Morning links, Day 8: We've been Plushenko'd!
So, apart from that, what did you think of the competition, Mr. Plushenko?
If nothing else, this Evgeni Plushenko never leaves you wanting for more. Perhaps his coaches do, as they whine about the judging, or the pair of Russian media types who fled the media centre immediately after the men's free skate ended, looking like they were escaping a burning building. It was that kind of an epic night at the House that Orland Kurtenbach Built, Team America's Evan Lysacek coming out a shade ahead on the judges' scorecards for superior style ahead of Plushenko's staggering hubris, or some such thing. Somebody threw a figure skating jamboree, and it wasn't quite a Cold War that broke out - more like a lukewarm hissy fit. Perfect!
"I was positive that I had won," said Plushenko. "But I suppose Evan needs a medal more than I. Maybe it's because I already have one. Two silver, one Olympic gold. That's not too bad."
Plushenko said it and more through an interpreter, while Lysacek stared straight ahead, after arriving 10 minutes or so late for the press conference, and well before he exited by turning to the press officer in charge and asking "Can I leave?" in English, and when she nodded yes, it was "thank you very much" and he was outta there. In Vancouver2010speak, he disowned the podium.
It was wonderful stuff, and these tired eyes haven't seen its essential equal in diva-ness since Bulgarian soccer Hristo Stoichkov sat outside his team's press conference in Princeton, N.J., during the World Cup, declining an audience with the media rabble to balance two blondes while he yakked into a ca.1994 cellphone that looked like a murder weapon.
I don't pretend to know anything about figure skating, except that I would never risk so much as a mind bet on its outcome. Meantime, here's your all figure-skating morning links, in honour of Messrs. Plushenko and Lysacek. Let's do it all over again in Sochi in four years, shall we, fellas?
Coach: Plushenko was "robbed" (Yahoo! Sports)
Plushenko will continue competing (ESPN.com)
Searching for Plushenko (Twitter)