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2014 Olympics: Adelina Sotnikova, Yuna Kim, Carolina Kostner and Mao Asada

Updated on July 29, 2016

The principle of PCS embedded in the COP comes from the fundamentals of modern figure skating. So even though PCS was defined within the current COP, if used correctly, it is possible to evaluate programs done in different times by applying the same principles it represents.

Of course, it may need adjustment depending on the degree of technical disparity and its weight. For example, skaters today tries triples while skaters in the 1970s mainly did only double jumps.

Now, with that in mind, I'd like to revisit the programs in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. But this time, what I am going to do is not scoring, but reexamining skaters in terms of average PCS in comparison with skaters in the 1970s when all basics of skating were rock solid.

This will give you opportunities how to appreciate figure skating itself and what to appreciate and what to depreciate. Ultimately it will help you discern fallacy and fraud from authenticity.

Adelina Sotnikova in 2014

Disgrace! Disgrace!

It is an utter disgrace to hail that as the winning program. Adelina skated very well to her capacity. But her level of skating is just barely over junior.

She is no way near to producing bodily momentum throughout the program. As you see, her momentum and her body moves work separately. They don't mash.

What she did well was landing jumps, but figure skating is a lot more than jump. It is not about jump or spin or spiral. It's not about an array of elements. It's about performance.

Why do you call it performance anyway unless you appreciate performance in figure skating language? Performance is an artistic product in connected, integrated, balanced and completed sequences. It is a sport of balance, accuracy, power, integration, completeness and creativity.

It is not about mimicking a few gestures. Don't be fooled. Jumps are one of many ingredients skaters need to perfect. More importantly Adelina's jumps are not even comparatively excellent in quality at all. Accurately speaking, she barely made it.

Her average PCS can't go beyond 7.25 here. If I compare her with skaters in the 1970s, she will get below 7.0.

Yuna Kim in 2014

Again, Kim here doesn't show the kind of power that once overwhelmed her competitors.

But Kim knows how to skate with momentum. Her body are all in line with her momentum, that is, her arms, legs and upper body are coordinating with her moves.

So the difference is that Adelina may handle jumps, but she is poor at integrating body moves into momentum without betraying disruption. This is a huge gap that exists Sotnikova and Kim.

Kim's technical elements such as power and height are compromised, but not necessarily weak compared to her competitors. However, that makes her appear flat in her execution. Therefore, her PCS is 8.75.

Carolina Kostner in 2014

I like Kostner's power, even better than Kim's. Sometimes she skates even faster than Kim.

She has one up for that, but two down for skating itself. Kostner is a skater who heavily depends on technical elements and some luck. And that's a good strategy for her because she is not a skillful skater.

As far as her moves are concerned, her PCS may be below 8.0, but in this program I think she may earn 8.0 in PCS.

You never feel that she controls her skating. Her nemesis is the degree of her bodily freedom; it is too low. So basically her skating is all about speed and jump.

Mao Asada in 2014

Bravo! This is a great performance by Asada.

I think Asada may not be as great in polishing as Yuna Kim, but her skating in Sochi is vibrant, spirited and strong. Asada's program appears well-paced. While Kostner tops in power and Kim in overall proficiency, Asada in Sochi is slightly ahead of Kim in power, and she also appears excellent in keeping pace with music.

But Asada's problem is her bodily freedom. Asada hardly makes seamless transitions. Her jump are almost always cut off continuity of motion. You can see she either rests upright or prepares takeoff between jumps.

That makes her look as if she is busy with jumps. On the contrary Kim appears busy with stamina. So Asada, despite her brilliant execution, appears less efficient in artistic expressiveness and much desired in polishing.

Her PCS is 8.25.

Obviously Sotnikova is not qualified for bronze here. Do you think Adleina Sotnikova could have won bronze if judged correctly?

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      rz7 2 years ago

      @Remedy (aka Dooly / Joon uhm / Failed Troll Loser)

      Is Hanyu compensating with 3 quads and two triple axels?

      Are Kavaguti / Smirnov compensating with two quad throws?

      Men have already moved on to 3-4 quads, pairs now have two quads.

      With one exception, the progress of ladies skating is pathetic compared to men and pairs; the standard has not been raised for a quarter century. The 7 triple programs of the 2010s are technically the same programs of the early 1990s - but with far less artistry.

      In fact, it regressed from 7 triples to 6.

      It was really Yuna who was compensating: She had one less triple, so she had to compensate for that with flirting and bribery.

      Why bother even pushing the sport, being the first to do something, when you can buy medals with sex appeal and samsung money?

    • profile image

      Remedy 2 years ago

      Mao brought 3a why ? She always try to compensate her shortcomes with her ridiculous 3a with hype even with 2 time historical rulebook changing. Does it work? Nope. Same old story christy/ito. Tanya/nancy. Etc..

      Why mao was busy? She never really took control jumps never really had chance to master next step! Which integrate beatiful program. In soch she went further 3a and 8 tripple attempts no wonder she been busy between jumps she messed up 3 one of them didnt caught.

      Mao's non jump element deficiency even more became obvious . I criticized artistic and musicality mao on utube few time. Lol you know what happened they muted music !

      15 gpf mao messed 7 jumps out 10 she scored 195! I am not kidding. No wonder kid like medv scored 222. Jess i wish you maycover the competition someday

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      Skating fan 2 years ago

      Your commentaries really show your bias for one skater and lack of true understanding for the sport.

      To say that Kostner's skating is all about "speed and jumps" is just wrong. She was the most expressive performer. She engaged with the audience much more than Kim or anyone else for that matter.

      Mao integrates her transitions pretty well. She doesn't launch into her jumps with speed but her jumps are well timed with the music, so they are not disruptive. Also, I am not even sure what "busy with jumps" "busy with stamina" really mean. And is there really a difference? Kim is good with skating with speed and control but I don't really think that necessarily mean more artistic expressiveness imo. There are also other factors such as positions and intensity of performance. Her movements are often concentrated on her arms and upper body. Mao and Kostner are better at using whole body movements in their skating.

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      remedy 2 years ago

      another mental with or something.

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      rz7 2 years ago

      I agree that Sotnikova was not good enough to beat Kostner, but she outskated Kim.

      Yuna Kim's silver was RIGGED in Sochi. She made a ton of mistakes, and she didn't do any transitions.

      SHE is the one who is questionably qualified for bronze. You don't even know how PCS or GOE works, which are not ordinal and not about how something "looks".

      I dare you to try to refute this:

      How can you say Asada deserves less PCS than her because of transitions, when Kim doesn't even do ANY transitions?!

      """But Asada's problem is her bodily freedom. Asada hardly makes seamless transitions. Her jump are almost always cut off continuity of motion."""

      Are you mental? Seriously, are you mental?

      Asada is the only woman in history who has done a triple axel into footwork, and on other occasions out of it. She is the ONLY skater with perfect continuity of motion, and her transitions are the absolute best of ladies. Yuna Kim doesn't even do ANY transitions, it's all juniorish straight-line skating!