Politics and sports make a very unlikely pair, but they are getting along pretty well. If you happen to have recently watched Sochi Olympics, especially ladies figure skating, you know what I am talking about.
At the end of day, Adelina Sotkinova , a Russian hopeful for medal, came out victorious in front of her compatriot crowd enthusiastically cheering her. But if you know anything about ladies figure skating for a recent decade, you would cringe.
Since the 2002 judging scandal in which judges had swapped their votes to fix the result, the ISU (International Skating Union) introduced a new system called COP (Code of Points) , and people hoped it would free figure skating judging from corruption once and for all.
But the 2014 Sochi Olympics have just proved how naïve we were – it was judges, not the judging system that were corrupt, and human beings, as we know, are quite capable of making their way, especially in manipulating the system they create.
After all, they are the operators of the system.
The ISU have kept insisting their confidence in the COP system and openly advocated it was a corruption proof system whenever criticism or skepticism against the COP system was brought forth.
In response to the worldwide protest to the result of ladies figure skating, the ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta stated that the result was accurate and fair, even defending his choice of a judge that was even involved in the old judging scandal.
Now the IOC also chimed in saying that the 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova won gold because her skating showed such an improvement enough to beat Yuna Kim and Carolina Kostner, with her astronomical scores.
Right, the former President Clinton never had a sex with Lewinsky.
Sotnikova indeed made a history, as the IOC eulogies, in which her skating sets an example that figure skating is no longer a sport but an accessory of affectation that caters the international politics.
In the current figure skating, especially ladies figure skating, there has been a set of qualitative relevance between scores and performance thanks to wonderful skaters such as Yuna Kim or Mao Asada.
Especially through Yuna Kim’s progress in her career, those scores she set up reflect upon the kind of qualities ladies figure skating has established in the past, and upholds in comparative analysis.
What happened in the Grand Prix events last year and Sochi was the relevance that exists between scores and qualities of figure skating became meaningless as the judges indiscriminately award the GOE(Grade of Executions) on what seemed to be subject to barely ratification, or even negative GOE in the past.
This loosen judging not only subverts the values that represent the ladies figure skating but also allows the judges to do targeted judging. Then what can stop them to pick a winner at their will? This is a systematic device to paralyze the system itself.
Sotnikova was a skater who scored barely 60s in short in 2013 Worlds, and her free averaged 120s at best. Perhaps she has dramatically improved within a short amount of time?
Just compare her footages flooding in Youtube. Even if you are not an expert of figure skating, you can tell there is little difference in her performance and her skating skill from then to now.
Most importantly, you can’t be a phenom over night in this sport. Even the best of Sotnikova’s performance is not as good as Yuna Kim’s junior skating.
What happened in Sochi was this: it’s like a 100m track game.
You ran 100 meter faster than any competitor and passed the finish line with a record of 9.5s. You knew you won the game. Everybody knew it.
Then the winner is announced. The guy next to you who finished perhaps third or fourth with a record 10.5s are declared as the winner. You are dumfounded. People are stunned.
No mystery, my friend. The judge cut the finish line by 10 meter for that guy next to you, and his record is declared 8.5s.
In Sochi Sotnikova was declared as a winner who allegedly outskated Kim, Kostner and Asada. But what follows is more ludicrous than the event itself.
The IOC has lately made a clueless blunder in an article on its website saying that Sotnikova improved her skating so much as to win. Are they jumping from frying fan to fire?
Let us be sympathetic, shall we? Right. After all they need to sell their newly crowned champion. But Sotnikova with price tag 224. 59?
Ain’t buying it.