A Couple Quick Olympic Thoughts

Well, both US curling teams got off the schnied today getting wins.  In the case of the men’s team it was accomplished by stealing in the 10th end to beat France in dramatic fashion after the even more dramatic decision to bench the skip John Shuster.  He was curling horribly so it was certainly a defensible decision, but almost certainly heart-rending for the team as a whole.  But he just wasn’t getting the job done and it had to be in his head at this point.  The old 3rd stepped into the 4th spot and did a solid job, with a substitute that is apparently a real up-and-comer taking the 3rd spot.  It was a tight game pulled out by solid curling in the 9th and 10th ends.

Of course, the larger overall controversy is how the men’s figure skating played out last night, with Lycacek getting the gold over Plushenko.  I will be honest all these late Olympic nights on top of fighting the weather I fell sound asleep and missed the whole last rotation of skaters.  I have since seen Lycacek’s skate via the wonders of On Demand.  It was certainly a gold medal worthy performance and the lack of a quad bothers me less than it does Plushenko, Elvis Stojko, and noted figure skating expert Vladimir Putin among others.  To suggest someone that doesn’t try a quad is disqualified from winning is absurd.  Quads earn more points, but there are other ways to earn points and Lycacek mined those veins fully.  I can certainly understand Plushenko being upset, but complaining about it just sounds whiny, especially when you say you would’ve won under the old (ordinals) scoring system.  Perhaps, but that is not the scoring system being used now and he knew that going in.  Lycacek for his part was just interviewed by Bob Costas on NBC and he took a very high road; a smart decision on his part.  He looks gracious and thankful and appreciative and its to his benefit.  He makes a great champion.

Bode Miller won silver today in the Super G.  Seems rather obvious to point out this helps ease some of the disappointment from Torino, but I’ll say it anyway.

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One Response to “A Couple Quick Olympic Thoughts”

  1. Nick Says:

    We are an entire Olympics removed from the last one where the 6.0 system was used; for Plushenko to make that hypothetical argument only reinforces my belief he’s a ginormous prick. (He’s probably right, but that can cut both ways–Irina Slutskaya would have won in 2002 under the current system as Hughes would have been too far back after the short.)

    The current scoring system isn’t perfect (it doesn’t punish falls on fully rotated jumps enough and it seems to over mark technically-sound-but-boring skaters), but at least it recognizes: a) this isn’t just a jumping-on-ice contest, as much as Elvis Stojko might want it to be in order to delegitimize his two Olympic defeats at the hands of more balanced skaters b) quality of execution matters as much as what you execute. Plushenko had bigger tricks, but looked like crap while landing them.

    On a related note, having re-read what I’ve written above, I think I know more about Olympic figure skating than I should. 🙂

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