But not for
Evan Lysacek or Johnny Weir. (UPDATE: According to The Denver Post, Lysacek will be attempting a quad on Sunday in the men's free skate. I am not sure about Weir.)
Several articles are popping up about the quadruple jumps and how important they'll be this season. I have to say that when some skaters are going to be consistently landing three of them (cough, Plushenko, cough) and others will at least land one or two (Joubert) and those skaters get a lot of love from international judges, it becomes much more glaring when your top skaters do not have the quad. Usually Joubert can be sloppy on his other elements, but Plushenko will be very hard to beat if he skates clean and lands so many quads.
This article from The New York Times discusses how Ryan Bradley will be attempting three quads at the Nationals this weekend. There is also a nice little reminder in the article that the last time an Olympic champ did not perform a quad was in 1994 when Russia's Alexei Urmanov took the crown.
Timothy Goebel, America's old quad king and bronze medalist at the 2002 Olympics, has been working with Bradley and his training partner Brandon Mroz, both contenders at this weekends championships. Here's what Goebel says:
"Physically, Brandon and Ryan can do the quad right now, but it takes a different mind-set than the other jumps," Goebel said. "Whether you land a quad or not, it can set the tone for the rest of the program. When you make a mistake on it, it’s very deflating. It could ruin everything else. So you really have to work on how you can get your mind back together."
There's also a nice breakdown of the points a quad can earn/lose:
A technical panel also grades the skater on how well the jump was executed. There, the skater could receive up to 3 points if the jump was spectacular, with elements like good height or distance, a difficult entry or good extension on the landing.
On the downside, the skater could lose up to 3 points if the jump was done poorly, with errors like stepping out of the landing or bad posture. If a skater falls, another point is deducted.
So, a successful attempt at a quad toe loop could earn a skater 12.8 points. But a failed try could very well leave him empty-handed. (A downgraded quad toe loop has a base value of 4.0 points: minus 3 for poor execution, minus another point for a fall equals zero.)
I don't advocate throwing the quad into an Olympic routine willy nilly. But it would be so nice if Lysacek or Weir had a consistent quad to throw out there and pick up some extra points (see UPDATE above). Maybe they will by the Olympics (if they make the Olympics).