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February 19, 2010

Congratulations Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek!

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Olympic News - February 18, 2010

Last night Evan Lysacek proved that the world of figure skating judging can get it right once in a while.  That's because last night he became the first American man in 22 years to win the Olympic gold medal. 

And he did it without a quad, but with a command of the ice that all the other male jumping beans couldn't match.

In his comments after the competition, the reigning Olympic champion Yevgeny Plushenko was more than a little sour grapey when he said that an Olympic champion without a quad wasn't a real Olympic champion.

Well Yevgeny, I beg to differ.  You've been getting away with those flailing arms and the pretense at artistic interpretation for years, while skating to music that might as well be playing in an elevator, for all that your program has anything to do with it.  You've been getting away with stringing jumps together and calling it a program for far too long.

Figure Skating

What Lysacek did over the two nights of competition was put together a technically proficient program--without a quad, mind you--that was exciting, interpreted the music and that created the kind of Olympic moments figure skating fans look for.

Figure Skating

The only thing I found shocking was that the lame numerical judging system actually rewarded him for his efforts.

Since the figure skating higher ups implemented the numerical system, programs have pretty much become interchangeable as skater after skater adds up points by doing exactly the same moves as everyone else. 

And then once a really good program is over and the audience is trying to figure out if the judges thought is was good or not, here come the numbers.

"Evan Lysacek, you got a...42!"  Oh that's exciting.

Please, please bring back the 6.0 system and put in some judges who aren't in the national federations' pockets.

Finally, how ironic is it that 71 year old coach Frank Carroll doesn't get his first gold medalist pupil in the form of the great Michelle Kwan, but in Evan Lysacek?  Gotta love it. 

Congratulations Evan!


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