Did you watch figure skating? The NY Times has accused Russia of cheating! An example of saying it

without actually saying it (link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/sports/olympics/adelina-sotnikovas-upset-victory-is-hard-to-figure.html?hp )

I don’t have the means to actually watch it and judge it for myself (at least not at the moment.) I’d like to hear what the esteemed peoples on this message board think. I’m considering various possibilities. This may very well have been a real example of bias or maybe the real bias is the NY Times (they have been writing many anti-Russian articles lately.) I only watched a snippet of Yuna’s performance and thought she was graceful and good but in years past I’ve always found the Russian skaters to be electrifying and have generally preferred them. I always had this sneaking suspicion that the judges were actually biased in favor of the “US” skater. For example, Michelle Kwon was quite over-rated and she never won the gold medal rightly so.

First of all, “The NY Times” has not accused Russia of anything. You’ve linked to an opinion piece by a single commentator, which also doesn’t accuse “Russia” of anything, but raises questions about the judges’ decision.

Secondly, I’ve detected no campaign by the Times or any publication to be mean to Russia. Perhaps you could cite the “many anti-Russian articles” you’ve detected in the Times recently.

Thirdly, it is only natural for figure skating judges’ decisions to be questioned, seeing as opaque standards and outright scandal have figured in the sport in recent times.

Fourth, in the interest of open disclosure, I don’t really give a rat’s ass about figure skating, but one reason I’m not too thrilled with the Winter Olympics in general is the number of “sports” where there is no objective winner.

Amen brother (sister?); Preach It. A sport scores points; an activity has judges. Speed skating has winners. Ice dancing has…costumes.

As mentioned in the Sochi thread over in the game room, the program elements have specific point values. Kim’s program values, if skated perfectly, were about 5 points less than everyone else’s if they skated perfectly. When both Kim and Sotnikova skate almost perfectly, the one with the most points will come out on top - Sotnikova’s. While Kim’s program was artistically phenomenal, the judging system puts a lot of stress on technical prowess and there she fell ever so slightly short.

I’m not really sure how much there is to debate when every element has a point value. It’s mostly just a bunch of emotions getting in the way of who “deserves” the gold. Besides, is second best in the whole world really so awful?

Russia apparently thought so during the Cold War :stuck_out_tongue:

I think this is as it should be. While the commentators talk a lot about the artistry (or lack thereof) of various skaters, the Olympics at their heart are athletic competitions. It stands to reason that athletic/technical achievement should be valued over artistic performance.

Dunno. Ask the US women’s hockey team. :smiley:

Of course you then get things like Plushenko plowing through on the sheer power of his jumps, and lacking some everywhere else. While I still love Plushenko, artistry has its place in these sorts of programs as well. Every year people change their mind - no, they want it judged technically - no, they want it judged artistically - based on who won and why last year. You go technical in judging, and you steer everyone towards the Plushenko style of pulling out as many jumps as your legs can handle. You go artistic, and you get beautiful, drawn-out programs that focus on in-between choreography.

I like judging on both worlds, personally. Both have their place. But right now, we’re in a period of technical judging.

Thank you sir for appropriately bitch slapping me. I was rash.

Figure skating is lying in a bed it made for itself; the judging was openly and nakedly corrupt for years, finally exploding in a fireball of open admission of cheating, and now they’ve brought in a scoring system that deliberately hides which judge assigned what score. So while this result MIGHT be honest, you can’t trust them.

People bitch and bitch and bitch about sports that are “subjective,” but there is absolutely no comparison between figure skating and any other judged sport, save one; boxing. Gymnastics is judged, but when was there last a huge gymnastics judging scandal? There have been some controversies, actually, but there’s never been any sort of talk of widespread corruption; almost all gymnastic judging controversies are sour grapes, honest errors, or honest disagreements.

I don’t really understand why ski jumping has a judged element but I’ve never, ever heard of a judging scandal in that sport. Many freestyle skiing events are judged but I’ve never heard of an athlete complaining about the judging results. Diving is judged but where’s the diving judging scandal? If there was a diving judging controversy I’d assume, absent compelling evidence otherwise, that it was an honest disagreement or an error, because the sport has generally done a very good job of keeping its judging honest. When there is a figure skating judging controversy I assume, absent compelling evidence, that treachery and lies are the explanation, because they have been for decades.

The only sport as filthy as figure skating is boxing, which has been a joke on the amateur and professional levels for thirty years now and needs to be out of the Olympics as soon as possible. A shame, as I love boxing when it’s not up to its armpits in cheating.

I saw this on CNN and USAToday:

One of the nine judges who picked a young Russian skater over two more refined competitors for the Olympic gold medal Thursday night was suspended for a year for trying to fix an event at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.

I’m not saying this means anything, but how the fuck do you ever get to judge again after an incident like this :smack:

It’s worth mentioning that Yuna Kim skipped the triple loop jump. She did only 6 triples to Sotnikova’s 7. I think Sotnikova’s PCS (Program Component Score - the artistic" part of the score, if you will) was kind of generous but there’s no arguing that she didn’t get the job done, difficulty-wise.

As for the judges - yeah, it’s a problem. There’s a lot of money in skating especially for otherwise cash strapped countries. There’s so much money that it pretty much pays for the whole International Skating Union, which also governs speedskating, and really, the Winter Olympics as a whole. That means the IOC is also involved in the decisions about figure skating. The number one mission for all those people is “keep the gravy train flowing”. Some of the judges might have their thumbs on the scale but no one at the ISU or the IOC (or NBC) wants to start a public witchhunt over it.

Not that I know anything about figure skating, but there is a performance element, other than not falling down, and I thought the top 3 should have all been the top 3. Only I thought the Italian should have been 2nd and Yuna Km 3rd.

Interesting that none of the skaters who were in the team competition managed to get on the podium in the women’s competition. Maybe they were tired? Maybe their program seemed old-hat to them after already doing it in front of an Olympic audience?

So if you go to this link, you’ll see the scores for the Free Skate. They’re in finishing order.

Look at Yuna’s scores are mostly consistent 2s with some 3’s at the beginning of her program, but after the halfway mark, she drops to 1s (probably poor stamina), while Adelina stays at the 2s and 3s. Look at how consistent the scoring is for both skaters. Yeah, there’s always some judge who’s got a bug up their but over some issue, but the scores are tight.

Secondly, look at how many judges there are. The high and the low get tossed out. So, no one judge has an effect. And the judges were harsh on Adelina, but she did a technically difficult program all the way through, and retained a high level of skating throughout. Yuna faded, and the scores from all the judges show it.