Friday, February 26, 2010

The Physics of Perfection, Part 2 of 2

 For Part 1, click here.

As expected the top three at the end of Tuesday's Short program won the Gold, Silver, and Bronze in exact order after last night's Long program and finals in Ladies Figure Skating at the Olympics. For only the first time since 1964 (the second time since 1948 and the fourth time since 1908, that is to say: ever), an American lady was not one of the 3 medalists (Mirai Nagasu of USA came in 4th and Rachael Flatt of USA came in 7th, in spite of flawless performances). They are:

2010 Vancouver:  G: Kim Yu-na (KOR -South)   S: Mao Asada (JPN)  B: Joannie Rochette (CAN - French)


Going backwards in time, here are the medal winners at the Olympics previous to 2010:

2006 Turin:  G: Shizuka Arakawa (JPN)  S: Sasha Cohen (USA)  B: Irina Slutskaya (RUS)

2002 Salt Lake City: G: Sarah Hughes (USA)  S: Irina Slutskaya (RUS)  B:  Michelle Kwan (USA)

1998 Nagano: G: Tara Lipinski (USA)   S: Michelle Kwan (USA)    B: Chen Lu (CHN)

1994 Lillehamer:  G: Oksana Baiul (UKR)  S: Nancy Kerrigan (USA)    B: Chen Lu (CHN)

1992 Albertville:  G: Kristi Yamaguchi (USA)  S: Midori Ito (JPN)  B: Nancy Kerrigan (USA)

Here's a "representation" (Representation Theory! ... I knew I'd work Mathematical Physics in here somehow) of Tonya Harding, who never medaled at the Olympics:

1988 Calgary:  G:  Katarina Witt (GDR)   S:  Elizabeth Manley (CAN)  B:  Debi Thomas (USA)

1984 Sarajevo:  G:  Katarina Witt (GDR)  S:  Rosalynn Sumners (USA)  B:  Kira Ivanova (USSR)


Jérôme CHAUVET said...

Is skating all about classical kinetics theory, or does quantum physics play its part in it?

Steven Colyer said...

Sure. The electrons in the skates and the electrons in the ice repel each other, so the skaters don't sink in!

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

It might also be that ice skaters have a spin.

Steven Colyer said...

Macroscopic spin, not quantum mechanical spin, which I'm sure you know so I know you're kidding. :-)

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

You know I'm no crackpot, and it's good so :)