Men's figure skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia is scheduled to begin Feb. 13 with the short program round, featuring a talented field of hopefuls including reigning World Champion Patrick Chan of Canada, upstart sensation Jason Brown of the United States, and home crowd favorite Evgeni Plushenko. Pre-competition betting odds posted to SkyBet on Feb. 12 predicted who will wind up atop the podium, and who will need a miracle to take the gold.
Although he finished behind both Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan and Plushenko in the Feb. 6 short program round of the team event, Chan is favored to win the title with 5/6 odds. Hanyu, the 19-year old reigning Grand Prix Final gold medalist and two-time Japanese national champ, is ranked second, with 13/8 odds of snagging the top prize.
With 7/2 odds, the 31-year old Plushenko is third most likely to win gold. In addition to having the home crowd advantage, a Feb. 10 article by USA Today's Christine Brennan alleges that he may also benefit from potential judging abnormalities, based on an analysis of the team event results.
In the four-spot with 16/1 odds of victory is Vancouver bronze medalist Daisuke Takahashi of Japan, while Denis Ten of Kazakhstan and Spain's Javier Fernandez share fifth place with 25/1 odds.
Seventh place belongs to Japan's Tatsuki Machida, who holds 33/1 odds, while Brown, whose stunning "Riverdance" free skate from U.S. nationals in January went viral and transformed him into an instant fan favorite, is tied with the Czech Republic's Tomas Werner for eighth place with 40/1 odds of winning gold.
The rest of the men's figure skating field is rated as follows:
- Jeremy Abbott, United States, 50/1
- Brian Joubert, France, 66/1
- Yan Han, China, 66/1
- Michal Brezina, Czech Republic, 66/1
- Florent Amodio, France, 66/1
- Alexander Majorov, Sweden, 100/1
Men's figure skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi begins Feb. 13 at 7 AM Pacific time.