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Men's Figure Skating Gold


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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?

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well, Patrick is recovering from a thigh injury and at the time of skate canada was competing in his first competition of the season. he was supposed to compete in russia but the injury forced him out.

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I would swap Takahashi with Oda and drop Joubert, who's volatile and coming off surgery. And while I think he thinks he's the best athlete (homophobia in male skaters is so tiresome), I would put Plushenko ahead of them all.

If Chan goes back to last season's programs and kicks it at nationals, I'd put him up there as well. Worked for Arakawa and Sale & Pelletier.

One factor to consider is the toll exacted by the quad: none of the big jumpers seems to avoid injury. Lots could happen between now and the free skate!

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Didn't know Plushenko is already on to Wife #2.

It's going to be between Evan, Evgeni and one of the Japanese men (if they are on that night of the free skate). Maybe Jeremy Abbott could also pull off a surprise. Joubert, Chan and Lambiel will be second tier competitirs.

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I would swap Takahashi with Oda and drop Joubert, who's volatile and coming off surgery. And while I think he thinks he's the best athlete (homophobia in male skaters is so tiresome), I would put Plushenko ahead of them all.

If Chan goes back to last season's programs and kicks it at nationals, I'd put him up there as well. Worked for Arakawa and Sale & Pelletier.

One factor to consider is the toll exacted by the quad: none of the big jumpers seems to avoid injury. Lots could happen between now and the free skate!

the last 2 men's champion didn't have the quad in their arsenal. And I remember Joubert making a big fuss about it when Buttle won in 2008.
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Brian Joubert just before the grand prix final sustained a foot injury and underwent surgey. not sure if he'll be in vancouver at all.

Joubert is confirmed for the Games.

He will be in the podium, but not sure he will have the nerves to win gold !

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Didn't know Plushenko is already on to Wife #2.

It's going to be between Evan, Evgeni and one of the Japanese men (if they are on that night of the free skate). Maybe Jeremy Abbott could also pull off a surprise. Joubert, Chan and Lambiel will be second tier competitirs.

Wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Chan. The Japanese are streaky, so is Evan. The only skater I can see getting a medal for sure is Plushenko.

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Wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Chan. The Japanese are streaky, so is Evan. The only skater I can see getting a medal for sure is Plushenko.

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.

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The Men's event is going to be awesome! There are so many contenders. It should be the closest figure skating event at 2010.

1. Yevgeny Plushenko ... I think is currently the top contender for Gold. He just set a World Record Score at Nationals

2. Evan Lysacek ... he has looked great at all his competitions this season. If Plushenko falters in any way Lysacek will take gold.

3. Daisuke Takahashi or Nobunari Oda for bronze. Takahashi just won Nationals, but Oda has had an excellent season.

Patrick Chan still has to be considered a contender. He just needs mileage on that free program. As for Brian Joubert, other than his jumps he has nothing ... he has lousy choreography and no artistic presentation. Add a recovery from an injury and he is not a factor at all. Johnny Weir could surprise and sneak in for the bronze ... he has definitely showed improvement this season. Lambiel is a huge question mark ... I have not seen him skate this season at any of the competitions I watched.

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France has picked Florent Amodio* (like Surya Bonaly, Amodio is adopted from a southern hemisphere country, Brazil), Yannick Ponsero and of course, Brian Joubert who did not compete due to injury but was given a bye. (Same thing with ice dancers Delobel & Schoenfelder: given a bye on the "O" team because their recuperation and recovery are not yet complete).

*Amodio and Oda of Japan are probably the most diminutive of this year's men's skaters.

[NOTE: The couple who won the French Pairs title, Vanessa James and Yannick Bonheur, may be the FIRST completely African-descended tandem representing a European nation to compete as a mixed pairs in int'l figure skating competition history. She is originally from Canada but has competed in the US and last competed for the UK also. But getting a French passport to compete for Vancouver is still up in the air. They are a very exotic pair to look at on the ice; but they tire easily and on't have to much speed.

]

**Oops. There has already been a previous, true, U.S. all-black pair who competed internationally: Tiffani Tucker and Franklyn Singley won the bronze medal 1993 United States National Figure Skating Championships, Junior Dance event.

And then in the US Ice dancing ranks this year, there is a rather attractive new Novice couple: Kassy Kova and Justin Ross. http://www.todaysdrum.com/9649/first-afric...-championships/

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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The Men's event is going to be awesome! There are so many contenders. It should be the closest figure skating event at 2010.

1. Yevgeny Plushenko ... I think is currently the top contender for Gold. He just set a World Record Score at Nationals

2. Evan Lysacek ... he has looked great at all his competitions this season. If Plushenko falters in any way Lysacek will take gold.

3. Daisuke Takahashi or Nobunari Oda for bronze. Takahashi just won Nationals, but Oda has had an excellent season.

Patrick Chan still has to be considered a contender. He just needs mileage on that free program. As for Brian Joubert, other than his jumps he has nothing ... he has lousy choreography and no artistic presentation. Add a recovery from an injury and he is not a factor at all. Johnny Weir could surprise and sneak in for the bronze ... he has definitely showed improvement this season. Lambiel is a huge question mark ... I have not seen him skate this season at any of the competitions I watched.

Before this season began, I'd never have dreamed that I'd pick Evan as top contender for Olympic Gold, but I do! Evan has been anything but streaky this season--he's been rock-solid. He may not be the most artistic skater, or even the best jumper, but he is so consistent and looks so confident and well-trained.

I don't view Pluschenko as the odds-on favorite. In 2006, he was able to win with a program full of jumps but devoid of anything else (the Components that make up the PCS scores). No one should pay any attention to skaters scores from their own Nationals. Nationals scores are notoriously inflated (for one thing, that is why they don't count toward World rankings). If you watch Pluschenko's 2009 Nationals performances on YouTube (and are familiar with the International Judging System) you will see that he was waaay overmarked. Both Takahashi and Oda were overmarked at Japanese Nationals as well. To me it looked like the Japanese Skating Fedaration predetermined that Takahshi would be the Japanese champ. Oda was much better imo. Take a look at how Takahashi won--it was the PCS ("cheat" scores) that enabled him to overtake Oda.

I believe the highest international Men's total score this season was achieved by Evan--that says a lot.

Patrick Chan is a real ? I was at Skate Canada--Patrick skated like anything but an Olympic medalist. Canadian Nationals will be very telling--not the score, which of, course will be inflated, but how he actually skates. Lambiel has a Quad but no triple Axel and that will hurt him. I never saw Joubert to be a great competitor and I'm not holding out much hope for him.

Of course, the American skaters will be wildly overmarked at our Nationals too. If Evan skates as well as expected, his scores will be off the charts. And let's not forget Americans Johnny Weir and Jeremy Abbot. If either of them falter, Adam Rippon is waiting is the wings.

One thing I think we all can agree on--the Men's Final in Vancouver could be one of the most exciting and competitive Free Skates of all time!

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Patrick is a really good skater and is teh defending World Silver Medalist. The injury he sustained before teh season started (which he believed was swine-flu related) really took him out during the grand prix circuit.

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Before this season began, I'd never have dreamed that I'd pick Evan as top contender for Olympic Gold, but I do! Evan has been anything but streaky this season--he's been rock-solid. He may not be the most artistic skater, or even the best jumper, but he is so consistent and looks so confident and well-trained.

I don't view Pluschenko as the odds-on favorite. In 2006, he was able to win with a program full of jumps but devoid of anything else (the Components that make up the PCS scores). No one should pay any attention to skaters scores from their own Nationals. Nationals scores are notoriously inflated (for one thing, that is why they don't count toward World rankings). If you watch Pluschenko's 2009 Nationals performances on YouTube (and are familiar with the International Judging System) you will see that he was waaay overmarked. Both Takahashi and Oda were overmarked at Japanese Nationals as well. To me it looked like the Japanese Skating Fedaration predetermined that Takahshi would be the Japanese champ. Oda was much better imo. Take a look at how Takahashi won--it was the PCS ("cheat" scores) that enabled him to overtake Oda.

I believe the highest international Men's total score this season was achieved by Evan--that says a lot.

Patrick Chan is a real ? I was at Skate Canada--Patrick skated like anything but an Olympic medalist. Canadian Nationals will be very telling--not the score, which of, course will be inflated, but how he actually skates. Lambiel has a Quad but no triple Axel and that will hurt him. I never saw Joubert to be a great competitor and I'm not holding out much hope for him.

Of course, the American skaters will be wildly overmarked at our Nationals too. If Evan skates as well as expected, his scores will be off the charts. And let's not forget Americans Johnny Weir and Jeremy Abbot. If either of them falter, Adam Rippon is waiting is the wings.

One thing I think we all can agree on--the Men's Final in Vancouver could be one of the most exciting and competitive Free Skates of all time!

Totally in synch w/ you beebee. Agree with everything you posted.

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I totally agree with your assessment beebee of Plushenko. He is a great jumper, but has no artistry or presentation. At times in the past when he has missed a jump he threw away any semblance of a program resulting in an absolute mess.

The other contenders, including Lysacek, Oda, Lambiel, Chan are far superior all round skaters with excellent choreography and artistry.

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Beebee's assessment is pretty good and the point about not taking the ridiculously inflated Russian Nationals scores too seriously. One thing about Plushenko is that he has developed some kind of injury--depending on the (rather sketchy Russian) reports--and even sketchier translations--it's either a knee issue or a quadriceps tear or both. Supposedly he has to get weekly injections for the pain. :o I think it's actually worse than the Plushy camp and the Russian Fed are letting on, but he apparently wants to skate and the Russian Fed has no other mens skater that could mount a serious podium challenge this year. Stay tuned...

As for Lambiel, word has it that technically he just can't keep up any more on the jumps, so likely will not be a podium candidate unless the other men have a splatfest or some very odd judging takes place. Either or both of those things are possible.

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Good point; we could see a re-run of Turin, where some of the big jumpers couldn't skate clean and were disappointed with their result. Two years later Jeff Buttle showed that you could win worlds <b>handily</b> without a quad; I suspect if Patrick Chan is "on" he'll show how to make the podium in a similar form.

He tends to have 1 or 2 near perfect competitons each season our Paddy boy. He's not had any yet this year: fingers crossed it's nationals and the Games that he does.

Of the top 5 or 6 those who've already skated at an OWG will have a mental edge. That would be (in no particular order) Lysacek, Weir, Plushenko, Lambiel, Joubert, and Takahashi). Based on recent form I'd drop both Joubert and Lambiel waaay down. Weir is a wild card (love love love him though).

As for Lambiel, word has it that technically he just can't keep up any more on the jumps, so likely will not be a podium candidate unless the other men have a splatfest or some very odd judging takes place. Either or both of those things are possible.
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If it is true about Chan having landed more than a couple quads in recovery training, and Plushenko being very injuried, I think this figure skating competition might turn out like 1988 - a Canadian and American male competing for gold on the men's side and a Canadian women taking on the undisputed queen on the women's.

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If it is true about Chan having landed more than a couple quads in recovery training, and Plushenko being very injuried, I think this figure skating competition might turn out like 1988 - a Canadian and American male competing for gold on the men's side and a Canadian women taking on the undisputed queen on the women's.
we can aso hope this time it will be the canadian coming out on top. i can dream about it. if kim is not held up the short program should not be a problem. if skate america is an evidence, despite a very flawed free skate, due to her lead in the short program it was enough to secure her win despite losing the free to flatt.
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