It was an intense event today, February 14, 2014 in men’s figure skating at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It seemed like it was almost impossible to have a clean skate as man after man struggled in the free skate.
Yuzuru Hanyu also had errors in his program, but with his short program lead, along with some clean, high scoring elements in his free skate, it was enough for the win. Hanyu was able to capture Japan’s first ever gold medal in men’s figure skating.
Yuzuru fell on his opening quadruple salchow and put his hand down and stepped out of his triple flip. It certainly was not the way you would want to win gold, yet his determination and fight through each element was impressive.
“I’m not very happy with my performance,” Hanyu said to the Chicago Tribune, “I was nervous. “But I got the gold medal, I got the Japanese flag to put on the flagpole. It’s something I can be proud of.”
Hoping to lift the Canadian curse, Patrick Chan had a rough skate, stumbling on his triple axel, putting his hand down on a quadruple toe and stepping out of a double axel. The door was wide open for him after Hanyu skated and yet he was unable to pull it all together as it seems as if nerves just got to him. Patrick Chan will now have to settle for the silver, unable to break the streak of Canadian male figure skaters who have been unable to achieve gold at the Olympic Games. Chan now becomes the fifth world champion from Canada unable to capture Olympic gold.
"I had that gold medal around my neck and I didn't grasp it." Chan admitted to the media. "At the end of the day, I have two heavy medals around my neck, and they're silver. Unfortunately it wasn't the gold, but I'm not going to let that affect my whole career."
Coming out of almost nowhere, Denis Ten, had one of the cleaner skates of the night, captured the bronze medal, after being absent for much of the season due to illness. This will be Kazakhstan’s first ever figure skating medal in an Olympic Games.
Jason Brown skated dead last, which had to be difficult. He seemed tight out there, but pushed through each element and was able to bring the crowd to their feet by the end. This was Brown’s Olympic debut, only 19-years-old, and it was solid, winning bronze in the team event and coming in ninth in the individual event.
After a horrific fall in yesterday’s short program, Jeremy Abbott came back and delivered a strong free skate. He chose not to include the quad, which seemed like the right choice for him, as it enabled him to skate a clean program. This was such an accomplishment for him, as his international competitions have been so disappointing in the past. Abbott finished in twelfth, but for him these games were not about medals, but about grit.
It was an off night for the majority of men and it came down to a battle of determination, sheer willpower and training. At the end of the day history was made regardless of imperfections.
Men's final standings after the free skate:
GOLD - Yuzuru Hanyu JPN - 280.09
SILVER - Patrick Chan CAN - 275.62
BRONZE - Denis Ten KAZ - 255.10
4. Javier Fernandez ESP - 253.92
5. Tatsuki Machida JPN - 253.42
6. Daisuke Takahashi JPN - 250.67
7. Han Yan CHN - 246.20
8. Peter Liebers GER - 239.87
9. Jason Brown USA - 238.37
10. Michal Brezina CZE - 233.62
11. Tomas Verner CZE - 232.99
12. Jeremy Abbott USA - 232.70
13. Brian Joubert FRA - 231.77
14. Alexander Majorov SWE - 224.86
15. Kevin Reynolds CAN - 222.23
16. Jorik Hendrickx BEL - 214.04
17. Misha Ge UZB - 203.26
18. Florent Amodio FRA - 198.64
19. Michael Christian Martinez PHI - 184.25
20. Yakov Godorozha UKR - 182.19
21. Alexei Bychenko ISR - 177.06
22. Abzal Rakimgaliev KAZ - 174.40
23. Zoltan Kelemen ROU - 158.76
24. Viktor Romanenkov EST - 139.99