Thursday, February 13, 2014

At least this makes sense

Counterpunch (DW aren't as good as VM)

Here's an excerpt:
The French sports magazine L’Equipe reported last Friday a rumor that a deal was in the works between the Russians and the Americans. The deal was that the American judges would support the Russian skaters in the newly instituted “team competition” in exchange for support from the Russian (and possibly other Eastern European) judges for the American Dance team of Meryl Davis and Charlie White in the individual dance competition. Sadly, that rumor sounds all too plausible. Despite the gold won by the Russian pairs team yesterday, for the first time in many years, Russia was not well positioned going into the Olympics to win any individual gold medals in figure skating, so a team gold would certainly be very attractive (and face saving) for them. At the same time, Davis and White, while they have been mysteriously beating their Canadian rivals and defending Olympic champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, for the last couple of years, are not nearly so good as the latter. It could thus be difficult for them to continue their inexplicable winning streak at an event so visible as the Olympics without some help from the Russian judges.
My only dispute here is that, since the sport has worked for two years to unfairly elevate DW over VM so that their win over VM would go unquestioned in the Olympics,  they wouldn't require a Russian trade-off to make it happen.  Furthermore, it doesn't matter that this is an incredibly visible competition if nobody knows what the fuck they're looking at. Daylight robbery is simple under these circumstances.

The fix was ALREADY in.  Even the ISU got in on the act with its "Letter of Inquiry" about 4CC's 2013, helping to facilitate the bullshit that Tessa and Scott took a break cause they were afraid they couldn't beat DW on the merits.

Well they CAN'T because the sport won't allow it.

This does remind me of S&P versus B&S when everybody preferred to squawk about the French judge instead of looking at the two long programs to decide who deserved to win the gold. It happened like that back then because back then the figure skating journalists didn't understand figure skating and figure skating worked hard to make sure they didn't. If you look at the vast difference between the two teams, B&S the clearly superior team, superior running away, one wonders, when looking back at 2002, why a deal would have had to be made to insure that the superior team won the gold medal.  Even if one believes the French judge, instead of suspecting she was pressured to confess she was pressured. Why would a DEAL have to be made to help the better team win? I mean suppose it was true - isn't that a scandal in itself -that a DEAL would have to be made to be sure the better team won at the Olympics?

Same thing now. Figure skating journalists claim the fact that Meryl and Charlie are winning justifies their coming win in Sochi, no deals required. NOBODY is asking why Meryl and Charlie have been winning because nobody is capable of looking at the skating in an informed manner and judging it according to CoP's own rules and criteria. NOBODY. They just go straight to - the story must be a Russian plant!

This would not happen in any other sport. Journalists and media would scrutinize the GAME, the players, from an educated standpoint as part of the process of weighing the merits of the claim. Here there is no weighing of the merits because nobody writing about it knows what the fuck they're talking about when it come to skating, and the ISU and the skating world is falling over itself  making certain ignorance remains the journalistic standard in the skating world.

The scoffing at "L'Equipe" doen't prevent some journalist from casting aspersions on what may be going on in the ladies division, cause ... Russia.  There, it's perfectly possible a deal has been struck, right? No need to look at the skating there, either. 

Also interesting to me that the response to L'Equipe has been to look at Tessa Virtue instead of looking at Davis White.

86 comments:

  1. "This would not happen in any other sport."

    Sigh. OC, figure skating (especially ice dance) has never been a real sport. Ever. Everyone within the sport knows that. The new system has effed everything up because it came with a rulebook that made some people think that figure skating could be analyzed. That rulebook is just like illusion mesh or feathers/sequins -- it's just something to look at, but you aren't supposed to take it seriously.

    All this ranting and raving over something that doesn't mean anything. I'm willing to bet that V/M are not upset at the prospect of not winning gold, because they've known that for a very long time. They were in it this year for their tv show, and whatever other deals (monetary or otherwise) are coming out of that. Within the figure skating world, they don't need double golds to establish their legacy, and they know that. As for what the fans think, no one within FS gives a damn about that, including V/M and D/W, Marina Zoueva, etc.

    So long as little girls are taught to believe in fairy princesses and prince charmings, figure skating will always have an appeal and an audience, and will always be a marquee sport in the Winter Games. That's all that people in FS really care about, because honestly, the less people involved in the actually day to day running of the "sport", the more likely it can continue to run the way it has always been run.

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  2. If you think VM don't care about winning that OGM, that bridge with blocked access lanes that OC speaks of is still for sale.

    Look at what VM do with their skating. They take that rulebook very seriously. There are probably very, very few people out there who take ice dance more seriously than VM do.

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    1. Maybe you should look into buying that bridge 6:39.

      It's just like what OC says below "And they didn't. Only when it was too late did people speak up. It's about as convincing as the USFSA waiting til the 11nth hour to argue against anonymous judging."

      Why do you think shit like that happens? Because this is a real sport? You think that V/M don't know about stuff like this?

      I don't doubt that V/M take their skating seriously. However, winning gold medals has nothing to do with taking skating seriously, as has already been proven many times.

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    2. You can know that you won't win OGM and still take skating very seriously.

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    3. And Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are two of the most competitive people on the planet. I simply cannot buy that those two do not want to win. I also think that once upon a time, those two fully believed in CoP and the best skater being rewarded with the win.

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    4. It all depends on what is meant by "winning." FS is politcked like crazy. It's not like there's was all this politicking done by D/W and USFSA and V/M did nothing at all. How do we know that V/M aren't benefitting in some other way by not winning gold? What other deals have opened up for them because of the usual horse-trading that goes on (nevermind our opinion of those deals)?


      It's like this whole "D/W are evil enemies" storyline that has been developed by fans (and the show). What if that's totally untrue, and D/W and/or USFSA have actually agreed to help V/M and SC in some other way that V/M and/or SC see as more beneficial than winning gold in ice dance this year? Would you even know? Would that ever come to light?

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    5. I get what you're saying, but I'm not blind and I don't think the disappointed faces I've seen from VM in competitions they didn't win are an act.

      Now, SC may not care so much about VM winning another OGM. SC wants that men's OGM badly.

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    6. It probably isn't an act. It is sad to see yourself beaten, even if you know in advance that it's going to happen. But it's different from the days where there was genuine shock, anger, confusion, etc.

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    7. Igor himself threw shade at Tessa Virtue when he was dismissing L'Equipe's allegations, but, everybody dismissing it is completely ignoring what happened at the GPF, when Virtue and Moir clearly outskated DW and still lost. Nope, let's just look at a mistake Virtue made in a different competition, not at two spectacular performances by her and Scott where they defeated DW on the ice at every call but lost in the rigged protocols.

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  3. I know this isn't about vm, but just watched plushenko's withdrawal-heartbreaking. as controversial as he is, who else has had a career like his?! love the commitment to skating and to competition. reminds me of vm.

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  4. This is why the Bev Smith article and explanation of VM's superiority needed to come out two years ago. The narrative of DW needed to be checked. They needed to explain to every "man, woman, and child" why FF beat DF in Nice. And they needed to keep beating the drum about Carmen as compared to that piece of shit Notre Dame, unrelentingly.

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    1. And they didn't. Only when it was too late did people speak up. It's about as convincing as the USFSA waiting til the 11nth hour to argue against anonymous judging.

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  5. OMFG, figure skating judges slay me:

    Rohene Ward on Jason Brown's "Riverdance" piece (this is a fascinating read about how the program was built)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/sports/olympics/for-skater-jason-brown-a-disciplined-approach-yields-joy-on-ice.html?_r=1

    Some at the Broadmoor said “Riverdance” had been overused; others said it was hard to distinguish where certain elements ended or began, but this blurring of the borders between elements was exactly what Ward intended.

    “I said, ‘It’s not my job to make your job easier as a judge to say, Oh that’s the footwork,and that’s a spin,' ” Ward said. “No, I’m going to make it a whole piece that flows.

    “We even had a couple of heated conversations with some judges, because they thought, Well, what if we miss it and end up judging the element incorrectly?”

    But Ward did not want to compromise. Reviews were still mixed in August at Champs Camp, the United States Figure Skating seminar staged at World Arena to help top American skaters and coaches prepare for the coming season.

    Ade said officials were confused about the meaning of the program: Was it traditional “Riverdance” or a twist on it? What was Brown looking at here? Why was he serious there?

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    1. Good for Rohene Ward. Jason Brown is the real deal.

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    2. What a great article. The judges sound like a bunch of morons.

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  6. Any chance Counterpunch could write an article exposing the sham?

    The ice dance competition is boringly predetermined. I doubt there will be any surprising upsets.

    At least getting the sham exposed would provide some unexpected entertainment. Cassandra is sure to be in the stands with the Moirs. The world needs to know she's a fake.

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    1. "The world needs to know she's a fake."

      And then what ?
      Let them sham all they want, what difference does it make ? As ridiculous as it is, in the end it's their own business, they can lie and fake as much as they want to, nobody is forced to pay any attention to it. They aren't A-list celebrities that we cannot escape, to be exposed to their sham one needs to deliberately look for it.

      The entire sham has been kept alive by the exact same people who cry for it to finally blow up. Without this blog and all the people who are so eager to follow everything closely that's coming out of Moirville the sham would have died down long ago. If it weren't for the interest generated by this blog there would be nothing in it for Moirville and they wouldn't find a girl willing to pose as Scott's girlfriend.
      This blog is probably exactly what Moirville wants. Were else do they get so much attention ?

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    2. "The entire sham has been kept alive by the exact same people who cry for it to finally blow up. Without this blog and all the people who are so eager to follow everything closely that's coming out of Moirville the sham would have died down long ago. If it weren't for the interest generated by this blog there would be nothing in it for Moirville and they wouldn't find a girl willing to pose as Scott's girlfriend.
      This blog is probably exactly what Moirville wants. Were else do they get so much attention ?"

      ROFL. That's the most hilarious thing I've read in years.

      They were shamming epically and in an ever escalating fashion years before this blog was launched. The sham started in 2007. This blog didn't launch until 2011. Even if this blog didn't exist, Moirville would still be shamming.

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    3. Of course they were slamming before but that doesn't change the fact that Moirville is in it for the attention. And they already got lots of attention for it on social media before the blog existed. The blog only made it so much easier for them because now the fans don't have to search on their own anymore and Moirville doesn't have to fear that one of their shenanigans goes unnoticed by the fanbase.

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    4. "Even if this blog didn't exist, Moirville would still be shamming."

      True, but they wouldn't get the payoff they now get with this blog. This blog brings way more attention to their crap than would exist without it. It also gives the fans a central place to bitch about it all, which I'm sure thrills Moirville even more. This blog is a win-win for everyone.

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    5. Exactly. PLEASE with this blog inciting the sham. Before this blog began, Tessa was pregnant. That Christmas, not all that long before Tessa gave birth, NO blog, Jessica's facebook went on blast, spamming her fan friends with over a hundred fake NYE and Xmas photos.

      oc

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    6. You know I can't run the blog giving a shit how Moirville uses the blog. It was obvious early on, after their initial restrictions of their facebooks, that they realized the blog could showcase the sham - sort of be the clearing house for their output.

      The blog isn't here to one up them or try to push their buttons. The blog is here to chronicle the hoax that is enabled by an entire sport and enabled by the media that covers that sport, and then blames the public for creating the need for the hoax. This is groupies and star fucking on parade throughout the sport and the "journalists" that are tasked with reporting on it.

      Prior to all of that, the blog was here to chronicle the sham and to demonstrate that the figure skating public hadn't entered into any agreement with Moirville whereupon they'd agreed to act like they had no fucking clue so that Moirville could continue to treat them like shit on social media. We were all supposed to pretend not to notice. But it's social media. Social media it egalitarian. Social media had no obligation not to notice that Moirville was full of shit. That was another reason for the blog.

      OF COURSE it was almost inevitable that Moirville would go "hey, publicity is publicity!" and see the blog as a plus as far as shamming goes, and that's what it appears to have done.

      But, that's not my problem.

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  7. "The world needs to know she's a fake."

    Why?

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    1. 7:51 - Why? Because Tessa and Scott are lying and they're using their lies to sell stuff to the public and treat that public with malicious condescension. If they were lying and didn't involve me/the fans then sure, who cares. But they're lying because they say I/the fans annoy them and I'm delusional so in order to punish the stupid idiot fans they've sold the me/the public a fake story. And made money off of that fake story while at the same time patronizing the public they're scamming.

      Hell yeah, the lies must be exposed.

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    2. Amen.

      The minute that VM decided to lie to the fans, they involved me in this because I am a fan. They're scapegoating their bad behavior on to a group that includes me while also trying to profit off the same set of fans. I did nothing but enjoy their skating.

      Yes, this needs to be exposed.

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  8. Not to make less of it, but other than their book, what are they selling to the public that uses their lies?

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    1. They made money off of that mess of a tv show.

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    2. I never bought their book. I paid to see them skate once, but that was because I am interested in their skating. How is their sham used to sell stuff? Do you mean Today's Bride? How would the sham have increased sales of that magazine? Do you mean the sports photoshoot Tessa did? Did people buy that because they thought Tessa was single?

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    3. "They made money off of that mess of a tv show."

      That show was so confusing. Was the main draw of that show supposed to be the sham? I thought it was supposed to be the skating, but after watching it, I don't know what it was supposed to be about.

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    4. They pitched it to the audience as a real, behind the scenes look at their life. What they actually showed us was a bunch of sham bullshit. Basically, this show was taking the sham mainstream, under the guise of it being something else.

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    5. Whatever the original reasons for this sham hoax, by now it's become a way to mock the fans--giving us the finger.

      Absolutely this must be exposed. Asap.

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  9. There are times when I don't want to believe that the Tessa and Scott that created a masterpiece like Carmen are the same two clowns who acted in their show.

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    1. except tessa and scott did not choreograph carmen

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    2. Actually, they did -- in collaboration with Swan and Zoueva.

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  10. Cas is in Sochi...

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    1. 2:02
      I thought she might be but how do you know that?

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    2. She was spotted with the Moirs by a Russian fan (the one who was the first to see her in Paris , credible as hell)

      Happy Valentines!

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    3. Wonder if Scott's brothers will be in Sochi...and whether Mama Hilborn is there also...

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    4. @ 8:08
      Earlier today someone tweeted they had arrived in Sochi and the plane they were on was full of Moirs and Virtues. Looks like Moirville already forgot according to the reality show Cassandra hadn't met Tessa, which we are to suppose also means she hasn't met any Virtues, am I right? Oh look, a contradiction to an earlier story. What a shock.

      Moirville's dedication to Scott's fake romantic life is one of the more bizarre aspects of this hoax.

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    5. 8.45 Can you post the link to the tweet?

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    6. 8:45 AM

      the blog has done a lot of speculating about Moirville's obsession with Scott's fake romantic life - how smarmy, TMI and exhibitionistic it is.

      It wasn't until a participant in the comments section mentioned that maybe they were afraid we'd think Scott was gay that it occurred to me they wanted to prove Scott wasn't gay. The reality show sort of lends credence to that speculation, although as it always happens when people fall over themselves to prove they're something or other, it turns into parody, and Scott ended up looking like a parody of overcompensation - i.e., just like some dude in denial he was gay.

      It was like when the Canadian male figure skaters started going super macho. Once you go OTT with that you're in a 1980s gay bar.

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  11. Skate order for the SD: V/M skate 17th, D/W 24th and last. So I guess D/W will get V/M's scores + bonus?

    http://www.isuresults.com/results/owg2014/SEG007.HTM

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    1. Well, fuck.

      Nothing to see anymore, folks. We're closed.

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    2. 18th, not 17th. But just as worryingly, they skate before Bobrova/Soloviev AND Ilinykh/Katsalapov. I really believe that the judges will try to get the Russians' scores as close as possible to VM, and then spring bronze on them. Those figure skating deals? They were meant to be broken, and there's precedent. In SLC, the votes were to go in favor of B/S in pairs (who actually were superior to the overrated S/P), in exchange for favoring A/P in ice dance. But come ice dance, the Russian judge still voted for the Russian ice dance team.

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    3. the skate order is a joke. DW last in three different skating sessions?

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    4. The team draws were based on world rank. The SD is only random draw.

      It's great. The judges will know exactly what they need to do!

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    5. random? please.

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    6. " I really believe that the judges will try to get the Russians' scores as close as possible to VM, and then spring bronze on them."

      I think off the podium all together is a very real possibility. They were completely dropped by the judges in the team event. There's plenty of room to put at least 3-4 teams other teams between VM and DW. VM may not even be in the final group for the FD.

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    7. This reminds me of a line from the film "Quiz Show," "And the fix is in, this week on 21!"

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    8. I really think we need to relax with the bronze or off the podium situation. VM will not skate "worse" than they did in team event. so their marks should be higher than what they got if they perform what they can. they obviously will be screwed but let's not get carried away. they are still the reigning Olympic champs and must be on podium.

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    9. There's no guarantee that VM won't skate worse. There's no law that says that because they won in 2010 that they must be on the podium. The judges can also give them whatever low scores they want. No one is going to double-check the judges work.

      Mark my words, off the podium.

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    10. Anon 8:27: that's a bit extreme; if anything, the Russians will pull a SLC 2002 and not fulfill their end of the bargain to the Americans.

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    11. This is different than SLC. By the time ice dance came around in SLC, the news of the deal had already broken. At that point, why would the Russian judge feel obligated to hold their end up?

      The podium is going to be DW and then BS and IK in some order.

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    12. It's also interesting to note that CL - the European champions who won over IK is also in the second group. Anna and Luca might not have the biggest patterns but hell they are dancers...but really DW being last is so over the top..anybody who doesn't believe the ice-dance order is not rigged - holycrap...

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    13. I thought that it was the skaters who drew their number? I have this vague sort of memory of Miki Ando drawing her skate order back in the 2010 Olympics. Unless the organizers have rigged the container full of numbers or somehow engineered a way for certain paper to go into a skater's hand, I think VM's draw was simple bad luck.

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    14. More likely is that the container only has one number in it at any given time.

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    15. Skaters do draw their own number.

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    16. The draw was not fixed. It was unlucky for VM and exceedingly lucky for DW.

      This was in another lifetime, but last year at 4CC, VM did not skate in the final group. They were next to last in the second of three groups. DW did skate in the final group, next to last. VM's score held up.

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  12. holy crap! hanyu beats chan even with TWO FALLS.

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    1. Patrick's performance bled points and Hanyu had a four point cushion going in to the free. I thought the result was fair. Well, fair enough, anyway. This *is* the ISU we're talking about.

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    2. Hanyu's scores were inflated but the overall result is okay, imo.
      Patrick's skate was equally flawed and his presentation seemed off too. The judges clearly wanted Hanyu to win ( probably to cash in some more by keeping the Japanese popularity alive ) but with a clean skate Chan would have won easily but he gave it away.

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    3. Tell me how Hanyu's scores were inflated. Break it down, please.

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    4. And here come the ubers ...
      All I'm saying is that for a program with this many flaws Hanyu's PCS were still very high.

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    5. Hanyu doesn't have the quality of skating or transitions of Patrick and his movements are very unfinished, sloppy posture as well. Hanyu's strength usually comes from his performance skills but they weren't really there tonight. I don't have a problem with Hanyu winning but it should have been a lot closer. All that politicking for Chan and he was still underscored, gotta love it.

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    6. My take on it was that Patrick was given an opportunity to win with the free but couldn't capitalize...but then again I wouldn't have given Patrick the gold either on the basis that he didn't get it done in the short program too...he can still hold his head high with silver..but let's face it - Skate Canada basically sold-out VM for Chan for the last two years and change...it will be interesting to see out of the top 10 in men's who goes to Worlds...Japan is obviously happy with Hanyu's win..but it wasn't an event to be remembered...hell Plushenko might have even squeeked out a gold tonight...

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    7. Here come the ubers? I was pulling for Chan. I simply asked that someone break down the actual skating vs. the scores.

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    8. Holy shit. I see that I made the right decision to skip watching the men's after the 1st group and just go to sleep.I suppose the pressure got to almost everybody. VM got sacrificed on the altar of politicking to secure Canada's men's gold. But what ironically happened was that Canada's 2 Oly-silver winning Orser coached Hanyu to the top of the podium. GREAT JOB, CANADA.

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    9. I think what happens is a lot of people want to forget the short program once the long program plays out. But CoP is cumulative - points carry over from the short. Hanyu won the Olympics in the short program. There was plenty of opportunity for Chan to make up ground in the long program but he, as is said, bled points. I will have to review the skate to see if my impression that the scores of both men in the long were inflated, but the differential is justifiable.

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  13. I wonder how many inside of Skate Canada are regretting their politicking decisions these past couple of years.

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    1. Serves them right, Chan's silver will do nothing for Canadian skating. They have wasted VM for nothing.
      Do you think they'll try to speak up for VM now to save what's left of this mess ?

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    2. We're talking really stupid people here - we're probably decades away from it dawning on any of them that mistake were made.

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  14. this is bullshit, if you fall not once but twice, in NO way should you be the gold medalist. come on.

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  15. King Orser - 2 silver medals + coached Kim and Hanyu to gold medals...the real deal...Browning and Skate Canada - hmmm- Mike Slipchuk and ahem Ben Lavoie - please stand up...and seriously anybody who didn't question Patrick not having a technical coach...oh Christy Krall - you were so underappreciated...
    But seriously two lps - VT and Hanyu - gold medalists - less than stellar....
    Kudos to Denis, Jeremy and Kevin for some redemption...

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    1. Fifteen year-old Nam Nguyen, who is being heralded as the next Patrick Chan in Canada, is coached by Brian Orser. OGM in 2018?

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  16. Hanyu and Patrick were messes tonight. What a shitshow. Skate Canada must be feeling so stupid putting their eggs in the wrong basket.

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  17. called it! you fucked up skate canada

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  18. https://twitter.com/PonyboyColautti/status/434408546726211584

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    1. That's very interesting.

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    2. V/M ought to release a statement in response: No apologies necessary, P Chiddy. Thanks for bastardizing and selling yourself out to help spread the fake narrative on our clusterfuck of a reality show. To show our gratitude, here's a free pack on condoms on us!

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    3. I think he apologized to his girlfriend, Tess, not Tessa and Scott.

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    4. NOPE, the tweet said "apologize to his teammates, Scott and Tessa."

      oc

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    5. Maybe the guy who tweeted this, heard it wrong? I hate listening to Patrick Chan talk at all, so I haven't gone back to listen. But it's possible that it was overheard incorrectly, and then tweeted. Has there been anything official from Patrick Chan?

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  19. I wonder what Yuzuru's win will to do Mao's medal chances...

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  20. As a general heads-up to all fans -- if Cassandra is in Sochi be looking for Moirville to re-do the scenes they tried with Jessica but this time around maybe they'll be tweaked to appear more "real."

    I say this because this blog and visitors' comments have pointed out all the ways the Moirs used Jessica to send out a certain message but upon close examination, all the scenes are obviously very weird/fake. For example, Jessica sitting with the Moirs during the FD but she looks bored out of her mind. Or the videotaped walking her to Scott for a congratulatory hug and kiss. Those and so many other occasions look staged and awkward and have been ridiculed on this blog (like they should be, IMO).

    It's been very clear VM and Co. are going out of their way to belligerently push back against the blog and the fans who have dared call them out. The reality show says it all -- lifting fan fiction scenarios from message boards and a general mocking of everything discussed here. Cassandra's presence in Sochi is just one more attempt at rubbing the fans' faces in VM's lies, so I say we keep a cheklist of all the Jessica-repeats. We might as well have some fun with their asshole shenaningans.

    So here's first checklist item -- Cassandra received a key necklace of the EXACT same design as Jessica's. Just in time to show off during the Olympics (just like Jessica).

    Let's see what else comes up..... (Bahahahaha)

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  21. Zoueva is tweaking VM's 1st FD lift. WTF. That's the most iconic lift in the program. I think I'm gonna sit out the FD. They're not showing it on local TV, I have crappy luck with internet streams, and the PBPs are full of DW ubers.

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    1. ZOUEVA is not tweaking it out of her own head. Zoueva and the skaters are still receiving feedback, grapevine, pipeline, buzz about element, as ALWAYS happens with Scott and Tessa and the BUZZ always takes aim straight at the most spectacular element of their program, the one most accessible to the uneducated viewer and media. So of COURE they're getting feedback to take it out or pay the price on the level of another element. It's inconvenient to have a move that spectacular in Virtue and Moir's programs, one that pushes their skating skills in everyone's faces, when that shows to even the ignorant how and why VM are better. But if they do it, they'll be docked elsewhere. Why else the hell would Rutherford say they need to change it to get Level 4 on STEPS. Steps is the next element, but Tessa doesn't touch down and instantly start steps. They both glide out.

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