Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's only cheating if they're Russian, and looking at figure skating journalism

Christine Brennan, who after two decades still doesn't know all that much about figure skating at blade level, who looked away when Virtue and Moir won the ice dance competition on the ice, but the judges gave the gold to Davis and White instead, has no problem with that outcome.

She's mad because, in ladies, the judges gave ladies gold to the Russian instead of the Korean.

There is actually a case to be made for Adelina Slotnikova versus Yuna Kim (she has a triple loop, for one), and there is none for Davis White versus Virtue Moir.

So of course North America is taking up the Yuna's cause, because blaming Russia never gets old. All of North America will never get over the butt hurt that Russian skaters were the better skaters for a number of decades. Being better at an expensive sport that one must begin in early childhood tends to happen when the sport is underwritten by the state and the state proactively seeks out talent all over the country, and nurtures that talent, giving it every opportunity to succeed. That's how it tends to work everywhere with any sport. It's not something that should keep you up at night for Christ's sake. In those days Russia prioritized skating. N.A. did not.

What IS North America's issue with Russia in skating, an issue they don't seem to have with skaters from other countries?

The media has managed to unearth all kinds of things about the tech controller and the judges in the ladies free, but nobody thinks to explore the scoring patterns of competitions where VM lose to DW despite outskating DW. It's all a freaking mystery.

When Americans win, deals and cheating is okay.


Then we have this gem from Virtue and Moir's either duped, or co-hoaxing "biographer", Steve Milton, who has also written about figure skating for two decades without bothering to learn how to know what he's looking at when he's looking at it.
Steve Milton
It was only after December's Grand Prix Final that they, as Virtue put it, "took ourselves out of this world and took a bird's-eye view of what was happening." But they also had the back-of-mind sense that their style had fallen out of favour with the groupthink clown show that is the international ice dancing bureaucracy since, not only earlier in the fall as Moir conceded, but probably back to about New Year's 2013.
I appreciate "group think clown show." But this is not about a "style" falling out of favor, unless skating your ice dance program and dancing your ice dance program is a "style" that has been rejected in favor of doing neither, and it wouldn't be the first time a team or individual skater has attempted to pull that off. "My bad skating is my style!"
Try performing your best, or even close to it, in whatever work you do, when you feel that the only people who count are already convinced it will not be good enough.
That is not the point Steve. Plenty of people perform their best feeling it's already not good enough because it's NOT good enough. The point you fail to make is that Virtue and Moir are miles better, leagues superior to Davis White, showed it on the ice in the ice dance competition, and the judges gave Davis White the gold.

Doing your best has nothing to do with anything, unless your best is THE best, a point Milton never really manages to nail down with authority.
Fourteen months of swimming upstream, when they knew there were piranhas everywhere in the water. No wonder Virtue and Moir were so happy with what they delivered in the short and free dances, especially after the ragged edges in both during the previous week's team event.
Again, he's playing into the hands of anyone who thinks the results are justified, by reminding us that Virtue and Moir were imperfect in the team event, maintaining his apparent ignorance that Davis and White were also imperfect in the team event, but, unlike Virtue and Moir, weren't penalized for it, and while also seeming to argue that Virtue and Moir feel they deserved gold because it was such a relief they didn't fuck up the individual event. With friends like these.

How come even Milton can't take a bold look at Davis White? How come so far we only have Beverly Smith for that, and she didn't dare do it until the event was live streaming?

No. Their personal best has jackshit to do with it. The fact that they were BETTER than Davis and White by fathoms and miles and lightyears and, more importantly by every standard and criteria the sport itself purports to set, IS the point. Is he going to make it?
"Part of the reason we can sit up here so satisfied with our performances was that we've been fighting, fighting hard," Moir said Tuesday. "We could see it coming a little bit in the fall."
The "it" in question was that the athletic, physically torturous style of the Canadians was not going to prevail over the more classical and overtly European-rooted style and programs of Meryl Davis and Charlie White unless the Americans obviously messed up. And they are far too talented to do that. There's never been any question about the skill, speed and dedication of Davis and White and what they have contributed to changing a sport that had been mired in old-world, outdated values and transparently phoney exhibitionism.
This is his CASE for Virtue Moir? He's written about skating for two decades and just look at that paragraph above.

Fuck YES there is a question about what Davis White have contributed to changing the sport - they've changed it for the WORSE. They've managed to win ice dance gold without dancing and with minimal actual skating. What the fuck is a classical and overtly European rooted STYLE? And if this is all you know about ice dance, why the hell are you, Milton, a sportswriter, writing about a pageant/beauty contest?
But Virtue and Moir have done more, and have openly committed to do more.
NO, you bonehead, Olympic gold is not a lifetime achievement award and a recognition of commitment to further excellence. They DID more. With their blades. With their skating. With their program. The reason you jump around it is you have no fucking idea what it is they did, you ice dance expert, you.
When White and Davis beat the Canadians in all five of the components scores — the one area a judge's personal preference, or worse, can still influence — three straight times here, which had never happened even once before, is when the perceived favouritism became stupidly obvious. One of those five components is connecting steps, where Virtue and Moir exist on another plane.
Here, Milton has a vague idea that Virtue and Moir were actually better in a specific segment of their program, the connecting moves and transitions, although he can't quite explain why except that they're "taxing". But baby steps. Maybe in a couple of decades with more experience under his belt he'll cough up another paragraph that hovers close to a specific element Virtue and Moir did better only the scores for it were given to Meryl and Charlie.
The Canadian skaters are good people and knew what was about to be said about [Marina] at home: that she would be vilified for opening her sail to the prevailing winds; that she knew that if her other couple won the gold this time it would suggest it was the composer, not either of the singers, who was the real genius
Okay, I have no idea what he's saying here. "Other couple" meaning Davis White?

Wait - I just got it. Actually, that's pretty damn good, because it's true. Not as to Marina's motives, but that everybody knows damn well without her choreography Davis White wouldn't have had a prayer, so the glory is hers, not Davis White's. Pretty astute, because true.
"Tessa does a really good job of being blunt," Moir said. "We went to Marina on countless occasions and told her that we weren't happy. That there was no way we were going to be happy without the gold medal."

Tessa? Tessa VIRTUE? Shy little no self-esteem having can't speak up Tessa Virtue? BLUNT? I almost feel as if the reality show was trying to lead us astray!

It occurs to me that Scott didn't say what they were unhappy about. I think they were unhappy about constantly losing to Davis White. I think they ought to have brought this up with their Federation and inquired as to why their Federation was mute.

Still, they believed in Zueva and her choreography, hoping — naively, in hindsight — that their tendency to peak late in the season would hold them in good stead. They thought, right until the marks came up for the short dance, they could successfully challenge the judging group mindset — there was no formal fix but ultimately collective thinking boils down to the same thing — through the force of superior skating. Any other approach would have been untrue to themselves and their 17-year history together.

Moir believes that great artistry requires great athleticism and that's what the skaters, and their coach, thought their free dance promoted.
If they really thought they could turn it around with two great skates, naive isn't the word. But then again, if anybody thinks there was no formal fix, naive isn't the word either.

The reason Milton wrote such a tortuously opaque article that is a struggle to read from start to finish is that despite writing about figure skating for two decades, it apparently hasn't crossed his mind to educate himself about the sport, despite the fact that youtube exists, Figure Skating for Dummies exists, Frogs On Ice is still out there somewhere, and anybody who wants to tell this edge from that edge and this hold from that hold and know what steps look like can teach themselves. So here, he knows that Virtue and Moir were better because - obvious and intuitive, but he's groping in the dark, trying to glean from Scott's remarks at the press conference exactly what the specifics might be. And this is typical.

181 comments:

  1. Bev Smith questioning the women's event:

    http://bevsmithwrites.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/yet-more-rot-in-the-state-of-sochi/

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  2. Here's the thing. Sotnikova can at least skate. She has a lot of juniorish things in her presentation, but she'll hold up fine with the likes of Lipinski and Hughes.

    What Sotnikova and Kim did is in the same universe. Sotnikova has good edges. Kim has good edges. Kim's are better, but Sotnikova's *exist.*

    Sotnikova jumps. Kim jumps. Sotnikova spins. Kim spins.

    There's a there, there. One is better at one thing and the other is better at another thing. You compare the points and one wins, but at least it's the same basic "stuff." You can certainly quibble with an edge call here, a GOE there. Sotnikova, IMO, was overscored, and probably wouldn't have won had it not been in Russia, but Kim was pretty generously scored on choreography, transitions, and spins herself. There's nothing that can't be justified.

    What DW and VM do is not in the same universe, isn't the same stuff, and you can't quibble with this or that mark because what DW is doing isn't even close. It's athletic performance art with knives attached to your feet where you have to run and jump across the ice while keeping your balance and doing some random strength moves. That sounds really difficult and might make a cool future Olympic sport, it just isn't figure skating or ice dancing.

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    1. "It's athletic performance art with knives attached to your feet where you have to run and jump across the ice while keeping your balance and doing some random strength moves. That sounds really difficult and might make a cool future Olympic sport; it just isn't figure skating or ice dancing."

      Well, 5:57pm, I agree with everything else you said but this is just les motes justes. I will probably use it over and over and highlight it everywhere, but I will credit it to Feb. 20, 5:57pm.

      It's unbelievable. But that's what the judges decided to award Olympic gold.

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    2. "What DW and VM do is not in the same universe, isn't the same stuff, and you can't quibble with this or that mark because what DW is doing isn't even close. It's athletic performance art with knives attached to your feet where you have to run and jump across the ice while keeping your balance and doing some random strength moves. That sounds really difficult and might make a cool future Olympic sport, it just isn't figure skating or ice dancing."

      THIS.
      LMAO at people having a meltdown at FSU. I thought Sotnikova was overscored for PCS, but this is NOTHING compared to the shitshow that was (and has been for the last few years) the ice dance event. How the fuck are Kurt and Carol gonna talk about skating skills, etc. now? Um, if skating skills mean fuck all in ice dance, why should they mean anything in singles skating? And isn't this all about preference anyway? like, maybe the judges preferred the action film.

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  3. American skaters and journalists are calling out the judges and questioning their motives in the ladies event, not three days after they threw fits about anyone calling out the judges or questioning their motives in ice dance.

    Let's take a look at the hypocrisy meter and...ah yes, it's RED-LINING.

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    1. lets remind them of their hypocrisy :)

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  4. Irina Slutskaya must be shaking her head. They give the gold medal to one of the Russian babies in her first Olympics. Irina must be thinking that she might have won gold if only one of the 3 Olympics she participated in were held in Russia.

    I will be veeery interested how the Russian skaters will be received by the Korean fans in Pyeongchang.

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    1. Korean fans always treat skaters with respect. I don't expect that to change just because of the ladies result.

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    2. I didn't mean that they will be treated with disrespect. More like will they have as warm applause.

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    3. They're treated with respect by the fans in the arena. What the fans will say on twitter is another story.

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  5. So, um, these are interesting....
    http://youtu.be/c8DMFr0K0bI?t=37s
    http://youtu.be/piXWbNC6JEM?t=55s

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    1. LOL, someone not realizing it was a secret was bound at happen some point.

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  6. OC, I think some links I posted when into spam?

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  7. In which Ashley Wagner speaks some universal truths on judging:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ashley-wagner-calls-for-change-in-figure-skating-after-feeling--gypped--by-olympic-judges-205146099.html

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    1. ...A few days after pointedly tweeting that how she couldn't think of anyone who deserved gold more than D/W, and here with a gripe about viewers not wanting to see falls that she should consider rephrasing considering her Nationals performance.

      She's not wrong that there are problems in the judging system, but I'd rather hear it be colored less by the overweening hypocrisy that's characterizing American figure skating and media in this Olympics.

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    2. And the main judging problem isn't that skaters who fall win. If she's saying that's the case, she's advocating overhauling the whole system. Some tweaking around how much falls affect the jumps might be valid, I don't feel I can really say when I don't care about singles, but that's not the judging system being corrupt. To confuse the two things - corruption, and jumps fully rotated with falls being perhaps worth too much - is not helpful at all. She may have made that distinction more clearly with her quotes not all jumbled up like in this piece, but since it's not relevant to what happened today between YK and AS, it's a weird thing to be stuck on.

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    3. She's sort of saying it doesn't LOOK good to the casual fan if someone wins with a fall.

      And that's not the problem. That means you can fake the skating like DW do and as long as you don't fall, you get away with it.

      The judging lacks integrity. This is possible because the casual viewer, and, as we can see from "biographer" Steve Milton and from "skating journalist" Christine Brennan, people who cover skating don't bother to learn anything about skating itself. They don't know how to look at it.

      Brennan runs around with U.S. skating insider sources up the whazoo and none of them have apparently suggested to her that she might become informed about skating. Sometimes I think there's a bizarre snobbery in the sport, not just the ISU, but among skaters and coaches, that prefer to think of their sport as too arcane too be understood by civilians.

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    4. Or that they don't really understand it themselves, and would rather go back to the time when everyone could be a judge based on how they feel.

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  8. Tessa With Jian @ the women's hockey game. Date? Lol

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    1. he interviewed them again lol. tessa told him that scott to her he loved her before the short

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  9. our petition hit 1.5k! only less than 400 signatures to go! https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/international-skating-union-isu-open-an-investigation-into-the-judging-decisions-of-the-ice-dance-competition-at-the-sochi-olympics

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    1. If only ice dancing were not so confusing, and if only VM had Yu-Na's popularity...

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    2. yuna fans love v/m tho. im sure we can make a ~collusion~ with them. we'll sign your petition if you sign ours ;P

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    3. yes, that's right. yuna and yuna fans love them. so if the vm petition creator is reading please find a way to connect with the petitioner in kim

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  10. I had to laugh at the twitter user goddesspharo's take on VM/DW:

    "If ice dancing were a dystopian novel, Davis/White would be the poster child of the regime. Virtue/Moir would be the emotional resistance."

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    1. that tweet was AMAZING. im just happy that the tweets calling tessa and scott sore losers died down. maybe because the USA is preoccupied with ladies singles now lol

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  11. why does Ashley wagner have more balls than skate Canada, vm, marena, and all of ice dancing to come out and say it? bravo to her. she's controversial. but I love her guts, and her attitude, and resolve. she earned that spot and she rocked it in team and in the long. good for her. she's gorgeous, smart, stands up for herself, and is RIGHT. after the VM, and the yuna kim travesty-triple flip OC does NOT make yuna kim lose to some no-name Russian by FIVE points. We've got three scoring controversies. VM, Ashley, Yuna Kim, and the disastrous team event. THIS IS A STORY!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/ashley-wagner-calls-for-change-in-figure-skating-after-feeling--gypped--by-olympic-judges-205146099.html

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  12. Wow, petition for Yuna-Kim has garnered 1.6 million already...need to piggyback this onto the petition for ice dance results:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/petition-to-investigate-adelina-sotnikova-s-figure-skating-gold-medal-over-yuna-kim-already-over-1-25-million-signees--breaks-site-records-083114477.html

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    1. I heard on television that the ISU rejected any objections, stating that the results are final and untouchable.
      Can anyone confirm this ?

      When I'm looking at the gold medal winners and how they won ( exception being VT who deserved to win ) I am glad VM aren't among them. They have much better and more respected company under the silver medalists.

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    2. ".need to piggyback this onto the petition for ice dance results" yep i've been trying to convince those who posted the petitiion on isu to sign the ice dance one. i guess i can pride myself in getting a few signatures from the korean fans lol

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    3. me too but I don't think it's working. if the creator of the petition does it would that get more traction?? how to reach out to the creator of the VM petition?

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    4. Well it did get more traction last night. It was up to 1.4k now its up to 1.8k. I guess we need to spam it on social media lol. even if the ISU isn't going to do anything at least we can pride ourselves in saying we tried.

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    5. please spam it. ive reached my limit on where I can put it.

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    6. holy shit we only 64 signatures now lol im pretty sure it will reach its goal by the weekend

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    7. 10:52 - what did you think was wrong with Hanyu? Chan lost the SP, and then blew the chance in the FS after Hanyu did. Chan beat Hanyu on PCS in both segments. Obviously, scores aren't always right, but it looked legit to me, so just curious what you think was corrupt in that.

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    8. we reached 2,000 now we need more signatures??? sorry i dont understand the petition on change.org

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    9. the creator probably raised the limit bc of the momentum. the Korean authorities are asking for a review. why wont skate Canada do the same?

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/21/us-olympic-figureskating-kim-idUSBREA1K1SH20140221

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    10. because skate canada sucks

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    11. does anyone know who created the petition?

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  13. Anon 10:52 I heard that too on tv ..

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  14. TIme to petition skate Canada?? yuna kim's petition forces Korean skating authorities

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/21/us-olympic-figureskating-kim-idUSBREA1K1SH20140221

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    1. we must urge SC to look into this secretly

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  15. do you think that an investigation of the ladies competition will unearth some proof that the ice dance competition was rigged??

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    1. not unless the fans do something. this is what drives me crazy about vm lack of social media presence and shitty pr. nasty meryl has thousands of twitter followers. I.e., a place to congregate. god forbid they did! the petition should have been to skate Canada to force them to open investigation.

      I hope the Koreans do to all Russians what was done to yuna kim unless ISU does the right thing. this is bullshit. by far, hands down, the worse Olympics. my god salt lake city was better!

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    2. There won't be any investigation. There is no proof of anything that there was vote-trading in the ladies event. The concerns are simply about the home ice advantage and the Ukranian and Russian judges. There's nothing indicating any rule breaking happened. Those Ukranian and Russian judges have judged in many other events. The Ukranian judge already served his suspension. Not saying it's right, but there was nothing against the ISU's rules that has been alleged in the ladies event. People just "disagree" and think the Russian girl was overmarked. It will just be another Oksana Baiul that people will bitch about forever.

      Now in the ice dance, where you have actual allegations of vote-trading, that's where they need to investigate, which they won't.

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    3. "Now in the ice dance, where you have actual allegations of vote-trading, that's where they need to investigate, which they won't."

      Right, although not just the vote-trading, though that in itself is corruption.

      There's a need to investigate all of DW's trajectory to the top. The collusion to get them Olympic gold must have begun right after Vancouver, if not even before. The rising scores every season but with no improvement in the skating or elements, while at the same time other top ice-dance teams were improving by leaps and bounds, is a scandal. Looking back at the scores' history it's obvious there's an intentional pattern. They needed that history in order to justify Sochi, but DW scores have never reflected their true skating. Many many many teams have been screwed over this past quadrennial for the sake of getting DW the gold, not just V\M.

      I agree there's probably not a chance in hell the ISU would investigate itself. Maybe some day this scandal will be exposed, who knows. DW should have never been in the top 3 of the World. Never.

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    4. I agree. What strikes me as funny is that people think the ladies event was wrong because Sotnikova "has never won anything in seniors." Silly Russian federation, all they needed to do was pad her protocols for a couple of years like the USFS did for DW!

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    5. Anon 5:22 am: totally agreed with you, everything about D/W's senior career is suspect. The more I think about it, there are so many parallels between D/W and Lance Armstrong: suspicious "ascent" to the top (D/W zooming to the top with suspect skills, Lance Armstrong's unusually high placements after he came back from cancer treatment); deflecting scrutiny on their athletic achievements by qualifying them with non-athletic criteria (D/W's over-inflated and undeserved scores, and LA's never failing a drug test); holier-than-thou pursuits (D/W's Classroom champs, LA's Livestrong charity, which was really all about shilling yellow wristbands for Nike and shining his halo); not having the sportsmanship or decency to acknowledge the competition to acknowledge the competition (look at the the condescending way that Meryl referred to V/M at the GPF 2013: she referred to them as "...those Canadians", as if it was beneath her to mutter their names); their arrogance in continuing on way past their expiry date. It looks like D/W is continuing on to Worlds, I pray to God they don't continue past this season.

      It's ironic that the same publication that broke the Armstrong story broke the collusion story. The collusion story is the tip of the iceberg of bigger scandal: the corrupt ice dance judging that has gone on this past quad. I hope L'equipe has the courage to rip this bigger scandal wide open.



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    6. ^^Forgot to add, I hope this rocks the ISU in the same way the UCI was totally rocked by the whole Lance Armstrong nonsense.

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    7. The problem with investigating this is those who investigate would have to understand skating, and they don't.

      It's not that difficult to learn about skating. If you even understand the basics, what DW do is so blatantly NOT good skating (the two-footing, the re-sets, the redundant points of contact in lifts, the running, hopping, dragging, pulling) - that it would take maybe a weekend of checking out videos and looking at the basics to immediately see that something happened OFF ice to explain the scores for what DW are not doing on the ice. But the media won't do even that. Look how contorted even VM's defenders have to be when writing about this travesty. They don't know enough to break it down themselves.

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  16. You only have to look at the icenetwork articles concerning the ladies' judging scandal to see that USFSA and Russian Fed have indeed collaborated. Amy Rosewater, another 'journalist' for the website, said in her article that Yu-Na was content to enter the weaker comps. Excuse me? Did she very conveniently forget that last season Kim had a later start and missed the Grand Prix series because she was busy campaigning for her country's Winter Olympics bid? Also, how very convenient that Rosewater forgot to mention the foot injury that forced Yu-Na to miss the Olympic season's Grand Prix series. Rosewater is just as credible as Rutherford. That is, NOT.

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  17. Isn't it interesting that icenetwork decides to backslap any non-US skater - even Yuna to fit their agenda...but yet nothing was mentioned about Mirai being left off both the Olympic team and even Worlds...the hypocrisy runs deep in the USFSA...You know what if you are going to treat Yuna that way...at least she competed and she had an injury this season...she competed in last year's worlds and won...what happened to your homeboy Lysacek...all talk...keeps his sponsors...got plenty of media...yet no calling him out...I get that icenetwork is there to primarily promote US skaters fine - but you don't need to keep backhanding other skaters from other countries...

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  18. Oh for fuck's sake: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/02/18/tessa-and-scott-dating_n_4808299.html

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    1. And this is why VM are epic fail. Instead of worrying about good PR for their skating and the bad judging, these are the articles we get.

      ROFL at "The short answer is no, at least not officially. " So he has a girlfriend on his show, but VM might be dating "unofficially?"

      Cassandra Hillborn - Official Sponsor & Girlfriend of Scott Moir, Team Canada, for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

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    2. To be fair for once to V/M, I don't think they were involved in this one; it just looks like one of the typical composite pieces slapped together by a HuffPo blogger based on whatever Olympic topic would work for their SEO.

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    3. 8:57. That's probably true of this particular one but it's a safe bet that in any personal interviews, such as the Hello and MacLeans magazines, VM do have a lot to say about their complex platonic garbage.

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  19. Just watch live extr a feed of gala. English man said he wishes ts would stay but fears they are at the end of their competitive career. Then proceeded to say that without a doubt they have the best skating skills of any of the dancers and that if you want to learn how to skate you should watch them....where were these comments during the competition.

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    1. I came on here to post the same thing. Nicky Slater I believe is commenting on the NBC stream. And he's joined by an australian women commentator. I forget her name. But she said if you want to learn skating it's from Tessa and Scott. Funny how they didn't say the same about M/C. Because, of course, one cannot say the same. And Meryl is so not elegant.Her lines and the way she moves her arms and hands are weird. i never found her graceful. Why choose rachmaninoff for their gala?! If they are trying to prove they are on par with T/S, then it's ridiculous.

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    2. There is no point of TS staying. If they'd won, I could see them carrying on for at least a couple more seasons, if not to the next Olympics. The ISU is telling them to get out. As long as DW are competing, VM are not allowed to win. That's as good as driving them out.

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    3. OC - I hate to say it but I think if VM had won GPF or any segments of the Olympics this year - they might have considered on staying for another year or two. So not only has the ISU - overscored DW this quad - they have basically made the decision for VM on when they should retire. And that folks is a travesty - considering that Tessa is not injured and their skating continues to improve - it basically sucks. After such a long career - having it not totally end on your terms - leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Look as a fan, I can't complain - we got an additional 3-4 years after Vancouver. But if you think of all the skaters that are retiring this year - no one has been shown the door by the ISU - quite like VM. And that folks is beyond classless. And don't think that what the ISU has done to both PB and VM has gone unnoticed by other skaters and by long term fans.

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    4. I think the ISU finds VM's on-ice abilities an inconvenience.

      What I'm curious about is what happens to DW if they continue to compete. Will they get dumped, or will they continue to be held up?

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    5. OC, is the ISU telling them to get out bc of the USFSA? is it the us figure skating association doing this? and if so, how can you still defend marena for not addressing this. she has ties to them obviously thru DW

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    6. DW would be be beyond arrogant and selfish to continue on. They've done irreparable damage to the damage, surely the ISU is saying "okay, we gave you an undeserved OGM, an undeserved 2013 world title, all your GPF titles since 2011, enough's enough."

      I feel bad for all the North American teams in the next quad. I had pegged P/I as the next OGM, no way that's gonna happen now, and not because their skating is not OGM worthy, but because they've already lost the political battle; the next OGM title will go to a Russian team, no doubt about it.

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    7. I agree. The ISU finds VM an inconvenience.

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    8. OC what? Im confused. Why is VM viewed as an inconvenience by the ISU?? what's going on. I read your blog religiously and don't understand this point.

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    9. Not OC here, but I think the ISU finds VM an inconvenience because they're too good. You can't deny their abilities in terms of skating, and in terms of dance. When you have a team with such a high standard and you keep denying their rightful wins, it's dangerous. You keep justifying DW's 'superiority' when they're clearly not, and eventually more people will become dissatisfied and grumble about the results. The ISU loses credibility, loses face -- well, at least more than what they already did.

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    10. Way to go ISU for shitting on a team with such WORLDWIDE popularity, the team whose win made everyone believe ice dance judging was clean. The team that stayed in the sport for four more years, attending most major ISU events and helping with revenue that the ISU will actually see, unlike skaters such as Kim, Plushenko, and Shen/Zhao who sauntered back in for the Olympics (IOC profits).

      V&M were really the team that best bridged the North American and European styles, like Lauzon said. As an American fan who usually prefers the European dancers, I can say they became my favorite team of all time. It hurts to see people saying that "it's time for V&M and D&W to retire because they dominated so much"... only V&M dominated; D&W piggybacked.

      Where I will disagree is I think this judging makes them more likely to stay. Had they won four world titles and two Olympic golds, they could retire with the legacy they deserve. I think it's sinking in that they made some tactical mistakes these last two years, and they would like to go out on a high note. And they are young enough to stay.

      Delete
    11. 7:59, like you, I share your sentiments. I do hope to see them returning with determination. However, can they handle yet another season, should the judging continue to work against them? I, for one, would love to watch them compete and see what will lay for them. At the same time, I will be equally disheartened if they lose solely due to politicking - thus, not having the feeling of leaving on high.

      Delete
    12. February 22 @ 10:45, that's exactly what I meant. VM's skills are too good. When you deny a team like VM over and over again when they're up against a team like DW, yes, it gets suspicious. Head-to-head at the GPF and the individual ice dance event at the Olympics, VM obliterated DW on the ice. More than that, if you compare all of the skates across the disciplines, VM had the two best skates out of anyone. The pairs and men were messy. The ladies medalist were good, but not in the league of VM with the exception of Kostner's skating skills. Still, they were denied.

      VM's on-ice skating and dancing skills are such that they should have been undeniable this quad. Yet, they were time and time again with a far inferior team being placed above them. When you have teams that are more equal or a team that has a few flaws, it makes it easier to pull off the funny business in the judging and no one notice. Sure, there are some uninformed Americans crowing along with the patsies in the press how great DW were, supported by a list of non-skating reasons. However, there are also many, many people world wide who even if they don't know skating, they could still tell which team was the better one and it wasn't the team that ended up with the OGM.

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    13. "Sure, there are some uninformed Americans crowing along with the patsies in the press how great DW were, supported by a list of non-skating reasons. However, there are also many, many people world wide who even if they don't know skating, they could still tell which team was the better one and it wasn't the team that ended up with the OGM."

      I've been noticing how many people who don't follow the sport except for the Olympics could see right away that VM were better than DW both in the SD and FD.

      The skating talking-heads have colluded with TPTB of ice-dance this quadrennial to turn this sport upside down. Like you point out, they list non-skating reasons why DW are so good, but at every opportunity they also list skating reasons, saying things like "DW have the best technique" or "great lines" or "the best lifts" etc. etc. None of it true. But this quadrennial what won was the power of words. It was SAID that DW possessed all the best qualities, both skating and non-skating (such as Meryl being "balletic" - In what planet?) and media all over the world ran with it. That's all it took - say it and it's true.

      People who haven't been influenced by all that misinformation can see for themselves how superior V/M are.

      This was a great coup by the USFSA and the ISU working together. IMO it also has to involve all the other major federations, such as Skate Canada. This blog has detailed how SC abandoned VM and left them to twist in the wind. There was nothing VM could have done to beat DW. It's a testament to VM's amazing skating that they were allowed to get silver and that they still won over the hearts of the viewers, in spite of the media narratives.

      Delete
    14. Meryl made a big show of being balletic this season but it didn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny. It's a veneer of sophistication that doesn't involve her core and disappears completely when she has to skate instead of pose.

      I can actually see how it would fool people who know nothing about ballet but you'd hope people in skating would be a little more knowledgeable.

      Delete
    15. @ 7:32 - That's the thing. I do believe the people in skating know better. But they were made to feel they had to go along and say things that aren't true and they know aren't true.

      Someone said here the ISU/USFS was like a mafia. They control the narrative and everyone feels obligated to go along. This quadrennial definitely showed how accurate that is. No one had the balls to call out what was really happening. Some very brave and enterprising fans created blogs and tried to expose as much as possible what was going on in the overscoring of DW but the commentators, the people that the public trusts to tell them the truth about what they're watching on ice, were AFRAID to call out the scoring BS. What does that make the ISU if not a mafia?

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    16. I still don't understand why USFSA annointed D/W as the "chosen ones". Was it because they had a North American "rival" in V/M? If there is further fall-out from this scandal, and I sincerely hope there is, USFSA will have a black eye for years to come. They have fucked over all US teams in the next quad, namely the Shibs and Hubbell/Donahue. Chock/Bates are D/W lite, as far as I'm concerned.

      P/I are the most likely team to take over V/M's mantel, but they were utterly thrown under the bus in Sochi. No way they should have placed 18th, even with the twizzle bobble in their SD. Disgusting.

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    17. What's particularly disturbing to me is the immediate narrative following the free dance from medias/articles informing the public of their retirement, though there are NO FORMAL announcement coming from VM themselves. Am I paranoid or is this a hidden message to them to retire already?

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    18. Anon 7:32: watching Shez performed during the ballet portion of the closing ceremonies just emphasized just how awful D/W's interpretation truly was. They've completely ruined that beautiful piece of music of me.

      Delete
    19. From same poster above: sorry, I meant, based on what I'm hearing from commentators' comments in free dance and gala seems to steer me towards thinking they (VM) are retiring after Olympics - though in press conference and other interviews, they made no such plans...yet. Weird...

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    20. @ 8:51 I think a lot of it is groupthink: If lots of people are stating something as fact (and have been for a while), they must be right so no point in dissenting. A number of the people saying these things probably believe them by now.

      And Meryl, while nowhere near balletic, has made some improvements in posture and line, at least outside of step sequences. Maybe people are giving her points for improvement instead of evaluating her vis-a-vis her competitors.

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    21. theres this video from nbc going around where scott tells michael slipchuk (i assume its slipchuk because he calls him "slippy") that he is done.

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    22. I've seen that, but they've also said they haven't made a decision yet. Bear in mind that either way, stay or go, VM's words should not ever be trusted.

      Delete
  20. Anon 11:08 am. I'm still shocked -- and appalled -- that they are the Olympic champions. What a travesty for this sport.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree. I want to follow the sport because there are some skaters I like, but it will be so hard to have to let go of thinking about it as a competition, and see it as just as a show.

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  21. Just finished watching D/W's gala performance (set to Rachmaninoff concerto #2, because they just gotta beat every music warhorse to death), and Carole Lane tried to make a parallel to V/M's subtle freedance set to Russian music. I don't know if that's a compliment or insult to V/M.

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    Replies
    1. The similarities to V/M's body of work were extremely striking. It wasn't an insult to point it out, it was an insult for D/W to pretend they were capable of skating it.

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    2. is marina trying to turn d/w into a v/m 2.0 because its not working

      Delete
    3. I don't mind if skaters use warhorses. But if they do, I would like to see fresh/creative/innovative interpretations.

      Also, DW must be relieved that with both teams (or even just VM) probably retiring, they can stop trying to play the 'improved chemistry' shtick. Because anyone with sense can see they can't do romance or subtle. At all.

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  22. Marina is an idiot for giving DW VM's choreography. They look like they are thinking through every move, nothing is natural. Ok, now, raise arm-cup hand-semi-close eyes-purse lips-touch Charlie's face. Sexy-touching 101.
    Davis may as well be caressing a basketball for all the emotion she displays.

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  23. Platov is at it again :

    " While Platov called Davis and White's gold a close decision, he thinks it was correct.
    "Meryl and Charlie skate so together, their unison is unbelievable," he said. "They skate above the ice, like feathers. Whatever they do is just a little bit lighter, a little bit crisper."
    He takes his hat off to the Canadians for sticking with eligible competition another four seasons after their triumph at the 2010 Vancouver Games, especially after Virtue's two surgeries to relieve chronic exertional compartment syndrome.
    "It is so hard to do that," he said. "The first time, it is great, it feels amazing. Then it gets so much harder.
    "They tried to be different (with the Carmen free dance); there was tremendous pressure to try to catch Meryl and Charlie. It is so much more difficult for them than for us. We had 25 consecutive wins because it was easier then. No one can beat the new system all of the time."

    Well, USFSA had to at least find one person willing to justify their gold ...

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    1. im pretty sure platov is happy now that he still holds that record

      Delete
    2. Well Mr. Platov - VM won worlds with Funny Face in 2012. With Carmen - they should have buried DW...last year was the big game changer...and please do not use the word unison with DW...whatever...I think Mr. Platov has definitely lost credibility by speaking up for DW...video doesn't lie...

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    3. Platov and his hot mess partner might have two OGMs and four world titles, but they will never be uttered in the same breath of genius as T&D and V&M...all their programs were memorable and ground-breaking. What was G&P's signature routine? They had a good tango OD in 1997, that's about it. Their two Olympic FDs, although well skated, were entirely forgettable and don't hold a candle to Mahler or Bolero.

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    4. That's weird, unison isn't a word I would use to describe Meryl and Charlie. Lightness yes but not unison.

      Sometimes I wonder how different people can watch the same skaters and come to radically different conclusions. Like Dick Button and Meryl's wonderful toe point, of all the things to praise in her skating he chooses toe point? Why?

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    5. And of course lightness isn't mentioned anywhere in COP so I don't see how it's relevant.

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    6. The use of the term "lightness" and floating over the ice is rather disingenuous. They're not supposed to be skating above the ice like feathers. They're supposed to be getting into the ice with their edges. Carving deep edges on the ice is supposed to be a good thing.

      There is nothing about ice dance that didn't get turned upside down on its head for this.

      Delete
    7. Eh, Platov knows he's not TD's level. He's acknowledged it multiple times already. I'm choosing to see his words as conveniently taking up the narrative and politicking. To do otherwise would be to recognize that a) something is fishy in the judging because VM is the superior team (and that his home country played a big part) and b) he can't very well praise VM when his own students don't have qualities that VM possess. He's not powerful enough yet (like Zhulin or even Morozov) to be totally privy to the US-Russia machinations, but he's been in the game long enough to see that it's being deployed.

      Everyone in ice dance knew that DW were being propped up. So even while he probably empathizes with Tessa (he's had at least 2 knee surgeries, I think?), and knows intimately the unique situation of trying to win a 2nd consecutive Olympic gold, like everybody else he's seen the writing on the wall when VM/DW continued training together, when the scoring trend went against VM, and when even Skate Canada bought into the DW narrative. Unlike VM, he and Grishuk had the full support of Tarasova and the Russian fed (which didn't actually particularly care which Russian dance team were #1 as long as Russians were on top). I don't think he's a spiteful person who would rejoice in the record of being the only double Olympic gold medalist in ice dance; I think that's more like something Grishuk would do.

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    8. I can't wait to get Zhulin's take on this shitshow competition.

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    9. Yeah, Platov coaches Coomes/Buckland, a team that's all about lifts and pizzaz, with little in the way of skating. They've essentially been emulating D/W's style and it's working very well for them.

      Delete
  24. OC, are you going to keep the blog alive once VM retire ? I'd hate to lose this place, it really was the only blog that openly spoke about all things figure skating related.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure as long as there is shamming, it will continue. So probably for a very long time, hah.

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    2. The sham has been suspiciously quiet. No new pics, no Cassandra cheering in the stands.

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    3. I will probably keep the blog alive as it's evolved. It will always use the sham as the touchstone and prioritize covering it as long as there's a sham, but the sham was sort of like lifting a rock and once you look at that you found Skate Canada's shenanigans (meaning, Skate Canada's involvement in the sham - and what was a Skating Federation doing helping a skaters hoax the public, especially when it was bleeding sponsors and financially strapped)? And then it led to looking at DW's actual skating.

      SO IOW, yes, at this moment, my intention is to keep the blog going even if VM retire and even if the sham ends.

      Delete
  25. Has anyone seen any pictures with Scott and cass? I know there are a few with cass and Moira but I haven't seen any productive sham photos with Scott. It seems scott spends most of his time romancing Patrick and escorting Tessa around! The only photos of Tessa without Scott seem to be a few with her siblings

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    Replies
    1. 5:15 and 10:09
      Never make assumptions based on the moment. VM and Moirville have well established sham patterns. Until those all disappear, including Miss Hilborn's social media that still shows Scott as her BF, you should infer that Tessa and Scott are still using the sham as a shield for their true status.

      Delete
  26. I came over this blog just today. After I saw the Olympics in 2010 it was hard not to notice the gold medal of Virtue-Moir. I'll even admit that I googled the name Virtue a couple of times. I had watched figure skating numerous times before, but it was first then that I really got sucked in to the sport.

    Anyways. I'm kind of curious what this blog is about? I've read through some of the posts, but I'm currently studying for a test which is in two days. So instead of procrastinating for the rest of the day I would just like someone to give me a short introduction to what this is all about? So far I've figured out that this is a some kind of anti VM blog, but I don't get why? What are the main rumors (or facts if you'd like) surrounding the couple? There is no doubt they are, or at least have been in a serious relationship. However, what is the deal with Jessica Dubé? How does she fit in to all of this? I live in Norway and I don't have daily access to Canadian press, so please enlighten me! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe try reading the blog?

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    2. I just explained that I'm studying for a test dumbass..

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    3. If you want a good laugh, read this blog. Otherwise, what your studying is likely more interesting...

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    4. Hi ib - first of all congrats to Norway for a great Olympics. With regards to this blog - my suggestion is if you have studying to do - let that be your priority. There are differing opinions on a variety of topics but you need some real down time to go through it. For the majority of fans that do post here - I think we can all agree what we are most outraged against is the overscoring of Davis-White over this last quad. It's about the skating and the politics behind it. It hasn't just been Virtue-Moir that has been affected - but a variety of other teams. We predicted since basically two seasons ago that DW would be given the gold irregardless of how other teams skated. DW has recycled elements, have not changed their twizzles etc and yet their scores kept going up and up...so there you have it in a nutshell...the personal stuff - well I will leave it up to someone else...

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    5. The blog started because Virtue and Moir, who are married (since fall 2009) and have a three year old daughter, used social media to not just hoax the fans, but also set fans up, push their buttons, jerk them around and manipulate them, rattle their cages for sport. I know for a fact they're married and have a little girl, and this is not a secret. It isn't publicized or acknowledged, but inside skating it's well known, and most of those who routinely cover Virtue and Moir as skaters and people and assure us they're platonic also know that VM are married and have a little girl. Jessica Dube was a fake girlfriend for social media purposes. So is Cassandra Hilborn.

      In the course of looking at Virtue and Moir's habitual maniputation and setting up of the public, it was quickly obvious that Skate Canada, which is in part publicly funded, was deploying high profile personnel to help them hoax the public, to help the logistics with Jessica, and to getting mentions of Scott/Jessica together out to the public via social media. Much of this has died down since the blog started pointing out how Barb MacDonald and Debbi Wilkes were spending so much time proactively hoaxing the public with Jessica and Scott.

      Then the blog started wondering why every time Davis and White stepped on the ice their scores blew up, why they never had a subpar competition, and why the rules that applied to even the greatest skaters on the planet never applied to them, never happened to them. The blog - and then a great many other people on the blog and on other sites, also started breaking down Davis and White's programs and realizing that they were dumbed down, bastardized vehicles that were getting bogus scores.

      Delete
  27. So why do we get an endless analysis of the ladies results while there is no questioning of the travesty in ice dance? Skating while American is okay but skating while Russian isn't?

    http://www.thewire.com/culture/2014/02/whole-new-set-questions-about-adelina-sotnikovas-allegedly-rigged-gold-medal-win/358425/#disqus_thread

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    1. Oh for God's sake. Yet we're insane for doing it?

      Of course the ISU has immunized themselves against they by creating years and years of bogus protocols filled with +3 for D&W. Note how heavily that article relies on comparison with Sotnikova's protocol from Euros.

      Delete
  28. I'm 1:52 - exactly! Most of the comments I've been reading about D/W and the win state that they were undefeated and better than V/M for the past two years. I could see it was all over last year at Worlds when V/M lost to them with freaking Carmen, on home ice no less. It is an utter travesty. I'm not sure I will bother to continue watching ice dance. It makes me ill.

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  29. Yahoo's summary of the ice dance event:

    "Davis and White were deserving gold medal winners, but critics would say their style is more acrobatic than ballroom – which is what ice dancing is based on. More "traditional" teams like Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada and Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France fell short of their medal goals, getting lower marks on their skating skills and transitions marks."

    They weren't deserving winners and their "style" is just downright crappy non-skating.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/skating-controversy-175518610.html

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    1. So I take it that acrobatic means - hopping, arm flailing and head flinging and open skating...jesus...notice how IK were not mentioned...all season IK couldn't break 68 or so in the SD, didn't get to the GPF, lost to CL at Euros and then at the Olympics - scored a 73 and change on a SD that really didn't change much over the season.....the justification is mind-boggling...either way the US media is going to spin it however it wants....then why call it ice DANCE dammit...I guess traditional teams are too passe - what utter crap....so basically G and G were crap, Michelle Kwan was crap, Torvill and Dean were crap...Klimova and Ponamerko were crap...whatever...

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    2. And just to add - if ice-dancing is suppose to be more "athletic" then Carmen should have swept the floor last year by at least 7-8 points in the FD...

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    3. "Traditional"=code word for teams who best fulfill the current Code of Points for Ice Dance and the long held standards of what comprise good skating and dancing skills.

      Amen, 8:08.

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    4. yahoo sports is fucking dumb lol

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    5. Lol the more they try to explain why the win is justified, the stupider they sound...Good riddance!

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    6. Remember yahoo was billing all three us ladies as threats for the podium as well

      Delete
    7. Um, am I missing something? The full quote is "Davis and White were deserving gold medal winners, but critics would say their style is more acrobatic than ballroom – which is what ice dancing is based on. More "traditional" teams like Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada and Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France fell short of their medal goals, getting lower marks on their skating skills and transitions marks. Ice dancing experts would say those are actually the areas where they excel."

      Yeah, the part about D/W deserving is stupid, but they actually threw a bit of shade on it....

      Delete
  30. It's aWaltzFlower here! I know of all the things that happened the last two weeks, gala programs should be of little matter, but Davis/White's new ex pissed me off enough that I threw this together. I will now get back to finishing up some competition-related videos, however.

    D/W's Rach was obviously meant to be in "V/M's style", which in of itself seemed arrogant to me, but then I took a close look at Mahler, and the similarities make this program downright offensive IMO. If D/W had won in 2010, and V/M had won this time, and V/M chose to do a Bollywood ex, with specific callbacks to D/W's own program, would that not be in incredibly bad taste? Yes, I think so.

    So, here's Rach compared with Mahler (in gala form). And then I also decided to compare it to IWTHYH, Hallelujah and Stay. There are plenty of further choreographic similarities, but although I still raise my eyebrows in places, I know that V/M don't own the rights to the style itself - I just thought I'd take the opportunity to compare the skating of the teams in a different context than in competition. I would normally hesitate to compare gala programs, because teams often are just having fun rather than trying to put their very best out on the ice, but V/M always push themselves in theirs, and no doubt about it, D/W were trying to make a point here.

    Comments above re: D/W's robotic chemistry - absolutely yes. But look at the skating! Davis/White are SO SLOW here. Drag Meryl to get her going, she slows down anyways, two foot, drag some more, slow down again, crossovers!, see we can use our edges!!, oh losing power, we better full stop again. Time for more Meryl-dragging and tiny crossovers!!! All of V/M's three galas have slow music, and yet they FLY. They certainly use crossovers more liberally in their galas than in their competitive programs, but when it comes to controlling their speed, they are in the driver seat. It's not a constant battle to keep things moving. And while judgement of ice coverage is somewhat complicated by D/W's being on an Olympic- size rink, I want to point out that the moment at 16:55 is from 2012 GPF, and therefore the very same ice surface. And what's not complicated by it is watching how the teams gain speed in the first place.

    Two comments from above:
    "And Meryl, while nowhere near balletic, has made some improvements in posture and line, at least outside of step sequences. Maybe people are giving her points for improvement instead of evaluating her vis-a-vis her competitors."
    “Meryl made a big show of being balletic this season but it didn't hold up to any kind of scrutiny. It's a veneer of sophistication that doesn't involve her core and disappears completely when she has to skate instead of pose.”

    I was going to say something similar – it seems that D/W have bit the bullet and taken some ballet this season, but they have to pose or – in this case, skate in slow motion - to maintain it at all. Still, they could not have skated this program in 2010, and if they had not just received an extremely undeserved gold medal, and were not using *this particular moment* to play dressup and make believe they're like V/M, I could even give them credit for some modest improvement and trying something new. But this wasn't an experiment for them, it was a statement, and for them to go out and pretend/believe that they are THIS team... eff you, Davis/White. You should be incredibly grateful this was all so nicely arranged for you, and not insist on being gross about it. And if you honestly believe you're that good, well, then this might have made me feel a bit embarrassed for you, except for the fact that the connection to Mahler was unclassy, period.

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    1. continued

      Youtube hates the Olympics right now, but you can watch on mediafire.

      http://www.mediafire.com/watch/jw16pf0qkbycr6v/Galas.mp4

      Here are times if you're interested in one program in particular:
      Mahler starts things off
      I Want To Hold Your Hand - 7:37
      Hallelujah - 13:48
      Stay - 19:55
      Duplicates (there were many instances in which different parts of Rach could work with a part of V/M's gala, so I collected all extra examples into one section) + a few clips of Seasons too – at 25:50

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    2. It will be interesting to see what DW skate to at their appearance on the "Today" show scheduled for this Wednesday. But aWaltzflower - yes I agree with your post and the only thing I also have to add is that this is damn lazy from Marina...Yesterday at the Russian exhibition in Moscow - according to photos posted - Gordeeva was also there. In a picture with Marina and her gold medalists, it brought memories back of Sergei Grinkov's death but at the same time I had great solace that Katia decided to pose next to Scott - who undoubtedly looked up to GG.
      Ironically this gala was in honour of the Russian 1976 Olympic gold medalists in ice dance. The female ice dancer - (sorry I don't remember her name right now but will post later) passed away. Needless to say according to Wilkepedia, the female ice dancer later coached Igor Sphilband for a number of years and if I am not mistaken when he became a junior world champion. Thus it is ironic that Igor who had more of a connection to the ice dance couple that were being honored was not there...You know call me sentimental but I am glad that when VM won in 2010 - in Vancouver - we got a great medal ceremony and that both Marina and Igor got their due respects...

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    3. ETA - Lyudmila Pakhomova and Aleksandr Gorshkov - 1976 Russian Olympic Gold Medalists in ice dance

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    4. It makes me sick that DW are amoung Marina's "gold medallists". GG and VM are rightful legends in their respective disciplines, DW are nothing but mere hacks. It's a blatant case of "one of these things is not like the other."

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    5. Thank you aWaltzFlower! It was interesting to see that a number of people on social media actually noticed how similar D/W's ex was to V/M's skating style. D/W just failed there; they can try and imitate V/M, but they'll never succeed in replacing them. If I were a skater, I'd be pissed that my coach was obviously trying to make me like the other skater, but maybe D/W just go along with it. They've already sold their fake chemistry to the judges for that tarnished olympic gold. Why stop there? fakes.

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    6. That big show of being balletic feels awfully like Debi Thomas' ploy back in the lead-up to Calgary, when her camp made noises about working with Baryshnikov. IIRC, he was too busy and spent just 1 session with her, and suggested someone else for her to work with. Some people made much of it, but you can't turn someone balletic (even naturally talented people) overnight. Baryshnikov knew this, Natalie Portman knew this (but was disingenuous about it), and definitely Meryl Davis (who had to train everyday with ballet-trained Tessa) knew it. It's all media spin.

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    7. I think Meryl might play romantic more convincingly with a different partner. I get this feeling that Charlie's willing to put in the work, the skating, the off-ice training etc., but just does the minimum in terms of expression. He really can't act. Not like Scott, or Andrew, or Fabian, or Nikita. I think Meryl's willing to do fake-y, but Charlie really is unable to. I think it's beyond his ability. For fake romance to work, both partners need to commit to the illusion, and Charlie is not committing. At all.

      Random aside: Meryl's hairstyle in that EX is matronly. She should have gone with a 'soft' look if she wanted to play the romance up all the way. Also, can she not hold the extension in that spiral-like move without her hand's assistance?

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    8. While both teams recycled parts of their FDs for their exhibitions, I feel a bit angry on VM's behalf that Marina not only chose this particular style (lyrical and romantic) for DW, but it seems to me that she expended more effort in DW's EX choreo.

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    9. Anon at 10:10 am - I wouldn't fret over it too much (the exhibitions)...I am hoping that Jennifer Swan gets to work with VM for a program for CSOI...personally I would love if they would do a modified version of their SD for CSOI and then a new program by Swan....just my two cents

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    10. I agree, 5:58 and 10:10 (I assume you're talking about the Moscow show one - Stay doesn't have anything from this year's programs, and had input from Swan). I haven't been anti-Marina per se, but to give D/W a recycled dumbed-down Mahler, and then give V/M basically nothing new in their ex....I don't understand. If this is their adaptation of Seasons for shows, fine, but an Olympic gala isn't the place for an encore of your program, and if the reports were indeed correct that that's what they originally intended to skate to, I'm so glad they stuck with Stay. But I agree 10:34, I would rather they adapt the SD. Seasons is impressive skating, to be sure, but I don't think it's as accessible as Mahler, and their SD would be such a hit as far as entertainment goes.

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    11. Anon at 11:26 am - anon here at 10:34 am - with regards to the Moscow show - this has been in the works for a while. If I had to guess Marina knew that DW were going to win and gave them the recycled Mahler for their exhibition...judging from a video from the Russian fans today - when VM arrived and they were with their luggage greeting their fans - it appeared that they were traveling with perhaps another Russian skater - but otherwise it seemed very low key. If I had to guess DW got the royal treatment and travelled with Marina along with the Russian team...once again in the pictures taken - Marina was wearing her US Olympic team jacket...I am glad that VM decided to do Stay at the Olympics...as for the Moscow show - I am pretty sure they were grateful to be there but considering everything - they did the best they could...just my two cents...(all their efforts went into the SD and FD)...

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    12. Why would Marina wear a US jacket when both her teams are there? Surely it isn't that hard to find neutral clothing to wear. She did the same thing in an Olys practice as well.

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    13. you gotta feel bad for d/w tho with marina recycling a lot of choreography from v/m's programs https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhVvXieCAAAR21h.jpg

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    14. waltzflower I am going to try to get your comparison loaded on the blog at some point soon.

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    15. What's the hand on the knee for, in Meryl's spiral? Does it help her keep her arabesque straight?

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    16. She is incapable of maintaining her body in space

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    17. Exactly, 9:54. Meryl is incapable of controlling anything about her body in space beyond randomly sticking an arm, and one arm only, out in "ta-da!" fashion every once in a way. She can't control her core, she can't control her legs.

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    18. Great, thanks OC!

      2:28, I can't believe I missed a similarity, LOL. I didn't think to look at ANMHE.

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    19. Isn't there a video clip of an interview out there somewhere, maybe from worlds 2011, where Scott says that they and DW respect each other too much to copy each others moves?

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  31. I don't think USFSA has done themselves a favor with DW. The four year fans and people who just happened to turn on the TV when DW skated don't have much positive to say about them. On various message boards the only DW related topic is how Meryl looks ( words like " odd " and " weird " are pretty much the nicest terms that they can come up with. Nobody ever calls her " exotic " ) and her annoying voice. Charlie is hardly ever mentioned at all.
    None of the casual viewers takes any interest in their skating or wants to see them again.
    I highly doubt we'll hear much about them once the Olympic buzz died down. I can't imagine they'd be able to sustain any popularity among the common public.

    Gracie and Ashley on the other hand get better receptions.

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    1. I think it will be very interesting to see whether the Shibs or Chock/Bates get invited to the SOI shows and to see who else gets added to the cast...

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    2. The USFSA can feel vindicated that they sent Ashley instead of Mirai to Sochi...her performances were great, and her sassiness added interest to the figure skating competition, far and away the worst in recent Olympic history. Corrupt judging, lack of memorable performancew by the gold medallists, and rude Russian audiences are my lasting impressions of Sochi. What a letdown after Vancouver, where all the gold medallists had great performances, little dispute about the podium placements, history made in very discipline, and Joannie Rochette's superhuman performance.

      D/W's gold medal will always have an asterix next to it, and their performances are already forgotten. I am so happy that V/M had two outstanding performances that touched even the most casual viewers, and hopefully they made new fans that will flock Youtube and watch all their previous performances.

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    3. I think DW's popularity will go the way Evan Lysacek's did--that is, fade away eventually. Americans will always be proud that they won gold, and some do find Meryl appealing. Definitely many prefer the 'gimmicks and tricks' style that they espouse, just as many prefer the 'style over substance' approach of shows like DWTS and SYTYCD. I think that once the Olympic fever dies down, only the figure skating fans and SOI regulars will be paying much attention to them. Of the two, I think Meryl is the more interesting one, in the 'who's the brains in this outfit?' way, but she's smothered her personality in wholesome political correctness. Charlie's like a puppy dog/boy-next-door to me, with even less range of expression than Meryl; he's nice, boring, and mostly non-controversial. I agree that the women get better receptions, but that I attribute to a) marketers being limited in how to promote an ice dance couple, and b) the US still has a hangover concerning ladies' skating.

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    4. Imo Meryl and Charlie have even less chances to build up/sustain popularity and fame because they don't have DWTS. They can give interviews for two weeks and then they'll be America's first gold medalists in a sport that nobody in the US cares about. Heck, they don't even believe it is a sport !
      They have a flashy skating style that could interest a few people but neither of their programs this year really showcase it the was Bollywood and POTO did. Their Olympic programs are emotionally empty, not attractively choreographed and their personalities aren't engaging enough to get viewers who aren't familiar with them hooked up.
      They don't even have an interesting story about overcoming injuries or a potential romantic relationship. They have nothing to tell besides, " We worked so hard ".
      Maybe that's why Marina gave them a dumbed down VM program. The romance angle always gets the viewers interested. Alas DW can't sell it but hey, they gotta try something cuz no one roots for the privileged white kids who grew up with skating, language and violin lessons.

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    5. You forgot that Charlie has asthma and Meryl is dyslexic.

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  32. Does anyone think that Tanith/Ben will be added to the SOI cast in order for Tanith to travel with Charlie?

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    1. Eh, not really. I think it will be more of that BA was the top US team in their heyday. BA and DW are the most successful US ice dancers thus far in terms of medals. Tanith traveling with Charlie would just be a plus.

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  33. All these references to Davis White barely being able to skate vastly overstate the case. What happened is very simple. Judges don't laboriously analyze, "Who has core strength? Who is pointing her toes?" They are bigger picture. Frankly, Virtue Moir's free dance did not cut it. The unfamiliar music, the "storm" sections cheesily referring to personal discord, the pretense of "it's our life story -- yet again." Much as you malign it, Scheherazade was more accessible, coherent and entertaining.

    The other factor: there was a sense, "Virtue and Moir had their gold -- they had those injuries -- why the hell are they still here?" The community in general wanted to reward who it saw as another great team. Skate Canada did not help matters with its (until this season) relentless sales job of Chan.

    There was no collusion between USFS and Russia. Icenetwork is completely immaterial. As noted above, Davis and White did improve from 2010, while there was a sense Virtue and Moir stagnated. Is Marina at fault? Possibly. But Tessa and Scott are adults. They know how brilliant technically and politically Igor is. They had every opportunity to change coaches and were too cocky, and comfortable, to do so.

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    1. Wow anon at 1:01 pm - the whole post just screams entitlement for DW. Really? So I guess this is just payback. So much for sport. There are many great skaters who never won gold due to fair judging. How do you explain that VM did not score a personal best with their SD in the individual event. That my friend was bullshit. As for the FD - yes VMs FD was a harder sell - but they pulled it off like they did in the GPF. Anyways everyone has a right to their own opinion but if you really believe that DW overall is the best that ice dance has to offer and has expressed versatility and innovation in dance- well more power to you.
      As you mentioned above - you think technically and politically Igor is brilliant. If that's the case why did Pechelat/Bourzat and Capellini/Lanotte get dumped?
      And really using injury as an excuse to elevate another team - common...

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    2. Anon 1:01, you are missing the point entirely. Judges are supposed to analyze the SKATING, and they blatantly forgot to do so when D/W were on the ice. Core strength and pointed toes are not add-ons, they are part of overall good technique. Form follows function; if you don't have a strong core, you end up with junked-up lifts like D/W, if you can't extend your free leg and point your toes, you end up with small, shallow patterns like D/W...it goes on and one.

      You are placing too much emphasis on the program and not the skating. V/M's freedance was brilliant because it showcased their pure technique; it is much harder to skate to subtle music because there is no room to hide. Look at Patrick Chan's short program; only a skater of his skills could pull of such a program, what with its deep edges, controlled one-footed turns, and total mastery of the blade. I'd like to see Hanyu attempt such a program.

      D/W's Shez was not only a display of poor skating skills, they couldn't even sell the narrative that Meryl was seducing Charlie. It was cringe-inducing watching her in her Disney get-up "sexy-touch" Charlie.

      What community in general are you talking about that wanted to see "another" great team win gold? Maybe the D/W ubers on FSU, but most former ice dancers and current coaches have widely acknowledged that V/M are the far superior team.

      How do you know there was no collusion? I doubt L'Equipe is just making shit up, and it's only a matter of time before another bombshell article drops. And were you not paying attention to competition? The judging, starting with the team event, was farcical, overmarking Russian and American skaters, while low-balling Canadian and any other skaters that got close to Russian medal hopes (notably P/B in the dance, and Yuna Kim in the women's). The individual ice dance event was a shit show, starting with the skate order. Really, we're supposed to believe that D/W randomly drew the last skate order in both the SD and FD? And how is that all the top 6 teams scored season's bests in their SDs, yet V/M, who had an even more brilliant skate than the GPF, were low-balled?

      Icenetwork and the US media absolutely had a hand in this, what with their aggresive touting of D/W but that had nothing to do with the skating. It was all about "D/W have been unbeaten since 2012!", but not one journalist could point to any actual improvements in their skills. And maybe they did improve (which they haven't), but their skills are vastly inferior not only to V/M, but any number of teams, most notably the Shibs. V/M's skills continued to improve, and they challenged themselves with added difficulty every season. Were they error-prone? Yes, because with no risk, no reward. But they always came through when it mattered most, especially in Sochi, so past performance should not matter. With that same, stupid logic, Carolina Kostner shouldn't have won a medal, because she had an inconsistent fall season; Denis Ten had a horrible season, yet he delivered when it mattered it most.

      As for changing coaches, they stayed with Marina because she is a brilliant choreographer, the best in the business. She rounded out her technical team with Johnny Johns, Oleg Epstein and Maurizio Margolio. V/M's programs this year were of the highest technical difficulty showcased by beautiful choregraphy, and they were rewarded for it in Sochi, only to have their marks hijacked by two dumbed-down D/W programs because the judges looked the other way.

      Igor's choreographic contribution this season? Chock/Bates' programs. Enough said.

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    3. "There was no collusion between USFS and Russia"

      lmao except there was. can you explain how IK ( a team who couldn't even win euros a month ago) and D/W both have an olympic gold and bronze? russia and usa made a great deal.

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    4. I have nothing to add to this conversation, I just want to applaud anon @1:50 PM's entire post.

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    5. anon 1:40 - she was supposed to be seducing charlie?

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    6. @1:01 PM, Igor got kicked out of Arctic Edge, and at the time, he did not have a stable 'base' of operations. This was just after 2012 Worlds, which VM won. VM had little reason to think that the scoring trend would go against them in the following season. Were they to throw in their lot with Igor, when they had a nice (at the time) training environment in Canton?

      By the time it was completely clear (DW's Worlds win on Canadian ice), VM must have known things were going DW's way. I think you're wrong that they were cocky because they stayed with Marina. I think they say what a last minute coach change did with Belbin and Agosto in Olympic year. But I do think there is something to your claim that were comfortable with Zoueva. IMO, VM's coaching situation this season was more 'the devil you know' (Marina) than the 'devil you don't know' (unknowns attached to switching to Igor or whoever).

      I disagree with VM stagnating. Did you fall asleep during their Latin FD? Carmen? Marina and VM have said in interviews that the judges' feedback was that they wanted VM to return to their lyrical style. That Carmen was as difficult, original and creative as one would wish in ice dance. If VM 'regressed' with Seasons, it was because the judges pointed them in that direction. Their PCS scores with Seasons was better with what they had with Carmen, and remember that Seasons was perfect only at GPF and Sochi individual comp.

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    7. " I think they say what a last minute coach change did with Belbin and Agosto in Olympic year."

      Belbin and Agosto changed coaches in April 2008, less than a month after 2008 Worlds and almost 2 full years until the Vancouver games. It was in no way a last minute coaching change before Vancouver. I and several others are firmly convinced that if BA hadn't made that coaching change, they wouldn't have gone on to win another medal at worlds in 2009 or have finished as high as they did in 2010. BA had issues in their skating that the judges were not ignoring and were not, for some reason, being adequately addressed in Canton, given the improvements they made in their skating once they moved to Linichuk.

      Just as a reference point, last minute coaching changed can work out. KP changed coaches 4 months before the 1992 games in Albertville.

      VM in no way stagnated this quad. The Latin FD, Funny Face, Carmen, and Seasons were all quite thematically different, but that's just window dressing. What the important thing is that each showed off a different style of dance, and, from each season to each season, we saw VM's skills continue to improve, even if that wasn't reflected in the scores because of the wonky judging.

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    8. @ Anon 7:07 pm: Judging at 2009 Worlds was very suspect. B/A and D/S had shit freedances. It was all about setting them up for Vancouver

      If V/M hadn't messed up the OD, they would have easily, because Pink Floyd was hands down the most difficult and brilliant of the FDs that year, even if they hadn't trained it properly.

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    9. DS's FD, yes. BA's, no. Choreography-wise, Pink Floyd was a better program, but that doesn't mean that Tosca was a horrible piece of trash. No, no one is as good as VM, but that doesn't mean that everyone else and their programs suck. Sometimes, they do suck (DW), but sometimes the team or program falls in the category of decent, good, very good while VM remain in the excellent category.

      I love VM. I agree that Pink Floyd was difficult and brilliant, but they were undertrained and, IMO, it showed in LA. DS winning was a joke, but between BA and VM, no one was blowing anyone out of the water that year once everything went through the wash.

      Whatever you think about the merits of the programs, BA's skating did improve after they went to Linichuk, regardless of placement. Igor Shpilband is not a great technical coach. I think they relied a lot on Marina's choreography to disguise weaknesses rather than taking the route of forcing a team to work on them. BA didn't get away with it and had to go elsewhere. DW, OTOH, got away with bloody murder.

      And I'm not sure what BA were set up for when it came to Vancouver. They got lowballed in the fall compared to DW who were blowing up scoreboards for absolutely no skating related reason at all.

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    10. Virtue and Moir did not stagnate - Virtue and Moir acquired even greater power and speed.

      Without going through all of your assertions point by point, I'll just say that asserting something doesn't equal making a point, and you've failed to establish yours.

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  34. I am NOT saying DW is best overall, I am explaining what happened. I believe VM are superior skaters.

    The trouble, IMO, with this site is that the owner and his/her followers seem to think they are the only folks in the universe with two braincells to click together. Not so. I gave you an impartial observer's opinion of what happened, and I can tell you, the arcane free dance and its pretentious theme cost Virtue and Moir.

    As to Igor -- the Italians were not "dumped." Anna is simply not the calibre of many other ladies and their levels did not cut the mustard. It is a miracle they got the European title, even with the absences. And no one could have gotten the French bronze in Sochi after the young Russians' Swan Lake. I'll stand by my opinion that sticking with Marina was an error in judgment. But carry on with your insular, repetitive posting -- seems no one here wants an outsider opinion.

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    1. Okay - I have a question for you then. Had VM skated Carmen as their FD this year - would they have won the Olympics?

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    2. "the arcane free dance and its pretentious theme cost Virtue and Moir."

      I have to agree this FD was not as public-friendly as other programs they have done. I don't think it was all Marina's fault, though. Tessa and Scott have said they wanted to skate to music that no one else had ever used, they wanted Russian music, they wanted to return to a lyrical style (the mistaken idea that the judges wanted them to do something similar to Mahler), and they also wanted this program to be about their "journey," whatever that is. I think VM themselves boxed themselves in with this vision.

      But the reason for the judging cannot just be that this particular FD didn't have mass appeal. In that case, Carmen should have won everything last season, and by big margins. After all, marrying VM's superior skating to a warhorse theme should have done the trick, right? Except it didn't. That more than anything shows it wasn't about music or style. It was a predetermined fix. Therefore, VM might as well have skated to whatever they wanted, which apparently they did.

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    3. Anon 1:46: it didn't matter what V/M skated to this season, they could have skated to Mahler again, the corrupt powers-that-be handed D/W an undeserved gold; the USFSA engineered this "win" after Nice (and maybe even earlier).

      Except that people watching the event aren't blind and could clearly see V/M skated and danced the best.

      I/K were over-marked and should not have been on the podium; P/B's programs were more intricate and required a higher degree of skill. I/K are no doubt talented and have much potential for the future, but they were ridicliously overmarked in Sochi.

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    4. I just want to add that within a week IK's FD with basically exactly the same performance - from the team event to the individual increased in total points by over 5 points...with quite a bit of open skating...don't get me wrong - I like IK - they are a good team - but really the judges and the codebook don't match-up and I think that's the biggest concern...

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    5. Futhermore, it didn't matter who coached V/M, because it's not the coaches' job to politik, it's the federation's. Bumbling, incompetent Skate Canada were up against the USFSA. Even if the were the Russian fed, it wouldn't have mattered, because the USFSA were hellbent on getting that ice dance gold. Too bad D/W were their "chosen" ones, because there are many more talented US ice dance teams that should have had the distinction of being the first US OGM. D/W's "win" will never be percieved as credible, and they leave the sport in a worse place than they entered it. That's THEIR legacy.

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    6. Anon at 1:59
      " the mistaken idea that the judges wanted them to do something similar to Mahler ".

      Are you one of Dave Lease's minions ? This sounds just like the rubbish he talks.
      VM were specifically told by the judges that they want them to do a traditional, Mahler-like program. The judges didn't give Carmen the points it deserved simply because they wanted them to skate to something more traditional.
      If VM hadn't obeyed they probably would have been off the podium all together.

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    7. Exactly, 7:26. VM were told point blank to go back to something like Mahler for this season.

      Another interesting aspect is that according to, I think, Marina, the judges told her in 2012 that they wanted to see VM do something like Carmen.

      This, of course, all circles back to the question of why the fuck are the judges dictating program theme to VM?

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  35. 1:53 - No. After losing in London it would have been extremely difficult for VM to win with any dance, however, the best choice would have been something like an "Umbrellas of Cherbourg," because it is the most obviously accessible. You go with the most commercial, easiest-to-digest material for the Olympics, if winning is your goal -- especially given that your rivals are doing so. Now, if your goal -- as Moir has stated -- is to "further the sport" and "express yourselves," then fine, do what you will.

    And frankly, "Seasons" impact was negligible compared to that of "Carmen." Saw both live several times and they're not in the same league.

    While members of this blog seem to think ice dance judges are tremendously schooled in things like "core strength" many of them are not. There are inexperienced, under-educated judges out there, who especially come out on Olympic panels. You're expecting a utopian system that simply doesn't exist. It wasn't necessary for USFS to "collude," DW won the title -- barring a twizzle or lift mishap -- back in London.

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    1. So that's it, we're supposed to accept that fact that the judges are "inexperienced and under-educated"? All the more reason why this "sport" isn't a fucking sport and should be kicked out of the Olympics.

      And D/W absolutely needed collusion as insurance, because the judges aren't fucking stupid; corrupt, yes, fucking stupid, no. The judges knew they had to give D/W a cushion after the SD, hence why they low-balled a brilliant V/M SD. V/M's score in the FD was more than earned on the basis of their skating, and the judges had to give more insurance marks to D/W so that it would appear as a "resounding" win, when we all know that V/M won handily on the ice.

      And again, you are placing too much attention on the package and not the skating. V/M's FD was the perfect vehicle for their sublime skills, and everybody watching could see that.

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    2. "It wasn't necessary for USFS to "collude,""
      how did you think D/W won that world title - wait let me rephrase - how you think d/w's NDDP beat Carmen IN V/M's HOMETOWN??? home-ice advantage does not exist when collusions are made

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    3. If the judges are inexperienced and under-educated and therefore not able to apply the criteria in the CoP that they're supposed to be used for judging, then ice dance definitely needs to be thrown out of the Olympics. If the judges can't judge and the rulebook is meaningless, then this is not something that belongs in the games.

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    4. So basically judges don't know the difference between a powerful, extended run of blade and a short run of blade?

      They don't know the difference between long, deep, smooth stroking achieved through deep edges and knee compression, and laboriously pushing your edges in while running and hopping and tugging and leaping in between? Even though the rulebook itself discourages overuse of running steps?

      The judges don't know the difference when Meryl's on her flat out of a key point or an edge out of a key point, because that's something they missed consistently - just giving her the key point - while catching a shallow edge or flat - or pretending to - with other skaters.

      They don't know the difference between managing your own body in space while your partner's blades describe a deep, clean, smooth, secure edge, and being slung up on your partner's back like a sack of laundry while your partner's blades rock like a ship at sea? Don't know the difference between an assist into a lift and bending down, wrapping arms around each other's torsos and hauling someone up?

      They don't know the difference between skating in multiple directions while varying speed and skating in elementary face to face or side to side hold at one speed, and your speed "variation" consists of stopping and posing and resetting?

      If you do have two brain cells to rub together, as you're saying you do, you need to make sense.

      You cannot assert bullshit about Seasons and what it fails to show about Virtue and Moir's skating when saying so means you're unable to see exactly what it is Virtue and Moir are doing in Seasons, particularly as regards transitions, skating in and out of hold without using each other as leverage, and the incredible power, run of blade and depth of edge.

      You are coming across like a skating fan who doesn't watch for skating but for programs they prefer.

      Skating is not about PROGRAMS. Skating is not this program versus that program. The programs are far more for the skaters than the judges. They're to provide the skaters a vehicle within which they can best demonstrate their skating skills and they're elements. It's not, as you seem to think a pageant. It's not a beauty contest. It's not performance art.

      Virtue and Moir indicated it was suggested to them they return with a more lyrical program for the Olympics. As this did THEM no good despite the superior skating Seasons showed, it appears the ISU wanted a lyrical program for the ISU's best interests. Carmen put VM's superiority in everybody's faces and that was inconvenient for the ISU pushing a DW narrative. "Lyrical" means people who don't know what they're looking at can miss absolutely everything in a program because they don't know how to see, and they believe it's the package and not the content that's judged. You seem to be one of those.

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    5. You don't need Utopia to expect VM to defeat DW. You need a rudimentary competence. I don't believe the judges lack competence. This sport is corrupt. Expecting it not to be is not some Utopian dream.

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  36. Thanks for your reply anon at 2:13 pm. Well let's face it - VM have never really done the most commercial, easiest to digest material. But I agree that had their been a clearer theme - it would have been an easier sell. It ended up being all or nothing with this FD. Definitely a challenge. But they definitely got in right in Japan at the GPF and at the Olympics at the individual event.
    As to your statement that ice dance judges are tremendously schooled in things like core strength - is false - I agree with you. But really I still don't understand that in an international sport how judges or technical committees cannot go over video-tape and say that DWs lifts can receive the same level of difficulty with the entries, points of contact etc - and since we didn't see any adjustments to dance rules regarding lifts or twizzles this quad - it tells me that the fix was definitely in for DW...singles and pairs - had made adjustments accordingly...
    At the end of the day - VM should be proud of their silver and I have appreciated their athletic and artistic sides...as someone who studied biomechanics and dealt with amateur elite athletes - I appreciate what VM brought to the table and for how long they were competitive...but to be honest - I think had VM been skating under the Russian Federation - DW would not be Olympic Champs...

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    1. I think it's bullshit that their programs were hard to sell and it's bullshit that Davis White are an easier sell. It was obvious in these Olympics that it was VM who made the sale to the audience at large and DW did not, in addition to winning where it counted, on the ice, and how it's supposed to count, by demonstrating their vastly superior skating. That's just part of the narrative and fans fall into line, and it's a fallacy. VM's programs are accessible and their programs are popular. The VM fandom loves to wring their hands and lament every move they make - that doesn't mean the audience at large has the same problem. It seems to me that out in the real world it's VM that are popular, not DW, VM that have the programs audiences really love, not DW.

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  37. The last comment I have to make tonight is why no one in the media or the commentators including Browning for the CBC never picked apart DWs skating. I honestly thought the best tweet of the Olympics came from Melanie Hoyt - a great photographer who works for ice-dance com and she counted 24 hops in DWs FD...hophophophophophop...when did hopping become the equivalent of skating?

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  38. Not sure if this was posted here - V/M on 2/24 performing in the Olympic Champion's show in Moscow (not to be confused with the Gala)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luvLKOkJTU4&t=9m38s&app=desktop

    Scott is non committal in his response about whether they are retiring.

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  39. I had a dream that months from now, someone talked about the judging and it opened a can of worms. Oh for it to happen irl.

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    1. You gotta think there's a disgruntled judge or coach somehwere that's gonna spill the beans eventually. I'm hoping its a disgruntled person at USFSA who releases the memo entitled "How to engineer an ice dance OGM without actually skating or dancing".

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  40. Hello everybody.

    I'm Alba, from Italy. I know this is an old post but I "discovered" this blog today and was looking back the older post.
    I would like to comment on this ridiculous, and dare I say offensive comment?!

    "The "it" in question was that the athletic, physically torturous style of the Canadians was not going to prevail over the more classical and overtly European-rooted style and programs of Meryl Davis and Charlie White unless the Americans obviously messed up. And they are far too talented to do that. There's never been any question about the skill, speed and dedication of Davis and White and what they have contributed to changing a sport that had been mired in old-world, outdated values and transparently phoney exhibitionism."

    This is a pathetic attempt to justify a fake gold performance.

    1. There is not a North American ice dancing team, and never was one, more similar to a "European-rooted style and programs" than V&M.
    It's not casual that they, and not their rivals, are so much more appreciated, and considered the no.1 team in the world, in most of Europe.
    They remind me a lot Klimova&Ponomarenko. Excellent skating skills and tech. combined with beautiful artistry and musicality.

    2. D&W are not at all "far too talented". Not even close!
    What they have is a lot of ambition and hard work but they simply lack of that natural talent and gift to make them truly brilliant skaters, let alone artists like V&M.
    I'm a violinist and I've seen similar cases. Violinists or Pianists with mediocre level and not talented, but who worked hard and they did get good results, but they still couldn't go that far. They simply couldn't because they lacked in quality.
    They had a very good coach and big Fed who worked hard to support them. That's it.

    3. They certainly did not "contributed to changing this sport", on the contrary.
    Unless of course he does intend that fake smiles, or fake pain, stamped on their face, always, should be considered a contribution to this sport.

    4. There is no need to be offensive towards European skating (aka Russia I suppose?), because he is just showing his ignorance (or bias?) with that statement.
    The list of some of the most fanstastic and beautiful skaters in the world in the history of this sport are "old" Europenans. Their list is long, and they are already legends in this sport. They've left their mark and did contribute a lot in this sport. People still love and remember many of their old programs.
    To pretend that Ice Dancing was better with the NA's arrival, and especially D&W dancing, and try to eliminate all that came before is a stupid thing to do, to say the least.

    I really hope V&M will stay, at least for another 2 years.

    Ciao :-)

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    1. Great post, I totally agree!

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