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Thread: Federations and Olys

  1. #1
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    Federations and Olys

    I have read on other threads about the "games" some federations play (or are accused of playing) to secure Oly medals, and I was wondering if anyone knew why they did these things -- or why people would accuse them. I don't think that it is just "my favorite skater lost"' people have managed to debate the 1994 pairs event without accusing any of the federations of "fixing" the event. Do federations get a cut of the skater's earnings? Does this apply even after the skater goes pro? Is it grant money from the respective governments?

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Yes, some federations get a cut of the skater's money. Maria Butyrskaya says that she lost a substantial part of her figure skating earnings when the Russian federation put it all into a fishy bank account "for her." The bank folded under suspicious circumstances (but not, as I understand it, before Piseev and the Russian federation withdrew all of their money), leaving Maria and other athletes holding the bag. Maria sued, but to no avail.

    I don't know how it works for pros.

    Yes, federations get grants from the national "Ministry of Sports," or whatever. The French skating federation has been in various stages of bankruptcy for a decade. Former president Didier has been utterly candid in saying that the reason France makes deals with other countries is because that is the only way France will ever win a medal, and no medals, no money from the sports ministry.

    (That being the case, I am really puzzled about why the French federation is so diligent in screwing Joubert over.)

    In England, I believe that the sports ministry has officially downgraded figure skating to the position of a "minor sport' (= no money), because they have not had any Olympic medallists lately. Maybe the Kerrs will win something and get figure skating off the "bad list" in that country.

    But even so, I don't think money is the driving force, either for the federations or for the athletes. They want to win! Most federations, including USFS, say right in their charter that the main reason for their existence is to win medals in international competitions. What else matters?

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    Wanting to win is one thing, "fixing the games" is another. So far, at least, to my knowledge, no one has accused the USFS of "fixing" anything to secure OGMs for Krisit, Tara or Sarah.

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    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Here's a fixing theory for you...

    After reading this thread, and also the thread Joe started about early on thoughts of high potential medalists, this theory came to mind.

    Q: How can federations make deals when they don't know what the "random draw" of judges will be in terms of which scores count?

    A: SPEEDY!!!!! Now deals can be made directly with him! Maybe Speedy can make sure in the "random selection" process that the right judges are randomly selected!! Let's say in the pairs event, Speedy makes sure that the Russian judge and other judges who might tend to favor a Russian pair are "in" and the Chinese judge is "out." And then Speedy can just pocket any deal making money himself, and keep it quiet. And of course the public will never know which judges scores on any panel counted.

    Now this is just a theory, and as we all know Speedy would never do something like this because he is an upright guy who only has in mind the best interests of the skaters with fairness to all of them on the day of the competition.



    DG

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    IMHO, Speedy would be better off making his deals directly with the skaters.

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    Custom Title merrywidow's Avatar
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    It goes back to the Cold War era. It was very important to the Communist countries as propaganda for their athletes (all sports) to triumph over those athletes from non communist countries. Paying for all of the training expenses, isolating the athletes so they could focus exclusively on their sport were 2 of the ways this was done. China does it now altho I think it is more of a "catch up" game for them rather than to appear superior to any other nation.

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    MM mentioned in another thread that there was an article about china make deal with Rusian in Summer game held in China. I agree merrywidow, china playing catch up now. In both competetion field and politic field. They've learned their lesson in past a few Olympics, where they had been cheaten out of the Gold blantuntly by unfair judges calls (the most obviouse example was last Summer Olympics Defence(not sure it is the right name) competetion. Where the authority even switched the majore judge/referee in the middle of the match because of his outrage bias call. The international officer attend the competetion call the judge's call rediculars.). However chinese never file the protesting, just for the sake of showing good sportsmanship, in most cases they just accept judge's decition as the final decision.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggygirl
    Maybe Speedy can make sure in the "random selection" process that the right judges are randomly selected!! Let's say in the pairs event, Speedy makes sure that the Russian judge and other judges who might tend to favor a Russian pair are "in" and the Chinese judge is "out." And then Speedy can just pocket any deal making money himself, and keep it quiet. And of course the public will never know which judges scores on any panel counted.
    Hi, DG. I appreciate the joke, but actually, computer gliches are a problem that the ISU is concerned with, and tampering is by no means out of the question. There have been quite a few bobbles already. In the men's SP at worlds, for instance, the person who enters the data for the tech specialist hit the wrong button and did not give Li credit for his jump, resulting in Weir being placed ahead of him improperly.

    This was correctable. But at Junior Worlds a judge accidently punched in 0.25 instead of 6.25 for one of Kimmie Meissner's component scores, and it was just too bad for Kimmie. She finished third (in the SP) instead of second by less than 4 tenths of a point.

    But beyond that, yes, the possibility that someone (not Speedy, of course) could tamper with the software is a real one.

    MM

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    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Hi, DG. I appreciate the joke, but actually, computer gliches are a problem that the ISU is concerned with, and tampering is by no means out of the question. There have been quite a few bobbles already. In the men's SP at worlds, for instance, the person who enters the data for the tech specialist hit the wrong button and did not give Li credit for his jump, resulting in Weir being placed ahead of him improperly.

    This was correctable. But at Junior Worlds a judge accidently punched in 0.25 instead of 6.25 for one of Kimmie Meissner's component scores, and it was just too bad for Kimmie. She finished third (in the SP) instead of second by less than 4 tenths of a point.

    But beyond that, yes, the possibility that someone (not Speedy, of course) could tamper with the software is a real one.

    MM
    MM, I know Speedy's ability to tamper is a real one. That part of my "light hearted" post was for real. ITA with you about the ISU needing to tighten up the data entry process for the skaters. While I think caution needs to be high. i.e. a door should not be opened to allow a judge to say "HEY! I meant 8.5 on that component score, not 7.5! That was a typo!" which could change the results of a close competition after the fact. So that's the unfortunate flip side of what happened to Kimmie, if "correcting mistakes" becomes too generous. I hope there is an "are you sure" button on the screen to give the judges a final review of their scores before they hit the "submit" button.

    Once again, I think identities of judges being known is key here. Hey - maybe that ".25" for Kimmie was NOT a mistake. Maybe it was intentional on the part of a judge who favored another skater, and therefore it was a "convenient" mistake. And also, who knows if that .25 "error" cost Kimmie a place? Who knows if that score counted? (or maybe that was determined...I'm not sure)

    Making the judges known up front would go a long way to holding the whole panel more accountable. At least supposed "errors" would be 100% on public display.

    2 more cents...

    DG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggygirl
    A: SPEEDY!!!!! Now deals can be made directly with him! Maybe Speedy can make sure in the "random selection" process that the right judges are randomly selected!! Let's say in the pairs event, Speedy makes sure that the Russian judge and other judges who might tend to favor a Russian pair are "in" and the Chinese judge is "out." And then Speedy can just pocket any deal making money himself, and keep it quiet. And of course the public will never know which judges scores on any panel counted.

    Now this is just a theory, and as we all know Speedy would never do something like this because he is an upright guy who only has in mind the best interests of the skaters with fairness to all of them on the day of the competition.



    DG
    I wonder if he can set it up so the Italian skaters benefit.

  11. #11
    Keeper of La Khok's Tutus Doggygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyora
    I wonder if he can set it up so the Italian skaters benefit.
    "Show me the money!" Was the first thought that came to mind when I read your post. I hate to be so skeptical of poor old Speedy, but all the secrecy in the judging panels is starting to bother me more and more as time goes on.

    DG

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    Kimmie wasn't the only skater who lost out on points because of a data entry error. Susanna Poykio also got a 0.25 at Europeans.

    This is a major software flaw in a system that has obviously not been subjected to rigorous testing before release. That means any judge can deliberately enter a lowball score and say it was a 'mistake'. Indeed, multiple judges could make 'mistakes' that hurt one skater's score while benefitting another.

  13. #13
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    I thought there was something in place that flagged a too low score right then and there on the screen? I could be wrong.

  14. #14
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Canada always plays by the rules and our athletes participate in the Olympics fair and square. We have not had the huge results other countries have, but we know our athletes are giving their best and can come home knowing any medals they do bring home are through their own merrits and not through some back room deals - as Toller Cranston used to call them.

    It's kind of sad to think the Olympics are fixed, but it does happen.

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