Unfortunately, Oxygen didn’t air the World Figure Skating Championship men’s free skate until 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. last night/this morning on my cable network. So, I avoided all news of the results and watched the competition today.
Lysacek won his first gold medal in the World Figure Skating Championships in the town he’s chosen to call home. Very few competitors (in any sport) are lucky enough to win their first World Championship in their country, let alone in their favorite arena in their own city.
After the perplexing standings at the end of the short program, even the commentators seemed completely unsure of how fair the judging would seem at the end. When a skater can touch his hand to the ice in his short program and end up in 1st place, I can’t really support the method of judging. The same problem happens in ice skating and gymnastics, since they changed the way scoring is done. When Joubert had his first major error in his free skate, they talked about how it might not cost him as much as we’d expect, since his errors in the short program still allowed him to start the night in 1st place. When Joubert fell, it was pretty clear that Lysacek had secured the gold medal, though. I think there would have been a riot in Staples Center if the judging had gone that horribly wrong. Canada’s national champion (Patrick Chan) had performed his free skate before Lysacek, so Joubert’s fall secured the gold medal for Evan Lysacek.
Their performance in this year’s World Championships also secured 3 spots for the American men in next year’s Olympics. Lysacek mentioned that being an important part of his win.
The World Championship win at home is a great accomplishment (especially when he’s done it all with a stress fracture) to help Lysacek on his road to the Vancouver Olympics next year.