What about the audience, Mr. Cinquanta?

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by somcutza, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. theshrew

    theshrew New Member

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    You do not need superior maths skills to realize how much easier is to cheat now.
    Under 6.0 the judges had only two scores which they could manipulate, but now the possibilities are countless.
    There are between 9 and 13 elements in a LP, each of them being awarded a certain GOE.
    With the exception of the cases when a skater falls or makes a blatant mistake, the judges can actually give any GOE they want since the criteria is ambiguous enough to allow them to justify almost anything.
    13 elements mean 13 possibilities of influencing GOE.
    And this is not the only opportunity when it comes to GOE. Since the range of GOE varies between -3 and + 3, again here there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre. For an OK-ish done element that maybe deserved 0 GOE it is not hard for a judge to justify that he actually thought it deserved + 1 or maybe + 2.
    Then of course we have the components where a 0.25 – 0.5 points more than deserved wouldn’t raise any question marks.
    Now the only question remains on how to make several judges to favour the same skater.
    I think that this is where the power and influence of a federation comes into play .
    Like Nietzsche used to say: “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”
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  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Under 6.0, a judge could place skaters in whatever order they wanted on their own card, regardless of the quality of the skating. To avoid being tagged as incompetent or biased, even if the judge was trying to manipulate the results, it was best to keep their rankings at least close to what the judge thought the skaters really deserved and to be able to justify their decisions afterward. They couldn't control whether their rankings would end up in the majority, unless they were part of a bloc. Working alone, they just added one vote in the direction they wanted, which could end up being a deciding vote in close contests.

    If several judges made deals in advance and worked together to bring about a specific result, they had a much higher chance of succeeding.


    With IJS, judges can give GOEs and PCS to favor the skaters they want to win and to hold down the skaters they want to have finish lower. They can't control the base marks that the skaters earn by what they actually do and how the tech panel calls it. They don't even know what levels the tech panel calls, although they could make a good guess if they want to try to keep track of the features in addition to their own judging tasks. They also don't have time to add up the scores for each element and component precisely, although they can make rough estimates.

    If one judge wants to manipulate the results, s/he can systematically give the favored skater(s) slightly higher scores than s/he thinks they really deserve, and can systematically give slightly lower scores to the expected rivals. They can't use numbers that are too far above or below the rest of the panel, though, because if their scores are consistently dropped in the trimming of high and low they will not have much effect and will also get flagged as out of line. But if they're consistently on the high end of the legitimate range for the favored skater and consistently on the low end for the rivals, even if their scores are trimmed that means some other judge's high and low scores, respectively, will not get trimmed and will count. Essentially a judge on a 9-judge panel can force GOEs up or down by about 1/7 of a point per element, and components up or down maybe a 1/7 of a point but probably a little less (doubled in the freeskate) for each component. So if they do this systematically it can add up to several points and can decide a close contest.

    If two or more judges work together to manipulate scores in a coordinated manner, they can be even more effective.

    If the skater they want to favor just doesn't deliver the technical elements at all, they can't force a win. But they can nudge that skater to finish higher than the performance objectively deserves.

    The best way to force an undeserved win would be for two members of the technical panel to collude always to give skater A the benefit of the doubt on all level features and jump rotation questions, and always rule against the rival skater on all borderline calls -- especially anything that would allow them to throw out a whole element for the rival, should the skater provide such a questionable element. But that's the tech panel, not the judging panel.

    Judges and one or two tech panel members working together could be extremely effective. That would be a major conspiracy. No reason to believe such an effect has ever existed.

    However, in either system, if we see a close contest and believe that, in theory, judges may have been being dishonestly favoring one of the skaters, it's still hard to know from the outside whether judges in favor of skater A succeeded in boosting A's placement even though if they'd judged honestly skater B would have come out ahead, or whether a different set of judges might have been trying to boost skater B and didn't quite succeed. Clearly, if you think skater B was better you would believe that the judges who gave higher scores to A were wrong and more likely to be cheating. But since the nature of the sport invites legitimate differences of opinion, there's no way of knowing from the scores alone whether skater A's supporters were acting dishonestly or whether they just honestly disagreed with your opinion.

    If there's recorded evidence of judges making deals in advance, etc., that's a different story.
  3. lurvylurker

    lurvylurker Active Member

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    Yes, but empty seats aren't the same thing as unsold seats. From what I was told by a volunteer, all seats were sold for the FS events - but I too could see that not all seats were occupied. Who knows what the reasons for that were: could be corporate giveaways that recipients didn't use, scalpers who didn't manage to resell their tickets, people who didn't make it to the arena because of lousy weather or other travel interruptions, choosy fans who only wanted to see the last group or two of skaters, and/or many more possible reasons.
  4. googooeyes

    googooeyes New Member

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    I was there too. It was sold out. The sections above the judges (and thus in camera range) were reserved for ISU and VIPS as usual. They are always only partially filled and those people come and go according to their schedules and what else is happening behind the scenes at the competition (sponsor receptions, presentations, meetings, etc). There were a couple of sections in the top bowl reserved for the athletes and coaches, and they also come and go. There was a section in the top bowl reserved for the media who also come and go. So in a 7000 seat arena it may have looked as though a lot of seats were empty but that was not the case in the sellable seats. There were some of those empty during the weekday daytime when the local people must have been at work. But other than that, it was packed and LOUD. The concourse was very crowded. The atmosphere was amazing!
  5. analia

    analia Member

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    The fault with this system is just too simple: falls are not penalized like falls. For any lay viewer the only thing that matters is if a skater falls or not. URs can not easily be perceived, nor is skating skill. Popping is bad but aesthetically it's still better than a fall. Two-footing is bad but it is a step up than a fall, meaning you can at least save it. I'm quite sure that if a fall is a 5 points bonus deduction (only almost equal to popping a quad to a triple), no one would ever complain again. Some will say then no one would try for a quad anymore, but it's not as if people only fall on quads, and this has something to do with other disciplines as well. I love Caro, but she had two falls. She should have placed under Murakami, so as Patrick under Ten and S/S under D/R.
    For me, as a long time gymnastics fan, it's always amazing to see skaters fall and get back up thinking they still have a shot to win. It doesn't happen in any other discipline I can think of.
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  6. somcutza

    somcutza New Member

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    100% agree with you, analia. Falls are not penalized enough; and clean performances are not rewarded enough. They (ISU) should start from here.
  7. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I disagree here. I watched US nationals with 6 people who are totally non-skating fans (mostly men...) They were watching because it was my birthday party and I insisted we get to watch! They all could tell that pops were a huge mistake. When a skater fell on a difficult jump and did that roll over get back up as if nothing happened (not a US skater but Brezina often does this- it is almost as if he never fell) they were still really impressed with the jump. Possibly because they are used to basketball players falling all the time in games? There was a lot of "how did they get up so fast?"

    I feel like it would be too subjective to be realistic, but I feel like the penalty for falling should be greater if you take longer to stand back up. With the tech panel, maybe they can slo-mo and actually set a time for it? Because I really do think it is better to do a full rotated quad and fall, than pop a quad to a double and land. Pops look ridiculous.
  8. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Or that part of the penalty -- taking off for the amount of disruption to the flow of the program, in addition to the GOE reductions and fall deduction -- could be written into GOE guidelines.

    It's still going to be subjective because "how disruptive was it?" is not really quantifiable. And different falls that have body parts in addition to blades touching the ice for the same amount of time might vary based on how well the skater stays in the character of the program while down on the ice and how well s/he maintains body alignment on the way down and the way up. Counting the seconds won't give a straight linear correlation with the degree of disruption.

    Also sometimes skaters stumble around for a couple of seconds trying not to fall and succeed in keeping anything but the blades off the ice. That can be more disruptive, but it wouldn't get a fall deduction. Still, judges should have the discretion to penalize it in PCS, and GOE when applicable, if they find it disrupts the performance of the program.
  9. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    Falls result in a 1.00 deduction in addition to a minus 3 from the judges and if in the Short Program it is a missed element. What numerical deduction would like to see?
  10. somcutza

    somcutza New Member

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    One that wouldn't allow to win if your fall/falls are an obvious disruption of the program. This will probably lead to a certain degree of precaution in the performance; but I'll happily take that instead of a fall.
    l
  11. Alixana

    Alixana recovering Oly-holic

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    Serious questions .. not snarks .. just want to understand where you're coming from:

    - you would rather see a male skater do the jumps they're most comfortable with, e.g., 3T or 3L, even if they're not as difficult so they won't fall vs pushing themselves and the sport further and trying the more difficult jumps with the possibility of a fall?
    - what if everyone falls in one of their programs, short or long? How do you determine the degree of fall and the degree of disruption to the program to then determine a winner?
  12. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Speaking only for myself . . .

    I don't want to see rules that forbid a win just because the program contains a fall or two. And sometimes the undisputed best skater falls. Sometimes everybody falls.

    But I do think it would be appropriate to penalize falls more, and especially to penalize programs with many falls more heavily.

    I think the problem at the highest levels is that a 1.0 deduction is not significant compared to all the other areas in which the top skaters are able to earn points.

    So I'd like to see

    *larger negative GOEs for quads and triple axels, so that -3 would take away at least 50% of the base value

    *fall deductions as a percentage of total segment score rather than a flat 1.0 for all disciplines, all levels, all competition phases

    *increased penalties for a second, third, etc., fall in the same program

    *explicit guidelines to judges encouraging them to lower P/E and other component scores for falls and stumbles, and encouraging them raise P/E scores for clean programs with all positive GOE


    All that would make it less likely for messy programs with multiple falls to win competitions. But sometimes they still would, because a skater who falls a couple times is just that much better than everybody else.
  13. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    General terms, such as reflected in this post, do not address the deductions that should be automatic and not up an official's individual interpretation. The current deductions are automatic. If this is a real problem? then hard numbers should be requested through your Federation and sent to the ISU Technical Committees.
  14. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Many of the deductions people are requesting will bring us back to the Vancouver Olympics- where playing it safe won. If you lose 50% or more in a fall, skaters will not be doing quads.
  15. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    Was it ever announced why Cinquanta wasn't at worlds? Did he know something we didn't? lol And while I am talking about Cinquanta, there should be term limits for the presidents of the federations and the ISU: Two olympic cycles at the most.
  16. bek

    bek Guest

    Well I'd rather see a skater win with no quad than win with a quad and multiple falls. The quad isn't everything. Besides I don't think the answer is giving skaters points for Quad Falls, I think the answer to encouraging clean quads by giving more points to clean quads. .. In fact I think its highly unfair that a person who landed a clean quad only gets about a four point advantage over someone who fell on the quad.

    And I'm not saying in the sense increasing the quads base value.For example, they could easily start giving rewards for hard combos (ie quad combos). I'd also support a rule that says a skater can repeat two triples, and one type of Quad. So a skater can do a Quad toe, Quad toe, triple axel, triple axel, and triple lutz, triple lutz. If they do their combos right a really nice way to build up some points.....
    Its not really appropriate when a skater is still getting 6 points for a quad fall.. I can handle somebody winning one fall, but I think multiple falls, stumbles etc are a real problem...PCS aren't affected to.. I really do agree about it being way more appropriate to make a percentage system.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2013
  17. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    Yes it was announced. He was at the Sochi Olympic site for an Olympic Committee site meeting. That is why the Figure Skating First Vice President, David Dore represented the ISU at Worlds.

    If anyone wishes to install term limits, following is how you go about it. Make the proposal to the Federation, to which you belong. Get it apporved at that level, then convince your Federation to present the term limit proposal at the next ISU Congress.
  18. spikydurian

    spikydurian New Member

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    You put it in a way like as if the skater falls 10 times and win which is not true.
  19. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    IOW, term limits in figure skating is unlikely to ever happen.

    Can you explain why Mr. Cinquanta has been able to maintain such a stranglehold on the seat of power for so long??? The management of speed skating and figure skating should be separated. They are distinct and separate sports and should not be lumped together, with revenue from figure skating supporting speed skating. But the status quo will likely continue especially after the strategically ill-planned revolt against the ISU was so effectively quashed in 2003.
  20. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    That wasn't very respectful of them. They have known well in advance the date of worlds and should have scheduled so he could have attended what for him should have been one of the most important events of the year.
  21. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    The actual mangement of the ISU is clearly divided, with the direct management of Speed Skating and Figure Skating being under the two Vice Presidents. At the Congress the two section meetings are conducted separately and the decision made by each section are brough back to the Federation Delegates for ratification. The final say fof all Congress proposals rests with the Federation.

    The ISU President and all elected members of the ISU can be replaced by a vote of the Delegates sent to the Congress by each Member Federation. The revolt as mentioned was not a revolt is was and attempt to replace the ISU rather than replace management. As it turned out it was a mistake. Several well respected and competent Officials were lead down the path the destroyed their ability to serve the sport.
  22. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    And watching over Skating's interests for the Olympics is not important?
  23. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    You answered the question about management but you did not address the issue of the money. FS should not be subsidizing speed skating and visa versa (as if). Why did FS every allow this to happen & why hasn't the various federations, esp the big feds, put a stop to it?

    There is no good reason for it to have ever happened. It would make as much sense to subsidize hockey - after all, hockey is played on skates.
  24. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure if we are dealing with a time warp here or a troll. Finances for skating are very dear to my heart as the US and Canada lead the way for TV rights fees in the 90s. ABC paid US Figure Skating a total of 112 Million dollars for the rights to figure skating events. The ISU made like deals. Now for today. There are no more rights fees. It is cheaper to do a reality show and pay a winner one million dollars than a figure skating event. In fact it is cheaper to do a speed skating event than figure skating. There are less cameras and crew needed. The result is that in many countries , speed skating is better for the TV bottom line.

    Now lets look at support from the ISU. The ISU directly suports and conducts more Figure Skating events than it does Speed Skating.

    Financials do not support the belief that Figure Skating provides the income to conduct Speed Skating events.
  25. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    It still doesn't explain why they're the same federation (which has allowed Cinquanta, who isn't truly a figure-skating person, to be in control of figure skating against its best interests). Why not include hockey, too? Everyone in all three sports skates and there's a lot more venue overlap between hockey and figure. Heck, curling shares the use of ice...
  26. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    The answer to that goes back to 1892 when the ISU was first founded, at which time speedskating was a more mature sport than figure skating. E.g., Axel Paulsen was primarily a speedskater.

    So at any time in the intervening century-plus figure skating could have determined that it needed its own federation and separated from the ISU. But in general inertia wins out and it was easier to continue the status quo.

    Except for that one attempt in 2003, which not only wanted to separate from the ISU but also consisted of some political factions within the figure skating branch wanting to distance themselves from other factions.

    I think in order to succeed, such a secession would need support from all the national figure skating federations.

    Of course, some national federations also combine speedskating and figure skating into a single federation -- and a few cover other winter sports as well. So they're less likely to support a split.
  27. rainbowkisses

    rainbowkisses Banned Member

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    " the ice dance final at the Worlds in London: the audience – a Canadian audience this time – felt that Virtue and Moir did everything in order to keep their World title; according to the scores, they didn’t."
    :respec: finally
    if only this came from an authoritative source :lol:
  28. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    This answers the question in my last post, Time warp or Troll. :rolleyes:
  29. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    I don't know what attribute you think your rudeness enhances.
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  30. Iceman

    Iceman Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I said or even implied that. Of course, it is important, but it hardly seems like a monumental problem to schedule things so that both events could have been attended.
  31. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    Several years ago, I went through the list of federations and the majority of them combined speedskating and figure skating into a single federation. I haven't checked in the past few years so I don't know if that dynamic has changed.

    What I *am* curious about is the claim made by several people that figure skating subsidizes speed skating. I really have no idea if that's true or not. Has anyone seen financial statements from the ISU to say one way or the other?
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  32. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Is Cinquanta the only person in the ISU capable of making Olympic site visits, or qualified to do so? I sincerely hope not - otherwise the ISU has some big problems.

    I agree with Iceman. Missing the world championships in a sport which you preside over is inexcusable.
  33. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Cinquanta is on the International Olympic Committee and, as such, he is the only person that could represent Figure Skating (and pardon me, Speed Skating) at the Olympic site.

    David Dore, ISU First Vice President is capable of, and did represent the ISU in his home country very well. Now just how did Mr. Cinquanta's absence hurt Worlds?
  34. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Cinquanta not showing up at Worlds, the premiere and most important figure skating event of the season and year, certainly suggests a lack of interest in a sport that is currently hurting for positive attention and promotion.

    That's how I see it anyway, and I suspect I am not alone in my opinion.

    O-
  35. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    So only one person from each Olympic sport is able to make site visits? That's incredibly poor organization and/or lack of delegation on the part of either the ISU or the IOC.

    It certainly doesn't look very supportive of the event or of the athletes or the hosts. I'm finding it hard to imagine why Cinquanta's visit was so absolutely crucial to the Olympic construction on those particular days that he could not have visited Sochi before or after Worlds.
  36. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    But the process is far more complicated and there are lot more numbers to crunch, plus two panels. Do you think the judges make up the scores in advance and memorize them? That is way too difficult to coordinate to ensure a rank order for a number of skaters on a given day. Sure, judges will have an idea of a skater's PCS before they skate, but that is no different than preconceptions in the 6.0 system artistry mark.

    Again, working together in a coordinated manner to ensure a certain result is pretty much impossible IMO. Results vary from competition to competition and tiny point differences add up to make a difference. To manipulate the scores perfectly, judges would have to be doing the math for both tech and PCS as the event takes place. I don't see where they have time for that.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  37. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    Japan fan has given a very thoughtful and insightful of the process as it is today. It is my joy to regularly judge events in the US using IJS. The thing that strikes me is that at the end of a large event most of us have no idea of where we placed a skater. This is especially true when using the computer entry system. The plus side of this is that at the end of an event you do not have explain to a parent why you placed his Daughter 10th instead of 5th.
  38. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    Look, I now realize that this is bash Cinquanta thread, so let me say, you win. It is useless to present information on how the organization really works.
  39. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I asked you two questions which are straightforward. First, why is Cinquanta the only ISU person who can visit the Olympic sites? It is not "Cinquanta bashing" to ask this. I'm sure there are many other organizations in the world who would consider it bad management practice to have site responsibility for such a major event rest solely with one person (if for no other reason that the organization would have huge problems if that person was suddenly unable to do that job).

    And second, what was so important about him having to visit on those particular dates that he could not go to Worlds? I am sure you recognize the symbolic importance of a sport federation president attending his sport's annual world championship. Sending a representative in his place does not look very supportive. I don't see why his trip to Sochi, if indeed he was the only person who could go, could not have been delayed or moved ahead by a few days so that he could attend Worlds.
  40. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Stillwell, there are probably many fans who appreciate your sharing insider information as well as your personal viewpoints, so thanks. OTOH, what’s the point of calling posters trolls because they are asking questions which you are unable or unwilling to answer, or prefer were not asked?

    There’s surely a lot that many of us fans don’t know and don’t understand about what goes on behind-the-scenes in figure skating. Obviously, there are many complicated problems existing in figure skating which do not have easy answers. But with all due respect, I doubt anyone can seriously argue that the management of the ISU is squeaky clean, A-okay and above being criticized. If nothing else, Sonia Bianchetti Garbato’s revealing, if poorly written book, Cracked Ice, shed light on some of the problems regarding “management” of the ISU. Ms. Garbato told her story from her vantage point and apparently she was involved in a power struggle which she ultimately lost.

    That Mr. Cinquanta has remained at the top position of the ISU for so long shows that he wields a great deal of power. Under his tenure, the sport of figure skating has deteriorated. This is due to a number of factors, but IMO some of those factors seem to include a combination of ineptitude, poor judgment, lack of vision, lack of knowledge, and blind power-mongering. The bottom line: it’s past time for the sport of figure skating to be unshackled. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    This thread is not about "bashing" Cinquanta. Its about fans asking questions about a sport that we love. Its about fans trying to get Cinquanta's and the ISU's attention. But clearly neither fans nor skaters actually count in any of what goes on in terms of "ISU management" directives. What's useless is everyone keeping their heads buried in the sand and making excuses for the current state of affairs that exist in figure skating.

    BTW, this isn't a contest and there are NO WINNERS.
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