2.18.2011

Now I'm Breaking Out


Out of the six medal events that took place on Day 7, only one caused a riff in the world of winter sports.  Oh, figure skating, you are beautifully dramatic.


Day 7: 18 February - Controversies on the Ice

Before we get to the Pacific Coliseum where the figure skating competitions were being held, let's review the other five events going on that very same day.

In the women's combined alpine skiing event, German Maria Riesch took gold with a time of 2:09.14.  Her track marks were followed by USA's Julia Mancuso at 2:10.08.  And after Mancuso followed Anja Pärsson of Sweden at 2:10.19.

The women's and men's individual biathlon events took place at Whistler Olympic Park, seeing Norway walk away with not just one, but two gold medals!  In the women's event, Tora Berger (Norway) walked away after 40:52.8 of skiing to get gold.  The next biathlete crossed the finish line at 41:13.5; that biathlete being Elena Khrustaleva of Kazakhstan.  Belarus's Darya Domracheva was the last to medal in the women's event at 41:21.0.  Over on the men's side, Norway took both gold and silver.  Emil Hegle Svendsen (48:22.5) and Ole Einar Bjorndalen (48:32.0) walked away with the top two medals.  Belarus, again, rounded up the medals with Sergey Novikov crossing the line at 48:32.0 as well, and being awarded the silver.  Yes, you read right; there were two silver medals and no bronze.

The day before this day, Shaun White brilliantly took the gold.  Although in the women's halfpipe USA didn't take the gold, they dominated the podium.  Australia's Torah Bright took the gold with a 45.0 score in her second run, and when she touched the ground to accept her medal, her parent's appearance made her smile even bigger by making the flight from Down Under to Vancouver.  The rest belonged to the States.  Hanna Teter took silver with 42.4 score in her first run and Kelly Clark took the bronze with her second run's score of 42.2.

Continuing with the female theme, the women's 1000 metre speed skating event went down at the Richmond Olympic Oval.  Starting from the bottom and going up, Netherland's Laurine van Riessen took the bronze at 1:16.72.  She was beaten by her teammate Annette Gerritsen at 1:16.58.  But the Dutch pair was topped off by the Canadian speed skater Christine Nesbitt at 1:16.56.  That's a pretty damn close golden finish, if I do say so myself.

Now for the juicy bit at Pacific Coliseum.  Here's the medal throw down.  Gold went to Evan Lysacek of the U-S-of-A with a total score of 257.67.  The bronze went to Daisuke Takahashi of Japan with a total score of 247.23.  Now the controversy.  The silver went to Evgeni Plushenko of the mass Russian nation and his score of 256.36.  Why the controversy?  Plushenko harshly criticised the judging system that the Olympic figure skating judges used.  The Russian performed a much more difficult element but scored lower due to poorer form.  There was once a time when the more difficult element would score a better score as long as it was executed well.  Form wasn't so big back then.  But as the years went on, the system changed where artistry and proper form out-scored difficult elements.  So, what was this infamous move/combination that didn't win Plushenko gold?  The rarely seen quadruple toe loop/triple toe loop combo.  Badda-bing!

The highlights of his two programs.  Watching this video, you see the element (which is amazing) but you also see his poor form which deterred from its beauty.  But it was an amazing move!

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