Friday, February 21, 2014

Kim Yu-Na Still the Queen of the Ice


The 2014 Sochi female figure skating gold medal winner is Russia's Adelina Sotnikova.  You had to admire the way Adelina attacked the elements in her program seemingly throwing caution to the wind to "go for the gold."  Some skating commentators argue that Adelina won with a program that exhibited great technical merit and graded out much more difficult than Silver Medal winner, Kim Yu-Na.  Others argue that Sotnikova won because her performance graded out much higher than she deserved.  These folks argue that it was not a case Kim Yu-Na receiving lower marks than she deserved, it was a case of Sotnikova receiving higher.  The fact that Sotnikova had a slip in her program, and Kim Yu-Na had none, is likely to open the results to question from many.

Much is being said about the judging itself that many feel was unfair.  Did Adelina get the "home field" advantage?  The figure skating scoring system was constructed to take much of the prejudice out of the marks, but it seems there remains no consensus on exactly how that new system should work.  But I think regardless of the issues there are two points that need to be made:

1. I take nothing away from Adelina Sotnikova.  No one should be out there rubbing this girl's nose in the dirt because they believe the judging was unfair.  She skated great.  She went for gold and the only thing she didn't exhibit was the kind of tentative approach to a program that soils the event all too often. She skated like a champion, let's treat her as one.

And just as important

2. Take nothing away from Kim Yu-Na.  There was a combination of grace and athleticism in Kim Yu-Na's skate that makes her performance one for the ages.  I believe people will be viewing Kim Yu-Na's skating performance decades from now for its beauty.  Deservedly, she is one of the best athletes today.  Silver is the medal she received, but she remains Queen of the Ice.

Copyright 2014, Sporting Chance Press, publisher of middle grade novel, Maddie Takes the Ice.