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Thread: Sandra Bezic Interview ( by TSL, Jenny and Dave)

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    :) aftertherain's Avatar
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    Sandra Bezic Interview ( by TSL, Jenny and Dave)

    Unlike the Frank Carroll interview, this one is separated into four parts rather than two.

    • Part 1 - http://www.theskatinglesson.com/sand...erview-part-1/
      In part one of our interview, Sandra discusses the challenges of getting Battle of the Blades on the air, its surprising renewal for a fourth season, her competitive career and how how she transitioned into the role of a choreographer. In a world full of sound bytes, we are extremely grateful that Sandra let us take a look inside one of the most creative minds in figure skating.
    • Part 2 - http://www.theskatinglesson.com/sand...erview-part-2/
      In part two of our interview with Sandra Bezic, we delve into the process of creating a winning program and helping skaters reach the pinnacle of the sport.
    • Part 3 - http://www.theskatinglesson.com/sand...erview-part-3/
      In part three of our interview, we discuss Sandra’s tenure at Stars on Ice and her views on the disappearance of ice shows.
    • Part 4 - http://www.theskatinglesson.com/sand...erview-part-4/
      Sandra Bezic has been one of the most visible voices of figure skating on television since the early 1990s. As a commentator, Sandra has often been controversial, as she frequently wore multiple hats as choreographer, director and commentator during the height of figure skating’s popularity. In the final part of our interview with Sandra, we discuss the current state of the sport, her views on the 2013 World Championships and her perspective on one of figure skating’s most controversial Olympic broadcasts.


    Also, she responded to a few commenters--very surprising, I know; it's pretty much unheard of-- in the Part 4 post (it's a relatively long response). After you watch the interviews, be sure to read it!

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    Ooh, I can't wait! She's not only creative but tremendously articulate.

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    I've now seen 1, 2 and 4. Really worthwhile, in my opinion. Nice to hear discussion without all the negative stuff that usually happens elsewhere. Everything she says, she backs up with her reasons and she clearly respects skaters even if she has disagreements.

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    Missing D&G GF2445's Avatar
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    This was a fantastic interview. Sandra has so much insight. It is unfortunate that many blame her and Scott Hamilton for the inception of IJS. To say they contributed to the media firestorm at Salt Lake City is correct (something had to be done for the corruption in skating) but to say they were the reason for the sport's current site is several bridges too far.

    Hopefully something happens in Sochi which will force the sport to transform again. Also looking forward to the day that Ottavio Cinquanta, the person who was meant to aid the sport but only assisted in getting it to its woeful state, retires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GF2445 View Post
    This was a fantastic interview. Sandra has so much insight. It is unfortunate that many blame her and Scott Hamilton for the inception of IJS. To say they contributed to the media firestorm at Salt Lake City is correct (something had to be done for the corruption in skating) but to say they were the reason for the sport's current site is several bridges too far.

    Hopefully something happens in Sochi which will force the sport to transform again. Also looking forward to the day that Ottavio Cinquanta, the person who was meant to aid the sport but only assisted in getting it to its woeful state, retires.
    The Salt Lake result though was hardly the worst result in the sport though. There was an argument for the Russian team winning. Because their program was filled with difficult transitions and choreography, and the Canadians were skating a much easier program choreographically. There's also the issue of basic skating. Anton's error was really quite minor.

    The problem two is if the Russians Salt Lake win is ridiculous wasn't Ca0nadians win in 2001 worlds even worse? After all both the Chinese and the Russians were cleaner than S/P were and the argument there was the strength of the program. That year S/P had the more difficult program. And you know what S/P's error was much more major than what Anton did. Then there was no international controversy.
    One argue that by ruling the way the judges did in 2002, they were actually showing some consistency with 2001... I took issue with S/P and their screaming and yes the Canadian media's screaming because none of them had a problem when the results went their way in 2001. If 2002 silver was unfair than so was their 2001 Gold.


    Yes we found politics but dig anywhere in this sport you can follow politics. I suspect certain judges were going to go S/P's way no matter what too...As long as they skated decent.


    The fact is though I felt Scott/Sandra were biased throughout clearly rooting for one pair, and didn't even bother to try to explain the result. The result was not nearly as clear cut as the presented it as being.


    I'm not saying the Russians deserved to win ,but Scott and Sandra should have at least explained to the audience the other things taken into account.

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    Sale & Pelletier were gifted alot of wins over B&S far worse than the 2002 Olympic win for B&S. The 2001 GPF, 2001 Worlds, they both did not deserve for sure. The 2001-2002 GPF they deserved in the end but they did not deserve to win the SP, and they were given the title with 5.9s and 6.0s across the board in the final LP before B&S even skated which wasnt at all right. Of course that is the Canadian way in figure skating, being thrilled to take gifts of any proportion but crying foul if anyone doesnt skate atleast 30% better than their contender and beats them. Little did one know the very overrated S&P were just a warmup for what was to come with Chan.

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    My memory of 2002 was different to most. Even I was a child then, I remember being totally disgusted at the result like the crowd that was there at the Olympics 2002 and gave up the sport all together (esp considering Kwan didn't succeed her Olympic dream). I didn't hear the sensationalist broadcast by the NBC then, I heard the BBC version. Figure skating should absolutely avoid another situation like 2002, for it will break the hearts of those innocents who still have the romantic notion that this is a beautiful sport and loose even more audiences.

    I honestly don't see why people should blame brave commentators like Bezic for speaking up, or for the inception of IJS. Their role is addressing ALL controversies with their unique on site perspective. They certainly did that. You might ultimately disagree with their views, but they are still valid as proven by subsequent judging trade for votes scandal. If they were wrong, they should be fired, but they were not. They put their own reputation on the line for taking the risk, I for one applaud them for it. I am glad it happened, and love them for kick start the process for change, to be anti corruption. If something like this happen at the next Olympics, I for one would love the commentator to use their platform and do something about it. Change is good, what subsequently happened has nothing to do with them but everything to do with speedy who conceived IJS.

    The truth is no system relies on 100% human judgement can ever be perfect especially if they are done 100% anonymously. That is why tools and application are constant being invented in the real world to revise and recalibrate these margins/risks for error, despite initial human analysis. The fact the sport still does not use measurable/quantifiable aids in this day and age is complete mystery to me. It might be wiser to look into how the judges judges things organically with real accountability and real numeric facts in support (speed, power, torque, distance, height, ice coverage etc.) than tweaks a system that minimize the numeric differential in small acceptable increments and pretend biases are some how miraculously erased, or only exist in small amounts which are acceptable to the Maths.

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    There is nothing wrong with presenting facts but the extreme bias Bezic and Hamilton have had for and against certain skaters for years is more than obvious. Even if the 2002 result was wrong, they grossly exagerrated it to inappropriate degrees, and there bias in favor of Sale & Pelletier right from the start was plainly apparent to even a non skating fan. Commentating as a platform to speak out against wrongs is fine, but as a way to unfairly promote your favorites, and campaign against those who dont fit your personal vendettas is not ok. Also the mere suggestion if someone is bad NBC, freaking NBC who have become the disgrace of sports and Olympic coverage in general over the last decade, would fire you, is too laughable for words.

    I will say one thing, as horrendous as Bezic and Hamilton are, they are still better than the Schlegal, Trautwig, and Daggett team NBC use for gymnastics. Also the skating World no longer cares about them, as none of their complaints have rendered any alteration to the judges scoring or anything the ISU has done since the inception of COP (although sadly in one case as they have often cried foul over Chan`s scores, but they are now so irrelevant they cant even have their views heard on that), and with SOI almost dead their last source of having any value in the sport is almost gone for good, so that is another plus. They are just voices for annoying NBC, nothing more now.

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    ^ I think we should be more charitable towards Scott Hamilton. After winning the Olympic gold medal he caught on with Ice Capades, but they let him go after two years because but obviously no one going to pay to watch a male figure skater perform -- bring on the dancing girls!

    So Scott started up his own tour and skated to full crowds with Stars on Ice for fifteen years. If it weren't for Scott hamilton, the idea of male skaters entertaining a crowd would never have gotten traction.

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