There was no drama left in the team skating competition by the time Julia Lipnitskaya (also spelled Yulia Lipnitskaia), a bendy and graceful 15-year-old Russian skater took the ice. Russia had already clinched gold. Yet, she still crushed her competition in the ladies field. Lipnitskaya torched the ladies free skate by scoring a 141.51— about 12 points more than second place finisher Gracie Gold. If she had turned this free skate performance in the 2010 Olympics, she would have walked away with a silver medal behind a monster record (150.06) set by South Korea's Kim Yu-na. Here's how she did it:
The Scoring System
If you haven't been tuning into figure skating since The Cutting Edge, you may be at a bit confused with the new, complex scoring system. It's still very subjective, but the basic takeaway is easy though: skate beautiful and you'll get rewarded in Grade of Execution (GOE) scores (the scores on the right in the chart below). Beautiful means lots of speed, grace, fluidity and flexibility. The easiest thing to do is think of those GOE scores as bonus points or extra credit in a way:
The new system has rewarded skaters like Kim Yu-na and Mao Asada, who have signature moves — a huge triple lutz-triple toe combination for Kim, and a triple axel for Asada — and do them better than any women in the competition. And it makes it more difficult for skaters like Ashley Wagner who are well rounded, but don't have that specialty. It's also why many analysts are picking Gracie Gold, who has strong jumps, to finish ahead of Wagner.