Originally Posted by Koroleva
Just of a lower placement than what she actually received, IMVHO.
That is a very unfair statement because the Soviet (and later Russian) skaters were superior in the pairs and ice dance disciplines, and that is why they won consistently (not due to bloc judging). In the singles disciplines they were never dominant, and they did not win that often. Of course in these disciplines nobody is saying that skaters from USA or GBR won because of western bloc judging! In fact in the mens discipline, Petrenko was the first man from the former Soviet union to win an Olympic gold. The reason their athletes did not win that much after the breakup of the Soviet union was that the talent pool became smaller and the government support (monetary) for sports disappeared. Some hopefuls might have thought the athletes would crumble right away but it took some time, because many of the young athletes had trained in the Soviet system, upto that point, and they continued to excel. There was also the matter of cultural pride. So the breakup of the USSR did not impact the results immediately but we are starting to see it now. Even now you do see some talented athletes, and they take pride in their tradition. The number of top athletes has decreased - we no longer see the Russians in a position to sweep the podium, but they have at least one medal contender in each discipline. There still are those who are capable of winning, and they have a very competitive attitude. They expect to win on their own merits and not due to some Soviet entitlement. Khorkina was a top gymnast, and I don't believe she expected someone to just hand her a gold medal. She was bitter no doubt, and unsportsman like, but I see it as an individual reaction. I would not generalize it to include all Russian athletes.Originally Posted by euterpe