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Alexandra

The fragility of judging skating

18 posts in this topic

Well, this is one of the few things I've read -- or heard -- on this topic that I liked, although I also seem to be the only person in North America (other than a handful on this board) who isn't beside herself with horror and disbelief that S&B won...

Actually, when I first heard the report of what the French skating official had said (re: the judge's 'fragility'), I thought the official was actually trying to be some sort of whistle blower. It turns out he thought he was doing damage control (oops!) -- which actually makes this less film noir than black comedy. (Unless, of course, the Associated Press made it up, which would be an entirely different kind of scandal.)

As for the possibility of uncovering corruption in, of all things, the sport of ICE SKATING, I just keep waiting for someone to quote Claude Rains in Casablanca: "shocked, shocked [etc.]" Oh well, perhaps the judges are all friends of Ken Lay...

P.S. Re-read the above and decided to wimp out on my tone -- honest, I do feel for the athletes (all Olympic athletes)who make enormous sacrifices to be where they are. But I think the media is a little out of control on this one...and my reaction to this whole discourse of 'fragility' was very similar to the author of the article.

[ February 15, 2002: Message edited by: Drew ]

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I have nothing against any of the skaters who won, but what I have is a horror of the ethical, moral, and legal (both civil and criminal) aspects of a judge for engaging in unfair practices to affect his or her decisions. The skaters are immaterial and irrelevant from this point of view.

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The whole thing has gotten out of hand. I'm sorry for the Russian team. The awarding of a second gold medal is absurd, if it happens. I'm all in favor of judging misbehavior being penalized, if after investigation it is found, but it seems to me the handling of this affair and the conduct of the complaining parties sets a very bad precedent.

"That Russian boy tripped"? Astutely observed. If that's all the expertise needed to judge skating, well --

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I agree wholeheartedly, dirac. And it has happened -- the Canadians have been awarded a second gold. I just posted another thread on this announcement. (I wonder if the Russians will give theirs back?)

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Though I haven't heard the details of the proposed judging system, my concern is that the judging will be become a non-factor in skating. Gymnastic judges, it seems to me, work within so restrictive a system that the individual persepctive of the judge matters not at all. If this happens, then the ART of skating will cease altogether. Art needs the eye-as-measure, not a so-called objective scale.

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I know they're aiming for humor, but I think the first of these two articles in today's Post about ice dancing is over the top. The second skates down the line smile.gif

Dancing Foolishness

I swear on my Olympic media credential that I will not write about figure skating or anything to do with figure skating again -- and this includes ice dancing -- after tonight. But given that skating czar Ottavio Cinquanta, who has been on TV more this week than Bob Costas, held yet another news conference Monday, this one to announce a new scoring system for judges that should guard against cheating, I figured I owed it to you to come up with a scoring system of my own.

For example, any man who clutches a stuffed animal in the kiss and cry area while waiting for the judges' scores automatically has two-tenths of a point deducted from his total.

Any man who reminds me of Fabio, Milli or Vanilli is automatically penalized three-tenths of a point.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2002Feb18.html

I'll Be the Judge of That!

I haven't had any nibbles to become a figure skating judge, and I thought sure I would, based on my demonstrable tendency to stress personal preference over actual performance, not to mention a quite legendary refusal to see both sides of any issue.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2002Feb18.html

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Those were great articles Alexandra! I especially enjoyed the jibe at Apollo's unfortunate situation. And the second article echo's my suggestion for a Rollerjam type skating competition. Maybe the idea isn't too crazy afterall smile.gif

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Wilbon's piece is interesting. He seems to be more offended by hints of sexual ambiguity than anything else. Men shouldn't have long hair; shouldn't clutch stuffed animals; shouldn't wear flowing costumes; shouldn't allow themselves to be lifted. All of that is women's work, one gathers.

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I can't get too upset about this----I used up all my "horror and disbelief" in the last presidential election.

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From Slate, a re-posting of an article by Steven Landsberg on the risks of noodling with the skating scoring system, in reference to Cinquanta's previous attempt at a fix a few years back:

http://slate.msn.com/?id=18581

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No one involved in figure skating has heard of Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov; he has not heard of any of them; and "Olympics? What Olympics?" Tokhtakhounov is not quoted as saying. Vicki Michaelis and Christine Brennan have an update in USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/2002080...05/4333135s.htm

and a former member of the executive council of the IOC suggests dumping the ice dancing entirely, reports Neil Stevens of the Montreal Gazette (8/3):

http://www.canada.com/search/site/story.as...3B-B640EB2D25CC

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Thanks for posting that, dirac. This incident is but one more reminder, should one be needed, that truth is much stranger than fiction!

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