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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 8
Should judging in figure skating be examined?

Here are responses to the above question:

What a rip! I felt so bad for your skaters I didn't sleep well.
Karl Dahlquist
Los Angeles, CA

Yes. The Olympics loose all credibility with judging like last evening. It is important that Canada as a country stand up to this now. Where is Dick Pound? He expects Canadian support we need to hear from the governing body about this injustice.
A.N. Lever

Watching figure skating is the most frustrating thing in the world. I can imagine how the skaters themselves feel. The judging has become so bias and prejudicial. What incentive do the competitors have to strive to do well when the cards have been stacked against them by judges who, without having seen the performances, determine how the skaters will place in competition. What happened to Sale and Pelletier last night borders on criminal and unfortunately, we will have to witness a similar outcome when the ice dancers Bourne and Kraatz compete. These athletes have spent their whole lives training with the hopes of someday competing in the Olympics. For the judges to base their marks on politics rather than competence is cruel. I don't see how they can look at themselves in the mirror after making a call like they did last night. There has been public outcry in the past but it seems to fall of deaf ears. The ISU has done little to nothing about the problem. They need to examine the judging issue as soon as possible before more athletes have their Olympic hopes squashed.
Gail Marvell

It appears as though Cold War rivalry and ideology has yet to disappear from the arena.
Andrew Kubik

Odd how the world is asked to send it's best to an event judged by a "team" who are an embarrassment to their countries and no better then lead medalists themselves.

I have watched Olympic skating for many years, I am 57, and have seen judging go awry at many events...The Soviet block and other communist countries have often cut deals with the French (and others) to hold back American and Canadian athletes, and to further their own political interests...I say if you have to score a sport subjectively, don't include it in the Olympics...
Cliff Rapert

I frankly don't care any more as of now I'm done watching it. After the problems demonstrated during the last Olympics and the video W5 showed, the sport still isn't cleaned up. Like when I ditched baseball after the players strike, there's a million other things I can do with my time. That doesn't include watching a rigged sport. We can see that any time on WWF wrestling!
Arnie Williamson

Any 'sport' that relies solely on judging to determine the winner is inherently corrupt.
Dave Porch

Jamie and David, what a performance! You were the best and to everyone who saw you skate last night, you won the gold... I think that the way the event was judged was disgraceful for such a beautiful sport. I wonder what message the judges were trying to send last night to all the young skaters out there. Canada will never be good enough and unless you are Russian (or something close), you can only hope and skate for the silver at the Olympics.

Absolutely. When an ex-skater/broadcaster says, "I'm embarrassed for the sport", there is clearly an issue. The Olympics are a special event that only occurs every four years. Thousands of athletes dedicate themselves, day in and day out to preparing and training for an event. When cases such as the very obvious favouring of the Russians occurs, it demoralizes the true winners and anyone else with hopes of winning an Olympic gold in skating. It is amazing how much effort goes into making the games a success that things like judging consistently get overlooked...overlooked for forty years. This last round in figure skating only highlights the amount of corruption and deceit in the games. The judges should be expelled from any future judging and the Olympic community should get its act together and make a stand...for once.

Once again, the judges had their minds made up before the last 5 pairs skated. It is difficult to imagine what keeps some of our skaters going. I am afraid to watch the ice dance competition. There is NO question that that the Sale-Pelletier performance was the gold performance.
Helen Owens

I feel that Salé and Pelletier deserved much better than they received from the judges in Salt Lake. This was not limited to them- Ina and Zimmerman also fared much more poorly in scores than their performance would suggest, but the absolutely flawless performance by the two Canadians truly enchanted people. That made it all the more difficult to fathom what happened when they lost to Berezhnaia and Sikharulidze. The poor judgement was not only an insult to Canadians, it comes as a rude shock to us all. Salé and Pelletier were truly the best.
Chad Briggs
Madison, Wisconsin

Just awful. I think we are just fooling ourselves when we think that talent counts. This is an old boys club mentality.
Michael Russo

If I was the head of the Canadian team, I would be lodging a complaint to the IOC!! I don't follow figure skating, but having watched the Russian and Canadian pairs Monday night, I can honestly say that the judges must have been sleeping when the Russian pair was skating! As one other commentator put it: why worry about drug testing when the judges are corrupt and on drugs themselves!

Well, although the Russians did skate a beautiful and classical program, I really felt Jamie and David should have won the gold. (I was even watching the NBC coverage!) They were clean, had more synchronized jumps and their style was less classical but very beautiful as well. I thought it was interesting, the way the judges split, communist for the Russian pair (Russia, Poland, China, Ukraine and France) vs. capitalist for the Canadian pair (Canada, USA, Germany and ?) The judges should put their politics of their own countries aside for the Olympics; isn't that why they are selected to a judge, their ability to be 'unbiased'??

Some Judges are no better than terrorists, and should not be allowed into the U.S., and their students should not be allowed to train in the U.S.
J. Jones

Wow, I could not believe what happened last night. It was a travesty. I think it's about time Skate Canada does something about international figure skating judging...if they could do an inquest where both skates are thoroughly reviewed...or SOMETHING! Canada needs to start standing up for itself. All I can say is that after last night's skate, on top of what's been going on with dance skate, it made me never want to watch figure skating again. What's the point if the judges will never give Canada what it deserves?

I can't imagine a worse judging than last night's Salé-Pelletier skate. After their marks were posted I turned the TV off knowing full well that the gold would go to the Russian pair. And tonight I will watch Elvis again knowing full well that no matter what performance he turns in they will award the gold to someone else - the judges need to be judged in no small way.
V. Ray

Judges should not only be examined in the figure skating but also be penalized once being found being biased.
Wayne Huang

Yes, the judging must be examined! I am an American, but my heart goes out to Jamie and David and to all of Canada today. What happened last night in Salt Lake City makes me ashamed of a sport that I love. I also feel for Anton and Elena. No team wants to stand on the podium and accept gold that rightfully belongs to someone else. They are a beautiful pair, and I hope they do win a gold medal, but they didn't last night. In no other Olympic sport in these games could something so unacceptable happen and go unquestioned. I firmly believe that if the system of judging isn't examined, and the flaws that could allow such a ridiculous and unfair result removed, the sport of figure skating is at risk of being ruined. The "true" voice of figure skating is that of the fans, who support this sport and these athletes. This is the vote that truly counts, and that vote is in: Jamie and David won the gold, for them and for Canada. Hold your heads high, Jamie and David, you are true champions!
Anne Marie
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