Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006
Responses, Part 10
Should judging in figure skating be examined?
Here are responses to the above question:
Skating judging is political in the extreme. A friend and former USFSA judge told me this many years ago and it is true more than ever today,w ith all the millions to be won.
Like most who watched the pairs event last night, I am incensed at the judging. North America, and hopefully the world, is abuzz about this miscarriage of justice. We all know Jamie and David are champions and our hearts go out to them. But something must be done. Winning a silver medal is an incredible achievement. But not when you won gold. If I were making the decision, I would return the medals to the IOC with a polite, "thanks, but no thanks," letter attached. That way, the judges involved could move the 4th place Russian couple to 3rd and Russia could have 2 medals. The other victims in this are the Russian couple. Their faces said it all. And they are not to blame. What an outrage!
Saint John, N. B.
Typical, that's all I can really say. Politics will never leave the Olympics, why do they even bother having the judges swear to judge fairly in the Opening Ceremony? The athletes hold up their end of the bargain...
Absolutely!! But why bother? It's been examined every 4 years. And this continues to happen. Solution? Take figure skating out of the Olympics or let the referees make judges accountable to the world watching and fine them for this type of controversy. Or at least let's see a reversal of the decision. What's a referee for anyways!
I would like to say that my friends and I saw the taped version of the event and It's an outrage. Canada should have won the gold. It was a perfect performance. Maybe the Russians should get tested for drugs so if any are found, Canada would get the gold. I think the judges were lucky this event didn't happen in Canada. They are also lucky it happened in Salt Lake because if it happened in Los Angeles there would be a riot. I wish I could go smack their faces. Too bad nothing can be done for Canada to rightfully get the gold!!! I bet it's all political, someone should investigate if the judges got paid under the table.
About what happened last night, I felt a sense of loss and despair; I have been watching and enjoying figure skating since I am a young lad; I am now a 52 years old lover of that sport. And having followed all my life all events of figure skating I must say that Salé and Pelletier are the best in what they do and they where robbed of a gold medal. Having said that, a flawless performance deserves high marks for their efforts that they put forward. The Russian team didn't skate flawlessly, they had quite a few problems. The same goes for the Chinese pair; the US pair should have won the bronze. There should be a governing body to overrule the judges in any events of skating, when it looks like there is group voting to favor one country or another. The Canadian pair should have the gold.
In a perfect world, the judges would be impartial, but Idealism is dead and POLITICS rule - we have to face this fact. All sporting events that rely on judging should be taken out of the Olympics. The Olympics have become a moneymaking event. It's not about the sport or how you play the game - it's the sponsorship after the medal that counts.
Why bother to have an event if the result is already decided? This has been going on for years. The sport is a joke. They should kick figure skating out of the Olympics until it proves it can clean-up it's act. Dave H.
Judging should be under the same scrutiny and uphold the same values as the competitors themselves do. In the case of Sale and Pelletier, the judging should be investigated as it is obvious to all that they were deserving of the gold medal. In addition there should be some restrictions on the contact made between coaches and these same judges during competition - as if this isn't obvious!
Why is no one asking why the IOC allows such shameful practices that tarnish not only these games, but the whole Olympic spirit? After all, who is ultimately in control of the games: the IOC or a group of tyrannical corrupt puppets? It isn't just the sport that gets tarnished, but the whole Olympic flame loses a lot of its brightness!
I am not a figure skating fan and rarely watch the "sport", but with all the hype leading up to last nights skate, I decided to watch. It didn't take an expert to know that the Canadian team skated a much better program and I too felt like I had been punched in the stomach after watching the marks come up. The real loser however is figure skating. People can tell me until they're blue in the face that it is a legitimate sport and that every sport is somewhat subjective, but I will never invest my time or my emotions in watching figure skating again. I feel sick for the two Canadians, but I applaud their great attitude.
To answer "should judging in figure skating be examined?" You need to wonder if it would be worth the effort. The entire Olympic committee was examined and what was the result - nothing! The problem is that the athletes, coaches and until last night the media have accepted this as normal. Forget the examination, forget the complaining, the athletes themselves need to act! Why can't any athlete look straight into the camera and say "the judging sucks" I'll tell you why, because the next competition they need that judge more than the judge or the sport needs them.
No! I think the Russians won fair and square...just because a couple Canadians were a close second, doesn't necessitate questioning the standards used by professionals to judge the sport...these athletes must skate for the judges and not for the crowd or for their countries...better luck next time!
Chris de Coninck
I think that all sports that require judging to decide a winner should be dropped from the Olympics. We should only have sports where someone goes faster, higher, farther, or scores more goals or is closer to a measurable mark, or some finitely measurable criteria, etc. than someone else or some other team.
I have been watching figure skating for many years, and it has always been obvious to me that the judging is not fair. I have seen many spectacular performances of many skaters from all over the world that were marked poorly simply because they were not in the top group of skaters or had not "paid their dues". I thought last night's judging was one of the most blatant acts of favourtism that I have ever seen. It was obvious to anyone, even someone who was watching figure skating for the first time, that Sale and Pelletier skated a superior performance over the Russians. It is a terrible shame that, no matter how perfect your performance is, you cannot win the gold medal because you are from the wrong country. The Olympic judges should be ashamed!
Judges? Surely the majority of creatures who placed true champions in second place are not worthy of any sense of respect. Jamie and David, although horribly disappointed, your 'class act' brings nothing but pride from every one who appreciates your art, kill and determination.