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02/22/2010

Men's figure skaters make their heads spin!

Steve Russell/Staff Photographer

Figure skating presents it own challenges when shooting the event. Preparation when the skaters take to the ice to warm up is valuable to us "learning" the routine, it gives us the insight to where the major jumps are.

The rule of thumb is that where there is a jump there will be a, how to put this in a way not to offend all the skating fans, well, a goofy face, that rule also applies to spins. 

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Canadian Vaughn Chipeur competes during the Men's Free Skating long program at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games 

The skaters cannot help it, we all remember that black and white NASA footage of astronauts in that big centrifuge, the face can do some weird things. 

I would love to get into the physics of skating spins and jumps, but inertia, gravitational pull, velocity, etc, are all things that I don't really understand.

What I do understand is that these guys can jump! These guys can spin!

There was controversy when Torino Gold Medalist Evgeni Plushenko said that Evan Lysacek could not be considered "a true men's champion without a quad."

A friend of mine, Ken Mueller, a former skater and teaches now says that he recalls reading about Kurt Browning's quad, the first ever in competition, that his quad lasts about seven tenths of a second, which translates to almost 350 rpm.

Wow! It is also estimated that a skaters arms may experience 4 Gs of force in a spin or jump. Some skaters might get almost a metre off of the ice!

No wonder their faces get a little goofy, the effort of the jump with battling the G-forces and effects of the spin, there is no way they can control it.

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Italian Paolo Bacchini performs a hair raising spin 

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Hair and chains flying Artem Borodulin from Russia spins 

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Takahiko Kozuka of Japan has the Thriller look 
 

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Denis Ten of Kazakhstan shows amazing flexibility. 

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Patrick Chan gets the tongue out during the Men's Free program 

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Evan Lysacek's hair product cannot contain the G-forces of his spin to win gold.

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How Oba Nobunari of Japan can do this is just incredible.

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Swiss Stephane Lanbiel has another hair raising spin!

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Spins give Johnny Weir an Edward Scissor Hands look
 

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Maybe because he does so many jumps, Evgeni Plushenko's face shows little effort or effects.

srussell@thestar.ca

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Fotos muy comicas no?

Brilliant

aaaaaaahahahaha these are brilliant. the side of skating we rarely see :)

Ha ha ha... great pics. Gosh!, what a great efforts were them making... he he he.

that's brilliant...always liked russian skaters, they have this elegance in them :)

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