It was an eventful day in men’s figure skating at the Olympic Games, today, February 13, 2014. Typically the ladies event brings the drama, but not this time. It was unbelievable as Russian sensation, Evgeni Plushenko withdrew, Jeremy Abbott had a major collision and Yuzuru Hanyu rose above the events of the night with a record breaking score of 101.45 points.
During the warm up, it was clear that Evgeni Plushenko was in pain after an awkward landing on his triple axel. He was holding his back, wincing in pain as he went over to the officials and his coaches, where moments later it was announced that he had withdrawn for “medical reasons.” Not long after he announced that he would be retiring.
"I think it's God saying, `Evgeni, enough, enough with skating,"' said Plushenko to the media. "Age, it's OK. But I have 12 surgeries. I'd like to be healthy.”
It was a sad finish for a long lasting career and the crowd seemed stunned by the abrupt decision to withdraw and then retire, yet this will be his second and presumably final retirement.
Not long after came American, Jeremy Abbott. Jeremy opened with a quadruple toe loop and was leaning in the air. He took a painful fall, colliding into the boards and it was unclear if he would get back up as laid there in agony. Seconds later he arose and completed each of his elements, carried by the crowd and pure determination. It was remarkable to see such courage and strength as he pulled through to the end.
Thankfully the silver lining came when Yuzuru Hanyu took to the ice and brought both relief and joy as he delivered the best short program he has ever performed. It was incredible. Nailing his quadruple toe loop, a fantastic triple axel and a triple lutz-triple toe loop combination, he showed that he is in to fight for the gold.
Patrick Chan landed a gorgeous quadruple toe-triple toe combination, but struggled yet again with his triple axel, putting him in second place, four points behind Hanyu.
Fighting for the bronze
The battle for bronze is on as there are less then 6 points that separate third from thirteenth place, which means it will be a very tight fight to the finish as the door is wide open, ready for someone to jump in and take their place.
American, Jason Brown, completed a strong program which put him into sixth place where he is very well in medal contention. Without a quad it is doubtful that he can snatch that bronze, but he is an incredible skater and if the stars align, you never know, it could be his moment to shine.
Either way it will be another exciting event tomorrow, February 14, as the men’s final concludes and medals are awarded. Stay tuned as the drama continues to unfold.
Men's short program standings:
1. Yuzuru Hanyu JPN - 101.45
2. Patrick Chan CAN - 97.52
3. Javier Fernandez ESP - 86.98
4. Daisuke Takahashi JPN - 86.40
5. Peter Liebers GER - 86.04
6. Jason Brown USA - 86.00
7. Brian Joubert FRA - 85.84
8. Han Yan CHN - 85.66
9. Denis Ten KAZ - 84.06
10. Alexander Majorov SWE - 83.81
11. Tatsuki Machida JPN - 83.48
12. Michal Brezina CZE - 81.95
13. Tomas Verner CZE - 81.09
14. Florent Amodio FRA - 75.58
15. Jeremy Abbott USA - 72.58
16. Jorik Hendrickx BEL - 72.52
17. Kevin Reynolds CAN - 68.76
18. Misha Ge UZB - 68.07
19. Michael Christian Martinez PHI - 64.81
20. Abzal Rakimgaliev KAZ - 64.18
21. Yakov Godorozha UKR - 62.65
22. Alexei Bychenko ISR - 62.44
23. Viktor Romanenkov EST - 61.55
24. Zoltan Kelemen ROU - 60.41
25. Javier Raya ESP - 59.76
26. Viktor Pfeifer AUT - 56.60
27. Paul Bonifacio Parkinson ITA - 56.30
28. Liam Firus CAN - 55.04
29. Brendan Kerry AUS - 47.12
WD Evgeni Plushenko RUS