nathan lutz

Nathan Chen vs. Victor Nikiforov

Kubo has made some comments recently about how when YOI was being created she wanted it to be a ‘little ahead of where skating is right now’. It’s not as if they had the characters doing quintuples or something. She just, jump content wise, had the characters somewhat ahead of the standard of the top skaters in competition. Victor’s program in the first episode stood out to a lot of people. It seemed a bit fantastic! 

He performed four different quads. No one had done that before. Jin Boyang had first done four quads in a program before, almost a year previous to YOI’s premiere. But… they weren’t four different quads. It did still seem a bit fanciful, although yes, it was inevitable that it would occur within a couple years. There were skaters, multiple ones, who we knew probably had the capability to do it. There was a lot of talk about a trio of teenagers nicknamed the ‘quad squad’ and which one would be first to pull it off. These three young men are Jin Boyang of China, Shoma Uno of Japan, and Nathan Chen of USA. 

Anyway, the ‘first to pull it off’ ended up being Nathan Chen of the USA, and not only did he ‘pull off’ Victor Nikiforov’s jump layout, but he did him one over and completed a more difficult one. There’s no quad toe triple toe in there, but instead the harder combination the quad lutz + triple toe loop. However, he did do four different quads, and on top of that, one more, for a total of five quads. He’s now done this twice in two months, once at US Nationals and once at Four Continents. 

Even Kubo-sensei herself expressed amusement at this. She meant to make the show a little bit in the future, but within a month of the series ending, actual figure skating surpassed it! 

So how does Victor’s (record breaking in the YOI universe) Stammi Vicino free skate compare with Nathan Chen’s (history making in our universe) Polovtsian Dances free skate? Let’s take a look! 

As a note, I don’t really have a way to know exactly the levels and base values of Victor’s step sequences and spins, so this will be based on jumps only. Also this is based on Nathan’s jump layout at US Nationals. His jump layout at Four Continents was slightly different. :)

Originally posted by eggplantgifs

Nathan Chen:

  1. Quad Lutz + Triple Toe loop
  2. Quad Flip
  3. Quad Toeloop + Double Toe loop + Double Loop
  4. Quad Toeloop
  5. Triple Axel
  6. Quad Salchow
  7. Triple Lutz
  8. Triple Flip + Triple Toe loop

Base Value of jumps alone 91.96

I pulled these base values directly off icenetwork’s official scoring sheets, so if there’s anything wrong, blame them not me. 

Originally posted by vkusnykatsudon

Victor Nikiforov

  1. Quad Lutz 
  2. Quad Flip 
  3. Triple Axel 
  4. Quadruple Salchow
  5. Triple Axel + Triple Loop + Double Loop 
  6. Triple Lutz
  7. Triple Flip
  8. Quadruple Toe Loop + Triple Toe Loop

Base Value of jumps alone: 88.79 

If there’s a mistake in these though, it’s my fault. 

Why is Victor’s so close to Nathan’s despite having one less quad? It’s mostly because his program is a little more backloaded with jumps than Nathan’s is. He puts his quad/triple as his last jump element, and he even squishes that three jump combination in his latter half of the program.  Remember that jumps in the latter part of your program get a 10% bonus on scores. This is emphasized in YOI especially with Yuuri’s character, as his stamina allows him to put the most difficult elements of his program near the end of his programs to take advantage of that. A quad flip within mere moments of your program ending is absolutely balls to the wall nuts, but Yuuri does it in both his short and long programs at the GPF. 

Nathan Chen’s original program plan at US Nationals was a triple loop where the last quad salchow is. If he had done that, he would have had four quads and his base value would have been: 85.51, which is a little below Victor’s (despite the fact that Nathan’s quadruple jump combo, the 4 lutz/3 toe is more difficult than Victor’s choice of a 4 toe/3 toe. In fact, at Four Continents it broke a record for the highest score on an individual element!). The power of those latter half bonuses is strong! 

Anyway, the scores being close w/ four quads all makes sense, as the quads Victor and Nathan have in their competitive arsenal are identical. The one quad they both don’t do is the loop (Victor apparently can but has only done it in exhibition, so perhaps it’s not something he’s consistent enough on? And of course no one does the axel). 

I wouldn’t call Nathan’s program particularly front loaded. However, if he does want his sky high base scores to be even higher, he can try to move some more of those jumps to the latter half. He is still only seventeen though, so he may not have developed the stamina for it yet. Victor on the other hand, has been working on this forever. That being said, that also proves what an athlete Victor is, because he’s twenty-seven years old and still doing this, which is incredible. Twenty-seven is still very young, but figure skating, like gymnastics, is known as a sport with a mayfly life span for a lot of athletes. It’s very hard on the body. Thus, Victor slamming out those quads at the end of his program at twenty-seven is pretty darn amazing. 

But yes Nathan is an absolutely stunning (and non-fictional!) athlete. It’s wonderful what he’s done. I’d be interested to see how Victor’s short program layout compares to his, but we don’t have any info on that, although I could do a comparison to JJ’s Rostelecom layout or Yuuri’s (planned) GPF one! 

A pic is Worth a Thousand Words

I’ve lost count of people who said they are thinking about putting a 4Lz in their program(s) next season (or that they are not thinking about it), so in this long and hot summer, let’s go back to the two skaters who landed a 4Lz in Senior Competitions last year.

I know some raised some doubts when I said Nathan’s jumps are quite small live, especially on distance. So without further ado two pics worth more than a thousand words…

From 4CC, Nathan Chen’s 4Lz (+3T), 2.43 GOE

From WC, Boyang Jin’s 4Lz (+3T), 2.00 GOE


Nothing to add, if not to say: people who are thinking about putting a quad lutz* in, please may it be more like the latter and less like the former**.


*no flutz, please

**Judges please clean your glasses

*Scans from Ice Jewels 6, photographs are by Nobuaki Tanaka

Q: Should Yuzuru put quad lutz in for next season?

So much overthinking as the person I am, with the lack of news during off-season, thoughts about technical aspects of next season have been wandering around inside my head for quite a while. 

Anh the big question for me as a Yuzuru’s fan is what should he do with his layout for next season? Should he add a new quad in or not? 

In a TV show and a magazine interview after WTT, Yuzuru said that he has no intention to put quad lutz in his program for Pyeongchang (though that quad was so beautiful, no pre-rotation and his toepick for inward, wtf). Also, I recalled from his FaOI talk with Nobunari and Shoma, he wrote for his goals that he want to consolidate what he learned so far into the program for Olympics 2018. All these made me have a very strong feeling that he is actually serious about not putting quad lutz in.

That’s fine, “no quad lutz is fine”, I thought. But what’s he gonna do with next season program and how will it be better from this year’s? Turned out, his layout already maxed out its value for a program with 3 kinds of quads he got (mostly for the LP): 

  • He’s only allowed to repeat 2 kinds of jumps, one of which is undoubtedly 3A given how much he loves it and how comfortable he is with it 
  • He got 2 quad salchow this season, and the biggest change can only be from 4S to 4L or doing a hard combination for 4S-2T. 

As for the situation we’re in and also for context, I find it very helpful to look back at the 13-14 Olympic season. The 2 main skaters that I’m gonna discuss in that season are Patrick and Yuzuru (for obvious reason). After taking the silver at Skate Canada and Trophee Bompard, Yuzuru got gold at GPF 2013 and then at Sochi, overthrowing Patrick’s throne that had been going on for the past 3 years. And the reason Yuzuru was able to do so were:

  • He got a really good SP that he could skate well and skate consistently, which creates a lead for him after SP 
  • By doing more difficult elements and placing them in the second half of the free program, he got an advantage in BV comparing to Patrick, which also allows him to win with a not very clean program (as I saw him struggle to skate clean his LP that season) 

For 13-14 season free program, the difference in BV of Yuzuru and Patrick was around 8 points, the total GOE for Yuzuru was 8-14 and Patrick was 17-18. So with a quite similar TES and a lead in SP, Yuzuru was able to win Patrick who was deemed unbeatable. 

For this season, this is some averages (just estimation, not exact) I got for the three skaters I think have the most potential for gold in Pyeongchang (this is only for the free, as to me their SP are around the same score): 

  1. Yuzu BV 103, GOE 20-23, PCS 94-97 
  2. Shoma BV 104, GOE 7.5-15, PCS 91-94
  3. Nathan BV 104, GOE 9-12, PCS 84-88
  4. Boyang BV 103, GOE 9-15 , PCS 83-86

My guess are that Nathan’s gonna add another 4Lz (layout like the one for Worlds this season), Shoma’s gonna add 4F, and Boyang’s gonna add another quad too (not sure about him, 4Lz/4L). This will up their BV by 8-10 points alone, assumed they don’t add any other changes and they have the same level of skating. However, things never stay constant. The three younger skaters still have a lot to improve on their PCS and how many GOEs they can take, so those number will definitely increase next season. 

I don’t underestimate Yuzuru’s ability to evolve, it’s just that he’s much closer to the point of “perfection”, according to CoP. In recent years, the maximum GOE he got was around 70-80% of max GOE for the whole free skate. And even if he got 10% more on GOE, which I think is “wow”, that’s an increase of only 3 points. His PCS is already around 97-98 points and I doubt that it can go any much higher.

 So assumed that he does as I said, keeping the quad lutz out of the equation, then Yuzuru might fall into the seat of Patrick in 2013. He’s an awesome skater, and it’s clear that no one can beat him if he can skate clean both programs. But from my short time as a fan, as much a believer I am of him doing the best come back from behind ever, I seriously won’t bet my money on him skating 2 programs clean under such pressure every time. The stress that he put on himself to skate clean SP in WTT 2017 and its result is a good evidence for this, I think. I think he knows much better about his hot-and-cold moments and as someone who used the BV card just a few seasons ago, he shouldn’t put the Olympic gold medal on such a risky bet like that in my opinion.

Of course, all my worries will be for nothing if he got an amazing SP from Jeff and leads the way with a few points in the SP. But those things, you never know until the season starts a while. I’m kinda worried because he seems to struggle a little bit with his first season for an SP, but me in my wishful thinking mode will hope that Jeff and Yuzu will go back to programs that Yuzuru can rock it CLEAN (they wanted LGC to be a challenge and it definitely was XD). I don’t really worry about Shae, so mehh… the choreography should be fine, it’s just about the jumps.

Again, so much uncertainty, and the ability of younger skaters to compensate the gap in quality with the BV of their quads as mentioned above put me into panick mode cause I really think he should put quad lutz in but there is no sign he would do so. Yuzu, I know you’re a smart ass, I just don’t know what’s in your mind right now =.=

Yes, that was all those clogged in my head *relieved*. But whatever happens, I’ll  still be happy I think. Either seeing that beautiful quad lutz in competition or witnessing a smooth and complex skate by Yuzu, so come fast next season!

 * this started out as some thoughts I have after Yuzu mentioned he wouldn’t include 4Lz in his program, then I kinda asked around tumblr a bit, only to realize I couldn’t include all my arguments and confusion in such small spaces. In the end, after 2 long weeks, I’m just like “Whatever, I’ll write this down and let them butcher my opinion.” So come join the discussion and enlighten me, guys! (that is if you’re still here at the end of this long ass post) *

iguana’s 2017 4CC recap

That moment when you start talking about yourself in the third person’s point of view #iwentthere

Anyway the past weeks have been full of interesting, beautiful, controversial, what the fuck moments. To put it shortly, all those ingredients consisting the very essence of figure skating. Aren’t you glad you got yourself into this hell beautiful world of art and sport in which people are gracious and well mannered and they totally do not bitch and moan about scores, results, politicking and other nonsense. Right? 

So 4CC was supposed to be the ~test event~ for the Olympic Games and I’m not gonna lie, if the Olympics are going to be remotely similar to this event I’m just gonna give up on life, beliefs, values and I’ll admit everything I’ve believed in has been a beautiful lie. Injuries, PyeongChang jitters, meltdowns, you name it. I spent the ladies event wishing somebody would call the ambulances, doctors, psychologists, ANYTHING to put most of those girls out of their misery. That competition was so damn tough I felt like I hit my own butt against the ice every time I saw them bombing their programs, bombing their bodies, bombing each other, idek. During the men’s event I was screaming my face off when I saw Yuzuru landing a decent quad loop, only to press my face against the floor the moment he doubled and I mean DOUBLED the next quad. Bro. How do you. How do you rotate a quad loop and fart the salchow. How many times does it have to happen. On the other hand Wenjing Sui and Cong Han owned the party and I’ve had their SP on repeat for the last few days. DAMN. Technically perfect, face giving on point, hair flipping also on point, what else would anyone want? And then there was Tessa Virtue and her lolz partner Scott Moir effectively trolling the rest of the field. 

And now here are some of the things I’ve written down DURING the competitions because honestly, nothing can beat whatever shit your brain is spewing when you’re watching the thing versus when you reminisce about it.

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