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Thread: Linda Fratianne Update

  1. #91
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    Lois - Your sole reporter who watched the figures is not a convincing argument. You seem to be saying it takes 7 judges to make a decision and only l spectator to affirm their decision. Sorry I can/t buy that.

    I sincerely believe there is a conspiracy because nothing can actually be proven, as you say, one way or another. I don't find anything wrong with conspiracies. They exist in politics for sure and whenever there are more of one group of judges who always decide in unison. No way to prove any of this so the conspiracy lingers.

    I have nothing to lose in this instance because my feelings for Linda are not all that important to me. But I do feel for any skater who may be the subject of a conspiracy. In Worlds 2002, Irina won her gold finally with 6 slavic judges all voting in her favor. That's the way of life.
    Joe, I am certainly not saying that one educated spectator confirms that 7 out of 9 judges were correct, but how many people were saying that the figures judging was not correct--I believe that it's two, Carroll and Fratianne, both of whom certainly are guaranteed to be more biased than the spectator! I'm just saying that, apart from the judges, there *were* a few people who watched figures, and at least one agreed with the majority of the judges.

    About conspiracies, you are wrong in part. Sometimes they CAN be proven not to exist, or vice versa. In SLC 2002 and with the toe-tapping judges, they were pretty much proven to exist. In the case of 1980, two specific Carroll conspiracies can be proven *NOT* to be true--men/ladies and Eastern Bloc are NOT true, because, for instance, you cannot have an Eastern Bloc conspiracy handing a victory to Anett when there are only *2* out of 9 judges from the Eastern Bloc, and 5 out of the 7 judges for Anett were Western (so the 7 mixed judges voting for Anett were hardly a regular, cohesive bloc, as Irina's 6 Slavic judges could be), yet Carroll had the nerve to lie about that in an interview, claiming an Eastern Bloc conspiracy cost Linda the gold. Carroll's claim was flat out false. Same for the ladies/men one, also provably false, but I'm not going to re-type all of that. Carroll in a particularly outrageous interview also viciously attacked Carlo Fassi while admitting that he could never figure out *how* Carlo could have rigged the results--uh, earth to Carroll, maybe you could never figure out how it was "done" because Carlo Fassi *didn't* rig them?! Joe, you obviously aren't a believer in "innocent until proven guilty," but you are choosing to take the word of a liar (in some of his claims, with others impossible to prove or disprove) with vague, flailing claims over that of Carlo, who hasn't been proven to have lied about anything here, AFAIK.

    One thing that Carroll and Fratianne will never admit in all their whining, bitter interviews is the possibility that Anett actually won fairly, yet every time this subject comes up there are many people who think that Anett did indeed deserve the gold over Linda. There's a desperate grasping-at-any-excuse-no-matter-how-impossible-or-wrong attempt to paint the competition as a landslide win for Linda (in their opinions), when this was clearly not the case. Close and debatable, sure, and you and C/F are entitled to your opinion, of course, but 1980 was never a clear-cut landslide-win situation, it's always been a split-opinion, endless-debate Oksana vs Nancy, Brian vs Brian, Tara vs Michelle competition. The what-if that C/F never seem to be able to consider is, what if Anett actually did deserve the gold and their biases are blinding them to Linda's weaknesses...

    Joe, I can't imagine why you would think that C/F should have the definitive words spoken on 1980, when they have lied about 1980 in the past. Personally, I'd love to have Carlo Fassi produce the definitive words spoken, from beyond the grave, but realistically I'm fairly certain that there will never be any definitive final word on the ladies in 1980.

    About the weird 3rd hand judge story that Linda has suddenly come up with now about her sister and her dead mother, I share Mathman's skepticism, and then some. For one thing, I just can't see two conspiring judges being stupid enough to talk openly in a public restroom with the skater's mother nearby. In a couple genuine scandals, they've had the common sense to use phones and private rooms. More importantly, the article specifically says that this alleged, unverifiable overheard conversation was before the *long program,* yet, remember, the results had basically been decided several days *earlier* during figures, F/C have claimed that the figures were rigged, but those were already long over, Anett was extremely likely to win unless she did a total zamboni act (which she did not do), and the skater who beat Linda in the long was Denise Biellmann, not Anett--is Linda now trying to imply that there was a conspiracy for Denise to beat her in the long, since Denise was the skater to whom she was 2nd there? I believe everyone posting here who saw the competition agreed that Denise's win in the long was deserved! Lots of unanswered questions, and, conveniently, no possibility of questioning the late Virginia Fratianne about that story.

    Regarding the TV documentary, I don't know what they were thinking, but when I watched that show I was wondering if they merely found the 1980 ladies skating as generally uninspired as I did and omitted those years for that reason, since they didn't have a US winner who would require inclusion. But one thing that's often happened for me is that the best or most interesting or thrilling performances IMHO have come from non-medallists who'd be left out of this sort of program regardless (Denise in 1980, Tiffany Chin in '84, Caryn Kadavy and Midori Ito in '88, Nathalie Krieg in '94, etc.).

    Lois

  2. #92
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    Whether a skater deserved to win gold may have no relationship to whether there was corruption and/or conspiracy. To take a case where there was evidence of such, there are enough people who believed that Berezhnaia/Sikuharlidze should have won the gold regardless of the judging panel and that Anissina and Peizerat deserved the gold, even if Tokhtakhounov had made a deal to influence/ensure their win.

    What I do remember from years of watching figure skating during Soviet times is that, were a Soviet or Eastern European judge to go against the party line in a competition meant not only led to banishment for him/her from a privileged position with travel, but also to being blackballed from jobs and schools and decent housing for the judge and the judge's family.

    Whether this was a straight deal depends on the judging panel. Since the composition of the 1980 Olympic Ladies' and Men's panels doesn't support a straight deal, if there was a conspiracy -- personal or political -- it was a couple of layers deep.

  3. #93
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    Lois, Caryn only skated the SP at Oly's 88. She had a horrible case of the flu and did not skate the long. (She was great in '87 worlds however.

    And as to conspiracies, one can never prove there is no conspiracy at all.

    Not all conspiracies are political.
    There is sex for a vote.
    There is money or favors of other kinds for a vote.
    Then there is political bloc-headism.
    Then there is "I will vote for you in ___ if you will vote for
    me in the ____.
    Then there is the combination of some or all of the above.

    If 2 bloc people pay off in some way 3 judges, that would do it.


    But I don't quite get why you take this so seriously. As hockeyfan pointed out, sometimes the fix is in for the person who should have won anyway. Robin deserved to win. Pretty much everyone acknowledges it. And no says he arranged it himself.

    I believe Carlo liked to have this sekret politikal powers aura, so people cannot be blamed if they believed it when it made them feel better to do so. But whatever was done, it in no way diminishes the fine quality of Robin's skating or the brilliance of his later career.

    dpp

  4. #94
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    I agree with Doris's assessment that Robin Cousins deserved to win the 1980 Olympic gold medal - conspiracy, deals, or whatever.
    He was the best free skater, and his long program was the class of the field. The gold medal went to the right skater, and Robin earned that gold medal.


  5. #95
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    Doris, I know that Caryn only skated the short program in '88--I remember her bedside interview during the long on ABC's coverage. I mentioned Caryn and Midori as examples because I thought that they skated the two outstanding short programs in Calgary, yet neither of them was in contention for the gold thanks to figures, and IMHO both of them were undermarked in the short, where I remember that they both had triple loops in their jump combination, with Caryn being superior artistically but putting the triple loop first, while Midori had her high-flying triple loop as the more difficult 2nd half, in combination with the required double jump (was it the double loop that year?). Anyway, my point was that neither of them would be shown in a network 1988 Olympic segment, yet for me they delivered the best and most memorable performances in that event. You can pretty much count on TV retrospective coverage of '88 being limited to Katarina/Liz/Debi only, with outstanding non-medalist performers like Caryn & Midori in '88, Tiffany in '84, etc. ignored by the editors or producers.

    One of my top main reasons for taking offense at Carroll & Fratianne's self-serving attempts to rewrite history to suit themselves is historical accuracy. Falsely rewriting history is something that deeply offends me whenever it occurs, not just in skating (obviously there can be more important implications in other fields, like politics, but I won't go there), and C/F's calculated media campaign has been all too successful, sadly. I already gave the example of Newsweek magazine in 2002 wrongly stating as if it were a fact that Linda lost the Olympics due to "eastern bloc judging," which was clearly not the case, for example--one of many C/F successes in manipulating the media and rewriting history, because all too many people take a source like Newsweek as an accurate reference, which in this case it certainly is not. In the future, I'm sure that there will be more lazy writers who will write about that imaginary "Eastern bloc judging" loss, and so the lie spreads. (yes, I realize that theoretically there could be an incredibly bizarre, convoluted, 5/7ths western conspiracy of some sort, but realistically the C/F claims are like stating that the earth is flat--logic should dictate going with the reasonable explanation unless there's strong evidence to the contrary, and the burden of proof here should be on C/F to prove the equivalent of "the earth is flat," not the other way around).

    Now, you and SkateFan4Life saw the competition in '80, and you can decide for yourself whether Robin's gold medal was deserved, for instance, but you are in a minority at this point, I would guess. Joe here is a perfect example of someone who did not see the competition, yet he now posts that he believes Robin's win was part of a conspiracy, solely because of the C/F media lies. Unfortunately, there are all too many skating fans or casual viewers like him whose beliefs will be tainted by the C/F media campaign. It's grossly unfair and slanderous to everyone involved, from Robin and Anett to Carlo Fassi and all the judges who didn't happen to agree with C/F, because Carlo and the judges are being accused of a very serious crime without a shred of proof against them. From the 2002 scandal, everyone here should be able to realize that C/F are making serious criminal charges, and it's not a trivial issue. If they had real evidence, that would be different, but I have yet to see any.

    Oh, and irresponsible, bad journalism is another of my pet peeves--there's certainly a lot of that in skating. Anyway, as I've said before, I truly wish that this subject would disappear forever, but as long as it's rearing its ugly head again I consider it a more serious topic than the endless arguments about taste with Oksana/Nancy/Tara/Michelle/etc. that I avoid, and why should Carroll and Fratianne be allowed to lie with impunity without being challenged by the facts? When there are two or more sides to a story, it's certainly not fair or just that only one of them gets exposure.

    Lois

  6. #96
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    Fassi wasn't dead for nearly two decades after the 1980 Olympics. He had plenty of time to respond, as well as access to the press in many countries, considering he spoke all the major Western languages. Not to mention his stable of students, some of which might have leaked his version, if he slipped it to them. Where was his response? Did the press everywhere suppress it? Did he not respond so that his mystique as a judge influencer wouldn't be exposed as belonging to the man behind the curtain? Was he above it all?

    If there was no response, it's no wonder that Carroll's and Fratianne's versions have stuck for so long. And I've never heard a student of Fassi's -- retired or active -- defend him against their allegations. The party line has always been, "I go out and skate and the judges judge. I can't help what the judges do."

    As far as the general press reporting lazy half-truths about figure skating, every skating fan would have been bald a long time ago from pulling his/her hair out over this. Even the author of Gay Blades -- one of the most atrocious "novels" I've ever read -- who seems to drop most of the names in the right places, insists on calling Anissina and Peizerat "the Russians." (Although, come to think of it, he may have been doing this deliberately, to refer to SLC. Hmmm.)

  7. #97
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    Actually, Carlo Fassi strenuously denied having done anything against Linda in at least one newspaper interview in February 1980, in which Carlo pointed out that the competition wasn't even that close, and Linda had lost 7-2! Carlo also denied Carroll/Fratianne's charges over the years, but there weren't many times that the subject came up in the media prior to Carlo's death in March 1997, at least from what I've seen, so there wasn't that much need for rebuttal from Carlo during his lifetime (and he was planning to include one in his unfinished book). As I have mentioned before, it was *after* Carlo's death that Frank Carroll and Linda Fratianne suddenly started doing a whole lot of interviews whining about 1980 with wildly inconsistent stories, after Carlo was conveniently unable to respond.

    As far as Carlo's students are concerned, most of them weren't even at the 1980 Olympics, so students like Peggy Fleming or Jill Trenary wouldn't have any personal knowledge of 1980, and I can't recall any of them having been asked about the subject in interviews. Nor would I consider that a normal interview question, so it's not surprising. It's not like you'll see many interviews of any sort with Emi Watanabe or Susanna Driano, who did compete against Linda and Anett that year, for instance. And the standard skater reply has always been that they just skate and let the judges do their thing, I think that's quite deeply ingrained in competitive skater media mentality.

    Lois

  8. #98
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    I recall reading comments made by Lisa-Marie Allen, the US silver medalist and 1980 Olympic teammate of Linda Fratianne and Sandy Lenz, the bronze medalist. Allen told the press, when asked she she thought Fratianne's chances were to win the Olympic gold medal, "I think Linda has been totally molded and packaged to win the gold medal." After the competition, a reporter asked Allen for her assessment of the results. She said,
    "Annet won fairly and squarely."

  9. #99
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    Thank you for the Lisa-Marie quote, SkateFan4Life. I hadn't known that she had given her opinion on the results, but I'll have to make a note of that for the next time that this topic will inevitably (sigh) come up again. Would you happen to have a reference handy for Lisa-Marie, so I could try to find the article myself? Anyway, I'm glad to see that another of the top women, and an American at that, agreed on the record that Anett's win was fair and square.


    Lois

  10. #100
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    Is is really necessary for you to check my references, Lois? Honestly, just take my word for it when I write that I read those quotes from Lisa-Marie Allen. She certainly did make those remarks in reference to Linda Fratianne and her assessment of the results.

    I have quite an extensive collection of figure skating magazines, old books, new books, historical books, etc., but that particular book, unfortunately, was lost when I moved about a decade ago.
    It was a very thorough and interesting volume on the 1980 Winter Olympics, and it included all of the sports, plus the political situation of the time - the US hostages in Iran, President Carter's threats to boycott the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, and bios on many of the top athletes.

    Misplaced and lost items are just one of the hazards of being mobile, I guess. Oh, well!

  11. #101
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    SkateFan4Life , I'm sorry that you took my question the wrong way--I've seen many of your posts, and know that you are a knowledgeable, longtime skating fan with an extensive collection of books and magazines, and I certainly have no doubt that you know what you're talking about with Lisa-Marie's quote. I was only trying to fill in a gap in my own knowledge, because, as you can see from this thread and others, the subject tends to get very heated and contentious, and I want to be able to back up anything I write in the future with sources, if necessary. I don't think I have the book that you mention, but, for instance, I have a friend with an enormous collection of skating and Olympic books, so if I had a title I could most likely ask her to xerox the relevant page for me. I know that we've read many of the same magazine articles from the past, but there's so much out there that isn't on the web, especially from the 1980s and earlier, and I certainly haven't read everything ever published on Lake Placid.

    Anyway, no insult intended in any way, shape, or form, and my sympathy on your losses during moving--I know how that goes. I certainly respect your skating knowledge, and your skating collection!

    Lois

  12. #102
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    I think it would be very interesting if the "Ice Channel", when it gets underway, broadcasts a series on judging controversies or self-proclaimed judging controversies.

    If such a series was broadcast, I would hope that the producers would contact Linda Fratianne and Frank Carroll to see if they would be interested in appearing on the program to air their view of the 1980 Winter Olympic women's figure skating competition.
    Perhaps they would not want to appear on a live program, but if they did, perhaps there would be the opportunity for viewers to call in with their questions/comments on this subject. Even if the program was taped, it would be interesting. Naturally, in order to present a balanced view - or to attempt to do so - an effort would
    need to be made to locate judges from the 1980 Olympics to give them the opportunity for rebuttal.

    I'd like to hear what Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, and Robin Cousins have to say concerning the alleged "wheeling and dealing" that Carlo Fassi, their former coach, supposedly was engaged in at Lake Placid.

    I'd also like to hear what Annet Poetszch's take is on the this situation. Surely she's heard the rumors, the allegations, etc.
    Does she feel this diminishes her achievement of winning the gold medal?


  13. #103
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    Lois, I tried to remember the exact title of the book that contained
    Lisa-Marie Allen's quotations concerning Linda Fratianne, but I just can't remember it. It was a special edition on the 1980 Winter Olympics, and it was produced (I think) by the United States Olympic Committee. I can't believe that book slipped away from me, but as I wrote, I've moved so many times that some pretty neat stuff has been lost along the way.

  14. #104
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    I recall another "Blades on Ice" article on Linda Fratianne, printed several years ago that quotes Linda as stating that she had won both the short and the long program at the 1980 Winter Olympics.

    As ALL of us know (!), Linda did win the short program, but she finished second in the long program to Denise Biellmann.

    I wrote a letter to the BOI editor to refudiate Linda's statement, but the letter was never published. I suggested that the writer of the article should have checked her facts before submitting the article.


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