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.
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.
Italian Paolo Bacchini performs a hair raising spin