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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

Responses, Part 4
What do you think about the ISU's decision to award Salé and Pelletier gold medals on Friday? Will this help figure skating's image?

Here are responses to the above question:

The decision to award Sale and Pelletier gold medals is a fair and just decision. If they are happy with receiving (and sharing with the Russian skaters) a gold medal, then it is a good decision. However, this will not help figure skating's image. It is my belief that judging is biased and results are essentially pre-determined. Until the judging system is radically overhauled, results of this sport will remain essentially meaningless.
Wayne Wasyluk

The ISU decision to award a second gold medal to Sale and Pelletier today will in no way change figure skating's image, as the decision appears to be simple damage control. History has shown that suspending judges is just a panacea designed to mask the unfortunate truth that the dishonesty and lack of integrity at the core of figure skating judging is systemic.
M. Browne

Although I am extremely proud of their performance and their resilience throughout this Olympic ordeal, I feel sorry for Salé and Pelletier - this medal will never be truly golden for them. Perhaps Sport Canada and the Prime Minister could mint a special Platinum medal honouring these two young athletes for their exemplary Olympic sportsmanship. They are truly in class of their own.
Deborah Morrison

That was the best thing to happen to figure skating but I am still not sure why the Russian pair were allowed to keep the "gold" when they shouldn't have had it the first place-that is if things had been done according to rule!!!
Barb Patacairk

By suggestion for judging the skating is to have it done by former silver and gold medal winners. After all, they have been through it and know a good skate when they see it. The current method of judging is outrageous; the judges corrupt and without credibility. The skaters are supposed to be judged on their performance, not on their outfits, or their choice of music. It seems to me that Elvis has been judged in the past on these two areas and not on his performance. Sale and Pelletier were perfect and deserved the gold. Those who judged otherwise should be barred from ever adjudicating a performance of any kind - even a group of performing seals.
Stella A. Owens

I think it is great that Sale and Pelletier will be getting their gold. I think if skaters know they can appeal their marks if there is a blatant mistake then they will gain more confidence in the judges. If the only action was to suspend a judge then that country could again put another unfair judge in the Olympics. This would not encourage confidence in the judges nor the Olympics.

This decision is good in that it signals a recognition by the IOC that there is a problem. However, the French judge may be the fall guy for whoever it was that was pressuring her to swing her decision. This is the person or group that should really be censured for their actions; from the media, this appears to be the French Skating Committee. For the IOC to stop here will show continuing irresponsibility to the ideals of the Games, and drive the Olympics further down in many peoples' opinion.
Ken Leclair

I don't think they should have accepted the gold medal. The whole world knows they won it and by accepting it they let the Olympics judging committee of the hook. It's like giving them a 'paid in full' receipt when the whole incestuous lot of them should be thrown out and the rules and procedures revamped. And what about the countries involved in this? Any sanctions against them? Gold? With or without it we know who the champs are !

It appears as though the French judge has been suspended for not keeping a secret. If her suspension is for the vote-fixing, what about those she fixed votes with?
M. Rockall

I'm glad they got the gold, they deserve it! Figure skating's image has been hurt long ago. I believe it was the last winter Olympics that a judge was signaling to another judge with his feet. Elvis has deserved many Gold medals and never got. Get rid of judges representing countries.
Micheline C.

It's the right move and it wasn't arbitrary. they arrived at this decision by throwing out the French judge's mark, so neither pair needs to feel that they don't deserve to be the gold medal winners. What will help Figure skating's image is if the investigation continues and it becomes clear that changes are forthcoming that will make the skaters confident that there are enough checks in place to ensure fairness for everyone.

Awarding the a second gold will not change the image. The Russian judge as well as the French and they should not be allowed to judge the dance competition. Awarding the gold does not change the image, but changing the judges and disciplining the judges might. Perhaps we need professional judges that can be fired for their inappropriate behaviours. Also coaches should not be allowed to smooze the judges.

It is a first step toward correcting a chronic injustice and reestablishing a sense of sportsmanship and fair play in this event. I sincerely hope that it does open a Pandora's box of past wrongs so that those injustices might be publicized and corrected if possible.
Gerald L. Harrison

It is an outrage if vote swapping really goes on, why have the Olympics in the first place? I am suspicious though, how did they know about the deal? I am sure they did not talk about it or say that is what I am doing, or is it just a suspicion, then admitted under pressure. And then there is the suspicion that those people who found out about it although knew about the swapping of points and may have done the same at some time. So general practice? Pfui. All in all --- disgusting.


It was the right decision and the ISU credibility factor was heightened by virtue of the speed that the decision came down. However, judging credibility has stunk to high heaven in this sport for years and steps need to be taken now to ensure such a fiasco will never be repeated. I would like to see judges permanently removed if it can be proven they cheated or were involved in collusion activities. Further, if there was a second occurence by that same country in future, then that country should be eliminated from judging.
Don Cross

No. The ISU represents corruption and power, and this decision does not change that image. The IOC was able to step in due to a technicality (judge broke IOC oath). The ISU was obviously prepared to live with their original decision. There is far too much money at stake here. Why would I want to support skaters/athletes that are puppets to the judges? The other judges are guilty by association to the ISU.

It will certainly come along way in re-establishing figure skating's image. This should deter any figure skating judge in Any future wrong-doing's. Good for CANADA and figure skating.

First, I am very happy for Sale and Pelletier for winning a gold medal. However, my opinion of figure skating is forever jaded as a result of this controversy. It appears to me that the ISU is doing the very least it can to make this problem simply go away. Even this is only being done because of extreme pressure from the media and the IOC. The ISU is crooked, callous, and corrupt. It should be called the CCC. I give the ISU a 0.2 mark on their judging capabilities and I only give them .2 for the artistic impression shown in their ability to weasel out of sticky situations. There is a bright spot though, I think this time Victor Kraus and She Lin Bourne might have a chance of a fair result in the ice dance.
Craig Hamilton
 Part 3 All responses Part 5 

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