The Proof Is In The Precedent: A 1955 Switcharoo
If you don't share my opinion that the gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games should not have been shared and should have instead been awarded solely to Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree. Interestingly, what many people MAY not know is that there is absolutely precedent for something quite similar happening quite some time ago. However, since the results of the competition in question were not on an Olympic or world stage or on live internet streams and network television it is a story that remains largely unknown to many.
It's funny... because you think about what went on in Salt Lake City and most recently, last year at the Sochi Olympics with the ladies competition and you have to remind yourself that the results are NO FAULT of the skaters. I still personally don't think Adelina Sotnikova or Yuna Kim's performances were as gold medal worthy as Carolina Kostner's on that given day if you're talking about the whole package and performance and not all these IJS mathematical spreadsheets... but I digress.
Under both the 6.0 and IJS judging systems the sport has seen PLENTY of controversial results and we'll be seeing them until 2394 when Evgeni Plushenko and Evan Lysacek's descendants are announcing their comebacks for the upcoming Olympics on the planet something or other. I think the lesson to be learned from this story is that it only takes one person in the position of authority who recognizes that something is wrong to dig a little deeper and enact real, quantitative change when the results don't end up how they are supposed to. Bravo to Werner Rittberger and to Manfred Schnelldorfer and Tilo Gutzeit - West German Champions both. To me, a fair result is a fairytale ending and a city sporting a gorgeous and historic castle with a moat couldn't have proved a more fitting backdrop if it tried.
Definitely food for thought as we head into this week's World Figure Skating Championships in Shanghai, where Ottavio Cinquanta's anonymous judging system is once again sure to cause more controversy. When does it not?
Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating and archives hundreds of compelling features and interviews in a searchable format for readers worldwide. Though there never has been nor will there be a charge for access to these resources, you taking the time to 'like' on the blog's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SkateGuard would be so very much appreciated. Already 'liking'? Consider sharing this feature for others via social media. It would make all the difference in the blog reaching a wider audience. Have a question or comment regarding anything you have read here or have a suggestion for a topic related to figure skating history you would like to see covered? I'd love to hear from you! Learn the many ways you can reach out at http://skateguard1.blogspot.ca/p/contact.html.