Putin attacks Plushenko judging
Gennady Fyodorov - Reuters
February 19, 2010
MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin climbed into the controversy surrounding Yevgeny Plushenko's surprise defeat in the Olympics figure skating by claiming on Friday that he should have been awarded gold.
Plushenko, hoping to become the first man in almost six decades to win back-to-back Games titles, lost to American Evan Lysacek by 1.31 points on Thursday.
It was an extremely controversial decision as Plushenko performed the highly demanding quad jump in which the skater spins four times in the air before landing while Lysacek did not. It is considered the toughest maneuver in figure skating.
"I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the wonderful Olympic performance -- your silver is worth gold," Putin said in a telegram addressed to the skater.
"You can't be considered a true men's champion without a quad," the 27-year-old told Russian state television RTR.
Lysacek did not attempt a quadruple jump in either Tuesday's short or Thursday's free programs, instead wowing the judges with artistry and exquisite footwork.
"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," he said.
Coach: Plushenko was ‘robbed’ of gold
Martin Rogers - Yahoo! Sports
February 18, 2010
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Russian figure skating chiefs were planning their own Crime Scene Investigation on Thursday night, as accusations of sporting robbery followed Evan Lysacek’s dramatic victory in the men’s long program at Pacific Coliseum.
The American star’s triumph sparked a furious reaction from Alexei Mishin, the coach of silver medalist Evgeni Plushenko, with Mishin claiming his athlete had been unfairly “robbed” of a second consecutive gold.
“This is nonsense,” Mishin told Yahoo! Sports. “It is wrong. It is criminal. How can it be like this? They are killing figure skating and taking it back 20 years. They have robbed him of his destiny.
“There is nothing we can do but we want to know what happened because this is not right. We will investigate. Someone needs to explain to me how this is possible. I cannot believe it.”
Mishin was disgusted that Lysacek was awarded an overall score of 257.67, enough to overcome his 0.55 deficit from the short program and push him ahead of Plushenko, the sport’s shining star.