Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Alexandra

Breaking News: Canadians Awarded Gold

36 posts in this topic

Mme. Hermine- that is what I was thinking would be the most fair way to handle the situation- throw out the questionable marks an total the rest. That way the second gold actually means something about figure skating, not the media circus. I hope that is what happened.

Share this post


Link to post

I just heard the Russians in an interview suggest that the French judge had been bribed ("paid a lot of money" was the exact word-choice) to say she had been pressured. That's not my idea of grace under fire or good sportsmanship. frown.gif

Share this post


Link to post

I think that both the Russian and Canadian skaters have handled the situation well under the circumstances. I know others have felt that Jamie Sale was "whiney" but frankly I just don't see it. I haven't watched all the interviews though but I think I've seen enough. I caught the interview tonight with the Russian skaters where they said they're afraid they'll be booed by the audience during the exhibition skating. I think they're very wrong about it but I can certainly sympathize with their fears. In their minds they've won the gold, they were looking forward to being presented in that exhibition as the Olympic champions and receiving the accolades that belong to them but that's not going to happen. And it hurts.

It seems to me that it's easy for us to be armchair experts on how these skaters should behave but all four of them are faced with a great deal of pressure that none of them had a hand in creating. They're physically and emotionally exhausted. Any of us who've undergone any kind of physical/emotional exhaustion know how poorly our brains work during such a time. I'm willing to afford them a bit of latitude under the circumstances. I think they're trying hard to not be critical of each other but nevertheless both pairs feel they won the competition and they're stuck having to accept a situation they didn't create. They're all stuck paying the price for someone else's misdeeds.

Share this post


Link to post

Two comments: first of all if the IOC really DID want to do something about this, they would thoroughly investigate all the parties concerned: in this case both the French and the Russians. If either or both parties were found to be at fault the entire skating federation of that nation (or both) should be suspended from competition - and all medals earned by their nationals taken away. This would be hard on the skaters, who in all probability had nothing to do with bribery/pressure (although I can believe that it COULD happen that a skater/skaters who had a lot riding on a competition outcome and who had the money to do so could at least attempt to bribe a judge - and I am not implying in any way that that is what happened at this Olympics).

Now we could not help being aware for years that during the Soviet era all the Eastern nations voted as a bloc - perhaps first for their own national - if there happened to be a serious medal contender - but then always for the Russians second. This was never more transparent than in the victory of the Russian ice dance pair (can't remember their names) over Torvil and Dean a couple of years back. When there was an outcry over that, some of the judges said that T&D had done an "illegal lift". However, it was also pointed out that the Russians had broken the 10-second separation rule - which apparently is supposed to be penalized to the same degree. I'm sure others on this board can think of other examples.

Secondly: Scott Hamilton spoke today of the need for reform in the judging. He feels that a) the judges should be paid and B) that the judges should NOT be representatives of their national skating federations but should be completely independent.

And just to put in my two cents - I think S&P DID behave graciously. Did you expect them NOT to be upset? They DID skate perfectly. The Russians made mistakes. If the Russians had also skated perfectly then they WOULD have deserved the gold medal, but the best program imperfectly performed does NOT warrant a gold medal. One is judging a PERFORMANCE here NOT overall talent or skill. That's what competitions are all about. A performance is a different matter: we loved Margot Fonteyn not because she was a brilliant technician but because of what she brought to her roles, but she would never have won a competiton.

Share this post


Link to post

I believe that Mr. Hamilton's thoughts on an independent adjudication panel has quite a bit of merit to it, and should be investigated for practicality. I still would like to see the whole present judging system methodically pored over and its "group dynamic" opened up. There are conflicting reports of who said what to whom and when, and that the pressure on Mme. Le Gougne came from inside the French delegation alone. There has to be a sociogrammetric diagram of interactions of the French judging delegation with other national delegations, so a broad investigation is not only warranted, but clearly necessary.

Share this post


Link to post

Lillian wrote:

Why do I get the impression this would have played out differently -- and these comments might not be as cutting -- if this had happened to a couple of American skaters?


Perish the thought. The tone at BalletAlert would be the least of our worries.

It would have been covered like the end of the world. Fox News would have Geraldo Rivera in Salt Lake City and the New York Post would be uncovering links between the offending judges and Bill Clinton. The Nation would show how market capitalism had ruined figure skating while the Wall Street Journal would show that only free enterprise could clean up the mess.

The New York Times would assign 37 reporters and eight editors to the story and run ten-thousand word articles with several sidebars each day. CNN would pick up the Times coverage for 15-second snippets. Sports Illustrated would pursue the American version of Jennifer Sale to be the cover girl in the next swimsuit edition.

All Congressional investigations of the Enron bankruptcy would cease so that every committee of Congress could demand testimony from everyone involved in the scandal.

President Bush would say he could not cancel his state visit to Japan, Korea and China but had temporarily relieved Condolezza Rice of all duties at the National Security Council so that she could co-ordinate an interagency task force to investigate.

John Ashcroft would announce an alert and the FBI would detain all foreign nationals involved in judging ice skating. They would be held at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo and not be given prisoner of war status.

And that is just the start.

Share this post


Link to post

This has been an interesting discussion to read. I did see the performances but I have not seen nor heard all of the coverage afterwards.

Would someone tell me from what countries the other four judges come from? Were they all ex-Eastern bloc pals?

I think that the idea of throwing out the "bribed" votes would have been a good idea - I guess "we" justs needed a quick fix. frown.gif

Share this post


Link to post

The judges I think were: China, Ukraine, Poland and Russia that voted for the Russian pair in addition to the French judge.

Share this post


Link to post

And the ones that voted for the Canadians were Canada, USA, Germany and Japan. Poland and China voted for a tie, numerically, with the technical scores going to S&P, and presentation scores going to the Russians. Judges are also asked to "place" the skaters, which is what counts with a numerical tie. In the case of China and Poland, they voted #1 for the Russians and #2 for S&P.

Share this post


Link to post

Lets just be happy that this is over now. This should be inquired into but I think that we should wait until after the olympics, so we don't hurt any of the other athletes in the process (i.e. French skaters in different catergories).

Share this post


Link to post
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0