Sunday, March 3, 2013

The sainted Gordeeva and Grinkov forfeit the 1987 European championship when they continue to skate after the referee blows the whistle and stops the music. Grinkov's pants' strap had broken. They broke the rules by not stopping, and declined to skate the program again when given the opportunity.

Tragically, Tonya Harding's skate lace breaks shortly into her long program at the Olympics in Lillehammer. I enjoy how she helpfully hoists the leg and its gold-bedazzled skate blade onto the judges table so they can see for themselves. She was allowed to reskate at the end of the group, and so Canadian Jose Chouinard was called to skate earlier than she'd anticipated.

I genuinely think this was unfair - not the Harding stop and reskate, but rushing Chouinard to the ice. At the same time, to blame this for Chouinard's skate is a little self-serving. Chouinard always skated like that (outside of Canadians).

Craig Buntin, Megan Duhamel, TEB LP, 2008, part 1.

Craig Buntin, Megan Duhamel, TEB LP, 2008, part 2.

Bronze medal.

That's a lot of blood.

Buntin had described himself and Duhamel as a demolition derby on ice. No mere blade cuts for those two - they opened veins with their skate blades. And why was that? They had very rough basic skating and got it done ugly. Is it fair that they got to re-do when the reason they stopped in the first place wasn't an act of God or unexpected cramp (which can happen to anybody) but because they couldn't skate the program without Megan's costume ending up like Carrie's prom dress? Isn't that rewarding poor skills? It's like this:

Zhang & Zhang Torino Olympics LP 2006

This is a missed throw. IOW her skates missed the ice and she landed on her adducters. Why did this happen? Something went wrong with the mechanics of the throw - skater error. But what a scandal - after the skaters re-grouped they were permitted to restart and they got the silver medal.* When clearly they should have either limped to the end without stopping, or withdrawn and been called a dnf.

Here are those notorious connivers, Maia and Alex Shibutani.

Alex had a "quad spasm".

Thankfully, they couldn't get away with this in Russia, and didn't make the podium.

This is a scandalous number of program stops, going back over 25 years.

Where oh where were the fans (and Tracy Wilson, sob) calling for the rules to be changed to - finish your fucking program in one go or we're gonna treat you like a racehorse and dnf your performance? Why hasn't there been a hue and cry for years?

Tracy, your thoughts?

I'll share my thoughts - it's only a scandal with VM because VM are better than DW, and the hard core DW advocates (the USFSA and its media and the uber fans) are looking for non-skating ways to cut the knees out from under VM. They wouldn't give a shit if Chock and Bates stopped and started in every skate of their career. Only VM. They're looking for ways to undermine them.
It's weird because the memo about G&G at Europeans has always been that their coaching team, as well as the skaters, didn't understand the rules, or the consequences of not stopping, so they forfeited the chance at the European title. If they'd stopped when the whistle blew, and restarted after Sergei fixed his pants strap, they may have won. But how unfair is that? Shouldn't Sergei have made certain his pants strap was securely sewn prior to taking the ice? It's a good thing they forfeited.

Stone them.
When I was looking for a 4CC Carmen screen cap, I ended up at tsn where the only comment underneath the article was "Nice try guys."
What does that mean? Nice try at avoiding the severe defeat DW was about to deliver because DW are so much better than you guys? Even though you beat the unbeatable "best short in the world right now."
That is what's afoot with this shit. An absolute hustle on the level of S&P, and yes, I see the irony. DW are the best and  better - ignore that VM actually are. Ignore what happened in the short dance. Set it up so the only way VM can win is politics and trickery.

Hey Canada it's kind of ironic to see the American media (and whatever is influencing Tracy Wilson) using the same bullshit that benefitted your Sale & Pelletier (and fucked over Berezhnaya/Sikhuerlidze) to fuck over your Virtue and Moir.
It's setting up to be 2002 all over again - at least in the media. Let's hope the judges don't cave, although skating judges can be idiots.
*Apparently Tracy Wilson, one of the many who, after pushing 3 decades, is now "concerned" about this rule, told the broadcast audience at junior worlds that it would be especially ruinous for a stop and re-start to happen at the sacred Olympics.  Has she acquired amnesia about 1994 and 2006?


  1. "It's setting up to be 2002 all over again - at least in the media. Let's hope the judges don't cave, although skating judges can be idiots."

    And where pray tell is the Skate Canada/Canadian media in all of this? This bunch of incompetents who are running SC are sitting on their hands, letting the media re. DW run wild with these claims. They don't need to say anything about DW at all - like others have pointed out, there's no need for pushback that focuses on criticizing DW. What's been lacking is media pushback that is favorable to VM in explaining all the details they bring to their programs, explaining the intricacy of their choreography, their superb technique, etc., and all of it written with that positive expectation that they are deserving of winning everything - from Worlds all through Sochi. There's really no need to mention DW at all.

    I'm curious about this upcoming documentary. Is this supposed to be in place of professional, consistently good PR? I'm sure it will be interesting, but that's not the be all of a PR campaign. It sounds like they've been devoting a lot of time to this at the expense of other equally important PR issues. And what happens after it airs? What does SC do then?

    1. The documentary looks like a more polished version of the amateur shit Debbi used to push. You know those portentious, bombastic promos like 'Are you READY?' with the awful music and the 'dynamic' editing - super self-serious, trying to show how "dangerous" and "dramatic" the sport is? And then paired with that were the babbling and ultra cutesy interviews.

      This looks like a piece that Skate Canada commissioned. It doesn't look like the vision of independent documentary filmmakers granted access.

      It's hardly new that SC has neglected the real business of the Federation - the skaters and its financial health - for bullshit rooted in the ego needs and other personal best interests of the directors. This isn't going to change until after Sochi.

    2. And didn't Debbi also recently do some event where she narrates music used by skaters? It's all so weird. And meanwhile there's a run-up to Sochi and their Olympic champions are being trashed. Debbi and Barb truly don't seem to know what to do with VM now that SC isn't deeply involved in promoting a Moir-Dube pairing. They seem to think including them in a documentary should suffice.

    3. Clearly Debbi has decided that live narration - of an actual event or a contrived event - should be her latest showcase. What does the membership think of her salary going so sustain Debbi Wilkes' personal platform while she retains a title for a job she's clearly not doing? Does Benoit pretend not to understand English whenever the subject comes up?

    4. "This looks like a piece that Skate Canada commissioned. It doesn't look like the vision of independent documentary filmmakers granted access."

      When they first announced this documentary they certainly made it sound like filmmakers who were granted access to never before seen behind the scenes stories. They also made it sound like it was exclusively about V/M.

      From the clips so far it's nothing more than glorified action photos with some small interview clips woven in. Not at all what fans would consider "access." What was seen of V/M's "interview" so far is the same old same old. Yay SC making a big splash for Worlds.

    5. It looks like a "for hire" job, plain and simple.

    6. And not to mention - "Ice, Sweat and TEARS!" isn't exactly the title self-respecting documentary filmmakers would bestow themselves.

  2. Can I ask a question?

    Where exactly are D/W "running wild with these claims"? Is there a link to that? I must be looking in all of the wrong places, because I haven't seen this subject mentioned that much since it happened. I did note that a thread on FSU popped up after Papadakis/Cizeron stopped their FD at Jr Worlds and were told they had 3 min. to rest before continuing.

    1. DW aren't - icenetwork has, Tracy Wilson has, Kurt Browning threw Tessa under the bus, fans have bitched on tumblr, have felt that VM ought to have been penalized more; there was ragging on them on twitter, the sole comment on tsn suggested VM were trying to play fast and loose. It's not DW themselves.

      Also that P/C thread is overly disingenuous and a way to safely vent about VM, IMO.

      It makes no sense whatsoever that skaters have stopped and restarted for decades but with Worlds in view, and with VM stopping, suddenly the rule must be investigated or changed, and the rationale is what - that VM are so inferior to DW they need to resort to trickery to prevent their inferiority showing (such as stopping and resting at 4CCs). It's of a piece with the media push that DW are so far and away the world's best only shady judging or unfair rules could prevent that from being universally acknowledged.

      A lot of the bitching is also about the absence of push back on the Canadian side against those who are pretending Virtue and Moir were attempting to avoid an outright ass whipping by DW.

    2. Three sets of ice dancers have stopped and restarted their programs this year at major competitions. That's disproportionately high for what should be a freak occurrence. That is why people are rightfully questioning it.

    3. Oh so D/W aren't making claims, so wouldn't it be better to say who is actually making the claims instead of misleading people?

    4. Anon 5:29

      See first paragraph above in 4:52.
      Or read the blog carefully. It has been said where the claims are coming from and no one has accused DW of anything in regards to media.

    5. It has nothing to do with the other two skaters and everything to do with Virtue and Moir. The other skaters are a pretext to pretend to be all concerned with the rule. If it had been three skaters and none of them VM the PC thread would not exist.

      "Everything" may not revolve around Virtue and Moir but when it comes to those with a DW agenda there is only Virtue and Moir and the attempt to discredit them as skaters any way it can be tried. The discussion has been inside out for months.

  3. My question to the anon above (5:12 pm) is this: if only two teams had stopped and started this year, would there be no need to question the rule? If only one team had stopped, no problem? But since it's three? Well then, now it's a problem? What exactly is being defined as a disproportionate number? This rule has been in place and applied for years. But because there have been three start/stops this year, suddenly that makes it questionable? Is it about the rule itself, or is it about the fact that Virtue and Moir still ended up finishing so high in the points (and in second place) after the stop/start? If they'd have finished well off the podium after the interruption, would people still be demanding the rule be changed?

    1. But everything doesn't revolve around V/M, so if it had been jut them with the restart, I'm sure there wouldn't be the mild discussion about it.

    2. 5:33

      It's disingenuous to say everything doesn't revolve around Virtue-Moir when it comes to ice-dance, or a perceived precedence they set. They are the reigning Olympic and World champions and they did a mid-program stop. Of course the whining and hand-wringing is about Virtue-Moir. If only junior teams had done this, or some team ranked well below the top teams, no one would care, even if it had been five stops in one week.

    3. A rule should not be invalidated or scrapped just because it's applied more often one season than it was the season before. And that's not why the rule is being called into question right now anyway.

      The current discussion about the rule, meaning whether it should be allowed and if it's hurting the sport or not, has EVERYTHING to do with Virtue and Moir.

      If it had been just Virtue and Moir with the restart, there wouldn't be mild discussion (I love the *mild* thrown in there) about it? There was a myriad of discussion (on FSU, twitter, among the media, etc.) about the restart as soon as it happened. It went on for days. It's clearly still going on. "The world doesn't revolve around Tessa and Scott!" argument doesn't fly here. It most definitely does revolve around them in this case. When Papadakis and Cizeron had their stop/restart, that only fueled the fires of those who were already questioning the rule because of what happened with Virtue and Moir.

    4. There's more than a mild discussion about it - the initial reaction from DW advocates and icenetwork was snarking, eye-rolling and the insinuation that VM had copped out from competing with DW in the fd on a level playing field. It's the most absurd game in the world because VM won 4CCs last year and beat them in the sd this year. But the game is VM are scared of DW and any chance there is to spin VM that way is seized upon. The pot shots at VM started with the 4CCs and came from other figure skaters (not Canadian), from ice-network and fans. People were on the hunt for a stick to beat them with and this would serve.

      It was actually good luck for this very much not mild discussion's longevity that the juniors stopped and restarted, because people could use them as the pretext to vent their views about the unfairness of Virtue Moir. The real unfairness is they're better than DW but aren't scored like it.

  4. "It's disingenuous to say everything doesn't revolve around Virtue-Moir when it comes to ice-dance, or a perceived precedence they set. They are the reigning Olympic and World champions and they did a mid-program stop. Of course the whining and hand-wringing is about Virtue-Moir. If only junior teams had done this, or some team ranked well below the top teams, no one would care, even if it had been five stops in one week."

    I think you are overestimating the importance of V/M. You need to re-read FSU. Most discussion about the FD incident had died down within a couple of days. I don't think anyone had even mentioned it (well except for in the V/M thread -- maybe that's what you were reading) until P/C at Jr Worlds.

    When you really look at this whole debate, the most dramatic statements have come from V/M fans (such as yourself). I stand by my description of the discussion as mild. Most people are just questioning clarity of the rule.

    But I forgot, everything in the world of ice dance revolves around V/M. You might want to go on over to FSU and mention that in that thread. I think some of us forgot.

    1. I don't think you're well situated to correct me about the conversation on the FSU PC thread seeing as how you apparently can't even read what's on the blog.

      The blog wasn't singling out FSU as driving the potshots about VM the 4CC.

      FSU and the disingenuous PC discussion there is part of it - they're capitalizing on it - but the larger discussion began everywhere else on the internet.

      As for coming to a blog that focuses on VM to complain that "I forgot, everything in the world of ice dance revolves around V/M" - this actually demonstrates that for DW fans, everything does revolve around VM, and their frustrations and resentments about VM.

      That's what is driving the PC discussion on FSU in reality and it's what's driving this sudden interest in "clarifying" a rule that's been in effect almost 30 years. But if it can be used to disable VM - my, the interest is piqued. Let's clarify it!

      For DW fans everything does revolve around VM. They maintain that DW are "equal" to VM and are aggravated VM fans won't acknowledge it, many fans express resentment of VM. DW fans never forget it's all about VM because those are the skaters standing in the way of what their fans believe are DW's rightful World title and Olympic gold and these are the skaters they believe are unfairly considered superior. All of the initial post 4CC potshots at VM - most of them, let's say - were vis a vis a DW skew - calling them out for trying to avoid a loss to DW. That came from DW fans.

  5. OP has deleted a post, I see.

    1. I'll assume you mean "comment". Posts are the things at the top of the comment section, usually with titles. Haven't deleted any.

      If you mean comment, I often write, rewrite and edit live. In the comments section, that means delete it if it's fucked up (such as if I double paste something and then hit publish) and then fix it and publish again. So if that's what you mean, you're wrong - I didn't delete "a" post, I deleted about four until it was egregious error free.

  6. Off topic - does anyone find it strange that we recently found out from Lynn Rutherford that Patrick Chan has been training at the Detroit Skating Club? Patrick indicated that he wanted to be in the same time zone as London...and that he has enjoyed the comraderie at the DSC...and in the back of my mind - the Toronto Cricket Club would be a more natural option (minus that Hanyu and Fernandez train there with Orser) but perhaps that maybe also given the lack of support from the Canadian media and Skate Canada regarding V/M -perhaps Patrick did not want to be at the Toronto Cricket Club since Browning and Wilson are based there also. So perhaps he feels that he should be in a non-judgmental environment...Again I am reaching here but again I just thought I would throw it out there...

    1. Patrick's staying with W&P in Detroit. That has to be helpful - remember the articles on his finances. They have a house, it's convenient for everyone. It might be more of a challenge to be as comfortable in Toronto; in addition he may prefer Detroit to Toronto. He describes himself as having a portable training set-up, so I'd imagine it's the proximity to London, the appeal of Detroit, and the living situation with W&P that drove the decision. His coach has to stay somewhere too - if she's not with W&P as well it is probably easier for her to find reasonable temporary housing in Detroit than in Toronto.

  7. To return to the topic of everything revolving around Virtue and Moir - here's a breakdown.

    Virtue and Moir stop at 4CCs and immediately DW fans chew their ass. They shouldn't have gotten the PCs! (it's the wet dream of DW fans for DW to be gold while VM are bronze or lower).

    VM would have gotten silver even if they'd skipped the lift - they ARE that good; they'd have to be a whole lot worse for DW fans dreams to come true.

    While I don't hang out at message boards all the time I'm a subscriber to at least one and I know that DW fans are in the PC thread right now as nothing more than an exercise in sanctimony. They were called out for ripping VM apart while ignoring the juniors, so a junior thread was duly begun so these fans could piously demonstrate that they're not indeed about VM, which they are, at least where this topic is concerned. It's ridiculous to pretend they'd have any interest in it whatsoever if not for VM.

    If the PC discussion is "mild" it is because it's there only so DW fans can "prove" they're not all "Marcia Marcia Marcia!" about VM, which they are.

    The blog is actually one of the few times VM fans have directly addressed the situation with DW - the obsession is otherwise one-way.

  8. OC 7:43

    All of that comment - Thank you!

    DW fans are hypocritically sanctimonious. And they've been having fun today on a certain message board laughing at the blog. In their minds they seem to think the existence of this place proves DW's superiority. Also I'm pretty sure most of them already knew about this place but they pretend otherwise. It's clear by their comments they have not bothered reading much of the blog - their comments are out of context and deliberately obtuse re sarcasm.

    They're quite amusing in their sanctimony. They probably would endorse the blog on the premise it's exposing bad stuff about VM. But oh wait, the blog includes specific and detailed criticism of DW. Lol

    1. That would explain why the blog suddenly has a surge of hits from a link on fsu.

    2. I particularly love that these exact same people have had this exact same conversation at least 2 other times in the past year, yet they're all feigning like this is the first time they've heard of the blog.

      Changing subjects, there's finally some better press on V/M.

    3. I think the first article - the one on Swan - is fantastic and the second is a load of incoherent crap. The second (the one on innovation) is trying to say Canada is full of innovative figure skaters who often go unrewarded cause Canadians are too humble to brag, and somewhere in there we're supposed to gather that VM are one of those innovators whose innovation should be rewarded for how innovative it is at Worlds. It would help if the writer had any clue about figure skating or why Carmen is innovative, but thankfully we have the Swan article for that. The crap author (not the writer of the article on Swan) sort of destroys her own case by calling hydroblading innovative, quoting Shae Lynn a lot and I think also tossing Sale & Pelletier in there too. So, typical crap figure skating piece that shoots itself in the foot.

      The writer of the Swan piece, and Swan herself, are sharp, articulate, specific, treat dance and skating knowledeably and OMG they act as if people reading the article might have brains. It's a miracle.

    4. I've noticed yet another upsurge in OMG the blog is crazy - not here, but elsewhere. But lots and lots of reading it. Yes, I know, because the level of crazy is just so fascinating! There's so little high calibre crazy on the internet! It has nothing to do with anything else.

      If somebody started a blog stating that Meryl and Charlie were actually married with a kid and were lying all this time, it would be crazy but the blog would go unread very quickly because everybody knows it's not true.

      With Virtue and Moir even the people going "It's crazy" get cranked up past where you'd think crazy internet stuff could amp up anyone. OMG OMG - the person must be insane!!!

      They don't see that there's something to the hyper reaction. A blog with actual pure fantasy and lies would just be - oh, another nutjob.

      Which is to say I think a lot of people aren't processing their reaction clearly or they wouldn't be unsettled.