I am talking about the culture of a sport. Of what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable behavior by the majority. Sometimes it's about ethics, but sometimes it's just about convention -- how it's always been.
All sports have rules of acceptable behavior, some of them are written and official but there are some that are unwritten and unofficial as well. As an example, cycling which is/was full of doping has some unofficial rules about how you deal with mechanical failures. At an important race last year or the year before (Tour de France?), some cyclist in the lead had a mechanical failure and some other cyclist passed him. The cycling world was OUTRAGED.
I am not really in the cycling racing world but a lot of my friends are so my FB feed was exploding and I was scratching my head. WTF? The guy in second is supposed to stop and let the guy in 1st fix his bike before he continues? But only sometimes? (Because sometimes they don't wait and no one is outraged.) I asked for clarification but I never did figure out exactly what these unofficial rules were. But it was clear to me that they existed and at least 90% of the people in cycling believed in them even though officially the dude they were mad at didn't break any written rules and got to win the stage.
If I were a skater, there is no way I would come up with a strategy that included deliberately stopping my program with the idea that the ref would agree to let me restart it exactly where I wanted him to let me restart. On the extremely small chance that I had something go wrong at the exact right moment that such a strategy even had a prayer of working.
That would be an extremely dumb strategy, in fact. Which is why no one practices to do that.
The other thing is: all the people on this thread who skate and compete keep telling you guys who don't skate and compete that stopping your program is NOT an advantage. But all you can see is "Tessa was breathing heavy when she stopped and wasn't when they restarted." That doesn't make stopping an advantage. Skaters are always breathing heavy after their programs. Having to get your heart rate back down again so you can restart with any degree of control in a very short period of time is actually hard and adds to the stress of stopping. It's another thing that might not work in your favor if you decide "hey, this is a great strategy. I'm going to do this in all my competitions." What if you go to restart your program and you are still huffing a bit and your pulse is still racing. It's really hard to start a program in that state. (I know this from experience.)
Another consideration: I haven't read a single interview where other skaters at these three competitions complained about what happened and said the rules have to change. I suspect the skaters are happy with the rules.
We aren't happy and the reason a lot of us aren't happy is that it seemed like this big interruption in the program -- something that definitely impacted our enjoyment of the program -- didn't seem to have a penalty. Or not a very big one. The skaters involved all still ended up on the medal stand and in some cases in the same position that was predicted for them if they'd skated clean. So that's frustrating to us.
But we should keep in mind that in the one case at least, that was probably a mistake. If V/M had been told to restart the program *after* the aborted lift, which would have happened if Tessa had actually gone up into it and fell, they would have lost a TON of points. However, they probably still would have ended up in 2nd place as the gap between them and Chock/Bates was HUGE. So maybe people still would have been outraged but maybe seeing the big gap in score between them and Davis/White would have appeased people.