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Thread: Who is in the "Western bloc"?

  1. #16
    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    It's possible, but I still think that politics is the overriding factor.

    In 1994 the Eastern bloc judges favored the lyrical, artistic style of Oksana Baiul over the more athletic Nancy Kerrigan. But now suddenly they like the athletic Irina Slutskaya over the artistic Michelle Kwan.

    Mathman
    To be fair Irina has beaten Michelle when Michelle hasn't come up with the technical goods - for their entire careers Irina has been the athletic one and Michelle the artisitc one and Irina has mostly been silver to Michelle's gold. Now that Michelle is struggling to get more than five triples in an LP Irina is getting the nod...i son't think there's anything strange with that.

    Ant

  2. #17
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma
    ditto Pitchka...just adding that I wouldn't be surprised if there /were/are networks within FS that constitute 'blocs' that vote/judge in certain ways...but the making of the 'iron curtain' in 'western' discourse and the underlying assumption that it is an "it" and homogenous (and the west in its own way too, just better, or more free or for the individual in a good way) is just so wrong and so unhelpful in sorting out politics, imho. I was trying to figure out some witty reply about the fetishization of the state (i.e. western state) via a certain nostalgia for the greco-roman antecedents...or some remark on how Hegelian the title of triumph of the will sounds (although, i have added it to my movie list, urgh, yet another list!)...but i couldn't think of anything witty enough...so, again, what pitchka said. In the meantime, I'm still interested in how votes have been cast and why.
    emma -

    1. I was speaking about Russia during the cold war and how it influenced it's populace within its boundaries and those countries which found the Soviet way of life the best for its peoples. Their interest in culture including sports was to be be better than those countries with a capitalistic base. It was more important that the Soviets would win than the western way of thinking that the 'best man should win'. This was also espoused by the Nazis. And the Soviets did just that by supporting the arts including sports fully and with rewards for the artists and athletes beyond anything the western countries would do.

    I was not saying that this was the wrong thing to do. I was just pointing out that there was a difference in how artists and athletes were trained between the communist world and the capitalistic world. I would like all countries to support their artists and athletes. I think the Nazis and Soviets were correct.

    2. My major point was after the decline of naziism and communism, the athletes continued in that spirit of winning uber alles and using any method as Zhulin once said, "the Americans don't know how to play the game". For them, it is still a matter of nationality. For me, it is not a game. It's to have the best skater that night, WIN, from wherever in the world he/she/them those skaters are from.

    Now for my opinion on the way things are set up; the present game is to keep the judges' names secret. There are enough judges of Russian descent to be on any panel of a competition. therefore, imo, there continues to be 'bloc' judging based on cultural similarities.

    As Mathman says, we will never really know how a decision is made in a tight race and whether or not it was bloc divided because of the secrecy in the new system devised by Speedy. The Olympic Committee warned him that they will not tolerate any more scandals at their Olympics!! So, if there happens to be some sort of collusion, it will not be evident because of the secrecy. That is how Speedy solved the problem without caring one iota for the athlete.

    We will not even see 'bloc' judging because we won't know who the judges are.

    If Irina and Sasha are in a tight race for the gold, and both skate their best. My question is basically this: Should we just accept the result without knowing who the judges were?. If you agree we should not know who the judges are, then that is your opinion and, of course, mine would be the opposite.

    And just see what happens in Pairs on THAT night!!!

    Joe
    Last edited by Joesitz; 06-27-2005 at 09:40 AM.

  3. #18
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    Joe...I absolutely hate that the names are anonymous. I also think that alliance building for voting (decision making about FS) is 'normal' in that it is part of any politics...but also to be criticized/resisted when judging is done in a way to shore up an alliance (that would be wrong/corrupt). With anonymous judging we can't scrutinze that possibility..and again, wrong, wrong, wrong, imo.

  4. #19
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    I read an interesting blurb in the NY Times last week discussing the upcoming Olympics, and how Russia and China were going to work together to keep the US from dominating the medal standings. The short article talked about sharing facilities and equipment, but I got an uncomfortable feeling. Because the identities of the figure skating judges are concealed, there is no way to know if the Chinese and Russian judges are working in lock step. There definitely could be a quid pro quo there---Shen/Zhao win Pairs, and Irina and/or Plushenko win singles.

    Tell me we're not going to go through this yet again.

  5. #20
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb
    To be fair Irina has beaten Michelle when Michelle hasn't come up with the technical goods - for their entire careers Irina has been the athletic one and Michelle the artisitc one and Irina has mostly been silver to Michelle's gold. Now that Michelle is struggling to get more than five triples in an LP Irina is getting the nod...i don't think there's anything strange with that.
    I agree, nothing strange about that. The point I was trying to make was that I don't think that it is the preferences of a common culture that results in judges sometimes voting together, but rather politics.

    In the 1994 Olympics the Baiul judges were

    Jan Olesinski, Poland
    Jarmila Portova, Czechoslavakia
    Alfred Korytek, Ukraine
    Jiasheng Yang, China

    The Kerrigan judges were

    Margaret Ann Wier, USA
    Noriko Shirota, Japan
    Wendy Utley, Great Britain
    Audrey Williams, Canada

    The swing vote was Jan Hoffmann of (formerly East) Germany. He voted for Oksana because of her lyrical style and musicality, compared to Nancy. I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of this judge. Consistently, in the 1998 Olympics he was one of the minority of three (including the U.S. judge) who voted for Michelle over Tara, for the same reason.

    Mathman

  6. #21
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm
    There definitely could be a quid pro quo there---Shen/Zhao win Pairs, and Irina and/or Plushenko win singles.
    We can beat that! Shen and Zhou for gold AND Pang and Tong for bronze, in exchange for Michelle in ladies. Then we’ll give Belgium fifth place for VanderPerren in exchange for silver for Belbin and Agosto.

    No wait, Belbin and Agosto can’t go, so we’ll trade our silver in dance to Bulgaria for a bronze for Weir (transferable to Lysacek if Johnny messes up). (There’s not much we can do about Navka and Kostamarov, or about Plushenko if his knees are healthy. Where is Jeff Gilooly when you need him?)

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm
    I read an interesting blurb in the NY Times last week discussing the upcoming Olympics, and how Russia and China were going to work together to keep the US from dominating the medal standings. The short article talked about sharing facilities and equipment, but I got an uncomfortable feeling. Because the identities of the figure skating judges are concealed, there is no way to know if the Chinese and Russian judges are working in lock step. There definitely could be a quid pro quo there---Shen/Zhao win Pairs, and Irina and/or Plushenko win singles.

    Tell me we're not going to go through this yet again.
    In general chinese (mainland china) have no good feeling about their 'big brother' Soviet Union either. They might quite proud of Kwan's chinese heritege.

  8. #23
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I would find this China/ Russia cooperation surprising. Before anyone calls me naive, let me explain. Russian federation cares about pairs far more than it does about man skating, not to mention ladies. Chinese pairs skating is farm more dangerous to Russian sport domination than American or Chinese ladies, or any of the guys out there.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm
    I read an interesting blurb in the NY Times last week discussing the upcoming Olympics, and how Russia and China were going to work together to keep the US from dominating the medal standings. The short article talked about sharing facilities and equipment, but I got an uncomfortable feeling. Because the identities of the figure skating judges are concealed, there is no way to know if the Chinese and Russian judges are working in lock step. There definitely could be a quid pro quo there---Shen/Zhao win Pairs, and Irina and/or Plushenko win singles.

    Tell me we're not going to go through this yet again.


    of course you know plushy the best male figure skater for the past four or five years needs help from the judges,same goes for Irina the world champ lol! So the north american media is not trying to create a scandal right? ain't jealousy grand

  10. #25
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The deals are already in the making. We must show the World how powerful we are in Sports!!! Oh, why can't America learn how to play the game?

    Wasn't there another stink one year about the outcome of the Dance being finalized in mid July? There has been talk that there is a plan here for this year. Too bad, for both D&Ss.

    TT said it will be easier to cheat with the new system. I have to agree. Something tells me there will be a resurection of the WFS after the Olys. Judges will be drawn by region and there names and nationalities will be known.

    Joe

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    The deals are already in the making. We must show the World how powerful we are in Sports!!! Oh, why can't America learn how to play the game?

    Wasn't there another stink one year about the outcome of the Dance being finalized in mid July? There has been talk that there is a plan here for this year. Too bad, for both D&Ss.

    TT said it will be easier to cheat with the new system. I have to agree. Something tells me there will be a resurection of the WFS after the Olys. Judges will be drawn by region and there names and nationalities will be known.

    Joe

    yes,that includes americans okay? I see some people don't have any problem if tt and other great russians coaches and coreograhers politiks for their faves against the russians. you don't call that cheating?

  12. #27
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I agree with Ptichka, and also with Curious. I can't see the Russians sacrificing Totmiana and Marinen (who have a 50-50 chance of gold in pairs) for some extra insurance for Navka and Kostomarov (a shoo-in), or for Plushenko and Slutskaya, both of whom are favored anyway.

    I didn't see the article that ChuckM referred to. But if it really quoted Olympic officials as saying that Russia and China plan to "work together to keep America from dominating the medals standings," that's an unfortunate choice of words. I'm sure what they meant was, "Russia and China will work together to insure fair judging in all sports and disciplines."

    I agree, Joe, that the aftermath of these games will be interesting. If there is both a Russian sweep of the gold medals AND some sort of judging controversy, the American media will have a field day and the casual fan will say, "Oh, there go those cheatin' Russians again."

    Curious, quite true. No one complained when Tatiana Tarasova lobbied for Sasha.

    Mathman

  13. #28
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Here is an article about the Chinese-Russian Olympic pact.

    http://sport.monstersandcritics.com/...ympic_alliance

    In fact, here is a whole page (from Google news) about it.

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ne...nG=Search+News

    They are talking about the 2008 summer games in Beijing. China, evidently, does not want to be embarassed on it's home turf by finishing behind the U.S. in medal count, so they are enlisting the help of the Russian Olympic Committee.

    "China's medal quest is official (governement) policy, with the country's leaders adopting a plan calling for its athletes to win at least 110 medals, 40 of them gold ones."

    Woe be to the athletes if they only get 109!

    They don't seem to be so concerned about the Winter games next year.

    Mathman

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    I agree with Ptichka, and also with Curious. I can't see the Russians sacrificing Totmiana and Marinen (who have a 50-50 chance of gold in pairs) for some extra insurance for Navka and Kostomarov (a shoo-in), or for Plushenko and Slutskaya, both of whom are favored anyway.

    Mathman
    ITA.

  15. #30
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I don't think they will sacrifice anyone. I never said that. It will not be another LeG collusion. It is not necessary. Russia has the strongest team they ever had. There is no reason for Russia to cheat. My last post should have been read as joshing. I was going along with Mathman's joke of exchanging gold between countries. I resent the use of the word 'sacrifice' as being said or implied by me because I do not think there will be those kind of deals!!!

    I have emphatically said throughout my posts that I do not believe there will be another collusion. Over and out. I am talking about the number of judges of russian background who may well be on the panel and because of cultural similarities they will more than likely agree on similar scores. I have consantly stressed cultural ties and not political ties!!! Everyone else seems to be talking politics. I think I am the only one talking culture.

    Joe

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