The figure skating has controversy has been re-ignited, this time at the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver.
This year’s competition has been less than desired, with many of the leaders winning their respected contests. To be honest, it’s been pretty boring, with no suspense what-so-ever.
It all stems from the secretive judging developed in the mid part of the decade. After the elimination of the 6.0 system (Due to alleged vote rigging by a judge at the Salt Lake games during the pairs competition.), the new judging system was supposed to be more fair and accurate.
In fact, the new system doesn’t allow a skater the opportunity to win a competition from behind. A skater who is in the lead in the short program simply can coast in the free program and assure themselves victory. If you’re in third or fourth place, you’re guaranteed not to get Gold.
Case in point, the men’s division.
The competition between Evan Lysacek and Evgeni Plushenko was close, very close. However, Lysacek’s program was less challenging than Plushenko’s in that he didn’t have a quad in his arsenal. Plshenko was forced to do a much more agressive free skate. But by playing it safe and skating a clean program, the Gold medal was Lysacek.
Another example was the pairs competition, where I noticed a problem with the eventual Gold medalists, Shen & Zhao of China. A problem with their final lift should have been enough to keep them from the top of the podium, but eventually, they had enough of a point cushion to win.
And as much as I enjoy Yu-na Kim’s (shown above) skating, the judges ridiculous scoring makes it very discouraging for anyone else to compete. I feel sorry for the other girls who have to skate behind her.
I’m not sure what it’s going to take to straighten this out, but I’m not sure if it’s fixable. Without figuring out why judges voted the way they did, there won’t be any accountability. It can only get worse for figure skating, in credibility and integrity.
Both will end up destroying the sport!