Figure skating is under rhetorical questions

Patrick Chan

By Vladislav Luchianov

Looking at the half-empty World Arena stands, I tried to understand why so. It’s really sad because Colorado Springs is really great place to visit and watch skating events. It’s also very comfortable by its infrastructure. When the men’s short program was finished everything became clear. 

I really respect all skaters but I also believe that journalistic work includes a critical point of view to things. This is only the personal opinion, nothing more.

So, Patrick Chan is currently in first place at the 2012 Four Continents Championships with a new season’s best of 87.95 points. Skating to „Take Five“, Chan stumbled badly on his opening quad toe but recovered to land a triple Axel and triple Lutz – triple toe combination. TES: 45.73; PCS: 42.22. As usual he received just a fantastic PCS:

Skating Skills – from 8.75 to 9;

Transition: from 7.75 to 8.50;

Performance: from 7.75 to 8.50;

Choreography: from 8.50 to 9;

Interpretation: from 8.50 to 9.

Really great points, right?:) Also, don’t forget that surprisingly (actually I’ve doubts that skating people think it was surprisingly) the judging panel didn’t count Chan’s error on his failed quad as a fall. Majority of his body weight was on his hands, so it was a fall. And may I ask you how he received such a high marks (season’s best!) with this? May I ask you how someone can get 9 points for interpretation if the whole image of the program was already broken by the fall? How skater can take 9 points for choreography with a fall? I think these are rhetorical questions.

Now let’s compare Chan’s performance with a short program of his main rival Daisuke Takahashi, who’s currently third.

Takahashi’s program to „Garden of Souls“ was featured by triple Axel, triple Lutz – triple toe and two level-four spins, but he fell on an underrotated quad toe. Daisuke received 82.59 points for his short program. TES: 41.64; PCS: 41.95. He also fell on the quad. Right? OK, but there is a big difference between Chan’s fall and his fall – Takahashi’s fall was counted and Chan’s wasn’t. That’s the difference! The logical question is why? Again rhetorical question.

Daisuke Takahashi, in my opinion, performed his program with a full of expression, with a high sense of musical theme and he fully interpreted the program’s image. It’s not only my opinion. Many skating professionals say that Takahashi’s performances are really wonderful technically and artistically. One more thing – his components are understandable, clear and visible to all, not only to judging panel, which can say: “We see them and it’s enough”. But let’s watch his marks for the short program’s PCS:

Skating Skills: from 8.50 to 9;

Transition: from 7.50 to 8.50;

Performance: from 7.75 to 8.75;

Choreography: from 7.75 to 8.75;

Interpretation: from 8.25 to 9.

And now we have a question again – do you really think that Takahashi’s components are lower than Chan’s? My answer is no. And I’m sure that many professional coaches and choreographers have the same opinion.

Takahito Mura, also from Japan, finished second and was the only skater this evening to hit a quad – triple toe combination and also landed the triple Axel and a triple Lutz in his routine to „Red Violin“. He earned 83.44 points. TES: 47.22; PCS: 36.22. It was a big surprise to all: very confident, clean and nice performance by this talented but not so experienced skater. I agree that he don’t have high program’s components as his rivals but I’m also sure that it’s temporary.

Major questions remain and until they have no conclusive answers, conclusive to all – figure skating, unfortunately, will have difficulties with regaining its popularity.

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