Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Athensfan

  1. With respect, every single reason you gave is addressed in the technical elements score where Nagasu deservedly outscored Rochette. You are mistaken about the GOE. Although Rochette's levels were higher, Nagasu's GOE was better and therefore she got the higher marks for technical elements(remember Rochette's 2 step outs?). The protocols will confirm this. The only place where Rochette scored higher than Nagasu was in the Program Components which are the equivalent of the old artistic mark and, incidentally, totally subjective. Regarding the short program score, yes Rochette should've been scored higher than Nagasu and she was. (I still question the point differential a little bit.) It's mainly Rochette's LP Program Component score that seemed inflated. Admittedly, Nagasu is new to the world stage and she will have more opportunities. Considering the circumstances, Rochette's skate was nothing short of miraculous and that is absolutely worthy of commendation.
  2. I am astonished at what Joannie Rochette was able to do. What incredible strength! Truly an Olympic performance for the history books. I know I am risking great disapproval, but I have to say that solely on the basis of merit, I believe Mirai Nagasu deserved bronze. Mirai outscored Joannie technically, but the judges awarded Joannie 8 more points for program components. I do not want to diminish Joannie's magnificent accomplishment, but I believe Mirai's skate was artistically superior and deserved much higher program component scores. In my opinion, Nagasu skated with more speed, energy, attack and charisma. Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this competition, I do not expect to hear too many voices second this opinion, but I suspect I'm not the only one who holds it. Heartfelt congratulations to Joannie. Mirai, we are confident of WONDERFUL things in the future.
  3. I totally agree with this analysis. The music choice, choreography and costumes were totally wrong for Belbin and Agosto. I think their skills are stronger than four years ago, but the whole package is weaker. Virtue/Moir and Davis/White were way ahead of the pack. Both pairs have astonishing strengths and I think there would have been an argument to be made for either one getting the gold. Kudos to both. Don't begrudge either of them anything. Really didn't like Domnina and Shabalin. Didn't like OD or FD. Wasn't crazy about Belbin and Agosto either. Probably preferred the Americans slightly, but the difference was so minute that I wasn't going to pitch a fit over it. On the whole the judging has been very solid for all the figure skating. I was a bit surprised that Miki Ando landed in fourth. Her program components are weak, her jumps were awkward. 4th, 5th and 6th are all very close, but I was still surprised. If Yu Na doesn't win the gold, I'll be stunned. I was also very impressed w/ Mao Asada -- the best I've ever seen her skate. She doesn't have the musicality and artistry of Kim, but she maximized everything she does have. Astonishing that Rochette could perform so beautifully. Don't know if she'll be able to repeat it in the long program, but I don't think anyone cares. EVERYBODY is pulling for her and wanting her to succeed. I don't think anyone will care if her skate results in a medal or not. Personally, I love Mirai Nagasu. It was too bad she didn't pull off the triple-triple in the short, but I still loved the program. If she nails everything and gets full credit, and if the others struggle, she might sneak onto the podium. The reason I say this about Nagasu and not Flatt is that Nagasu has the potential to create "magic" and Flatt never really seems to. Flatt is solid, reliable, but uninspiring. Yes, she knows how to rack up points and, as Sandra Bezic says, "there's no box for magic on the judging protocals." Still, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Nagasu finished ahead. Getting irritated w/ Elvis Stojko. Don't agree with anything he's saying. He needs to find a new career. This figure skating journalism isn't suited to him at all. Ugh.
  4. Really irritated with some of the naysayers (Elvis Stojko). For heaven's sake -- look at something other than the quad. Yes, he did a quad. I'm sorry that's not a gold medal by default. His choreography was bizarre and he's lucky he scored as well as he did in the Program Components. There's no way Plushenko and Lysacek should have been tied in that area. Lysacek was OBVIOUSLY stronger. As for the jumps, Evan landed 12, most of which were in the second half of the program. Plushenko landed 11 (including the lauded quad), most of them in the first half of the program. Plushenko was noticeably awkward on multiple jumps. Stojko claims that this means young skaters will say "We don't have to do jumps. All we have to do is spins and fancy footwork." That's garbage and it's really minimizing what Lysacek has accomplished. Lysacek won on Technical Elements -- not Program Components (where he should have been scored higher as well). This wasn't a triumph of "dancing" over athleticism. Stojko was a jumper lacking in artistry. It's no surprise that he would side with Plushenko. The truth is, all the athletes know the rules before they structure their programs. Plushenko could have moved a jump or two to the second half of his program and that would have made the difference. He chose not to. He knew what he was risking. As for the choreography, I maintain that he should count himself lucky he wasn't marked down for ridiculous gyrating hips. Here's the link to Stojko's obnoxious editorial: http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/figure_skating/news?slug=es-thoughts021810&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
  5. I thought it was probably the best rendition of the Olympic anthem I've heard. It was as good as the anthem in Singapore was bad. Cool hair too.
  6. I have to say that I think this new scoring system is an improvement. It may be complicated, but it does a good job of trying to evaluate every aspect of a program as carefully as possible. It is MUCH less subjective than the old system. Most importantly -- the right athletes are winning the medals. I've felt that way throughout the GP season and through the Olympics as well. THRILLED that Lysacek won. Somewhat disappointed that he skated so carefully. Would have preferred to see a little more fire and freedom. A little surprised they gave him a level 4 on his circular step sequence. It's been a 3 all year. Then again they awarded Plushenko a level 3 where previously he's gotten a 2. Plushenko was definitely not his best either. It was clear that whoever won, the margin of victory would be small. Personally, I believe Lysacek totally deserves his gold. Glad for Johnny Weir's personal victory, but it's true that the transitions and choreography were nowhere near the complexity of the other skaters. I think his placing was pretty fair, though I think his performance/execution score and his skating skills should have been higher.
  7. I think we have to consider the source on both sides of this issue. Dick Pound and the IOC aren't going to say anything negative, even if they're thinking it. The British papers are notoriously abrasive and incendiary so of course they will make everything look as bleak as possible. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between. No VANOC can't control the weather. However, the cauldron has been a mess, there could have been more safety precautions at the luge track, some of the bussing issues are disappointing, the ice at Richmond oval should never have had so many problems, the biathalon scoring mistake was avoidable -- these things aren't good, but they are far from a travesty. I don't doubt that everyone is having a wonderful time. It's the Olympics! How could you not? I was incredibly ill when I was in Athens and I was determined to enjoy myself. Sick or not, it turned out to be one of the highlights of my life. So the fact that people are enjoying themselves doesn't say a whole lot except that there have been no horrifically bad missteps -- which I think is true. We will have to see how the coming days unfold. My impression is that Vancouver has done a respectable job, but that it there have been some weaknesses. Granted, the weather seems to somehow magnify the shortcomings.
  8. I absolutely agree that Vancouver has experienced more than their share of bad luck. However, not everything is beyond VANOC's control. Take just one example: the cauldron. The two cauldrons were a bizarre concept to begin with. The design within BC Place did seem overly ambitious and was a bit strange looking under the best of circumstances. It was too bad that Catriona LeMay Doan couldn't take Gretzky's place in lighting the outdoor cauldron. Would've been a nice way to make up for the disappointment of the malfunction. Then VANOC decides they have to fence off the outdoor cauldron so nobody can get anywhere near it. NBC was just saying that the cauldron is very difficult to see if you're not in the broadcast center. Poorly conceived all the way around. Too bad, considering the flame is such an icon of the Games.
  9. Vancouver is serving as a reminder that winning the right to host the Games is a mixed blessing. The Games attract international attention. Some of that attention will result in glory for the host nation, however, some of that attention may also result in embarrassment. There is no way to predict what issues may arise shortly before or during the Games. Think of the disgraced sprinters in Athens, terrorism in Munich, boycotts in Moscow and LA, weather and luge tragedy in Vancouver. There are also the flaws that show up in the organization and planning, such as transportation in Atlanta, various operational snafus in Vancouver, human rights abuses in China and gross cost overruns in Montreal. We all know that the Games bring honor and prestige to the host. We should not forget that they also bring great expense, varying degrees of dissension, the risk of embarrassment for the organizers, and various challenges that may be all but impossible to foresee or predict. How many bid cities conveniently forget these realities as they make their appeals to the IOC?
  10. I don't think Vancouver is "cursed." I also don't think that the media is out to get Canada. At least here in the U.S. NBC's coverage has been very flattering. In my opinion NBC could have made some harsher observations if they wished to. It does seem that Vancouver is experiencing more than their fair share of challenges. Many of these challenges were out of the organizers' control and people recognize that. Transportation was a concern with Vancouver from the time they bid and it does seem like some of those concerns were justified and VANOC could have planned a bit better. It also seems like there was a better way to address the concessions troubles. The weather and the protests are clearly beyond VANOC's control. Perhaps wiser decisions could have been made regarding the cauldron and the luger, but there was no reason why they should have expected things to go as badly as they did.
  11. Cauldron really laid an egg. The second outdoor cauldron seemed like a sad afterthought. Very sorry for Vancouver. I'm sure it isn't what they hoped for. Maybe future hosts need to consider scaling back a bit and going with something a little more sure-fire (pun intended).
  12. On the positive side... First of all, congratulations to Vancouver for having the courage to budget one tenth of what Beijing spent. I mean that sincerely. I have great respect for commitment to quality on a budget. I liked the quick video homage to the previous hosts following the countdown and the snowboarder was fun if not quite as spectacular as some other ceremonies' introductions of the Olympic rings. I thought the poem was the best part of the "entertainment." Well written. Well delivered. Surprisingly potent. I like the way the entertainment segment concluded in modern-day Vancouver with a well-articulated vision of modern-day Canada. The projections were a beautiful, relatively low cost means of radically transforming the space and making strong visual statements. The whales were extremely effective on tv. Enjoyed the snow. On the negative side... The first nations introductions in the beginning seemed prolonged and a little bit dull. The ice sculpture greetings left me totally cold. The entertainment section was very poorly conceived. I'm not at all impressed by Mr. Atkins. Unlike Beijing, this ceremony did not follow a clear progression of thought. It seemed like a very loose collage of vaguely interesting impressions. Content does not cost money. It just requires time and forethought. In my opinion, that careful planning was obviously missing. Instead, there was a mishmash of seasons and geography. I thought the autumn section was by far the weakest. The floating canoe, the tapping, the maple leaves. Nothing seemed to hold these disparate elements together. The prairie squares that followed were visually odd as well. The sloppy superficiality of the bulk of the entertainment paled miserably in comparison to the strength of the concluding poem. Cauldron delays and malfunctions have already been noted by others. Agree w/ the statement that Atkins is 0 for 2. Really not impressed. Very, very sorry for Vancouver. A noticeable embarrassment. Even if the cauldron had worked perfectly, it was strange. Especially w/ the secondary, outdoor cauldron. The sound seemed very questionable -- even on tv. Much of the filler music was rather bland and unimaginative. I got the strong feeling that the ceremony was much more effective on tv than in person. One significant failing seemed to be the scale. The ceremony often seemed to rely on a single individual or a small number of performers. I can't imagine that this read very well inside BC Place. In summary.... I think the ceremonies fall somewhere between a B- and a C+. This ceremony is just further evidence that the type of product delivered by Atkins and the "turn-key" collage approach to ceremonies will never achieve more than semi-slick mediocrity. It will never deliver a distinctive yet unified artistic vision. It will never communicate with real power. In my opinion, the greatest success of Beijing was the strength and integrity of the concept. Vancouver did not follow suit. I hope future hosts will take note.
  13. Depends where you live. I've lived in the U.K. and there it is all about gold. In the U.S. it never has been. This is not just because of China's gold medal haul in 2008. For as long as I can remember, U.S. networks have arranged the medal table according to total medals. I may be mistaken on this (I'm sure someone will let me know if I am) but it seems to me that 2008 is the first time there's been such a noticeable difference between total gold medals and total medals of any color. More often than not, it seems the two go together or if they go to different nations the margin is slimmer than it was in 2008. The U.S. is nowhere near as strong in the WOGs anyway and, as near as I can tell, nobody's predicting anything close to a chart-topping haul in Vancouver.
  14. El Moutawakel will be president someday. It's just a question of when. She's very experienced, obviously very well-liked and she's a woman from a Muslim nation. What more could you want?
  15. I agree that the cool colors make complete sense for Vancouver and for the graphic identity they've chosen. They are very calm and serene, though. Not adrenaline pumping -- something I usually associate with the Games.
  16. It's definitely a more complex graphic look than we've seen in previous games. Limiting the palette keeps it from becoming too busy. Unfortunately the cool colors don't have a whole lot of energy. It's an attractive, serene look, but very restrained. It doesn't feel exciting or celebratory. (Of course that graphic wouldn't make any sense in orange and magenta...)
  17. I don't see figure skating leaving the Olympic program either. Much as the endless calculations of the new scoring system are somewhat tedious, I do think it yields more accurate results. I haven't seen a competition under the new system where it seemed like the medals went to the wrong skaters. Japanese complaints are unfounded. Yuna Kim has a target on her back because she's a one-of-a-kind talent. Whether or not she skates her best at the Games, she is an extraordinary athlete for whom figure skating appears as natural as breathing. Nobody can match that innate grace, musicality and characterization. She is one of a handful of skaters to stun me with a truly magical performance. If nerves get the better of her and she falters on her jumps, I'm confident that the scores will reflect that. The truth is that for all their athleticism none of the Japanese skaters has her poetry and they know there's nothing they can do about it. Even if they beat her on points, I don't see any way they can beat her on soul.
  18. I have to say that I think Davis & White and Belbin & Agosto are the best teams out there BUT..... I LOVE Virtue & Moir's Free Dance I think it's by far the most beautiful choreography and I think that with the home crowd cheering them on they could well win. I still think it's more likely than not that there will be 2 American teams on the podium...
  19. I have to admit, Plushenko's artistry has improved. It was better at Cup of Russia than in Torino. I still think he is far weaker in that department than the likes of Lysacek and Oda.
  20. Totally in synch w/ you beebee. Agree with everything you posted.
  21. Evan hasn't looked streaky for the last year and a half. Prior to that I'd agree with you. I also think that Plushenko is a pretty safe bet. As for those who are betting on Takahashi over Oda -- I'm really surprised. Oda has two GP wins and the silver in the final. He's consistently fun to watch. Takahashi seems to have a major conditioning problem and has been extremely shaky. Of course, there's still time for things to come together so I'm not necessarily ruling him out, but as of now I'd have to say that Oda looks polished and Takahashi looks ragged.
  22. It seems to me that there are more talented male figure skaters now than at any other time in recent memory. In such a close race, who do you think will win the gold? I think the following are the prime contenders (in alphabetical order): Brian Joubert Evan Lysacek Nobunari Oda Yevgeny Plushenko All four of them are incredible skaters and at least one of them will be left off the podium. At this point I'd back Lysacek to win, but the truth is that Oda or Plushenko could grab gold too. The difference is this -- although Oda skates with tons of charm and personality, because of his small stature his jumps don't project as much athleticism and drama as Lysacek's. Plushenko's jumps are spectacular, but the artistry -- though much improved over 2006 -- still pales in comparison to Lysacek. Joubert is the best athlete of the bunch and he's truly awesome when he hits, but the artistry is definitely not as strong. If he flubs a jump or two -- forget it. Whoever wins, I still think this is the most talented group of men I've ever seen skating at one time. And I haven't even mentioned Jeremy Abbott, Takahiko Kozuka, Daisuke Takahashi or Johnny Weir -- all of whom could surprise and medal. Sadly, Patrick Chan looked awful at Skate Canada, but he will have the home crowd behind him and he still has a few weeks to pull things together. No matter how it all shakes out, I think it could well be a matter of splitting hairs to decide the medals. Opinions?
  23. We Americans are masters at trotting out celebrities to camouflage a lack of content and forethought. Please don't borrow that from us. Your country has SO much more to offer. Leona Lewis, Jimmy Page and Becks (even w/ his weak kick) were a nice addition, but the whole presentation didn't hang together. I don't really think this is worrisome because, frankly, I'm not usually inspired by the handover portion of the CC. It tends to feature the upcoming host city at its least prepared. Beijing wasn't terribly exciting either w/ it's giant lantern, little girl and mini-clad musicians. Basically, I don't really think the handover is much of an indication of anything except what an organizing committee can throw together in relatively little time with relatively little money and virtually no rehearsal. I'm sure we will see a VAST improvement from London's OC.
  • Create New...