In the long run, the harm “may very well be the most effective factor that ever occurred” for Hanyu, mentioned Jackie Wong, a outstanding blogger from New York who’s a former skater and skating decide and who’s masking the Olympics. “He wasn’t going for pointless issue.”
Hanyu disregarded any discuss being the best ever in his sport, saying, “I’m not the most effective skater.” However others weren’t so reluctant.
“In order for you him to be, you wouldn’t be flawed,” mentioned Kurt Browning of Canada, a four-time world champion within the late 1980s and early 1990s. “Why not. He’s the whole lot. He’s the skater, he’s the jumper, however quintessentially, he’s the performer. He appears to have the superpower to take all of the strain, all of the expectations and all of the lights and all of the cameras, and in some way he’s in a position to make use of it as a competitor.”
Right here’s how the free skate performed out:
Germany’s Paul Fentz Does Sport of Thrones Cosplay
Paul Fentz of Germany had a closely themed Sport of Thrones routine. He skated to the dramatic music from the tv present’s soundtrack, and was wearing a shirt designed to appear like armor. He wore one gold glove, maybe reminding some viewers of Jaime Lannister, who has a steel hand. However the judges didn’t appear to agree that Winter is coming, and put him in third place of the three skaters who’ve gone.
Japan’s Keiji Tanaka Leads Early; Nathan Chen Up Subsequent
With the six lesser lights of the 24 rivals having skated, Keiji Tanaka of Japan is the early chief, helped by a quad Salchow on the prime of his program. The second group of six will embody Nathan Chen of america, who upset badly in his quick program, however has a daring five-quad program to attempt to make up floor.
Two Quads Provides Bychenko the Lead
Alexei Bychenko of Israel, the primary skater of the second group, gave a robust efficiency that moved him into the lead. Bychenko, skating to music from the opera Pagliacci, hit each his quads and fell to his knees with pleasure on the finish of the efficiency.
Nathan Chen Will get Aggressive, Goes for Six Quads
Nathan Chen, who bombed his quick program and stood in solely 17th place, hoped to make up floor with a daring 5 quad efficiency. However he didn’t land 5 quads. He threw in yet one more and landed six.
Chen, 18, carried out a quad Lutz, flip mixture, flip, toe loop mixture, toe loop and Salchow. The quad toe loop-triple toe loop combo scored an enormous 17.63 factors by itself. Chen additionally did effectively on the extra subjective judging parts, getting over 9 for efficiency. He takes a giant lead over the opposite early skaters, by a full 40 factors.
It was a redemptive and audaciously formidable efficiency. Chen turned the primary Olympian to land 5 quadruple jumps cleanly in a routine and really tried six, however put his arms to the ice on the quad flip. His rating of 297.35 may put him in medal rivalry if the leaders wrestle later.
Brendan Kerry Invokes Pink Floyd
Brendan Kerry of Australia has had a few of the extra intriguing musical decisions of the occasion. Within the quick program he skated to an eerie cowl of “Everyone Needs to Rule the World.” For the free skate he selected a Pink Floyd medley, together with “Shine on You Loopy Diamond” and “Cash.” However his efficiency wasn’t fairly as much as snuff and he bailed out of his quads. That concluded the second group of six skaters. Twelve to go. Chen nonetheless leads by 40 factors.
Keegan Messing Places on a Present
The Olympics are at their coronary heart, a sports activities competitors, however nobody has had extra enjoyable right here than Keegan Messing of Canada, who entertained the group with a Charlie Chaplin routine on Saturday after skating to Singin’ within the Rain on Friday.
He’s unapologetic about being a showman as a lot as a competitor. “I simply really feel like I can carry the group in; it makes my skating a lot extra enjoyable for me,” he mentioned. Messing additionally hit two quads and moved into third place.
Nathan Chen Made a “Sport-Time Determination” to Attempt 6 Quads
Chief Nathan Chen spoke after his wonderful program:
“Having such a tough quick program allowed me to simply neglect about expectations and simply enable myself to essentially take pleasure in myself,” Chen mentioned. “I feel six quads was virtually a game-time determination, I knew at that time that I had actually nothing to lose.
“As a lot as I attempted to disclaim it, I felt the strain lots earlier than the quick program, particularly fascinated about scores and placement and all that. And that was utterly out of my management. That simply tightened me up and made me actually cautious on the ice.”
Vincent Zhou Practically Matches Nathan Chen
Vincent Zhou, 17, exceeded expectations in his quick program, inserting 12th. And he rolled out an formidable five-quad free skate. And like his countryman Nathan Chen, he delivered.
In skating’s difficult scoring system, Zhou was credited with 4 quadruple jumps, three of them landed cleanly. He put his hand to the ice on a quad flip. And his try and change into the primary Olympic skater to land two quad Lutzes — essentially the most troublesome of the four-revolution jumps being carried out — got here up quick. His second Lutz was judged to have been under-rotated. Nonetheless, his rating for the lengthy program was a lifetime better of 192.16 factors.
His technical rating was solely 7 off Chen’s and he moved into second place total, 21 factors down. Zhou is unquestionably one to look at for 2022.
Adam Rippon Skates a Clear Program, however No Quads
Adam Rippon, the person with the killer abs, was the ultimate American to skate. A program with out quads would make it troublesome to complete excessive, however he wheeled out all his showmanship, together with birdlike motions whereas skating to Coldplay’s “Arrival of the Birds.” And he landed all these triples.
Rippon skated along with his accustomed class, however the leaping prowess of Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou illustrated the gulf between his artistry and the daring athleticism wanted to attain extremely beneath at present’s scoring system.
With six extra to skate, the American males can end no decrease than seventh, eighth and 10th. That is the fourth time within the final 5 Olympics that each one three males have made the highest 10. The final time was 2010, when Evan Lysacek gained the gold medal, Johnny Weir completed sixth and Jeremy Abbott took ninth.
Dmitri Aliev Struggles
Dmitri Aliev, the 18-year-old Russian, was the primary of the ultimate six to skate and possibly the least seemingly winner, with solely two quads in his program. He wound up falling as effectively and may solely place third, although that’s not going.
Jin Boyang Passes Nathan Chen for First Place
Jin Boyang of China was fourth after the quick program and deliberate a four-quad program set to “The Planets” and the Cantina Theme and different music from “Star Wars.” Jin delivered an virtually clear routine, marred by one fall. His free skate rating was decrease than Nathan Chen’s, however Jin had a 21-point lead over Chen after the quick program. It provides as much as a brand new chief by lower than a degree. Chen is again in second.
Patrick Chan Can’t Make Up Floor
Patrick Chan of Canada was sixth after the quick program. His routine, set to Jeff Buckley’s model of “Hallelujah,” had two quads, each proper on the prime. He landed the primary and stepped out of the second barely. He additionally put a hand down on a later leap and had an unprovoked stumble. An at all times dignified skater, the 27-year-old Chan stood solely in sixth. Subsequent up, the chief and gold medal favourite, Yuzuru Hanyu.
Yuzuru Hanyu Leads After Robust Routine
Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, the world’s most well-known Winnie the Pooh fanatic, had the gold medal for the taking, with the lead and a four-quad efficiency deliberate. He nailed the primary three, however found the fourth, a deliberate quad-single-triple mixture. It might need been sufficient for the gold, however Hanyu threw in yet one more unplanned quad for good measure. Yet one more small stumble got here on a triple, however Hanyu laid down a robust efficiency that may make him onerous to catch. Winnie the Pooh dolls rained down from the viewers within the aftermath.
Hanyu took over first place. His free skate rating was 6 factors decrease than Chen’s however mixed with the quick program he claimed a 20-point lead.
Javier Fernandez in 2nd Place After Robust Routine
Javier Fernandez of Spain was fourth 4 years in the past, however he put himself in place to get a medal this time. After a robust second within the quick program, he delivered in his free skate to Man of La Mancha, finishing two of his three deliberate quads. The final skater shall be Shoma Uno of Japan, with the present medal positions Hanyu-Fernandez-Jin. The American Nathan Chen has slipped to fourth place.
Shoma Uno Passes Fernandez for Silver
All of it got here all the way down to Shoma Uno, who may get a medal and possibly even the gold if he nailed his four-quad program set to Turandot. However he fell on Quad No. 1 and stepped out of a combo. It was adequate for second place, and Yuzuru Hanyu repeated as the boys’s Olympic champion. Bronze to Javier Fernandez.