Photo Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP
Tuesday's men's figure skating short program was bound to be exciting; at the very least, the flamboyant and fashion-forward American skater, Johnny Weir, would wear something interesting. And the 25-year-old didn't disappoint. Weir took the ice in a sparkly black and neon-pink body suit with ruffles and "man cleavage" (his words).
But the competition was so interesting, for so many reasons, that I'm already gearing up for tonight's final, long program at the Olympic Winter Games. (NBC, 8 p.m. ET). Here's why:
1. The quadruple toeloop. The reigning gold medalist, 27-year-old Russian skater Evgeni Plushenko, nailed this super-challenging move on Tuesday. "I believe the quad is the future of skating," he told reporters.
2. The "artistry vs. athleticism" debate. Heading into the final, Plushenko has a first place lead, but 24-year-old American skater Evan Lysacek is trailing him by only half a point. Lysacek decided that the quad was too risky to attempt (he'd previously broken his foot while training for it), but on Tuesday his aesthetics, smooth transitions and choreography earned him a neck and neck finish with Plushenko in the scoring. "Each step, each spin is equally important," he said. But he may have to attempt the quad tonight if he wants the gold.
3. Johnny Weir. He heads into the final in sixth place, so a medal seems unlikely. But lack of medal contention doesn't detract from this guy's entertainment value. He's already made news: After one night in Vancouver, he switched housing accommodations to avoid animal rights groups—who are angry that he's skated in costumes with real fur. (He also said he'll switch to faux fur.) When asked about the quadruple toeloop debate, and whether it intimidated him, Weir replied, "I’m not intimidated by anything, except maybe PETA standing outside with a bucket of blood." Touche, Johnny.
Who are you rooting for in the men's figure skating final?