Yesterday Yuzuru Hanyu won gold beating the reigning World Champion Patrick Chan.
Both Hanyu and Chan were nearly perfect in short and both stumbled in free. But the goddess of ice smiled at Hanyu.
It was Chan’s gold to lose; and he did.
Now for ladies. For the past few months, the Russian talent Julia Lipnitskaya reigned supreme, knocking off the veteran skaters such as Mao Asada or Carolina Kostner.
Lipnitskaya’s success culminates in the team event held even before the opening of Olympics; her success was so remarkable throughout the season that she often was compared to Tara Lipinsky at 15 – who had won gold, beating the then World Champion Michelle Kwan – and many speculated her Olympic gold.
After the Team event in which Lipnitskaya skated flawlessly in both short and free to help Russia win, there was a great frenzy among people, especially Russians, debating her chance to win the ladies competition.
Unfortunately, Lipnitskaya is not facing Michelle Kwan; she will have to compete against a skater whose competitiveness is known as one of a kind in figure history.
And that skater happens to be the one whose technical accomplishment in the ladies has been unprecedented.
Her name is Yuna Kim.
Kim, who had disappeared from the international arena since the 2010 Vancouver, returned to the field last year and won the Worlds decidedly, and Kim, again, here in Sochi is expected to win.
After having arrived at Sochi, Kim had a practice session in front of international medias, and it left a question in the minds of spectators there.
What would need to beat Kim under the COP system, or any other system?
It was not a question about whether or not Kim would be successful in her second Olympic gold quest; you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate Kim’s skating, especially watching her in live.
The kind of skating Kim display is something incomparable to any other, that is, there is too many elements, technically and aesthetically critical, that is missing in her peers’, and that would not be necessarily reflecting on the current judging system.
In one of her recent interviews , Kim said reportedly that she does not pay attention to her second Olympic gold. Of course, it was a diplomatic statement , but it cryptically reflects on Kim’s statuesque presence in the current ladies figure skating.
Kim, as she mentioned, does not have to think about anything else, not even those judges who will evaluate her skating, because she will beat even the judges’ marks.