From Ice Skating International: OnlineOriginally Posted by Joesitz
"The performance of Zhang & Zhang in the Pairs Free Skate was one of the most courageous performances we have seen in a long time and is a testament to the Olympic spirit. The situation, however, was questionably handled by the Referee. Should a deduction for an interruption been taken? (One was not.) Should the team have been disqualified? (They were not.)
This situation is the second example in less than a month of the ambiguity and uncertainty in the handling of the interruption deduction; the first being the Oda Free Skate at Four Continents. The time from the fall until the music was stopped (we assume by the Referee) surely must be considered an interruption. Was it 11 seconds or more? Did anyone time it? Zhang & Zhang's margin of victory for the silver was nearly 3 points, so even if a deduction was appropriate it would not have changed the results. Nevertheless, does anyone in the ISU know what the definition of an interruption is? Is anyone timing this, or even paying attention to what is going on? It appears not.
Then there is the handling of the restart. After the referee stops the clock and talks to the skaters, the skaters have 2 minutes to restart their program from the point of interruption. The referee is supposed to blow a whistle. The Referee is supposed to call the skaters over and talk to them about what will happen next. Someone is supposed to time the 2 minutes. The announcer usually is told to announce what it the decision on the restart. None of this happened. The music stopped. There was a delay. Then after a while the music started again. If the time from the stopping of the music to the restart exceeded 2 minutes the team should have been disqualified. The exact official timing of the stoppage is unknown at this point, but the time stamp on photos taken during the event show at least 2 1/2 minutes from the time Hao helped Dan up off the ice to the time they left the boards to resume the program. The full time, was probably much more than that. No matter how you slice up the time, it looks like either there should have been an interruption deduction or a disqualification. Pick one.
For all the money spent on technology, a successful competition still comes down to the officials doing their jobs correctly. There is ample reason to question whether that was the case here. If the third and fourth place teams were not also from China, one might expect that a protest would have been forthcoming in this case."