Adding even more shame and disgrace to Russia’s already horrific debacle at this year’s winter olympiad, USA Today reports on the wretched antics of Russian male figure skater Evgeny Plushenko, who was denied a repeat figure skating gold medal by American Evan Lyacek after humiliating himself and his country by taunting his rival in a typical neo-Soviet manner and then claiming he was “not a champion” afterwards. Way to make Russia look like a nation of juvinile deliquents, Evgeny! Don’t let the door hit you on your way into obscurity. [For more on the photo detailing yet another Russian disaster on ice, click here.]
The Winter Olympics have never seen a men’s figure skating competition quite like the one that starts today. The field is deep and decorated. About eight men realistically could win the gold. And the event comes with its very own, already raging judging controversy, which began a full week before the first official triple jump was even attempted.
If there’s a skating controversy brewing, you can bet that a Russian is nearby, and this time, it’s 2006 Olympic gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko, who has staged an impressive if controversial comeback at 27 and is considered the favorite to win, especially if the judges continue to send him their late Valentine’s hugs and kisses in the form of the incredibly generous artistic scores he has been receiving all season.
It’s one thing to launch scores into the stratosphere for Plushenko’s jumps, which are among the best the sport has ever seen. But when he postures and preens in front of the judges while his competitors work up a sweat with intricate footwork and innovative choreography between their jumps, his artistic program component scores should take a nose dive.
Whether they will probably will determine if Plushenko wins the men’s competition. There’s certainly been a backlash against Plushenko of late, as reported in the news media.