LIVE BLOG: Men's figure skating short program -

LIVE BLOG: Men’s figure skating short program

All eyes on Patrick Chan


7:03 p.m.
Who wants to watch hockey when you can see Patrick Chan do a triple axel? Live blogging of the men’s short program kicks off in T-minus 12 minutes.

7:15 p.m.
In a pre-recorded interview, Russian Evgeni Plushenko conceded he was “fat…like, really fat” when he came out of retirement to train for the 2010 Olympics.

7:16 p.m.
But apparently he hasn’t missed a quad all week, so he maybe he was being a little hard on himself.

7:18 p.m.
The announcers have somehow managed to quantify the skaters’ track records with a bar graph. I don’t get it.

7:19 p.m.
It’s the final commercial break before the skaters start doing their stuff. Is it bad that I’m kind of rooting for Plushenko? I think it was his fat comment.

7:29 p.m.
Sorry…technical difficulties.

7:30 p.m.
Okay, I’m back. In case you missed it, North Korea’s Song Chol Ri was first. Apparently, the lowest ranked skaters go first, but he was pretty damn good. And he had on this nifty black and silver number, and landed his triple axle. Even Elizabeth Manly seemed impressed.

7:33 p.m.
Ukraine’s Anton Kovaleski is really sparkly. He won in Albertville, and has clearly still got his skills, as well as a cute little blond hairdo. There’s enough of it for it to move when he jumps.

7:35 p.m.
Gregor Urbas’s hair is even better. Poofier and more floppy. The Slovenian’s music is pretty dramatic, which made it extra scary when he fumbled his triple axle. Not a full fall, per se…but he definitely needed his second foot.

7:38 p.m.
Apparently I misspelled axel earlier. Good thing I didn’t try and spell salchow.

7:41 p.m.
According to the announcers, France’s Florent Amodio was “literally abandoned in the street when he was an infant.” How’s that for a narrative?

7:43 p.m.
Now, THAT’S a triple axel!

7:44 p.m.
He just nailed all his jumps. Maybe it’s the black gloves he’s wearing. And he’s super graceful. Swoon!

7:46 p.m.
The announcers love him as much as I do. I like it when the boys get flowers.

7:48 p.m.
Move over Plushenko, I have a new favourite.

7:50 p.m.
Austria’s Viktor Pfeifer is skating to Moonlight Sonata. How unoriginal. He’s also wearing see-through clothing. Not sure how I feel about that.

7:54 p.m.
He just bent his left arm way behind his head and nearly dislocated his shoulder. On purpose. Weird.

7:58 p.m.
Plushenko is warming up. He hasn’t competed for four years. That’s kind of a big deal.

8:00 p.m.
Elizabeth Manley just said she was “amused” by how intimidated Kazakhstan’s Abzal Rakimgaliev was during warm ups with Plushenko. Well, OF COURSE he’s intimidated. Give him a break, Manly.

8:02 p.m.
Rakimgaliev’s only 17. That’s, like, Patrick Chan young.

8:04 p.m.
He’s wearing this crazy sparkly number with one glove. Looks like a 1980s sun is setting on his chest. He blew his triple axel, but he still looks pretty chill.

8:07 p.m.
He looks sweaty and tired. But considering he’s probably, like, in Grade 11, I’m impressed.

8:08 p.m.
The Polish coach is tiny! Przemyslaw Domanski is like two feet taller than her. He’s skating to the same music Patrick Chan will be using. Is that allowed? Wasn’t there an episode of Glee about that?

8:11 p.m.
He’s inspired me to heat up the perogies in the fridge.

8:15 p.m.
Finland’s Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari just totally bailed. And then fumbled his second jump…a salchow (yeah, that’s right, I just wanted to use the word).

8:17 p.m.
(Disclaimer: That jump might not have actually been a salchow.)

8:19 p.m.
Okay, so I really do think it’s high time for these guys to consider new outfits. As my clever friend just pointed out: “Their pants swoop right into their feet with scant regard for ankles.” Seriously.

8:21 p.m.
Elizabeth Manley is having one of those woulda shoulda coulda moments about how she could totally have done a triple axel in Calgary. Easy to say now, isn’t it?

8:22 p.m.
Canada’s first skater Vaughn Chipeur just blew his triple axel. Kurt Browning (who choreographed his routine) is not impressed. Or so I would imagine.

8:25 p.m.
He is somehow managing to look vaguely manly. I think it’s the tight black T-shirt. The sparkles on the back, however, are not helping.

8:27 p.m.
Fourth. Not so hot, Chipeur. Not so hot.

8:30 p.m.
Plushenko is on the ice. He does look terrifying.

8:31 p.m.
And…he nails the quad. I wish we could have seen him attempt that when, as he put it, he was “fat.”

8:33 p.m.
Okay, so his routine was perfect, bla bla bla, but what about his undershirt? Is that neutral nylon thing really necessary?

8:35 p.m.
And that’s why he’s the best. Because not even setting a new Olympic record is enough to make him smile. After all, this is just the short program.

8:39 p.m.
Pity the fool who has to follow that. Looks like Italy’s Paolo Bacchini drew the short straw.

8:46 p.m.
My efforts to do research on Bacchini have failed. All news stories are written in Italian. Wikipedia tells me he’s a three time national silver medalist. Like I said, pity the fool…

8:52 p.m.
Here’s a fun fact: Bacchini’s hobbies include handball, basketball and reading. What a well-rounded young man.

8:54 p.m.
Wait, is Plushenko kidding? He just described his skate as “Okay.” And now he’s complaining about his sore muscles. He actually looks kind of annoyed. And this is why they call him conceded: “I’m sorry, but without quadruples, it’s not men’s figure skating.”

8:58 p.m.
Bacchini is wearing suspenders on top of his black and red sparkly top.

9:00 p.m.
How does one decide, mid jump, to turn a triple into a double?

9:01 p.m.
I think he should get extra points for following the Russian maniac.

9:04 p.m.
Oh, he’s really cute. He went out the wrong door and had to be redirected to the “kiss and cry” area. Fittingly, he’s now blowing kisses.

9:06 p.m.
Romania’s Zoltan Kelemen wins best (worst?) outfit of the night. The white on the top and black on the bottom are sort of battling it out for spandex dominance. But he’s not half bad on his blades.

9:08 p.m.
And apparently I know nothing. Manly says he’s going to lose a whole whack of points for doing a double-double instead of a triple-triple.

9:10 p.m.
His coaches look kind of nervous. Eleventh place.

9:11 p.m.
According to the announcers, Russia’s Artem Borodulin is Plushenko Part 2. Maybe in looks. But his hair is WAY better. Much longer and thicker.

9:14 p.m.
This guy is good. He’s sticking all his landings. And the crowd is giving him lots of love.

9:16 p.m.
While waiting for his score, he’s holding a stuffed animal with huge red ears. I think it’s a bear.

9:17 p.m.
This kid is SO not Plushenko. He cracked a smile after getting a personal best.

9:18 p.m.
Germany’s Stefan Lindemann is skating to the soundtrack of The Firm. I bet Tom Cruise would have made a decent figure skater. He’s compact and has sufficiently floppy hair.

9:20 p.m.
Lindemann’s been at this for a long time. Just ask his bald spot.

9:24 p.m.
Spain’s Javier Fernandez just fell. I really think their spandex sparkly numbers make the tumbles look so much more brutal. He’s skating to Mission Impossible. Yet another Tom Cruise inspired choice.

9:27 p.m.
Apparently we’re going to have to wait another hour and a half for Patrick Chan.

9:29 p.m.
Fernandez’s coaches are totally stylish. You’d think they’d help him out with his outfits. He just scored a personal best, too. No trace of a smile. Maybe he’s Plushenko Part 2?

9:32 p.m.
Chipeur has qualified to skate on Thursday for the hardware. He’s still gasping for air. This interview must have been recorded earlier. Sneaky CTV.

9:37 p.m.
Manley just called Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten “little.” I don’t think he’d appreciate that.

9:38 p.m.
Apparently he’s only 16, and the youngest male skater competing. Not quite sure why he went with the yellow tuxedo vest look.

9:40 p.m.
At the risk of sounding trite, he’s, like, really good.

9:41 p.m.
The crowd clapped really loud. We Canadians love the underdog. Especially when they’re “little.”

9:43 p.m.
Nothing wrong with second place.

9:44 p.m.
Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi is a favourite. Probably because of his sideburns.

9:46 p.m.
I like his popped collar too. And his jumps and turns aren’t half bad either.

9:47 p.m.
Standing ovation. Take that, Plushenko!

9:50 p.m.
The marks are in: Takahashi’s only six-tenths of a point back from the Russian maniac.

9:52 p.m.
Sweden’s Adrian Schultheiss just landed the quad. But now he looks kind of beat.

9:54 p.m.
Manley says he’s going to get a major deduction for doing a single instead of a double after his quad.

9:56 p.m.
I think Switzerland’s Stephane Lambiel borrowed an outfit from Prince Charming.

9:59 p.m.
He just did a serious high kick. I don’t care if he stumbled a little after his quad-double. He’s fantastic.

10:00 p.m.
He looks happy.

10:03 p.m.
Lambiel loves those stuffed animals. And now he’s sitting in third.

10:04 p.m.
Japan’s Nobunari Oda has just been dubbed an “ice hopper.” Is that like a frozen frog? He sure can jump…

10:05 p.m.
This is a sentence I never thought I’d utter: his slicked back hair is really working for him.

10:09 p.m.
Oda just bumped Lambiel into fourth.

10:10 p.m.
Patrick Chan is in shorts, on his way down from the speed skaters’ “secret training area.” Why is it secret? Is there a password? Hazing ritual? I want details!

10:22 p.m.
Is anyone else getting this cheesy behind the scenes with Patrick Chan spot?

10:24 p.m.
According to Chan, “The quad doesn’t make you a man.” Maybe. But it doesn’t make you a wimp, either.

10:27 p.m.
Chan’s on in 26 minutes. Set your clocks.

10:30 p.m.
Dear Elizabeth Manley: I’m sorry for spelling your name wrong. It will never happen again.

10:32 p.m.
France’s Brian Joubert has taken sparkle to a whole new level. I think those crystals might be lighting up in their own. Sort of like Michael Jackson’s gloves.

10:34 p.m.
The announcers say they’re “shocked” Joubert missed two of his jump elements. Frankly, I’m more shocked when they land them…on one foot…all smiles.

10:36 p.m.
Dreadful! They just said he was dreadful. Poor Joubert.

10:38 p.m.
Eek. He’s in tenth. The announcers are freaking out.

10:40 p.m.
Enter Japan’s Takahiko Kozuka, wearing a flowing silk shirt and skating to Jimi Hendrix. This is my kind of guy.

10:42 p.m.
And he just pulled off a finishing spin for the ages.

10:43 p.m.
(Yes, “finishing spin” is a technical term.)

10:44 p.m.
Patrick Chan in eight minutes!!! (CTV wants you to know.)

10:45 p.m.
Kozuka’s in fifth.

10:47 p.m.
Italy’s Samuel Contesti is wearing overalls. Dirty, denim overalls. I kid you not.

10:48 p.m.
Too bad he fell. I like the Italian hillbilly.

10:49 p.m.
Patrick Chan’s up next. (He’s like, supposed to own the podium, in case you didn’t know.)

10:51 p.m.
Contesti’s smiling, despite his ninth place ranking.

10:52 p.m.
Chan hits the ice, and the crowd goes ballistic.

10:53 p.m.
He bobbles the triple axel. Oh, Chan! Don’t do this to us!

10:54 p.m.
Announcers are uncharacteristically quiet as he lands the remaining jumps. Chan, adorned in minimal sparkles, looks pretty good.

10:55 p.m.
Now he’s got that trademark deer-in-headlights look.

10:58 p.m.
Uh oh. He’s in fifth. That’s not so hot.

10:59 p.m.
Here comes American Johnny Weir, who has just been described by my own personal peanut gallery as “Adam Lambert’s athletic brother.” Those pink tassels are amazing!

11:01 p.m.
Look out, Chan. He’s really, really good.

11:03 p.m.
Apparently he’s been looking for pink bath mats for his room, which would go quite nicely with his outfit.

11:04 p.m.
He’s in fifth place, ahead of Chan. I feel kind of bad for calling it.

11:10 p.m.
Chan’s somehow still smiling. He’s talking “comeback.”

11:12 p.m.
Belgium’s Kevin van der Perren is dressed like a skeleton. A sparkly, athletic skeleton.

11:14 p.m.
I think face paint would have been a nice touch.

11:15 p.m.
He’s happy with his finish. When I was watching moguls I remember the announcers talking about how important it is to sell your performance to the judges. For what it’s worth, I’m sold.

11:16 p.m.
The announcers, however, are not. They’ve criticized him of confusing the Olympics with the Ice Capades. Poor sparkly skeleton.

11:18 p.m.
And the skeleton places tenth.

11:20 p.m.
Hello sailor! The Czech Republic’s Tomas Vernor is wearing blue and white stripes, complete with a red bandana around his neck. But it appears it is he who needs a rescue: he just botched both his opening jump sequences.

11:22 p.m.
Vernor is sitting in 16th.

11:26 p.m.
USA’s Evan Lysacek is tall, dark and handsome. Too bad he’s dressed like a vampire.

11:28 p.m.
His limbs are everywhere! (But I think that’s what they’re supposed to be doing.)

11:29 p.m.
That was amazing. The crowd is on its feet, and he looks like he’s about to cry.

11:31 p.m.
Whoa! He’s sitting in second…five-tenths behind Plushenko! And now he really IS crying.

11:33 p.m.
Here comes another American. Jeremy Abbott is skating to The Beatles. Harper would be proud. And he’s not wearing spandex! It’s a miracle.

11:34 p.m.
There’s something about him I really like. I think it’s his purple shirt and slick moves. The only trouble are his jumps. He’s really screwed up.

11:36 p.m.
He singled his triple axel a la Kurt Browning in Lillehammer. The announcers feel his pain. So long American champion.

11:40 p.m.
Czech Republic’s Michal Brezina is Puttin’ on the Ritz.

11:41 p.m.
He closes out the show with a bang. Maybe it’s just getting late in Toronto, but I thought that was pretty impressive.

11:42 p.m.
His coach’s big red glasses are INSANE. I think they’re for spotting mistakes.

11:44 p.m.
He places ninth, and the final standings are in: Plushenko, Lysacek and Takahashi are sitting first second and third, separated by only tenths of a point. Chan’s down, but he’s not out. Only 48 hours until we find out who will truly own the podium. Thanks for reading!

Filed under: