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South Korea protests Adelina Sotkinova’s figure skating win over Yuna Kim

Feb 22, 2014, 6:54 AM EDT

The South Korean Olympic Committee/South Korea Skating Union is protesting Russia’s Adelina Sotkinova’s controversial gold medal win over Yuna Kim, the Associated Press reports.

Agence France-Presse shares some of the statement from South Korea’s Skating Union:

“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.

Also: ISU’s statement on the matter

It really might all be a statement, however, as USA Today reports that this is almost certain to be ineffective because such complaints must be filed immediately after rulings to have any effect (beyond airing grievances).

“We haven’t received any letter of protest or complaint or anything,” ISU spokeswoman Selina Vanier said Saturday.

“All ISU members know the rules of protest … That’s something that’s very clear to our members.”

MORE: Compare Kim’s and Sotkinova’s programs side-by-side

NBC analyst Scott Hamilton told the Associated Press that it’s all about how the judges are selected rather than the scoring system itself.

“The problem was never the scoring system,” Hamilton said. “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.”

Clearly people in South Korea – and beyond – are having a tough time with this one.

MORE: Kim retires after silver

Sotkinova moves on from controversies

Focus on the skating, not the score, says NBC’s Joe Posnanski

  1. whosennext - Feb 22, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    Sorry people, but the judges got the top 3 correct. Get over it, unless you are a expert in scoring figure skating, which I am guessing your not since your not in Sochi. Further, I watched a interview with Johnny Weir and Tara Lapinski that was conducted by Bob Costos on Yahoo. They were asked about the scoring for this event and explained what most arm chair judges do not get. Being they are from the sport, they believed the top 3 were correct for the event as well. Read the above rules, to prevent a judge from either over inflating or under inflating a score, the best score and worst score and removed and not included in the final tally. That means that the remaining judges scored the event giving you the final scoring tally.

    • pressedperson - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:16 AM

      So what Katerina Witt, Kurt Browning, Michelle Kwan, Scott Wylie and countless others have said the results were trash.

      And if you’re going to talk about Tara Lipinski she called Yuna’s short program “better than 2010.” 2010 = current world record.

      Johnny and Tara also both said 8 points in the long program was TOO HIGH for Sotnikova compared to Carolina Kostner, and Kim hadn’t even skated yet lol. In the short program they also said Sotnikova had been overscored. If you’re going to cite those 2, their honest comments IN THE MOMENT kind of are more telling than what they’ve been coached to backtrack isn’t it? Use your brain.

      You read the rules, you don’t even know that it’s not about 2 judges’ scores being thrown out. A russian judge was in charge of the GOEs, which inflated a difference of 1.4 in base technical scores to nearly 5 points in Adelina’s favor contrary to EVERY OTHER TECHNICAL panel who has ever graded either skater. and 2 of the judges’ scores BY THEMSELVES constituted the difference between gold and silver TWOFOLD because they were so biased towards Sotnikova, contrary to the other judges who actually favored Kim.

      Even more telling Sotnikova’s component scores were inflated by around 18 points above the exact same program she skated all this past year.

      Use your brain you can’t argue against math. That’s the benefit of this system, you can see exactly where ppl messed with the numbers, the only bad part is you don’t know who. The sport needs transparency

  2. srrdvbdd123 - Feb 22, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    One of the judges of ladies figure skating competition had hugged Adelina Sotnikova, right after Sotnikova ensured she got the gold medal.

    The judge is Alla Shekhovtseva of Russia,
    who is known to be the wife of Valentin Piseev, General director of the Russian figure skating federation. before the competition she also indirectly told the viewers that Adelina or russian player is going to be in the first place.

    I don’t think it was fair.

  3. Barb Caffrey - Feb 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    This result definitely was not fair. It’s possible that Sotnikova might’ve won _barely_ on points if she’d been properly scored. But there were at least two questionable judges on that panel, one being the judge srrdv talked about above — the other was a judge who, in 1998, was suspended for a year due to some questionable activities with regards to marks (I believe he’s from the Ukraine, but am not positive). The Finnish judge also hugged Sotnikova not long after Sotnikova came off the ice, which is not proper behavior . . . and, finally, Yuna Kim was made to skate around the ice for at least eight minutes before she finally was allowed to skate her long program.

    All of that is quite suspicious and makes me believe the judging should be investigated.

    Also, Mao Asada’s long program score was not nearly marked as high as Sotnikova’s, yet Mao skated a flawless long program with eight triples including the toughest triple of them all, the triple axel — she was the only woman to even attempt the jump in the competition, much less land it. Asada, not Sotnikova, should’ve had the most technical points in the competition, and I’m sure Weir and Lipinski both know it.

    Whether they want to admit to it or not is another story entirely. They may feel nothing would’ve stopped Sotnikova from winning that event. Sotnikova did have the best skate of her career, and may well have won even with fair judging and proper scoring . . . it’s also possible Johnny Weir, who was victimized by scores that were way too low in the Vancouver Olympics, keeping *him* off the podium and keeping him from the bronze medal he clearly deserved (he didn’t fall and most of the rest did, plus his content was stunning and he only had one minor bobble where he hit a rut in the ice and wasn’t able to complete a spin, knocking it down from a level 4 to a level 2), does not want to open up that can of worms.

    I do find it ironic that Weir doesn’t want to discuss this, considering what happened to him.

    But NBC probably doesn’t want there to be a controversy. He’s being paid by NBC. He has to know all of this. And if he thinks Sotnikova was a deserving winner, even if the point spread was way too generous and she was the benefit of “Russianflation” (or Russiflation, if you prefer), why should he waste his precious time on this?

    Whereas I can waste mine, at least in part, because I believe fair is fair — and unfair is unfair.

    I want changes, and I want answers.

    The judges should stop being the story and leave it up to the skaters.

  4. bdahni - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    “It’s debatable, but not a robbery,” wrote Chris Chase of USA Today. “Sotnikova skated well enough to win gold. She had a carefully constructed program with seven triples, five of which were in a combo. Kim had six and three, respectively. Thus, Sotnikova was going in with a higher total and made more margin for error, which she took advantage of with a minor hop after one exchange.”

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