Friday, 19 February 2010

2010 Vancouver Olympics: Men's Figure Skating

This is the first time I watched the whole of any figure skating championship but I was hooked at once. Whilst I loved the pairs the men's was more interesting to me. I can't wait for the women's either but for now I'm going to give my view on the men's competition.

As the short programme was a few days ago I don't remember much of it - I also didn't see one or two of the groups so I'll keep this part short. I missed the first 4 skaters of the short programme so I didn't get to see the supposedly fabulous Florent Amodio, I did love his free skate though. Ari Pekka Nurmenkari's skate was painful to watch as I believe he's a better skater than that, he also got an awful score, what a shame. Just to tell everyone, if you haven't noticed yet - I'm not a Plushenko fan so don't expect me loving anything he does!

Denis Ten was a joy to watch, at only 16 as well. Daisuke Takahashi should have come first I believe. The programme was beautifully choreographed and exceptionally performed, shame he was like 0.5 away from first. I was so sad for Brian Joubert, I checked his record out and he's obviously a great skater, hope to see him do better in next years Europeans. Same for Samuel Contesti, Jeremy Abbott, Patrick Chan and Tomas Verner, I definitely would love to see them at their best. I'm in the group who thought Michal Brezina was underscored but oh well the scoring was relatively weird throughout the competition.

Therefore my favourite short program was Daisuke Takahashi's. I don't actually remember Evan Lysacek's besides his Vera Wang costume - which I thought was way way too feminine. However I do remember it being exquisitely performed.

Zoltan Kelemen and Ari-Pekka Nurmenkari, two skaters I'd have liked to see more of, both didn't qualify. I didn't understand why they just cut 6 skaters out, isn't that a bit pointless? Why not just have 24 throughout? Or why not cut 12 from the short programme? Whilst we would have missed the decent programme from Adrian Schultheiss and the loveable Tomas Verner they weren't going to contend for Top 10 anyway.

The Free Skate was a much more mixed affair for me, sometimes I was left jumping over the moon whilst others I was forced to scream at the judges cursing at their stupidity but all in all it was a decent final.

So now onto the free skate!

Tomas Verner - I love Tomas Verner but sadly he just didn't have the will to do a great performance after his weak short programme. You could see he was a better skater than most of the other guys in the first group but there was no conviction in his movements plus a few hitches here and there made it impossible for him to score well. 119.42 was still low imo.

Paolo Bacchini - His routine was too hectic for me, he had no time to perfect his lines so in the end it looked just a bit too clumsy. The score reflected this.

Viktor Pfeifer - It was all a bit too slow and laboured for me, it lacked impact. There were a few good jumps but all in all quite tame. His technical score was actually quite high! No wonder he was happy with his performance.

Vaughn Chipeur - He skated well I thought but the choreography was weak imo.

Anton Kovalevski - I have no sympathy for him, he fell like 3 times and tripped like 5 or something! It doesn't even matter anymore, whilst I understand there's nerves and stuff but if your not at olympic level then just don't attempt! Nice ain't I.

Adrian Schultheiss - It was different and thaat's what made it decent. I think he needed a bit more speed and impact in his skating, he wasn't expressive enough imo but he attempted something different which I appluad him for. Tbh I didn't think he was that much better than Tomas Verner so I'm not sure if the scoring was justified for me.

Stefan Lindemann - It was a clean but boring performance, he lacked the punch which he had in his short programme, it was all a bit too lax for me. The judges obviously thought so too.

Artem Boroduilin - I liked the quality of his jumps but he faded towards the mid section, it didn't capture my attention for long enough.

Jeremy Abbott - Besides the fall he had a beautiful routine which was performed well, however I was quite shocked when he score near 150, I was thinking more of 140 or such. He wasn't even at his best, I'd love to see him at the US Nationals.

Samuel Contesti - I love Samuel but the whole routine wasn't really there. The score reflected that, his technial was way low, like 3rd lowest.

Javier Fernandez - His performance was the first one in which I was thinking; and finally we're reaching the climax. His routine was lovely and he skated well overall. Whilst Jeremy Abbott was technically more sound I was more interested in Javier Fernandez's routine on the whole so I thought Javier should have made the 140's.

Brian Joubert - All I can say is; hope to see him at Bern next year.

Takahiko Kozuka - Fantastic Quad and spins. I wasn't too sure about the music and I'd love to see more expression. Shame about the fall but he made the 150s.

Denis Ten - Sadly his free skate failed to capture the same attention as his short programme. Only in the last minute or so did we really see his true colours. He also made a few mistakes along the routine and it all felt a bit restrained, however he's only 16 - younger than me. He potentially has 3 more olympics to go - or even more.

Kevin Van Der Perren - He looked tired and he was on the verge of falling on many occassions. Truely a shame, low score as well 116.94.

Florent Amodio - I loved this routine, it was expressive and fast paced. He enjoyed it and I did too, the music fitted perfectly also. What I like to see is personality and he has it definitely. To the untrained eye he probably would be near the top but I guess the judges are the judges. I was shocked to find that he was below Adrian Schultheiss!

Patrick Chan - I like Patrick and everyone seems to forget that he's only 19 but I was truely against his high score, over 160! I just don't believe he was better than some of the latter contestants. Whilst I loved the choreography, speed and sensuality in his skating the fall was a huge blow which did mess him up a bit. Nobody expected him to score that high, I think we were all thinking between 145-155 not 160+.

Michal Brezina - His opening was fabulous, if he kept that up throughout I'd have put him in my Top 3! He did fade a bit towards the end but I love his musicality and charisma on the ice. The fall was also a shame. I'd say where he placed in the free skate was about right.

Evan Lysacek - Here comes the big guns! It was a near flawless skate. It was beautiful; smooth and lovely lines. The speed, passion and expression - 3 things I look for in figure skating, were all there. The energy was perfect. Besides the icky bit on one of his jumps this performance deserved the 167.37 he got and in fact it deserved the title - so shut up you Evgeni fans! Lol at them playing OneRepublicss "All the right moves"

Nobunari Oda - I was so sad for him, how did his laces snap like that! As Robby Cousins said he shoudl have noticed. Still I thought it was a great performance, though lacking in personality. I was extremely angry when he scored lower than Patrick Chan! How, besides that one hickup he performed fantastically.

Stephane Lambiel - I don't understand why the judges seem to be enamoured with him. Sue Barker must have a crush on him! I thought his performance was much less interesting than Evan's and Nobunari's, his ending spins were and always have been fantastic. I was however fuming when he score 162! How! How did he score so much higher than Nobunari Oda? I do believe the judges were biased towards him, he was definitely not 3rd best of the night.

Daisuke Takahashi - He is definitely my favourite skater, he has so much emotion and performs his routines with conviction and passion. I LOVED everything in his routine, sadly he fell which cost him dearly. His routine imo was better than Lysacek's but his performance was sadly of a lower grade. I still don't understand how he got 156.98 when Lambiel and Chan scored in thee 160s. HOW! And someone in the right midn explain to me how technically Takahashi was worse than Schultheiss! How was Takahashi the worst technically out of the Top 8! At least he scored the highest in content.

Johnny Weir - I loved it! Technically he was great, I'm not sure about the choreography but he skated the routine so so well with so much emotion. I couldn't believe that he score 156.77 when he didn't even fall whilst Patrick Chan scored in the 160s. The judges were defintiely a bit daft this year no offence.

Evgeni Plushenko - I think the people who believe Evgeni Plushenko should have won were utterly deranged! Come on Lysacek produced the finer performance whilst he may not have done the quad he did everything perfectly but when you saw Plushenko's he was unsteady on many areas. He wasn't as good or technically sound as Lysacek today and the routine was rather boring and had no wow factor. I didn't udnerstand how he could get 165.71 but as long as he didn't win I'm fine.

Can anyone explain to me why they are called amateurs and when they retire they are called professionals?

My favourite performances (note favourite doesn't mean they have to be technically excellent)
Evan Lysacek
Daisuke Takahashi
Johnnu Weir
Nobunari Oda
Florent Amodio
Javier Fernandez

Overall I'm so pleased Evan Lysacek won the Gold, I would have been estatic if Daisuke won but Evan is a great alternative. Daisuke, Johnny and Nobunari were all way undermarked whilst Evgeni, Stephane and Patrick were all way overmarked.

I feel so sorry for Nobunari Oda and Johnny Weir for placing 7th and 6th respectively, they so deserved to be 4th and 5th at least. I'm happy but shocked that Jeremy Abbott made the Top 10 and a bit sorry for Denis Ten, well he's got a long way to go even at Sochi he'll be known as a youngster.

I hope Brian Joubert, Samuel Contesti and Tomas Verner will be back in form.

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