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Vespasiano

Bravo to Evan Lysacek

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For the first time since Brian Boitano's spectacular performance in 1988, an American man has captured the Olympic Gold Medal in Figure Skating. Evan Lysacek, the 24 year-old from Chicago, did so with a program that ranks among the best seen at the Olympics. It was a virtually flawless performance consisting of 8 beautifully-executed and landed triple jumps (although one of these was very slightly over-rotated on the landing), a Double Axel, highly energized footwork passages, wonderfully centered spins and finely detailed edge-work, and a powerfully projected sense of joy and abandon in the concluding moments of the skate.

In a decidedly un-sportsmanlike reaction to the event's outcome, the evening's Silver Medalist, Yevgeni Plushenko, disparaged Mr. Lysacek's victory by claiming that a male skater without a Quad jump could not be called a champion. However, although Mr. Plushenko did complete a Quad jump, for which he duly received extra credit, the rest of his program was not up to his usual technical standards. His jumps, usually his strongest suit, were all landed but marked by sloppy air positions and shaky edge-work on those landings. Nor were his footwork, spiral and spin sequences executed with the same degree of technical polish as were Mr. Lysacek's. Conversely, always one to "work the crowd", Mr. Plushenko's composite (artistic) marks were on par with Mr. Lysacek's.

In short, although it may be lost on Mr. Plushenko, Mr. Lysacek's victory was solidly on the outstanding technical (athletic) merits of his performance, Quad or no Quad.

Here is a link to Mr. Lysacek's Gold Medal-winning performance. I don't know how long these feeds will be available, so do enjoy while it lasts.

Evan Lysacek: 2010 Gold Medal Free-Skate Performance

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I haven't been watching the Olympics at all, but happened to see this one performance as it was happening. What incredible luck that was! Loved it, especially the landings -- so perfect. And I loved those spins where he was squatting on one leg, with the other held straight out. Beautiful.

I decided not to watch anything after that performance, because it had been so perfect that I didn't want to see another one, because I didn't want to see someone mess up. And it turns out that the very next skater, although he did so well that he took home the bronze medal, fell on his first (very difficult) jump. Anyway, considering what I'd wanted to avoid seeing, after seeing perfection, I was right not to continue to watch.

Apparently Lysecek had to sit through (I think) five more performances before he knew that he'd won the gold. What an agony of waiting! I didn't know until much later, when I read it online, that I'd seen a gold medal performance. I just knew that I'd seen a superlative performance.

In a news clip, I at first misheard that 1998 was the last year that an American won the Gold in men's figure skating. But it turns out that an American has not won it since 1988, so I was luckier than ever! Such a great American win is just one more reason to love this performance.

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Since the above link is restricted to US viewers, I'd be very grateful if a YouTube version was ever posted.

I'll keep checking and may post it myself later!

I did check Evan Lysacek out (previous performances) and it was definitely very beautiful and graceful. Thank you for sharing.

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Here is another stunning performance by Evan Lysacek. In this case, his 2009 World Championship Gold Medal performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Although the choreography differs, this was on par with his Olympic skate. As with that Olympic performance, the drama and explosive energy of the last 1-2 minutes of his routine brings the audience to its feet.

Enjoy!

Evan Lysacek: 2009 World Champsionships, Long Program

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