Russian Skater Plushenko Thinks He Was ‘Robbed’
February 19, 2010
(ChattahBox)—It seems the winter Olympic games always have a figure skating judging controversy. And the Vancouver Olympics didn’t disappoint, with the surly Russian skater Evgeni Plushenko claiming that he should have won the gold medal, instead of the American Evan Lysacek. “I was certain I had won,” said Plushenko. The Russian skater, who won the Gold medal four years ago, landed a difficult quadruple jump during his long program that he was certain earned him a first place finish. But Plushenko experienced some bobbles on his jumps. Lysacek’s performance was more solid and cleaner all around, in which he landed eight perfect triple jumps and earned hight technical marks for his performance. It was a very close competition, with Lysacek edging out Plushnko by just 1.31 points. It was a personal best performance for Lysacek and with his win, he became the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in figure skating in 22 years. But he barely had time to bask in the glory and enjoy his achievement before Plushenko and his coach started with their trash talking.
Plushenko believes that a quad jump separates the men from the women. “If Olympic champion doesn’t know how to jump quad … I don’t know,” Plushenko said after the result. “Now it’s not men’s skating. Now it’s dancing. That’s my point.”
And his coach Alexei Mishin took the trash talking even further, saying the judges robbed his star skater of his moment in history. “This is nonsense,” said Mishin to Yahoo Sports. “It is wrong. It is criminal. How can it be like this? They are killing figure skating and taking it back 20 years. They have robbed him of his destiny.”
“Any judge who thinks this is the right champion is a Cyclops,” Mishin said. “Without the quad, there is no difference between the men’s competition and the women’s. Why not let them skate together? Why not have it as a unisex competition in the Olympics?”
Despite Plushenko’s poor sportsmanship, Lysacek took the high road, when he was asked to respond to the Russian’s criticism of his performance. “All I know is that he’s been a positive role model for me. … I guess I was a little disappointed that someone who was my role model would take a hit at me at one of the most special moments of my life. But, it’s tough to lose. I’m sure he said stuff in the heat of the moment that maybe he doesn’t mean so we’ll try to … give him the benefit of the doubt. But congratulations to him on his third Olympic medal.”
And so it goes.