Kim Yuna: record score gives Vancouver Olympics their 6.0 moment
Korean Kim Yuna won gold with a world-record score in women's figure skating at the Vancouver Olympics Thursday. She set a new standard for figure skating perfection.
Vancouver, British Columbia
For many years, figure skating perfection had a number: 6.0.Skip to next paragraph
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After Kim Yuna's world-record score Thursday night, it does once again: 150.
What does 150 points mean? Admittedly, the new scoring system – instituted by the sport's dons to reduce judging bias after the 2002 Salt Lake pairs figure skating scandal – can be hard to fathom.
But here's what 150 points meant to silver medalist Mao Asada Tuesday night.
According to the judges, Asada – the 2008 world champion – skated one of the best free skates of her career, only 1.31 points off her personal best.
Kim beat her by 18.34 points.
The scores for the entire competition are even more astounding. All told, it was the best performance of Asada’s life, scoring 205.50 points in the short program and free skate combined.
Kim beat her by more than 23 points, with a (need we say) world-record 228.56.
How good is Kim Yuna?
So, essentially, the second-best figure skater in the world – who is so good that many believe she could have won the Turin Olympics at age 15 had she been eligible – has the best competition of her career … and gets beaten by three touchdowns and a field goal.
What about Asada’s triple Axels – that toughest of women’s jumps, which was supposed to keep Asada from becoming a pixel in Kim’s rearview mirror? Asada nailed them. They were whirling things of beauty – pinwheels of black and red, perfectly balanced.
And she still got smoked.
This is the measure of Kim’s performance: Almost all her competitors skated as well as could have reasonably been imagined. Bronze medalist Joannie Rochette, too, set a personal best in the competition.
And none of them had the remotest chance of winning.
When American Mirai Nagasu, a promising young skater with high hopes for Sochi 2014, stepped onto the ice to skate, the scoreboard was almost an insult.