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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 11
Should judging in figure skating be examined?

Here are responses to the above question:

Until the ISU can convince the public that figure skating/ice dance judging is performed in a more objective fashion, the public should recognize it for what it is in the meantime - an entertainment, like ballet on ice. No-one gives ballet dancers scores and hands out medals - they get flowers and applause, no first/second/third. As an entertainment, it should be denied Olympic sport status (there are no ballet dancers at the summer Olympics), and if it should ever be returned to "sport" status, the technical (i.e. athletic/objective) aspect of the performance, not the artistic (i.e. subjective) part of the scoring should be used as the predominant and deciding factor. Why is it that women's gymnastic floor exercises have never been hampered by these judging scandals? Because the governing body (unlike the ISU) would never let it happen.
David Saunders

How do they live with that? I mean, the judges. Do not they have any guidelines? I certainly think the judging should be examined.
Moklesur Rahman

Yes, absolutely! It (the judging) is making a complete farce of Figure Skating and clouds any invent that requires judging in the Olympics.
Robb Smith

Like this year's Olympic slogan, it's time to light a fire from within and re-examine figure skating as a sport. It's time for the IOC and the International Skating Federation to completely overhaul this "sport". Sports is all about competition and fair play. Figure skating is not. It's time for accountability to return to this tainted sport. Why bother competing when you know where you stand before the marks and performance is complete. The IOC is so fervent in their desire to cleanup sport with WADA and drug testing. The same rules should be done for sports like figure skating. Until then, eliminate the sport from the Olympic movement until they purposely fix the problem. As a member of the general public and not affiliated with figure skating in anyway, this is an absolute embarrassment to sport, the Olympic movement, the skating federation and the athletes who train so hard believing anything is possible through hard work and commitment. As for Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, you skated an incredible performance given all the pressure and the infamous pre-collision body check. We all know that you were gold last night and forever. You have much to be proud of.
Dan Huang

I'm proud to see what an outstanding couple represented Canada in Salt Lake; their sportsmanship and professionalism are superb. I strongly feel that the judges should be forced to justify the decision that placed Salé and Pelletier second. I don't think that medals can be shuffled after the event, but this is a case that merits such a switch. Congratulations to Jamie and David on all their efforts.

I'm not a figure skating fan by any stretch of the imagination, but what happened last night to Pelletier and Sale was one of the biggest outrages in the Olympics since the 1972 men's Gold Medal basketball game where the U.S. was cheated. My heart goes out to Jamie and David. The crowd at Salt Lake and even those of us who don't like figure skating know who really won the Gold.
Chris Husing

Perhaps the only way to correct what happened last night would be for the Russian pair to give their gold medals to the Canadians. This would truly send a message to all the corrupt judges in the sport, especially the ones from Easter Europe.
F. Barnabi

I thought that pairs skating would be free from any of the "issues" that have affected ice dancing in the past. Last night's pairs finish proved me wrong. In my eyes, the credibility of the sport has taken a sharp turn downwards. It seems that while the Olympics celebrates fair play and athleticism and achievement, figure skating has unfortunately been stuck in an age where cheating is winning and achievement is not determinative. I do not blame the skaters here, but the poor judging. In my view, the poor judging has turned an exciting sport into a mind-boggling political battle. It has not only denied Sale and Pelletier gold medals, but has taken away what should be a glorious win from Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze. This sport has become a farce. Can it ever be fixed? The pessimist in me says "NO" -- if only cats could fly!
Tammy Law

The Russians did not win the gold. They had errors and fell once. The Canadians had a perfect skate, they won the gold and the world knows it.

The judging of last night's figure skating was a travesty. How does one remove politics from the process?
M. Weisman
Sarasota, FL

Are you kidding? Is this a serious question? No, lets just leave it the way it is. Why doesn't anyone do anything about it? Competitors taking drugs feel repercussions but corrupt judging flourishes. How dumb can we be?
M. Mable

Hey! Where is the great Dick Pound? After watching these two remarkable athletes execute a flawless and inspiring performance and get "jobbed and robbed" like that. The question remains, where is the protest? If the nation and the world knows the decision was wrong - back your athletes up! COA and IOC reps. Express your opinions, initiate the changes and shoot for the reversal.

The judging fiasco of last night's skating is the topic of conversation in the United States today. We Americans are outraged also and share your hurt over the Canadian pair who SO deserved the gold. The judging for skating has always been suspect--we need to raise our collective voices to the Olympics officials to clean up their act!
Bev Kuhn
South Carolina, USA

Once again Canada took it on the chin! You have to admire the poise of Sale, Pelletier and their coaches, because I would have stormed out. I still think the Canadian delegation should file a protest or maybe even sue the World Figure Skating council and the Olympics... the Games are in America aren't they. Unless we stand up to this type of blatant unfairness and corruption it will continue to happen time and time again. Now is our opportunity to say enough.
Michael O'Connor

The Russians program was beautiful and if it had been skated perfectly, it world have deserved the gold medal, but it was not skated perfectly- it did not meet the gold standard. The Canadians did and the knowledgeable audience knew it. Shame on the Polish and Chinese judges.
 Part 10  

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