I have noticed once again how skaters who are lower on the totem pole get lower scores. I have always thought that the judges give these lower marks so they can save room at the top for the skaters who are expected to win. And then last night, I saw the interview with Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski, when Johnny said that countries are prechosen to win, rotating between countries, and, I think, different in each of the disciplines – men’s, women’s, pairs and dancers. And then we see only what NBC wants us to see in America, though I’m sure each country chooses to give their attention to their own athletes.
Because the games are in Russia, certainly they depended on Evgeni Plushenko, one of their heroes, to take away the men’s gold medal. Certainly he helped with the new contest of group skate. Then he hurt himself. At 31, and with all his back surgeries, I was surprised he decided to compete, and I suspect he was “strong-armed” into doing so. After he had to drop out of the men’s competition, I thought he was very brave, and very smart, in doing so. He could have taken a chance on becoming paralyzed. And then I read that Russia was condemning him. How very stupid, if that is true.
Then it turned to the young Japanese kid. He was wonderful, and certainly deserved his top place after the short program. I am not disturbed about the outcome. However, the finals, with the young man taking the bronze, makes me wonder how many other skaters in the lower echelon, might have skated programs that were better than the top seeded skaters did. I never saw the bronze skater in any other shows I’ve seen.
I was not surprised the Russia pair took gold; I will not be surprised for the US to take gold in the ice dancing. I expect the young lady from Russia to win women’s.
This means there is little surprise coming in the ice skating. There just isn’t the bated breath as there is in any of the other competitions.
So what am I bitching about? I guess it is just that ice skating seems to have more pre-ordained outcomes than anything else, and it makes it less of a competition, and more of just a show. Enjoyable, but not sitting on the edge of your chair wondering. As I’ve said ad nauseum, the games should be about the best performances, and should not rely on what has happened in the past.
Oh, btw, I think of our own skaters (US), the Brown boy is just a better skater than Jeremy Abbott.
On a different subject, Mary Carrillo is one of the best things about the Olympic Games. She is funny, and smart, and really interested in what makes a country tick. Her interview about vodka, and the wealthy in Russia, were both hilarious. And I learned that curling, one of the sports that fascinates me, and which I have a problem understanding, comes from a small island off Scotland, Ailsa Craig. I would not have known that if not for Mary Carillo. And as she and Meredith said last night, even after trying to explain it, she and I and Meredith still don’t seem to have a clue. After watching Canada and Russia last night, I came away with the thought that the sweeping somehow changes the direction the stone moves, and the object is to knock your opponents stone out of the big target, but I still don’t understand it.