Friday, February 19, 2010

olympic figure skating scoring surely is a befuddling mess

Normally watching people twirl around on ice skates does very little for my attention span and within minutes I'm drooling on the sofa arm dreaming of chocolate and Mark Harmon. Not necessarily in that order. I get that it is a hugely popular past time and passion for some people, just not me.

But it is the Olympics after all, and despite NBC continually pushing Bob Costas down my gullet and airing less events than talking heads, to my surprise there are skaters who captured my eye for their grace, athleticism, fluidity and down right spark. Which means I've been staying up waaaay past my bedtime, existing on about 4 1/2 hours sleep, watching the Men's figure skating events. Evan Lysacek, Daisuke Takahashi and Johnny Weir are the type of skaters I actually enjoy watching and prevent me from drifting immediately into unconsciousness.

Last night Evan Lysacek took the Gold Medal, which he very much deserved, considering his short program and freestyle performance. Yevgeny Plushenko won the silver medal and Daisuke-of the poofy hair-Takahashi, won the bronze medal. You all know that by now, so I'll move on to my target rant.

Why, in all that is glittery and lycra, was Johnny Weir not on that podium? Really? Did the judges decide to take a pee break when he was throwing down one spectacular skating display? Because he was robbed. Snubbed by a bunch of uptight traditionalists who clearly can't get the sticks out of their collective asses to see artistry in action.

Now, I freely admit that I have NO ice skating skills whatsoever. As in the first and last time a pair of ice skates were attached to my feet, which just happened to be on the outside ice in Lake Placid many distant moons ago, my feet started heading in different directions at the same time resulting in a split my muscles and pelvis had not warmed up for and a face plant on the ice which still retain the imprint of my nose. Because I am graceful and talented like just like that. Next up, the World Klutz Championship!

I also know absolutely zilch about Triple Axels, Toe Loops, Choctaws, Swizzles or Salchows. (Who makes up these names, by the way?) A Layback Spin usually involves the effect on my brain and equilibrium after too much bourbon, but I doubt the U.S Figure Skating terminology interprets it that way. What I see as a smooth skate routine, might very well be a clusterfuck of imperfections in a routine per the scoring sheet. Do you suppose the official Olympic tally sheets look a little like a Yahtzee score sheets? I'd really like to know. It's that kind of trivia that tickles my brain.

Johnny Weir ended up placing 6th. SIXTH!! And the judges were booed viciously for being such jerkwads. As they should have been. Had I been there, I might have thrown a beer bottle or twenty at their heads. Skaters who fell, stumbled and generally fucked up were presented better scores than Weir, who except for one small error in a spin, performed a graceful, fluid, emotional, and artistic ballet on ice. He deserved to win the Silver or Bronze.

Now that the judges have shown that scoring is completely baseless and subjective, that they are influenced by who knows what, when an event is not clearly a time performances alone, the Olympics have lost much of their interest, and NBC's for shoddy coverage can take responsibility for some of that as well. I hope Johnny Weir becomes a household name, makes some major bucks, so when he thumbs his nose at figure skating scores, he can tell the judges to go suck it at the same time.

**due to my technical stupidity, I can't seem to remove the background text color that I accidentally clicked on.


minor catastrophes said...

I'm so impressed that you can spell all the names of all the tricks they do in figure skating! Gold metal spectator, yo :)

I've been watching the events a lot, but missed the competition you wrote about. Wish I had seen it so I could weigh in.

I'm still trying to figure out why curling is an Olympic sport rather than classified as a game. I'm sure there's something I'm missing...

Faith | UPrinting said...

I wasn't able to watch the game. Too bad. I was so hooked to work and wasn't able to noticed time. :( I did not have time to watch on TV either. Boooo for me, LOL.!