Wow, what a night! Eeek, it’s so great when things shake up and unexpected things happen in competition. I correctly guessed 2 of the 3 podium finishers and although the winning Russian pair skated beautifully, their program wasn’t one of those that really got me. It wasn’t one that I’d remember years from now or want to watch over and over. I’m not sure if it was the music or the choreography, but it fell a bit flat.
I do have to acknowledge the performance from the 4th place finishers Pang and Tong. They had bobbles on their doubles axels but it was such a special program and to think of the 20 years they’ve invested skating together… I’ve so enjoyed watching them over the years.
But tonight we turn our attention to the men. Oh boy, this is by far the HARDEST one to predict. This Olympics, the quad is going to be the deciding factor. We won’t have an Olympics like 2010 where Lysacek won without the extra difficulty – this fleet of athletes are both artistic and technically brilliant. This could go any way and I’m expecting a total shake-up of what I think will actually happen. CAN NOT WAIT
Patrick Chan – Gold
(Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images North America)
You have to give Chan the edge if for no other reason than because he’s won the World Championships the last three years – something almost unheard of with the kind of competition he’s had. He’s got the amazing skating quality and performance factor and he has the quads as well. His team competition skate was pretty tragic, but he’s got the team silver medal and a bit of Olympic ice under his feet now. I think he’ll pull out the victory in Sochi.
Yuzuru Hanyu – Silver
Yuzuru is a bit of a wild card. He skated amazingly well in the team competition – but that was just the short program. Still, he’s coming off a huge win at the Grand Prix Final and his relaxed and confident demeanor we’ve seen so far at the Games suggests he’ll be able to pull off some spectacular stuff.
Evgeni Plushenko – Bronze
I’ll admit it, Plushenko is a sentimental favorite here. He’s also a long-shot for a medal; any medal. He won in 2006 and I thought he should have repeated in 2010 as well. I remember watching him skate on Stars on Ice and you literally cannot take your eyes off him. Yes, a lot of people find him too self-assured and a little too cocky, but I think to be so dominant over so long and to come back for a 4th Olympics, the guy’s just unreal. No one has ever done this before and it reminds me of the years watching him where he was unwavering in his ability. He represents the Olympics for me – a face I’ve seen time after time and a love for skating that keeps driving him for more. If he finds his way anywhere on the podium, there will be a tear in my eye. And all of Russia will go nuts.