Yuzuru Hanyu: A Look at the Difference Between World and Olympic Records
I have been asked many questions about the difference between Olympic and World Records so I thought I would try to clarify the difference here.
What is the Difference between a World and Olympic Record?
- An Olympic Record is the best performance of any athlete or team in the history of Olympic competition in that sport and event. The letters “OR” stands for Olympic Record which is a record that can be achieved only at the Olympic games.
- A World Record is the best recorded performance at a sanctioned event anywhere internationally. The letters “WR” denote a World Record. In figure skating, the international event must be sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU).
- Therefore, a World Record can be the same or better than an Olympic Record, but an Olympic record cannot be better than a World Record.
- **If a World Record is beaten at the Olympic Games then both the OR and WR will change to that new score.
So what happened at this Olympics (2018)? Unfortunately, most tv channels did not properly show WR and OR designations on the screen like they normally do during Olympic events. This is too bad since it is such a remarkable achievement that should be highlighted for the athlete!
Mens Short Program:
- Yuzu’s score of 101.45 from Sochi 2014 was the current Olympic Record for the mens short program. In 2018 Pyeongchang, Shoma broke Yuzu’s Olympic record with a score of 103.25 during the team event. Shoma’s record held until the following week when the mens singles event started.
- Since Yuzu skated first in the last group, his score of 111.68 broke Shoma’s new Olympic Record and the Olympic Record was back in Yuzu’s hands!!
- OR: Yuzu continues to be the Olympic Record holder with a score of 111.68 for the mens short program.
- WR: Yuzu’s World Record of 112.72 (2017 ACI) still stands as the current World Record for a mens short program.
Mens Free Program:
- We tend to be focused on “World Records” and surprisingly enough, there was not much fanfare when Yuzu actually broke the “Olympic Record” in 2014 Sochi. Yuzu’s score of 178.64 beat out Patrick Chan score of 178.10 for the new Olympic Record in the mens free program. This achievement was not a new World Record at the time, and was overshadowed by Yuzu winning the Gold Medal as well. Yuzu’s Sochi free program score of 178.64 beat the 2010 Olympic record set by Evan Lysacek of 167.37.
- Flash forward to 2018 and Patrick Chan actually broke Yuzu’s free program Olympic Record during the team event with a score of 179.75!!
- About a week later, based on the order of skate in the free program (Nathan, Boyang, Yuzu, Javi, Shoma), Nathan broke Patricks’ newly set Olympic Record of 179.75 with a score of 215.08. None of the final group of skaters scored higher than that.
- OR: Nathan holds the Olympic Record for the mens free program with a score of 215.08.
- WR: Yuzu’s score of 223.20 (2017 Worlds) is still the current World Record score for a mens free skate.
Mens Total Score:
- From 2014 Sochi, Yuzu broke the previous 2010 Olympic Record for Mens Total Score (held by Even Lysacek with 257.67) with a total combined score of 280.09.
- In 2018 Pyeongchang, again, due to skate order, Yuzu’s Olympic Record of 280.09 was beaten first by Nathan Chen with a total score of 297.35. Nathan’s new Olympic record was subsequently broken again by Boyang Jin with a total combined score of 297.77!!
- Yuzu skated 4th in the final group and broke Boyang’s new Olympic Record with a new combined score of 317.85, and the Gold medal was his.
- OR: Yuzu remains the Olympic Record holder for Total Score in the mens figure skating event with a score of 317.85.
- WR: Yuzu’s score of 330.43 (2015 GPF) still stands as the current World Record.
At the end of the day, Yuzu still holds 5 out of 6 of the combined Olympic and World Records! This is NOT a small feat in today’s competitive environment! One thing to note though, is that the previous 2014 Olympic records were not just beat by fractions of points, they were beat significantly from the 2014 games. This is due to a combination of changes both to the scoring system and the quad explosion.
With the upcoming change in the scoring system next season, it’s hard to guess what will happen to these records. My personal wish is that they stand for all time. I don’t want to see these records broken simply because judges have a broader range of GOE bonus points to hand out like candy. What will one less jumping pass for the men do to the potential scores they can achieve? What will the shorter free program length do to the men. Even if the world records are broken (presumably by Yuzu himself), how can you compare one record to another when someone changes the rules to the game???
That’s a whole new blog post…..
Go Yuzu Go!!! Doki Doki!!