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Old 02-12-2002, 11:03 AM   #16
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I think that just about sums it up perfectly.

They're coming home to us as champions who carried themselves with exceptional grace. I mean, how many of us would have stayed diplomatic rather than flip the judges the bird? I wonder...
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Old 02-12-2002, 11:10 AM   #17
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Oh good! I wanted to start a thread on this subject and now I see I am not the only one who cares! Let me rant now:

YES they were robbed! Even though the Russian dude was WAY hotter than the Canadian dude, fair is fair, the Russians put on a lackluster performance and it should be about whose night it was, not who the judges like best and have already predeterimed will win! This is not the first time. A Canadian Ice Dance team was robbed in the last Olympics. In 1998, this same Russian team won a silver metal despite a crappy performance and the girl actually being dropped to the ground! The couples in third and fourth were much better, they (Russians) shouldn't have gotten anything then! Now here they are back, winning gold even thought they didn't deserve it. I know they feel sorry for that girl, getting hurt and almost dying and all but it's not fair to rob someone else. It's like in 1994 when Oksana Bauil beat Nancy Kerrigan, even though Oksana two-footed two landings, meaning if she got what she deserved, the deductions would have taken her out of the metals. When all that Nancy/Tanya crap was going on just before the 1994 Olympics, I told everyone I knew, "it doesn't matter what Nancy or Tanya do, the judges have already decided to give the gold to Oksana Bauil, the poor little orphan girl who had to sleep at the rink." I was absolutely right!

I do hope no one calls the Canadians 'crybaby' or 'spoiled sport' because of the tears and the obvious disappointment on their faces. They tried SO hard to hide it and smile, but they are human beings with feelings and it was going to show.

Usually, I hate to see people 'whining' over a silver metal, I mean that is GREAT when you consider all the people all over the world who dream of medaling in the Olympics in their sport, and so few even qualify to go, and only 3 will win something, it is amazing to be one of them. I think the silver metal is a fanastic accomplishment. HOWEVER: when you was robbed and you know it, it's a different story, and you have every right to complain.

It's really a shame to have sports where the biased views of a few control everything instead of actually get what you earned.

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Old 02-12-2002, 11:53 AM   #18
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*sigh* Well, like it's been said...this isn't the first or the last time that this has happened in figure skating. It's exactly what happened to Nancy Kerrigan in Lillehammer when she came out, skated a flawless performance and then lost to Oksana Baiul who had made several very obvious countable errors.

I do want to disagree with one thing tho...as much as I enjoyed Ina and Zimmerman, they were NOT robbed of a bronze. They should have been in fourth, but the Chinese team definitely had the edge over them in the technical aspect. Ina and Zimmerman look like the kind of pair that have potential to be quite great, but aren't quite there yet. All that said, it was great to see them pull out such a good performance in front of the home-crowd.

So here's hoping that those nasty judges are the ones at the rest of the competitions this week. The men's short program is tonite...I'm still holding out hope for Elvis.

p.s. go to www.nbcolympics.com and check out the informal poll they have going on about it. Out of 30,842 votes, 94% think Jamie and David should have won.

[This message has been edited by sulawesigirl4 (edited 02-12-2002).]
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Old 02-12-2002, 12:12 PM   #19
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already voted there, sula, wouldn't it be something if the judges had to back down on their decisions and the poll results had to be accepted instead???? yeah, right!
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Old 02-12-2002, 12:18 PM   #20
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Interesting commentary article at http://www.msnbc.com/news/705183.asp

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However you figure, decision wrong
Canadians should have won gold in pairs, but judges blew it


This, folks, is figure skating, ethereal and poetic, beautiful and moving on the outside, but inside, wracked by preconceptions and decisions that are as egregiously unfair as the worst that boxing has ever offered.

IT WAS ALL out there, an ugly, festering sore despoiling a marvelous performance by the Canadian pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. They skated a perfect program, filled with energy and life, perfectly mated to their music, so obviously better than that of their opponents that anyone but a figure skating judge could see it.

And that was the rub, because the Russian pair of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze were the judges’ favorites long before these Olympics started. As such, they were expected to win the gold, not just by fans, but by the judges.

It is a story as old as the sport. As long as they didn’t skate the entire program on their butts, the Russians were going to win.

They lacked luster in the free program Monday, and Sikharulidze missed a jump and bobbled a couple others. Their program was graceful and fluid, a dreamy, languid and romantic, the way the judges like a pairs program to be. But it was far from their best, far from what the Canadians, who followed them on the ice, put out.

Four judges put the Canadians first; five the Russians. The crowd booed when the scores went up. Pelletier waved his hands dismissively in bemused disgust, saying later, “This is figure skating, people. If I didn’t want this to happen to us, I would have skied.” Sale, who had the wind knocked out of her during the warm-up when she accidentally collided with Sikharulidze and skated the program in pain, fought the battle of her life to keep from bawling on camera.

Even Scott Hamilton, the NBC Sports analyst, former Olympic gold medalist, and one of the biggest fans the sport has, refused to accept the decision as fair. “If you’re upset with anything, put it on the judges,” he said, begging viewers not to blame the Russians, who did, after all, skate as well as they could and were innocent of complicity in their medal. (NBC is a partner in the joint venture that runs NBCSports.com.)

The Russians didn’t even watch their Canadian rivals skate, so they could legitimately claim ignorance. Anyway, the skaters are never involved in these judging controversies. That’s something that goes on with the national federations. We’ll do this for you; you do that for me. In those games, the Canadians always lose, because the Canadians are honest. And from now on, everyone in the sport will be watching the judging of future events to see who might have done the Russians a favor and what they might get in return.

It’s depressing to have to talk about things like this, but figure skating, like boxing, leaves you no choice. The sport boils with rumors. No one can prove them, but over the years, there are decisions that everyone questions. And the rumors continue.

“We skated absolutely perfect,” said Sale, who beamed when their program was over, knowing that no one could deny her partner had won the gold. Poor, naive young woman.

“It’s a perfect moment for us,” added Pelletier, who kissed the ice when they were done. “It was amazing.”

Said Sikharulidze: “We’re all skating our best and the judges make a mark and that’s it.”

The problem is that the judges sometimes make their marks long before the Games begin. There is no objective judging in the sport, nor can there be, because the judges are utterly involved in the sport, go to the competitions, form opinions of who’s best. When when it comes to the big competition, they already have their favorites, and that’s true whether you want to believe in backroom deals or not. And then they make their expectations reality.

They don’t need much reason to do it. It’s enough for them to say that the Russians might have had a few flubs, but they had a better program and so deserved a higher score. It’s all smoke and mirrors, but there’s no appeal. What’s done is done, even if it’s wrong.

It’s a good thing they don’t decide many sporting events this way. If they did, the Yankees would be reigning World Series champions and the Rams would have won the Super Bowl — on technical merit and artistic presentation. And it’s nothing if not ironic that another sport who comes up with results like this is boxing, the brutal antithesis of the ethereal grace of skating.

Maybe some day skating will fix the judging problems. Don’t wait for it to happen, though. The shame of it in these Olympics is that Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze would be a great story whether they won the gold or not.

She’s 24, blond and petite and just over 5 feet tall. He’s 25, dark and broad-shouldered and nearly a foot taller. She started her career with another skater, Oleg Shliakhov, in another country, Latvia. But they had a stormy relationship and she would later say he beat her and abused her. But she stayed with him, until, in 1996 during a practice session, Shliakhov’s skate accidentally hit her full force in the temple, caving in her skull and putting her in a coma.

She had been planning on leaving him, and after her hospitalization and a long recovery, she moved to her native Russia and teamed with Sikharulidze. They won their first world championship in 1998, two months after winning silver in the Olympics, and repeated the next year. In 2000, she was suspended for taking a banned stimulant — unwittingly in medication, she said — but they came back in 2001 to take second at the worlds and came here as the favorites.

With them, they brought a 10-Olympiad winning streak in pairs, an unmatched run of domination of a sport by one country. Russian skating has a lot of pride and identity wrapped up in that streak, and apparently, they weren’t going to lose it this year, even if they weren’t the best.

That’s how it happened. Figure skating took something beautiful and made it ugly, staining the sport, staining the Olympics, staining us all.
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Old 02-12-2002, 12:34 PM   #21
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Wow! A poll? This is great that everyone is getting so involved! Talk about your sports drama! They're probably getting more publicity than if they'd won gold!

You know, they're saying that the French and the Russians are collaborating so the Russians will vote the French Ice Dance team to win. This means of course that Canada will get screwed AGAIN (Bourne & Kraatz have been screwed many a time before too)! I wonder if all this controversy will draw ppl in to watch how Elvis and Bourne & Kraatz do, and if it will help or hinder their performances?

Anyway, as for China vs. the US, I think the Chinese are very spectacular and talented, but they did after all, blow it. This really hinders the artistic value. I think it's more important to do something a bit simpler and to make it look passionate and effortless, this is true for ballet too. IMO, as with ballet, better to do a clean and perfect single pirouette than four and fall on your ass. But then again, there's a lot to be said for really going for it even if it means falling. Anyway, although I follow skating, I have never skated, so I can't give an educated opinion. I just know what looks/feels good, and I thought Ina and Zimmerman did a beautiful job!
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Old 02-12-2002, 12:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge:
You know, they're saying that the French and the Russians are collaborating so the Russians will vote the French Ice Dance team to win. This means of course that Canada will get screwed AGAIN (Bourne & Kraatz have been screwed many a time before too)! I wonder if all this controversy will draw ppl in to watch how Elvis and Bourne & Kraatz do, and if it will help or hinder their performances?
Headline Sports in Canada is running a commentary. They had the American and Canadian judges offer their opinions, as well as other coaches. The common opinion seems to be, like you said, that the French traded off for the ice dancing team, while the Chinese traded a vote because they wanted a podium finish.

I think ice dancing will be very, very interesting to watch, as well as the men's performance, because that's the one just 24 hours after this travesty. On the one hand, I feel like Elvis and Bourne/Kraatz have no chance, if the block voting continues. On the other hand, maybe Jamie and David's loss may be their gain. The judges would have to be utter fools to repeat a clear block vote. Also, I think the crowd will very much be behind Elvis in the men's competition, as he's always been a crowd favourite, and this is on North American soil. It will be interesting to see what the judges do.
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Old 02-12-2002, 01:26 PM   #23
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Ina and Zimmerman should have ranked ahead of the Chinese in the long program--unfortunately, although their short program marks would still have hindered them from finishing third overall. Watch for them--they'll be very,very good in a few short years.

Elvis could go out there tonight and nail 8 quads and still lose. He'll lose the artistic impression mark. It's happened before, it'll happen again.

Bourne and Kraatz should have, undeniably finished ahead of the French team in the last Olympics, but block judging prevented this as well. This year, there IS NO NORTH AMERCIAN JUDGE ON THE ICE DANCE PANEL. Just a bunch of Europeans. The top ice dance teams are the French, The Canadians, the Lithuanians, and the Italians.

A few months ago there was a huge ice dance controversy in Vancouver, BC. Even the referee was involved--the same ref who will be at this years ice dance competition in the Olympics.

Will Bourne and Kraatz win? No. Do they deserve it? Yes. Their free program is Michael Jackson...judges will frown over this as opposed to the dramatic, more familiar, traditional programs of the French and Italians.


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Old 02-12-2002, 01:27 PM   #24
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I was completely neutral watching this event...my home country was not involved...and the Canadians were perfect. No wobbles or bobbles or anything...the Russians were almost perfect but had a few unsteady moments...and yet they won?????

I really do not get it!!!


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Old 02-12-2002, 01:32 PM   #25
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Well, this just keeps getting better and better.

From the Globe and Mail:

Quote:
Ice-dance insiders say result already decided







BY BEVERLEY SMITH


Salt Lake City -- The outcome of the Olympic ice dancing competition has already been determined, sources believe, and Canadian champions Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz will likely be shut out of the medals.

Allegations of prejudging and deal-making have been made in the past, such as four years ago at the Nagano Games, where the nine-time Canadian champions finished fourth. This time, they are slotted for fifth place behind Italy, Russia, France and Lithuania.

Some expected a last-minute push to get the Russian ice dancers, Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh, into position for the gold ahead of Italians Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio on Friday if Elena Berezhnaia and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia hadn't won gold in the pairs event last night.

The Canadians will face trouble right from the start, when a group of judges will agree to try to force Bourne and Kraatz into fifth place after the first compulsory dance. Canada does not have a judge on the panel. The draw for judges was made three months ago and also excluded the United States and France.

Continuing allegations of improper judging led Richard Pound of Montreal, a former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, to call again in December for the removal of ice dancing from the Olympic program.

He first suggested dropping dance from the Olympics in 1998, after judging scandals marred the event in Nagano. Pound, who is aware that judging is still an issue, suggests replacing the ice-dancing competition with a team event, including men's, women's and pairs skaters, in a format similar to a gymnastics team event.

He said there are fewer problems with singles and pairs skating. "The competitions are won on the ice and not in clandestine meetings before the event takes place."

The Salt Lake competition will have judges from Russia, Italy, Israel, Ukraine, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Switzerland, Germany, Bulgaria and Poland. On the panel is Yuri Balkov, the Ukrainian judge who rattled off the order of finish before the free dance at the Nagano Games to Canadian judge Jean Senft, who recorded the conversation. When Senft presented the evidence to the International Skating Union, she was suspended along with Balkov.

Balkov showed up at the world championships in Vancouver last March and managed to get accreditation and take over from another Ukrainian judge.

The only competition that seemed to break the alleged mould of predetermined judging was the Grand Prix Final in Kitchener, Ont., in December. Five of the seven judges placed French skaters Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat first after the first free dance and Bourne and Kraatz first after the second. Bourne and Kraatz ended up winning the event, while the reigning world champions, Fusar-Poli and Margaglio of Italy, were placed fourth after skating the same program that won them the world title.

The five judges at Kitchener were asked to write multiple letters of explanation by Russian referee Alexander Gorshkov, who will also referee the dance event at Salt Lake.

There was no Russian judge on the panel for the Grand Prix Final. A Russian substitute judge placed the Italians first in all segments of the Grand Prix Final competition, but his vote didn't count. Gorshkov's placements also put the Italians first overall.

The president of the International Skating Union, Ottavio Cinquanta, was said to be very annoyed that Fusar-Poli and Margaglio weren't on the medals podium at the Grand Prix Final. Cinquanta, an Italian, lives in Milan, where the Italian dancers train.
How much more ridiculous can this get?



[This message has been edited by anitram (edited 02-12-2002).]
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Old 02-12-2002, 01:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing:
Ina and Zimmerman should have ranked ahead of the Chinese in the long program--unfortunately, although their short program marks would still have hindered them from finishing third overall. Watch for them--they'll be very,very good in a few short years.
I totally agree that Ina and Zimmerman are on track to becoming a great pair and a major contender...in the future. Last night they were excellent at what they do, but they need to raise the bar technically and develop a bit more all-around. Interestingly enough, they are protégé's of the fab Russian coach Tamara Moskvina (who also coaches the Russians who won last night), so they should be getting the right training.

I also think that the Chinese pair will continue to improve and if they can get their spins down and work on artistry, they are going to be dynamite. That quad throw was soooo close. Really, I'm excited about the future of the sport because there are some good teams out there that with a bit more experience should give us all something to talk about at the next Olympics.
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Old 02-12-2002, 01:44 PM   #27
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All I can say is that was complete bullshit.

Seems conveniant how the judges that screwed over the Canadian duo were for the most part all of communist/anti-northamerican countries (China, Russia)...

*feels like being a bastard as result of rage* Damn commies!! lmao... hahaha... well that kinda makes me feel better, except no... a horrible injustice... The Russian skaters made several mistakes whereas Canada's was perfect. Now Im obviously going to seem biased because Im Canadian, but I mean come on, like Ron said something like this 'If you try a quad, and you dont make it, you dont get bonus points for attempting it. A perfectly executed triple is going to, or should win over a failed jump.'


Blargh, GAO, feck, humph, Grrrr, and various other curses upon the geniuses that screwed over Canada...
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Old 02-12-2002, 02:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by *Stormy*:

Even though the Russian dude was WAY hotter than the Canadian dude, fair is fair, the Russians put on a lackluster performance
LOL at your comment about the Russian skater! He is cute.

I don't agree that the Russians were lackluster, though. I thought they were beautiful, I was very moved by their performance. BUT...there is no way they deserved to win ahead of the flawless and beautiful performance by the Canadians. No one is happy now because the Canadians know they should have won and the Russians know that everyone is saying they should have been second. It was a great competition but for the sour ending. Everything I dislike about figure skating...

And I fully expect Bourne and Kraatz to be shut out of the medals. If you think the judging in the other disciplines has problems, wait till you see ice dance. This kind of corruption is likely to get dance and maybe all the figure skating disciplines kicked out of the Olympics for good.

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Old 02-12-2002, 02:05 PM   #29
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Bourne and Kratz! That's who I was talking about in my last post when I said a Canadian ice dance team had been robbed last time! They were dressed in green and did a riverdance routine and blew everyone away and got shut out, I hope they don't get screwed again this time but I bet they will because of the Russians again.

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Old 02-12-2002, 02:06 PM   #30
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Originally posted by scatteroflight:
And I fully expect Bourne and Kraatz to be shut out of the medals. If you think the judging in the other disciplines has problems, wait till you see ice dance. This kind of corruption is likely to get dance and maybe all the figure skating disciplines kicked out of the Olympics for good.
I could see Ice Dance being thrown out...but the rest of figure skating? Not a snowball's chance in hell. What do you think drives ratings for the Winter Olympics? What are the events that garnish the most money, publicity, etc? Figure skating. It would be pretty ludicrous for the organizers to toss out their cash cow, not to mention my favorite sport.

But yeah, the ice-dance judging... I can't wait. *sarcasm*
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