Time for ISU, Cinquanta to Answer for Sham in Sochi (소치의 엉터리 쇼에 ISU와 친콴타가 대답해야 할 시간)

Jack Gallagher

March 25, 2014

The Japan Times

Written by Jack Gallagher, Translated by 네순쫄으마

Making a point: The Korean Olympic Committee and Korean Skating Union took a stand against the International Skating Union, issuing a formal complaint that the judging of Yuna Kim on Feb. 20 'was unreasonable and unfair.' | REUTERS

Good news arrived on Friday with the announcement that the Korean Olympic Committee and Korean Skating Union will file a formal complaint about the judging in the women’s free skate at the Sochi Games last month which saw defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim robbed of a second gold medal.

The grievance will be lodged with the International Skating Union’s disciplinary committee. The KOC and KSU said in a joint statement that the judging of Kim was “unreasonable and unfair” on Feb. 20.

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

No doubt the ISU and the IOC thought the controversy over the outrageous decision to give the gold to Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova would die down.

I’m afraid not.

ISU rules allow for complaints to the disciplinary committee within 60 days of the competition in question.

“By making it official that the judging was unfair,” the statement read, “KOC and KSU will do our best to prevent any unfair incidents to Korean athletes in the international skating and sports world.”


Kim’s agency, All That Sports, issued a statement the same day in which the star said, “I respect the decision (to file the complaint) and humbly accept its purpose.”

In a move that displayed both wisdom and tact, the KOC and KSU studied the rules at length with the assistance of legal counsel and noted the presence of judges Alla Shekhovtseva and Yuri Balkov as violations of the IOC’s Code of Ethics.

In addition to citing Shekhovtseva and Balkov by name, the complaint also referred to “suspicions of bias by other judges.”

Shekhovtseva is Russian. She is the wife of Valentin Piseev, the former president of the Russian Figure Skating Federation and its current general director.

Shekhovtseva added insult to injury for Kim by being seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after the announcement of the South Korean’s scores.

So much for the illusion of impartiality.

Balkov is from the Ukraine. He was suspended for one year for being part of an attempt to fix the ice dancing competition at the 1998 Nagano Games. The fact that he was in a position to be judging at the Olympics again is a complete disgrace.

Following the judging scandal in pairs at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, the ISU changed its rules in 2005, but as the result in Sochi illustrated the opportunity for bias is still a clear and present danger.

With four judges from former Eastern bloc countries on the nine-member panel for the free skate, the chance to influence the outcome was obvious. That a Russian was also head of the technical panel — which decides scoring on jumps, spins and step sequences — that evening only compounded matters.

The result was so over the top that it was farcical. Sotnikova, who had never even won a Grand Prix event, much less medaled at a major international competition as a senior, beat Kim by five points in the free skate.

Even more ridiculous is that Sotnikova’s score in the free skate was the second highest in history, behind only Kim’s at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

It was a complete joke.

The New York Times tried to quickly frame the narrative by using the opinion of a single skating coach in a story entitled “How Sotnikova Beat Kim, Move By Move,” but further analysis by experts have shown the piece to be flawed.

Just to put the score Sotnikova received in the free skate (149.95) into context, consider that it was more than 18 points better than her previous career high (131.63) recorded in January.

That is some improvement, isn’t it?

Almost hard to believe.

You got that right.

What I will never forget is the courage that Kim displayed that night in Sochi. She no doubt sensed that the fix was in before she took the ice, but she never even blinked as she went through her routine knowing the majority of the crowd was rooting against her.

It was a display of heart and fortitude by a true champion. A legend in the sport.

More than two million people signed a change.org petition in the following days asking for the result to be overturned and 92 percent of those in an ESPN poll believed Kim was the winner.

There is little likelihood that the result will be reversed and Kim awarded the gold she rightfully deserved, but the greater issue is the future of the sport. If the kind of nonsense we saw in Sochi continues, the damage is going to be irreparable.

This is why the KOC and KSU are to be saluted for pointing out the hypocrisy of what happened to Kim. Like many, they don’t want to see it happen again.

The 75-year-old Ottavio Cinquanta, a former speed skater who has lorded over the ISU for 20 years, has clearly overstayed his welcome. His tenure reminds some of that of late IOC chief Juan Antonio Samaranch, with transparency lacking and conflict of interests exponential.

So clueless is Cinquanta, that when contacted by the Chicago Tribune’s Phil Hersh the day after the women’s free skate in Sochi, the Italian claimed to be unaware that there was a controversy.

When Hersh asked for a legitimate explanation of how the scores could have come out the way they did, Cinquanta’s answer was priceless.

“I’ll get back to you tomorrow,” he told Hersh.

Good grief.

When Hersh called to Cinquanta’s attention the presence of Balkov on the judging panel, the ISU boss had a handy excuse. He blamed the Ukrainian Skating Federation.

As if that wasn’t enough, Cinquanta referred to Balkov’s fix attempt in Nagano “a minor violation.”

And you wonder why some people have trouble taking figure skating seriously.

It has been more than 40 years now since a former figure skater was in charge of the ISU, but it is high time that it happened.

Cinquanta announced last October that he would step down in 2016, but it is quite clear that the organization desperately needs new leadership now.

It seems to me that the worlds would be as good a place as any for Cinquanta to take responsibility for what happened in Sochi and stand down with immediate effect.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

지난 금요일 (3월 21일) 좋은 소식이 있었다. 지난 달, 다시한번 올림픽 챔피언에 도전했던 김연아의 두번째 금메달을 도둑질해 간 소치 올림픽 여자 프리스케이팅의 판정에 대해 대한체육회(KOC)와 대한빙상경기연맹(KSU)이 정식 제소를 진행하겠다고 발표했다. 

제소 서류는 ISU 징계위원회에 보내질 것이다. KOC와 KSU는 공동성명에서, 2월 20일에 있었던 김연아 선수에 대한 판정이 

"불합리하고 불공정"했다고 말했다.

그렇지. 정말 훌륭하다. 

ISU와 IOC는 로씨아의 아델리나 소트니코바에게 금메달을 쥐어준 터무니없는 결정에 대한 논란이 점차 수그러들 거라고 생각했던 모양인데,

유감이지만 그런 것 같지가 않다.

ISU 규정은 경기가 열린 지 60일 이내에 징계위원회에 제소하도록 하도록 규정하고 있다. 

KOC와 KSU는 공식성명에서, "판정이 불공정했음을 공식화함으로써, KOC와 KSU는 국제 스케이팅과 스포츠계에서 한국 선수들에게 어떠한 불공정한 일도 발생하지 않도록 최선을 다하겠다."고 밝혔다.


김연아의 소속사인 올댓스포츠는 같은 날 김연아의의 입장을 표명했다. "(제소 진행에 관한) 결정을 존중하고, 그 뜻을 

겸허히 받아들이겠습니다."

이것은 기지와 현명함을 보여주는 한 수로써, KOC와 KSU는 법률 고문의 도움을 받아 기나긴 규정들을 연구했고, 심판

알라 세코브체바(Alla Shekhovtseva)와 유리 발코브(Yuri Balkov)가 IOC의 윤리강령을 위반했다는 것을 지적했다. 

그들은 세코브체바와 발코브의 이름을 언급한 것과 더불어, "다른 심판들의 편파 판정에 대한 의혹"도 함께 제기하였다.

세코브체바는 로씨아인으로, 전직 러시아 피겨스케이팅연맹의 회장이자 현 총괄이사인 발렌틴 피세브(Valentin Piseev)의 부인이다. 

설상가상으로, 김연아의 점수가 발표된 직후에 세코브체바가 소트니코바를 포옹하는 장면이 동영상에 찍히기도 했다. 

공정성에 대한 환상은 이젠 접어두자.

발코브는 우크라이나인이다. 그는 1998년 나가노 올림픽에서 아이스댄스 경기 조작에 연루되어 1년 간 자격 정지를 당했었다. 

그가 올림픽에서 다시 심판석에 앉았다는 사실 자체가 망신이다. 

2002년 솔트레이크시티 올림픽 때 발생했던 페어 경기 판정 스캔들 이후 2005년 ISU는 판정 관련 규정을 변경했다. 그러나 소치에서의 결과는 편파 판정을 내릴 기회가 여전히 명백히 현존하는 위험이라는 것을 보여주었다.

프리스케이팅을 판정한 9명의 심판 중, 4명이 구소련 국가 출신이었음을 볼 때, 판정 결과가 공정하지 않았을 가능성은 분명하다. 점프, 스핀, 스텝 시퀀스의 점수를 결정하는 테크니컬 패널의 수장도 역시 러시아인이었다는 사실은, 이 판정에 문제의 소지를 더해준다.

경기 결과는 정말 너무나 대단해서 웃음거리가 될 지경이었다. 그랑프리 대회에서 한번도 우승해 본 적도 없는, 하물며 시니어 데뷔 이후로는 주요 국제 대회에서 메달과는 거리가 멀었던 소트니코바가 프리스케이트팅서 김연아를 5점 차이로 이긴 거다.

더 웃기는 것은, 프리스케이팅에서 소트니코바가 받은 점수가 역사상 두번째로 높은 점수였다는 것이다. 김연아가 2010년 밴쿠버에서 세운 기록에 근접한 점수였다. 

이건 완전 말도 안 되는 소리다. 

뉴욕타임즈는 "어떻게 소트니코바가 김연아를 이겼나, 심층 분석"라는 제목의 기사에 한 스케이팅 코치의 의견을 이용해서 얼른 이야기를 짜맞추어 보려 했다. 그러나 여러 전문가들에 의한 추가 분석으로, 그 기사는 어설픈 불량 작품이었다는 게 드러났다.

프리스케이트에서 소트니코바가 받았던 점수(149.95)만 놓고 봐도, 1월에 그녀 자신이 기록했던 최고 점수(131.63)보다

18점 이상 더 높아졌다는 것을 생각해 보라.

흠 좀 나아졌군, 그렇지 않은가?

정말 믿기 힘들다.

당신이 지금 느끼는 감정이 맞다. 

나는 소치에서 그날 밤 김연아 선수가 보여준 용기를 절대로 잊지 않을 것이다. 그녀는 얼음에 나서기 전부터 이미 편파 판정이 계획되어 있다는 것을 알아차렸음이 분명하다. 그러나 그녀는 눈 하나 깜빡이지 않았고, 자신의 연기를 해냈다. 대다수의 관중이 자신을 배척하고 있다는 걸 알고 있으면서도 말이다.

진정한 챔피언의 마음가짐과 담대함의 표현이었다. 피겨스케이팅의 전설.

판정 결과 번복되기를 요청하는 change.org 청원에 며칠 만에 200만 명 이상이 서명했으며, ESPN 투표에서는 투표자의 92%가 우승자는 김연아였다고 생각한다는 결과가 나왔다. 

결과가 번복되어 김연아가 그녀가 마땅히 받았어야 할 금메달을 받게 될 가능성은 희박하다. 그러나 더 큰 문제는 이 스포츠의 미래이다. 소치에서 우리가 보았던 이런 말도 안되는 일이 계속 일어난다면, 이 상처는 절대 회복될 수 없다. 

그래서 이번에 KOC와 KSU가 김연아 선수에게 일어났던 위선을 지적한 것에 대해 박수를 보낸다. 사람들은 또 다시 이런 일이 벌어지는 것을 보고 싶어하지 않는다.

20년 간 ISU 수장을 맡고 있는 전 스피드 스케이터, 75살의 친콴타는 너무 오래 그 자리에 있었다. 그의 재임기간은 투명성의

결여와 이해 상충이 극에 달했던, 지난 IOC 수장 후안 안토니오 사마란치(Juan Antonio Samaranch)의 재임시절이 생각나게 한다.

소치의 여자 프리스케이팅 경기 바로 다음날, 시카고 트리뷴의 필 허쉬(Phil Hersh)가 연락했을 때, 친콴타는 이런 논란이 있었는지 몰랐다고 주장했다. 이 이탈리아 사람은 무슨 생각을 하는지 모르겠다.

허쉬가 어떻게 그런 식의 점수들이 나올 수 있었는지 타당한 설명을 해 줄 것을 요청하자, 친콴타는 대답이 정말 웃긴 대답을 했다.

"내가 내일 다시 전화드리리다."


허쉬가 친콴타에게 심판진의 발코브가 심판석에 앉았다는 것을 지적했을 때, ISU의 보스는 편리한 변명을 했다. 그는 우크라이나 스케이팅 연맹에 책임을 돌렸다.

그러고도 충분치 않았는지, 친콴타는 나가노에서 있었던 발코브의 판정 조작 시도를 "사소한 위반"이라고 했다.

당신은 왜 어떤 사람들은 피겨스케이팅을 진지하게 받아들이질 못하는지 의아할지도 모르겠다. 

피겨스케이터 출신 인사가 ISU의 책임자로 있었던 것이 벌써 40년도 더 된 일이다. 다시 그렇게 되어야 한다.

친콴타는 2016년에 자리에서 물러날 것이라고 지난 10월 발표했다. 그러나 이 조직이 지금 당장 새로운 리더십을 절실히

필요로 하는 것이 분명하다.

내 생각엔, 친콴타가 소치에서 벌어졌던 일에 대해 책임을 지고 즉각 퇴진하기에 이번 세계선수권이 좋지 않을까 싶다.

그렇게 될 거라고는 기대하지는 마시라.


Hersh's Article on Yuna Kim

Jesse Helms

Mar 22, 2014

Yahoo Contributor Network

Jesse Helms

A week ago or so I wrote an article about the IOC's misquoting Yuna Kim. That incident, first reported by the Wire Magazine, apparently drew attention from other medias, including Philip Hersh from Chicago Tribune.

In an article titled "In this word game both the IOC and Yuna Kim lose" Hersh criticizes both the IOC and Yuna Kim.

According to Hersh, Kim appears to have given such an interview in which she complimented Adelina Sotnikova, and then later retracted it through her agency.

It is not clear in that article how verifiable Hersh's claim is.

However, for the sake of argument, let us assume that Hersh's claim is accurate that Kim indeed gave a few quotes as alleged.

In fact I too initially thought that Kim could have given such an interview after the game. Kim might have given a few compliments on Adleina Sotnikova given the situation.

But I disagree with Hersh.

It is not difficult to imagine in what circumstances Kim could have said a few words on Sotnikova if the quotes were actually given by Kim.

Kim, heartbroken and still dazed by that heinous event, was gracious enough to comment on the competition.

But did Kim ever mean to concede to the result or endorse that scheme of fraud? Do you have to ask that?

Any person with a grain of sanity could tell it's fraud; any unbiased viewer would writhe at the barbarism in a full swing.

Kim's courtesy was nothing but her tribute to the sportsmanship that just died and the ethics of athlete that was too rare to find in this day and age.

What follows is the IOC's shameless propaganda tactics to gloss over the worst figure scandal, attempting to make a great skater's dignified gesture to their advantage.

Hersh appears to point that after the IOC's article with Kim's quotes surfaced, Kim's agent protested claiming that they were not Kim's words. Of course not.

She didn't mean her good will to be a puppet of that fraud and a spokesman of hypocritical lie.

There are only two possible answers: either she gave something similar to that, not actually meaning to indicate or evoke any concession to the result, or she didn't say anything like that at all.

But let us be reasonable, shall we?

A reasonable conclusion is that if the interview was conducted in English, it is likely her choice of words might have been limited to or overly simplified by linguistic generality so that her courtesy could be manipulated or misrepresented.

But what is inexcusable is that the IOC knew well enough of Kim's position amidst the international uproar, and still had a gut to use her quotes to cover their nakedness.

So what did Kim exactly do wrong? Isn't it obvious that Kim didn't want to look conceding to the result except being gracious even in that fabricated competition.

Are we expecting Kim to voice her cynicism or a bad joke about Sotnikova, who apparently skated her heart out, to show the world how ill treated and displeased she was?

Kim cannot, shall not concede to the result, because it's fraud. Conceding to fraud is worse than committing the fraud itself.

What do we expect from Kim? Pulling off Surya Bonaly in 1994? Or showing the judges her middle finger?

Wasn't she so gracious enough not to betray her own displeasure in front of the live audience, well come to think of it, I don't know if they are particularly called audience, and accept the result for the moment?

Complimenting your foes is the greatest virtue as an athlete in the middle of what amounts to inexcusable savagery in the sport fraud.

At the same time, you are not supposed to concede to the crime committed. And that's what she refuses to do.

Kim may think she does not need that gold medal, but I do not think even Kim has right to say that she doesn't care any more so that people stop protesting, because crime shall not be tolerated even if the victim wants leniency. It is still crime and punishable and punitive action must be in force.

Moreover, Kim is not the only victim of Sochi fraud.


Scandal, Fraud, and Death of Figure Skating

Jesse Helms

February 25, 2014

Yahoo Contributor Network

Written by Jesse Helms

The 2014 Sochi Olympics will be remembered as the day when the ladies figure skating finally met its demise. 

It was the Russian mob politics that robbed Yuna Kim of South Korea of her rightful gold medal in front of the global TV audience. It was the ISU's premeditated device, since they began promoting the 15 year old Julia Lipnitskaia, that turned upside down the COP system as well as the integrity of figure skating.

Scandals and fraud are nothing new to this over a hundred year old sport. But never before was it displayed in so outrageous a manner as in Sochi.

It had been set up already long before the game began. Last year throughout the Grand Prix, Julia Lipnitskaia caused a storm winning every competition with her consistency but questionable qualities and super inflated scores.

As I indicated in the earlier articles, that presaged this storm.

This is not an anomaly in which those pro Russian judges and the mad Russian mob raped and butchered the sport in live TV. It was the ISU that conceived it all several months ago.

And their devious plot finally reared its ugly head.

Lavishing the unthinkable GOE on the then 15 year old's juniorish jump, the ISU judges had been building up the momentum for the grand Sochi fraud.

In the 2013 World championships everything seemed clear that there was no way for any young skater to get even close to the top skaters such as Yuna Kim, Carolina Kostner or Mao Asada as the podium was stonewalled by them.

The mastery of the veteran skaters are far ahead of the youngsters unless the gap should be closed artificially.

That's why the ISU judges began to award a pile of GOE on the young skaters' poor quality jump in the Grand Prix as long as they managed to land them.

You don't have to be an expert. Adelina Sotnikova or Julia Lipnitskaia for that matter didn't change much or only improve mildly from their junior performances.

In the 2013 Worlds Adelina Sotnikova's perfect short program which is an almost exact replica of hers in Sochi earned barely 60. Now nearly 75? Are you kidding?

It can't possibly fall within the range of standard deviation.

Both Julia Lipnitskaia and Adelina Sotnikova were, and still are skaters who categorically belong to the second group; their scores at their best range only between 200- 195.

The truth is that a skater like Adelina Sotnikova or Julia Lipnitskaia needs at least five years of hard training and a bit of luck to reach the kind of level of skating of these trio veterans. Only some errors in competitive context may open a chance for lesser skaters to catch up.

But in Sochi, in all far-fetched fantasy, the case is closed, solid and indisputable.

If judged correctly, Sotnikova should have scored 65 or less in short and 135 in free, which gives her less than 200.

In other words if judged unbiasedly, Sotnikova or even Lipnitskaia cannot, will not and shall not beat those veterans unless the veterans make serious mistakes or multiple flaws in performance. But in Sochi, the trio delivered nearly best performances except Mao Asada who imploded in short, yet came back brilliantly in free.

The incredible Kim did give wonderful performances, given the situation in which she had to wait a long break before she started the free program. Nothing came near to her statuesque presentation except her own monumental performances in Vancouver four years ago.

Only skaters who could ever be compared to Kim were Kostner or Asada. Even with ludicrous placement of Sotnikova after short, Kim still won the game by mile.

But the result showed Adelina Sotnikova earned five points ahead of Kim.

There is no way of justifying this other than an outright fraud.

USA Today's Christine Brennan identifies two judges, Yuri Balkov, involved in the judging scandal in the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and Alla Shekhovtseva, a wife to the Russian Skating Federation general director Valentin Pissev.

But this scandal goes deeper than that.

The ISU since the 2013 Worlds prepared this coup against the figure standard upheld since the Cop introduction.

In order to make it plausible in the eyes of public who have no knowledge of figure skating, the ISU judges rewarded indiscriminately the jump of poor quality this season.

But what they overlooked was that it didn't cut.

No matter how North Korea tries to convince the world that their people live in paradise, millions are still starving to death. Putin and his chauvinistic crowd cheer for Adelina's skating and her scores, but it cannot make her skating worthy of gold, not even surpass Kostner.

Russian's logics and the ISU's denial shall continue but it's out there for everybody to see. North Korea's mythic leader may be a god riding the cloud to those dying North Korean, but to the world they are simply brainwashed people in a pathetic condition.

Facts remain facts. Frauds are frauds.

Who wants to invest their time and sweat and life to this fraudulent work of travesty? Who will tell those young dreamers to become a figure skater if your glory depends on politics not sportmanship?Who will compete in that sport where corruption is your crown and fraud is the name of your medal?

This recalls the president of the ISU for corruption and mishandling of the judging system.

All the ISU needs to do is not an investigation of whether the president of the ISU and higher ranking officials are involved in the scheme; it's exposed and self-evident. Issue an official apology, take a disciplinary measure against the judges, and reverse the decision. That is the only way of remedying this heinous crime.


IOC deserting duty with failure to act on skating scandal (스케이팅 스캔들에 대해 조치를 취할 의무를 방기중인 IOC)

Jack Gallagher

February 24, 2014

The Japan Times

Written by Jack Gallagher, Translated by 연예인지옥

한글은 여기

Last hurrah: South Korea's Yuna Kim was denied a second Olympic gold medal after coming second to Russia's Adelina Sotnikova at the Sochi Games. | AP

SOCHI, RUSSIA –IOC president Thomas Bach seemed to dismiss concerns about the huge controversy caused by the judging in the women’s singles at the Sochi Games at a news conference on Sunday.

When asked about the issue, Bach pawned it off on the International Skating Union and acted like it was no big deal.


“If there should remain (any) doubt that even this system is not enough to eliminate conflicts of interest, we would of course be very much interested to consult with the international federation,” he said. “As of now we have confidence in the system.”

This is the typical kind of pontificating you see in sports and politics — especially when the two clash like they did in this case.

Bach also related how he had a meal in the Olympic Village with one of the athletes — who happened to be a figure skater — and they didn’t think the judging that resulted in Russian Adelina Sotnikova’s victory over Yuna Kim was unfair.

Not exactly a scientific sample is it?

Bach did not reveal what country the skater he dined with hailed from, but the point is that he was trying to ignore something that badly marred what had otherwise been a very successful Winter Games.

The German’s lack of concern or compassion for what happened to Kim was disappointing to say the least.

The problem with people that get into these high positions is that they never want to rock the boat. They want to present this image of everything being serene, even though it is anything but.

Bach and the IOC are no doubt hoping that the controversy will blow over, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

How does he think the people in South Korea feel about it?

They and Kim were robbed in front of a global television audience in what was a total disgrace.

With the 2018 Games set for Pyeongchang, I think Bach should be more sensitive to the feelings of the next hosts of the Winter Olympics.

What bothers me is that the IOC is the governing body for the Olympic Games, this scandal happened on its watch, but yet it refuses to take any responsibility for it.

How can you call it a legitimate competition when millions around the world watched the farce unfold on Thursday night at the Iceberg Skating Palace?

Saying it is the ISU’s problem is just a convenient way of passing the buck.

The reality is that many of the federations and the IOC are too close, literally and figuratively, which makes enacting any kind of reform measures difficult.

Where is the IOC located?

Lausanne, Switzerland.

Where is the ISU based?

Lausanne, Switzerland.

It would seem to me that if the IOC wanted to be taken seriously, it would demand that the ISU reform so that a regrettable chapter like we saw last week at the Iceberg Skating Palace is never repeated.

Here is just one example of how lopsided the result of the event looked to people watching. ESPN did an online poll in the United States asking readers to vote for who they thought won the women’s singles.

The results:

Yuna Kim — 92 percent

Adelina Sotnikova — 6 percent

Carolina Kostner — 2 percent

Kim won the poll in all 50 American states.

Could everybody be that wrong?

Could their eyes have all deceived them at the same time?


I spoke with a prominent skating journalist in the Main Press Center on Sunday and she summed up the scandal pretty succinctly.

“The fix was in from the start,” she said. “Once they saw that (Julia) Lipnitskaia couldn’t win the gold, they just backed Sotnikova.”

I must say that I breathed a huge sigh of relief prior to the men’s short program the week before when Russia’s Evgeni Plushenko pulled out with an injury.


Because I was very worried that what we saw happen in the women’s singles, would happen in the men’s. That if Plushenko skated, he would somehow emerge with wildly inflated scores and a deserving champion like Yuzuru Hanyu or Canada’s Patrick Chan would be denied the title.

When I mentioned this concern to another writer following the controversy that saw Kim deprived of a second Olympic gold medal, he didn’t blink with his reply.

“You better believe that Plushenko would have won if he had skated in the singles,” he said. “There is no way he would have lost.”

But the president of the IOC, one of the most powerful positions in global sports, doesn’t think there is a problem?


최후의 업적: 소치 올림픽에서 한국의 김연아는 러시아의 아델리나 소트니코바보다 낮은 평가를 받아 2위를 함으로써 두 번째 올림픽 금메달을 부정당했다. | AP

국제올림픽위원회(IOC) 회장 토마스 바흐는 일요일 뉴스회견에서 이번 소치올림픽 여자싱글 판정이 야기한 대형 논란를 일축하려는 것처럼 보였다.

이 논란에 대해 질문을 받았을 때 바흐는 그 문제를 국제빙상경기연맹(ISU)에 미루면서 별 일 아닌 것처럼 행동했다.

정말 그러한가?

"지금의 시스템이 이해관계의 충돌을 없애기에 충분치 않다는 의혹이 남아있다면, 물론 우리는 이를 국제연맹과 상의하는데 관심이 있습니다. 현재로서는 지금의 시스템을 신뢰합니다."

이것은 여러분이 스포츠나 정치에서, 특히 이번의 경우처럼 양 당사자가 충돌할 때 흔히 듣는 거만한 말이다.

바흐는 또한 그가 선수촌에서 우연히 마주쳤다는 피겨스케이팅 선수와 식사를 하면서 그들(피겨 출전선수들)은 러시아의 아델리나 소트니코바가 김연아를 이겼다는 심판 채점이 불공정하지 않다고 생각하더라는 말을 했다.

그게 과학적인 증거는 아니지 않은가?

바흐는 자신과 함께 식사한 선수가 어느 나라 선수인지 밝히지 않았지만, 요점은 그가 매우 성공적인 동계올림픽이 될 수도 있었던 이번 대회를 완전히 망쳐놓은 사건을 애써 무시하려 하고 있다는 것이다.

김연아에게 저질러진 일에 대해 이 독일인은 관심도 동정도 없다는 사실에 실망을 금할 수 없다.

이처럼 높은 위치에 오른 사람들의 문제는 '배를 흔들고 싶어하지 않는다는' 점이다. 그들은 모든 일이 평온무사하다는 이미지를 보여주길 원한다. 실제로는 그렇지 않더라도 말이다.

바흐와 IOC가 이번일이 커지지 않길 바란다는 점에는 의심의 여지가 없다. 그러나 내 생각엔 그들의 바람되로 될 것 같지 않다.

그는 한국인들이 대체 어떤 심경일 거라고 생각하는 것일까?

한국인들과 김연아는 전세계의 TV 시청자들이 보는 앞에서 승리를 강탈당했으며 그것은 완전히 수치스러운 일이었다.

2018 동계올림픽은 한국의 평창에서 열린다. 바흐는 다음 개최국 국민들의 심정을 헤아리는데 좀더 세심할 줄을 알아야 한다.

내게 거슬리는 건 올림픽 주관단체인 IOC가 자신들이 지켜보는 가운데 이 스캔들이 벌어졌는데도, 여전히 아무런 책임도 지려 하지 않는다는 것이다.

지난 목요일 밤에 아이스버그 스케이팅 팰리스에서 펼쳐진 그 코미디를 전세계의 수백만명이 보았다. 그것을 어떻게 정당한 경기였다고 부를 수 있단 말인가?

이건 ISU의 문제일 뿐이라고 말하는 건 IOC가 자기들이 편하기 위해 책임을 전가해 버리는 것이다.

사실, 많은 나라의 스포츠연맹들과 IOC는 지나치게 (비유적으로든 말 그대로든) 가깝고, 이는 어떠한 형태의 개혁을 강구하는 것도 현실적으로 어렵게 만들고 있다.

IOC는 어디에 위치해 있나?

스위스의 로잔이다.

ISU는 어디에 위치해 있나?

스위스의 로잔이다.

내가 볼 때, IOC가 그 권위를 인정받고 싶다면, ISU의 개혁을 요구하여 지난주에 아이스버그 스케이팅 팰리스에서 벌어진 유감스러운 장면이 다시는 되풀이되지 않도록 해야 한다.

올림픽 여자 피겨스케이팅을 지켜본 사람들에게 그 결과가 얼마나 편파적으로 보였는지 드러내는 한 가지 예가 있다. 미국 스포츠 언론인 ESPN이 독자들에게 누가 여자 싱글 피겨스케이팅의 우승자인지 묻는 온라인 설문을 했다.

그 결과는 다음과 같다:

김연아- 92%

아델리나 소트니코바- 6%

카롤리나 코스트너- 2%

미국의 모든 50개 주에서 김연아가 이겼다. 

그들 모두의 생각이 틀린 건가?

그들의 눈이 모두, 동시에 속아 넘어갔던 걸까?

그것은 있을 수 없는 일이다.

나는 일요일에 메인 프레스 센터에서 저명한 스케이팅 기자와 대화를 했고, 그녀는 이번 스캔들을 간결하게 요약해 주었다.

"처음부터 담합이 들어가 있었죠. 그들이 볼 때 리프니츠카야의 금메달은 어려울 것 같으니까 소트니코바를 밀어준 거예요."라고 그녀는 말했다.

나는 남자 쇼트프로그램 전에 러시아의 예브게니 플루셴코가 부상으로 불참하게 되었다는 사실을 알고 깊은 안도의 한숨을 내쉬었다는 사실은 꼭 말해둬야겠다.


여자싱글에서 우리가 본 일이 남자싱글에서도 벌어졌을지 모른다는 우려가 들었기 때문이다. 만약 플루셴코가 빙판에 나섰다면 그는 어떻게든 크게 부풀려진 점수를 받아냈을 것이고 하뉴 유즈루나 패트릭 챈처럼 우승자가 될 수 있었던 선수가 타이틀을 잃었을 것이기 때문이다. 

내가 이같은 우려를 김연아가 두번째 올림픽 금메달을 빼앗겼다는 논란을 쫓고 있는 다른 저술가에게 전했을 때 그는 눈도 꿈쩍하지 않고 이렇게 대답했다.

"플루셴코가 남자 싱글 경기에 나왔다면 우승했을 겁니다. 절대로 그가 우승 못했을 리 없죠."

하지만 국제스포츠에서 가장 강력한 권력을 쥔 사람 중 하나인 IOC 회장은 아무 문제가 없다고 생각한다고?

그건 언어도단이다.


Controversy rages on after Kim denied second Olympic gold (김연아가 올림픽 2연패를 부정당한 후 터져나오는 논쟁)

Jack Gallagher

February 22, 2014

The Japan Times

Written by Jack Gallagher, Translated by 정치올림픽

한글은 여기

Not lashing out: Silver medalist Yuna Kim has not ripped the ice skating judges for giving the women's gold medal to Russian Adelina Sotnikova. | AFP-JIJI

Two days after the shocking decision that gave Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova the gold medal over defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim, the controversy surrounding the move shows no signs of abating.

News sites around the world were buzzing with reaction to the decision on Thursday night, which saw Kim deprived of a second straight gold in favor of the 17-year-old from the host nation of the Sochi Games.

Stories about the voting of the judges in the women’s free skate were the most-viewed topic on several major sites throughout the globe.

The IOC said Friday that it had not received a formal complaint yet about the judging, but the International Skating Union felt compelled to release a statement just before midnight addressing what can only be classified as a scandal.

“Pursuant to contacts with the IOC, the ISU would like to issue the following statement on the ISU judging system related to figure skating events at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games:

“The ISU is strongly committed to conducting performance evaluations strictly and fairly and has adequate procedures in place to ensure the proper running of the sporting competitions. The officiating judges were selected by random drawing from a pool of 13 potential judges. All judges in an event represent different ISU member federations. The ladies free skating panel included judges from Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine. To avoid exaggerated markings the highest and the lowest scores entered by the judges are excluded to produce the final score. The technical panel determines the elements of each performed program. The judges add a mark, grading the quality of the skater’s execution of the elements so identified. The technical marks and the artistic presentation marks are added together to produce the final score of the skater.

“The ISU has not received any official protest with regard to the Ladies Free Skating event or any other event held during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and is confident in the high quality and integrity of the ISU judging system.”

The statement had all the markings of a preemptive strike, done to try and prevent the controversy from growing even more. The reality is that it has only fanned the flames.

It appears that the ISU is almost daring the Korean Skating Union to protest the decision.

“The South Korean team in Sochi has politely requested the Korean Skating Union to ask ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta to review the women’s figure skating singles (to see) if it followed the rules of ISU standards,” said a statement on Saturday.

To break down exactly what happened — and how Kim was robbed of repeating as Olympic champion — one needs to take a look at the judging panel for the free skate.

Four of the nations represented (Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Estonia) were former Eastern bloc nations. The Russian judge was Alla Shekhovtseva, who is married to the general director of the Russian Skating Federation. The Ukrainian judge was Yuri Balkov, who was suspended for a year after trying to fix the ice dancing event at the 1998 Nagano Games.

The technical panel — made up of three individuals — that determines the levels of spins and whether jumps are underrotated or downgraded was led by Alexander Lakernik. His regular job — vice president of the Russian

Skating Federation.

Once again, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out what went down here. It was a conspiracy.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo posted a story with the copy of the scoring for Wednesday’s short program, showing how seven of the nine judges gave Kim higher marks, but the two others went with Sotnikova by a huge margin.

When Sotnikova came out of the short program trailing Kim by less than a point, it was obvious that the fix was in. Kim should have had a lead of four points or so, which would have made it more difficult to overtake her in the free skate.

For a great champion like Kim to be denied a second Olympic title because of this is a complete outrage.

USA Today’s Christine Brennan, one of the top skating writers in the world, quoted an Olympic judge who was not on the women’s panel on Sotnikova’s scores.

The judge said Sotnikova “was not worthy of the marks she got. The Russian audience for sure influenced her marks.”

Then the judge, an expert in the field, delivered the conclusion that so many others have arrived at.

“Kim was so much better than Adelina in all aspects,” the judge said. “Both (Carolina) Kostner and Kim were better than Adelina.”

비난하지 않는 그녀: 은메달리스트 김연아는 러시아의 아델리나 소트니코바에게 금메달을 준 피겨스케이팅 심판들을 향해 독설을 내뱉지 않았다. | AFP-JIJI

올림픽 2연패에 도전하는 김연아아 아닌 러시아의 아델리나 소트니코바에게 금메달을 수여한 충격적인 판정이 있은지 이틀이 지난 지금, 이를 둘러싼 논쟁이 수그러들 기미가 보이지 않는다.

전세계의 뉴스 사이트들은 소치 올림픽에서 김연아로부터 두 번째 금메달을 빼앗아 개최국의 17살 소녀에게 준 목요일 밤의 판정에 대한 반응들을 쏟아내고 있다.

전세계의 메이저 언론에서 여자 프리스케이팅 판정을 다룬 기사들이 가장 높은 조회수를 기록하고 있다. 

금요일, 국제올림픽위원회(IOC)는 아직 공식적은 항의를 받은 적이 없다고 했다. 하지만 국제빙상경기연맹(ISU)는 자정 바로 전에 스캔들로밖에 보이지 않는 이 사건에 대한 성명을 내놓았다. 

“IOC의 뜻에 따라, ISU는 2014 소치 동계올림픽 피겨스케이팅의 ISU 판정 제도에 대한 다음과 같이 밝힌다: 

ISU는 공정하고 엄격하게 선수의 연기를 평가하는 데에 전념하고 있으며, 스포츠 경기의 올바른 운영을 보장하기 위해 필요한 적절한 조치들을 취하고 있다. 경기에 참석하는 심판들은 13명의 심판 중에서 무작위로 선출되었다. 그 경기에서 모든 심판들은 ISU에 소속된 여러 다른 연맹들을 대표한다. 여자 프리 스케이팅의 심판은 캐나다, 에스토니아, 프랑스, 독일, 이탈리아, 일본, 러시아, 슬로바키아, 그리고 우크라이나 출신이다. 과장된 점수가 매겨지는 일을 막기 위해, 심판들이 매긴 점수들 중 최고점과 최저점은 배제한 뒤 최종 점수가 산출된다. 기술 심판진(technical panel)은 프로그램의 각 수행 요소들을 판정한다. 다른 심판들(judges)은 선수가 각 요소를 얼마나 잘 수행했는지 그 질을 평가한다. 최종 점수는 기술 점수와 예술 점수를 합산한 것이다. 

ISU는 여자 싱글 프리스케이팅 경기를 비롯하여 2014 소치 동계올림픽에서 치뤄진 어떠한 경기에 대해서도 공식적인 항의를 받은 바가 없으며, ISU 판정 시스템의 훌륭함과 진실성을 자부한다."

이 성명서는 판정 시스템 논란에 대해 미리 선수를 쳐서 논쟁이 더이상 커지는 것을 막기 위해서 내놓은 것이다. 하지만 오히려 불씨만 더 키우고 말았다.

ISU는 대한빙상경기연맹(KSU)에게 어디 한 번 판정에 대해 항의 하려면 해보라고 말하고 있는 것처럼 보인다.

지난 토요일 대한체육회 (KOC)는 "KSU가 ISU 회장 오타비오 친콴타에게 여자 싱글 피켜스케이팅이 ISU의 규칙을 잘 따랐는지 검토해달라고 정중하게 요청했다”고 밝혔다.

정확히 무슨 일이 일어났던 건지 알아내기 위해, 그리고 어떻게 김연아가 두번째 올림픽 금메달을 어떻게 도둑맞았는지 알기 위해, 우리는 프리스케이팅에서 점수표를 볼 필요가 있다.

4명의 심판은 구 동유럽 사회주의 국가 (러시아, 우크라이나, 슬로바키아, 에스토니아) 출신이었다. 러시아 심판 알라 셰코브체바는 러시아 연맹 총괄이사의 부인이다. 우크라이나 심판 유리 발코브는 1998년 나가노 올림픽 아이스댄싱 경기에서 판정 조작을 시도하려다 1년동안 자격 정지를 당했었다.

3명으로 구성된 기술 심판진(technical panel)은 스핀과 점프의 회전수 부족인지 등을 판단하는데, 그 심판진의 리더는 알렉산더 라커닉이었다. 그는 러시아 피겨스케이팅연맹의 부회장이다.

자, 굳이 천재가 아니어도 여기에서 무슨 일이 벌어진건지 알아낼 수 있다. 이것은 음모였다.

한국의 조선일보는 지난 수요일 쇼트프로그램의 점수표와 함께, 9명의 심판 중 7명이 김연아에게 높은 점수를 주었지만, 나머지 2명이 소트니코바에게 점수를 엄청나게 퍼주었다는 분석 기사를 실었다. 

소트니코바가 쇼트프로그램에서 김연아보다 1점도 차이나지 않는 점수를 받았을 때부터 분명히 무언가가 잘못되었다. 김연아는 4점 정도 더 앞섰어야 했다. 만약 그랬다면, 소트니코바는 프리스케이팅에서 김연아를 따라잡기 더 힘들었을 것이다. .

김연아와 같은 훌륭한 챔피언이 이런 일로 두 번째 올림픽 금메달을 부정당했다는 건 완전히 말도 안 되는 일이다.

세계에서 최고의 피겨스케이팅 기자 중 한 명인 USA Today의 크리스틴 브레넌은 소트니코바의 경기 판정에 참여하지 않은 한 올림픽 심판의 말을 인용했다.

그 심판은 “소트니코바는 그녀가 받은 점수를 받을 만한 가치가 없었다. 러시아 관중들이 그녀의 점수에 영향을 미쳤다고 확신한다”고 말했다

그리고는 그 분야의 전문가인 그 심판은 많은 다른 사람들이 내리는 결론과 같은 결론을 내렸다. 

그는 “김연아가 모든 면에서 아델리나보다 훨씬 잘했다" 라며, “카롤리나 코스트너와 김연아 모두 아델리나보다 잘했다”라고 덧붙였다. 


More on the Women's Controversy

Beverley Smith

Feb 22, 2014

Written by Beverley Smith

It’s unfortunate that the story about the women’s event wasn’t just about Adelina Sotnikova barrelling out of nowhere to prove a point: that she counted, that she should be noticed, that the Russian federation had taken her too lightly by not having her skate in the team event, with all the hype surrounding the 15-year-old wonderkid, Julia Lipnitskaia. Russia put all of its eggs in that wonderful little basket, but you know how bandwagons work.

That alone would have been a fabulous story of triumph for the forgotten Sotnikova, but the suspect judging in Sochi took that away from her, probably forever. Now, somehow, she’s made to answer to what those judges may have done, by all sorts of nastiness on her Facebook page. It will trail her for a long time. And it won’t be fun. And it won’t be her fault.

There has been so much chatter over the past couple of days and so many misunderstandings about what happened in the women’s event. There is no mistaking the fact that a Russian, Alexander Lakernik, was in charge of the technical panel and as controller, could overrule any of the decisions made by the specialists in awarding levels of difficulty – and those levels make a big difference in the point system.  (Olga Baranova, the assistant technical specialist from Finland, is by all accounts, quite good at her job.)

Who in their right mind in the ISU thought it a good idea to put a Russian in such control of an event, at an event in Russia? Intriguing things often happen at skating events in Russia, where the scores don’t always match what happens on the ice. Back in 1978, the International Skating Union suspended all judges from the Soviet Union for one year, because any attempt to suspend one at a time for nationalistic judging just didn’t seem to have any effect at stopping it.

And there’s no mistaking the fact that Ukrainian Yuri Balkov found his way onto a panel after the disgrace of the 1998 Olympics, where he was recorded listing the order of finish of the dance event to another judge. These sorts of people should never judge again, if the International Skating Union doesn’t want to embarrass itself, no less at a major event like the Olympics. You don’t see judges suspended any more. You see judges with marks against their names be demoted to a lower level, but they can work their way back up again. After all, Irina Nechkina, an Ajerbaijan judge who lives in Moscow, was taken off the dance panel at the Turin Olympics for some bad judging calls, but was back on it for Vancouver and Sochi in the dance event.

And there’s no mistaking the fact that Alla Shekhovtseva, married to the Russian federation president Valentin Piseev, somehow found her way onto that women’s panel. The name Alla, alone, sparks controversy. She’s always played an active role in judging circles and has always been very vocal about her opinions. And I’ll never forget the sight of her on a TV camera, embracing Sotnikova in the bowels of the rink after the kid won the gold medal. The optics are terrible.

At the Vancouver Olympics, Alla judged ice dancing, not the other events. She’d been a dance judge for years. And she played a huge role in Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin dancing to an aboriginal theme that sparked such controversy and drew condemnation from aboriginal groups around the world. Alla pushed for that routine, thought it marvellous, while other dance coaches in Russia, according to one, rolled their eyes and knew that was a program that could never win. Yet, Alla’s voice is strong and things got to the point that it was too late to change it.

Alla doesn’t judge dance any more because of an interesting turn of events in Russia, following the country’s embarrassment at the Vancouver Olympics, having won no gold medals at all in figure skating. High-ranking Russian politicians wanted heads to roll. Many Russians were hoping that Piseev would abdicate his post as president, feeling that he had neglected to develop skating at a time of tough economic change. Incredibly, Piseev announced that he was stepping down as president. Other notable Russians lined up to win the position, including Anton Sikharulidze, the Russian who won Olympic gold in Salt Lake City. Alexander Gorshkov (1976 Olympic champion in dance) stepped down from his long-time role as chairman of the ISU’s ice dance technical committee to take a run at the post as well.

But then everything changed at the last minute. Before the election, Piseev created a new position for himself in the federation, called something like director general. Gorshkov won the vote for president, but he also lost power. No longer did he sit with the ISU, but now he had to work under Piseev, who is still all-powerful in the Russian federation. When Sikharulidze heard about Piseev’s new position, he dropped out of the race for president, feeling that he would have to dance to Piseev’s tune.

More changes happened. Now there was a vacancy on the ISU dance technical committee. And Alla decided to run for it. She could not have run for it if Gorshkov was still on the ISU committee.  With him out of the way, she got a seat on the technical committee. It meant she could no longer judge ice dancing.

But it does mean she can judge the other disciplines. And there she was, in Sochi, judging the women’s event.

Much is being made of two things: that France was on that dance panel, too, and after all, wasn’t a French judge conspiring with Russians at the scandal of the Salt Lake City Olympics? However, just because France did it once, doesn’t mean they did it again. Apparently they had something to gain at Salt Lake City: a gold medal in ice dancing. In Sochi, France did not have a medal contender in the women’s event. And it doesn’t mean that all French judges work the way that Marie La Gougne did in 2002. There are lots of good, honest judges in France.


And the old eastern block thing? That wasn’t always a given. One former Russian competitor once told me that judges from the Soviet Union and its satellites used to make agreements on placements, but the block didn’t always sit in solidarity. The Soviet powers always tried to negotiate, he said, and it didn’t always work. People are different. Some are strong. Some are weak to suggestion. “Some of them could be frightened into doing it,” he said.

And the old block theory? That was necessary under the old system, when the winner was decided on a majority of votes. Now it’s not so necessary. Although the more the merrier, one judge can affect the results. Two can certainly make a difference. And hey, look at those wicked GOE marks that came from two judges for almost all of Sotnikova’s elements. All of those +3s helps to bump up the marks. And witness the low GOE that Yuna Kim got from one judge in particular for almost all of her elements. A string of +1s helps put distance between the two skaters, point by point. And those points all add up, particularly if you lose levels of difficulty, too. Just like in the short program, Kim was awarded only level three on the same two elements: layback spin and footwork sequence. No, Kim didn’t do as many jump elements as Sotnikova, but she should have been able to maximize what she did through GOE because of her quality. They don’t call her Queen Yuna for nothing. Even two-time Olympic champion Katarina Witt was nonplussed about the results. She was in the rink and thought the winner should have been Kim.

Much is also being made of the fact that Sotnikova stumbled out of the last double jump of a three-jump combination. Geez, say some, she shouldn’t have won because of that, while Kim made no such stumbles. The current judging system doesn’t work that way. You get points for what you do accomplish and it all adds up. A stumble will take away some GOE points, but you can make up for it with other elements.

The real wild cards in the scoring system are the GOE, the levels of diffciulty and the program components of the presentation marks that include skating skills, transition and linking footwork and movement; performance and execution, choreography and composition, and interpretation. For one thing, I don’t think Sotnikova interpreted her music with the subtlety shown by Kim, Carolina Kostner and Mao Asada. Asada got some tough performance marks too. For a skilled artist, it’s hard to believe she got a mark as low as 7.50 from one judge, the same judge who didn’t give her more than 8.50.

Yes, it’s the program component marks that bother me the most, putting Sotnikova only fractions of a point behind Kim and a couple of points ahead of Kostner. Those marks just don`t make sense. Are we supposed to be impressed by a skater waving at a crowd, to get them stirred up, as Sotnikova did? It’s fun, and a nice moment, but does “Habanera” warrant it? Did we see a touch of “Habanara” in her movement? What we saw was an exciting display of athleticism.

It doesn`t seem like the International Skating Union or the International Olympic Committee is listening. They watch and don`t understand the more ethereal parts of artistry and beauty of the blade and body movement. IOC spokesman Mark Adams thinks all the hubbub about Sotnikova’s marks is  “hypothetical” at this point and “my personal point of view would be to congratulate a fantastic performance,” he said.  He admits he doesn’t know much about skating.

Behind the scenes, Kim was in tears, bewildered about what had just happened. The South Koreans have started a world-wide online petition, asking not for a gold medal for Kim, because the medal isn’t important to her. They are only asking for fairness and an investigation into what happened. It doesn’t seem to be too much to ask. People want transparency. They don’t want to walk away from the Olympics with doubt in their minds, like they did at Salt Lake City.


by GoldenYuna




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