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Vladimir Putin Thinks Plushenko’s Routine Was ‘Worth Gold’

February 19th, 2010 – By John Ritter

Evan Lysacek may have stunned the figure skating world by winning the men’s singles competition at the 2010 Vancouver Games. But his medal is fool’s gold, says Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Instead of congratulating the American, Putin criticized the event’s judges for their scores, and incinuated countryman Evgeni Plushenko was robbed of the gold medal.

“I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the wonderful Olympic performance — your silver is worth gold,” Putin said in a telegram picked up by Reuters.

Plushenko was favored by USA Online Sportsbooks to win the event, and pulled off the sport’s toughest manuevers in his program, the quad jump, which requires the athlete to do four full spins before landing.

Lysacek did not.

And because of his failure to do so, Plushenko said, should have resulted in major point deductions, and loss of the gold medal.

“You can’t be considered a true men’s champion without the quad,” he told the Russian television station RTR.

Putin agreed, and insisted the Russian was simply a victim of chicanery.

“You were able to overcome all the obstacles in your brave comeback and performed the most accomplished programme on the Vancouver ice,” Putin wrote Plushenko.

Lysacek said that he didn’t do the jump because of an injury. He had tried it before, but injured his foot on the landing, and was still feeling soreness. He argued that the contestants should be judged on the full performance, not just one move.

“If it was a jumping competition, they’d give you 10 seconds to go do your best jump. But it’s about 4 minutes and 40 seconds of skating and performing from start to finish,” Lysacek responded to the AP after the event. “That was my challenge tonight, and I feel like I did quite well.”

To that, Plushenko calls shenanigans.

“For someone to stand on top of the podium with the gold medal around his neck by just doing triple jumps, to me it’s not progress, it’s a regress because we’ve done triples 10 or even 20 years ago,” Plushenko said. “Just doing nice transitions and being artistic is not enough because figure skating is a sport, not a show.”

If Plushenko had won, it would have been a monumental story in Russia. After the pairs competition was coughed up for the first time since 1964, Plushenko was it’s best shot at capturing the title. He went into retirement after winning gold in the 2006 Turin Games, but decided to come back for Vancouver, and looked as good as ever in his routine. He landed a little awkwardly after a couple jumps, but made up for it with more techincal moves and a personality that pleased the audience.

“In the free programme I was the last to skate, did everything clean and still didn’t get the marks,” he said. “I thought I had done enough to get the gold but the judges gave it to someone else.”

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13 Responses for “Vladimir Putin Thinks Plushenko’s Routine Was ‘Worth Gold’”

  1. USAgold says:

    I saw Lysacek’s performance and I saw Plushenko’s performance, and Lysacek was better, hands down. Plushenko had a good program and executed it well, it just wasn’t enough. Quit cryin Putin.

  2. Julie says:

    Plushenko should have gotten the gold. Americans are losers who change the rules in order to win. The judging system is really messed up.

    People are calling them “sore losers”, but they’re NOT. They are just saying the truth.

    Long live Russia!

  3. USAgold says:

    I see the Russians are already trying to spread propaganda. Like americans really influence the judging in the olympics. Everyone knows how America got screwed by the French figure skating judges at the last games. Any sport that is left up to judges comes down to this. Don’t be mad cause you think you got burnt.

  4. SallyElizabeth says:

    It’s called “figure skating” not “ice jumping.” Plushenko may want to advance the sport, and bravo to him for mastering the quad, but the sport should not be “advanced” at the expense of the overall integrity of the program. He did not execute some of his other jumps flawlessly (even though he seems to think he did), and there’s nothing wrong with the judges actually judging execution. The day quads are included along with polished, complete, balanced, athletic and artistic performances will be a welcome one, but it’s unreasonable to expect an automatic win when you haven’t delivered all of the components. And yes, there is an element of “sore loser” here. Plushenko is fully aware of the points system and could have developed a program that would have given him more points. It’s not true that he wasn’t rewarded for the quad; he got major points for it. He lost because he didn’t do the other things he needed to do. He says skaters who don’t do the quad are not up to par and shouldn’t be called champion, but apparently he doesn’t have the stamina to deliver more jumps at the end of the program, so you could say he is under par himself. This is why I think he’s being a sore loser. He has no one to blame but himself, since he could have structured his program differently to assure full points, and since he could have executed some of his jumps and certainly his straightline footwork better. Like I said, it’s called “figure skating,” and it does by definition require some artistry. If he doesn’t like that about the sport he should start a new one where all he has to do is jump. Sounds to me like he’s in the wrong field.

  5. Everett says:

    This is crazy. Lysacek skated a much better program. It was not even close. Plushenko landed a lot of jumps off balance. This was an easy choice for the gold. Lysacek was the better skater and earned the gold.
    I think Putin should concern himself with more important matters rather than politicizing the Olympics.

  6. Kevin says:

    Without the quads and difficult jumps all we have left is Women’s Figure Skating. I wouldn’t be surprised if male ice skaters started to wear pink outfits adorned with fur (Like Oksana Baiul). Wait, isn’t that what some figure skaters already do?

  7. Lee says:

    Hah, Plushenko is just whining and using his quad excuse to justify his lack of skill in the competition. It wouldn’t really be called a competition if only one person could do a quad. And FYI, Evan does know how to do quads but it could be detrimental to his score because of his previously injured foot, so he didn’t do it. And performing a quad perfectly doesn’t mean you’re the champion of everyone. Plushenko didn’t even land his triples his perfectly, so he really is in no position to complain about Lysacek’s performance because he performed his flawlessly.

    Russians need to calm their asses down. Sorry, but you can’t always be the champs. You guys need to be mature about stepping down for new champions and accepting the fact that they can be better than you guys. Really, accept it and stop being such sore losers about it. It makes you look pretty bad.

  8. bbb says:

    Only people who know nothing about figure skating think Lysec deserves the gold.

    In the short program (which is included in the final score), Plushenko did quadruple, Lysec did triple triple. And yes, they got almost the same score.

    In the long program, Plushenko landed his quad again even though he was the last one to skate and the ice was extremely rough.

    If quad was so easy, why won’t Lysec even try once in his programs?

    Plushenko got robbed twice.

    What do you expect from him? Smile and say thank you?

  9. Elise says:

    Plushenko is such a sore loser. I mean Lysacek deserved the gold medal. He did way better then Plushenko. Lysacek even looked up to Plushenko but now after this if I were Lysacek I would lose my respect for him. Plushenko acted like a five year old in this situation. He can complain all he wants about it but he can do nothing about it. He needs to accept that he got the silver medal. Just because he did the quad and Lysacek didn’t doesn’t necessarily mean he gets the gold. Lysacek performed much better then Plushenko did.

  10. The Q says:

    Plushenko didn’t do well on his second jump. He barely landed it and it looked sloppy. His program was very stop and go and didn’t have the flow that Lysacek’s did. Lysacek did a great job with ALL his jumps, his execution of them so much better than the Russian whine-baby. JUST doing a quad shouldn’t give you gold medal, it’s called the LONG program, not the “who can do a quad program?”.
    Pleshenko did most of his jumps in the first part. The rest of his program was easy and boring and his “butt wiggle-gyrations” were silly. He does that and the sheep go “oooohhhhh!!!”. Johhny Weir does the same thing and the sheep go “ewww!!”. If the quad was a requirement, then skaters who didn’t do one would get penalized. But, it’s not. Many years ago, Scott Hamilton could do backflips and forward flips and land them with no trouble. Maybe that move should be required all these years later. Perhaps we should have another skating category called “Skate jumping”. Then skaters like Pleshenko can strut their stuff. But it’s called “figure skating” because it’s many elements, with the jumps just one part of it.

    Plushenko is a cry-baby and jerk. He and his over-inflated opinion of himself is the perfect show of poor sportsmanship. But then, it seems Russia is famous for that. Putin is putting Russia right back into the times of the Cold War with his KGB buddies and new “secret” police. Hey Vlad!! It really isn’t a SECRET, ya get my drift?

  11. Teresa says:

    To Julie the Americans don’t make the rules in the olympics. The judges are nuteral in their judging Plushenko is just a sore loser and cant stand the fact he lost. And putin of Russia an arrogant moron. Truth is russians are a bunch of cry babies when they don’t get their way. Plushenko lost he needs to get over it and move on.

  12. Teresa says:

    BBI no we are not saying he should smile about it, but thats the way it is in these games some times you lose some times you win. He needs be a good sport and stop being a damn baby about it. He is acting like a little 5 year instead of a grown man that he is suppose to be.

  13. regina says:

    Sore losers? Lycacek is a mediocrity, he is a junior skater-his feet hardly left the ice rink. Plushenko took risks, his program was far more complicated and lots of Americans are jealous of him because he can do certain things that American skaters cannot do. That is why they hate Plushenko so much. Jealousy is worth than hatred. If it is so easy, then why Lycacek not repeat Plushenko’s program? Lets see if he can even manage. Lycacek deserves maximum bronze if the judges are generous. Japanese deserves silver. Plushenko deserves Gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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