Should the US media and it's readers/viewers be this disrespectful to Plushenko and to the Russian Federation?
This whole thing has become blown out of proportion. Having lived both in Canada and the US, I've seen media after media put down Russian skaters before, during, and after their performances, like vultures. The negative comments do affect their morale. I don't know how US authors can write about Plushenko's finger wagging and bravado after his Free Skate as other articles have -- because when did it happen? I saw him finish, and it was easy to see that he knew -- he knew he was shaky, that he was not error free. You could see the pain and panic in his eyes. He wasn't even smiling. He's never skated such a program in his life: he's a very clean skater. But the US media can't be any less friendly towards him, and it's my opinion that this lack of support -- or at least fairness -- that is not directed towards Japan, Canada, etc.. should not be directed at any skater. They played video game villain music during Plushenko's interview, for Christsakes!
Now I return to freedom of speech: Plushenko may say his opinions. One thing that I hope everyone can take away is that cultural differences, though sometimes difficult to detect due to their delicacy, are very much existent between the US and Russia. Russian people are much more direct in their statements and opinions. My American fiance noticed it immediately of my Russian mother, who is the nicest, most generous woman in the world, but who initially intimidated her coworkers at Coldwater Creek because of her manner (they're great friends now). Moreover, due to the language barrier, a Russian person will only say a few things in their most basic forms with little explanation, especially in as short a time as an few-question interview. To this end, have some cultural sensitivity and understand that just because a foreign athlete gives a statement that seems harsh and odd to you, it may not be viewed that way by him or his countrymen. This will make you a kinder and more understanding person.
And get your facts straight instead of twisting them to your purpose before deluding yourself into thinking you're a competent writers/speakers. Putin's statement was a telegram sent to Plushenko. What else can Putin say to a national hero and fellow countryman aside from that his country is proud of him and stands behind him? Would Obama write to a 2nd place US finisher: "Good job, but only second-rate job. The country prefers the guy from X country"? No. And many of Plushenko's comments about the quad were made before the Free Skate, but are quoted as if in response to it. It's shameful to do that -- it's falsification, even if it just stems from laziness.
Finally, let's go to the point that Plushenko is trying to make: figure skating is a sport, and the nature of a sport is that it is supposed to undergo progress. Speedskaters train to skate faster than anyone has skated before, and they break records. The same goes for Downhill Skiing, or non-winter sports like running. Sports don't rely on the mentality that you only need to be the best of your generation, the next person who will do as well as somebody has done before...they rely on the mentality that you want to be the best that there ever was. In figure skating, attemping and landing quad jump began in the late 70s/early 80s and the number of both attempts and completions grew exponentially, so that in the late 90s every serious competitor tried or landed one in their program. Since the new millenium, very few quads have even been attempted (most done by former Russian skater Yagudin or by current skater Plushenko) because it has been determined that the risk to a skater's score is too great. A ski jumper doesn't stop pushing himself on distance because his style scores may suffer or he may fall. Having watched the women's Downhill and seen the number of tumbles these amazing women have taken, it would be ludacris to say any of them are holding back. This is the same point Elvis Stojko tried to make in his article: figure skating should be pushed to it's limits. A clean program that has been done before isn't as important to the sport as progress. This is the same opinion as Plushenko expresses. And even if you don't agree with their opinions, or mine, we're allowed to have them.
So please --- please --- give this topic a rest. It truly saddens me that people want to so sully the Olympic games with this overblown drama, that people want to bring down the morale of another human being, that people think the world is good and bad, white and black (and we're on the good side, obviously). Please be respectful and mature, in this matter, and all others.
Arlene: It may not be up to P or S, but it's not up to us either. Until the Olympic committee addresses this as an issue, it should remain a non-issue. It wouldn't be surprising if he did it in response to all the bad press he's gotten, a shot to one-up and incense those who've said bad things about him (hello, figure skating Cold War). That's not to say I agree with him - the Pt medal seems dumb to me, but it's a free country, both in the US and in Russia, and it's a free cyberspace. He can write what he wants on his website. It's meant for his supporters, not his rivals, anyway. My point is that the media was on him before any of this happened: they didn't focus on him making a comeback after 3 years away, how he was standing in for his country when new skaters weren't available to compete in the Olympics. They see him as a threat that needs to be abused, broken, and neutralized. It's not fair to any person. Thanks for your very thoughtful and cogent input!
Catherine - Way to join the ranks of whiny and unsportsmanlike. The purpose of this was to provide another perspective and aks people to exercise restraint and delicacy. You've missed the whole point and continued to rant like everyone else... Did I say that Lysacek didn't deserve to win? No. I simply stated that Plushenko has been misportrayed by the media on more than one occasion, that this thing has been an continuous escalation that has gotten way out of hand. Facts have been twisted and anachronized and the unity that the Olympics should represent has been ruined from the start of that event by the media -- not by Plushenko's reaction. When a whole country abuses a person -- your comments included under that category -- it drives him to react. Having responded graciously to or simply ignored jabs and abuse over his whole career, everyone eventually has a breaking point. Don't think you're such a goody two shoes. I like Lysacek, he's from my hometown. But you need to grow up.
- EmmaLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
'The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.'
With regard to how the US media tends to cover the Olympics, the Cold War
is still going strong. The US media assumes that its coverage wil be of more
compelling interest to most Americans (few Americans seem interested in most
Olympic sports outside the Olympics) when presented as a dramatic story
with clearly defined heroes (Americans) and villains (Russians or Chinese).
Accordingly, like a Hollywood film, the US media likes to emphasize, if not also
exaggerate, the good points in its 'heroes' and the bad points in its 'villains'.
Evan Lysacek (who won the gold medal) has said that Evgeni Plushenko (who
won the silver medal) congratulated him without any apparent rancour shortly
after the 2010 Olympic men's figure skating competition had concluded.
Evan Lysacek did not seem to regard Evgeni Plushenko as unsportsmanlike,
at least not until he became aware of Plushenko's latest comments or actions.
(I don't know Evan Lysacek's current view of Evgeni Plushenko's conduct.)
But Americans should not complain that Evgeni Plushenko's comments that he
believes that he deserved the gold medal are an unprecedented example of poor
sportsmanship at the Olympics. At the 1972 Olympics, the USA men's basketball
team lost in the final game (which had a controversial finish) to the USSR team.
(Much wrongdoing has been alleged, but not proven, against the game's officials.)
The disappointed American basketball players refused to congratulate their Soviet
opponents, and they refused to accept their silver medals, boycotting the ceremony.
Most Americans of my acquaintance believe that the American basketball
team deserved to win the gold medal and was right to refuse the silver medal.
Most non-Americans of my acquaintance (including people from Western countries
considered friendly to the United States) believe that the American basketball
players were unsportsmanlike in boycotting the ceremony awarding the medals.
It's far from the only time that a questionable official decision has influenced the
outcome of an Olympic event. For example, at the 2004 Olympics, an American
'won' the gold medal in the men's all-around gymnastics only because an official
scoring error unfairly penalized the South Korean who received the silver medal.
Cold War bias often has influenced US media coverage of China as well as Russia.
In a dramatic comeback (out of retirement) story, Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo
won the gold medal in pairs figure skating. In contrast to its coverge of the other
medals ceremonies in figure skating, as far as I know, US television decided not
to show the medals ceremony for the pairs event. Given the continuing Cold War
in some ways between the United States and China, would many Americans have
been upset by watching an Olympic ceremony with four Chinese athletes (who won
gold and silver medals), two Chinese flags, and hearing China's national anthem?
At the 1999 World Cup in women's football (soccer), the United States (the home
team) defeated China in a final match that was narrowly decided in a shoot-out.
Afterward, the American goalkeeper admitted in public that she had cheated on
purpose during the shoot-out, which seemed decisive in helping her team win.
I suppose that most American fans would be outraged if their national team had lost
such a historic match largely on account of another team's deliberate cheating.
But when I asked several Americans for their opinions of this admitted American
cheating, most of them just shrugged and said there was nothing really wrong
for an American intentionally to break the rules in order to defeat a Chinese.
Yes, I know this was not a scientific survey of American attitudes about cheating.
- Jess HLv 71 decade ago
People are being disrespectful to HIM?
HE is the one who has been disrespectful. The poor sportsmanship displayed by Plushenko is *shameful*.
This is not the behavior of an olympic athlete; this is the behavior of a spoiled celebutard who insists he must always have his way.
Way to tarnish the end of your career, Plushenko. You will *forever* be remembered as the bratty little b*tch who lost in Vancouver and couldn't be a man and take it. What a total and compete loser.
Evan Lysacek's performance was CLEARLY the better performance. Yes, Plushenko did a quad, but that's only one move out of an entire routine. There is more to the performance than ONE move, and Plushenko can't get past that. Lysacek skated smoother, his routine was more intricate, and he landed his jumps PERFECTLY, while Plushenko looked clumsier.
The Olympic committee is EXTREMELY serious and protective about how their medals are used and displayed. I wouldn't be a BIT surprised if they strip him of his silver medal after this latest online stunt of his. And it would absolutely serve him right. Above everything else, the Olympics is supposed to be about sportsmanship, and Plushenko showed anything BUT. He deserves every bit of criticism he's getting. If he doesn't want criticism, then he shouldn't make a public spectacle of himself. He could have behaved graciously, but he decided to take the low road. I don't feel a bit sorry for him.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
He tried to make himself the darling of the olympics by saying that anyone that doesn't do a quad doesn't deserve an olympic medal. Even Lysenko didn't comment and went about his program quietly. He was not going to put a quad in his program and chance another injury. Last year he broke his ankle practicing quads. He pretty much called the American out and called him less of an athlete for not including the quad. After the Russian skated like you say shaky even though he successfully completed the quad it was evident that the American was going to win for elegance and consistency. Fast forward to after the medal ceremony there are pictures of the Russian skater displaying a better than gold platinum medal which he deserves because he can complete quads in his routine and he feels he should have garnered the gold medal. I am sorry but that Arrogance is more than I can tolerate. When the Americans beat the Canadians in hockey(the national past time) I did not see them brandishing a platinum medal because they love and play hockey harder than the Americans. The russian skater is the epitome of sore loser and disrespect . How dare he award himself his own medal. It's a slap in the face to all the other athletes that worked and trained so hard. The judges awarded the medal to the American. I believe he deserved it if just for the grace and dignity he carried himself. The russian carried on like the little kid that doesn't get picked for the team. It is not up to Elvis Stojko and Pleshenko to decide when olympic skating is changed.
- RuthLv 44 years ago
I think the Russian Government is no better or worse than most countries. They are fighting for their piece of the pie like every other country. I do admire the Russians though for their intelligence and their perseverance. Between the harsh climate and the succession of brutal leaders, the Russians are pretty damn tough.