These gifs below are from neverendingdreamtumblr. Blogger doesn't permit the posting of gifs side by side; at least I've not been able to troubleshoot that process. So, below, the gifs are angled in a descending sequence instead. On the neverendingdreamtumblr, this gif set is titled: "Why Meryl Davis and Charlie White Shouldn't Have Won in Sochi". Below the gif set there is this caption: "Balance issues, lack of synchronicity and they had problems with their twizzles for all FOUR performances! Perfect GOEs…???"
But of course! What are you going to believe? The protocols, or your lying eyes? What report has more credibility - the skating itself, or the commenting on the skating?
So here we go.
I'm re-posting this from neverendingdreamtumblr, because it's important that video like this is seen by as many people as possible. I encourage everyone to visit neverendingdreamtumblr for these gifs, even though they're also posted here. That tumblr has the gifset neatly formatted in a grid, instead of inartfully angled, and the grid has more impact. The impact this mess deserves.
I'm also re-posting these gifs to push back against the notion promoted, even by Canadian skating interests, that it's impolite, hysterical, obsessive or disrespectful to notice cheating. P.J. Kwong, for example, seems to believe that challenging the results is disrespectful.
What does respect mean to P.J. Kwong? I believe it's disrespectful when a team goes out and skates according to the rules, and elevates the standards of execution set out therein, all the while demonstrating absolutely textbook+ skating according to the criteria that governs the scoring, and the rules are ignored. Instead, right in front of our faces, in defiance of what we've just seen, that team gets ripped off, point stripped, manipulated and low balled. Why? Because the sport can flaunt its lack of accountability.
It's also disrespectful to the skating public when a team produces bastardized bullshit while demonstrating skating technique explicitly discouraged in the guidelines, and is scored as if they skated exemplifying the rules, standards and criteria.
Gaslighting is always disrespectful, P.J.
It's always disrespectful when we're directed and coerced and badgered into accepting a lie as the truth. Everybody involved in telling the skating public to do that can fuck off, and that includes most of the Canadian commentariat. If they want to lie their faces off, that's up to them. But when it comes to pressuring fans to fall in line, who do they think they're talking to? A bunch of "fraus", that's who. "Frau" is biggest perjorative on the internet, and that label is implied in everything the skating commentariat says to and about its fans. It's implied in nearly everything sportswriters say about the fans. I believe the dismissive, trivializing tone used by skating site contributors such as Lynn Rutherford is intended to trigger appeasement and insecurity in the fans who are treated that way, who are embarrassed by the implied "frau" label. That patronizing tone is meant quell those who persevere with pointing out what happened in Sochi. So again, fuck that.
We all know it's fine to raise a hue and cry when a Russian skater has an arguable win. Back in 1994, NBC couldn't get over Grishuk & Platov's gold. If you look it up on youtube, there's Tracy Wilson doing voiceover for a replay of G&P's winning rock'n'roll program, isolating and pointing out every instance where the two skaters were out of hold longer than the five seconds permitted in the rules. I love Wilson, but her tone is dark, clearly letting us know shenanigans happened in the ice dance competition. Yet despite that, Grishuk & Platov were a legitimate team. Furthermore, where was all of this pointing and insinuating when G&P were competing this program during the season?
As long as it's okay to raise questions when a Russian has an unpopular win, it's okay to raise questions when the entire ISU bullshits a North American ice dance team to their win. Perhaps those who must work with the ISU, stay in favor with the ISU, and do jobs that depend on maintaining access don't want to push back on ISU corruption, even though collusion blatantly happened here in ice dance. But please don't pressure fans to play along. The fans are getting exactly zero benefit from the corruption within the ISU. We lack incentive to support its agendas. So don't intimidate, lecture, and manipulate the fans. Suck it up.
P.S. I have been thinking about a popular theory explaining why Skate Canada played along with, and enabled, not just throwing VM under the bus, but the narrative that DW were a superior team, on par with VM. That theory is Skate Canada let VM swing in the wind in exchange for a gold medal in men's.
Patrick Chan didn't win a gold medal in men's, and I must say Skate Canada was pretty sanguine about it. Skate Canada pretty much napped through Sochi and seemed to give zero fucks about any outcome, including Patrick's.
Which brings me to Benoit Lavoie, Skate Canada's President until last year. Benoit Lavoie certainly didn't decide at the last minute that he was going to leave Skate Canada and head on over to the ISU. He had that planned for awhile. David Dore, another Skate Canadian, is already there, ensconced as ISU Vice President. Dore is the highest ranking ISU official who actually knows anything about figure skating. Lavoie's younger than Dore. Benoit Lavoie's interest during this past quad might have been his relationships within the ISU, not the performances and outcome of Skate Canada's skaters in the Sochi Olympics. Why would he care? He'd be long gone.
He could enable the DW narrative and the throwing under the bus of VM in the three years of this past quad he remained as ISU president, and make tracks a year out from Sochi. Leaving, of course, Skate Canada to rebuild its organizational infrastructure in a director-heavy orientation during the run-up to Sochi, and leaving Skate Canada with a bunch of officials just getting their feet wet with the organization as the Olympic season began. Using that theory, when Lavoie rushes into the ISU's embrace, he's in good shape, because, while president of Skate Canada, he cooperated with the ISU agenda about DW. And we all know that Skate Canada's cooperation with the DW narrative was a key element to pulling it off. I don't think Lavoie got nothing in return. He knew he'd be gone from Skate Canada a year out from the Sochi Olympics, so how much did he care about Patrick's gold, and how much did he care about favorably positioning himself for his future in the ISU?
Benoit Lavoie making deals that would work to his political advantage with the ISU appears, to me, to be a theory every bit as compelling an explanation for how Skate Canada treated Virtue Moir as the theory that Skate Canada cut Virtue Moir loose to get a gold for Patrick. The latter theory assumes Skate Canada actually cares about skating outcomes, medals, glory for the Fed, etc. I kind of think Lavoie cares more about his personal and political outcomes and prospects, not Patrick's. I suspect Lavoie used his position as Skate Canada president to set himself up for his future in the ISU, not to promote the best interests of Skate Canada's skaters. If setting himself up included setting up and selling out Virtue Moir, why wouldn't he do it? What's Skate Canada's track record in the integrity department on and off the ice since this crowd took control?
I find the "Whose side is Marina really on" stuff more than ironic in view of the fact that Virtue and Moir have plenty of better reasons to question whose side their own Federation was really on. Their Federation didn't have to balance the competing interests of Davis White and Virtue Moir. Skate Canada's only legitimate interest was Virtue Moir. Yet they spent a lot of the past quad helping out Davis White, rationalizing Davis White, telling us to swallow Davis White. IOW, helping out the USFSA. The same USFSA which spent most of the past quad taking potshots at Virtue Moir, questioning the legitimacy of their win at Worlds in 2012, damning Virtue Moir with faint praise, and painting Davis White as dominant and unstoppable.
William Thompson, former CEO of Skate Canada, also did a bolt in this quad, and one does wonder why. Thompson appeared to care about skating, even if he also cared about light shows, and about getting his face in the spotlight, and even if he was a bit of a pompous, arrogant boob. Why did he leave and what did he know, and did anything he knew cause him to leave when he left?
P.S. - I have just eliminated 13 comments from the comments section to re-set it back to 0. Someone stopped by to basically tell the blog to move on, and, after the blogger and others had responded, it suddenly crystalized that this visitor had a couple of other agendas. One was to derail the comments section discussion from the subject matter of this post, and the other was to back door their own narrative about Tessa. So I just dumped the whole thing in spam and we'll start again. Apologies to those who participated in that first set of comments, but I think you might agree it's a good idea to re-set.