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Thread: Maria Butyrskaya

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    About bloc judging, it wasn't the Olympics that opened my eyes so much as the Worlds that followed. Before the skating even began, Dick Button said on TV, "Looking at the panel of judges, Irina will win 6 to 3."
    You know what this also tells me; it tells me that North Americans win when the judging panel is set up along their lines as well. I don't believe that only Eastern Europeans conspire together and not the innocent North Americans. I've seen competitions where the Canadian judge will flat out favor its skaters (much like the Russians). We saw how the panel voted in SLC pairs as well. As much as Eastern Europeans vote in blocs, so do North American (and whatever Asian countries they can get to side with them).

    Often you see the panel split with "eastern" voting one way and then the other half voting the other way, and often times the skaters are ranked the same along each side (in terms of western ranks skaters similarly and eastern rank skaters similarly). So only western judges can rank skaters properly and eastern judges can't? Or perhaps culturally eastern judges value different things in skating than western judges?

  2. #62
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    It is interesting to me to look at these apparent alliances forming and disolving. It would make a cool study for some graduate student in political science.

    Statistician/aerospace engineer/ skating buff George Rossano did a study of which countries have shown the most Chauvinism in overscoring their own skaters. Canada won, hands down. Russia, to the surprise of many, was near the bottom.

    Unfortunately for them, as far as I can tell Canada has not had very much success in organizing a "bloc" to help them out. In terms of ISU resolutions and the like, Canada always votes with Russia -- and is rewarded with plum seats on various ISU councils.

    The U.S. is in a unique position, IMHO. Because the U.S. has the most money, the power brokers of the ISU have to keep them in the game, and at least throw them a bone from time to time.

    Anyway, the reason that I say I am disillusioned by all this, is the following. Suppose you had a horse race. You timed it with 9 stop watches. Six of the stop watches said that horse A finished the race in 1:42 and won. Three of the stop watches said that, no, horse A finished in 1:58 and lost.

    What would we think of such a sport?

    Mathman

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    About bloc judging, it wasn't the Olympics that opened my eyes so much as the Worlds that followed. Before the skating even began, Dick Button said on TV, "Looking at the panel of judges, Irina will win 6 to 3."

    After Michelle skated, Terry Gannon asked Button, "Was that enough to win?" And Button replied, "Not with this panel."

    Sure enough, the vote was 6 to 3 along party lines.
    That was Irina's first Worlds. I remember the camera panning the panel and one judge had revenge in her eyes because of Sarah' win of the previous Olys.

    Ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union, there are so many former Soviet Republics all of whom have independent figure skating federations. And I believe they all have the innate cultural likes of Mother Russia since they are all descendants of Russian parents. I daresay our Russian immigrants to N.America also carry that innate culture and if they became judges they would reflect those cultural likings.

    Be that as it may, I don't think anyone is going to place Sasha above Irina in the forthcoming Olys because at the moment, Irina is on a roll, and she is Queen of the Technical. It will be interesting to watch and see if the so-called Western bloc will assist Sasha. JMO.

    Joe

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    Often you see the panel split with "eastern" voting one way and then the other half voting the other way, and often times the skaters are ranked the same along each side (in terms of western ranks skaters similarly and eastern rank skaters similarly). So only western judges can rank skaters properly and eastern judges can't? Or perhaps culturally eastern judges value different things in skating than western judges?
    Soogar - There isn't a half in the 'other half'. Asians have their own skaters and the 3 possible judges will not sit on the podium together. I don't see any cultural ties between Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and definitely Denmark to vote for anyone from N.america. for me, it is not POLITICAL, it is CULTURAL.

    But don't worry - no one will know who the judges are, even if they are from Kahzakstan, Azibaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Belorus, Ukraine, etc., etc. The judges nationalities will never be known.

    Joe

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    That was Irina's first Worlds. I remember the camera panning the panel and one judge had revenge in her eyes because of Sarah' win of the previous Olys.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    It will be interesting to watch and see if the so-called Western bloc will assist Sasha.
    You nailed it with that one, Joe.

    MM

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    But don't worry - no one will know who the judges are, even if they are from Kahzakstan, Azibaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Belorus, Ukraine, etc., etc. The judges nationalities will never be known.
    Joe
    Which judge gave which column of scores might never be known, but until the next generation of judges is ready to be hatched, five minutes and Google will tell you what each judge's nationality is.

  7. #67
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    Unfortunately, that information is of no use or interest at all. What we want to know is, the Ukrainan judge gave Sasha very low marks in choreography compared to the American judge. That sort of thing.

    And because of the random draw, we do not even know the natiuonalities of the real panel overall.

    MM

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman

    Anyway, the reason that I say I am disillusioned by all this, is the following. Suppose you had a horse race. You timed it with 9 stop watches. Six of the stop watches said that horse A finished the race in 1:42 and won. Three of the stop watches said that, no, horse A finished in 1:58 and lost.

    What would we think of such a sport?

    Mathman
    The time in which someone (on horseback or not) crosses a finishing line is not a subjective thing. It either is the time or it isn't, skating competitions are never that clear. Taking aside Le-gougne's confession there were very valid arguments for having either of the pairs first. We have often had 5-4 splits to give someone the win. Skating is not black or white like a race is - that's part of the beauty and entertainment of watching skating for me. I don't particularly find Athletics or racing very intersting to watch...but that's just me!

    Ant

  9. #69
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    Quite true, Antman. But still, to me, it means that we can't take the sporting aspect of figure skating too seriously (the entertainment aspect, yes).

    If you win by a five-four judges split it is hard for me to get anything out of that except that these five particular judges liked your perfromance. The other four, no, not so much. So what did you really win?

    Mathman

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by soogar
    Often you see the panel split with "eastern" voting one way and then the other half voting the other way, and often times the skaters are ranked the same along each side (in terms of western ranks skaters similarly and eastern rank skaters similarly).
    That is exactly what is so discouraging. Look at the Salt Lake City pairs judging panel. Leaving out the compromised vote of the French judge, here's how it went:

    Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze judges:

    Marina Sanaia, Russia
    Jiasheng Yang, China
    Anna Sierocka, Poland
    Vladislav Petukhov, Ukraine

    Sale and Pelletier judges:

    Lucy brennan, USA
    Benoit Lavoie, Canada
    Sissy Krick, Germany
    Hideo Sugita, Japan

    Why go through the charade of skating at all? Why not just get out your old Cold War map, count up the votes, and give out the medals accordingly?

    Now I am beginning to appreciate Cinquanta's brilliance in hiding this kind of information from the public under the New Judging System. The unadorned facts make the sport look irredeemably corrupt.

    Mathman

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Quite true, Antman. But still, to me, it means that we can't take the sporting aspect of figure skating too seriously (the entertainment aspect, yes).

    If you win by a five-four judges split it is hard for me to get anything out of that except that these five particular judges liked your perfromance. The other four, no, not so much. So what did you really win?

    Mathman
    I guess you only ever win the nod from the panel that was judging that day and that's all you can do. Its easy to see why people throw the "figure skating isn't a real sport" around as much as they do. At the end of the day the people who hold that view will continue to hold it regardless of the scoring system since most of them find the costumes and music to be another facet of it not being a sport.

    Ultimately i view it as a sport - a very difficult set of skills need to be learnt and practiced over and over again. Like any other sport you have to perform spot on on the day of the competition and hope that the people enforcing the rules to do so fairly. Other sports can be skewed by bad calls, to take a topical sport - tennis - the line judges and/or any over ruling by the umpire can end up being quite controversial and the "what ifs" that can play out if somone believes a call was made or overruled unfairly are there too.

    Ant

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    That is exactly what is so discouraging. Look at the Salt Lake City pairs judging panel. Leaving out the compromised vote of the French judge, here's how it went:

    Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze judges:

    Marina Sanaia, Russia
    Jiasheng Yang, China
    Anna Sierocka, Poland
    Vladislav Petukhov, Ukraine

    Sale and Pelletier judges:

    Lucy brennan, USA
    Benoit Lavoie, Canada
    Sissy Krick, Germany
    Hideo Sugita, Japan

    Why go through the charade of skating at all? Why not just get out your old Cold War map, count up the votes, and give out the medals accordingly?

    Now I am beginning to appreciate Cinquanta's brilliance in hiding this kind of information from the public under the New Judging System. The unadorned facts make the sport look irredeemably corrupt.

    Mathman
    I totally understand and appreciate your frustrations because i feel them too, however, one thing to notice is that this kind of split bloc voting only really happens when skaters are so good that it is a close call. I don't have the results but it would be intersting to look at the ladies cometition in Nagano - of which nationalities was the panel made up? Who voted which way? I presume that all of the first place ordinals went to Kwan and Lipinski? IIRC didn't Slutskaya stand up on her 3sal/3loop? So perhaps an intersting look would be to see how the ordinals were for Lu Chen and Slutskaya for the free?

    The point is that the skaters do need to have skated fairly equally before these kind of things can come into play.

    Ant

  13. #73
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    I'd be curious to see the 98 comparison...especially Chen and Slutskaya...and i'm having trouble finding results...anyone have a link? thanks.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma
    I'd be curious to see the 98 comparison...especially Chen and Slutskaya...and i'm having trouble finding results...anyone have a link? thanks.
    http://www.aya.or.jp/~polaris/winter...igure_w_ex.htm

    Lulu got third place ordinals from Australia, Austria and Germany.

    Butyrskaya got third place ordinals from Russia, Ukraine, Poland and France.

    This was one of those OBO things where it is tricky to find out who really won.

    Slutskaya got no ordinals higher than fifth.

    BTW, Michelle received first place ordinals from USA, Germany and Poland, with the rest, including Russia, going to Tara. This was the competition about which a senior Russian official said afterward, "Why didn't Frank Carroll slip us a bottle of vodka? What did we care which American girl won?"

    MM

  15. #75
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    Thanks for the link MM...I momentarily forgot (when I asked for the link) how much I didn't/don't 'get' OBO

    I do remember being so happy for Chen Lu....I can't remember for the life of me what the SP's for Chen and Slutskaya were like...and I am totally blanking on Slutskaya's skates too...urgh!

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