February 22

South Korea protests women’s figure skating result

The Koreans believe the judging was biased and cost Yuna Kim a second gold medal.

By Barry Wilner
The Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia — The South Korean Olympic Committee has protested the results of the women’s figure skating competition, although the sport’s international governing body said Saturday it has not yet received the letter.

click image to enlarge

Yuna Kim of South Korea wipes her face as she attends a news conference following the women’s free skate figure skating finals at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics on Thursday in Sochi, Russia.

The Associated Press

International Skating Union rules always have required such protests be filed immediately after the event.

The Koreans believe the judging was biased and cost Yuna Kim a second gold medal. The 2010 champion finished with silver, behind Russian teenager Adelina Sotnikova.

Much of the uproar over the women’s free skate centers on what many perceived as a lack of artistry in Sotnikova’s program. Yet her marks were comparable or better than those for the highly artistic Kim. Her technical marks were significantly better.

Bronze medalist Carolina Kostner of Italy also fell into the same category as Kim in her marks.

Asked to comment on South Korean media reports of the protest, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams on Saturday said any figure skating issues would be a matter for the ISU to handle.

“They have their processes and regulations,” Adams said. “From what I understand the letter wouldn’t trigger any investigation.”

The ISU said it had not received the letter, and declined to comment further.

On Friday, the ISU released a statement saying it “is confident in the high quality and integrity of the ISU judging system.”

“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 statement said. “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.”

Scott Hamilton, the 1984 Olympic champion and a longtime television analyst who worked the games in Sochi for NBC, sees an intrinsic flaw in that setup. He believes the judges should be insulated from the day-to-day management of the sport, not a part of the federations that run it.

“The problem was never the scoring system,” Hamilton said of the 6.0 format that was changed to the points system soon after the 2002 Games pairs scandal. “It was how the judges are selected for these competitions. What happened in Salt Lake City resulted in this scoring system not treating the issue. Every sport out there has an affiliated association of officials. They are separate from the federation, and figure skating is hesitant to do that. It is a fundamental issue that leads to people having a hard time taking the results as the results.”

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


High School Football 2013

Fall Sports 2012

Purchase Photos

Find more photos >>