It wasn’t the gold medal performance that skating fans had hoped for. Many figure skating fans had visions of 2010 in Vancouver where both Evan Lysacek and Evgeni Plushenko skated strong programs, with little to hardly any mistakes. The free skate on Friday was anything but that. All of the medalists had flawed free skates.
Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu had a record setting short program of 101.45.and won the men’s short program on Thursday. He had a 3.93 point lead over Canada’s Patrick Chan. He knew he needed a strong and clean free skate to win the gold. But Hanyu fell on his opening jump, a quad salchow, and then suffered another fall on his third jump, which was a triple flip. With Chan still to skate, Hanyu knew he left the door opened for Chan to break the curse and win the first-ever gold medal for Canada.
But it seemed the added pressure got to Chan. With plenty of room to take the lead, Chan started out with a beautiful quad toe triple toe combination. But then the 23-year-old struggled with his quad toe and triple axel. He also made a costly mistake when he stumbled out of his double axel. Chan would score a 178.10, just 54 tenths of a point behind Hanyu’s 178.64.
So despite Hanyu’s flawed free skate, the 19-year-old held onto the lead because of his short program. He also became the first Asian man to take home Olympic gold.
World silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan would win the bronze medal after moving up from a 9th place finish in the short program. Team USA’s Jason Brown and Jeremy Abbott would finish in 9th and 12th place overall.
Olympic Schedule (We will be posting a daily TV schedule each day)
February 17, 2014: 10:00 a.m. (EST): Ice Dance Free Skate (Live on NBC Sports Network or NBCOlympics.com).
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