Evan Lysacek's quad-jump-less routine earned him the gold medal in Vancouver on Thursday. Russia's Evgeni Plushenko took silver and Daisuke Takahashi took bronze, making him the first Japanese man to medal in figure skating.
Lysacek skated first in the final group, executing his long program to "Scheherezade" almost flawlessly. After getting flak from Plushenko for not having a quadruple jump, Lysacek earned points for his several triple jumps and combinations. He even had jumps in the second half of the routine, which earned him bonus points.
Lysacek is the first American man to win the gold medal since Brian Boitano in 1988, the last time the Olympics were in Canada. The Naperville, Ill., native also is the first defending world champion to win at the Olympics since Scott Hamilton in 1984.
After all his trash talk, Plushenko gave a less-than-stellar routine, with shaky landings on his jumps. He did perform a quadruple jump to start the routine, but his skate was lacking artistically. Though Plushenko let go of the stranglehold that the Russian men had on the top of the podium, he is the first man to win figure skating medals in three Olympics since 1932.
Takahashi fell early on his quadruple jump and did not receive full credit for it. However, he recovered well in his difficult routine and earned the bronze. Takahashi is the leader of a contingent of Japanese men who are expected to excel in the next Olympics, including Oda Nobunari and Takahiko Kozuka. The entire Japanese contingent placed in the top eight; no other country did that well.
Johnny Weir took sixth, wearing a furless costume. His routine was nearly mistake free, save a small trip out of a spin. However, his skate was not difficult enough to vault him into medal contention.
U.S. champion Jeremy Abbott continued his disastrous Olympics, falling on his quadruple jump attempt and changing a planned triple jump to a double. After his equally bad short program, Abbott may have left his best skating at the U.S. Championships in January.