Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline
queen_of_kithia

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I'm beginning to think I might be addicted to figure skating.

I keep doing research to check my facts and turning up more stuff I want to comment on. Apparently, in the midst of cold-heartedly tearing into Evan Lysacek for daring to take Olympic gold without a quad jump, Elvis Stojko actually made a valid point, which was that if Lysacek's program won gold, then Johnny Weir's program was underscored and he should have taken bronze. I've heard some other people also complain, or at least opine, that Weir's programs were underscored, particularly the free skate. Personally, I think that Weir's free skate was much, much cleaner than Plushenko's, but apparently Plushenko's free skate program was more difficult to begin with.

If it were up to me, based on my own personal understanding and amateur interpretation of what makes good figure skating, I would have ranked the short program like this: First Lysacek, then Takahashi and Weir, then Plushenko. The free skate would have ranked as: Lysacek, Weir, Plushenko, Takahashi.

But here's where my amateur interpretation runs into a problem, because it's not numerical, so while I wouldn't hesitate to award Lysacek the gold, I don't know how I would combine those rankings to determine the other two medalists. Takahashi fell on his quad in the free skate and downgraded one of his triple jumps, but the rest of his program was very, very good. Plushenko didn't have any major errors like that, but he had general sloppiness throughout. And then for me, during the free skate Takahashi and Weir were very close to one another in terms of interpretation, and light years ahead of Plushenko in that regard.

When all is said and done, I am not an athlete, and all else being equal I personally do value artistry over athleticism. In my opinion, Lysacek had the best of both artistry and athleticism; Takahashi and Weir were very close in artistic interpretation, so in this case athleticism would have to be the tie-breaker. Weir and Takahashi both had technically impeccable short programs; Weir had two very small errors in the free skate, while Takahashi had two very large errors in the free skate. As for Plushenko, the devil is in the details; it's not what you do, it's how you do it.

So if it were up to me I would have awarded the gold to Lysacek, the silver to Weir, and the bronze to Takahashi, with Plushenko a very close fourth; since everyone's so keen on giving him made-up medals, maybe I would give him the iron medal. Or, so that the U.S. wouldn't fall behind in the made-up medal count, maybe I would give Plushenko the bronze, Takahashi the silver, Weir the gold, and Lysacek the unobtainium. (No, I wouldn't, because I would have to destroy the ecology of Pandora in order to do it.)

By the way, I seem to be one of few figure skating fans who doesn't have much to say about Johnny Weir. I admire his skating, and I admire his dedication in being true to himself, but I don't admire his insatiable appetite for attention, and so I don't care to feed that appetite. But since I've brought him up, and just awarded him the hypothetical silver, I do want to make this observation: if they ever decide to do a figure-skating version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Johnny Weir is the perfect man to play Hedwig.
Tags: figure skating, ideas, olympics, theatre
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