Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
As we head into the 4 Continents Championship this week, the quad talk is getting insane. I like that Yuzu progresses at his own pace and plan and is not generally intimidated by what other skaters doing. Yuzu knows that when he skates his program as planned, and clean, he is unbeatable.
I love that Yuzu sees the “young” guys pushing the quad limits like crazy, and uses it as his motivation to up the ante. When Boyang did his 4 quad program at the GPF in 2015 and Yuzu saw that, it motivated him to a perfect program! It’s like Boyang and Nathan are poking the bear, so to speak, with their 5 quad LP’s. So it will be interesting to see how Yuzu responds. Does he add another quad (from 4 to 5)? Does he change his layout to include a different quad (staying at 4)? Time will tell.
Almost 2 years ago (Feb 2015) I did a blog entry about quads. Here is the link to that blog entry.
I look back now and in such a short time, that post is now so out of date. Back then I called it the Quad Era and it was just the beginning. Doing the quad jumps in practice are one thing, but putting the quads together as a whole package in a program is an entirely different conversation.
Yuzu recently said that “I think we are in the “authentic (true) quad era”. Yuzu talked about the quality of quads and that it’s simply not enough to just do a lot of quads and quad combinations.
I think what makes Yuzu stand apart from the new jumping beans is that Yuzu’s technical content grows at the same time as his overall program presentation skills do. Yuzu is a jumping machine as well, but he never fails to take care of the overall packaging of his programs. He delivers a total complete program that even if he falters on a jump, the program overall can still stand on it’s own and be special.
Only 2 Olympics ago (2010), short programs that had a quad in them were a highlight from only the best skaters. In Sochi (2014), we saw a quad as almost a mandatory technical element to be competitive. Now we are approaching Pyeongchang (2018) and almost all of the top men will have 2 quads in the short programs. Given that the number of jump elements are limited in the short program, I think we have maxed out on the short program surprises for a little while now. It’s funny to think that it used to be quad toe and quad salchow as the “go to” quad jumps, but today a few of the skaters have the ability to do so many different quads, that they can pick and choose the quads they want to include to maximize their base values and potential TES scores. What a crazy skating world the men live in now.
Here is a quick look at the layouts of the high flyers in the mens event from one season to the next. In a span of less than 12 months, the level of difficulty that the bar has been raised to in these mens’ programs is staggering. We are poised to see a high flying mens event at 4CC and Worlds!!
Boyang layout 2016 Worlds Boston:
Boyang layout 2017 heading into 4CC:
Nathan layout 2016 US Nationals:
Nathan layout 2017 US Nationals:
Patrick layout 2015 GPF:
Patrick layout 2016 GPF:
Shoma layout 2016 Worlds Boston:
Shoma layout 2016 GPF:
Yuzu layout 2015 GPF:
Yuzu layout 2016 GPF:
Yuzu has been practising a quad lutz but I do not think we will see it this season. I think 4CC will show him how his current layout will match up against the other skaters and this will determine whether or not there are any changes for Worlds. But, unless something dramatic happens, I do not see Yuzu deviating from his current planned layout for this season.
I did not include Javi because he hasn’t changed his technical content (no new unique quad) from last year to this year.
It’s not about who will “out-quad” the next guy. It is like Yuzu said, it is more than just quad jumps. Let’s see how 4CC plays out and all of the big guns will be there.
4CC is going to be a great dress rehearsal for this years’ Worlds in Helsinki!!
Go Yuzu Go!!! Doki Doki!!