Thursday, February 16, 2006

How To Win Silver: Come In Third

While I’m no specialist on the new Code of Points system for figure skating, it does seem to have reduced the rigid quality of skater ranking.

The results of this freedom include oddities like the medal standings from the men’s Olympic event.

The silver medal is awarded to the competitor who comes in second. How you get to second is up to you. Today, Swiss skater Stephane Lambiel got there by finishing 3rd and 4th.

In theory, there was always the potential for this to happen. But under the Ancien Régime skaters were lucky to move more than one place in the rankings between programs, thanks in part to Franco-Russian pre-negotiations (which came with their own rather blunt form of quality control).

So how did Lambiel succeed? Figure skating has two components: a short program and a free program, with the latter counting as 2/3 of the final score.

In today’s long program, the second-place finisher from the short (American Johnny Weir, who missed his bus and complained he didn’t have enough time to squeeze into his, ahem, “sausage suit”) came in sixth, and the sixth-place finisher from the earlier event (Canada’s Jeffrey Buttle) was second.

Floating up the middle, his dross transformed to silver, was Lambiel.

Ice Shavings: It’s worth noting that Buttle had his best free skate of the season, and coming in second to Plushenko is a great day for anyone in this event. On the other hand, he's demonstrated terrible design and legal sense by littering his web-site with what are probably unlicensed Olympic rings.

Emanuel Sandhu, predictably, was awful, and should go back to his first love, trying on new clothes in front of a mirror.

And as for Lambiel (pictured at left without further comment), where to begin? According to his bio he "collects and cherishes ladybugs." There's no topping that.

2 Comments:

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Not being a very big fan of figure skating, what I found interesting about watching today's events is that almost every single skater fell on their ass during their performance. How the hell do you get a bronze medal when you fail to make 3 or 4 jumps? The crowd seemed bored out of their minds.

I would also make a comment about today being only the second Canadian men's medal won at these Olympics, except for the fact that I am not really sure if that is true. Either way, the Candian women are owning shit.

P.S. My favorite line is the first one:

"...it does seem to have reduced the rigid quality of skater ranking."

If only you had dropped the word "penal".

P.P.S. How long before the gay innuendo jokes begin about Jeffrey "Buttle"? We should have a headline competition.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Kevin Kimmis said...

I'm kind of hoping the Buttle thing happens in the MSM by accident -- unintentional would be way more funny.

As for skating, I was at the gym when Sandhu started his long program performance -- they actually moved the hockey game over to TSN to carry it live on CBC. When he missed his first jump, it was tragic...

...when he missed his second one, it was a little funny...

... by the time the commentators began to talk about how much he was mailing it in, and how he'd missed out on the Olympics twice before, it was just pathetic. Whotta waste.

 

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