Thursday, February 16, 2006


Axel No Rose

Every four years Moldy and millions of others pay attention to various sports on the world stage such as Luge, Ski Jumping, Curling and Figure Skating. Amateur athletes train countless hours. Teams and individuals dedicate themselves for years on end. Parents, partners and family sacrifice, scrimp and save to provide their athlete with an additional edge.

The 2006 Torino Olympics has provided some interesting stories already, but none more curious than Men's Figure Skating. The sport is clearly going through a rebuilding phase. How else can one explain the quality of the skaters on the world stage?

The 2006 field is clearly not anywhere near the quality of the previous 3 or 4 Winter Olympics. After watching the various Men's Free Skate performances, including the medal winning skates, one could be even more critical. These men train for all that time and that is the best collective efforts that are put forward. The same could be said for the Pairs event where the silver medalists fell and the women stopped to tend to an injury and then they restarted. Yet, with all this they won a medal.

Brian Orser, Brian Boitano, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko and Viktor Petrenko skated like giants compared to this field. It is clear that Figure Skating is going through a transition phase. In fact, one has to feel for Kurt Browning to analysis these skaters. He must be thinking if only I was born years later.

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia, for the fifth consecutive from the federation to win - took gold. He was the only skater who actually looked like a medalist. The remaining skaters bumbled and stumbled through the majority of their routines. There were countless falls. Tonnes of points left on the table as triples became doubles and doubles became singles.

Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland won silver and Canada's Jeff Buttle won bronze.

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