Sochi 2014 Figure Skating: The Men
Sochi 2014 Figure Skating: The Men
When I decided and started to plan my Olympic adventure, it was a trip of a lifetime (Russia and Czech Republic) which included the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, one of the events I made sure to get a ticket for was the Sochi 2014 Figure Skating in the men’s category. Canada had the defending three-time world champion and number one contender; a coronation was waiting for Patrick Chan. Unfortunately, Chan did not skate to his fullest abilities but was able to hold on for a silver medal. After enjoying the Opening Sochi 2014 Ceremony and two alpine Olympic events (men’s downhill and super G), I was ready for some ballet on ice.
As a child, I loved figure skating. I took lessons. I was an okay skater but wasn’t a fan of falling on the ice. I eventually stopped after my figure skating coach left to marry an NHL hockey player (very Canadian of her) but I never stopped watching. I was cheering on the right Brian in the Battle of the Brians at the Calgary Olympics (the right Brian is of course Brian Orser….hehe). I cheered for Viktor Petrenko in 1992: I was a very bad Canadian that year. 🙂 I cheered on Elvis Stojko in 1994 as he was robbed by the judges (yes he was). I loved the Russian Alexei Yagudin in 2002. I was in the arena for Canadian and Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette’s emotional short program in Vancouver 2010, just days after her mother unexpectedly passed away. I had to be in the arena for men’s figure skating in Sochi.
It was a night of disappointment and set the stage for an interesting figure skating competition at these Olympics. Interesting in terms of major upsets and some very dicey figure skating judging in the women and ice dancing categories, which is nothing new to the figure skating. Sochi 2014 Figure Skating was no different from past Olympics.
Russian and 2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko withdrew before the short program which saw Russians trying to ditch their tickets. I already had a ticket but was offered tickets numerous times from my cruise ship to outside the venue.
Patrick is one of the greatest male skaters in history. Three straight world championships set him up for the Olympics: he could be the first Canadian man to win an Olympic figure skating gold. Canada has churned out some of the greatest male figure skaters in history: from two-time Olympic Silver Medalist Brian Orser to four-time World Champion Kurt Browning to two-time Olympic Silver Medalist Elvis Stojko. Canadian men have been the first to land the triple axel, the quad, the quad in combination…..it is a great history! However, none have won Olympic gold.
There has been many silver medals but it appeared Chan was one step away from making history. After his biggest competitor, Japan’s Hanyu, fell twice in his program, the stage was set for Patrick Chan to grab the gold medal. He started strongly with the quad but over-rotated the triple axel, his nemesis jump. He continued to make little mistakes throughout his program which was not enough for gold. He lost by half a point which is very close considering he was down by five after the short program.
Chan left Sochi with two silver medals; the other silver from the new team competition. He joined Orser, who was Hanyu’s coach in Sochi and who lost the gold medal in 1984 because of compulsory figures, that aren’t used anymore, when he won the short and long program (robbery in other words), and Stojko (another robbery in 1994 when the judges didn’t like his non-classical style) in the double silver category. It is still an accomplishment but you wish he would have seized the moment: it was set up for him. Will he return in 2018? No one knows yet.