Olympic Ladies Event – A Few New Problems Come to Light

One of biggest problems with the Olympics is that videos get removed from youtube faster than you can say, “Olympics” because of copyright issues. However, the IOC seems to have established their own youtube channel and have uploaded the Olympic performances. After re-watching Sotnikova’s programs, I continue to stand by my opinion that her PCS were inflated.

Firstly, here is a link to an overview of the PCS and its criteria. When we think of the scores, let’s keep in mind the definitions of each number when we say that the PCS is marked from 0 to 10:

9-10 – Outstanding
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – Above average
5- Average
4 – Fair
3 – Weak
2 – Poor
1 – Very poor
<1 – Extremely poor

Adelina received scores mostly in the 8s in her SP and 9s in her LP. Yes, the scores themselves are subjective but each PCS has its own criteria to limit how we define “average.” The following are the criteria of the PCS and my take on it. More

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Sochi 2014: Worst Judging I’ve Ever Seen – Ladies Event

You know, I can accept that Russia won the team event. As someone who prefers Tessa and Scott, I can also accept and celebrate Meryl & Charlie’s win at the Olympics. Adelina Sotnikova’s Olympic gold, however, is the one accolade I refuse to accept and this ridiculousness in judging is an insult to anyone who holds the title of “Olympic Champion.” I am so disgusted with this result that I refuse to cover or watch any more competitions in Russia until this bullshit judging has stopped because if this is how things are going to be judged in Russia, then may no figure skating competition be ever held there ever again. So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t made predictions for the Cup of Russia for the next few seasons, here’s why.

sotnikova and judge

I think all commentators were shocked when Sotnikova won. Kurt Browning said that she was not a complete skater, as did Dick Button. Katarina Witt, former Olympic Champion, has also told the media that she thought Yuna Kim should’ve won and she is joined by a whole host of knowledgeable people in the figure skating world.To also put this whole debacle into perspective, consider this: Sotnikova’s season’s best score before the Olympics was 20 points below her Olympic score. Of course, somehow we have the media trying to rationalize what happened by saying that Adelina had a higher Technical Elements Scores (TES) and while that is true, we have to consider that the TES is only half of the story. In fact, what didn’t make sense in Sotnikova’s scores were her Program Components Scores (PCS). So for those who are still scratching their heads at the result, here are my two cents as well as a general recap of the ladies event in Sochi. More

The Best Two Ice Dance Teams to Have Ever Graced the Ice

vm dw 2014 owg

For once, my Olympic predictions were not so far off but that is the nature of this discipline. In ice dance, it is the subtleties that matter and sometimes mistakes are imperceptible to the average viewer. Here is a recap of sorts of the ice dance event at the Olympics and my two cents. Hopefully this post will help balance things out amid the news reports and angry rants by sportscasters who fully admit to knowing nothing about the sport. More

Olympic Ads: Mao Asada Airplane!

Are you excited for the ladies short program tomorrow?

Anyways, I was wandering the intertubes when I found this! JAL unveiled an airplane with Mao on it sometime before Christmas. In the video, I think Mao said that this was a nice Christmas present. I don’t think she owns the plane but I think she was honoured (and surprised) that her face was on a gigantic airplane. (I believe it’s the 777 model.)

There’s a pop singer there too, Tatsuya Ishii. I have a few of his songs on my iPod. He sounds way better than in this video. So as a treat…

Enjoy~!

Have you seen any ads featuring figure skaters in your country? If so, link me in the comments or via Twitter (@LanternBell).

~The Rinkside Cafe

The Future is Here! All Hail Yuzuru Hanyu – Olympic Champion!

Yuzuru Hanyu 2014 OWG LP

The men’s competition in Sochi was packed full of surprises for better and worse. The result is still a little bit of a shock but somewhere deep down, I think I was expecting it. Or maybe, a lot of us just managed to see what a talent this guy was back at the beginning of the Olympic cycle and he certainly proved us right. Thanks, Yuzuru!

Also, the men’s figure skating Olympic curse seems to be in full effect after taking a small break in Vancouver. (For those of you who don’t know, the “curse” is that the man who was World Champion from the previous year/season will not win Olympic gold. All the figure skating “curses” were broken in Vancouver but so far, they seems to be in full effect.) Anyway, let’s start this brief recap of the men’s figure skating competition with one of the biggest game changers… More

Mother Russia Gets Her Pairs Gold Back

The individual pairs competition was a grand victory for Russia as she reclaimed the gold after Xue Shen & Hongbo Zhao abruptly stopped the 50 years of Russian pairs domination in Vancouver. The picture below says it all as we go through the stories of those on the podium.

2014 Pairs Olympic Podium

Volosozhar & Trankov win Olympic Gold

To skating fans who have followed this team in the last Olympic cycle, none of us were really surprised that Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov won the pairs gold and perhaps, starting another era of Russian pairs domination. V & T had a 5 point lead after the short program and even as their main rivals, Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy took the ice in the LP, it was hard to imagine that there was anything they could do to get the gold. V & T have been mostly solid technically all season and the choreography of their programs is well… palatable compared to anything else they’ve skated to in the past. (For the love of god, they skated to Evanescence a few years ago.) They were a little stiff in the LP but all in all, it was a well deserved gold medal.

Stolbova & Klimov – Spoilers for Silver

I think the most sensational story of the pairs event goes to Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov. For the past Olympic cycle, this team has only occupied the lower rungs of the Grand Prix podium if not at all and they have also yet to compete at the World Championships. Before the Olympics, I vaguely remembered this team as one that has often let me down when I peg them for the bronze medal position in Grand Prix events. Somehow, this team has magically blossomed overnight and has demonstrated that they have the technical skills and consistency to be at the top. Even though the figure skating events haven’t finished yet, I would say that their silver medal is probably one of the most unexpected of the sport this season. Kudos, guys.

A Disappointing End for Savchenko & Szolkowy

Things weren’t looking good for Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy after the SP when they were trailed V&T by 5 points after the SP. S&S brought back and shortened their acclaimed Pink Panther long program but unfortunately, even as a fan of theirs, I have to admit that there were too many pauses in the middle of the program and the choreography didn’t bring out the fun characters as much. According to the commentators at CBC, S&S’ motto was “Gold or nothing,” and I really wish that they had thought about it a little more when they went into their long program. Robin missed a jump and after a perfect and strong skates from both Russian teams, mistakes were extremely costly. S&S could have either executed a throw triple axel or an easier throw triple salchow for their last element and went with the former in hopes of gaining huge points. Unfortunately, Aliona fell on the attempt and the team got a bronze medal. I can’t help but think that they could’ve maybe squeaked by with a silver if they had done a clean salchow but what has happened has happened. What makes me sad is that these two are going down in history as a team with 2 Olympic bronzes despite having 4 World titles. These two are better than that but they couldn’t prove it in Sochi.

What did you think of the pairs event at the Olympics? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Olympic Ads: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir

I seem to be inundated with ads by Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir both on the street and online. The online part, I totally understand but I still wonder at the lack of Patrick Chan ads on billboards and such. Maybe if he wins Olympic gold, a nightmarish onslaught of PChiddy ads will appear all over Toronto.
Tessa and Scott PG

In any case, I was wandering on my facebook and saw this P&G ad on my sidebar. Darn you facebook, your algorithms know me well. I have yet to see ads for skaters from other countries other than Canada and the U.S. but I guess that’s the nature of the beast.

If you’ve seen ads for other figure skaters, no matter the country, link me in the comments or via Twitter (@LanternBell).

~The Rinkside Cafe

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