It is the Olympics. We know that there have been issues with the scoring in the skating, all you have to do is look at the positions in the pairs to see that.
To recap, in the pairs the fix was in for one of the Russian couples. Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov claimed the gold, while Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov took home the silver. I was watching this, and the scores didn’t match the performance. Yes, the two Russian pairs were the class of the night, so at least the right pairs were on the top of the podium, but on the day Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov blew away the other pair. They skated with flair, poise and passion whereas Tatiana and Maxime looked stiff and had a few minor bobbles.
Now we have the womens competition, and lo and behold, another Russian is on the top step. The IOC was quick Friday morning to play down any hint of a figure skating judging scandal after Adelina Sotnikova of Russia was the surprising winner of the gold medal, upsetting reigning Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea and Italy’s Carolina Kostner. I love the comment from the IOC – “I think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself,” said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. “I think first off we have to see if there’s an official complaint, because the people concerned I’d assume would make a complaint and it would go to the federation. I’m not aware there’s been such a complaint and if there was they’d got through the federation. I don’t think it’s even happened yet. If it does that will be the first step to go through if there isn’t a credible complaint we wouldn’t take it any further.”.
Maybe there will be a complaint, maybe there won’t. It is possible that the whole process is so corrupt that no one cares anymore. It is interesting to note that there were two judges on the panel during that competition that had big question marks against them, one that had an obvious conflict of interest, and one that had already been found guilty of fixing in a prior event.
From an outsider perspective, it looks to me as though the current scoring rules have been set up to deliberately hide any potential issues. At least in the bad old days you could see which judge was fixing the result – now you can’t even do that. Figure skating judging is a disgrace and being cynical, it has been that way for a very long time. I love the skating – it is dynamic, full of grace, risk and a very high degree of skill. It is such a shame that is is so totally let down by the judging.