The MathBroker

By on Nov 20, 2017 in Olympics, Skating

Curses to you Kurt Browning! While working in my ‘support the commentators’ role at CBC this weekend, Kurt was asking me math questions!!!

Doesn’t he know I am a WordBroker? (My own made-up term for what I do – as in: WordBroker: I work with words: I read them, I write them, I speak them) I am definitely NOT a MathBroker unless you could call me an AccuracyIsOverratedInEquationsBroker. Sigh.

It all turned out in the end but not without my earning a few more gray hairs.


This is a long-winded way of saying that Kurt and I both learned something new this weekend. For the record, this will come as a surprise to no one, Kurt’s brain is as nimble and fast as his feet! Back to my point, he wondered about the mathematical advantage of back-loading all of the jumps in the second half of a program like Internationaux de France winner Alina Zagitova did.

For those of you who may not know the rules, if you perform a jump in the second half of a program you will earn a 10% bonus on the base value of the jump. Seems to me that’s a great strategy for racking up some extra points. What was interesting to discover is that when I plugged in all of Alina’s jumps as base value scores and then compared the number with what she performed in Grenoble, there was a 4.61 difference. Enough to bring you to the top of the podium in a tight field to be sure, but I was fascinated to see that it wasn’t as much as I imagined 10% would be worth as far as the actual numbers were concerned.

Huh. Who’d a thunk it?

Nice to know that as an old dog, there are still lots of new things to learn.

This is going to be a fun week as the skaters head to Lake Placid for Skate America. On the @SkatingPj Podcast tomorrow, we feature Skate America competitor and 2016 World silver medallist Ashley Wagner. It’s a fun one. Wednesday is Facebook Live time again at 7 pm ET on my Facebook (author) page. I would LOVE it if you followed me @skatingpj on Twitter – you may be the one to put me over the 10,000-follower mark, which is all I want for Christmas!