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Thread: Sonia Bianchetti site

  1. #1
    Custom Title fumie_fumie's Avatar
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    Sonia Bianchetti site

    Have you guys run into her website?

    She has been the teacher of the judges under the old 6.0 system and she has a lot to say about new judging system and the running of ISU in general. I found her writing very informative and helped me understand the nature of the sport.

    http://www.soniabianchetti.com/writings.html

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Yes, Mrs. B. has a lot of interesting inside dope about how the ISU really works.

    But the reader has to be a little cautious. Bianchetti was a principal in a big ISU power fight and came out on the losing end. So her view (I am honorable, eveyone else is a scoundrel) is only one side of the story.

    Likewise, not everyone agrees with her assessment of the New Judging System (it is the worst thing that ever happened to figure skating, second only in the election of Olaf Poulsen as president of the ISU in 1980.)

    Her book, Cracked Ice, is an excellent read, however -- especially for fans who thought that crooked judging began in 2002 at Salt Lake City.
    Last edited by Mathman; 09-03-2007 at 03:33 PM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The most notable crooked judging began in 2002. It's hard to believe that anyone would doubt that Legougne did not cheat after admitting she did. duh.
    Before that everyone was afraid to talk about it including Hamilton. Just whispers came out.

    Bianchetti has a lot to say about everything that figure skating stands for. Most of it is right on factual; some of it is opinion, not unlike sooo many other people from around the world.

    Whether her book resulted in her being overlooked by the voting for Preident of the ISU is a conclusion by readers who apparently are of the yes men types, who cares? She brought some needed questions up to the forefront. In my opinion, things have changed since she spoke out.

    I never read that Bianchetti said that she is honorable and everyone else is a scoundrel. If she did she was putting the effete colleagues down for pussyfooting.

    Joe

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Before that everyone was afraid to talk about it including Hamilton. Just whispers came out.
    His book came out before 02, and he was very critical of the judges' less than stellar reputation for making backroom deals...

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    Go NJ Devils
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    Influence is a two-way street. In manleywoman's podcast with Susie Wynne, Wynne recalls that her coach told her that she had lobbied hard for Wynne/Druar the year they came in fourth at Worlds, their highest placement, and she wasn't sure that they were better than the teams immediately under them, but cited pecking order.

    Christine Brennan in one of her books had made the Czech judge who gave Curry a first in the Euros LP in a 5/4 split into a hero of integrity, bucking the system, and described how he was not sent to outside competitions for half a decade because of it. Bianchetti refutes this, saying that he thought it was so obvious that Curry was first, that if he had voted Curry in second, he would have been the only one and would have been called out for bias. I thought that was the most interesting bit in Bianchetti's book.

  6. #6
    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    His book came out before 02, and he was very critical of the judges' less than stellar reputation for making backroom deals...
    The first edition of the "Cracked Ice" is 2004. (Edizioni Libreria dello Sport, Milano). I read it and I made an interview with Sonia for our russian figure skating news site in April 07. If you are interested in the topic, welcome to
    http://fsnews.ru/page-id-328.html

  7. #7
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allusion View Post
    The first edition of the "Cracked Ice" is 2004. (Edizioni Libreria dello Sport, Milano). I read it and I made an interview with Sonia for our russian figure skating news site in April 07. If you are interested in the topic, welcome to
    http://fsnews.ru/page-id-328.html
    Thanks allusion,262383 - That interview shows exactly what Bianchetti is all about. Not everyone will agree with her on some of the issues, but who else can explain the sport better?

    Joe

  8. #8
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think Tonichelle is referring to Scott Hamilton's book Landing It, published in 1999.

    About the place of the Salt Lake City controversy in the long-running drama of figure skating judging scandals, in Cracked Ice Mrs. Bianchetti does a good job of providing historical context.

    Here is Sandra Loosemore's review.

    http://www.frogsonice.com/skateweb/a...cked-ice.shtml

    "Cracked Ice" is Sonia Bianchetti's memoir of her years as an ISU judge, technical committee member, and council member. Although the book opens with a prologue concerning the Olympic judging scandal in Salt Lake City in 2002, that episode is far from being the focus of the book. Rather, Bianchetti's thesis is that the Salt Lake City incident and other recent well-publicized episodes of corruption in the sport are only a continuation of what has gone on behind the scenes for decades.

    Bianchetti reports, for example, that at her very first assignment in judging an ISU event, the 1964 European Championships, she was approached by Austrian ISU Council member Ernst Labin, who openly tried to influence her judging in favor of his country's skater. She also tells the story of the persistent bloc judging in the 1970's that led to the suspension of all judges from the Soviet Union in the 1977-78 season, and of continuing problems following the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 1990's.
    Last edited by Mathman; 09-04-2007 at 08:32 AM.

  9. #9
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    BTW, the most enduring legacy of Bianchetti's long tenure in the inner circles of the ISU is the abolition of figures. She successfully spearheaded the movement to get rid of school figures in all ISU competitions.

    From the interview referenced above by Allusion:

    "From the day I was elected to the ISU Figure Skating Technical Committee in 1967 I set myself a goal: the elimination of the compulsory figures.

    I was perfectly aware that the fight would be tough and would take many years even if I could never have imagined how hard it would be and how many years it would take. It must not be forgotten that the compulsory figures had played a major role in figure skating, they represented the real essence of the sport for more than a century...

    (But I believed that) If the time, the energy, and money spent on training figures had been used to improve the various elements in free skating, especially the quality of the artistic side of programs, it would surely have been more beneficial to the sport in general.

  10. #10
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    BTW, the most enduring legacy of Bianchetti's long tenure in the inner circles of the ISU is the abolition of figures. She successfully spearheaded the movement to get rid of school figures in all ISU competitions.
    Not a reccomendation at all IMO. In other words, she's largely responsible for the incredible degradation of basic technique that we've been witness to in the last several years.

    To be fair, I think maybe, just maybe, Bianchetti was dim enough to think that figures would still be used in training (as there are some things that skaters don't seem to learn in any other way, certainly not through MITF). But just four years after the last ISU figures competition, there was an olympic champion who couldn't even do a bracket turn.* The mind boggles.

    This is actually why I sort of hope that CD's hang on in Dance, you'd think that people would realize how valuable they are in training, but once they're gone, I wouldn't be surprised if dance will go the way of the other disciplines.

    *according to Brian Boitano, or in his words (circa 2004):
    "A few years ago, I was doing basic compulsory figures at a practice for a TV special. Oksana Baiul was with me and asked what I was doing. I was doing a basic turn called a bracket. Oksana could not do it at all."

  11. #11
    Gadfly and Bon Vivant Mafke's Avatar
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    Just a quick question, where was this thread moved to and why?

  12. #12
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    I have often enjoyed ... and concurred with ... many of Bianchetti's ideas. But I can't imagine that anyone wouldn't agree that the sport would be in better shape if she had been voted ISU president. I continue to be baffled that the ISU continues to let things deteriorate under Speedy's reign. Money is often the bottom line. But he continues to lose revenue and TV deals in MAJOR markets and yet the ISU doesn't seem to care. Seriously, I just don't get it.

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