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Thread: Controversial Olympic Competitons

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    Controversial Olympic Competitons

    It seems like every Olympic year, there's usually one or two events that are considered "controversial". I'm picking on the Olympics because it is the biggest prize; it's only every 4 years and it sucks the most if you get robbed (as opposed to Worlds, which is every year). I can only remember back to 1994, but I recall that year there were a lot of iffy wins. Was there another Olympic year that had more debated outcomes? I guess excluding the obvious 2002 Pairs event, what are considered the most 'controversial' decisions?

    I'm not old enough to remember much past 94' though.. and I don't follow ice dance much. From what I could find on YouTube, it seems 1992 was kind of a splatfest though. I'm not sure if any of the wins were really questionable or close however.

    These are just the ones I can remember..

    1994:
    Ladies: Oksana vs. Nancy. It came down to tie-break I believe. There was that whole block judging issue, and Oksana with no 3-3 beating Nancy with a 3-3.
    Men: Urmanov vs. Stojko. I wasn't following the men's event that closely back then but it seems like it's still debated.
    Pairs: G&G had a slight mistake but won. I can't remember how close it was though.

    1998:
    Ladies: Tara vs. Michelle. I think it was 6-3 on the judging panel, but I didn't think it was really controversial. Tara was clean and had a 3-3. They did give Michelle slightly higher Presentation marks.
    Men: No controversy. A little mixed judging for the Short Program but 9-0 for the free skate.
    Pairs: Don't remember, probably didn't watch closely.

    2002:
    Ladies: Sarah vs. Michelle vs. Irina. I recall this being VERY close with Sarah winning a 5-4 split or something.
    Men: No controversy. 9-0 on the judging panel at every stage.
    Pairs: Obviously.

    2006: None of the wins seemed controversial. Says something about CoP I guess. Not sure if its really the new system or because it seemed like everyone except the gold medalists hit the ice hard.

    So, I'm wondering, which ones are still the most debatable? And for that matter, which ones are the least debatable?
    Last edited by moviechick; 05-12-2008 at 05:42 AM.

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    Loving pairs, dance and figure skating mycelticblessing's Avatar
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    1994 was debatable in just about every event. Oksana's win in both the SP and LP were heatedly debated. Many felt Torvill and Dean were robbed in dance. In pairs, G/G won Gold over M/D, with the latter having a much cleaner performance. Not too sure about Men's though..

    I agree with you about 2006. All the Gold-medal winning programs were clean, and all the champions were deserving ones. I cannot say for sure, but I do think the CoP did greatly contribute to keeping the Olympics a very fair one, and keeping any controversy and debate to a minimum.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Yes, the worst that can be said about Torino 06 was that Plushy was overmarked . But the medals went to the right people, in all four events.

    I didn't start watching regularly until 1999, so I can't comment on Lillehammer or Nagano, but I always felt that the pairs controversy in SLC started out based on a faulty premise - i.e. that S/P were robbed. While I could certainly understand why many felt that S/P skated the best performance on the night, I personally thought B/S had the stronger program, even with the error, and that a subjective panel could have called it either way. In retrospect, of course, it was good that the matter was investigated, but the media frenzy was at times appalling. I wonder, if the programs were scored retroactively based on CoP, which would have come out ahead.

    Wasn't there some issue with the dance in 1998? I think one of the top teams fell or stumbled or something. I've also heard that some people felt Paul Wylie skated better than Victor Petrenko in Albertville. Perhaps the judges just wanted Petrenko to finally retire his free skate program?

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    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moviechick View Post
    2006: None of the wins seemed controversial. Says something about CoP I guess. Not sure if its really the new system or because it seemed like everyone except the gold medalists hit the ice hard.

    So, I'm wondering, which ones are still the most debatable? And for that matter, which ones are the least debatable?
    No but it did give some an easy win.

    Plushenko deserved gold but the presentation marks were outrageouse. Out of all the medal contenders, he should have had one of the lowest marks.

    Navka and Kostomorov did the dullest FD of their career and were way overated when it came to presentation too.

    I think the CoP made it less exciting in the way that it allowed people fighting for gold to not make an effort artisticly and just rely on their technique and their name, something that happended with the old system but at least the competition was spectacular.

    However concerning the ladies' competition shizuka won fair and square even though I believe that Irina geserved silver.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I think the pairs controversy in 2002 was not so much about people feeling that Sale and Pelletier deserved the title, but rather because the French judge tearfully confessed that she had been pressured into voting for Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze by the president 0f the French federation as part of a reciprocal agreement with another federation, which was never named. :frown2:

    Phillippe Candeloro later said, of course we make deals. France would never win a medal of any kind if we didn't.

    As I recall, the controversy about the 1994 ladies was also not about the skating but about bloc judging. All nine of the judges voted strickly along "party lines." Judges for the Eastern bloc countries (Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, China and East Gernmany) voted 100% for Oksana, and the Western bloc judges (USA, Canada, Great Britain and Japan) voted 100% for Nancy, with no defections on either side. This made it seem like the only thing that mattered was the nationality of the judges, and the actual skating was irrelevant.

    In 1998, I believe it was Tatiana Tarasova who famously said, "Why didn't Frank Carroll slip the judges a bottle of vodka? What did we (the Russian federation) care which American girl won?"

    Its hard to say whether the new judging system will have an effect on this mentality (although the demise of the Cold War might.) The main way in which the CoP addresses the problem of national bias and bloc voting is to take power out of the hands of the judges, whose primary loyalty is to their individual national federations, and place it in the hands of the technical panel, who supposedly work directly for the ISU.

    However, it's better than in the good old days when skaters would refuse to compete in World Championships in the home countries of their rivals because the judges' panels were stacked against them.
    Last edited by Mathman; 05-12-2008 at 08:06 AM.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think the pairs controversy in 2002 was not so much about people feeling that Sale and Pelletier deserved the title, but rather because the French judge tearfully confessed that she had been pressured into voting for Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze by the president 0f the French federation as part of a reciprocal agreement with another federation, which was never named. :frown2:
    Well, obviously - but Marie-Reine Le Gougne was confronted about the matter because of the perception of S/P being robbed. Maybe she would have come forward with the story even without an investiagtion - maybe not. But the the feeling that S/P should have won gold was what got the ball rolling.

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    since you went by judging 6 to 3 yes. but they didn't judge fair. in that competition.
    the us was pushing tara by being the youngest. the judges also stated they didn't care if the jumps were incorrectly done. take off and landing.
    michelle was the only us skater (except of sa) they didn't judge unfairly. they did for all the other skaters.
    Michelle HAD to SKATE PERFECT. NO FLAWS, no little sloppy landing, no weak landings, no anything. Tara, Sarah, Sasha, could have improper technique, low landings, wrong take off, underrotatted jumps and still win or medal. MICHELLE couldn't.
    It is worse under the COP. In fact the skaters complain , compliment themselves that we don't have to SKATE PERFECT TO WIN.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mycelticblessing View Post
    1994 was debatable in just about every event. Oksana's win in both the SP and LP were heatedly debated.
    Baiul was 2nd in the SP (Kerrigan won the short).
    There has been some debate about her placing as high as 2nd in the SP and thus leaving her "in control of her own destiny" because of her touching down her free toe on the triple lutz in her combination. However, it's hard to say that any of the other skaters, much less two or more of them, should have placed higher. Bonaly had no deductions but some pervasive weaknesses; Chen had a more serious error on her jump combo; Szewczenko, Witt, and Rechnio did easier jumps; no one else skated clean.

    [re 2002 Olympic pairs]
    Quote Originally Posted by buttercup
    I wonder, if the programs were scored retroactively based on CoP, which would have come out ahead.
    No way to say for sure -- they were close enough that the decision could go either way in either system, depending which judges happened to be on the panel and which year's COP rules happened to be in effect. (And of course, if any version of COP were in effect, the skaters would have tailored their programs for it.)

    I suspect, though, that Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze would have won the short program pretty clearly, as they did, and Sale & Pelletier would have won the long program very narrowly -- so adding the scores a la COP would give the win to B&S, factored placements would give it to S&P.

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    Loving pairs, dance and figure skating mycelticblessing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatachaHatawa View Post

    Navka and Kostomorov did the dullest FD of their career and were way overated when it came to presentation too.
    Really? I have to disagree.. I thought Carmen was brilliant and in fact the best FD of their career. I thought they really skated Carmen with heart, and till now, I think that is the best interpretation of Carmen ever..

    Quote Originally Posted by fairly4 View Post
    Michelle HAD to SKATE PERFECT. NO FLAWS, no little sloppy landing, no weak landings, no anything. Tara, Sarah, Sasha, could have improper technique, low landings, wrong take off, underrotatted jumps and still win or medal. MICHELLE couldn't.
    It is worse under the COP. In fact the skaters complain , compliment themselves that we don't have to SKATE PERFECT TO WIN.
    The not having to skate perfect part is the worst part of CoP. I love to see clean skates, like the many which Kwan had in her time. It irks me when skaters who have had a major flaw in their program win a competiton(eg. S/S at worlds). On the bright side, all the Olympic champions in Turin, despite competing under the CoP all skated perfect. I could watch some of their programs forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mycelticblessing View Post
    It irks me when skaters who have had a major flaw in their program win a competiton
    Often all the competitors have at least one major flaw in their programs, so either someone with a major flaw will win and you will be irked, or no one will win.

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    Ice Dancing and Johnny Fan MissIzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairly4 View Post
    Michelle HAD to SKATE PERFECT. NO FLAWS, no little sloppy landing, no weak landings, no anything. Tara, Sarah, Sasha, could have improper technique, low landings, wrong take off, underrotatted jumps and still win or medal. MICHELLE couldn't.
    It is worse under the COP. In fact the skaters complain , compliment themselves that we don't have to SKATE PERFECT TO WIN.
    Um, it's only in the last year, under CoP, that incorrect landings and underrotations are seriously being addressed, and now people are complaining that people like Carolina beat everyone else when they technically do all the jumps correctly and then lose their balance! (Though I think the latest rule changes will penalize step-outs and such more next year)

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I thought the 2006 Olympics was an interesting test for the new judging system.

    In ladies, Arakawa won with a non-CoP style program. She skated beautifully, but left out both of her planned triple-triples and doubled her triple loop. She still got by far the highest tech marks.

    Sasha attempted 7 triples, but fell twice. She still got second. Irina skated one of the worst performances of her career, for the bronze.

    In the men, Lambiel got credit for two quads in the LP, but got lower tech than both Lysacek and Buttle, without quads.

    So just going by this one event, it is not easy to guess where the CoP is trying to take us.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moviechick View Post
    It seems like every Olympic year, there's usually one or two events that are considered "controversial". I'm picking on the Olympics because it is the biggest prize; it's only every 4 years and it sucks the most if you get robbed (as opposed to Worlds, which is every year). I can only remember back to 1994, but I recall that year there were a lot of iffy wins. Was there another Olympic year that had more debated outcomes? I guess excluding the obvious 2002 Pairs event, what are considered the most 'controversial' decisions?

    I'm not old enough to remember much past 94' though.. and I don't follow ice dance much. From what I could find on YouTube, it seems 1992 was kind of a splatfest though. I'm not sure if any of the wins were really questionable or close however.

    These are just the ones I can remember..

    1994:
    Ladies: Oksana vs. Nancy. It came down to tie-break I believe. There was that whole block judging issue, and Oksana with no 3-3 beating Nancy with a 3-3.
    Men: Urmanov vs. Stojko. I wasn't following the men's event that closely back then but it seems like it's still debated.
    Pairs: G&G had a slight mistake but won. I can't remember how close it was though.
    In 1994 the Cold War was still on. You probably don't remember that. Athletics were part of the Communist regime. All the Athletes were given the best of care with housing, food, expenses, and the best teaching and coaching facilities in whatever sport being played in an international arena. You probably don't know the Hockey Games at the Olys. And all the judges were part of that system!!

    The results of the 1994 Ladies was was 4 Communist Euopean judges plus one Communist China against 2 Western and 2 N.American judges.
    You should know NOW why that contest is still debated especially since the little waif double footed every jump or did you ignore that on youtube?

    Joe

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    In the men, Lambiel got credit for two quads in the LP, but got lower tech than both Lysacek and Buttle, without quads.

    Buttle got credit for the quad, IIRC, as he fully rotated it but fell on his butt. Which was the strategy from the get go. Get the revolutions and then fall. that's what gave him the bronze over Evan...

    at least, according to NBC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    As I recall, the controversy about the 1994 ladies was also not about the skating but about bloc judging. All nine of the judges voted strickly along "party lines." Judges for the Eastern bloc countries (Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, China and East Gernmany) voted 100% for Oksana, and the Western bloc judges (USA, Canada, Great Britain and Japan) voted 100% for Nancy, with no defections on either side.
    In 1994 (or 1992) Olympics there was no East Germany anymore, but one Germany. The German judge gave the marks in the way, that Baiul won. It is though true that this judge was a former GDR skater, Jan Hoffmann, LOL.

    Quote Originally Posted by moviechick View Post
    Men: Urmanov vs. Stojko. I wasn't following the men's event that closely back then but it seems like it's still debated.
    Yes, some fans still continue debating over that, but it was not a close decision, because 6 judges out of 9 were for Urmanov and only 1 judge for Stojko. Even the Canadian judge prefered Urmanov....
    Last edited by Jaana; 05-12-2008 at 01:11 PM.

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