Tuesday, 19/6/2018 | : : UTC-7
Skate Today

OLYMPICS: HOT POTATO LANDS IN HANYU’S CORNER

“I don’t want it;
You can have it;
It’s too hot for me!”

And so the game of Olympic Hot Potato began in Sochi, Russia near the end of the Men’s Free skate on Friday evening.

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN, led Patrick Chan, CAN, by 4 points when the Free Program began. The 2014 GPF gold medalist skated first, fell twice and opened the door for the reining World Champion. In the Kiss & Cry, Hanyu thought he had blown it and covered his face.

“I was very sad,” he said.

“It was difficult to keep up with the performance with all the negative feelings in my head.  I thought the gold medal was not in my hands,” said Hanyu.

Chan peered through the open door and visualized the numbers.  All he needed was 182.57 points to win.  At the 2013 Trophee Eric Bompard, he had earned 196.75, so it was doable. He just needed to skate a safe free program.

Patrick Chan chokedHe let opportunity slip through his fingers.

After opening with a solid 4T+3T combination, the Canadian Champion was in control. However, a hand down on the 4T lost 1.57 points, followed by a stumble on his nemesis, the 3A. In the blink of an eye, 2.57 more points disappeared.  Chan lost another point when he stepped out on the 2A. He had tossed 5.14 points back to Hanyu.

The difference between gold and silver was 4.47 points.

“I had that gold medal around my neck, and didn’t grasp it,” said the disappointed Chan.”

Denis Ten, 2014 World silver medalist, vaulted from ninth to third place. He won Kazakhstan’s first Olympic figure skating medal. Ten scored 17.40 points for his 4T+3T opening combination, which unofficially was the highest score all season for a Quad combination.  He trains in Los Angeles, CA US with the legendary coach, Frank Carroll.

“This medal is my gift for my country.  I hope it is not the highest achievement of my life,” said Ten.

The remaining top ten finishers were: 4. (ESP) Javier Fernandez, 5. (JPN) Tatsuki Machida,  6. (JPN) Daisuke Takahashi, 7. (CHN) Han Yan, 8. (GER) Peter Liebers, 9. (USA) Jason Brown, 10 (CZE) Michael Brezina

Jeremy Abbott, USA, finished 12th.  The four-time US Champion took a hard fall in the Short Program, and it was uncertain whether he could actually skate.  However, Abbott returned to the ice and performed his Free Program with courage and dignity.  It was a memorable Olympic moment. 

 

ICE CHIPS…

  • JAVIER FERNANDEZ was Spain’s flag bearer at the 2014 Opening Olympic Ceremony.
  •  2-time US National Champion, Johnnie Weir, designed Yuzuru Hanya’s Free Program costume.
  • Jason Brown has had 3.8 million YouTube hits on his 2014 US National’s silver medal performance of Riverdance.
  • Yan Han was the first Chinese man to win Junior Worlds.
  • Peter Lieber’s father, Mario, represented East Germany at the World Figure Skating Championships four times. 
  • Michael Christian Martinez was the flag bearer for the Philippines at the 2014 Olympic Opening Ceremonies and is their only representative in Sochi, Russia
  •  Jason Brown’s ponytail has it’s own Twitter account.
  •  Daisuke Takahashi was the first Japanese skater to win an Olympic medal.  It was bronze in Vancouver, Canada, 2010.
  •  Misha Ge was born in Russia, grew up in China and has lived in the US. He skates for Uzbekistan because of his mother’s heritage.
  •  In 2006, Brian Joubert, FRA, was the first European skater to land three quads in one program when he did so at the Cup of Russia.

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