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Thread: How does "politicking" work?

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    How does "politicking" work?

    We all know federations politick for their skaters in different ways. Skaters have made comments about it (i.e. Johnny Weir saying his Olympic scores could have been better if he was politicked for), judges have been busted for trading votes (i.e. SLC pairs) and also attacking skaters from other countries (i.e. Inman's e-mail "pointing out" Plushenko having no transitions). In what other subtle, behind the scenes ways to federations use these tactics to promote their skaters?

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    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Akiko's and Mao's marks in last year, if I right remember at NHK Trophy or at GPF...Akiko sould have won that competition.

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    I am certainly not an expert on this, and it differs between national competitions and international events. But the judges usually stay at the same hotels, often will eat in the same restaurants. Before and after the competition, there is a judges lounge at the skating venue where the judges congregate. If there is a friendly judge or official nearby from another Federation that a judge has known over the years, I am sure they don't sit in silence. They may compliment a skater from the opposing Fed., and casually mention some positive aspects of their own skaters that may have been overlooked in past judging. If your skater has made recent improvments in technique, you may point that out. The other judge may subconsciously look for that improvement, and judge accordingly.

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    The clearest example is Inman against plushenko and getting plushenko two 5.00 transition scores in the sp to help lysacek win.

    Another example may be Russian ice Dance chair declaring domshabs ropes for lifting legal.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Ironically, Plushenko deserved a 5.0 for Interpretation in the SP. His transitions were fine. The power pull out of the 3Axel was amazing.

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    I should mention I read a book by Jon Jackson titled "ON EDGE" a few years ago. It gives his story how he started up the judging ranks, from low level comps through national and eventually received international judging certificates. He was an observer, not a participant, of the Salt Lake City scandal in 2002 and explains a lot how politicing works. This was all under 6.0

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    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Love him, or hate him, but Scott Hamilton talked about politicking with examples from his own career of officials and judges going for or against him in his autobiography "Landing It".

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    John Curry (1976 Olympic gold medalist) talked about politicking in his documentary. He was very derisive of 6.0, saying that cheating was laughably transparent. Although he knew he wasn't a "favored" skater during most of his career, he also knew that changed during the Olympic year. For whatever reason, the judges deemed him the top skater, and he said that played a large role in his eventual win.

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    Sometimes bad skating happens to good people... LiamForeman's Avatar
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    Didn't Moskvina say a vodka bottle to the former soviet judges would go a LONG way to favoritism?

    As much as I liked Weir's skating, well, he let his skating get away from him his last four years. He joined the cult of personality instead of working his butt off to be a legitimate threat to international medals. I'm not even sure it was the cross-dressing, the alrheaded interviews. He wouldn't do a program with all jumping passes, didn't add a silly 2toe to make a 3 jump combo. He was a terrible competitor. Evan at least learned the rulebook, and maximized his potential with hard work and less flim-flam to the media. Mostly when Weir made the papers it was about something airheaded he'd say. I remember something about him skating like a Carebear on Acid or Icicles on Cocaine? Huh? I'm not sure it was lack of politicking that ruined Weir's career. If you were the USFS, and frankly any employer, would you choose the flighty inconsistent and not paying attention Weir to the maybe dull, but reliable, conscientious, and incredibly focused with a work ethic Evan? It seems obvious to me. Weir was not THAT talented to get away with it.

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    ^^^^^

    That's your opinion but what's Johnny gonna blame?

    Anyway, he seems to act professionally in his new job now. I hope he will stick with the mature style and help set a new standard for the US figure skating commentaries.

    BTW, I feel that often "Politicking" is the scapegoat for people not liking the results. Like it or not, COP does offer more transparency and points for arguments for or against the results.

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    This is why we can't talk about Mao's underrotated triples. I can't write ''She is underotating her jumps''. Because some poster will say this is South Korea sabotage or some other angry posts. Just wait and see. If nobody talk about underotation, there is no underrotation. Good idea. This year's favorite "politicking"

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    What is really incredulous is the fans' politicking, as if it would make a difference, if not with the judges and skaters, then other fans, again as if that would make a difference. And then there are the projections and accusations of other fans politicking if their comments are not flattering enough to the accusors' favorites, as if that would make any difference. It only makes me go .

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    축복, 축도 RABID's Avatar
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    I know this might sound naive but shouldn't it stand to reason that some politicking might also be dedicated to shaping a direction a judge feels the skating world should encourage? Perhaps SOME of the reasons YuNa's scores are so high is that, the judges want to not only reward her skating but reward her TYPE of skating? And maybe the same with lighter degrees of interests, lesser skaters as well. What is "politicking" after all? Perhaps Patrick Chan is the face the International skating world wants to represent them and it is THEM that is forgiving of his lapses rather than any particular cabal of Canadian judges and big wigs.
    I wouldn't be surprised if that sort of politicking isn't even encouraged.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamForeman View Post
    Didn't Moskvina say a vodka bottle to the former soviet judges would go a LONG way to favoritism?
    I think it was Tatiana Tarasova, commenting on the 1998 Olympics, Tara versus Michelle. "Why didn't Frank Carroll slip us a bottle of vodka. What did we care which American girl won?"

    There was also a famous quote from two-time Olympic bronze medalist Philippe Candeloro. "If course there is politics. Without it, no French skater would ever win anything."

    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy
    Anyway, he (Weir) seems to act professionally in his new job now. I hope he will stick with the mature style and help set a new standard for the US figure skating commentaries.
    I just saw his work from NHK, ladies and men, on NBC television. He knocked it out of the park.

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    Six Point Zero Krislite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    I am certainly not an expert on this, and it differs between national competitions and international events. But the judges usually stay at the same hotels, often will eat in the same restaurants. Before and after the competition, there is a judges lounge at the skating venue where the judges congregate. If there is a friendly judge or official nearby from another Federation that a judge has known over the years, I am sure they don't sit in silence. They may compliment a skater from the opposing Fed., and casually mention some positive aspects of their own skaters that may have been overlooked in past judging. If your skater has made recent improvments in technique, you may point that out. The other judge may subconsciously look for that improvement, and judge accordingly.
    I imagine this is how it works most of the time. No round-table conspiracy, bribes or anything overt, but more a matter of chatter and reputation. Judges talk to each other and keep track of competition results/protocols and watch videos of competitions. Expectations play a lot into scoring. When they consider you top dog, they give you high marks. When you're a relative unknown, they score conservatively unless you have a skate-of-your-life moment. Your most recent competitive results tend to determine your current potential/range of scores. Improvements/consistency increase that range. Poor results will lower it. This is because judges stay within a narrow "corridor" of scores for each skater, a corridor that is largely set by expectations even before the competition begins. Interestingly, by using a trimmed mean instead of majority votes by ordinal ranking, the IJS has likely decreased the variance in competition results.

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