The Quad Revolution at 2017 Four Continents Championship

I was just thinking the other day about how much blogging I’d been doing this week. Granted, most of them were previously planned and were necessary. But there was a long period of time where I wrote every day and wondered if I needed to. Prince, I think wrote a song every day, but who’s to know if every single one of them were good… even for a genius like him.

Anyways… this is a competition that’s typically forgotten or just plain forgettable. I mean, the European Championships, of course, are a pretty big deal. When you have heavy hitters like Javier Fernandez. Or years before when Plushenko competed and was practically a headliner.

However, this time around… I kinda hope this competition isn’t as forgettable… because we have all the key names in the Quad Revolution taking part. For the first time, Nathan Chen, Yuzuru Hanyu, Boyang Jin and Shoma Uno are all competing at top form with at least 4 quads each.
And I think Patrick Chan may be there with only two different kinds of quads… but these days, the minimum I do ask for is two different quads. So many guys are doing quad salchows, they seem even more commonplace than the quadruple toe loop that had been Plushenko’s signature jump for years. (I say this because for the longest time, he was the only one doing it with any measure of consistency).

But enough about him… I already devoted two blog posts to him this week. πŸ˜›

I’m starting with Yuzuru… mainly because his video was in the “recommended videos” section on my YouTube page.
Interestingly, in his thumbnail, Shoma is wearing purple also. And then Nathan Chen will break that color scheme wearing black… oh well, can’t win ’em all.

British commentary πŸ˜› yeah!
but the video’s audio had to be edited to avoid copyright infringement. Even then, though, Prince’s energy still penetrates and I felt it strongly in Yuzuru’s performance.
PERFECT quad loop for 14 points. But then he popped his quad salchow into a double, but managed a triple toe loop at the end of it. Everything else was brilliant.
And it sounds like he’s chasing Nathan’s score… which is amazing news πŸ˜€
97.04 points even with the mistake.
Looking at the comments (which I know I shouldn’t do)- someone said something about inflating scores.
50/46… I mean, his skating skills and choreography and all that… that’s brilliant. Technically, he was overscored a bit, I think. 14 points for a solo quad, at least 10-11 for a solid triple axel out of footwork. A good quad salchow combination, I think would be worth at least 16 points (by itself, its worth 13, I think). And his spins are always brilliant.

So yeah… Yuzuru can definitely still win this, I think. But it’d be something if Nathan Chen beat him at the quad game. Hard to believe he’s never won this competition. But he had also been out of the last few with injuries.

Shoma is up next. Just because he’s up next on my YouTube suggestions.

it’s night and day with these two guys from Japan, it’s crazy…
I’d compare it to watching Evgenia Medvedeva and Elena Radionova. They both have the same technical levels, but Evgenia’s programs have flawless lines and connection between the jumps and the footwork. It just runs smooth.
Shoma had his hiccups with some jumps, holding onto the lands of a couple quads, but his triple axel was brilliant. Also had a stumble somewhat in the footwork.
But for me, Yuzuru kinda set the standard for what a perfect program should look like (except for that combination jump of course)
Whoa, Shoma’s ahead of Yuzuru… 56/44… his first quad had a turnaround on the landing, but he had a quad combination that was pretty solid. Artistically, I don’t agree, but it’s kinda hard to agree with quad combinations done right. Total: 100.28 (currently in 2nd)

Sounds like Nathan Chen has 103… but I’ll watch him now to really see how good he was.
I saw some weird tweets about it- I think John Coughlin said it’ll be tough for him to get to the free skate with that performance. And Nathan answered back “that was the plan”… I didn’t realize that was sarcasm… we really need italics on social media to emphasize that.

Yikes… I mean, I’m gonna call Nathan Chen the type of skater where you just say “shut up!” whenever he lands a quad and that makes it look flawless. He had a quad lutz-triple toe loop combination to start and it was perfect! Almost got 20 points in that first jumping pass alone.
Then a great quad flip and a “triple axel out of nowhere” as the commentators said… they were totally fangasming. They couldn’t put words together at some points.
Only mistake was him stumbling when he was setting up his final pose πŸ˜›
ok, 103.12- 59.58 technically/ 43.54 for components… yeah, his components score needs a lot of work.

But it’s so hard to argue with Yuzuru when he makes his performances look like a work of art when it’s done perfectly.
Like when he did “Seimei” at the NHK Trophy in 2015. It was just… wow…

anyway, I saw Misha listed, so I gotta do him next. I hadn’t seen him skate in some time. Mostly because he isn’t considered in that same category as the quad revolution guys (and Patrick Chan and Javier Fernandez). I remember seeing him at Sochi and how he was the last one to good in the 1st or 2nd group of skaters. The best of the non-quad skaters. But he looks much more seasoned artistically than all the guys below him.

Beautiful skate… immaculate… but without a quad. I mean, he’s the same type of skater as Jason Brown, but I am so hard on Jason because he doesn’t have the quad. Yet I give Misha a free pass πŸ˜› I don’t know why. Jason’s from my country πŸ˜›
The jumps aren’t at the same level of difficulty, but artistically as brilliant as Yuzuru and he choreographs HIMSELF- that’s brilliant in of itself.
81.85- 42/40… artistically, I’d give him at least 45. He’s brilliant, like I said
too bad, he looks so disappointed with himself.

apparently, Boyang Jin is last in this πŸ˜› that’s interesting… just the way the videos are ordered in the suggested column of my YouTube page.

It doesn’t sound like Jason scored well- he got pushed down to 8th place as of Misha’s performance.
I think it has more to do with that stress fracture in his leg than him lacking the jumps.

Wow, it’s great to see Boyang Jin back in good form.
I mean, his quad lutz- toe loop combination wasn’t perfect by any means. He put a hand down on the first jump and stumbled on the 2nd. Perfect triple axel and a toe loop quadruple jump- the latter in the 2nd half.
His performance is getting so good. But the choreography needs some work. A little too much running from one element to the next. Like running across the ice- he did that at least three times and it kinda breaks the flaw of the choreography.
He got a bunch of Spiderman plushies because of his music πŸ˜› he might be the hometown favorite. not quite sure where it’s being held.
he’s in 4th… and it sounds like Patrick Chan is 5th… but I’ve seen him come from behind to win. But he needs all the quad revolution guys to make mistakes in their free skates and he needs to be absolutely perfect.
[So happy for Boyang getting these high marks- 91.33- 51/40- I think even Misha got higher components than he did and he should have gotten higher than just 40… anyway, excited to see what he’ll for the free. Hopefully he’ll do much better]

Jason Brown is listed next, so I’ll watch him. See how bad the damage is.
[oh geesh… the commentators had to make a pun with the name of his music- “The writing’s on the wall. I’m afraid the scores will be on the board”]
I can see the amazing skating skill and spins. A flawless presentation, flow from one element to the next.
Other than lack of quad- the main issue was falling on the triple axel and not getting the full rotation before hitting the ground.
The commentators are kinda harsh, but they haven’t said anything I haven’t already touched on. “Not even one quad is sufficient”… not in this crowd, it’s not.
80.77- 38/43… his components score is definitely where I expect it to be. Too bad about the jumps, though.

I’m kinda curious about Kevin Reynolds. I hope he at least had a clean program. he’s worked so hard to come back from injury and has otherwise been overshadowed by Patrick Chan.

Whoa, Kevin’s only 26? I thought he was much older- which explains the injuries and such.
Two brilliant quads… fell on the triple axel, but got full rotation before going down.
It looked like all his jumps were in the first half of the program, so no 10% bonus.
It sounded like he had Irish music and he was really performing to it and having fun with it. Which was nice.
76.36- 39/37… He had two solid quads. I would have given him more points for that alone. The components score, meanwhile looks about right. Jason kinda sets the benchmark for that.

But then there’s also Patrick Chan who gets outrageous components scores. Maybe since I saved him for last I’ll able to look at things objectively…

there were crowd signs that sound “Chan-tastic”… well, that’s one way of looking at it…
the video had no sound, for whatever reason… I really didn’t see smooth transitions or flow between elements. And he doesn’t really perform to the crowd. So I don’t have a lot to really grasp from him here.
As for his jumps… he fell on his opening quad and I think he was short of four rotations. Just short. A solid triple axel (which was his nemesis for the longest time). Then a combination jump where he stumbled out of the second jump…
let’s see… I’d give this… most likely, he’ll get a score in the 90’s… I’d only give it at most, 87…
wow, I was actually in the ball park… that never happens… 88.46 43/45… now that makes a lot more sense. I’ve seen him have some bad jumps and get 48 for components scores for no apparent reason.
This time in particular, he just seemed lacking in energy. Like he just wanted to get to the end of the program and worked on landing the jumps he had left. The spins are the only really good thing I can say about this particular performance.

Yikes… and I still have the girls to watch.

Considering he’s behind Nathan (who is capable of five quads), Yuzuru (four), Shoma (three or four) and Boyang (four)… he needs all four to mess up badly to win… and I don’t see that happening.

I don’t know which girls there are to really see beside Ashley… the Russians have been such a highlight in the field…

okay, that’s weird… I guess Ashley opted out to focus on worlds. But there are no videos of the women’s competition at all and they competed a couple days ago.
The top three are Gabrielle Daleman, Kaetlyn Osmond, and Elizabet Tursynbaeva… not surprisingly… but at the same time, Mirai Nagasu is 5th, Mariah Bell is 7th and Karen Chen, defending US Champion is all the way down in 12th… what the hell happened?
and Rika Hongo is 9th…
really, not a lot of big names in this, but still… most of these videos are on YouTube within a day.
It’s just very strange.
But with this crowd, I don’t mind too much. I’m not super attracted to any of these skaters.

I believe the free skates for the ladies (however inconsequential it may seem to me now) is tomorrow around 2 and the guys are around 11pm.

I’m hoping that it’ll be Yuzuru and Nathan Chen dueling for the gold medal… just as long as they don’t injure themselves in order to do so… they’re my two favorites for the world title.

So for now I’ll end the post…

FREE SKATES

I don’t feel up to turning my laptop on today so I’m just writing this on my phone and pasting it into the post later.

The women’s competition wasn’t too bad but it was hard seeing Karen Chen and Mariah Bell being so inconsistent. Kaetlyn started strong but just fell apart. It was hard to watch. Mirai Nagasu was amazing. She really fought for her program although in Johnny’s view she sacrificed artistry to do so but she was so determined- it was great for her to come out with a medal. They said Ashley opted out- I assume to focus on worlds but a great break for Mirai. Mai Mihara doesn’t have that maturity yet in the artistry but so strong throughout. She could take over for Mao Asada in the future. Elizabet from Kazakhstan was in 3rd going in but threw the program away- trying to do all her jumps with both hands over her head. It’s so stupid to start doing that so late in the season when you’re not practiced enough yet. Because it’s a dangerous gamble. Gabrielle Daleman from Canada started in the lead but let some mistakes get away from her.

They showed some ice dance and the Shib sibs lost to Virtue and Moir- I did not agree. The Canadian pair does too many tricks just for the sake of them. And their expressions were too much of an act- they didn’t feel authentic like it does with Maia and Alex.

There’s a fan girl for Misha in the crowd so I hope they show him. Of course they gotta show the American guys. Even when they’re so far back.

Keiji Taneka is first. And it was tough to watch. He popped his first jump from a quad to a triple and the rest unraveled. It took a while to see one solid triple. Lots of doubles. It’s times like these that make me appreciate just how hard some of these jumps are.

And apparently this is live. So we’re looking at tomorrow morning already… so much for not wanting to catch spoilers on the internet. [But if those spoilers were that Yuzuru won- I wouldn’t have minded at all… there’s nothing worse than finding out Patrick Chan or someone you don’t personally follow or invest in won and you spend the competition hoping that the article you read wasn’t rael]

Kevin Reynolds- he’s in 12th place at the moment. And this performance might not help his standing. He had two bad jumps to start but even though he made up some jumps later on- including a quad toe and salchow- it won’t be enough. He has an interesting artistry but it also looks like he was thinking through it making sure not to repeat jumps from popping quads into triples. I give him kudos for fighting for them though. He knows what’s important.

Brendan Kerry from Australia skating to pirates of the Caribbean. All dressed for it. His jumps are amazing when he nails them. At least two quads but he flipped out of landing a couple jumps as well. I’m impressed enough to keep a look for him but it’s not good enough at this competition. He skated well to the music but improvement is needed in places. Plus confidence.

The lead score people are following is 92.57- have no idea who that is with all the big names yet to go.

Jason Brown is up next. Now we’re starting to get to the really well known skaters. Some small mistakes but a beautiful performance. Mesmerizing but clearly not the same level technically and it sucks. I really enjoyed that.

Misha!! it’s so strange how I have zero recollection of what he specifically did at Sochi to win me over- there was just something so engaging about his skating. And that came about here. Such a quiet confidence in huge contrast to the skaters to go before him. Nailed all these jumps and it took me by surprise when he just let loss with the footwork after all the jumps. I hate for him to be behind Jason but artistically it wasn’t as solid.. I guess. He was kinda reserved making sure the jumps were clean.

Grant Hochstein skating to Caruso and falling on his first few jumps here. There were some good jumps but it was tough to watch most of it.

I think we might be getting to the top 6 skaters now… they say it just as I type. I think they’ll probably do the warm-up first. Supposedly Nathan Chen is next but who knows… I kinda wished they went from last to first but I also don’t know if it’s better to see my favorites first or Patrick Chan and worrying about him dethroning all the quad kings out there.

Oh man can’t wait for the next Olympics… and they’re going to be here where they are currently competing.

Han Yan is in this group in 6th- I hadn’t seen him much this season but he’s had consistency issues.
It’s so cute that they say Yuzuru has swagger and is like the rock star of the men’s event. Not quite the rock star type. But yeah I am nervous for him and pretty much everyone at this point. Shoma had an issue with a jump in warmup. I was too busy typing to see what happened.

It’s anyone’s game at this point- for better or worse.

Boyang Jin is first. I think they counted 5 quads including a loop- it started amazing with a lutz toe loop combination but most of his other quads were lacking in not being clean landings. Love how he keeps adding to the components score and according to the commentators he’s studying other skaters and working to improve what he doesn’t do well. That’s impressive.

Andrea Joyce and John Coughlin aren’t Johnny & Tara by any means- but they did a decent job. I wish they would call out some of the jumps so I know what happened (I’m still not an expert at counting rotations or even naming some jumps).

Now to start actually writing scores. 267.51- over 100 in technical- 77 components. And Patrick Chan is next so that’ll either end the misery or prolong it through the rest of the quad jumpers.

Admittedly they both had issues with their jumps. Patrick had three quads- one amazing toe loop with a bad one later. And his quad salchow looked very under rotated. And some small mistakes on jumps- easy jumps- just added up. The artistry is there for sure but I feel like his facial expressions or lack thereof kinda keep me from connecting.

Ok- the score… 267.98

88 technical and 90 something for components. Considering how far ahead the others are.. no chance for gold.

Han Yan is skating to Romeo and Juliet I think. Another rough skate for him. It’s sad. So much potential and so much missed opportunity. They talked about how he had anxiety leading to Sochi and is hindered by that. That explains a lot- also makes me want more for him to find that calm and just skate better than he has.

I saw Shoma behind him pacing with his headphones- way to get in the zone. Or at least I hope it does. Sometimes I don’t know what to expect from him. It could be amazing or disastrous.

Han Yan- 235.45. Ouch he’s in 7tn after that.

Go Shoma- cmon!

Wow.. no idea how many quads that was. I think at least four. Started out so strong but had some mistakes. Two falls. Then he had some landings he had to fight for. Loved how he committed to the character of the music. That’s what really sets him apart at this point. It should be interesting to see how he will stack up with the others. What color medal he’ll get.

288.05- 98/91

Wow! Awesome job.

Now Yuzuru… wow… I wonder how this will go. I have no idea what to expect. Just hope it’s good.

Oh man- I am trying to not cry right now because I want so badly for him to win. I know it’s bad that I’m more invested in him than Nathan Chen but at the moment he’s my favorite. He had a bad quad salchow and some scratchy landings but the artistry and presentation was very present. So beautiful with this music… I just love him with it so much.

Has to be a good component score for sure. At least he can beat Shoma with that.

303.71- 112/94

Wow… maybe a little over scored technically but wow…

good luck Nathan- you’re going to need the best skate of your life right now.

I don’t know if he can beat Yuzuru with the components score because there were one or two bobbles in footwork and he fought for a couple landings.

Phew… anything can happen. I just want him to relax after this so he doesn’t risk his health before worlds.

Could he break 300 too?…

115/88

307.46

Omg!!! He won!

Yuzuru popping those quad salchows really hurt him in this case. If not for that he’d have won hands down.

But this is hard to argue with… particularly the 5 quads. Like what?!

Now I have to sleep after that… geesh… I hope the members of the quad revolution bring this A-game to worlds because it’s going to take the sport to a place there’s no coming back from.

And it was kinda cool of Patrick in the waiting room shaking hands with Shoma and Yuzuru before leaving. He’d been so hard on the quad revolution or just the whole need to push for the jumps.
I half wondered if he was thinking “ok, I give up”…
I also wonder if the rest of the world took notice of this. If it’s giving them more drive to be better.
Is Javi intimidated?

Had Plushenko seen any of this yet?
There’s some debate among Yuzuru’s fan base whether or not he still should have won.
I’m unsettled about that because I love both of these skaters a lot. It’s not even about national pride at this point. I see one extra quad and I see two programs of a quad salchow that didn’t get a full four rotations.
Nathan just scrapped up a win on that alone.
Yuzuru is unbeatable when he skates clean with 4 perfect quads and triple axels. I thought Plushenko had a great triple axel (up until the Sochi Olympics on February 13th of course), but I think my most exciting jump for Yuzuru is the triple axel, either in combination or not because he either does it out of a spread eagle or it just comes out of nowhere and your jaw drops.

Both skaters had me dropping my jaw all night… and that’s what I want this sport to be. I don’t want to stop being wowed by anyone. And I also don’t want the results to be controversial where feelings get hurt.
This isn’t the Vancouver Olympics- everyone is doing quads and doing them amazingly.

Deep down I wonder and kinda dread Plushenko’s thought process on this- He hasn’t expressed any opinion on Nathan Chen yet and as an American, I secretly hope he’s impressed with our one skater with brilliant quads. But if he were to say Nathan isn’t a great artist, that’s okay too. He’s getting better at that, but his artistry isn’t Yuzuru level.
In fact, I’m still waiting for Yuzuru to break that final barrier of figure skating- a 100-point components score. If he doesn’t break it first, something’s wrong πŸ˜›

Final comment: if Plushenko saw any of this, I wonder if he thought “I can’t compete with that. I should stay in retirement from the sport”… he hurt his back attempting to add the quad lutz and salchow. Not to mention his salchow and loop jumps were his weak point. At Sochi in the free skate of the team event, he doubled the loop and salchow- his only two mistakes. I don’t see him attempting a quad flip or loop or getting enough height for the lutz.
It just might be safest for him to not attempt that 5th Olympics- whether or not the Russia skating federation will let him is beside the point. I want him to return to competition, but not like this. This environment has become too dangerous for him to attempt at 34 years of age.

However I can be grateful for one other thing about the Sochi Olympics… if my waiting four years for the next winter Olympics wasn’t about Plushenko’s return to the sport, it’s about a meeting of the minds. Following his vision of the sport and enjoying the result of that.
None of the major figures in the sport (judges, heads of skating federations, etc.) won’t say it, but he’s the reason for the Quad Revolution.
He is why people like Yuzuru, Shoma, Boyang and Nathan are pushing for quads and mastering new ones.

There are rumblings of a quad axel… but I hope that day never comes. You know my reason why.

Final note: This WILL be a Four Continents Championship I’ll never forget.
It’s just too bad it was on so late that probably not a lot of people got to see it.
Worlds is over a month away and I just hope and pray everyone stays injury-free until then.
Because this rematch will be insanely EPIC.

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2 Responses to The Quad Revolution at 2017 Four Continents Championship

  1. Jens Lyon says:

    Yes, the Yuzuru vs. Nathan rematch will be epic, plus we add Javier into the mix.

    • Jackie says:

      yeah, he’ll definitely make things interesting. Whatever injury he got at Europeans where he didn’t skate in the exhibition gala, I hope he’ll healed and ready to go. these competitions aren’t quite the same without his flair for entertaining πŸ˜‰

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