Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Iceberg Skating Palace, Adler
Date Started: February 13, 2014
Date Finished: February 14, 2014
Format: Total of points from short program and free skating.
The heavy favorite in the men’s competition was Canadian [Patrick Chan], who was World Champion in 2011-13 and had been runner-up in 2009-10. He had been especially dominant in the 2011/12 season when he won every major title available. Chan had to overcome the “Canadian men’s singles’ jinx” at the Olympics. Canadian male skaters [Kurt Browning], [Brian Orser], and [Elvis Stojko] had all come to the Olympics as a favorite or co-favorite but no Canadian man had ever won Olympic gold in singles competition.
Russian star [Yevgeny Plyushchenko] was the home favorite. He had not won a World title since 2004, and had struggled with back injuries and surgeries for the past few years. But Plyushchenko skated well in the team competition at Sochi, second only to Chan among the men, giving his fans hope. On the night of the short program, however, Plyushchenko warmed up, but then skated over to the side of the rink and withdrew with back pain. He would have another back surgery within weeks. Two other contenders were considered to be Kazakh [Denis Ten], silver medalist at the 2013 Worlds, and Japan’s 2010 World Junior Champion [Yuzuru Hanyu].
Hanyu took a surprising lead over Chan in the short program but it was very close and whoever won the free skate would likely take the gold medal. Spain’s [Javier Fernández] ranked third after the short, while Ten was in ninth place.
In the free skate Hanyu looked to have cost himself the gold medal when he fell on a quad salchow-triple flip combination. But Chan made some minor errors on a quad toe loop and triple axel and Hanyu won the free skate by just over ½-a-point, giving him the gold medal. Chan was second, continuing the Canadian jinx in the event, while Ten’s free skate moved him up to the bronze medal as Fernández dropped off the podium and placed fourth.
The top American [Jason Brown], placed ninth, as no American singles skater stood on the Olympic podium for the first time since 1936. The top US skater, defending champion [Evan Lysacek], had struggled with injuries all year and had not tried to make the American team at the trials.
|9||Jason Brown||19||United States||USA||238.37|
|10||Michal Březina||23||Czech Republic||CZE||233.62|
|11||Tomáš Verner||27||Czech Republic||CZE||232.99|
|12||Jeremy Abbott||28||United States||USA||232.70|
|19||Michael Christian Martinez||17||Philippines||PHI||184.25|
|25 r1/2||Francisco Raya||22||Spain||ESP||59.76|
|26 r1/2||Viktor Pfeifer||26||Austria||AUT||56.60|
|27 r1/2||Paul Bonifacio Parkinson||22||Italy||ITA||56.30|
|28 r1/2||Liam Firus||21||Canada||CAN||55.04|
|29 r1/2||Brendan Kerry||19||Australia||AUS||47.12|