Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Olympics 2014

Figure Skating Controversy Deepens as S. Korea Asks ISU for Inquiry

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Folks, it’s official: South Korea has asked the International Skating Union# for an official inquiry into whether or not the judging at the Sochi Olympics in the ladies figure skating event was fair.

As Reuters says:

Later on Friday the Korea Skating Union (KSU) issued a statement saying it had met with International Skating Union (ISU) President Ottavio Cinquanta and “officially requested to confirm whether the figure skating ladies single competition was held fairly based on the ISU’s regulations and procedures.”

All I can say is, it’s about time. Because with an official inquiry, it’s possible this nonsensical result will be overturned.**

As I said yesterday, I believe Ms. Sotnikova should’ve been on the podium — but in the bronze position. Both Carolina Kostner (the official bronze medalist) and Yuna Kim outskated her.

(Mind you, I’d also have been perfectly fine with Mao Asada winning a bronze medal, as I believe Ms. Asada was underscored in her long program. But that’s a side issue.)

And I’m far from the only one who’s upset about this highly questionable result, as this online petition calling for an investigation into the judging of the Olympic figure skating event has already garnered nearly 1,900,000 signatures as of this hour (roughly 1:35 a.m. CST) . . . in less than two days.

My final thoughts tonight? Well, it’s simple: Ms. Sotnikova benefited from a home-field advantage and a stack of judges that seem, on their face, to be highly questionable. (Please see this article by the redoubtable Christine Brennan if you don’t believe me.)

She did not deserve gold.

And to my mind, she also did not deserve silver.

———

**Note that the Korea Skating Union needs to file an official protest to get this result overturned. But it’s possible the inquiry might be the first step into that, as I can’t remember enough of what happened during the 2002 figure skating fiasco that resulted in Jamie Salé and David Pelletier of Canada initially being given a silver rather than gold, then later being awarded gold after Canada filed a formal protest, to tell you the exact steps Korea needs to go through to get this injustice rectified.

# An earlier version of this blog said that the Korea Skating Union had gone to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) over this — that’s what happens when you write a blog at 1:35 a.m. in the morning, as that was a complete and utter misstatement on my part. I regret the error and have corrected it for the record . . . mea maxima culpa!

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 22, 2014 at 2:54 am

Olympic Thoughts: Dance, Ladies Short Program

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Folks, the last few days have been hectic. So I’ve not had much time to discuss the latest doings in the world of Olympic figure skating.

But since I had a request from a friend to discuss a bit of the ice dancing, I thought I’d talk about that.

But wait — there’s more.

Because I managed to see every single one of the ladies perform their Olympic short programs yesterday, I thought I’d discuss a little bit about that competition as well.

First, let’s talk about the ice dancing. United States figure skaters Charlie White and Meryl Davis excelled in their short program, and skated a solid long program to a beautiful piece of music (Scheherezade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov) with technical brilliance and a great deal of speed to win the first-ever gold medal for the U.S. in ice dance. (Note that Davis and White won silver in 2010, while Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto also won silver in 2006.)

I enjoyed White and Davis’ skating, and felt they were worthy of a gold medal.

However, in some ways I responded a whole lot more to Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. They, too, are excellent skaters with the whole repertoire of moves . . . they won gold in Vancouver, though, so it’s hard to feel like they’ve been cheated.

As for the women’s short program, here’s my take:

  1. The American women are in good shape, with Gracie Gold in fourth place, Ashley Wagner in sixth and Polina Edmunds in seventh. All skated credibly or better; Gold has a real chance to win a silver or bronze if she skates a clean long program.
  2. There’s no way in the world Adelina Sotnikova belongs among the top six. Her scores were wildly inflated.
  3. What a shame that Mao Asada wasn’t able to complete her triple axel or her combination jump. Her program was lovely except for the fall, but missing those required elements dropped her all the way to sixteenth place. She’d need several miracles to get within striking distance of the podium.
  4. My overall winner of the short program? Carolina Kostner of Italy. She skated beautifully to “Ave Maria,” and was every bit as good as Yuna Kim.

In case you’re wondering what I’m looking for in Friday’s long program from the ladies, here goes:

  1. Russian ladies’ scores will continue to be wildly inflated, but none will medal (as if they did, an international judging controversy would no doubt ensue).
  2. Mao Asada will land at least one triple axel and a three-jump combo (probably triple-triple-double).
  3. Gracie Gold will skate clean and medal.
  4. Podium (who I think should win): Carolina Kostner, gold; Yuna Kim, silver; Gracie Gold, bronze.
  5. Podium (who the judges will inexplicably pick): Yuna Kim, gold; Carolina Kostner, silver; probably still Gracie Gold, bronze, unless Mao Asada lands two triple axels cleanly (if so, she’ll win the bronze somehow, and deserve it).

Written by Barb Caffrey

February 20, 2014 at 5:20 am