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Thread: Looking back to SLC and pairs event

  1. #16
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Maybe this is old topic debated many times here, don't know but it's OS and I have never asked about it.
    I think I ll die one day but my grand grand grand children will still discuss this debate in offseason.

  2. #17
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Did Scott say this before - or after he apologized?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=LNut...eature=related

    I always thought he sounded pretty calm (by Scott standards ) in that interview.
    I never said he apologised for thinking S/P should have won. He apologised for letting the moment get the better of him and saying some things in the heat of the moment. He did his 'apology' with Bob Costas, and Bob would NOT let it go that it was the evil Russians that STOLE the medal... Bob Costas is so freaking annoying anyway that it wasn't surprising... (Actually the one person that went above and beyond disgusting was Rosie ODonnel saying she wished that Elena's injury a few years prior - a former partner put his skate into her forhead or something like that - had been worse so that she couldn't have skated in SLC... I was so disgusted at that comment, and Jamie and David then decided not to go on her show after they'd already agreed to come on...)

    I agree with scott as to who should have won - I don't agree with how the media attacked the SKATERS on both sides... and poor Shen and Zhao were completely forgotten.
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 05-30-2010 at 04:57 PM.

  3. #18
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    If the cheating had never been exposed , the final placements of these two teams would still have been debated ad infinitum. They were that close , though different.

    But with the exposure of the judging conspiracy , both teams became victims of the system in a way that had never been obvious before. Though such victimization had often been suspected , it had never been so provable .

    Once it was out , the federations were duty bound to act on behalf of their athletes.. the IOC was bound to abide by it's own rules. The athletes themselves had competed fairly , but ultimately both teams were saddled with an outcome that couldn't have been satisfying for anyone. This is why it's so annoying to me when people accuse S/P of whining, or B/S of pouting. These athletes devoted years of their lives, along the way suffering injury ,upheaval in their personal lives, and who knows what else . They dedicated themselves wholeheartedly... and they're reduced to the status of bystanders . So much for their Olympic dream.

    Even amid all the ensuing accusations, revelations , etc. , the full extent of the deal making may never have been fully exposed ( certainly not to my satisfaction ). Who would have been the actual beneficiaries on the ice dance end of things ? Were only the Russian and French judges involved ?

    Many people have refused to believe that the plot existed because, they say , it doesn't make sense...A/P were fully capable of winning without any help. Le Gougne's confession was really just a breakdown...the fantasy of a disturbed mind.

    The thing is ,the deal may not have been only to trade gold for gold, but to help position a no.2 or 3 team for further advancement...or to benefit a third country's team in accordance with some other agreement that has never come to light.It's possible that the objective of the deal on the French side was to prevent another team with some "political" clout from being pushed ahead.

    Unless and until anonymity of judges is done away with , the danger of this kind of cheating , although now more difficult, will still be with us.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 05-30-2010 at 06:45 PM.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    If the cheating had never been exposed , the final placements of these two teams would still have been debated ad infinitum. They were that close , though different.

    But with the exposure of the judging conspiracy , both teams became victims of the system in a way that had never been obvious before. Though such victimization had often been suspected , it had never been so provable .

    Once it was out , the federations were duty bound to act on behalf of their athletes.. the IOC was bound to abide by it's own rules. The athletes themselves had competed fairly , but ultimately both teams were saddled with an outcome that couldn't have been satisfying for anyone. This is why it's so annoying to me when people accuse S/P of whining, or B/S of pouting. These athletes devoted years of their lives, along the way suffering injury ,upheaval in their personal lives, and who knows what else . They dedicated themselves wholeheartedly... and they're reduced to the status of bystanders . So much for their Olympic dream.

    Even amid all the ensuing accusations, revelations , etc. , the full extent of the deal making may never have been fully exposed ( certainly not to my satisfaction ). Who would have been the actual beneficiaries on the ice dance end of things ? Were only the Russian and French judges involved ?

    Many people have refused to believe that the plot existed because, they say , it doesn't make sense...A/P were fully capable of winning without any help. Le Gougne's confession was really just a breakdown...the fantasy of a disturbed mind.

    The thing is ,the deal may not have been only to trade gold for gold, but to help position a no.2 or 3 team for further advancement...or to benefit a third country's team in accordance with some other agreement that has never come to light.It's possible that the objective of the deal on the French side was to prevent another team with some "political" clout from being pushed ahead.

    [B]Unless and until anonymity of judges is done away with , the danger of this kind of cheating , although now more difficult, will still be with us.

    [/B]

    There is the best point and the only remedy.

  5. #20
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    (Actually the one person that went above and beyond disgusting was Rosie ODonnel saying ...
    Is there a person who can wish this for another person? Please tell me you are joking or I missed the translation of it. It really ruined my night. Does she belong to another species? Cause she doesn't remind me of an animal and she is certainly not a human being. Maybe a plant.

  6. #21
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I like your take on this. Tara won in '98 but I preferred Michelle then and I always will.
    I think Hamilton got it exactly right and as you stated it is not about who is best when they are on but about who skated the best that evening.
    What about those of us who genuinely were not blown away by S&P's performance? Likewise, I was not that impressed with Tara at the time, I thought she had a lot of energy and excitement and skated well, but she lacked polish and maturity and just looked completely juniorish to me as an amateur competitor. While I like her in retrospect, that "it" quality that so many saw in that performance just never was that apparent to me.
    There were still three judges who thought Kwan deserved the nod despite Tara's performance.

    The problem with Hamilton's statement is not only that it completely ignores and oversimplifies the many thousands of variables that go into judging, but that it also assumes that there is a genuine unanimity in what the judges see and consider to be the best performance.

    As for Clean vs Unclean, in pairs, the cleaner simpler performance almost never won over the more tentative and jam packed.
    Last edited by escaflowne9282; 05-30-2010 at 09:32 PM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    Is there a person who can wish this for another person? Please tell me you are joking or I missed the translation of it. It really ruined my night. Does she belong to another species? Cause she doesn't remind me of an animal and she is certainly not a human being. Maybe a plant.
    I had never heard that comment before. It's deeply disturbing. How could anyone even think such a thing? I will never think the same way about Rosie O'Donnell again. Good for Jamie and David for not going on her show, if that story is accurate.

    One of the worst temptations of sports fandom--and the media that covers a sport--is how enticing it is to attribute some awful motive to the rival competitor. I've felt that temptation myself: I was so peeved at Tara when she won the Olympics in 1998. But then I realized that I was angry at a girl who was barely out of middle school. All Tara was "guilty" of was trying her best to do the same thing Michelle was trying her best to do. Why else would anyone compete?

    To see Elena and Anton villified as though they were somehow trying to "sabotage" Jamie and David's victory is in the same vein. If there was cheating going on behind the scenes, these two certainly didn't set it up. All they did was train and practice and prepare--the same thing Jamie and David did. I'm kind of glad for the tie for that reason. But what I'm most glad for is that both pairs skated so well that week, and that we got to see their programs.
    Last edited by Olympia; 05-30-2010 at 09:45 PM.

  8. #23
    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    I always wonder what would have happened if B/S were the clear winners due to a slip up by all the other teams and then the judge's cheating had still come to light. Would they have retained the Gold?

  9. #24
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    They did retain the gold. They weren't stripped of their gold medals. So, yes... I think they would have had to fail a doping test or been guilty of some other wrongdoing ,themselves, to have their medals stripped.

    I'd like to think that even if they'd been undisputably ahead ,there would still have been the same shake up in the system once Le Gougne broke down. But then, would she have broken down if the competition had not been close enough to provoke controversy ?

    escaflowne..The difference is that the two were judged fairly equally..in spite of how any fan would have judged them..But then, the French judge admitted wrongdoing, and implicated at least the Russian federation as well as her own. That threw all the variables under suspicion...

    What about those of us who were not blown away by one couple or the other ? Our preferences and opinions don't count.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 05-30-2010 at 11:45 PM.

  10. #25
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    (Actually the one person that went above and beyond disgusting was Rosie ODonnel saying she wished that Elena's injury a few years prior - a former partner put his skate into her forhead or something like that - had been worse so that she couldn't have skated in SLC... I was so disgusted at that comment, and Jamie and David then decided not to go on her show after they'd already agreed to come on...)

    I agree with scott as to who should have won - I don't agree with how the media attacked the SKATERS on both sides... and poor Shen and Zhao were completely forgotten.
    Elena's injury was actually more severe than that. She was training with her former (abusive) partner and his blade indeed went into her head during a SBS spin - it went deep enough into her skull that she suffered an injury to her brain that required emergency surgery, and lost the ability to speak for a while. When Moskvina and Anton came to Latvia to help her get back home, nobody knew if she'd ever be able to skate again, let alone compete. If anyone wished that she'd not made a full recovery, that person is sick.

    Shen and Zhao didn't go to the second medal ceremony. I don't think they wanted to be part of the media circus.

    I don't think it was ever made clear what exactly went on with Marie Reine La Gougne. After the event, she was confronted by Sally Stapleford who allegedly accused her of being unfit to judge. Stapleford was head of the ISU technical committee at the time, and extremely powerful; La Gougne did eventually claim she had judged fairly. I have no idea what exactly went on, but it's too bad the allegations weren't properly investigated. Of course, four other judges felt B/S deserved the gold - this wasn't, as others have noted, an easy call.

    BTW, B/S did not get a 9-0 decision for their vastly superior (and clean) SP. Two judges went with S/P.

  11. #26
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    :
    escaflowne..The difference is that the two were judged fairly equally..in spite of how any fan would have judged them..But then, the French judge admitted wrongdoing, and implicated at least the Russian federation as well as her own. That threw all the variables under suspicion...

    What about those of us who were not blown away by one couple or the other ? Our preferences and opinions don't count.
    What does this have to do with my post ?
    My post was in response to the posters (Janetfan and Joesitz) supporting Hamilton's idea that you must unequivocally judge the night and go with the best performance. I was pointing out that there is a huge level of subjectivity as to what the best performance is and varied opinions as to what carries the most weight when evaluating performances .
    Therefore , having such a matter-of-factness when discussing results is extremely misplaced. What puts a tear in your eyes may do nothing for the person sitting next to you, and what judge A gives more importance to, may be completely irrelevant for judge B. This goes for any competition, not just the one discussed here, and that is really why I object to Hamilton's comment.

    I have never found myself feeling there was a clear winner in either case discussed (B&S/S&P or Kwan/Lipinski) .
    Last edited by escaflowne9282; 05-31-2010 at 01:16 AM.

  12. #27
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Sorry, buttercup , that's not the way it went. Le Gougne spontaneously and loudly came forward to, or in front of , a number of people in a fairly public place. Sally Stapleford did go and confront her. Up till then, no-one had accused her of anything . Everyone was stunned. Her own federation said she was hysterical , practically called her crazy, and hustled her back to France ASAP before people could go into it with her too deeply.

    We're all entitled to our opinions of skaters and performances in a sport that will always have a subjective element , even with CoP. But if we all really want the best for the sport , it helps no-one to misrepresent events that have been well documented.

    Unfortunately, the ISU itself doesn't help by keeping much regarding it's own investigations private and insisting on the anonymity of judges. If this had not happened at an Olympic Games , if the IOC had not been breathing down their necks, one wonders how much more would have been covered up , or allowed to fade away.

    *** escaflowne - If I seemed a bit harsh , I didn't mean to be . But the Judges must judge the performance on the night, and the commentators are there to help the audience understand the judging...and to give their "expert" opinions. Having said that , their reaction was extreme..(I think they really were shocked). In fact , I think they reacted more strongly, initially, than the Canadian network ( that was probably being a bit cautious for fear of being accused of homerism.) So Scott's apology was apros pos.

    The whole episode has had an adverse effect on commentary as well , it's very seldom nowadays that you hear a commentator point out any faults, or weaknesses. They search for whatever positive things they can point out and keep fairly silent on the rest, unless there's something obvious like a fall or a missed element. I think this is pretty ridiculous. It makes the commentary pretty bland and predictable ( and very unlike other sports commentary)....Surely we can take it ? If we can sit at home ,or in the stands, and disagree with the judges , why not the commentators ? I don't want to hear them rant, but I don't mind hearing them say where their opinion might have differed on a given mark...(Idiocy such as Rosie's is another matter)..
    As for us ,even if we might have called an event a different way , we have to live with the judges decision. Our opinion doesn't count in the awarding of hardware. Especially since there's always going to be a certain amount of subjectivity involved, we need at least be able to feel confident of the judges' honesty.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 05-31-2010 at 01:58 AM. Reason: Adding on

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    Sorry, buttercup , that's not the way it went. Le Gougne spontaneously and loudly came forward to, or in front of , a number of people in a fairly public place. Sally Stapleford did go and confront her. Up till then, no-one had accused her of anything . Everyone was stunned. Her own federation said she was hysterical , practically called her crazy, and hustled her back to France ASAP before people could go into it with her too deeply.
    Not So. According to the Second Mark, Stapleford confronted LeGougne after the competition in the hotel lobby and vocally tore her apart and called her an unfit judge. This was also after judge Britta Lindgren had (allegedly) told her off on the bus ride back to the hotel. It was at this point LeGougne broke down and made her admiissions. Stapleford then returned with more people and told Le Gougne to repeat her admissions.
    Her spontaneous outburst did not take place until the next day at the judge's meeting. It also is not quite true that her Federation hustled her back to France ASAP, she remained in SLC for a few days after the competition , at which point she met with Cinquanta personally and recanted her statement saying she was under duress in making it.

    No, none of this was ever even remotely investigated, and IMO the ISU and IOC had a duty to follow through and determine what occurred. This is really where I find the most frustration. Neither the French nor Russian Federations were even remotely examined, and the ISU just never followed through on anything
    Last edited by escaflowne9282; 05-31-2010 at 01:49 AM.

  14. #29
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    Sorry, buttercup , that's not the way it went. Le Gougne spontaneously and loudly came forward to, or in front of , a number of people in a fairly public place. Sally Stapleford did go and confront her. Up till then, no-one had accused her of anything . Everyone was stunned. Her own federation said she was hysterical , practically called her crazy, and hustled her back to France ASAP before people could go into it with her too deeply.

    We're all entitled to our opinions of skaters and performances in a sport that will always have a subjective element , even with CoP. But if we all really want the best for the sport , it helps no-one to misrepresent events that have been well documented.
    Not So. According to the Second Mark, Stapleford confronted LeGougne after the competition in the hotel lobby and vocally tore her apart and called her an unfit judge. This was also after judge Britta Lindgren had (allegedly) told her off on the bus ride back to the hotel. It was at this point LeGougne broke down and made her admiissions. Stapleford then returned with more people and told Le Gougne to repeat her admissions.

    Her spontaneous outburst did not take place until the next day at the judge's meeting. It also is not quite true that her Federation hustled her back to France ASAP, she remained in SLC for a few days after the competition , at which point she met with Cinquanta personally and recanted her statement saying she was under duress in making it.

    No, none of this was ever even remotely investigated, and IMO the ISU and IOC had a duty to follow through and determine what occurred. This is really where I find the most frustration. Neither the French nor Russian Federations were even remotely examined, and the ISU just never followed through on anything
    Thank you, escaflowne9282. I have no doubt that La Gougne was under intense pressure, and like you, I think it's a shame neither the ISU nor the IOC made a more serious effort to determine if it was just the usual skating politikking or something more serious. It's also too bad that the media, for the most part, lost interest once the second gold medals were awarded and allowed both organizations to get away with it.

    Colleen, I recommend that you check out The Second Mark, which does a good job laying out the events of SLC and the experiences the three medal winning pairs went through to get to that point. The sections on Shen and Zhao are particularly strong. I would also suggest that you make sure your own information is correct before criticizing others for making supposedly inaccurate statements.

  15. #30
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    I haven't read The Second Mark ( yet ), but that account doesn't quite jibe with the accounts I read given by people involved at the time.... However, who approached who first is splitting hairs a bit....Would a completely honest judge have been so easy to intimidate into making a false confession..? What kind of thugs could Stapleford and Lindgren be , to be able to accomplish that ? But could someone already susceptible to pressure by her federation ( knowing there was controversy, and knowing she would have to account for her marks )first confess thinking the jig was up, but then be convinced to recant to Cinquanta ( during the 2 or 3 days he gave her to collect herself ), and then be whisked back to France ?..( This was pretty ASAP , since she would have had to meet with Speedy first )..That seems more likely to me.

    I agree completely that too much dirt has been swept under the rug ...particularly on the part of the ISU. The IOC was probably limited as to how far they could delve into the ISU's internal workings..but they needed assurance that the ISU would meet their standards going forward (They were still recovering from their own scandals , leading up to those games. ) They mostly wanted to stop the bleeding, I think...The ISU was put on short notice. It may still be there ,to some degree.

    Everyone wanted to run away from the Russian Mob phone call investigations...

    I don't know if we'll ever know the full story , or if enough has been done to clean everything up.. Somehow I doubt it.

    :oBTW, I didn't totally mean to make an accusation ( maybe a bit of a correction)..because one runs into many people on these forums who didn't follow the story at the time, and seem to think that it's open to question that there was something fishy going on. My apologies to you, buttercup if I misjudged or offended you.

    I 'm always open to correction , myself, if new information has come to light. I'll be looking for that book. But I think it may be a long time before we have the definitive account.
    Here's another perspective among those to be considered :
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/oth...on-agenda.html
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 05-31-2010 at 04:25 AM.

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