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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 19
Should judging in figure skating be examined?

Here are responses to the above question:

There is no question the judging should be examined but it is very unlikely this will happen. The bribery, collusion is now probably so engrained and so habitual you'd have to wipe the slate clean and start from the top down. If the officials who select the Olympic sites can be bribed, then probably every aspect from there down does the same thing. As Sale and Pelletier remarked in an interview, about a comment they received from some bobsledders, the athletes who perform clean don't have a chance of winning against the dopers. The reason we aren't getting any doping scandals so far is the dopers are too sophisticated to get caught. They know what drugs to use. And the skating judges don't worry about getting caught because they have the backing of their federations. It's a wonder any athlete with any integrity bothers to compete.

Please, everyone is extremely disappointed with these results but don't just sit there and complain! Do something about it, go here: and show your support!
Evan Choate

The judges who did not cast their votes in good faith should be disqualified from the panel for any future Olympic Games.
Dante Sicuso

It appears that the French Judge cannot act on her own, and bows to pressure. This individual does not deserve to be a judge because she has admitted to not being impartial. I suggest that the competition be rerun and have the French Judge removed from her position of influence. The fact that this behind the scenes monkey business is still going on sends a clear message that the figure skating world is still very corrupt.
Karl Reimer

Hello. My name is Marco Matta, 23 from Rome, Italy. I hope people from all over Canada, including the ones in the media and the ones the Canadian media outlets sent to Salt Lake City, can end up reading this comment. I love Canada. I was rooting for Jamie Sale and David Pelletier all the way Monday night. I just accidentally read an article on the Italian paper my parents read. I never read Italian papers, only Canadian ones and ever since I was a teenager. A journalist for a paper called "Il Messaggero" or The Messenger in English (the guy's name is Stefano Trincia) mentioned in his article some rumours allegedly contained in Friday's Globe and Mail and the head of the Italian Skating Federation says "well it is such a pathetic stance taken by those morons of Canadians! Everything is right when they win but when they don't, everything should be changed". I am not kidding! I am fed up! I hope as many Canadians as possible will be made aware of these comments. Canada is the best country in the world. I am sick and tired of seeing other ignorant people, who don't know anything about Canada, taking shots at the Great North so I hope someone in Canada can change something after getting to know what these people are saying. GO CANADA!
Marco Matta

Figure skating judging has been corrupt for so long, it is doubtful it will be fixed. The biggest problem is the public's turning off the Olympics! Talk about killing the golden goose. As a Canadian, we no longer believe we can win.
Susan Rennie

The Canadians were "robbed" - fine; seems true enough. Complain, appeal, investigate. Good. Collusion amongst the judges, for whatever reason, has been rife in the sport (especially ice dance) for too long now. Calling for a second gold medal to be awarded is, however, ridiculous. And as for flying the flag at half-mast, well, that's simply puerile.
Marcus (of Ottawa, working in Britain)

I agree with most unbiased observers that Sale and Pelletier deserved the Gold rather than the Russians. However, the best that we can hope for is the awarding of a second gold medal. Because most of the controversy revolves around the French judge, why don't they just throw out her marks for the medal round? This would result in a 4 to 4 tie for the gold and the awarding of a gold medal to our deserving friends to the North.
Andrew Dempsey
Atlanta, GA

When are Canadians going to learn that we are an insignificant influence in world politics? I had a sleepless night when President Bush hailed Britain as their new best friends and did not mention Canada. Then Gzowski dies. He preached that Canadians are the epitome of mediocrity and we should be proud of this identity. If these kids had been Americans they would have thrown everybody out of Salt Lake City. The Games are over! Pairs skating has proven once again that it is an "Exhibition Sport" and not worthy of event status in the Olympics. I hear we are going to finish 5th in the Dance Pairs.
Doug MacIntyre
Waterloo, ON

I've already commented, but another thought occurred to me. Since these games are taking place in the U.S., what about a civil suit, brought by Sale and Pelletier, against the ISU, the IOC, individual judges and or any others who could be reasonably shown to be guilty of conspiring against them. They could seek compensation for lost earnings that would have come from a gold medal, plus punitive damages, take all of the money the ISU has, and donate it to a newly formed body promoting the sport. After all, OJ showed us that civil suits are easier to win than criminal ones, and have the same effect on public perceptions of guilt.

After watching the pairs competition I felt envious of all Canadians. What class, composure and dignity under such an incredible stressful and unjust situation! Two of the best role models in any sport. Canada must be extremely proud of their extraordinary champions. As for the judges - it appears 31 Flavors is missing five perfectly suited night managers.
Mike Fay
Los Angeles, CA

I also feel sorry for the Russian skaters - being put in the embarrassing position of having to accept a gold medal and knowing themselves that they didn't deserve it.
Rick McNaughton

This latest scandal has really, probably destroyed these Olympics. The other events are becoming unimportant, and the pairs figure skating has overshadowed everything else. These games were tainted to begin with and now this, in the whole history of the Olympics this will probably go down in history as one of the most infamous.
Ben Wickstrom
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