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