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Sochi Olympic Review on the Ladies Figure Skating

Updated on May 6, 2020

Sochi Olympic Medalists


How to See Sochi Olympics from the Perspective of Figure Skating

Figure skating is a sport with a particular vulnerability to judging error or corruption. It is in part due to its high dependency on judges. The entire outcome is utterly dependent on a panel of judges and their subjective opinions. One may point at a specific rule book and regulations by the ISU as a preventive device to curb any wrongdoing by the panel of judges, but Sochi Olympics has proved that any willful group is capable of engineer the fraudulent outcome even within the premise of the rules and regulations. Even so, the result of ladies figure skating declaring Adelina Sotnikova as winner of Sochi Olympics was not by a group of corrupt judges. It was rather an institutionalized crime, which the ISU had systematically devised until Sochi Olympics for almost 2 or 3 years. During that period, the ISU had assiduously advocated Russian figure skaters by awarding them bogus points. It was also a convenient time for the ISU to do so because Yuna Kim, against whom those skaters could have been checked, was out of the public eye.

It is interesting to not that the new hyper-inflated scores were largely distributed in favor of a pool of Russian skaters. It was possible only because the ISU had no regard on common sense and sensibility. Then what shall we do with this instituted fraud? Well, we may not fix anything. We may not make things right, but at least we can understanding the depth of lie and blatant deception by estimating correct scores on those skaters involved in this review. Let us begin. In this review, I am not going to use protocol. I have a few reasons for that. One of them is that the current judging system has been severely abused and insulted by the ISU judges at Sochi, there is little point to argue in detail through the current protocol while their scoring sheets were made to serve as a means of fraud. Rather spending time on the protocols, presenting a separate scores will make it simple.

Adelina Sotnikova in Sochi

How should we take the result of ladies figure skating at Sochi.

First, Adelina Sotnikova. In fact, Sotnikova was my favorite Russian skater; her edge control appears strong compared to her Russian fellows at least. I understand many figure skating fans, especially Yuna Kim's, vehemently oppose Sotnikova due to her winning at Sochi, of course, involuntarily. But Sotnikova was the one I would pick for the future of Russian ladies figure skating. Sotnikova's performance in Sochi was nothing short of brave and somewhat accomplishing at personal level, and that shouldn't be discounted. But when it comes to comparison with Yuna Kim, it makes a different tale to tell. Long story short, Sotnikova should have received 62 for short program, and 128 for free skating with my compliment.

Carolina Kostner did a wonderful job, of course, compared to her past disastrous outing. I was delighted to see her do a solid outing. A down side for Kostner is that her performance was overall defensive, conservatively motivated, and strategically too passive to merit more points. Throughout her skating, Kostner well demonstrated maturity and control, but her focus heavily shifted to ensuring error-free performances, understandably. I judge that Kostner deserves +1 GOE on average, which will place her at 202 or up to 205. For Yuna Kim. I wasn't impressed much; I was too used to the usual Kim, I guess. At the same time I marveled at her, thinking if it's ever possible to beat this skater. Her triple lutz should be penalized to receive -2, and I initially judge that Kim should be overall placed at 215 or up to 220. But when I checked the clips second time, I began to worry if I underestimated this skater. I was simply amazed at the disparity between Kim and the rest. Kim's speed was not as fast as her, her jump lost its soaring power, her stamina seemed suffering. Despite all that, even before the game started, Kim was impossible to beat that day barring her own mistakes. As a matter of fact, a less than perfect outing would suffice for Kim to win. Kim should be placed at least 10 to 15 points ahead of Kostner.

What in Sotnikova's skating do you think is the most deficient in comaprison with other veteran skaters?

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How do you score Sotnikova's free?

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Carolina Kostner in Sochi

What feature in Kostner's skating do you think most outstanding in comparison with Sotnikova's?

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Yuna Kim in Sochi

What feature in Kim's skating do you think most sets her apart from others?

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Sochi: End of Judging Fraud?

The ISU shows no sign of penance despite heavy criticism poured on from all over the world since. Through Sochi, we are all reassured that figure skating is susceptible to international politics and even internal manipulation by the institution itself. After Sochi Olynmpics was over, the ISU led by Ottavio Cinquanta insisted that there wasn't any foul play in the judging for ladies figure skating competition, hoping that its official denial put down the fire.

Well, we are all lying, aren't we? It's just lying through their teeth? Why should anyone bother? It could happen. It happened before and will happen again. We are not perfectionists, are we? Right, but think this way. Even in the worst kind of fraud or deception, some kind of plausibility is expected. People are fooled all the time. People are making unthinkable mistakes quite often. We never think we are living in a perfect world or surrounded by a perfect set of people. So, even with the most unlikely foolery or quandary we come across in life we see a grain of plausible ground that convinces our warped common senses to be persuaded to accept its existence and the inevitability thereof.

But in Sochi Olympics we see none. The degree of this global fraud was simply mind-boggling.That's why people are upset about it. You don't need a professional analysis by experts, in fact. You don't need evidence for this case. Because there are too many. For those who are not familiar with figure skating, this might be easier a way to grasp what happened in Sochi. Take a look at the two clips below: One is Sotnikova's 2013 Worlds, the other is 2014 Olympic Victory. You don't have to be an figure expert to see that there is little difference between two performances.

Adelina Sotnikova in 2013

Adelina Sotnikova in 2014

Which of the two programs by Sotnikova do you think was better performed ?

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    • profile image

      remedy for jokers 

      5 years ago

      do not ever underestimate camera works in fs general. you will be amazed how hardcore even best skater will be fan of the skater once they watched the skater on live. just ask kurt and 100 of other who did live boadcasting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      ene medeegiichin uziisn bna uur goy medee edr hiildee, sodon sorgog bas hugjiltei video edr bas subtai , tgd night after night newtruulegt uuln wooyoung taecyeon edr orson ble tghde IU-iin talaar ih yariltssan ih goy dugar ble tr edrig sub hiiged oruulbal bas IU goy goy video blshd cute edr bas funny edr , tiiimer huu medee hiiwel tun saishaahsan , ymartaich tanai BLOGT hairtai shuu ulam ih amjilt husyee HWAITING !!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      -2 goe for yuna's lid is quite harsh. You someone -2 for a double footed landing. I would give 0 GOE

    • profile image

      Justin Williams 

      6 years ago

      Don't watch this version of adios nonino. (This version was corrupted)

      Watch Nbc version instead . It's on

      Just type Yuna Kim adios nonino. In you will see the nbc one.

    • Paige Summers profile image

      Paige Summers 

      6 years ago

      Jessie, I don't mean to discredit all that you're standing up for (I've read your articles), but your article here insinuates Yuna was only 80% of her usual self and her jumps were low? As a figure skating columnist, how can you say the exact same thing that NYT and NBC are saying?? that Yuna's jumps were not as great - they were lower than sotnikova (NYT had a field day in their Photoshop department to come up with that image to make it look like sotnikova's jumps were higher...)

      I recommend you take a look at the raw camera work, not the broadcast version. search youtube for fancam versions.



      Yuna's speed is as fast as ever and her jumps were not low at all... If only the broadcasting had better angles and camera work, we wouldn't need to search for fancams or do endless reruns of her performance to truly appreciate what Yuna put out to the stage that night. We would have just felt it right there and then as in 2013 Worlds (Les Miserables no doubt wrote history that day) (not that I didn't appreciate her performance on that night, but I'm sure there are people who thought Yuna was lacking due to the manipulative camera work) and she did not slow down or suffer stamina drainage - she had no point of rest and she kept going like energizer, which is actually mind boggling - her performance in tact till the very end. Oh and as for your take on Sotnikova's edge being the best... Although you say best among Russians, the major criticism she gets is on her poor edge use... please please don't leave misleading impressions like that...

      For Yuna who's always been extraordinary, keeping up with her reputation is that much harder. People will expect more and maybe being great all the time is a disadvantage. For Yuna who performed with the exact same elements as Les Miserables in Adios Nonino had to suffer the criticism of degradation. For Carolina who has not had luck at the Olympics in the past holds it together for both short and long programs for the first time and she surprises with 3F3T in short - that is a massive news and everyone compliments her saying her performances were memorable. I tell you, if Yuna had exact same performance in a different atmosphere (where not everyone was being competitive and hostile towards her because they feared she might win again as in Sochi) and actually won the medal, the review will be very different.


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