Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013 World Championships Men's Recap



Our recap of the men's event at the 2013 World Championships.

41 comments:

  1. I think earning a silver for Ten will pay off in the long run not having to hold the weight of a nation as big as Yu-Na Kim.. best skate of his life no doubt!! Mad props to Ten!! :D

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  2. With respect to Chan, I don't think it's his responsibility to explain the judges' marks. Frankly I find his situation a bit sad considering the his skating talents, his inconsistency, and the fact that he's his own worst enemy. I could see this having a backlash effect for next year and I totally see him pulling out a silver in Canadian tradition or pulling a Kurt Browning. When the pressure is unusually high he buckles.

    Re: judging, I honestly don't think the judges know what they are interpreting on paper anymore and how to weight components & artistry. I am in general agreement that Takahashi's artistry/choreography is never pedestrian and always top-notch. It would be interesting to know how and why his points end up being second to a few.

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  3. Chan's post FD interview is just classic. He's just one of those people who lacks the self-awareness to realize why he's unpopular.

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  4. Remember last year's outrage after Chan's worlds win, and how ppl thought things were going to change. ISU hasn't learned a thing, worse -- they seem not to give a rats $$. They have their fair system and intend on keeping and using it at least until after the Olys.

    Sorry for not feeling sorry for poor Chan. He sounds like a self absorbed jerk in almost all of his interviews.

    "Denis could have won it, he made one or two mistakes in his program, and it was one point."

    Rrrright.

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    1. he's just not smart, and unfortunately for him he's young & not smart.

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  5. Daisuke has said he will not be doing show skating after he retires so we won't be seeing much of him after the Olympics

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  6. I discovered your blog two years ago during the Olympics and was drawn in by the good writing and historical "vignettes" (thanks to you I discovered Gordeeva & Grinkov). You sparked an interest in the sport/art.

    When searching for coverage of the world championships here in the States this weekend, I attributed my lack of success to my own stupidity. So I laughed out loud (literally) when I learned that your solution to the problem was to watch Latvian TV. I am a Latvian-American, but I didn't think to look there...

    There is a big discussion in Latvia about the role of public television and whether a small country such as Latvia can afford it (there are two public television stations, one which shows mainly sports). Your blog post is not only informative for skating fans, but a good argument for public television as well!

    Ironically, Latvia does not have first-tier skaters - good at hockey though! Kazakhstan television will surely be covering all skating events soon though....

    Just a thank you for your good work

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    1. Sorry, that was the Olympics three years ago....

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  7. It was a bad championships all around for Team Morozov. No one was really ready... Takahashi, for example, was way over-trained (6hrs & 50+ quads per day!) and Morozov changed his quad technique right before the event. Too bad for his skaters.

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    1. This is insane and infuriating! Do you mind revealing your source?

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    2. This Morozov mystique is really quite baffling and one of the major mysteries of modern figure skating, along with the fact people are still sending their kids to Tom Z for coaching.

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    3. NM has too many skaters. There's an interview with Alena on FSU about NM. She had only one good point and that's NM has too many students. She says that he doesn't know where to start. I wish Taka would go back to who he was with. Maybe with them he skated full runthroughs like the Americans. Also all of NM's students have generic choreo. NM's lost any kind of creativity he had long ago.

      side note: Chan please go back to Kristy

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    4. IMO, it was an extremely poor decision for Takahashi to attempt three quads when he rarely landed it throughout the official practices. Takahashi seemed to be too obsessed with the idea that men couldn't be competitive without three quads and have lost the reality check. I think he will earn the most points if he attempts it only once in FS and relies on the PCS boost by delivering a clean SP and a nearly clean FS. He has never been consistent on the quad even before the injuries. He might risk getting injured again if he keeps obsessed with the quad, and ruling himself out of the Games.

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  8. Latvian Aerican, go to goldenskate.com at the beginning of every comp (even each event in a comp) to find out where people are watching it. This time it was Latvian TV, another time it was Turkish, etc.

    I am getting a little annoyed by the Denis Ten came out of nowhere narrative. Fans like me have been waiting for this for years. He obviously had the talent. It was a surprise, an upset, a shocker even, but he was not an unknown to anyone who watches the sport.
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=4Ep-3LecJAU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D4Ep-3LecJAU

    Anyway, it was fun to watch Dave sputter not knowing where to begin his rant. I hope you guys take over the Scott-Sandra gig soon!

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  9. This was a super-fun review, thank you! I had to laugh at you resorting to Latvian TV. I am IN Canada (and could theoretically watch it streaming free on CBC) but the Latvian link actually worked better for me. :p

    No comments on Joubert, though?

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  10. Wow, when you put Patrick's and Daisuke's skates back to back, it is CLEAR that Dai is the clear artist. He's so much more emotive, beautiful, and flat out BETTER.

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  11. Thanks to Golden Skate I was finding feeds to watch World's too - that Latvian feed had such a nice picture but if the opportunity to watch British Eurosport came up I grabbed it - what a treat to have access to some good skating broadcasters again since Dick Button retired.

    As for the men's event...I am grateful for Chan's putting work into his performing ability because I couldn't deal anymore with his robot-face of years past - so that's a good thing. Considering major errors by other top men he might have gotten away with the absurdly high marks BUT considering how well Ten did - no such luck.

    It was the best surprise of the entire competition to see Ten finally get it together - it was kind of funny though to see him doing some Lysacek 'moves' like the splayed finger 'angst' twizzles. It seems to me that when he's 'on' Ten is really a much better skater than Lysacek.

    I'm wondering if Takahashi has an injury or something - it struck me he changed to a slower SP because its easier on his body - and today watched him make some big footwork mistakes in his EX which seems unusual for him. It is really sad though because IMO he is one of the great ones.

    Wish I liked Max Aaron as much as you guys do. For me, he's like Elvis Stojko with less artistry - which is not saying much. The only American I much care for besides headcase Jeremy Abbot is Joshua Farris.

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    1. Who like's Max Aaron...eek. I don’t know anyone who likes Max. Yeah they congratulate him but they don’t really like his skating but are impressed with his jumps.His posture is even worst than Elvis. I don't know

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    2. Chan's robot-face! You hit the nail on the head there!

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  12. Sort of the opposite of Max Aaron, an NHL player used his old figure skating skills in the middle of a game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1Qtz0XNwqM

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  13. Kevin Reynolds had a ruptured cyst on his knee shortly after 4CC. I'm guessing it possibly played into the LP.

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  14. I'm not a fan of Chan's. I actually don't even bother watching an entire program because he irritates me so much. . . I don't even know why. I think that the U.S. only having two spots for the Olympics is unfortunate. I think that with three there would be a greater chance of someone like Weir or Lysacek going in the third spot. Even if they don't place well at least I will want to watch. There is currently no one I want to watch and personality definitely plays a role in skating.

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  15. As for the judging, I agree with both of you. Some of my favorite skating moves have become extinct thanks to the new judging system. When was the last time we saw a great russian split jump, a gigantic death drop or a long held out layback that didn't quickly turn into a contorted version of itself?

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  16. I wish you guys had made some suggestions as to what changes you think should be made to the system. It's almost too easy to just criticize.

    And I usually adore your views, but this time (and that time for US Nationals) I can't help but feel you are still stuck at the 6.0 mindset. Good or not the sport has moved on and I feel you should too. It's too Weir to believe you are to automatically get good marks when you go clean. Denis was clean but did he deserve high 8s for PCS? Perhaps he deserves them as much as Patrick deserves 9s for his skate here.

    The 90s was when skating was at its most popular era and everyone understandably misses it, but the 6.0 is also a very opaque system. People are just used to understanding 5.7s and 5.8s but nobody ever knows what those marks mean too. IJS at least dissects the scores and lets you know whether your score comes from your jumps or spins or steps.

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  17. I would LOVE to hear Sandra and Scott's comments about Patrick. At the 2010 Olympics he was, as described by them, the master of the component score (even more than Evan) and if he ever got a quad he would be untouchable.

    I would love to hear this! I have NEVER seen Sandra explain/talk about when her favorites win and they shouldn't.

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    1. What about Oksana over Surya in 1993?

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  18. What;s the deal with harping on Aaron's choreographer???? Max Aaron's choreographer is Pasquale Camerlango. I don't think the choreographer is the problem, really. The programs are designed to show off the skills the skaters have, not the ones they can get sometime in the future... I would think that he'll be given more complex and sophisticated choreography when the coach/choreo/skater all think he can handle it.

    Just because a skater's choreography is not amazing doesn't mean the choreographer doesn't know how to make an amazing program, there are limitations related to skating skill levels and what amount of choreography a skater can handle in competition and still nail their elements.

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  19. A brillant choreographer can't help everyone. I think you have to already have some brillance of artistry whether it's obvious or has to be brought out like it did for the great Kwan.

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  20. Sigh. I feel like whenever there's a controversial skating event like this, I'm the only person who actually defends the "new" (can we please stop calling it that, btw) judging system. And the irony is that I'm not a huge fan of it. I just hate the 6.0 system because I think it was too arbitrary and too easy to cheat. It's the INTENT of the IJS scoring that I appreciate.

    I like that it tries to balance the technical and artistic sides, rewarding "complete" skaters as opposed to jumping beans. Under the old system, I don't think it's a stretch to say that it would be possible for Max Aaron to be a world champ. *shudder* I like that, now, if a skater like Jeremy Abbott is clean, he can place at the top but a skater like Max has to do multiple quads and stick most of his jumps in the bonus half of the program and the best he could hope for is top 8.

    I like that skaters can come from behind and win. A lot of people were outraged that Gracie Gold didn't win Nationals, but under 6.0 had she been in eighth after the short there's almost no way she could have won or even place as high as she did.

    I like that spins and footwork actually count for something now, as opposed to being throw-away elements. Dick Button griped for years that those elements didn't count for enough. Now, though, I think IJS takes it too far. I've watched skating for over 20 years and I can't tell the difference between a Level 2 step sequence and a Level 4. I would like to see that dumbed down a bit. Also, I think by making those elements so much more difficult it's affecting the skaters' stamina and that's why it seems like we never see a clean program.

    I do wish the judges weren't anonymous. I think holding them accountable for the marks they give would go a long way to improving the system. But honestly, while I think it's clear that the judges can still prop up their favorite skater with high PCS, I don't think it's possible to make the kind of back-room deals that used to plague the sport. The judges have no way of knowing what marks the others are giving and they have no way of knowing what the technical panel/caller is going to deem clean, underrotated, wrong edge, etc.

    I think it's hilarious when Christine Brennan writes that the powers-that-be are keeping skating stuck in the past, when I think that's exactly what fans are doing by advocating a return to the 6.0 system. I don't think skating will ever return to the heydays of the mid-90s, at least not in America. And I think it's unfair to just blame the judging for that. Back then there were fewer channels and fewer shows competing for attention and fewer ways to watch them -- we didn't have live streams or Hulu or Netflix or video on demand or DVR. Plus, a majority of Americans look at skating as a "sissy" sport; they don't and can't appreciate the artistry mixed with athleticism. They need sports to be much simpler - here's a ball, there's a goal line, score. No matter how simple or complex the judging is, skating will never be a simple sport that anyone can just sit down and watch and "get it." Hell, it took me several years of watching before I could spot the difference between a toe loop and a lutz. So I think the argument that, if the scores were easier to understand skating would have more fans, is bogus.

    And I kind of wish that I had watched the Latvian feed with everyone else. I'm probably one of a handful of fans who actually watched the coverage on Universal Sports. I will say it was an improvement over our usual American TV coverage because they showed events live and, in the short programs anyway, showed many more skaters than we'd usually see. The bad part was that commentary SUCKED. Peter Carruthers has only gotten worse through the years. He can not string a sentence together to save his life. Tanith was good, though with dance commentary.

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    1. "But honestly, while I think it's clear that the judges can still prop up their favorite skater with high PCS, I don't think it's possible to make the kind of back-room deals that used to plague the sport".

      But it's possible, Brian, and they've been doing it for a while now.

      Propping up one's favorite with a single high component score is useless, because if it turns out to be the highest score of all, it will be automatically thrown out by the computer. But, if a judge knows what (at least) one other judge on the panel is going to do, they can 'adjust' their own score accordingly.

      The trick is to make sure to have 2 (or more) absolutely identical pcs score sets. Even if one score is thrown out by the computer, the 'twin' high score of another involved judge stays and contributes to the component trimmed mean.

      Another effective way to cheat is to give 'your' skater an excessive GOE for each element. A judge who does that risks to end up with an outside of the corridor deviation from the panel's mean. But, since ISU pretends not to notice, the judges have nothing to fear.

      Both cheating methods were used in WC 2013 multiple times with different skaters in different disciplines. Chan's both 2012 and 2013 titles involved one of those cheating methods each.

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    2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tanith's commentary, why they don't put her on NBC/Olympics is beyond me. & totally agree about Peter Carruthers. Most inane commentary and he makes the same comments again and again. .

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  21. Well, lets judge 2013 US Champs under 6.0 (using the placement results)

    Wagner SP:1 LP:2 TFP:2.5
    Gold SP:9 LP:1 TFP:5.5
    Agnes SP:2 LP:7 TFP:8
    Hicks SP:4 LP:3 TFP:5
    Gao SP:5 LP:4 TFP:6.5
    Siraj SP:6 LP:5 TFP:8

    So the results from 2013 US Ladies in 6.0:
    1. Wagner
    2. Hicks
    3. Gold
    4. Gao
    5. Agnes
    6. Siraj

    So, she actually COULD have gotten on the podium from 9th because the free was a hot mess.

    Also, your point about 6.0 being easy to manipulate, there for IJS is better, is the wrong point of view. BECAUSE 6.0 was easy to understand, the manipulation of scores was much easier to see by the casual fan/everyone, and judges could more easily be called out on their shenanigans.

    The complexity of IJS lends itself to judge manipulation MUCH more, because:

    A) The judges have many more places to add and subtract points to get the results they want and
    B) when all is said and done, they can throw their points system under the bus to deflect from the "cheating" pressure, by saying that "how could they cheat, the code is too complex to actually cheat" when they know that system backward and forwards and KNOW how to manipulate it to get the desired result.

    You're trying to defend IJS is missing the point. 6.0 wasn't the problem. The problem was and still is corrupt judging. Instead of hitting the cancer (judges), the ISU just treated the symptoms (6.0) and never really solved the actual problem. It's really a case of "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

    THE JUDGES ARE THE PROBLEM. Under 6.0, Chan wouldn't have won, by virtue of losing the free to Ten who was just behind him in the SP. If Chan had won in under 6.0, everyone could have seen the blatant cheating and there would have been a MUCH bigger outcry than the already large outcry we see now.

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    1. Well, we do agree that judges are the problem. I would love to see them actually face consequences for bad decisions. I would love to see the anonymity go away. But I still think IJS is fixable. No judging system will ever be all things to all people. If we go back to 6.0 we will still be bitching and moaning about bad judging at the next nationals or world championships or olympics. I think it would be a sad regression.

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    2. I agree 100% that the judges were/are the problem and that IJS has just made cheating harder to detect. I would have hated for the US's Worlds team to be Wagner/Hicks, however. Would the USFSA have had the guts to send Gold instead of Hicks, based on her long program?

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  22. It see like you guys are mostly on the same page, have you guys ever brought a pro cop advocate for fresh air and different perspective

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  23. I do agree that judges should not be allowed to get away with their incompetence or corruption. For example, Mao Asada's two-footed triple axel in the short was awarded with positive GOEs. Are these judges blind or so blatantly corrupt? Absolute anonymity breeds absolute corruption. It should definitely go away. Otherwise, these judges will keep doing the same thing and make average skating fans utterly disenchanted with the sport.

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  24. ^ from my understanding of the rules as a judge-in-training, a 2-footed jump is allowed to get + GOE if the rest of the jump (entry, flight, etc.) is deemed above average (i.e. you are supposed to judge the "whole jump")

    In my opinion, this is something in the current rules that NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. It is insane to say a jump landed on 2-feet is in any way "good quality" and just opens the door for cheating. Also, in terms of increasing viewership again, 2-footing is a flaw most viewers can pick up, so if they were to see a program full of 2-foots getting good scores, surely this would add to their confusion and decrease interest in the sport.

    I think Jenny's suggestion of increasing the weighting of the LP again is an interesting one, which could eliminate situations like Patrick's recent win and also be good for viewership. If the LP was weighted more, when a large % of viewers do tune in to see who gets the gold, then it is more likely the person who skates the best program on that day, along with a solid SP effort will win, as opposed to the results being completely decided 2 days earlier. I do not think even the world's best SP should put a skater so far ahead the competition is essentially over. It is a 2-part event.

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  25. I love your recaps. You guys are the best thing since Dick Button!

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  26. I'm sad you didn't touch on twiiterverse fan favorite Misha Ge. Who was amazing.

    And also what his music tells us about what is to come in skating when lyrics are allowed. I'm scared.

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