Figure skating

Couperin47

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This was basically the stance that had 4-5 people propose me for membership and 2-3 think I should be banned forever when I got SOSH membership. I'd still argue that even something like running the marathon is a great athletic event, but not a sport.
well, at least we, usually, know who wins a marathon (unless they took a cab...)
 

BigMike

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So that was all nice, quality skating, etc.

And then the Russian was just 2 levels above everyone else. Just Wow.
 

twoBshorty

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I think diving has this slightly better figured out. The judges score the execution and then it's multiplied by the degree of difficulty. So if you do a 3.9 difficulty dive but you flop over on your back on entry and score 4's for execution, you fare worse than the guy that did the 3.5 dive well and got 9's.
 

Ale Xander

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The official prime-time NBC stream absolutely blows.

Not full page on he computer, bad quality, takes forever to switch between NBCSN and NBC, too easy to get spoilered especially on other events, bad announcers (for "enhanced"), just blows.
 
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Ale Xander

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Why we can't get Gannon and Belbin(White)/Lipinski-Weir online for the "enhanced" NBC feed, I have no clue.
 
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SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
I don't know a damn thing about ice dancing, but I've followed the Shibutanis on social media since the last Olympics after finding out they were Boston sports fans. They always have some fun content that they produce. I still love how excited Alex was when he ran into Zdeno Chara in the Olympic Village in Sochi.
 

Fratboy

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I'm happy to hold court here during the figure skating events or in chat, but I think more people there might watch the Bruins/Celtics than watch Olympics. When I did it years ago (2006? 2010?) I basically nailed everybody's scores.

Notes from the team event:

* Adam Rippon was undermarked horribly in the program components in the free skate. There's no way Kolyada had better program components than Rippon. None whatsoever. Kolyada was choppy, messy, all that, and Rippon was captivating and mesmerizing the whole time. Hopefully he gets good feedback from the judging panel this week and puts a few fixes in there for the Men's competition.
* Alina Zagitova exudes warmth, something you do not see much from Russian skaters. Those gloves were FIERCE. She has all of the goods, and if she's on, everybody else is fighting for the bronze. I don't think Kostner can compete because she doesn't have the technical goods, but man, I cannot wait for the Ladies short.
* Radford/Duhamel are awesome and I can't wait to see their programs. Pairs usually leaves me kinda flat, but it's been growing on me lately. I hope the US can get a top 10 finish here and at Worlds in March.
* I've never been enthused about the Shib Sibs, but I was glad to see they changed the music for the Free Dance. Coldplay, for me, just really does not work in Ice Dancing. The Shibutanis for me lack tempo and enthusiasm. They've got no pizzazz.

Preview of the various events:

* Pairs: We're going to see the top performances by the teams that were in the short program: Savchenko/Massot (GER), Duhamel/Radford (CAN), and Tarasova/Morozov (OAR). The Americans will be happy with a Top 10 finish.
* Men: It's Chen, Fernandez, and Hanyu, with everybody else on the sidelines watching. Zhou and Rippon are just happy to be here and should finish in the top 10. It's going to be Quadtacular!
* Dance: Papadakis/Cizeron (FRA) and Virtue/Moir (CAN) will be duking it out for the Gold and Silver, and I think P/D take it. The three American teams will be competing for the bronze.
* Ladies: As I noted above, the Russians are fighting for Gold and Silver, and I count 7 ladies (including all 3 Americans) who have the goods for the Bronze. The short program is going to be tons of fun to watch. If Nagasu can land her Triple Axel, not under-rotate her jumps, and skate cleanly, she's going to be in great position for that Bronze medal.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Judging is based on difficulty, the winner is almost predestined because the routine regardless of execution from what I gather.
It’s the same in gymnastics, right? I remember it being near-impossible for anybody to beat Simone Biles regardless of how she actually performed.
 

Fratboy

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Judging is based on difficulty, the winner is almost predestined because the routine regardless of execution from what I gather.
Which is why Nathan Chen was 4th in the short program, right? Because he had the hardest short program and still won despite flubbing every jumping pass, right?

At the end of the day, you have to execute the program, which is why Evan Lysacek won Gold in Vancouver in 2010 without attempting a quad. The game's completely changed now, and you can't win without landing at least two clean quads because if you don't, at least two other competitors will.

The equivalent for ladies is the 3/3 combo. Shizuka Arakawa won the Gold in Torino in 2006 doing 3/2 combos, playing it safe, because she knew Sasha Cohen skated a flawed program. Nowadays attempting only 3/2 combos might not land you in the top 10.

The Russian ladies are going to miles ahead of everybody else because they *are* miles ahead of everybody else. In the men's competition, anything can happen in the top 3, but I'd be surprised if anybody other than those 3 - including Chan - medaled.
 

Fratboy

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You want to see some fuckery? Here are Kolyada's and Rippon's program components:

Here's Rippon:
Rippon.JPG


Here's Kolyada:

Kolyada.JPG

Now you tell me what's going with columns 6 and 9 there.
 

mpjc

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Frat, you don't figure Shoma Uno has a chance to medal in the men's?
 

SoxFanInCali

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* I've never been enthused about the Shib Sibs, but I was glad to see they changed the music for the Free Dance. Coldplay, for me, just really does not work in Ice Dancing. The Shibutanis for me lack tempo and enthusiasm. They've got no pizzazz.
A lot of ice dancing choreography seems like it's built around the sexual chemistry between the partners. Well, that doesn't work with a brother/sister team, so their routines definitely seem different than the rest.

I'm not a Coldplay guy, and didn't think that Paradise really worked great, but I thought the routine they did a couple of years ago to Fix You was good.
 

Fratboy

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Frat, you don't figure Shoma Uno has a chance to medal in the men's?
You're right. Uno is absolutely in the mix here, and yeah, we've got 4 guys fighting for the 3 medals. If Hanyu isn't fully recovered from his injury and falters, Uno is on the podium.
 

Fratboy

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A lot of ice dancing choreography seems like it's built around the sexual chemistry between the partners. Well, that doesn't work with a brother/sister team, so their routines definitely seem different than the rest.

I'm not a Coldplay guy, and didn't think that Paradise really worked great, but I thought the routine they did a couple of years ago to Fix You was good.
It probably is the fact that they're siblings that something just seems off to me. A lot of it is sensuality, and with siblings in ice dance, that just comes off weird. So yeah, there's a whole bunch of stuff they just can't do.

They recut the music track between Nationals and the Olympics. (h/t to Tara Lipinski for that. Johnny and Tara are so insanely insightful that they truly put Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic for shame. I always felt like my intelligence was being insulted listening to them. They dumbed it down just so, so much. Johnny and Tara are both informative *and* entertaining, which always makes for a good figure skating broadcast.) The track is now a bit punchier, and they've mixed "Fix You" in the middle, which adds to the intensity and the heft. Their new free dance is much, much better than it was even last month, but they're still fighting for the bronze.

I can't wait to see what Papadakis/Cizeron turn out. They're magnificent.
 

InsideTheParker

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I like to watch great figure skating and don't care who wins, because for as long as I've watched the scoring hasn't made sense to me, for one reason or another. In my judgment, Rippon was screwed and the Italian ice dancing team danced most beautifully. There is an interesting piece on the front page of the Times about coaches shaming skaters into starving themselves.
 

Fratboy

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NBC Sports Network is awful with the pixelation and stuff, so I'm not sure how much I can really do until it moves to NBC.
 

The Needler

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The NBC Sports app on roku and Apple TV has been fantastic for me. Video quality is great, and it's easy to find every event either live or on replay.
 

Fratboy

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So I forgot about that Chinese pair. They were deserving World Champions last year, and brought it again this year with a gorgeous program. The Russians were nearly their equal, with the only real substantial difference coming on the throw jump: The Chinese did a throw triple flip, which is harder than a throw triple loop, and that's the only difference in the base value of the technical elements. Beyond that, they were nearly evenly matched, with the Chinese getting a very, very slight nod in program components (the artistic impression marks.)

On paper, the Canadians had the most difficult program, featuring throw and side-by-side triple lutzes, but didn't execute the elements as well as the Russians and Chinese, and the program as a whole didn't seem as intricate or polished, and they suffered in the program components.

The Germans '(??) triple twist was EVERYTHING, but their fatal flaw was Massot's double salchow instead of a triple. Had they landed that, they would have been in second place, but the difficulty of the program as a whole would not have been enough for them to be placed first.

This was a very clean night for the pairs, and we saw some quality skating. So far, no judging controversies in the pairs. They've gotten it right.

Anything can happen in the free skate, which can sometimes be a splatfest, but I'm optimistic.
 

Couperin47

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In the short programs the 'Russian esthetic' seems to be 50 yrs old: same classical chestnuts interpreted the same way.

The Canadians used jazz. The problem is, once you get into really dancing with the music (and they did), if you need that extra beat+ to setup the next big jump (and they did)...it looks worse than the less 'focused to the music' interpretations of the classical stuff. and even in 2018, judges still seem a bit less impressed by anything but 'serious' music...which I find disappointing...and I'm an old fart.
 

Ale Xander

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holy crap. Great skate by the Ukra/French German pair.

I can't get enough of those one handed lifts. It's like holding a 100 lb barbell over your head while skating. And it's not a barbell but a human.
 

StupendousMan

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That was a GREAT program. They may yet have a chance at the gold medal.

Wow. I really enjoyed watching that.
 

Fratboy

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Components are through the roof, ranging from 9.46 to 9.82. It's going to be very, very difficult to beat that.

But the Chinese could finish second in the free skate and still beat them because of the mistakes the Germans made in the short.
 

StupendousMan

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Good -- but not good enough to jump into first.

[that is, I think the Chinese pair is going to end up _just_ failing the pass the Germans]