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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Evgeni goes to Sochi: Vincerò!

It is confirmed: Evgeni will be skating in Sochi. Truth be told, I was a little nervous. I even worked myself up over it, the day before yesterday, and wrote a "Evgeni didn't make it" post. I'm keeping that on hold, btw., just in case...

On Tuesday, Plushy completed his clandestine test skate, apparently to the unanimous satisfaction of the committee, executing the whole set of his big jumps. Yesterday, the committee met and officially confirmed his selection.

There is still the question as to whether or not he will do both the team and the singles event, or be replaced after the team event by another athlete. Some sources reported that the ISU has officially ruled out that option, but all information we've got so far*, tells us it wouldn't theoretically be a problem to replace a skater after the team event for medical reasons. The IOC has pretty much reserved itself carte blanche** on these decisions.

I hope he does both, but will be happy enough if he can grap a medal with the team and then skate off into the sunset. In contrast to the Vancouver Olympics, this time around, I'm ready to fully embrace Plushymania.

*ISU communication 1844 states that the IOC Late Athlete Replacement Policy applies to all figure skating events at the Olympics. A skater entered for the team event cannot be replaced after February 5th, 2014. The sole entry of Russia will thus have to do both segments of the team event. The substitution of a skater for another skater, for those teams who have more than one entry qualified, is called "exchange", in contrast to a replacement for medical/withdrawal reasons. Much the same applies to the singles event, the deadline for replacemtent here being February 10th, 2014.

**Even more so, when I read sentences like "Subject to the consent of both the IOC and the relevant International Federation, late athlete replacements may be made at their discretion." and regarding time constraints: "In instances where a more timely decision is required, an ad hoc management board, comprised of IOC, IF and Sochi 2014 representatives, will be authorized to reach a verdict on the circumstances pertaining to that specific athlete’s late replacement". And my personal favourite: "In exceptional circumstances, the above noted policy is subject to further change by the IOC."

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