Opinion: I Am Not Sure I Like Quadruple Figure Skating Jumps
The elite male figure skaters of today are totally amazing. They jump to superhuman heights and they do quadruple jumps. They don’t just do one quadruple jump, they do several.
In 2010, Evan Lysacek of the the USA won the Olympic figure skating title with no quadruple jumps. He skated a beautiful program that only included triple jumps and placed ahead of 2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Evgeni Plushenko. Plushenko made it clear that he believed he should have won since he landed a quad, but Lysacek’s skating was wonderful.
Yes, 2010 was not that long ago. Then, one quad was considered unusual and amazing, but now, multiple quads are included in the programs of male elite male figure skaters. The coming 2018 Olympics will be a quad landing competition!
There’s a problem with quadruple figure skating jumps since attempting quads means that today’s elite male figure skaters don’t always successfully land all the jumps in their programs. Not landing means falling, and this means that elite men’s figure skating performances may include not one, but many falls. Not landing means sometimes two footing or putting a hand down or barely holding on. Not landing a quad means skaters get shaken up and the smiles on their faces disappear while they compete and perform. Not landing a quad means the joy of skating may not be on a competitor’s face. Not landing means the loss of a figure skating title or the loss of a medal or the loss of an Olympic spot for an entire nation. In addition, even doing quadruple jumps in the first place means greater risk of injury.
At this recent 2017 World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland, Jason Brown attempted a quad at the beginning of his free skate program and fell. Fortunately, he skated the rest of his program beautifully because the rest of his program only included triple jumps. The rest of his program included joyful skating and smiles. That’s the kind of skating I miss. That’s the kind of skating that once was.
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