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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 13
Should judging in figure skating be examined?

Here are responses to the above question:

The judging of the couples in figure skating was a real scandal. The Canadian couple should have won, because they were "outstanding", a perfect "show" with charisma. Are these the Olympic games or inside business deals?
Maggie Mitchell
Stuttgart, Germany

Who needs to examine a rotten apple?
R.A. Hawrelak

What a sour and bitter taste corruption has.

Absolutely yes! Maybe the easiest way to do this would be to eliminate the "presentation" marks altogether.

The ISU should be embarrassed that the judge that cheated in Nagano is back judging again. They have done little to clean up their act.
C. Edwards
Vancouver, B.C.

I really felt bad for Jamie and David last night, I have followed them fairly closely and have seen a few of their performances on TV. This was a very good showing from them, right up there w/ their grand prix final (gold)performance. I really feel they deserved much higher presentation marks for sure and definitely deserved much higher technical marks, I saw a few 5.7's that just should not have been there, if the judges don't want to give perfect technical marks that's fine, but the marks should have been more like 5.8's and 5.9's...I wonder how the Russian team must feel knowing full well that they got a gold they don't deserve, and I hear they're fairly good friends w/ Jamie and David. I honestly feel the Canadians were robbed of a gold medal they very much deserved.

This is exactly the type of situation that turns people off of the Olympics. Although we now feel that we have progressed it takes a situation like this for us to take note that we are really still in the 50's.
Terry B.

The crowd present at the performance should be allowed to vote and this be allowed as half their(skaters) score. The other portion the judges would hold sway. Tally the two and you'd have your medallists without lingering doubts.
Mel Michon

The Olympics are about one thing; money. Salt Lake bribed the IOC to get the games and obviously the judges are getting their cut now. I will never watch another Olympic event in my lifetime.
Chris Jordan

Too much whining by Canadians in general. If you don't like the way the game is played, don't play the game!

Jamie and David, your performance was absolutely GOLDEN. You are the real winners not only in Canada but here in the U.S.A. The judging system needs an extensive overhaul.
Virginia Rurych

Admittedly, I am no expert on figure skating. I recently started watching the sport as I anticipate my 3 year old daughters future involvement in figure skating. After watching the events of Feb 11, I am not so certain I want my daughter to be subjected to the disappointment of being judged on who she is, rather than on quality of performance. For the good of the sport, changes need to be made sooner rather than later.
Sean Isberg

I have been a competitive figure skater (highest levels Ontario Sectionals) for over 20 years and I have seen corrupt judging all over the place. This happens particularly in international, televised events, such as the Olympics and World Championships. Bullshit judging is ubiquitous - if a skater has all the talent in the world, but is just "up-and-coming" (i.e. the judges aren't familiar with the skater), he or she will be given much lower marks than they deserve, which is unacceptable to me and many others. Last night's PATHETIC judging not only INFURIATES and DISGUSTS me, but I feel that the ISU (International Skating Union) is completely unprofessional and corrupt. I have very high qualifications and experience, and love coaching kids, however, the SHAMELESS politics and bullshit in figure skating has turned me off completely from coaching it.
Jennifer Geddes

Judging of figure skating should involve judges from countries that do not have athletes participating within the event. Also, the judges found guilty of fraud should face criminal charges.

I think that the time has come to judge the judges. I would like to see everyone at the venue of figure skating take their own cards, and award the judges on their performance after each competition . Well I think that is only fair.
Derek Granger

Figure skating is not a sport. Figure skating is extremely athletic, unbelievably demanding to train for and compete in, and truly beautiful to watch. So is ballet. Figure skating cannot be categorized as a sport because the criterion is uncertainty of outcome. As long as the competition result is pre-determined, no competition exists. This is the essence of sport. No one can guarantee fair judging. If we relied on judges in the women's downhill, Carole Montillet would likely have ended up sixth or worse even though she performed at a much higher level than everyone else in the competition. Of course, Jeremy Wotherspoon might be a gold medalist if speed skating had judging! Figure skating uses up hours and dollars much better spent on real sports like the downhill, or speed skating, luge, and bobsleigh not to mention swimming or track and field. Stop funding until figure skating is fair, or give some of the money to ballet.
John Oesch

Well it seems that old cold war garbage still exsits, time to get rid of the dinosaurs in the Olympic closets.
Dana Dwinnell

I'm British, and with my American Wife, we consider the judging of the pairs skating to be abysmal. It is not only the Canadians who are upset with the result.
Graham and Lynda Sorenson
Tucson Arizona.

If it's true that the gold is awarded - before ever having seen the competitors skate, why don't the Russians just throw a pair of skates on Yeltsin or some other retired figurehead in need of a few bucks.

Figure skating judges are dinosaurs trying to drag the modern Olympic dream back to the Neanderthal age. We need a new world stage to feature figure skating or new judges would be easier.
Paul Kuras

M. Lamers

I wasn't watching the figure skating last night for just the reason that the judging is a real joke. The winners are already decided before the skating begins.
Claire Brown

I think it is time for the fans of this sport to vote. I propose that the Globe and Mail solicit funds from their readers and from other media's followers to purchase the largest GOLD medal (the funds will buy) to be presented to the TRUE Olympic pairs champions, Salé and Pelletier. They make me proud to be a Canadian!
John Richmond

Has not judging in figure skating been an issue for over thirty years? Both the Olympics and the ISU are effectively run by a small European clique. If Canada wishes to make changes in judging, the choosing of judges, and so on, another investigation or appeal will not work. Suggestions: 1. A boycott of all ISU events (together with the U.S. and anyone else who wishes to join as alone Canada can do little), 2. Push for past corporate sponsors of ISU events to boycott sponsorships until all management and judging issues are resolved, 3. Insist on a change of management at the ISU, a new constitution and new judging rules.
Craig Calkins

Message from Canada to Elvis and all the athletes and coaches representing us at the Salt Lake Olympics. Go last, or first, and give it all. Blow them all away. Show them what you can do. Show them what we can do. Tell them...tell them Canada won't take this sitting down. We love you.
Christopher Michaud
Charlottetown, PEI
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