Attached is a viz that I put together breaking down the combined scores of the top 6 finishers in the Men's Free Skate. A lot has been made of Lysacek not having a quad in his routine, so I wanted to understand the importance of the quad from a points perspective. Also, wanted to dig a little deeper into the new scoring system.
There is a tremendous amount of data on the Vancouver Games Site. I grabbed the results for the Men's Free Skate , re-formatted the data using Excel, and then put together this Viz using Tableau Public.
The viz contains 3 graphics: a bar chart and 2 heat maps. The skaters always appear in the columns, but the order changes for each component - They are always sorted left to right by score. The Bar chart shows the combined score of each skater in the free skate. Each of the Heat Maps describes a different component of the combined score: Executed Elements & Program Components. Deductions is a third component of the combined score - Takahashi and Chan each had 1 point deductions for falls.
I have sorted the Executed Elements top to bottom in descending order by Base Value so that the most difficult elements are at the top. An element's score is derived by adding (or subtracting) the "Grade of Execution" to the base Value. The displayed score is the addition of the Base value and the "GOE". The color shows whether the grade of execution was positive (Green), neutral (Gray), or negative (Red).
A few observations:
Lysacek and Plushenko tied exactly on the Program Components - Takahashi had the highest Program Components score. Neither Lysacek nor Plushenko had any deductions, so Lysacek won the free skate based on the executed elements - beating Plushenko by just two points. While Plushenko had the single highest scoring element (the much ballyhooed "Quad Loop + Triple Toe Loop" which scored a 14.6) , the total base values for their routines (Lysasek - 74.93 ; Plushenko - 75.03) were virtually identical. Lycacek made up part of the base value gap by executing some his tougher elements after the midway mark of the program, thus benefiting from a 10% "bump" in the base value of the elements. Elements that appear with two different base values are those which had the 10% increase for skaters who performed it after the midpoint.
The margin of Lycacek's victory could be ascribed to just 2 out of the 13 elements in his routine - the Triple Lutz and the Triple Loop. Both Lycacek and Pleshenko performed these two elements, but Lycacek did them AFTER the midway point, thus adding 10% to their base value (worth 1.1 points collectively) and he performed them better than Pleshenko, earning higher GOE's on each.
Plushenko may have performed the highest single scoring element but Lycacek countered by making his elements - the same elements as Plushenko - count for more. He's crafty, that Lycacek guy.
What About Johnny Weir - Do they just not like his hair?
Remember how the announcers made it look like Johnny Weir lost it on the bobble on his sit spin ? (The "FLying Sit Spin 3" to be precise). NBC replayed it several times along with the grimace from Weir's Coach. Well that element was worth a total of 2.6 pts and he scored a 2.1. He only lost a half a point. In fact, Weir was third behind Plushenko and Lycacek in the Executed Elements. Where he LOST it was in the program components. He was last of the top 6 - a full 5 points behind the 5th place finisher - Patrick Chan. In fact Weir was last on EVERY element in the Program Components except for footwork (Plushenko brought up the rear on that element). The Program Compnents seem to be the remnants of the old subjective system of judging. COUld it be the judges just didn't Like Johnny Weir?
Note: This is both my first attempt at publishing a "Viz" as well as my first Blog post . . .ever. I never expected that my first public post would contain the words "triple toe loop". Guess I'm just grateful that I didn't have to type "Triple Salchow". . . .doh.
A Data Visualization Blog by Kyle Biehle (on twitter @kbiehle2)