Men’s Figure Skating at the 2014 Olympics

Technically, categorizing this post as “Asians on TV” could be a stretch. But they did appear on my television screen in full-colour glory. We’ve seen some dominating Asian figure skaters/teams in women’s and pairs but I didn’t quite imagine seeing an Olympic podium for men’s figure skating would be a sweep in terms of skaters of Asian descent. What a nice moment in history.

Sochi Olympics Figure Skating

Image from http://www.canada.com/olympics/gallery/gallery-mens-figure-skating-free-program
Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten is of Korean descent and skates for Kazakhstan. He has been on my radar despite not having podium finishes in Worlds or the Olympics until last year. Perhaps it had to do with the intriguing country (that I just learned is by no means small) he gets to represent. He is the first from Kazakhstan to get onto the Worlds and Olympic skating podium and enables more athletes from his country to be allowed to represent his country in next year’s competition.

Silver medalist Patrick Chan is who I root for because he is Canadian from Toronto. He is just three years older than Denis but has had a much more decorated career which might amount to training and access in the West. Even so, Chan’s accomplishments by the time he was 20 (Ten’s current age) were more numerous – except for that Olympic medal Ten already has by 20. In the 2010 Olympics, Chan placed in 5th overall which was a small disappointment when he was going in with two Worlds silvers. That is to say, attaining a silver medal and considering who he was chasing is a super result. A silver medal is tied with Canada’s best men’s figure skating accomplishment to date.

Then there’s Yuzuru Hanyu representing Japan. Who is this guy?! Comparatively speaking it’s like he only just entered the competitive senior level scene in figure skating. He is a year younger than Ten, at 19, which kind of scares you how young they all are. His best placement in Worlds was two years ago with a bronze but he has been burning it up at Grand Prix events earning out-of-this-world (over 100) points for his short program. He skates with so much more confidence than – I’m sorry – could be expected of a Canadian skater and enviable fluidity during his short program (but, hmm, it’s his second year skating it). There is a Canadian connection – neat! – which is that he is coached by Brian Orser and trains in Canada.

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Image from http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1962369-mens-figure-skating-olympics-2014-young-stars-guarantee-competitive-2018-games

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