Sochi 2014: Worst Judging I’ve Ever Seen – Ladies Event

You know, I can accept that Russia won the team event. As someone who prefers Tessa and Scott, I can also accept and celebrate Meryl & Charlie’s win at the Olympics. Adelina Sotnikova’s Olympic gold, however, is the one accolade I refuse to accept and this ridiculousness in judging is an insult to anyone who holds the title of “Olympic Champion.” I am so disgusted with this result that I refuse to cover or watch any more competitions in Russia until this bullshit judging has stopped because if this is how things are going to be judged in Russia, then may no figure skating competition be ever held there ever again. So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t made predictions for the Cup of Russia for the next few seasons, here’s why.

sotnikova and judge

I think all commentators were shocked when Sotnikova won. Kurt Browning said that she was not a complete skater, as did Dick Button. Katarina Witt, former Olympic Champion, has also told the media that she thought Yuna Kim should’ve won and she is joined by a whole host of knowledgeable people in the figure skating world.To also put this whole debacle into perspective, consider this: Sotnikova’s season’s best score before the Olympics was 20 points below her Olympic score. Of course, somehow we have the media trying to rationalize what happened by saying that Adelina had a higher Technical Elements Scores (TES) and while that is true, we have to consider that the TES is only half of the story. In fact, what didn’t make sense in Sotnikova’s scores were her Program Components Scores (PCS). So for those who are still scratching their heads at the result, here are my two cents as well as a general recap of the ladies event in Sochi.

The Short Program: A Shock and a Virtual Tie for First

I’ll start with the shock of the night which was the worst short program that Mao Asada has ever skated in her life. The poor girl underrotated and fell on her triple axel attempt, performed a lovely triple flip but then forgot to make her triple loop into a combination and consequently, did not earn any points for her last jump. Looking at the list of skaters who placed in front of her, I knew that she was probably going to make it into the top ten but any medal hopes were pretty much non-existent. I think a lot of skating fans were heartbroken for Mao, maybe even the Yunabots, because this was not the way we wanted Mao to end her career.

As for the highlights…

Carolina Kostner was absolutely ethereal in the SP, skating to Ave Maria. The entire performance felt like a pretty snowflake, falling gently on your hand and melting away with each ice crystal thinning out until it disappeared. It was almost an otherworldly experience and I’m so glad that she had the highest PCS of the night. What was a huge surprise was that Carolina brought back her triple flip-triple toe combination – something I haven’t seen since the last Olympics in Vancouver. She executed the jump beautifully and with a performance of a lifetime, she put herself in gold medal contention after two disappointing Olympics.

I wasn’t a fan of Yuna Kim’s SP earlier this season since it looked like a re-hashed version of her former programs. Yuna looked a little bored in the warm-up but when she took the ice to compete, she brought it. Her jumps were impeccable as usual and she had a grace and elegance that rivaled Carolina’s. THIS is what mature skating looks like and THIS (and Carolina’s performance) is what young junior skaters should aspire to be when they imagine themselves in the senior ranks about to compete for the Olympics.

For these two skaters, they had the complete package – two gorgeous programs that were well-choreographed and suited their strengths performed to perfection. The tie for first here was completely understandable. But then this happened.

Julia Lipnitskaia seemed to have been shaken by all the media attention after her wins during the team event. She seemed have endured a lot of stalking from the media. We’ve seen grown adult celebrities freak out over the media attention and I can’t imagine what a terrible ordeal it must have been for her. Lipnitskaia fell in her SP unexpectedly – the CBC commentators have claimed that this girl’s veins are full of ice because she’s so calm and cool – and put herself out of medal contention.

Her fellow Russian teammate, however, seems to have capitalized on this. Adelina had the highest TES of the night but that is not what I’m upset and confused about. Adelina’s PCS was the third highest of the night and it was pretty close to Yuna and Carolina’s score. Although Sotnikova’s jumps were big, her choreography was forgettable and her expression consisted of putting her arms up after jumps to match the flourish of the music – the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen. If you look at the breakdown of scores, somehow the judges thought she was on par or close to on par with Yuna Kim in Performance and Execution (PE), Choreography (CH) and Interpretation and Timing (IT).

sochi 2014 ladies sp top 3

Seriously? In my opinion, the only ladies who have any business in the 9-range for PCS is the holy trinity of Carolina Kostner, Mao Asada and Yuna Kim. Had Sotnikova been marked properly in the PCS, I would’ve put her in 3rd place with a comfortable margin between herself and the top two and then Gracie Gold who was in 4th with a score of 68.63. The three-way virtual tie for first should have been a two-way tie between Yuna and Caro in the first place and the judging seemed to have gotten worse in the long program.

The Long Program: WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I was hoping that this abuse of the PCS would stop in the long program as Adelina tends to be a headcase and hasn’t had a record of consistency in competitions. But before we get too far, let’s start with the positives.

The Holy Trinity (Kim, Asada and Kostner) Dazzles

Mao Asada showed us what a fighter and champion she was by skating clean in the LP. She landed perhaps the best triple axel in her career and the rest of the choreography flowed from her and showed us how she had matured and improved since the last Olympics. Mao couldn’t earn a medal but I’m so happy that her final competitive skate was so wonderful.

Carolina Kostner skated a sexy Bolero program that had us mesmerized from start to finish. Again, she skated the program to perfection and had, what I felt, to be the best performance of the night. Her choreography showed us the best of the new judging system – it had athleticism but also an intangible quality that comes from a great performer.

Yuna Kim skated a little bit of a subdued tango but other than a dicey landing on one of her jumps, she skated flawlessly. Kim skated with an elegance expected of an Olympic champion and she also proved to me after two seasons that she had improved since Vancouver – her lines are a little better, especially in the top half of her body. Her feet, though, still need work. Still, I thought that Yuna had done enough to win the gold.

But I was wrong.

Adelina skated perhaps the most difficult program of the night and I won’t argue with her technical mark (though one of the experts extraordinaire at The Skating Lesson questioned the edge calls for Russian skaters in this tweet) – I don’t have a video of the program to play back every jump incessantly and watch for wrong edges and underrotations, her PCS was absolutely ridiculous. FUCKING. RIDICULOUS. (I apologize for the expletive.) What exactly do I mean? Well, let’s take a look at the breakdown in the PCS.

sochi 2014 ladies p top 4

Somehow, according to the judges, Sotnikova had the best choreography of the night. For something completely unmemorable and the performance looked as if Sotnikova was skating and the music just happened to be on? This just points to a disconnect between the music and the choreography. (This also says something about her performance and execution, and interpretation and timing, which is related to choreography.) According to this article, many other commentators, including past champions and figure skating experts thought that Carolina’s Bolero had the best choreography that day. I’m about to have an aneurysm here so here’s a hilarious tweet from the amazing people from The Skating Lesson summarizing my thoughts.

Skating Lesson rope tweet

The 9.75 is not the weighted score you see above but a raw score given by the one of the judges. The maximum for any PCS mark is 10. So somehow, some judge out there thinks that Sotnikova’s program as pretty close to perfect. Say what!?

Also according to the judges, Sotnikova’s performance was on par with the Holy Trinity’s and her skating skills were better than Mao Asada’s who has some of the best edges and transitions in the business? I can’t even process what was going through the judges’ heads. None of it is making any sense. If you’re thinking, maybe the judges are seeing things we aren’t, well here are some of the criteria for some of the PCS categories taken straight from the International Skating Union’s judging guidebook that a general audience can easily understand:

Performance/Execution
Definition: is the involvement of the skater/couple/teams physically, emotionally, and intellectually as they translate the intent of the music and choreography.
Execution: is the quality of movement and precision in delivery. This includes harmony of movement in Pair Skating and Ice Dancing.
Criteria:
Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement
In all skating disciplines each skater must be physically committed, sincere in emotion, and equal in comprehension of the music and in execution of all movement.
Carriage
Carriage is a trained inner strength of the body that makes possible ease of movement from the center of the body. Alignment is the fluid change from one movement to the next.
Style and individuality/personality
Style is the distinctive use of line and movement as inspired by the music. Individuality/personality is a combination of personal and artistic preferences that a skater/pair/couple brings to the concept, manner, and content of the program.
Clarity of movement
Clarity is characterized by the refined lines of the body and limbs, as well as the precise execution of any movement.
Variety and contrast
Varied use of tempo, rhythm, force, size, level, movement shapes, angles, and, body parts as well as the use of contrast.
Projection
The skater radiates energy resulting in an invisible connection with the audience.
Choreography / Composition
Definition: An intentional, developed, and/or original arrangement of all movements according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure, and phrasing.
Criteria:
Purpose: (Idea, concept, vision, mood)
To reward the intentional and quality design of a program.
Proportion (equal weight of all parts)
Each part and section has equal weight in achieving the aesthetic pursuit of the composition.
Unity – purposeful threading of all movements
A program achieves unity when: every step, movement, and element is motivated by the music. As well, all its parts, big or small,
seem necessary to the whole, and there is an underlying vision or symbolic meaning that threads together the entire composition.
Utilization of Personal and Public Space
Movement phrases are distributed in such a way they communicate from every angle in a 360 degree skater-viewer relationship.
Pattern and Ice Coverage
Movement phrases are designed using an interesting and meaningful variety of patterns and directions of travel.
Phrasing and Form (movement and parts are structured to match the phrasing ofthe music)
A phrase is a unit of movement marked by an impulse of energy that grows, builds, finds a conclusion, and then flows easily and naturally into the next movement phrase. Form is the presentation of an idea, the development of the idea, and its conclusion
presented in a specific number of parts and a specific order for design.
Originality of Purpose, Movement, and Design
Originality involves an individual perspective of movement and design in pursuit of a creative composition as inspired by the music and the underlying vision.

END OF ISU GUIDEBOOK EXCERPT.

Now read those criteria again and tell me with a straight face that Sotnikova deserved a better mark in those categories than every member of the Holy Trinity. In fact, read all of the criteria for the PCS and give me your opinion down in the comments. For all of those people arguing that Sotnikova deserved to win based on her technical content, I will repeat it again – the TES is only half the story. Her victory could only be achieved by inflated PCS marks in both programs. In my opinion, the podium should have been: Gold – Yuna Kim, Silver – Carolina Kostner, Bronze – Adelina Sotnikova.

What upsets me is that two wonderful skaters got the wrong medal and one woman could have been the third lady to have successfully defended her Olympic title. What offends me even more is this misuse of the new judging system AT THE OLYMPICS. It’s already bad enough that the sport has been marred with suspect judging in non-Olympic years (yes, I’m talking about Chanflation) but the Olympics is the one event that has an importance among competitors, fans and the general public-alike. I think that the judging system is, in general, a solid system that takes into the athleticism and artistry of the sport but the problem isn’t the judging system itself but the judges who are flagrantly ignoring the criteria set in the guidebooks to create the results that they want.

 

I may not be Sotnikova’s biggest fan, even since she began as a rival to Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, but I want the Olympic Champion to gain his or her title fair and square and this, I don’t think was fair to anyone. It wasn’t fair to the competitors who weren’t judged fairly, it wasn’t fair to Sotnikova who was rewarded for inferior performances and it’s not fair to the fans and public who are trying to believe in the integrity of the sport.

Speaking of the integrity of the sport…

Suspicious Judges

A few news reports have called on the integrity of the judges. Two in particular have raised quite a few eyebrows:

  • Alla Shekhovtseva – Wife of the President of the Russian Skating Federation pictured above, hugging Sotnikova.
  • Yuri Balkova – Ukranian judge who was suspended for a year after he attempted to fix the ice dancing competition in the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

For more information about this and other aspects of the competition, check out this article from The Wire.

According to this article from the Chicago Tribune, Octavio Cinquanta, the president of the ISU, made these comments about the judges in question:

“Would you rather have an idiot acting as a judge than a good one who is a relative of the manager of a federation?” Cinquanta said.  “It is far more important to have a good judge than a possible conflict of interest.”

“I can’t suspend a person for life for a minor violation. (Balkov) is a matter for the Ukraine federation, because they chose to send him.”

In response, I would like to ask Mr. Cinquanta how a figure skating powerhouse like Russia lacks competent judges who aren’t related to the president of a federation. As for, “It is far more important to have a good judge than a possible conflict of interest,” well, did you just hear what you just said? Having a conflict of interest means that your ability for good judgment is compromised because you have a personal stake in the results. In some governments, voting on an issue when you have a conflict of interest can get you removed from public office, as infamous crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, found out last year. (He was reinstated but only by a technicality.) Having a conflict of interest puts your competency into question and as I mentioned before, as a figure skating powerhouse, Russia should have no problems finding another judge.

As for Balkov’s “minor violation.” How is vote fixing a minor violation? Do you remember Marie-Reine Le Gougne, who was a central player in the 2002 Salt Lake City judging scandal? That vote fixing situation led to a complete overhaul to the judging system! That and vote fixing violates the integrity of the sport, which tarnishes its reputation and popularity. Mr. Cinquanta has admitted in the past that he knows very little about figure skating and it seems as if nothing has changed.

Since the implementation of the new judging system, judges’ identities have been protected supposedly to shield them from bowing down to the pressures from their figure skating federations to support certain competitors. However, with this event as well as the allegations of certain judges lowballing specific skaters in figure skating circles, this move has just made judges less accountable for their scores. It might be about time we change this rule. Apparently, there’s a petition with almost 2 million signatures asking for the ISU to open an investigation into the event and demand rejudgment.

In any case, I’m done. With this event, with these results and with competitions in Russia.

What did you think of the results in the ladies event in Sochi? Please tell me your thoughts in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zmk
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 01:15:11

    I absolutely agree. After they splashed 148 for Sotnikova, I felt that they are robbing Kostner of silver. I could not believe she had higher PCS than Bolero. But, ok, Russian premium + general (at least slight) inflation of scores at Olympics this year. But what they did to Kim was obnoxious, silver with 5pts difference. How is this sport supposed to be ever popular again if half of the story (PCS) is a total black box that spits out scores that nobody can understand?!

    Reply

  2. Acutesnowangles
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 01:34:25

    Oh my god. THIS POST. Literally everything I’ve been thinking for the past 48 (?) hours. I have nothing against Adelina, but the entire ladies’ event was a travesty. All week I’d been ticked off by the god-forsaken Russian crowd, which was rude to the bone, cheering for Russia as Yuna was receiving scores, being dead silent while two of the most legendary dance teams in history made more history, and just being generally dickish to non-Russians, but beyond even that I’ll remember the batshit crazy judging that happened for the ladies. This is why we can’t have nice things, Mother Russia! I had to shut my TV off when I heard “149” from Adelina. To claim that two foot skating, no transitions, and impressive jumps can make up the second best free skate in history infuriates me. I believe the judges did get the top 3 correct, but ultimately Koster and Kim were robbed.

    Reply

  3. jds
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 01:36:59

    Sotnikova’s LP score implies that that was the 2nd best skate (behind Kim’s Vancouver performance) in history. How ridiculous. (-_-‘)

    Reply

  4. fai
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 08:35:28

    I agree with you every word. I was torn and shocked when Yuna got the second place. She was meant to have another Olympic gold. It’s unfair for skaters who worked so hard for the competition.

    Russian Olympics is such a disaster. The most ridiculous gold medalist in the history. Adelina’s gala skating was such an eyesore. It was like a joke!

    What upsets me most was that nothing can be done or nothing can be changed. Just sad here.

    Reply

  5. tahadaconstructionandremodeling
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 11:20:05

    Reblogged this on tahadaconstructionblog and commented:
    Incredible analysis. very easy to understand.

    Reply

  6. ay-sa
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 13:19:59

    Um, about the judging things you mentioned–having judges that are associated with various national figure skating federations is not restricted to the Russians. Chihee Rhee was a judge for the 2010 Olympics ladies SP, but she was also the Vice President of the Korean Skating Union: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2009/11/139_53829.html. There were plenty of judges who were involved in their national figure skating federations: Benoit Lavoie of Skate Canada, Sally-Anne Stapleford of Great Britain, etc. This is nothing new or particularly notable.

    About Yuri Balkov–Balkov is definitely shady but the whole thing Balkov had with Jean Senft is much more complex than it’s usually portrayed as.

    Reply

  7. Suezeeq
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 17:27:15

    http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpfra2013/gpfra2013_Ladies_FS_Scores.pdf
    http://www.isuresults.com/results/gpchn2013/gpchn2013_Ladies_FS_Scores.pdf

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Even with Adelina’s almost completely clean skate at TEB, she only received an 8.18 for choreo, 7.96 for skating skills, 8.11 for interpretation. I mean no matter how much may have changed in this past half year, I don’t see how that warrants almost a 1.5 point difference. All of these differences (including the ones I didn’t mention) made up for a 10 point increase in PCS. And this was at her good skate, which means comparative quality to the fs she did at the Olympics

    During her bad skate in Cup of China, her PCS was a full 15 points below what she got in Sochi. FIFTEEN points. Unless you’re saying that she totally revamped her free skate, changed every facial expression and all the hand motions and steps and everything, I don’t see how there could POSSIBLY be a FIFTEEN point difference. Average of 7.5s everywhere at COC.

    Reply

  8. Andrea Kobayashi (@AndreaKobayashi)
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 18:29:34

    Great post and agreed. There is an all out hissy-fit on Facebook now with “Yunabots” and Sotnikova defenders tearing strips off each other. It’s being lost in the fray at this point that the problem is not the skaters but the scoring.

    I gasped when I saw Sotnikova’s PCSs flashed on the screen. *Gasped*. “That cannot be right??” 5 points more than Mao. HOW???!!! Unbelievable.

    Would the end of anonymous judging really change things? What would prevent such farcical misuses of the ISU system happening again? A permanent venue? A different selection process for judges? As you say “the problem isn’t the judging system itself but the judges “. It seems the ISU under Cinquanta is the only group which doesn’t see this! What is the IOC’s take on all this?

    I prefer not to think about the results of this event, but the more enjoyable performances; especially the complete package that Costner brought to the event, Mao’s FS and Yuna’s melancholy Send in the Clowns (But wait, they’re already here!!! 😉 )

    30 days to World’s at Saitama and Mao has said she will make her final decision about retirement *after* the World’s: inference – she may compete there.

    Reply

  9. Q
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 10:25:58

    Agreed all around. Anonymous judging doesn’t protect the judges from pressure. It just makes it easier for them to inflate because of that pressure.

    And was I the only one who laughed when Adelina tripped on her ridiculous flags in the exhibition gala?

    Reply

    • Judy
      Feb 25, 2014 @ 04:08:36

      No I laughed out loud. And then I felt terrible afterwards.

      If Adelina had gotten the bronze, she would’ve probably been happy and looked upon as a promising and maturing talent in the next grand prix circuit. I firmly believe that this is a judging error and not Adelina’s fault, but I am afraid she will have to carry on as “the girl who robbed Yuna Kim’s gold.”

      Shame on you, judges.

      Reply

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  12. Tim Yeung
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 01:06:01

    Its obvious that the competition was fixed. The other Russian figure skater, Juliya had 27 3+ GOEs, whereas Yuna had 13 and Kostner had 12. That means Juliya had 3 more 3+ GOEs then both Yuna and Kostner combined! Yuna is known for her textbook jumps and Kostner is a skilled veteran. Both Yuna and Kostner skated both their routines near flawlessly, yet their combined number of 3+ GOE scores could not beat that of one single Russian skater who fell twice!

    http://www.thewire.com/culture/2014/02/whole-new-set-questions-about-adelina-sotnikovas-allegedly-rigged-gold-medal-win/358425/#disqus_thread

    How did they manage this? The leader of the three man technical panel, Alexander Lakernik, was Vice President of the Russian Skating Federation. The technical panel “makes all the crucial decisions about the difficulty levels of a skater’s spins and whether jumps are under-rotated or downgraded, among other things” Add to that Judge Yuri Balkov, who was previously suspended for corruption in a previous Olympics, and Judge Alla Shekhovtseva, who is married to the Director of Russian Figure Skating, and it all starts to make sense . . .

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/brennan/2014/02/21/figure-skating-scandal-sochi-olympics-adelina-sotnikova-yuna-kim/5680717/

    Reply

  13. Jihyun Elaine Kim-Schreiber
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 23:17:19

    I couldn’t agree with you more!
    It is very obviously fixed score that we can see even if we are not a expert and i am sure this Sochi 2013 Figure skating scandal will be remember as a worst ever!!
    Thank you for you kind and easy to understand explanation.

    Reply

  14. Hazura Jane
    Mar 04, 2014 @ 10:37:32

    Yuna Kim and Caroline Kostner have too much class to do what Pleshenko did at the Olympics in 2010 (purposely stepping onto the top of the podium on his way to the Silver medal position) but dang, I sure would have.

    Reply

  15. jenny
    Mar 09, 2014 @ 04:43:48

    Once the decision was made to have the 2014 Olympics in Russia, I knew there would be a scandal, in which event, I don’t know. Initially I thought it would be in the ‘men’s – Evgeny’s return, can see him on the podium or even topping Yuzuru and Chan should they have the slightest falter with his ‘near zero choreography, interpretation, etc.’ Evgeny’s program is plain embarrassment compared to his ‘Golden’ days. Thankfully, he withdrew, thus, a breathe of relief!!! The ladies??? That is just insulting, the judging panel is treating the rest of us – coaches, skaters, choreographers, fans as a bunch of chained and imprisoned (since none of us can do anything about it) idiots.

    I wish fans have the unity and resolve to ‘not’ turn up at any figure skating events in protest so the ISU would start losing money and ‘face’. Hence, forced to reconsider the constitution of its judging panel and a complete revamp of its selection system – why so many judges from the Eastern Euripean countries, what about judges from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, etc.

    Reply

  16. cv
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 22:13:22

    okay there is definitely a lot of emotional reactions on this page, so i’ll try to calmly give my two cents. as for depotism/scandals within the judges, it will be difficult to proof. there are some things that would fundamentally affect scoring, such as when the performance is actually done- if no other skaters have skated that night, and we see the quad mentioned above skate back to back, it would be a lot harder to explain the discrepancies. the problem is, these judges sit there and watch 5 hours of competition and unless they are robots, they will falter on consistency in terms of scoring.

    secondly; we score in our own mind based on our impression of things- “maturity”, “gracefulness” do not factor into current judging system (last time I checked); In Asada’s FS, she blew everyone away with her courage and determination; yet technically she had two jumps that were under-rotated. Kim, though she gave a “clean program”, lacks the zest and the energy she demonstrated 4 years prior;

    Finally, we live in a world where most people are consumed with the latest and newest thing; it is very difficult for past medalist to “better themselves” or even to “recreate themselves”. Unless they are lucky, that the second time around they ran into competitors whose performance are way worse than them, it would be difficult to out-do their own gold or even a silver medal standing.

    Each of these girls have done well, and we should all walk away sharing these moments of celebration with them.

    Reply

    • rinksidecafe
      Mar 19, 2014 @ 22:37:52

      True, grace and maturity aren’t a criteria in any of the PCS categories, however, there are a few things that allude to that such as:
      Physical, emotional, and intellectual involvement – in other words, connection with the music and musicality that often comes with maturity.
      Also, clarity of movement: “Clarity is characterized by the refined lines of the body and limbs, as well as the precise execution of any movement.” Which is what I think most fans allude to when they talk about grace.
      Both of these criteria are listed in the “Performance and Execution” category of the PCS.
      As for “clean” programs – there have been reports that Sotnikova’s 3Lz was done on the incorrect edge (I’ll have a post on that soon) and her combination in which she had a glaring mistake garnered GOEs of +3 to -1. Very strange for an underrotated and poorly landed jump.
      I would like to celebrate the achievements of these girls but the bottom line is the judging in this event was suspect and that puts the integrity of the entire sport on the line. Even with the less controversial ice dance results in which there were accusations of vote fixing, we had sportscasters demanding that the discipline be removed as an Olympic sport. The unfortunate thing is that this kind of suspicious judging happens frequently (though most people only notice it during the Olympics) and to celebrate would be to condone this kind of behaviour in the judges which really should not happen in the first place.
      If you want an analysis that seems less angry from people who have a solid figure skating knowledge base, I suggest you watch the video from Dave Lease and Jonathan Breyer from The Skating Lesson. They had an interesting analysis on their blog and have been cited in some of the articles to which I’ve linked:
      http://www.theskatinglesson.com/tsls-2014-olympic-ladies-recap/

      Reply

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  18. winky97
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 01:39:03

    I agree with you 100%. It was like I wrote this myself because you have said everything I have been saying. Our podium placements were the same too. Sad part of this is that Adelina is a victim in this as well with her tainted OGM. I predict that her career as a competitor is over. She now has to bare the weight of a crown that I just do not think that she is strong enough to carry.

    Reply

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  20. Francesca
    Nov 22, 2014 @ 13:54:57

    Wow, I am commenting several months later but this post is amazing. it is really the summary of everything I thought about that evening and the following days! It was absolutely crazy how it all went, I was literally shocked!
    I am so happy that Mao had her little payback at Worlds, even though it will never feel the same as an olympic medal! I felt so sorry for her and I cried at the end of the long program.. with her at the top of the ranking in the short program I don’t think that fixing the score would have been so easy for Russia.
    I totally agree about Cinquanta, I’m Italian but I’m not afraid to say that his presidency has been terrible and he’s not capable of making important decisions such as suspend the judges for such an important violation! Russia must have paid very well to leave everything as it is and not risk any consequence on this huge scandal!
    My podium is just like yours: Kim, Kostner and, unfortunately not Asada, but Sotnikova.
    By the way, I thing that the russian strategy of creating an army of baby skaters is kind of self destructive. Every season they come up with somebody new from the junior category and they never leave time to the skaters to grow and mature in the senior category! Like Tuktamysheva two years ago seemed the new rising star or like Lipnitskaia and Sotnikova will be in two years from now probably.

    Reply

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