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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 15
Should judging in figure skating be examined?

Here are responses to the above question:

Either Canada and other affected countries boycott all competitions with subjective judging (ice dancing, etc.) or the Olympics remove such competitions from its venue. After all, why should countries invest time, talent and money in developing athletes for sports that are clearly "fixed?" These fixed venues have as much credibility as WWF wrestling. (Perhaps that can be included; it makes about as much sense.)
David Whitbread

These judges are dishonest along with the countries they represent and immediately released from their duties and any expense money they have received or should receive should be cancelled. This has been going on for years and the skaters of the countries they represent should be treated the same as athletes who take drugs enhancing their athletic abilities should return their medals and be disbarred. Only then will some honesty return to the games.
Harold Johnson

Forget the figure skating judging. Herd mentality reporting should be examined. The endless and repetitive hyperbole over Salé and Pelletier's robbery (Canadian indignation has become our true Olympic obsession) has drowned out nearly all other Olympic coverage. Beckie Scott's best-ever Canadian cross-country ski result at a Winter Olympics merits only a few lines in a wire service report, while S & P and their accolades are endlessly paraded through TV studios and news conferences.
Bill Corbett

Skating has reached the level of the WWF wrestling. They can start hitting each other with folding chairs for all I care. I have given up on this sport! They can just post the results at the beginning of the season so we don't have to watch at all. If we wanted them to get the message a total boycott of skating events would do the financial trick! They make all their money on North American events.
Christopher Firstner

My real question is, in sports without goal lines or stopwatches, how else do you determine the winner? In sports like figure skating, synchronized swimming and gymnastics - where technical skills that can be checked are only half of the equation - how do you assign fair, consistent numbers to matters of the heart? Especially coming from emotional human beings? After forty years, yeah, I too wonder whether there is a "win at all costs" mentality at play that favours the Russians. But, what if the judges opinions weren't overtly biased? What if their opinion was just their opinion - an opinion I strongly disagree with, but their opinion nonetheless? Would I want to replace human judges with video cameras and robots? Would I want to replace my dog with a Sony? I hope not!
Keith Sutton

These are the bought and paid for Olympics. If the games themselves were bought in the first place, can we make an issue over whether an event within those games was bartered?
Greg Goss
North Vancouver

There is NO other sport where there is so significant and blatant bias exerted. The judges are the complete antithesis of what the sportsmanship is about and what Olympic ideals are. You may get less biased results from lay people.
Sudhir Pandya

We innovate (Jackson and Stoyko). We create (Cranston). We lose We achieve near perfection (pairs) We lose We ask why? We lose Is it time now to stop being the patsies for the rest of the world . We have people in the skating community who know what is going on there let them stand up for our country or get out of the sport-if that is what it is.
J. Ray Conway

The Olympics have become a real monster. It is now all about money. Then to top it off, it has become very, very, political. The pairs ice skating competition has left a real bad taste in everyone's mouth. The judges should be banned for life from judging ice skating. This terrible and disgusting display by the accused judges brings vividly to light the accusations that have been made in the past as to the dishonesty in the judging.
Steve and Del Logos

Canada should launch a major protest and so should the U.S. who was also screwed in the pairs competition. Judging in the present format obviously does not work. They need something better. Right now the European/communist bloc controls the show.
B. G. Scott

It stinks. If we cannot have proper judges it should not be considered an Olympic sport
Ken Lang

Absolutely - 100% or this sport will slowly die, along with the hopes of figure skaters everywhere!!
Grant Robinson

Mr. Dick Pound declared these games to be the cleanest, but he forgot to give a competence test to the judges. Why can't there be two set of judges, one set to judge watching it in person and the other set to judge watching it on television. After the completion a jury should compare the results and arrive at a fair judgment. If this injustice is not reversed than figure skating should be dropped from the Olympics. I for one will no longer watch figure skating because this judgment broke the camels back for me.
Ludwig Klotz

I think Jamie and David are Olympic Champions. They had the skate of their lives that was worth the Olympic gold medal. It wasn't until in the Kiss N'Cry that they were being robbed. I don't understand why the judges gave the Russians the gold medal when they had big mistakes. The Canadians were picture perfect. Who do they think they are! I think this is bloc judging. I think they are terrorists. This is only going to get worse with the ice dancing. It can't be like this. I hope Jaime and David will get the gold medals after all-after the investigation. This has gone too far. They were the heavy favourites. The judges really hurt them. That was a big mistake. That was evil and vicious of what they did to Jamie and David. The ISU should ban all the Eastern Bloc judges from the skating world.
Natalia Kleimenov

As an adult ice skater (precision) I was told by someone who had skated longer than I, that "there is no accounting for judges". I now see that this statement can be taken more than one way. The Olympics experience just reinforces my opinion of the arrogance in judging that I (and others) observed in Vancouver last March, at the World FS competition. It is apparent to me and to other skaters and non-skaters that I have talked with, that the judging was based upon a predetermined outcome. Having the ability to view Canadian TV coverage this year (cable finally reinstated CBC) is a decided treat.
Henry Cannon

I would counsel Jamie Salé and David Pelletier to immediately pursue a career in professional ice skating. They obviously enjoy skating together and are good at it. Why perform under the auspices of an organization as corrupt and given to cronyism as is the ISU, when other avenues are available. I would also counsel them to look at the example of Victor Kraatz and Shae-Lynn Bourne, who deserve a lot of credit for competing within this system for as long as they have. But, however brilliantly they perform, the writing is on the wall - they will never be awarded a gold medal.
Brian Tait
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