In Other Sparkly Figure Skating News

Evgeny Plushenko. i

Russia's Evgeny Plushenko performs in his Figure Skating men's short program. Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images
Evgeny Plushenko.

Russia's Evgeny Plushenko performs in his Figure Skating men's short program.

Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images

By Barrie Hardymon

I'm shamelessly stealing a friend's idea here — but is it possible that the men have surpassed women (IN JUST THIS ONE WAY) in terms of athleticism and artistry when it comes to figure skating? It's not just that they can land quads (jeez, QUADS, people — have you any idea how hard it is to spin around once let alone four times?), but there's something about the speed and strength that also lends itself to greater lyricism?

Partly, this is because the men's competition has been vigorously debating — amongst the skaters themselves — the Jumps vs. Transition school, and I think that debate has been good for the sport. Czech skater, Michal Brezina, said in the Vancouver Sun, "If you want to be really, really good you have to jump like Evgeni [Plushenko] and skate like Stephane [Lambiel]. These two, if they can be one person, it would be the greatest skater of the world." Sure, the quad has loomed large, but it doesn't mean that the artistry has suffered, or in the case of Johnny Weir, that good old fashioned fabulousness has suffered either. (See embroidered pillow and costume that, as my mother pointed out, looked a bit like a bustier.)

Now, I hope that the women prove me wrong next week — and I don't need to see a quad to love them. But I just feel like the men are selling it more. Thoughts?

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