Winter Olympics: Golden edge for Kulik

THE Olympic medals for men's figure skating were being presented in the centre of the White Ring arena - gold for Russia's Ilia Kulik, silver for Canada's Elvis Stojko and bronze for France's swashbuckling Philippe Candeloro.

Britain's Steven Cousins, sixth going into last night's free- skating programme and sixth going out of it, looked down wistfully from the stands. "It's alright," he said. "But no one remembers sixth."

After errors by the two skaters above him - Todd Eldredge of the United States and the apparently flu-ridden Alexei Yagudin of Russia - a glimmer of a medal chance appeared before the Welshman who now lives and trains in Canada. But, not for the first time in a career which has spanned three Olympics, his prospects were diminished by a fall. On this occasion, it was the triple axel which formed the second jump in his programme.

"I had gone into the arena ready to do a quad, but that plan changed when I fell on my bum," he said. "When things like that happen you cut your losses and make sure the rest of your programme is clear."

That was something Cousins nearly managed to do, although a decision to opt for a double rather than the scheduled triple toe loop was something that galled him afterwards. "That was even worse than falling," he said. "If I had finished sixth and skated well, I would be the first to turn cartwheels. But I didn't skate up to my expectations. And just to rub salt into the wounds, the door was open for a medal."

The fair-haired Kulik was one of only two in the field to manage a quad jump - the other being Zhengxin Guo of China. But his assurance and grace on the ice won him the prize.

Stojko, who has been criticised - and perhaps marked down - in the past for the relentlessly macho character of his routine, performed eight triple jumps without falling, but gave a performance that was laboured by his own standards. His grimace of pain at the end gave a clue.

Cousins, who trains with Stojko, offered an explanation. "Elvis has been injured for three weeks with a groin strain, but he has kept it quiet," he said. "Elvis won his battle out there. He skated brilliantly. He epitomises the term Olympic champion."

Stojko, who it was later revealed had injured himself at last month's Canadian championships, was taken straight to hospital in obvious pain after the medal ceremony.

Kulik's performance may have made the greatest impact on the judges, but Candeloro wowed the audience. They bombarded him with flowers after a performance in the character and dress of the Fourth Musketeer, D'Artagnan. The Frenchman appeared to be daring the judges - towards whom he addressed two ironic bows and sword strokes - to mark him down. In terms of presentation, at least, they were unable to resist.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee