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Part of the problem is with the system itself. The PCS is clearly not rewarding grace and maturity the way that it should. Sotnikova's PCS was way too high and both Kim and Kostner were insufficiently rewarded. If the ISU doesn't reward artistry it will start to vanish. I feel like we're already seeing that happen.

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I think you nailed it Athensfan. The judges seem to equate technical ability with artistry now, it seems that they think, well I had to give her/him/them a great technical score because their program was so full of judges and spins etc. that were as well done as they could be.

I am not sure if you know of PJ Kwong, she is a commentator and blogger for CBC. She wrote an article about the ice dance results that mentioned that the judges of today are not keeping up with art, theatre and dance as much as they should or would have in the past. When they see beautiful artistry they are less likely to reward it.

The funny thing is, a decade ago the judges had absolutely no problem knocking the Chinese pairs around for their complete lack of artistry and grace while skating.

http://olympics.cbc.ca/blogs/author/kwong/article/attacks-against-meryl-davis-charlie-white-show-lack-respect.html

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I think you nailed it Athensfan. The judges seem to equate technical ability with artistry now, it seems that they think, well I had to give her/him/them a great technical score because their program was so full of judges and spins etc. that were as well done as they could be.

I am not sure if you know of PJ Kwong, she is a commentator and blogger for CBC. She wrote an article about the ice dance results that mentioned that the judges of today are not keeping up with art, theatre and dance as much as they should or would have in the past. When they see beautiful artistry they are less likely to reward it.

The funny thing is, a decade ago the judges had absolutely no problem knocking the Chinese pairs around for their complete lack of artistry and grace while skating.

http://olympics.cbc.ca/blogs/author/kwong/article/attacks-against-meryl-davis-charlie-white-show-lack-respect.html

Kwong is actually the announcer in the arena for figure skating events.

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South Koreans feel Kim is still golden at Olympics

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Koreans still love Yuna Kim. The judges, however, are another matter.

Kim, known as the "Queen" in South Korea, finished with the figure skating silver medal at the Sochi Olympics behind gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia.

That left many South Koreans furious over what they saw as questionable judging. Local TV replayed her performance repeatedly, likening Kim's performance Thursday with that of Sotnikova's. Commentary was shown in several languages, including some that had predicted gold for Kim.

"I was angry," Bang Sang-ah, a skating commentator for South Korea's SBS television station, said in a local radio interview. "I had expected something like this ... but the home-side advantage (in Russia) was too much."

Most South Korean newspaper front pages focused on Kim's performance over other news items, like tearful reunions of war-divided families from the Koreas.

Kim was trying to become the first to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating golds since Katarina Witt in 1988. The 23-year-old Kim is now retiring, saying she is relieved the Olympics are over and she wants to rest.

The headline in the Maeil Business Newspaper read: "Goodbye, 'Figure Queen' ... We've been happy because you've been with us."

Kim barely won the short program Wednesday but lost to Sotnikova by more than five points in the free skate the next day. Many in Seoul believed the Queen did enough to keep her crown.

"Sports competition is something that has to be fair and square," said Kim Choong-nam, 70, a retired professor, in Seoul. "If it's felt that the judging is unfair, I believe that it goes against the principles of the Olympics."

Allegations of unfair judging in Sochi were among the most popular searches on major portal sites in South Korea, one of the world's most wired nations.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams called this matter over the judging a "purely hypothetical thing." He said any formal complaint would have to be made with the International Skating Union.

"I'm certain there hasn't been any complaint," he said from Sochi. "If it does, that would be the first step to go through. If there isn't a credible complaint, then we wouldn't take it any further."

After winning gold in Vancouver four years ago, Kim left competitive skating for a year, prompting speculation she would not attempt to skate in Sochi. But Kim returned for the 2012-13 season and won her second world title.

Kim will skate in a show in South Korea in May but otherwise has no plans. She will skip next month's world championships in Saitama, Japan.

Kim has said that her mindset was such in Vancouver that she would "die for gold." That passion was missing in Sochi.

"The motivation was a problem, I think," she said.

Still, she remains South Korea's only Olympic champion in figure skating.

"I actually expected her to win the gold medal because her performance was clean," said Yun Hyo-jung, a 22-year-old university student. But, whatever the medal, Yun takes a longer look.

She "made us really happy," Yun said. "And I am thankful for that."

AP

http://wintergames.ap.org/article/south-koreans-feel-kim-still-golden-olympics

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I'm not an expert in the sense of someone who has been through judge's school is, but I am a skater and know the ins and outs of the COP system pretty well. After going back and looking at the detailed protocols on the technical side (TES) as well as the artistic component marks (PCS) for both the short and long programs of the top 7-8 skaters, and also going back and slow-mo'ing some of the parts of programs, I noticed the following:

--The Technical Panel (not the judges) seemed to be very nitpicking on edges, downgrades, and underrotations with the non-Russian skaters, while the two Russians were given the benefit of a doubt. This takes a slow-mo to see, which was certainly available to the Panel.

--The Technical Panel (again, not the judges) gave out element Levels on some spins and steps to most of the non-Russians, which were lower than those received by the Russians. than despite some pretty clear definitions on what it takes to meet each level. The higher the Level, the higher the base value.

--GOE (Grade of Execution). Sliding scale of -3 to +3 with 0 being the neutral (=no adjustment to base value). The Russians, particularly Sotnikova, got an very high amount of +2's and +3's. IMO, many of her elements weren't so great that they deserved more than a slight nudge up from base. In contrast, Kim and Kostner in particular got far less generous GOE's, given the quality of the elements as I saw them. The Japanese and the Americans got GOE's that IMO were in keeping with what was put out on the ice

--PCS (the Component Scores). Lots of mischief done here. Anybody in skating circles knows that there are three skaters who are unequivocably, the best ladies in the world at this pretty much regardless of program they are skating: Kim, Kostner, Asada. With Suzuki probably right behind at #4. Both Russians, all season, have IMO (and a lot of others) received high PCS at their competitions all the way through Europeans. Scores getting up their with the top skaters. But the jump in PCS from European Championships to the Olympics (a span of a sparse few weeks) has been astronomical and inexplicable by legitimate means. If Kim, Koster, Asada should be around 9.0+ for most of their components, The Russian girls should IMO be upper 7's (Lipnitskaia) and around 8.0 (Sotnikova). Right now, they simply aren't good enough to justify the high marks they received.

The COP system isn't about skating "clean" vs falling. It's not a simple as "being the spunkiest." All of the above, when you add up the shaving-off of the non-Russians, and the gimmes for the Russians, add up to serious amounts of total points. Per my observations and slicing/dicing of programs, I believe that Lipnitskaia was overscored cumulatively (short + free) by as much as 10 points. And Sotnikova by about 15 points. My final results would have ended up:

Kim

Kostner

Sotnikova

Gold

Asada

Wagner

Lipnitskaia

Suzuki

The Technical Controller of both parts of the competition (Lakernik) is Russian. This just seems....questionable. As is the inclusion on the judging panel of Balkov (Ukranian judge, should have been banned for life after 2002) and Shekovtseva (wife of Russian Skating Federation head). When I saw the Tech panel for the SP my eyebrows were raised, the SP scoring was shockingly designed to keep both Russian ladies in position for a medal. Once I saw the final judge's panel for the FS, I figured the fix was definitely in. Then when Sotnikova's score came up a baffling 149, I knew it was all over.

It's completely shameful. Given the enormously wide range of people in the skating world who saw the skates, know the judging system, and cannot explain the results by any legitimate means, we can only conclude something rotten went on. I hope Sotnikova enjoys her gold medal. I'm sure when 2018 rolls around, she can expect a warm welcome in Pyeongchang.

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I'm not an expert in the sense of someone who has been through judge's school is, but I am a skater and know the ins and outs of the COP system pretty well. After going back and looking at the detailed protocols on the technical side (TES) as well as the artistic component marks (PCS) for both the short and long programs of the top 7-8 skaters, and also going back and slow-mo'ing some of the parts of programs, I noticed the following:

--The Technical Panel (not the judges) seemed to be very nitpicking on edges, downgrades, and underrotations with the non-Russian skaters, while the two Russians were given the benefit of a doubt. This takes a slow-mo to see, which was certainly available to the Panel.

--The Technical Panel (again, not the judges) gave out element Levels on some spins and steps to most of the non-Russians, which were lower than those received by the Russians. than despite some pretty clear definitions on what it takes to meet each level. The higher the Level, the higher the base value.

--GOE (Grade of Execution). Sliding scale of -3 to +3 with 0 being the neutral (=no adjustment to base value). The Russians, particularly Sotnikova, got an very high amount of +2's and +3's. IMO, many of her elements weren't so great that they deserved more than a slight nudge up from base. In contrast, Kim and Kostner in particular got far less generous GOE's, given the quality of the elements as I saw them. The Japanese and the Americans got GOE's that IMO were in keeping with what was put out on the ice

--PCS (the Component Scores). Lots of mischief done here. Anybody in skating circles knows that there are three skaters who are unequivocably, the best ladies in the world at this pretty much regardless of program they are skating: Kim, Kostner, Asada. With Suzuki probably right behind at #4. Both Russians, all season, have IMO (and a lot of others) received high PCS at their competitions all the way through Europeans. Scores getting up their with the top skaters. But the jump in PCS from European Championships to the Olympics (a span of a sparse few weeks) has been astronomical and inexplicable by legitimate means. If Kim, Koster, Asada should be around 9.0+ for most of their components, The Russian girls should IMO be upper 7's (Lipnitskaia) and around 8.0 (Sotnikova). Right now, they simply aren't good enough to justify the high marks they received.

The COP system isn't about skating "clean" vs falling. It's not a simple as "being the spunkiest." All of the above, when you add up the shaving-off of the non-Russians, and the gimmes for the Russians, add up to serious amounts of total points. Per my observations and slicing/dicing of programs, I believe that Lipnitskaia was overscored cumulatively (short + free) by as much as 10 points. And Sotnikova by about 15 points. My final results would have ended up:

Kim

Kostner

Sotnikova

Gold

Asada

Wagner

Lipnitskaia

Suzuki

The Technical Controller of both parts of the competition (Lakernik) is Russian. This just seems....questionable. As is the inclusion on the judging panel of Balkov (Ukranian judge, should have been banned for life after 2002) and Shekovtseva (wife of Russian Skating Federation head). When I saw the Tech panel for the SP my eyebrows were raised, the SP scoring was shockingly designed to keep both Russian ladies in position for a medal. Once I saw the final judge's panel for the FS, I figured the fix was definitely in. Then when Sotnikova's score came up a baffling 149, I knew it was all over.

It's completely shameful. Given the enormously wide range of people in the skating world who saw the skates, know the judging system, and cannot explain the results by any legitimate means, we can only conclude something rotten went on. I hope Sotnikova enjoys her gold medal. I'm sure when 2018 rolls around, she can expect a warm welcome in Pyeongchang.

Superb post. Thank you.

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I'm not an expert in the sense of someone who has been through judge's school is, but I am a skater and know the ins and outs of the COP system pretty well. After going back and looking at the detailed protocols on the technical side (TES) as well as the artistic component marks (PCS) for both the short and long programs of the top 7-8 skaters, and also going back and slow-mo'ing some of the parts of programs, I noticed the following:

--The Technical Panel (not the judges) seemed to be very nitpicking on edges, downgrades, and underrotations with the non-Russian skaters, while the two Russians were given the benefit of a doubt. This takes a slow-mo to see, which was certainly available to the Panel.

--The Technical Panel (again, not the judges) gave out element Levels on some spins and steps to most of the non-Russians, which were lower than those received by the Russians. than despite some pretty clear definitions on what it takes to meet each level. The higher the Level, the higher the base value.

--GOE (Grade of Execution). Sliding scale of -3 to +3 with 0 being the neutral (=no adjustment to base value). The Russians, particularly Sotnikova, got an very high amount of +2's and +3's. IMO, many of her elements weren't so great that they deserved more than a slight nudge up from base. In contrast, Kim and Kostner in particular got far less generous GOE's, given the quality of the elements as I saw them. The Japanese and the Americans got GOE's that IMO were in keeping with what was put out on the ice

--PCS (the Component Scores). Lots of mischief done here. Anybody in skating circles knows that there are three skaters who are unequivocably, the best ladies in the world at this pretty much regardless of program they are skating: Kim, Kostner, Asada. With Suzuki probably right behind at #4. Both Russians, all season, have IMO (and a lot of others) received high PCS at their competitions all the way through Europeans. Scores getting up their with the top skaters. But the jump in PCS from European Championships to the Olympics (a span of a sparse few weeks) has been astronomical and inexplicable by legitimate means. If Kim, Koster, Asada should be around 9.0+ for most of their components, The Russian girls should IMO be upper 7's (Lipnitskaia) and around 8.0 (Sotnikova). Right now, they simply aren't good enough to justify the high marks they received.

The COP system isn't about skating "clean" vs falling. It's not a simple as "being the spunkiest." All of the above, when you add up the shaving-off of the non-Russians, and the gimmes for the Russians, add up to serious amounts of total points. Per my observations and slicing/dicing of programs, I believe that Lipnitskaia was overscored cumulatively (short + free) by as much as 10 points. And Sotnikova by about 15 points. My final results would have ended up:

Kim

Kostner

Sotnikova

Gold

Asada

Wagner

Lipnitskaia

Suzuki

The Technical Controller of both parts of the competition (Lakernik) is Russian. This just seems....questionable. As is the inclusion on the judging panel of Balkov (Ukranian judge, should have been banned for life after 2002) and Shekovtseva (wife of Russian Skating Federation head). When I saw the Tech panel for the SP my eyebrows were raised, the SP scoring was shockingly designed to keep both Russian ladies in position for a medal. Once I saw the final judge's panel for the FS, I figured the fix was definitely in. Then when Sotnikova's score came up a baffling 149, I knew it was all over.

It's completely shameful. Given the enormously wide range of people in the skating world who saw the skates, know the judging system, and cannot explain the results by any legitimate means, we can only conclude something rotten went on. I hope Sotnikova enjoys her gold medal. I'm sure when 2018 rolls around, she can expect a warm welcome in Pyeongchang.

I fully agree. waiting to see what happens in a few weeks when they go to worlds. i sure hope Mao redeems herself in Saitama. Adelina and Jullia will be there for sure as they'll try to get Russia a third spot for next season.

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Brennan: Official says judges slanted toward Adelina Sotnikova

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/brennan/2014/02/21/figure-skating-scandal-sochi-olympics-adelina-sotnikova-yuna-kim/5680717/

I really hope the US motion requesting for anonymity gets approved. If i were US Figure Skating, I'll start lobbying the Japanese since most of ISU's sponsors are from Japan.

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Plushenko to have back surgery in March

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Four-time Olympic medalist Evgeni Plushenko will have back surgery on March 2.

Plushenko withdrew from the men's short program at the Sochi Games just days after helping Russia win the team gold. He warmed up for the event on Feb. 13, then dropped out, leaving the host nation with no competitor.

The 2006 gold medalist has a history of injuries and fought several physical problems throughout his career. He says he has had 12 surgeries.

The upcoming operation will repair a screw in his back that snapped. The screw supported a disk.

Plushenko, added to the team by the Russian federation after a private test session in January, was criticized by his countrymen for withdrawing from the men's event. But many of his peers supported him, citing his injury history.

AP

http://wintergames.ap.org/article/plushenko-have-back-surgery-march

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Jiejie what to do you make of the argument that the Russians base score potential was 4 to 6 points higher than Kim or Kostner's? The 'extra triple' explaination as it were?

The furor is over the PCS, not the TES (though, even then, apparently the technical caller, who is married to the head of the Russian skating union, was fairly generous to the Russian skaters while being stingy with everyone else).

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An intelligent retort as usual.

I'm not an expert, but at least I'm not tossing off such ridiculously flimsy comments.

Again, what makes you the JUDGE of my comments? Your posts are even more ridiculously flippant, pretentious and dismissive, from where I sit.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I'm not an expert in the sense of someone who has been through judge's school is, but I am a skater and know the ins and outs of the COP system pretty well. After going back and looking at the detailed protocols on the technical side (TES) as well as the artistic component marks (PCS) for both the short and long programs of the top 7-8 skaters, and also going back and slow-mo'ing some of the parts of programs, I noticed the following:

--The Technical Panel (not the judges) seemed to be very nitpicking on edges, downgrades, and underrotations with the non-Russian skaters, while the two Russians were given the benefit of a doubt. This takes a slow-mo to see, which was certainly available to the Panel.

--The Technical Panel (again, not the judges) gave out element Levels on some spins and steps to most of the non-Russians, which were lower than those received by the Russians. than despite some pretty clear definitions on what it takes to meet each level. The higher the Level, the higher the base value.

--GOE (Grade of Execution). Sliding scale of -3 to +3 with 0 being the neutral (=no adjustment to base value). The Russians, particularly Sotnikova, got an very high amount of +2's and +3's. IMO, many of her elements weren't so great that they deserved more than a slight nudge up from base. In contrast, Kim and Kostner in particular got far less generous GOE's, given the quality of the elements as I saw them. The Japanese and the Americans got GOE's that IMO were in keeping with what was put out on the ice

--PCS (the Component Scores). Lots of mischief done here. Anybody in skating circles knows that there are three skaters who are unequivocably, the best ladies in the world at this pretty much regardless of program they are skating: Kim, Kostner, Asada. With Suzuki probably right behind at #4. Both Russians, all season, have IMO (and a lot of others) received high PCS at their competitions all the way through Europeans. Scores getting up their with the top skaters. But the jump in PCS from European Championships to the Olympics (a span of a sparse few weeks) has been astronomical and inexplicable by legitimate means. If Kim, Koster, Asada should be around 9.0+ for most of their components, The Russian girls should IMO be upper 7's (Lipnitskaia) and around 8.0 (Sotnikova). Right now, they simply aren't good enough to justify the high marks they received.

The COP system isn't about skating "clean" vs falling. It's not a simple as "being the spunkiest." All of the above, when you add up the shaving-off of the non-Russians, and the gimmes for the Russians, add up to serious amounts of total points. Per my observations and slicing/dicing of programs, I believe that Lipnitskaia was overscored cumulatively (short + free) by as much as 10 points. And Sotnikova by about 15 points. My final results would have ended up:

Kim

Kostner

Sotnikova

Gold

Asada

Wagner

Lipnitskaia

Suzuki

The Technical Controller of both parts of the competition (Lakernik) is Russian. This just seems....questionable. As is the inclusion on the judging panel of Balkov (Ukranian judge, should have been banned for life after 2002) and Shekovtseva (wife of Russian Skating Federation head). When I saw the Tech panel for the SP my eyebrows were raised, the SP scoring was shockingly designed to keep both Russian ladies in position for a medal. Once I saw the final judge's panel for the FS, I figured the fix was definitely in. Then when Sotnikova's score came up a baffling 149, I knew it was all over.

It's completely shameful. Given the enormously wide range of people in the skating world who saw the skates, know the judging system, and cannot explain the results by any legitimate means, we can only conclude something rotten went on. I hope Sotnikova enjoys her gold medal. I'm sure when 2018 rolls around, she can expect a warm welcome in Pyeongchang.

Well, NOT TO mention that the Russian men had just been eliminated about an hour or 2 before the Ladies' event came to an end -- and the Great Leader had come over from the Bolshoi hall to the Iceberg Lettuce Dome; so they HAD to save face for him and the host country. However in Adelina's defense, and both Tara Lipinksi and Johnny Weir explained it well on late night TV, Adelina backloaded the 2nd part of her Long with the higher-scoring combo while Kim did hers at the beginning...thus Adelina got a higher score. I also agree that Kim skated very reservedly and tentatively...and her music was an Argentine tango. She didn't sell her program; Adelina did hers. The placements were right IMO.

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Part of the problem is with the system itself. The PCS is clearly not rewarding grace and maturity the way that it should. Sotnikova's PCS was way too high and both Kim and Kostner were insufficiently rewarded. If the ISU doesn't reward artistry it will start to vanish. I feel like we're already seeing that happen.

Exactly! I would have preferred if Kim would have won the gold, but Sotnikova was very athletic in her two skates, and athleticism is more rewarded than artistry in the new scoring system. Somehow, artistry needs to be valued at a higher level, but I'm not sure how that happens in the new system. I was sad that none of the top women had any long, gorgeous spiral sequences in their programs (like Kwan, Cohen, etc. always included). Now it's just element, element, element... and the musicality and artistry suffer.

I feel like something really needs to be adjusted in the men's scoring system in regards to quad jumps. In the current system, a fall on a quad jump receives more points than a perfectly completed triple jump of the same type. This seems crazy to me! In the men's free program, the top guys were falling all over the place on quad after quad. Quads either need to be outlawed, restricted (only a certain number of attempts allowed in a program), or downgraded in value. The level of artistry is already going down, and now we have top skaters attempting jumps that they know they cannot land just to rack up the inflated points.

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Again, what makes you the JUDGE of my comments? Your posts are even more ridiculously flippant, pretentious and dismissive, from where I sit.

Oh come on. Yuna lost because her costume was "too somber"? Doesn't get much sillier than that.

Let's be honest: you're the GB king of flippant pretension and you've quite intentionally cultivated that persona.

No apologies.

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Btw, I thought Sotnikova's get-up was awful. The dead grey color, total lack of movement, bizarre gold "trim" that looked like it came out of a machine shop, giant ugly flesh colored panels. One of the worst costumes I've ever seen, but it obviously didn't hold her back. Did anyone else agree?

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