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Here we go - Russian Protest of Ladies Results!

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This just in, to confirm earlier rumors:

Russians Challenge Skating Results

By Larry Siddons

AP Sports Writer

Friday, February 22, 2002; 10:19 AM

SALT LAKE CITY –– Russian officials have filed a formal protest of the women's figure skating finale, saying the Russian

silver medalist should get her own gold medal because of biased judging.

The protest was signed by Russian Figure Skating Federation president Valentin Piseyev and sent to the referee of

Thursday night's free skate won by 16-year-old American Sarah Hughes.

It singled out the judging that gave Hughes the win after she placed fourth in the earlier short program. Russian Irina

Slutskaya finished in second and Michelle Kwan took the bronze.

"We filed the protest last night because we think the judging was biased," the head of the Russian delegation in Salt

Lake City, Viktor Mamatov, told The Associated Press on Friday. "Canadian pairs skaters were awarded their gold

medals. Now that subjective judging harmed us, we want the same for Slutskaya."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...-2002Feb22.html

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Not a link...just an excerpt. Now "Tsar Vlad" gets into the act!

***

Russians File Olympics Protest, Crisis

Deepens

Fri Feb 22, 1:41 PM ET

By Adrian Warner

SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin

attacked the IOC and the country filed another Winter Olympics protest

as the worst political crisis to hit the Olympic movement since the Cold

War deepened Friday.

The Russians, who have threatened to pull out

of the Salt Lake Games saying they are victims

of bad and biased officiating, launched an

appeal against the judging in Thursday's

women's figure skating.

They demanded a gold medal for second-placed

skater Irina Slutskaya.

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

president Jacques Rogge, who was due to hold

another meeting with Russian Olympic chiefs Friday, had been hoping that

the Russians would calm down after some emotional outbursts Thursday.

But, speaking to reporters in the Kremlin, Putin said he agreed with

complaints by Russian sports officials and politicians about the officiating

and took a swipe at Rogge who was only elected to office last July in

Moscow.

"I fully agree and share this viewpoint. Not the last reason is the change

of generations in the International Olympic Committee," Putin said.

"(Former president) Juan Antonio Samaranch has gone and Jacques

Rogge has taken his place. Regrettably for the new leadership, the first

time is bound to be a flop."

Russian spokesman Rudolf Nezvegsky told Reuters his team felt

Slutskaya skated as well, if not better, than American gold medallist Sarah

Hughes in the free program.

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Perhaps Nezvegsky was taking a little nap. After all, Russian/ Eastern bloc judging has always been so unbiased......

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It is just a tad ironic, isn't it? Of course, the Russians may be looking at the Canadian precedent and thinking, "Gee, it's really not that hard. All we have to do is complain and threaten to stop the Games in their tracks, and they'll give us medals to make us go away!"

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Are there direct flights from Salt Lake City to Moscow?

Hey, there's always the Goodwill Games . . .

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checkwriter - The 2001 Goodwill Games were to have been the last ones. Ted Turner decided to do away with them after the Brisbane, Australia, edition last September. No more 'goodwill'????

Back to today's protest. And couldn't we all have guessed that Vladimir "BIG Z" Zhirinovsky would also get into the act? He just gave a 'thundering' anti-Olympics speech in the Russian Duma this afternoon. Excerpt from ITAR-TASS Russian news agency:

The controversy was enough to make Russian nationalist bad boy and leading

parliamentarian, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, put aside his pro-American

change-of-heart and reverted to Uncle Sam-bashing.

"The team must be recalled immediately, this evening," said Zhirinovsky,

sounding much more like his old self by berating the U.S. hosts of the Winter

Games.

"We should spit in their faces - the referees and those hosting the Games. We

have never seen such a foul Olympics. This is merely a settling of accounts by

criminal sports structures," he thundered in a table-thumping speech to

parliament.

*****

All of this comes just-in-time for tonight's Russia-vs-USA ice hockey semifinal game...on the 22nd anniversary of the 'Miracle on Ice' game (Lake Placid 1980). Maybe the Russians, by lodging this protest, are also playing into the hands of the Western Media, who love to tout such controversies to gain TV viewers? How ironic. The Russian protest will be a hot topic on tonight's telecast. Hope that NBC finds time to show at least a few routines in the Skating Exhibition of Champions, also tonight.

[ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

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When I heard this on NPR I almost drove off the road. Irina S. just did not skate well last night at all.

These protests make me feel both annoyed and sad at the same time!

Apparently there is some feeling that this latest move from the Russians is a face saving one...as they are no longer the mightiest in the winter games.

[ February 22, 2002: Message edited by: BW ]

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I think they're also trying to drive home their belief that now that the Olympic committee awarded a second gold medal in the ice pairs comp, it's opened the possibilities of a floodgate of protests in other comps. I see their complaints about voting irregularities in the women's skating competitions as merely an exercise in sarcasm. It almost doesn't matter that it's a different situation from the pairs events where a judge admitted she voted under pressure. The Russians just want everyone to know that, by awarding that second gold medal, a new threshold has been crossed that'll create conflict forever. They're mocking what happened in that competition.

I don't know the procedures in the other cases they've cited involving their athletes. But they certainly ARE embarrassed by the relative dearth of medals awarded their way so this may be a good deflection. I expected more professionalism from them as a delegation however. All through those years of Soviet bloc voting, the USA never went through the tantrums now exhibited by the Russians. It's one thing to lodge a protest; it's quite another to take potshots at the new IOC president. One imagines the Russian delegation must be taking orders from above.

Maya Plisetskaya would probably have lots to say about who's calling the shots within the Russian delegation. She didn't seem to think much was changing in the Russian way of conducting business even while we westerners (whom she called "naive") were praising glastnost.

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It's only just begun....1972 U.S. men's basketball team is renewing its protests that the gold medal was awarded to the Soviets, not the U.S. "We think we have a real shot at it," team captain says on ABC News.

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Where's Dick Button when we need him? Or President Clinton...or better yet, Dick Cheney our current VP? wink.gif

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All of this comes just-in-time for tonight's Russia-vs-USA ice hockey semifinal game...on the 22nd anniversary of the 'Miracle on Ice' game (Lake Placid 1980). *******

GUESS WHO WON!!!!!!

Ta Da!!!!!

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