- Figure Skating
Olympic figure skating judging controversy reactions
Adelina Sotnikova's surprising run to the gold medal in the ladies' figure skating competition has prompted scrutiny of the judging that boosted her to a comfortable win over reigning Olympic champion Yuna Kim. Some fault the anonymity and subjectivity of figure skating judging, while others wonder why two judges with questionable personal backgrounds were participating in the judging in Sochi: One judge who scored the women's final was suspended after the 1998 Olympics for trying to fix the ice dancing portion of that competition, another judge is the wife of a high-ranking official in the Russian figure skating federation.
The IOC immediately said there was no controversy, but fans and casual observers were so incensed that an online petition to investigate the judging garnered over a million signatures just hours after the competition ended. South Koreans, in particular, are taking it pretty hard, and the South Korean Olympic Committee has officially protested the results.
Ashley Wagner blasted the judging system in an interview with Reuters, but she and Gracie Gold took the high road in an interview with Bob Costas.
Embedded video_content_type: Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds on figure skating judging
Tara Lipinksi and Johnny Weir said the scores made sense, at least in the context of figure skating. "It's figure skating," said Weir. "It's always been a weird little world."
Embedded video_content_type: Weir and Lipinski discuss skating controversy
Scott Hamilton also avoided criticizing the judges, saying the kind of excitement generated by the competition is why people love the sport.
Embedded video_content_type: Ladies free skate sparks another scoring debate
Defenders of the judges' scoring say it's pretty simple: Sotnikova attempted one more triple jump in her program than Kim did. More subjectively, they say Sotnikova's performance was more spirited and took bigger chances than Kim's, which has been characterized as cautious and stiff. A side-by-side analysis of the two routines offers some insight into the technical components of the scoring.
Embedded video_content_type: Sotnikova, Kim free skate routines side by side
Kim, for one, didn't appear upset or surprised by the judges' reactions; instead, she seemed relieved that her competitive career was over.
Embedded video_content_type: Yuna Kim: 'I've been waiting for this moment'
Sotnikova, on the other hand, waited anxiously as the judges' scores were tallied, then was overcome with joy when the scores were announced making her the gold-medal winner.
Embedded video_content_type: Adelina Sotnikova waits for Yuna Kim's scores to be revealed
Embedded video_content_type: Sotnikova: 'I win'
Best of Sochi