumping competition, like going from one jump to another only. However, it’s not like there’s anything artistic in between, either. Just cardio breaks for those who can’t handle it.

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