What are the Games without a figure skating scandal? - Macleans.ca

What are the Games without a figure skating scandal?

Stojko slams U.S. Gold; Russia furious


With a column titled “The Night They Killed Figure Skating,” Canadian figure skating legend Elvis Stojko joined critics—including Russian prime-minister Vladimir Putin—in slamming Evan Lysacek’s gold, calling the decision to award Russian Evgeni Plushenko the silver, “ridiculous.”

He said Lysacek’s program was on par with a junior program, and it was no more developed than what gold-medallist Brian Boitano did in 1988.

For days, debate has been boiling away over the quadruple jump (who can do it, who can’t, whether you need to land it to take gold), and whether the new scoring system is killing the sport. The so-called Code of Points system, which replaced the old, 6.0, was brought in after the infamous judging scandal at Salt Lake; it is said to have shifted the focus away from jumping, to a more balanced program.

But Stojko says the International Skating Union has taken the risk out of figure skating, and it makes him sick.

“Figure skating gets no respect because of outcomes like this. More feathers, head-flinging and so-called step sequences done at walking speed—that’s what the system wants.” Stojko also said he was going to watch hockey where “athletes are allowed to push the envelope—a real sport.”

“Just doing nice transitions and being artistic is not enough because figure skating is a sport, not a show,” Plushenko told a Russian TV station; he too has slammed Olympic judges, and has threatened to quit the sport over the outcome in Vancouver.


What are the Games without a figure skating scandal?

  1. I watched both nights and yes, Plushenko had an amazing repetoire of jumping skills but over and over it was noted that his strength lay largly in his jumping, not in his "on the ice" work… Lysacek may not have put a quad in his routine, but what he did do was skate a strong, graceful program that showed skill through all elements. I have always thought skating was a combination of power and grace, otherwise we could just institute a new sport called Men's Ice Jumping, and maybe Plushenko could win gold and quit whining.

  2. Several years ago I saw a Chinese contender do a standing four flip frontal rotation with a new position having his legs spread wide and rotating on that axis and he didn’t win. He should have. Plushenko is the best in the world and he didn’t win. It was close, who’s to win, the best athlete or the best entertainer. I’ll go for the athlete every time, the judges should also.

  3. maybe we need to make two categories for men's skating to satisfy the Russians. we can have an Olympic Men's Big Jump category and one for Men's Overall skate

  4. Plushenko cut things from his own program that would have earned him more points, because they were too difficult for him, the "superior athlete." He lost points under the scoring system because he did all his hard stuff at the beginning. His landings were very wobbly, and not just on the quadruple. For the last part of the program he was virtually running out the clock. He was, in fact, awarded points for the quadruple that his opponent didn't get, but they simply couldn't outweigh the many flaws in his program. The gold medal went to a program that was virtually perfect and was, in some ways, more difficult: the hard moves were spread evenly, the transitions were real transitions (not poses or hip swivels) and the landings were spot on. I've seen reasonable arguments made either way, but there can be no arguing about whose sportsmanship has been lacking. Plushenko and the Russians didn't disgrace themselves on the ice, but they've certainly disgraced themselves in print, on the podium, and at press conferences.

    • I couldn't have said it better. Kudos to Evan Lysacek for such a mature and dignified reaction to the Russian "sour grapes"!

  5. Oh shut up Elvis! You were a jumping bean who rarely managed to put ANY artistry into it, except the time you did the karate based program – that was cool.

    But ragging on Evan is dumb. Please, Plushy was wobbling all over on many of his jumps, and his transitions were weak. I could go on but I won't. I admire Evan for being so incredibly classy in his response to all the hissy fitting folks! He was even funny about not knowing if he would be allowed to cross the border in four years when the Olympics are in Russia…

  6. I congratulate ElvisStojko for telling the truth and not being afraid to tell it!!!
    Lycacek is a worthy champion?
    He's more of a helicopter with his flailing arms (oh I forgot ISU thinks it's a great choreography) …and his cheated "triple" axels?
    Real embarrassment, such winner…

    • Why were his triple axels cheated? I thought he did them very cleanly.

  7. Evan Lysacek won the gold. Did you all take a look at the score sheets on both skaters. Evgeny scored higher than Evan on the jumps. Both skaters scored the same in artistry. Evan edged Evgeny out on rate of execution. The level of Evan's spins, transitions, and foot work was better than Evgeny's. Also, Evan had better strategy by putting more jumps at the end of his program. He received 10% higher on those jumps. What I don't understand is why Evgeny didn't put more jumps at the end of his program. He would have won. He would have overcame the 1.3 point that separated him from Evan. Evgeny should have known better as a superior skater. He knows the new system. If he would have landed his jumps cleanly and did better spins, his excecution score would have been better and he would have won. Evgeny has no one to blame but himself for losing. It was also poor coaching on the part of his coach to not recognize this. Evgeny is a sore loser. I am glad Evan won. He deserved it.

  8. I also think Johnny Weir was robbed. He should have been at least fourth.

    • Absolutely! He was VASTLY underscored on his short, and then again on the free. IMO, I would have loved to have seen him take 3rd…but fourth would have been completely deserved, don't you think? He was so much better than the 4th & 5th placed skaters. Oh Well. At least he has a definite future in TV!

  9. The outcome is as it should have been. While each skated perhaps be best routine of his life, there's only one gold medal — not two. It's the ISU's responsibility to make sure that the judging is fair, and to do that, they judge the performance on a wide variety of elements, not just jumping. If this were a sport that was all about the athlete and all about jumping, the competitors would line up and jump one at a time. That's not how it is. Yes, like it or not, men's figure skating is also about artistry, spins and footwork. Hate it if you'd like, but don't take it out on the gold medalist for doing a good job and meeting the requirements set forth by those in authority over his sport. And I've lost respect for Mr. Stojko, a skater who I rooted for when he had his shot at the Olympic gold.

    • I agree with every word that you (Rebecca) wrote, I watched it all and even i thought that Evan was the best. I can understand Plushenko finding fault with the judges, he was so sure that the gold would be his.But for Elvis, i agree with your comments, my respect for him sure took a downer.

  10. The most complete skater on the night for me was Lambiel. He has the artistry, the basic skating skills and the quads. I am not a fan of either Evan or Evgeny, although I have the most respect for the latter. I think Evan skated the perfect program with nice running edges out of the jumps, but Elvis is right that his jumps lack height and power. Evgeny was not on, off axis jumps and scratchy landings. I think had he skated the program with his usual confidence he would have won. Weir skated a very basic program, like Evan nice running edges out of the jumps but they lacked height and power. There was a lot of posing and skating from jump to jump hence his lower placement. I am slightly towards feeling the judging on the night was fair but I feel men's figure skating has gone backwards as a result. Had Lambiel been at his best and won gold this debate would not be happening.

  11. Evan Lysacek earned a gold, alright: in ice dancing. The sport of figure skating has been totally co-opted by special interests. It is now officially show biz, and should move to Las Vegas as an entertain venue.

  12. Have to agree with Stojko on this one. If they want to turn it from a sport into a dramatic art they can, but then it shouldn't be in the Olympics.

  13. remember when tow gold medals were awarded to please the canadians? Now it was time to pay back…give a gold medal to the americam evan…ridiculos….we are going backwards…Evan doe not do quad because he can…he is inferior…