Not that there was any doubt that men’s figure skating silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko was in the running for worst sportsman of the 2012 Olympic Games before, but Plushenko, always the fierce competitor, has taken his unique ability to alter reality to new heights with his latest online antics. It seems the reason he has kept quiet in the past days, after spending a good amount of last week trashing gold medalist Evan Lysacek for not being able to perform a quadruple jump (“It’s not men’s figure skating… it’s dancing”), is that he has convinced himself that he didn’t lose a gold medal– he won a platinum one.
Yes, Plushenko [...] has overridden Olympic tradition and awarded himself a non-existent platinum medal on his website. The graphic, clearly a scan of a regular Vancouver silver, is unconvincing at best, but at least his countrymen appear to back him in asserting his dominance. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told Plushenko his “silver is worth gold,” and Russian television originally presented him with his platinum medal, with RTR host Alexei Popov telling him, “You already have one gold and one silver so here’s a platinum medal for you… You are the real champion.”
VANCOUVER — Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek has hit out at Yevgeny [can't you people pick one spelling and stick with it?] Plushenko for discrediting his rivals and tainting the American’s gold medal moment with a bitter rant.
Silver medalist Plushenko said the American was “not a true champion” because he had won without performing a difficult quadruple jump, which requires great height and pace to make at least four midair rotations. The Russian did two in Vancouver.
Even Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has weighed in on the subject.
“I would like to sincerely congratulate you with the wonderful Olympic performance. Your silver is worth gold,” Putin told Plushenko in a telegram. “You were able to overcome all the obstacles in your brave comeback and performed the most accomplished program on the Vancouver ice.”
Lysacek, who said he had not yet been to sleep or taken off his medal, voiced disappointment about the debacle, which has raised questions about the fairness of the new judging system, in which skaters are given marks out of 10 rather than the previous six.
While Plushenko, the 2006 champion who also won silver in 2002, avoided publicly congratulating his rival after Thursday’s free skate, Lysacek said they had shaken hands and that the Russian had spoken to him in private.
The debate over the quad jump has split the skaters at these games, with many like bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi agreeing with Plushenko that it was a vital part of the sport.
Owing to the sport’s very subjective nature, athletes have often said it is hard to know what judges are actually looking for, but Thursday’s result suggested that it might be an all-around performance rather than one show-stopping moment. Whereas before, one performance was marked subjectively against another, nowadays there is a checklist for the value of every jump, spin, transition as well as a grade of execution mark that reflects how well each element was performed.
Lysacek said he had no plans to retire, although he has not decided whether he will defend his world title next month, but he joked that he might not be the most welcome competitor when Russia hosts the next winter Games in Sochi in 2014.
“I don’t think they would love to see me there to be honest, if I could somehow get a visa into that country,” he said, smiling.
больной проигравший–According to Babelfish, that’s sore loser in Russian. (Of course, when you translate that from Russian to English, you get sick lost, so I have no idea what I really said there.)