Olympic Gold Medalist: Evan Lysacek
I have read many comments saying Plushenko should be the Olympic champion. Here is my two cents, and wish both sides to listen with an open mind to the point I am making. Forget about the current judging system and if you like it or not. Forget if you think the sport is moving forwards or backwards because of it. Forget if the current judging system affects the popularity of our sport or not. Consider these scenarios:
Plushenko and Lysacek are playing against each other at the Olympics. Plushenko has a devastating forehand swing. Lysacek has superior endurance. If Lysacek plays to Plushenko’s backhand the entire time, drags out the match as long as possible to weaken Plushenko and wins, he is a smart strategist and wins the gold. Nobody says he is not the true champion because he played smart.
Plushenko and Lysacek are in the final match against each other at the Olympics. Plushenko has devastating kicks and wins most of his matches because of them. Lysacek has better punches and endurance. Lysacek, using a smart strategy, stays close enough to Plushenko to render his kicks useless while punching and prolonging the match to play to his superior endurance and wins the gold. Nobody claims he is not the true champion for not giving Plushenko the opportunity to kick him the entire match.
When Plushenko decided to come back, he accepted to compete under the current judging system. Did he take the time watch all the videos of the top competitors and ask, “if they skate perfect, what will their maximum points be? Can I map out my program,” by not front end loading it, “to increase my overall points?”
If you want to complain that the current system is not awarding enough points for a quad, or it promotes “not taking risks” etc., then fine. Make your points for what you want and how it will better the sport. If it truly does, most people will agree with you. But when you say Lysacek is not the rightful champion because he did not attempt a quad, or just because he had a superior strategy in the current system to gain more points is insulting to Evan Lysacek, who in my opinion IS the rightful and well deserved Olympic Champion.
My dad always says, “Show me your rules, and I’ll be happy to beat you at your own game.” Evan won by playing by the rules. If you don’t like the rules, don’t play the game and complain that you lost because of them.