Alexei Yagudin: “I don’t understand Hanyu. Only crazy go for such jump when you don’t have it.”
Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Olympic champion in men’s single skating, summed up the results of the individual event at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Alexei Yagudin: Today, Chen did not have such ease as in the short program. It was noticeable that still it was hard to skate the last. He fought for every jump, pulled them out. Although we laughed that the person made two quadruple flips at the beginning and already scored 35 points. Then he did the first four elements – and already scored over 50. This is a phenomenon, I’m glad that a few years ago I said that he would win the next Olympics. Naturally, many said that I shouldn’t say such things in advance, and anything could happen. The beginning of the season was not very successful for him, but then, literally from the next competitions it changed. Well, it was just cosmic. Shoma Uno, Kagiyama are close to space, but Chen is its researcher.
Should he continue?
Alexei Yagudin: I think yes.
Alexei Yagudin: Good question, but I’m more concerned with another question. Why did Hanyu go for a quadruple axel? Who needs it?
For history, heritage.
Alexei Yagudin: You can try anything, but for history you need to do it. For history I also can go for a triple salchow at the show in Yekaterinburg. I will also break, but I will go down in history, my own.
I didn’t understand it. If he at least have been landing it from time to time, but I didn’t even see it close to clean. Moreover, okay, the base value would be 20 points, and with a fall, he would score like a quadruple flip or lutz. But the base is scanty – 12.5. Only crazy go for such jumps when you don’t have it. Oh no!
But the base is small – 12.5.
Alexei Yagudin: Small, it needs to be raised. I didn’t understand what for. If you chase two rabbits, you won’t catch either. He skated with two goals – a quadruple axel and winning an Olympic medal. In the end, neither one nor the other.
He already has a lot of “rabbits” at home. And Winnie the Poohs.
Alexei Yagudin: You can have as many medals as you like, but it is unlikely that he came here to be fourth. Still, he was aiming for a top three.
Could he beat Chen?
Alexei Yagudin: I think no. Only perfect skating in the short and free programs. He has no lutzes, flips, loops. And Chen even made his program easier, he understood what he needed to win. He skated wisely.
Who is cooler, Valieva or Chen?
Alexei Yagudin: Papadakis and Cizeron.
Alexei Yagudin: Because there are two of them. In general, it’s cool that the men have Nathan Chen, the girls have Valieva, Papadakis Cizeron in ice dance, there are Chinese and ours in pairs, there is no such gap in scores there. It’s great to watch them with your own eyes, you just don’t understand how they do it. Same is Kagiyama, I hope this is the future of men’s skating. He will learn more jumps, he has a loop. Let’s see if he will be a world champion, an Olympic champion.
Should Hanyu continue?
Alexei Yagudin: Well If just for fun then it’s worth it. But it seems to me that a person who has two Olympic golds always sets the most ambitious goals. And it is unlikely that he just wants to skate for fun and come in fourth or fifth places. There are no former champions. Depends on what he wants for himself.
Of course, I wouldn’t want him to leave sport. He’s still cool in skating, gliding. We saw today – he is the only one who left the ice like that. Beautifully, theatrically. Like a dancer. And it wasn’t feigned. He thanked the ice. That’s how it worked out for him.
Mikhail Kolyada: “Despite missing the Olympics, I don’t intend to give up with skating, because I really like it.