Good sportsmanship is always admirable, but sore losers are far more memorable. After the men’s figure-skating final, Russian Evgeni Plushenko declared he was “positive [he] had won” over American Evan Lysacek, who beat him to gold by 1.31 points. As if that wasn’t enough of a dig, Plushenko, who was sitting next to Lysacek at the press conference when he made that remark, further indulged his inner child when he added, “I suppose Evan needs a medal more than I do, maybe because I already have one.” Plushenko’s beef with Lysacek came over the quad; Plushenko landed two of the four-rotation jumps in Vancouver (and had pulled off the jump to win his 2006 Olympic gold as well), while Lysacek opted not to take his chances with the risky move. That, in the Russian’s eyes, was like turning the clock back on the sport and, he argued, put men’s figure skating on par with ice dancing. Perhaps inspired by a telegram from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who reassured Plushenko that “your silver is worth gold,” the skater’s website at one point referred to his “Platinum of Vancouver” before the label was removed a few days later.
Olympic Highs and Lows