Did Evgeni Plushenko’s Mouth Cost Him the Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medal versus Evan Lysacek?

Evgeni Plushenko mid-jump

UPDATE:
Canadian Olympic silver medallist and former world champion figure skater Elvis Stojko wrote an article trashing the Olympics’ men figure skating results
called The Night They Killed Figure Skating. It pretty much sums up my sentiments. But who was I to say such a thing? Thanks for setting the record straight, Elvis! You tell them! They had the ultimate showman back on ice and they’re going to drive him away for more pansies to be competing. Some people just can’t get over how insignificant they are, you know? Pity the sport. Evgeni was very diplomatic in defeat at the podium ceremonies, though. A showman to the last moment.

Also, see my follow up post after watching the ladies’ free skate:

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After the men’s figure skating short program, Evgeni Plushenko was in the lead and said something to the extent that the future of men’s figure skating was in the quad, or quadruple jump. The story went through the press as a challenge to all male figure skaters’ manhood if they did not do quads in their programs, as he vowed to be a man among boys. (CTV News, Feb 17 2010)

Without a quad it’s not men’s figure skating.
— Evgeni Plushenko, three-time world champion and 2006 Winter Olympics Champion

Well, tonight, in the long program, Evgeni did a very difficult quad-triple combination, and was still beaten by the American Evan Lysacek, who did not do a quad jump.

The difference was Lysacek had a lot of elements piled up in the second half of his program where they had 10% more value. Evgeni and Evan actually had the same “component” score for elements in their program. Shockingly, Lysacek beat Plushenko in the technical component despite Evgeni having piled up points for his quad-triple axle combination. Evgeni had a full minute without jumps to finish up his program. Both skaters were nearly flawless otherwise.

Lysacek finished a point ahead of Plushenko, with Evan getting 257.67 and Evgeni getting 256.36 points.

Scoring systems and all, some of it is still human judgment, and I can’t help but think that if Evgeni had kept his mouth shut, he might have gotten gold. You can’t look at his comment on the future of skating just as an insult just to the skaters like the media did. Who do you think judges the event and truly determines the future of figure skating? Some people seriously need to get over themselves!

All and all, though, what a night of brilliant skating!

Daisuke Takahashi won bronze with a distant 247.23 points, but was the first Japanese man to end up on the men’s figure skating podium at the Olympics.

Patrick Chan of Canada, who I’m not a particular fan of, I must say, finished 5th. Maturity and charisma wise, he was literally a boy among men.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.0

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