Tessa Virtue, ladies and gentlemen.
You know what would bring credibility to the sport, Tessa? If the sport had credibility.
The language used when skaters talk about how the public sees figure skating is always so sketchy and WTF.There was Sinead Kerr jumping onto twitter complaining that VM interrupting their 4CC's Carmen hurt the "perception" of the sport.
What actually hurts the perception of the sport, and will continue to hurt the perception of the sport, is that it's fucked up and corrupt, secretive and shady, and lacks all accountability.
What hurts the perception of the sport are communiques as dead honest and earnest as this one, from South Korea:
"We had to be extremely careful with our action because filing a complaint may adversely affect our relationships with the ISU and international figure skating judges, which could put our athletes at a disadvantage at future competitions," the statement read. "However, after deliberating over what would be the best course of action for our people, we decided to appeal with the ISU."What? WHAT? Is South Korea saying that if its complaint is taken amiss, the ISU may see to it that South Korean figure skaters skating according to the rules of CoP will have their scores fucked with in retaliation? South Korean skaters' levels and GOE and components - the stuff that quantifies what a skater did on the ice, and nothing more or less - will instead actually reflect the ISU's displeasure with South Korea filing a complaint?
The ISU Constitution and General Regulations state that "no protests against evaluations by referees, judges and the technical panel of skaters' performances are allowed." The ISU also states that protests against results "are permitted only in the case of incorrect mathematical calculation."
However, under Article 24 of the ISU Constitution and General Regulations, complaints may be filed with the ISU's Disciplinary Commission "within 60 days of learning of the facts or events which constitute a disciplinary or ethical offense." The KSU and the KOC said they believe the composition of the panel in Sochi was in violation of the ISU's ethical rules.
Tell me more, South Korea! How does the ISU get this done, exactly? You file a complaint, suddenly your skaters aren't making the final flights. Who issues the directive? It's not "The ISU". It's not a whole bunch of judges individually reacting as one to this complaint and individually deciding to jack your skaters' scores. It's a person. Somebody has to tell them to do it. Who?
Why are the public faces of the sport - the skaters - more concerned with how the sport is perceived rather than how it is? Why are they eager for a disconnect between perception and reality?
Perception: Tessa and Scott interrupted their program and were allowed to go back and finish! How is that fair?
Reality: Tessa and Scott interrupted per the ISU's own rules.
Why wasn't THAT explained instead of all the oh oh oh oh oh oh hurting the perception! The ISU has/had a rule. Tessa and Scott were within that rule. Instead of the incredibly shady shade thrown left and right immediately suggesting Scott and Tessa were faking, how about explaining that they acted according to the ISU's rules on interruptions?
Why so assbackwards, skaters who threw shade? A little quick-triggered and oversensitive, are we?
Desired Perception: Judging is fair, DW brought it and skating is a wonderful, legitimate sport.
Reality: The results in ice dance have been predetermined for at least the past two seasons (and probably more). Any comparison between what DW did on the ice and what the ISU rules say they ought to have done on the ice in order to get the scores they received demonstrates that without a doubt. The sport is corrupt.
If figure skating were a real sport, staffed by officials who didn't use the mafia as their role models, someone like David Dore would register a strong objection/protest to South Korea's suggestion that the ISU would ever ever retaliate against a Federation's skaters for that Federation filing a complaint about a competitive result. But I bet it doesn't bug them. I bet nobody in the media who followed DW/VM and Slotnikova/Yuna Kim is going to go - wow, a whole entire Fed just announced, humbly, that the governing body of this terribly legitimate sport will possibly retaliate against the Federation's athletes on the score sheet if it doesn't like that the Federation filed this complaint.
They'll just let that statement sit there, and continue to tell us how on point DW's scores were versus VM. Scores that have no relationship to what was skated only happen when Russians are on the ice or on the judging panel.The ISU itself is A-Okay.
Obvious relational associations and logical implications are disregarded in the media coverage of these events. Just leave em there on the ground.
To conclude, let's note that the Korean Skating Federation has just told us that the ISU is perfectly capable of controlling/directing the international judging community to score a skater and event per an agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with the skater's performance on the ice (retaliation, or say, directing a particular team towards a gold medal at the Olympics). Not at one event, but systematically, going forward. However did South Korea receive the impression this was possible?
I can understand why a liar like Tessa would be reality averse, valuing perception over truth but I don't think she should be doing psa's about it on Strombo.
P.S. I found this 2011 article: David Dore and figure skating that quotes both David Dore and Christine Brennan. David Dore is described thusly: "One of the smartest and most profound international officials in figure skating today."
Gee I wonder what THAT pre-interview was like.
The topic is the International Judging System.
"Everybody has an agenda and you have to play your own game." explained Dore.
"The new system is still undecipherable for civilians" said Christine Brennan.
Let me ask you Christine. Did you ever make a first-hand attempt to understand the new system or did the word "factored' pull you up short. Did you ever give yourself a boost by learning anything about blade work, steps and turns? Or did you look at it and go shit, that's a lot of decimal points and small type, nobody's going to understand it cause I don't!
"These are really difficult times for figure skating in terms of the sports media," said Brennan. "[Coaches and officials] need to think about ways to make it [more] interesting."
The thing with Brennan is she gets all her stuff from the people whose perspective is overcooked from being inside the sport too long. She doesn't act like a journalist and get that bird's eye view.
Does the "Ice Challenge Competition" discussed in this article actually happen? It seems to be a competition for former champions and medalists, like the old pro comps.
Like any community, the inner workings of the ISU are complex and sometimes challenging, but it can work if you know how to work with it. "The culture and concept of the ISU is that it’s a team," said Dore, who urged coaches to be smart, innovative and creative in terms of utilizing the IJS.
Okay, I figured out why that last paragraph is a WTF. This article isn't making sense. It's not explaining, connecting, or linking the supposed issues it's addressing into a coherent statement.
1. As I understand this article, it's saying the "new" judging system is a marketing challenge because the general public doesn't understand it and it takes longer for the scores to pop up when skaters are in the kiss'n'cry.
Okay, I see. But then there's this:
2. "Everybody has their own agenda and you have to play your own game."
What does that have to do with the UJS. Agenda in what respect? Agenda about what? Play your own game about what?
and let's look at this:
3. "Like any community, the inner workings of the ISU are complex and sometimes challenging, but it can work if you know how to work with it."
Yeah, no. That's not "like any community." Furthermore, complex generally means there are multiple components, not that nobody knows what the fuck is going on. How come this author (and Dore) aren't laying out what the "inner workings" are, what is so complex about them, and telling explicitly what the challenges are? How does one learn to "know how to work with it." What are examples of people who have successfully worked with it? What did they do? What challenges were presented? What is the wrong way?
I understand that might be a tough challenge when nobody's telling us what "it" is.
IOW, bullshit bullshit bullshit. They're telling us nothing here.
P.S. I also suspect it's likely that the Letter of Inquiry the ISU sent after Virtue Moir interrupted Carmen at the 4CC's was the ISU simply capitalizing on the event to throw shade on VM and enable the DW narrative. If the DW trajectory weren't the agenda, no letter of inquiry would have been sent.