The fact that Sotnikova appears bigger in the photo means that there is a scale discrepancy in the two photos used by NYT.
Why this is important? It’s because this scale discrepancy creates this much visual error, as seen in the images below we are providing.
This much scale discrepancy is enough to make Sotnikova’s jump look bigger than it really was and of course than Kim’s.
Next, the poor compositing. Let’s start with enlarging the photo.
Then zoom in.
Notice the choppy stitching that almost looks as if the image was nudged up a bit at the apogee of her jump trajectory? This kind of choppiness in the stitching was not seen in any other part of Sotnikova’s photo. Nor was it seen in Kim’s photo, which overall was stitched together pretty smoothly.
Lastly, the line withanarrow used in the NYT’s image to illustrate the jump path, the flow and the height.
The first arrow-line in Sotnikova’s image has a wrong starting point. It starts from her right leg which is the free leg(kicked to the back and swinging in the air, in preparation for the jump). The actual take off didn’t happen from that toe point as illustrated in NYT’s image.
Having that leg included as the starting point, the arrow-line was drawn to exaggerate the height of her jump path. With the help of the poor stitching mentioned above, this image used by New York Times does not accurately illustrate the flow and the height of Sotnikova’s jump path. If anything, it glamorized them, inaccurately.
If the New York Times was to demonstrate the total difference between the difficulty of Sotnikova and Kim’s total jump elements, the analysis should have been based on ALL the jumps that Sotnikova and Kim each did and didn’t do. If the New York Times was to demonstrate the difference in the quality and execution of the jumps, they should have made the image comparison using the jumps that Sotnikova and Kim both did, such as 3Lz-3T, 3F, 3S, 2A in the free program.
<Composite Image by The New York Times>
The major flaw here: this table is using the COMBINED points of the base value and the GOE, the grade given by the judges based on how well THE JUDGES THOUGHT the element was executed at the time of performance. Even though as we have all heard many, many times this week, the judging is “subjectively” done.
Therefore, we created the following table to show only the base value.
(The reason why the step and spin elements are not included in this chart will be explained later.)