Figure Skating at the 2018 Olympics: Everything You Need to Know

The Olympic Games are already here . You could say they crept up on you before you even had a chance to really explore what the hell was going on in Pyeongchang. If I may say so , this figure skating cheat sheet might help.

First, the team figure skating competition ended on Sunday evening. It all started a little rough. The NBC Olympics reported that the skaters were asked to launch their programs early in the morning so that they would broadcast live primetime in the US and attract viewers as it is one of the most popular events. The skaters got up at dawn to train at seven in the morning and then stayed there until the competition started at ten. And there were many spills.

Patrick Chan of Canada, Nathan Chen of the US team and Russian figure skater Mikhail Kolyada were killed on Friday. Alena Savchenko, playing for the German national team, fell in the team competition. On Sunday, the US team officially took home the bronze medalists in the team figure skating competition, and some think that without this initial fall of Chen, they might have been able to catch up with the Olympic athletes from Russia.


Figure skating has a number of technical aspects that can be judged and judged, but it is also much more of an art than many other sporting events. This is why it is so much fun! Costumes, music, personality. For the first time this year, skaters can even perform to music with lyrics, which unfortunately featured at Ed Sheeran’s event. For heaven’s sake, there’s even a dance part. But this means that some aspects of everyday refereeing are criticized because in reality they can only be judged from a subjective point of view.

According to Thrillist, regular controversy over figure skating ratings led the sport’s governing body, the International Skating Union (ISU), to implement the ISU judging system in 2004. Nine judges give or deduct points for two components: Technical Element Assessment (TES) and Program Component Assessment (PCS). The TES score is for things like jumps, step sequences, spiral sequences, or rotations; The PCS is where judges judge the artistry of a performance, such as transitions, performances, composition and interpretation. They are then added to obtain the Total Segment Score (TSS).

The elements

You basically need a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics to understand how the TES score is awarded. Each “element” of the procedure has a “base value”. It is assigned a number and this number can increase and decrease depending on its Grade ofCompletion orGOE . One way to boost your score is to cram a lot of these elements into your routine, but you have to nail them down because a lot of bad jumps will quickly diminish your numbers. For example, a fall is negative by one point.

According to Vox, you hear the most about jumps, but there are only six types of jumps officially recognized by the Olympics. These are salchow, loop, axel, flip jump, toe loop and lutz. Here is Olympic skater Michael Weiss who goes through everything and makes them look easy.

Overall, PCS is rated on a scale of one to ten, of which five are considered average. But the average Olympian would surely amaze you if you saw them lounging around on Chelsea Pier.

But where is DRAMA?

The US national figure skating team has two people who have attracted a lot of attention. The first is 18-year-old Nathan Chen. Remember how you can score a bunch of points by jumping out with all your might? This is Chen’s specialty. When Chen fell on Friday, it was a big shock; this is something he rarely does.

According to People, commentator Tara Lipinski punched Chen after his performance in the men’s short program, even when she mentioned that he made history with his quadruple jumps:

As Lipinski noted, Chen performed “the first ever quad flip [a kind of quadruple jump] in the Olympics,” Weir said, “This is the worst short program I’ve ever seen Nathan Chen … a disaster.”

Chen is incredible, but his story was overshadowed by Shoma Uno of Japan, who became the first skater to ever score 100 points in his final score. He is also loved for being a cutie with a warm smile:

But back to the Americans.

Adam Rippon is another athlete making the wave; This is his Olympic debut at 28, ten years older than his other teammates. Rippon is openly gay and generally outspoken. He gained some attention shortly before the Olympics by sparring with Vice President Mike Pence. He criticized the US for allowing Pence to lead the US team during the opening ceremony in an interview with USA Today.

“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence who funded gay conversion therapy?” he said. “I won’t buy it.”

Mike Pence actually responded by saying that his story of trampling on gay rights and protecting LGBTQ people was #FAKENEWS. But Rippon brought in # receipts:

But on Sunday night, Rippon finished only third in the men’s free skate, behind the Canadian and Russian competitors. His routine was mostly flawless, but according to USA Today, he lost points for failing to quadruple. This is a jump with at least four revolutions, and even if you fall on your butt, points are awarded for the attempt. And yes, his competitors were falling on their asses.

This is a bummer! But the US team was hit by Mirai Nagasu, who became the first US competitor and only third in history to make a triple axel at the Winter Olympics. (Tonya Harding was known as the first American woman to jump in a competition back in 1991).

In figure skating, there are also a number of competitions in which you can see some of the competitors from the US national team medals in pair skating, singles skating, and ice dancing . You can check the schedule for these competitions in your zone here – figure skating competitions take place almost every night during prime time this week. Just remember, your viewing after work will be dawn for the participants who actually ride.


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