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.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Application Engineer - Flow Metering

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Application ...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on