The most controversial Olympic figure skating jump

The most controversial Olympic figure skating jump


This is the hardest jump in figure skating. Four complete revolutions in the air. It’s called a quadruple jump. And it’s changing the sport of figure skating. Today’s figure skaters are more focused on jumps than ever before. That’s led to incredible displays of athleticism, but not everyone is happy about it. For lots of fans, quadruple jumps have done little but make figure skating uglier and more dangerous. And they may be right. A quadruple jump is extremely difficult. The leap requires incredible momentum, precisely divided between vertical lift and spin. Then you have to fight inertia to contract your body, making yourself spin faster. Finally, you land with a force equivalent to seven times your body weight. And all of this on a surface where many people struggle to stand up. It all takes less than a second. American figure skater Nathan Chen does five of these jumps in his long program. Now, all quads aren’t created equal. First, there’s the Lutz, where you take off from the back outside edge of your left skate and land on your right foot. What makes it so hard is that you reverse direction on takeoff. Your left foot is skating clockwise, but then you jump and spin the other way. Then there’s the flip jump, which launches from the left foot, and the toe loop, which launches from the right. And finally there’s this one, called the Salchow. It was invented more than a hundred years ago by the first Olympic figure skating champion. These jumps are pushing the limits of figure skating. But they’re also fundamentally changing the sport. Most quads—or passes where a skater does a quad and then another jump— get negative grades of execution. Meaning, they’re sloppy. Half of those are total disasters. And even Chen makes mistakes on about one-third of his quad passes. That means nearly everyone falls, and as athletes take more risks, many get injured. But those injuries haven’t stopped other skaters from trying to push their routines even further. Some skaters are even trying to pull off a quadruple axel, a forward-facing leap with four and a half rotations. That would change the sport all over again. But it also raises a question: If figure skating has turned into a quest for bigger and bigger jumps, can it still be about artistry?

Antonio Breitenberg

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100 thoughts on “The most controversial Olympic figure skating jump

  1. Melisandre says:

    Who was at 2:22

  2. karina says:

    he keeps saying "launches on the left foot", "launches on the right" "picks with the left/right"…all of that is wrong. it really just depends on the skater and usually if you are right handed or left handed.

  3. VodoV GT says:

    I barely can use it

  4. Yink says:

    Challenging and overcoming the limit of human athleticism is a form of aesthetics in its own right. So, yes, I think it can still be called a form of artistry.

  5. Clio Frost says:

    The program that is full of quads, I don't think it's beautiful.

  6. Fluffy Bear & Smoll Pillow says:

    When you get interested but know this was the hardest jump in skating history because of yuri on ice

  7. Rufus says:

    Can someone just tell Nathan Chen to lay off the jumps?

  8. somdy vilaykham says:

    Athleticism, but most retire early because of it

  9. Kinryuuki says:

    American media is so biased… – _ –

  10. Ami Go says:

    good overview of the jumps but clearly BIASED! it's okay we all know you are American

  11. Piznoc Tsauo says:

    Who's the Nancy Boy who narrates this?

  12. AmericanDreamer says:

    screw artistry, more jumps!!! better yet, backloading all jumps, including the quads!!!

  13. icedwhite mocha says:

    Need to see more hanyu and Boyang in this video. No mention of them even though they are great at quads too

  14. Charlotte Williams says:

    I love how non-skaters think of all quads as one jump when in fact there are 5 (in order from easiest to hardest): salchow, toe loop, loop, flip and lutz. so, in fact, when they say the hardest jump is the quadruple jump, technically they're wrong.

  15. Phi Tran says:

    Why are ppl still calling it revolution when it's ROTATION!!!!

  16. Johanna S says:

    um sorry, where is the loop?

  17. pwetty4r4 says:

    this is only a thing for people who don't follow the sport….

  18. Krissy Ojos Azules Profundos says:

    Making me dizzy! They make it look SO EASY!

  19. MultiGrain Bar says:

    Yuzuru Hanyu lands his quadruple jumps most of the time so props to him.

  20. Chrystalis Revival says:

    Answer to the last question: Yes. Just watch Yuzuru. He is one of the most artistic if not THE most artistic skater the world has ever seen, and he does pretty much any quad out there, and says after this season he is going to focus on getting that quad axle.

  21. AnSkates says:

    Every sport progresses. Figure skating for women was pushed forward by Midori Ito, Tonya Harding and the handful of other women who landed triple axels, it was changed for men by added Quadruples. Its a sport, that's why it is in the Olympics. Its a badge of honour for your insane athleticism. Snowboarding was changed by Shaun White, who added insanely hard tricks into the superpipe, ultimately making the sport even more well respected and challenging (and what athlete doesn't like challenge? Its what drives them to be the best) , the 100m sprint by Usain Bolt changed the demands of the whole sport. Years ago, for figure skating, doubles were considered the top range you could get to, we have come so far since then. The motto for the Olympics is: Faster, Higher, Stronger. Let people make history in their sport. If you are truly an athlete, just as all figure skaters are, you would want to do the best tricks, impress everyone and prove that you CAN do it. Let sports progress and evolve. Soon, maybe even women will be doing quads, some day…?

  22. CuteFluffy Wolf says:

    Watch within the next 100 years be quintuple jumps after everyone’s sick of the quads

  23. Faye C says:

    As a figure skater I would say Boyang Jin's quad is much better quality than Nathan's. Huge elevation and textbook technique. I'm sick of seeing US media render Chen as the figure skating king, sorry but he's not. He only wins GP because Hanyu was not there, and he has never break Hanyus records.

  24. Anime Genesis says:

    The best is Javier Fernández. Amazing.

  25. K P says:

    Yuzuru pushed the envelope in terms of men’s artistry and quad jumps. He has superior PCS scores, and from 2015, he really challenged other men to perform more quads, when he added at least 3 quads in a FP. But- they were quad toes and salchows. This was unheard of. Also, his jumps, when well-executed, were graceful, so they weren’t ugly at all. So I think that quads are important. What makes figure skating an Olympic sport is the jumps and other elements. I do not want to see another Evan Lysacek outcome ever again. No offense.

  26. I ain't You says:

    Boyang! Yuzuru! My Kings!

  27. summer, doing stuff. says:

    so your saying the only jump in figure skating is a lutz? no.

  28. Grasay says:

    I hate lutz

  29. stag0025 says:

    You can have quad and artistry but the again not everyone is Yuzuru.

  30. Viola Chow says:

    Quad loop erasure.

  31. Eclair says:

    Don’t say that. How can Nathan Chen win if there should be no more quads?

  32. SprinklesCakebottom says:

    tiz not ugly

  33. Banje D says:

    Hanyu’s fall on his quad this past rostelecom cup is so dangerous.. talk about scary. geez.. his injured, hope he come back soon 😱😱

  34. Monocultured says:

    1:46 No, I'm pretty sure that's not how that works. I don't know the most about the technical side of skating, but what makes the jumps different is what edge you're on and how you enter the jump, not what leg you take off from. Some people jump on the opposite leg from others (i.e. Gabriel Daleman)

  35. jw s says:

    Actually before this era there was only double jump and this type of question always there. Just keep watching. Everything will be better and better as always.

  36. Sally Lemon says:

    for the Russians it's all about jumps and go badass. It's the Asians that stress on wholesome delivery, means, quality and beauty. If they relate Nathan Chen to high artistry, it has got to do with him being Asian blood, not his American citizenship

  37. rachel bordeaux says:

    The added risk of injury is what turns me off of the quads.

  38. Jules Broun says:

    Yuzu says yes.

  39. Mal Halsey says:

    Yuzuru Hanyu is the answer to your last question!

  40. djkaye youtube says:

    Lets be honest, evgeni plushenko inspired a tonne of people to work quads (including hanyu)

  41. Ichsan Nurzaman says:

    No…..not this. The flip is. Bonaly backflip. Watch it yourself. This whole Nathan craze really is sickening when boy is not even inventing stuff or making one hell of a smooth routine when it matters the most

  42. hitler able says:

    See this, remember Robbie Williams song

  43. Jamie D says:

    Stupid and misleading video

  44. Osophine says:

    Why are you only showing men?

  45. Stan ANIME says:

    Yuzuru King❤️

  46. Stan ANIME says:

    YUZURUUUU

  47. Lara Weghorst says:

    imagine 14 year old russian girls can do this too.

  48. Simple Truth says:

    Ew shoma's triple floop

  49. Lena p says:

    It can be ugly, but it can also be incredibly beautiful, just look at yuzuru hanyu

  50. Daturata says:

    I know it's difficult and dangerous, but I hope one day we get to see a quad axel or a quint whatever.

  51. Joshua Fazeli says:

    Queen please:

    The quad has been changing the sport of figure skating since 1988.

    This isn’t a recent thing bish.

  52. Never Coming Home says:

    With Yuzuru Hanyu, artistry in figure skating will never die.

  53. katie d says:

    Why haven’t any women done it?. There’s only guys in the video

  54. Benedict WU says:

    I agree artistry is important as a skater myself. But let’s be honest, if it’s in Olympics, it has to be challenging human body’s limit. If there’s no jumps, what you are competing for? Artistry? Who to judge who is more artistic? Just like saying ballet is Olympics sport

  55. BTStuff w/GAMEN says:

    I saw mah boi Hanyu and now I'm prouder *cries*

  56. Its me says:

    I think im the only one thinking of Viktor from Yuri!!! on ice

  57. Its me says:

    I think im the only one thinking of Viktor from Yuri!!! on ice

  58. Stephanie grant says:

    Shoma uno quad is probably the worst one I’ve seen

  59. CatInaBox says:

    lmao well russia already ruined the artistry of figure skating

  60. Sleesh says:

    As a figure skater myself and knowing multiple Olympians, yes. It's still about the art. Routines are not just about jumps, they have footwork, spins, upper body, etc. We practice hours on end to master and perfectly execute each motion of our bodys. The art is how we control our bodys. And how hard it is to do so.

  61. DONGHONG YU says:

    No wonder why they call him the king ow quads he is my number
    1 idol (spoilers Nathen Chen won the world championships in Japan in 2019) ( I absolutely adore him 😋)

  62. what to say says:

    maybe we want to see ugly spins in a world that is ugly

  63. what to say says:

    if its about art then its not a sport if its not a sport it shouldn't be in the Olympics? right?

  64. GachaApple쇼 says:

    I can’t even do a spin in the air xD

  65. Concerned Customer says:

    That’s a dumb question ??? you can have just as much artistry , maybe even more . Added difficulty to a sport is not a bad thing

  66. penguins 360 says:

    A fan can't say it makes figure skating uglier….the only person who can really make that judgement is a figure skater themselves…..if people want artistry go watch ice dancing figure skating is a sport it's not about looking pretty that's just a bonus it's about pushing yourself to the maximum if you can't push boundaries what sort of sport is it?

  67. scorpioninpink says:

    Most of these skaters are young and if they keep doing this, it might mean early retirements for them too.

  68. 2006aperson is awesome says:

    I know yuzuru hanyu is not only doing jumps but actually showing the art of ice skating.

  69. yuna kero Kero says:

    oh wow I just know this… so hard wow.. 👍

  70. Gobble Turkey says:

    who ever said that figure skating isnt manly?

  71. neelam pokhrel says:

    I'm here after watching Yuri on Ice :p..anyone with me?

  72. an nguyen says:

    Without Hanyu it's a Jump competition. I surely will not watch this sport any more because it's boring

  73. Tuna says:

    Hardest jump? Lol try the Bonaly Flip

  74. Alessia Mansouri says:

    Yuruzu landed a quad axel and a quintuple toe search it up

  75. SaturnineXTS says:

    I think the technicality makes the sport less gay than if it were still focused on all the pretty boy stuff

  76. Miranda May says:

    Eh I like Yuzuru but now Nathan is the best. And I prefer his skating more. Sorry that’s my opinion. And I don’t think that Nathan is lack of artistry. He is getting better and better and certainly charismatic boy

  77. Negasso Kadir says:

    Why does the commentator sound like he has a giant stick up his ass

  78. AM Nigma says:

    Most of the comments are about Yuzuru Hanyu and the fact that Figure skating isn't all about jumps, but I just want to say that the Bonaly is harder to do, it just so happens that it doesn't have points. But I love Pooh! Not dissing. Just wanted to say.

  79. A cup of tea with Suga kookies and mochie says:

    Ok, Yuzuru Hanyu is a very, very good skater, however, there is no need for the fans to mention him in a completely unrelated video.

  80. Inverness K says:

    Was just about to mention Yuzu when I scroll down to find out that most of the comments are on Yuzu🤣

  81. A D says:

    Well artistry you cannot really improve it performance wise… It's kinda there… And in order to develop the sport you need to develop the skills.. So it's normal.. It's the same for gymnastics

  82. Ch Y says:

    I think if you want more artistic, you should watch ice dancing. Pushing the limit should be the spirit for all the competitive sports. Otherwise we would still cheer for skaters doing a half salchow jump today.

  83. Raunaq Nambiar says:

    Women: Yes we’re getting a hand of this triple axel thing.

    Men: Boys time for a quadruple axel

  84. Jazmin Moon says:

    I saw my two babes in here 🇯🇵🇺🇸

  85. vistaprime says:

    This video seems about 3 years old. Where's the quad loop for example and Chen doesn't fall on a 3 of his quads by any means.

  86. Akeam Starbucks says:

    Just because they add more jumps doesn’t mean it’s ugly. When I am watching them just skate I am amazed by how easy it looks for them to do and then they do an amazing jump and I literally just have to rewatch it over and over. Figure Ice skating can’t just be skating around looking pretty for 5 minutes. You need that wow factor and jumps tend to do that.

  87. Steven S says:

    The "quad" has contributed to ruining the beauty of skating.

  88. Tevy Smith says:

    Yuzuru hanyu does quads whilst keeping artistry, you can see in his performances for him it’s not all about the jumps, you can see his passion in his performances and he puts just as much effort into his floor routine and transitions as he does jumps, if you watch his gala performance you can see that he’s so much more than just quads and jumps , he only did one delayed axel and one triple and honestly it’s one of my favourite performances of his, you can see his love for it , the way he moves its like it comes to him so freely , he doesn’t even hesitate before he jumps and It’s like he trusts himself and the ice so much , he moves so gracefully he will always be the greatest in my opinion and so humble .

  89. Kawaii •chan says:

    I’m only here cuz yuri on ice

    oops

  90. Amanda Stevens says:

    Waiting for someone to try a quad axel…

  91. Kelvin De Jesus Perez says:

    This sport is so INSANELY hard that its hard to believe

  92. Dally White says:

    Imagine figure skaters doing many front ariels in a row. That would be cool.

  93. Porschen Hund says:

    This is the real mission impossible.

  94. zeldafreak701 says:

    Gymnastics suffers from the same issue.

  95. Mrs. Ackerman-Jaeger says:

    Honestly, step sequence and how well someone moves to the music is what catches my interest. Sure, some skaters can jump well. But how well they can SKATE to the music is what’s really important.

  96. Z Melody says:

    The animation never showed a quad jump. land on 4 is not a quad jump.

  97. Elizabeth Spain says:

    Two words
    Yuzuru Hanyu

  98. Настя Сапсан says:

    Thanks for explanations of those jumps.

  99. Molly Ro says:

    A quad axel? I’m shook at the thought of it. Wonder if Tonya would’ve landed it ;-;

  100. Moody Blues says:

    It's just like "artistic" gymnastics… it used to be about artistry and now is just tumble after tumble, the harder the better but the gymnasts are all stiff and don't care so much about making it look beautiful anymore. It should be called "athletic gymnastics" like the russians call it because there is no artistry anymore, hopefully we still have rhythmic gymnastics that are truly beautiful, i hope figure skating doesn't follow the same path as WAG

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