Most Controversial Judging Decisions Ever

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Looking back on that competition, Riley’s marks make sense IMO. Sato and Claeys high up in the free skate and I believe she really pushed Hubert down. I think Vanessa was way ahead of her time in valuing exactly what we (well, many judges and fans) look for with IJS.
Alice skated like a shopper browsing at Bloomingdales. Laetitia skated like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep.
 

essence_of_soy

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WillyElliot

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_skating_at_the_1988_Winter_Olympics#Ladies

1 Katarina Witt East Germany 3 1 2 4.2
2 Elizabeth Manley Canada 4 3 1 4.6
3 Debi Thomas United States 2 2 4 6.0
4 Jill Trenary United States 5 6 5 10.4
5 Midori Ito Japan 10 4 3 10.6

IINM, given the results of the Compulsories, Ito would have won the OGM under either scenario, since Kadavy withdrew.

This presents one of the great what-ifs of skating. If someone who finished tenth in the Compulsories had won the OGM, it might have weakened the impetus to eliminate the Compulsories.
The 80s were strange, and I'm glad figures were finally thrown out. I couldn't understand, besides home ice, what Manley had over Ito. I can see Witt beating them on the second mark, but Manley and Ito were about even IMO when it came to the performance (both of whom I would describe their 'artistry' as perky and spunky with very little attention to the details), and Ito had twice as much difficulty. I think upthread someone mentioned that 87NHK where Witt beat Ito, and the competition didn't even have figures! Ito blew Witt away, yet the marks/placements were already mailed in before the competition started. That really was crazy judging.
 

bardtoob

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I think Michelle and Tara skated well enough for gold, and it was random who won but attributable to the skating order. The judges leave room for the second competitor and have short memories . . . Goodness, even in 1936 Sonja Henie knew that the deck was stacked in her favor because Cecelia Colledge, who had the audacity to virtually tie Sonja in figures, was the first competitor to skate while Sonja was last. At that point, Cecelia had double jumps and spin positions that Sonja simply could not do.
I also think Tara benefited from skating immediately after Surya Bonaly because Surya was such a contrast to Tara from program construction to content, including the tactfully placed illegal content.
 

WillyElliot

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I also think Tara benefited from skating immediately after Surya Bonaly because Surya was such a contrast to Tara from program construction to content, including the tactfully placed illegal content.
I'm not so sure about that. Kwan didn't own the audience that night like Tara did. A friend who was there in Nagano said the crowd was totally on Tara's side and the energy in the building that Tara created was probably why she won the OGM. It had nothing to do with Surya Bonaly making Tara look more graceful or more whatever. Christine Brennan, a Kwan apologist if ever there was one, posited that theory too. I disagree.
 
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bardtoob

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I'm not so sure about that. Kwan didn't own the audience that night like Tara did. A friend who was there in Nagano said the crowd was totally on Tara's side and the energy in the building that Tara created was probably why she won the OGM. It had nothing to do with Surya Bonaly making Tara look more graceful or more whatever. Christine Brennan, a Kwan apologist if ever there was one, posited that theory too. I disagree.
https://youtu.be/swBtLPWeKbU
 

Andora

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Time really changes perception, even if you can separate how IJS has changed how we watch skating. On the night, watching on my tiny dorm-room TV, I really felt S&P were robbed. Of course, since then, I can see how B&S would be given gold. Unfortunate that S&P dropped Orchid, a much superior program, to go back to what I think is arguably one of their worst competitive programs ever. If they'd skated Orchid as cleanly as Love Story (a big if...) then I think the argument would be much different.

But literally no one handled SLC and the fallout well except for B&S-- unless I missed a point where they said something shady around that time. But the judges left enough cracks to question/investigate the final results, commentators... did the most to keep drumming up drama, S&P weren't especially gracious, etc. Thankfully, even if you're not a fan of the double-gold rewarded, at least B&S had a real moment atop the podium that night.

Super small aside regarding Oksana vs. Nancy... I'm not sure I want to live in a world where Nancy won with her wooden skating, even if she arguably should have won.
 
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Michalle

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I think what bugs me the most about S&P vs. B&S is remembering how Scott Hamilton went out of his way to justify G & G's gold over M & D in '94, which was a pretty similar situation if the years have not tricked me - a program with a few minor errors beating a program that was pretty much error-free - and yet '02 I think it was Scott again contributing to the frenzy instead of engaging in that kind of explanation. It's just so irritating. So much commentary in that era felt (to me, and again it's been a long time so it's hard to remember clearly) driven by who was buddies with who, not to mention the US networks desire to drum up scandal to re-create the profits of the Tonya/Nancy era. Sometimes the comparative unpopularity of skating in North American now feels almost like a karmic punishment. Instead of thinking of the long-term success of the sport, they went for big bucks in the short term and devalued their own product.
 

WillyElliot

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I think what bugs me the most about S&P vs. B&S is remembering how Scott Hamilton went out of his way to justify G & G's gold over M & D in '94, which was a pretty similar situation if the years have not tricked me - a program with a few minor errors beating a program that was pretty much error-free - and yet '02 I think it was Scott again contributing to the frenzy instead of engaging in that kind of explanation. It's just so irritating.
I'm glad you mentioned that, because it bothered me even then at the time. We had to hear about the 'perfection' of G/G with all their mistakes versus the 'passion' of a clean M/D with sbs 3toes. Scottie had no use for that narrative in SLC because he likely wanted S/P on his Stars on Ice tour. You can tell who Scottie favored for his tour by how biased he'd commentate on his faves always ignoring the bad things and boosting up the good things (Steven Cousins, anyone?). B/S were 'perfection', and S/P were all snowball playing 'passion'. To compare the two competitive programs is to compare night and day.
 

gk_891

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I thought Denkova & Staviski should've won the 2003 and 2004 Worlds. I also thought their free dance at the 2006 Olympics was underscored, even with those 2 extended lifts

I thought Lobacheva & Averbukh almost defeating Anissina & Peizerat at the 2002 Olympics was pretty ridiculous. The two teams are not close to each other.

I haven't watched the ice dance competition from the 2014 Olympics since it aired but I remember thinking at that time that Pechalat & Bourzat maybe should've won the bronze. I can't recall if that was actually the case or if it was my dislike for I&K that clouded my brain at that time.

I remember some felt that Fumie Suguri should've won the bronze over Irina Slutskaya at the 2006 Olympics. I'm not sure how common that sentiment was though (I myself was indifferent to the results between the two of them).
 

Inessence

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I think what bugs me the most about S&P vs. B&S is remembering how Scott Hamilton went out of his way to justify G & G's gold over M & D in '94, which was a pretty similar situation if the years have not tricked me - a program with a few minor errors beating a program that was pretty much error-free - and yet '02 I think it was Scott again contributing to the frenzy instead of engaging in that kind of explanation. It's just so irritating. So much commentary in that era felt (to me, and again it's been a long time so it's hard to remember clearly) driven by who was buddies with who, not to mention the US networks desire to drum up scandal to re-create the profits of the Tonya/Nancy era. Sometimes the comparative unpopularity of skating in North American now feels almost like a karmic punishment. Instead of thinking of the long-term success of the sport, they went for big bucks in the short term and devalued their own product.
There's a video on YouTube with Scott Hamilton complaining about this very thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swpcf2gmgIw
 
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Sale and Pelletier skated perfect. The gold medal was given because the Russians and French cheated.
No.
Sale and Pelletier skated perfect. The gold medal was given because the Russians and French cheated.
No, she voted for the better couple: the Russians. She explains that she had pressure to give gold to the Canadians but she didn't listen. Here she explains how the ISU prepared the Canadian gold 2 years before the Olympics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjW20bIWKP8&t=553s
 

Fiero425

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Sale and Pelletier skated perfect. The gold medal was given because the Russians and French cheated.
I was more put off by the whinging of Jamie Sale as she and David Pelletier went from TV interview to TV interview for days afterwards talking about how they were robbed! Even if true, it was still sour grapes and she got what she wanted in the end; a pity GOLD medal for her to be "so proud of!" :rolleyes: :COP: :duh: :kickass: :TnD1: :violin: :yikes:
 

WillyElliot

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