ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Figure Skating History: Scandals

Updated on September 1, 2014

Sexual Harrassment Scandal in Japanese Figure Skating Federation

One of the leading Japanese figure skaters, Daisuke Takahashi has been caught up in a sexual harassment scandal.

In this latest devemopment, Takahashi isn't an offender, however.

In a photo taken from a party after Winter Olympics, Seiko Hashimoto, the president of Japanese Skating Federation appeared hugging and kissing Takahashi.

Takahashi in a press conference defended Hashimoto saying "It was a case of two adults getting a little out of control."

Meanwhile, Hashimoto also denied insisting that she was merely showing affection she would any other athlete.

Some affection, I should say. Lie and pretension are a part of life, but it's getting sicker when they are pushed down on the throat.

Scandals seem never in short supply in figure skating. But it's even sadder to see when a victim has to defend the offender.

Is it just a coincident after Sochi Scandal that we are seeing a metaphor for the condition of the sport in the behavior of the head of the Japanese Figure Skating Federation?

Sports have become a tool of political propaganda, so have atheltes become comfort toys for politicians. Right.

The ISU, Ottavio Cinquanta, Yuri Balkov, Alla Shekhovtseva, and pro-Russian judges in Sochi all got away with it. Why not Hashimoto, even in her home field?


Vote for Opinions

What do you think about Hashimoto's act on Takahashi?

See results

Early Scandals

So let us look back at a couple of old scandals.

One of them was 1956 Olympics where the Canadian pair Frances Dafoe and Norris Bowdencompeted against the Austrian pair Elisabeth Schwarz and Kurt Oppelt.

At that time figure skating was dominated by Austrian skaters and Austrian skating board, and they made sure that the Austrian pair Elisabeth Schwarz and Kurt Oppelt won.

Dafoe was informed that there would be seven judges among whom a judge from Switzerland was included, known as neutral. But In competition, two pro-Austrian judges were added without a proper procedure.

"It was game over," said Dafoe afterwards as soon as he saw them.

Dafoe suffered defeat as four out of nine judges placed the Canadians first, while five the Austrians. That night, most of the coaches at the competition asked the ISU to reverse the decision, but the ISU refused.

At the banquet, Dafoe and Bowden were referred as the most outstanding skaters, and this time, Austrian skaters left in protest.

In 1952, Jacqueline du Bief won the World Championships in Paris. At that time there wasn't TV camera to record the compulsory competition, but spectators were left dumbfounded as one judge gave her a perfect mark 6.0 despite she fell twice and at one point, derailed from her track.

Du Bief beat Klopfer, the apparent winner, and crowd booed and threw glass bottles.

Another example comes from Sonja Henie.

In 1927 World Championships in Oslo, the judging panel consists of three Norwegians and an Austrian and a German. The Norwegians voted for Henie while the other non-Norwegians voted for Herma Szabo, an Austrian skater.

Most spectators favored Szabo and protested, which eventually led the ISU to change the rules so that only one judge per country was allowed at the international events.

Figure skating's susceptibility to nationalism has a long history. Sochi Scandal was just a reminder of its incorrigible past.

Soviet Scandals

In my earlier article, I mentioned compulsory was an objectively measurable discipline in contrast with free skating.

The irony was that the compulsory event was in fact a brooding ground for international manipulation. It's because, in most of compulsory time, there wasn't TV broadcasting on the compulsory event. It was only after Peggy Fleming that people was able to watch the compulsory competition on TV.

During the 1950s to 1960s, the Soviet dominated the judging panel, which secured pro-communist skaters to thrive.

Those judges from Czech, Hungry, Bulgaria, or Poland were doctrinally oriented; it was impossible for them to be neutral while their entire life was indoctrinated with communism.

Back then, the judges had an almost exclusive access to the figures on the ice and there wasn't TV recording or a mass of spectators: few came to see the compulsories.

The world was a divided one, and the judges from the Soviet or Eastern blocs were indoctrinated by communism and typically chauvinists.

There were sometimes conflicting reports on the same mark. One judge told there was flats on the mark while the other judge said there wasn't any flat on the same figures. The latter excused himself later that he could have been confused by sunlight when confronted.

The judges could do whatever they wanted, and the pattern didn't change as you might notice as the judges today use GOE arbitrarily in Sochi. The kind of fool play is adopted by the ISU today when accused of fraud, evidently in Sochi and its aftermath.

Sergei Tchetveroukhin, the first male skater of the Soviet Union, once said there was an agreement between the Soviet Union and its satellites despite it wasn't always kept as expected. You can see clearly why the ISU shows a leper like moral sensitivity today.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)