Sports

Sotnikova’s performance justifies her win in Sochi

Adelina Sotnikova deserves the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating against Yuna Kim

More than a week has passed since the Olympics have ended, but some complaints have yet to die down. Specifically, some remain adamant that Yuna Kim should have won the gold medal in the women’s figure skating competition rather than Adelina Sotnikova. The advocates of this position incorrectly weight measures such as the cleanliness or elegance of the skate and go so far as to accuse the judges of fixing the event so that a Russian would win first place. While the grace displayed by the performer may factor into the final score, there is a much more structured approach to awarding points. Judges don’t just watch a performance without taking any notes or arbitrarily award points based on how gracefully the skater performed.

The much more rigorous figure skating scoring system is as follows: In all four disciplines (pairs, men’s individual, ice dancing, and women’s individual), there is a short program that qualifies skaters for the free skate, which is the medal round, the next day. But it is not only the free skate score that decides the medals, but rather the combined total of the short program and the free skate scores. Within each of the two phases, there is a technical score and a component score. These are summed, and then the two program scores are summed. So there are actually a total of four different scores that go into the final score. To reiterate, the final score is the short program technical plus short program component plus free skate technical plus free skate component scores.

Analyzing the point breakdown further reveals that the technical score refers to the overall difficulty of the specific program that the specific skater plans to display. The skater submits her full program, which includes not only what jumps and other elements she plans to display in her routine, but also at exactly what minute- and second-mark in the piece each element will take place. The judges award a score based on the difficulty of the submitted routine. Thus, the technical score is set before the skate even takes place. The only score calculated during the actual performance is the component score.

In this year’s event, the difficulty of Sotnikova’s program was 5.85 points higher than that of Kim’s. In the end, Sotnikova ended up winning by 5.76 points in the free skate. Thus, it is possible that the slight misstep Sotnikova had in her performance could have resulted in a .09 deduction. Even if one were to argue that the deduction for that misstep should have been larger, it is close enough to truth to say that most of Sotnikova’s final victory margin was due to her technical score. This score was predetermined even before the short program took place.

Complaints that the final result was rigged in favor of Sotnikova because she is Russian hold little weight, as she was a surprise to everyone. Her first day score, which was only 0.28 behind Kim’s, came out of the blue. If a Russian were to win it, the initial expectation was that it would be Yulia Lipnitskaya. The 15-year old sensation had stolen the show in the team event and won the individual figure skating event for Russia in the European Championships a month earlier. If the judges truly intended to rig the scoring in favor of a Russian, they would have almost certainly upped the technical score of Yulia Lipnitskaya. If any Russian were expected to upset Kim, it would have been Yulia. The judges certainly weren’t thinking about Sotnikova when they assigned technical scores to both phases of the program before the short program even took place.

Breaking down both skaters’ routines enables us to see where Sotnikova managed to score 5.85 points more than Kim. The two key areas were the double-triple combination and the layback spin. Sotnikova chose the hardest double for her double-triple: the double axel. She reached an excellent height and distance on both jumps and received a ten percent point bonus for executing the combination in the second half of her program. Kim, on the other hand, chose one of the easiest doubles. In addition, neither of her jumps in the combination reached as high in the air as either of Sotnikova’s. The combination finished with little speed. Thus, Sotnikova scored 3.44 points higher than Kim on the double-triple combination. Likewise, Sotnikova changed positions with ease while maintaining speed and intensity from her layback position into the second position. Thus, she scored 0.73 higher than Kim. There are several other smaller elements involved in determining the technical scores of the two skaters that more fully explain the 5.85 point differential.

Looking into the structure of figure skating’s scoring system reveals Adelina Sotnikova did, in fact, deserve the gold medal.

71 Comments
1
Kwon over 5 years ago

How do you explain then Mao Asada got lower scores than Sotnikova when her technical base score was higher than Sotni and that Mao sucessfully executed all her jumps (8triples) without falling? Also, the 3R-3T combination of Yuna was a more difficult jump than that of 3T-3T of Sotni but Yuna got lower GOE score for that jump than Sotni.

2
Peter over 5 years ago

Adelina Sotnikovas previous years records leading up to 2013 European Championship and finally in Sochi Olympic show a clear pattern of score manipulation emerging: In 2010-2011 season, other than at the Russian Championship where she got the total score of 197.33, the average score of the other 4 world wide competitions was 172.67. In 2011-2012, again at the Russian Championship she scored 193.71 while getting the average score of 164.89 in other 6 world wide competitions. In 2012-2013, she got 190.75 at the Russian Championship but her average score for the 6 other world wide competitions she entered amounts to only 174.70. In 2013-2014 season, her 3 previous world wide competition average was again in the 170 point range at 179.27 except at the Russian Championship where she got 212.77 until at the problematic European Championship where she received 202.36.

It was a prelude to the Sochi Olympic fiasco where she received eye popping, head shaking 224.59 points (50 point increase from the average) with the same recycled junior season program she used all year long. Performance and Interpretation of music might improve from one routine to another, but Skating Skills and Transitions, and Choreography dont change or improve much in a matter of weeks or months with the same old routine. Sotnikovas Sochi performance included a wrong edge take off(flutzed) as found out and judged at the 6 out of 7 previous competitions this year and also the full blade take offs in the jumps as opposed to just the toe pick take off in the toe jumps. (Julia Lipnitskaia has the same technical flaws in her jumps) By the way, she stepped out of a jump and two foot landed the jump.

3
Peter over 5 years ago

In comparison, Yuna Kims triple lutztriple toe jumps were higher, longer, faster without 1/2-3/4 turn pre rotation of the upper body before the take off as Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskayas jumps if you see it in slow motion. Kims air positions and the landing positions in the jumps were without equal in their text book like form and consistency. As for Sotnikovas artistry, It is laughable that judges rewarded Sotnikova with level 4 while they gave Yuna's step sequence level 3 which has much more speed, precise clean turns with deeper edges and variety of movements. After seeing the Olympic performance, Longtime analyst and skating legend Dick Button said in his twitter: Sotnikova has no dance ability no performance level..

With the technical inferiority and artistic immaturity in her junior skater like performances, both in the short and the long, compare to that of Yuna Kims almost flawless performances at Sochi, Sotnikova was outrageously awarded by ISU judges.

Betraying the trust and expert decision dependence of millions of figure skating fans and Olympic hopefuls and sports fans around the world, both Julia Lipnitskaia and Adelina Sotnikova were groomed and fraudulently over scored and positioned just in case one will fail to accomplish the Olympic Scheme of the corrupted ISU in behalf of Russia. If one Russian skater had an explosion of such a score increase, it is unbelievable in the eyes of millions. But when two of them had it at the same time, it was beyond unbelief. Both of them had almost a parallel line of unexplained increases in their Program Component Score in the graph shown at the following link:

http://www.feverskating.com/fevers/64960133 It is just another piece of puzzle added on to the growing body of evidence that ISU figure skating as we know it has come to its demise in its integrity and general support from the public.

Due to ISUs internal corruption and arrogant contempt toward the public out cry for fairness in the sport many would be Yuna Kim of the future was hoping to dedicate their lives at, I see only those who are nave or uninformed are willing to sacrifice much of their precious time and effort and lives into a sport that is rotten to its core.

4
Mark over 5 years ago

How did you get 5.85? (The difference in the final scores between the two are 5.48, 224.59-219.11) The base value of Kim's elements is 88.92 (shortfree 57.4931.43) and that of Sotnokova's is 91.86 (61.4330.43). Kim's step sequences and layback spins were downgraded as level 3 in both short and free, which resulted in .3.6.3.61.8 point deductions (and Sotnikova received level 4's in all her spins and step sequences), which means (whether she deserved the downgrade or not), Kim's potential base value was up to 90.72.

Furthermore, according to the GOE points Sotnikova skated a cleaner program than Kim (shortfree: 19.80 Kim vs 22.77 Sotnikova), and their component ("artistic") scores were virtually identical: (74.50 Kim vs 74.41 Sotnikova for the free and 35.89 vs 35.55 for the short).

And Sotnikova's artistic scores spiked 19-20 points freeshort in two months (and the next two steepest increase during the same period were Gold and Kostner where the values are between 5-7 points, and they are the next BEST, not average).

So people have been saying that Kim lost because she skated a prettier but easier program but the base values difference amounts to 1.14.

And if it is generally accepted that Kim's program was more aesthetically pleasing, the difference in the artistic scores between the two amounts to 0.43.

So which is it exactly?

And how did you get 5.85?

5
Mark over 5 years ago

Correction: Gold and Kostner's increases relate only to the free skate score. Sotnikova's increase on that front is 14, not 19-20.

I have rewritten the first and second paragraphs, as the "plus" character doesn't show:

How did you get 5.85? (The difference in the final scores between the two are 5.48, 224.59-219.11) The base value of Kim's elements is 88.92 (short plus free 57.49 plus 31.43) and that of Sotnokova's is 91.86 (61.43 plus 30.43). Kim's step sequences and layback spins were downgraded as level 3 in both short and free, which resulted in .3 plus .6 plus .3 plus .6 equals 1.8 point deductions (and Sotnikova received level 4's in all her spins and step sequences), which means (whether she deserved the downgrade or not), Kim's potential base value was up to 90.72.

Furthermore, according to the GOE points Sotnikova skated a cleaner program than Kim (short and free: 19.80 Kim vs 22.77 Sotnikova), and their component ("artistic") scores were virtually identical: (74.50 Kim vs 74.41 Sotnikova for the free and 35.89 vs 35.55 for the short).

6
Frank over 5 years ago

I will only address the scoring for the free program.

As is well known, the free program score is the sum of the TES (technical element score) and the PCS (program component score).

The TES is the sum of the base value score for each one of twelve technical elements, e.g. a triple Lutz and the corresponding GOE (grade of execution) score. Now, Yuna Kim's TES comprised of a base difficulty score of 57.49 and a GOE score of 12.20 giving a total TES of 69.69. Adelina Sotnikova's base difficulty score of 61.43 and GOE score of 14.11 gave a total TES of 75.54.

Let us begin with Adelina's triple Lutz- triple toeloop (3L3T) jump combination which was her first technical element of the program. A review has shown that she made an incorrect entry. It should have been made with a back outside edge, but hers wasn't . This error carries a mandatory -1.00 GOE score under ISU rules but in fact she received a GOE score of 1.00. It turns out that one of the judges even gave her a perfect 3.00 (3 is the highest GOE that can be awarded for each technical element). Now recall that Sotnikova messed up the triple flip-double toeloop-double loop combination in the middle of her routine for which she received a 0.90 GOE deduction. ISU rules stipulate that a step-out carries a mandatory 2 GOE points deduction, so we realise that she received 1.10 points more than she ought to have for the error, notwithstanding the fact that the axis of rotation of the double loop was also heavily tilted which should have incurred an additional penalty. So for the two jump combinations, Sotnikova received a minimum of 3.10 GOE points MORE than she ought to have and this even before we begin the head-to-head comparisons of the technical elements.

Let us now consider the step sequence GOE marks for which Adelina received 1.70 (level 4) and Yuna 1.14 (level 3). This was also highly questionable- any casual observer would have noticed that the Russian was a little shaky in her footwork and rather clumsy compared to the Korean. In the choreographed sequence, they both received 1.50 in which the Russian almost lost her balance towards the end.

Therefore, no right thinking person would deny that Yuna's GOE scores in all of the above categories should at the very least match the Russian's, if not exceed by a significant margin.

Add to this the further mandatory 3.10 point deduction Adelina's should have received for the jump errors and we end up with a total swing of 5.99 points.

7
Cliff over 5 years ago

This article is as absurd as the Russian judging panel. Its obviously written by someone who doesnt understand the scoring system. Yuna Kim is the bona fide 2-time Olympic gold medalist.

8
Morten over 5 years ago

As the other commentators convincingly have demonstrated, the Sotchi judging was nothing but fradulent and shameful. The ISU should have taken action, but they didn't, which makes one suspect they might be as corrpupt as the judges themselves.

I am curious to watch Sotnikova and Lipnitskaia skate at the World Championships in Japan later this month. I would be very surprised if any of them surpasses the 200 level by any significant amount. It is a shame Yuna Kim won't be there to beat them (she won last year - beating Sotnikova by a staggering 43,33 points; 218.31 vs. 175.98).

9
kingflower over 5 years ago

Hi, Siva Roma.

We can simply compare only TES(Technical Element Score) portion between Yuna Kim and Adelina Sotnikova

in order to figure out who should have won the Gold medal.

Yuna Kim's TES Base Difficulty Score 57.49 GOE 12.20 Total 69.69

Adelina Sotnikova's TES Base Difficulty Score 61.43 GOE 14.11 Total 75.54

A. Misjudged(mis-calculated) ones for Ms. Sotnikova's execution:

1. Her first technical element, 3Lz3T combination jumps

Her edge control was not picked. She did not used back outside edge for her opening 3Lz.

She should have received -0.7 GOE from Wrong Edge Call(e), but got 1 GOE instead. That makes 1.3 point difference.

And, for her second jump 3T, It was under-rotated about a quarter turn. That means her base value should have been reduced by 1.8(-1.8).

Therefore, she got 3.1 point more than she should from her first combination jumps.

2. 3F2T2Lo in the middle of her program

She made two footed landing. That requires mandatory -3 deduction converting into -2.1 GOE, but she earned -0.9.

That means she earned 1.2 more than she should.

Now, let's add up the differences from above. 3.1 1.2 4.3

B. Step Sequence Level

StSq(Step Sequence) Level between Ms. Kim and Ms. Sotnikova

Ms. Sotnikova earned 1.7 GOE with Level 4, Base value of 3.9 Total 5.6

Ms. Kim 1.14 GOE with Level 3, Base value of 3.3 Total of 4.44

For the level of difficulty for the Step Sequence presented by both ladies, even non-educated audience with bare eyes was able to

see who did better performance.

Let's say that if Ms. Kim got the same level of StSq, Ms. Kim will earn 1.16 more.

That makes Ms. Kim's TES 70.85 and her total score will be 145.35

Ms. Sotnikova's StSq level had been always in level 3 at consecutive previous events right before the Sochi Olympics, Grand Prix Final and European Championships.

Even in this OWG, Ms. Sotnikova's StSq was not as good as Kim's. She was a little shaky in her footwork.She should have earned level 3.

In that case, Ms. Sotnikova would lose at least 1 point.

Let's add up those numbers for Ms. Sotnikova. It comes to -5.3(-4.3 -1). That will make 144.65 Total(149.95-5.3).

Only this explains that Yuna Kim won the Gold 145.35 vs. 144.65 regardless of the controversy on the PCS Adelina got.

10
kingflower over 5 years ago

Hi, Siva and MIT Community,

watch this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?featureplayer_embeddedvkK4jP-wl2BI

11
Siva over 5 years ago

Hi, I'm the guy who wrote the article. I don't have time now because I have class, but I'll do my best to respond to each and every one of you on an item-by-item basis later. Clearly, all of you know far more about figure skating than I do (I only watch the sport once every four years.), but I did my best job explaining a sport whose rules I mostly forget and have to re-look-up each Olympics. So many of you sound so much more knowledgeable that I think you would make excellent writers for the Tech! I just joined recently, and joining is easy. If you are interested just shoot sportsthe-tech.mit.edu an e-mail. You can write about the FS championships later this month, or anything you like! We always need more people, especially with the level of technical knowledge you all have displayed.

12
King Flower over 5 years ago

Hi, Siva.

Thank you for your reply.

My only concern is that the wrong information in your article could spread out to your community, especially to those who are NOT knowledgeable about the figure skating world. Please make corrections on your article and this should be better about ISU judging problems regarding the Conflict of Interest. Kim should have won if her performance were evaluated by right judges and the technical panel. SOV(Scale of Value so called Base value)has nothing to do with winning or losing.

13
Noel Gallagher is God over 5 years ago

http://youtu.be/WEyf10Jb4ho

http://youtu.be/kK4jP-wl2BI

I think this links help you guys.

I'm pissed, until this morning. but now It's just hilarious. I think before we discuss the winner is deserved or not, we should think this whole shit is meaningless.

Literally all the things set up before one skater takes her first step on the ice from the start. I mean not the shot program, I mean the 'practice session'

like.. 'do it, whatever you want. two perfect clean program? artistic and delicate footwork?

and textbook jumping technique? whatever you got, just do it. Of course we know you're the greatest skater, and accordingly we know people calls you Queen, Also we know your nickname and whole reputations are earned by yourself. good job! but Honey, don't even try to climb the top of the podium, and don't even try to think your another victory. Dear, Oh dear. we don't want to. and we never let happen to you. just accept it as usual. we know you're good at it'

And now, we are searching for the reason why the winner is winner. and sadly, everybody knows the answer. you know what, this situation is like a fun plant factory. The reason why the winner is deserved to win is, Ironically, become an another reason why silver is really deserved to gold. Liz Taylor said. sad. sad. sad.

I always think the gold is created for the someone who don't need pathetic additional explanation or post production. and i think the word, 'Olympic Champion' is bright

when they don't need digressed justification.

Somebody says Figure skating is the combination of art and sport. also Yuna said like that as well. but as one fan of Victim, all i can say is "Meh, In your dreams my girl, wake up! It's time to face the truth!"

Figure skating is not the combination of art and sport. this sport is no longer deserve to be called like that.

This F-word Sport is just the combination of the politic of the power, sharing of the haves, and the banquet smile covered all dirty shit.

The haves and the have-nots. everybody smiles. It's just different way of the meaning.

The haves's smile said 'it's okay, we're okay. all the things will be forgotten someday as usual. the thing we need now is time, just time. people forget the past'

and The have-not's smile said 'i'm okay, that's this world. also that's our life'

and I'm done. I'm just done.

14
david over 5 years ago

give the score sheet to 1st graders. they can do math as you've just done there. what an article. is this just for irritating people cuz it seems to be settling down?hilarious to see this kind of krap on MTI's oldest and largest newspaper.

15
Pip over 5 years ago

"The judges award a score based on the difficulty of the submitted routine. Thus, the technical score is set before the skate even takes place."

This is a complete misrepresentation. The difficulty of the routine only assigns a base value to every element called TES or Total Elements Score.

The judges upgrade or downgrade the TES based on additional points called GOE or Grade of Execution. Judges also have the power to downgrade TES based on poor execution.

"Complaints that the final result was rigged in favor of Sotnikova because she is Russian hold little weight, as she was a surprise to everyone. Her first day score, which was only 0.28 behind Kims, came out of the blue."

You don't have very good deduction. The fact that Sotnikova's scores were surprising makes her placement in the competition more questionable. It makes the judges methodology more suspect, because she had never received scores that high for her programs, even with similar execution.

16
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Are you a real MIT student???

17
Murali over 5 years ago

Majority of ex-skaters, coaches and figure-skating experts think Adelina Sotnikova thoroughly deserved the gold. Are they corrupt as well or do we think we know more about the sport than the experts. So why all this snide. Let's put our emotions aside and look at this fairly. Perhaps this article might help.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Olympics/2014/0220/Figure-skating-judging-How-did-Adelina-Sotnikova-beat-Kim-Yu-na-video

18
Morten over 5 years ago

Murali,

I would argue that the commentators above are anything but emotional. Commentators Peter, Mark, Frank and kingflower all put forward detailed analysis to argue their case. And they all obviously know a lot about figure skating.

I would also invite the writer of this article, who admits to not knowing figure skating very well, to re-write his article after having consulted with people who knows figure skating. He could start with the aforementioned commentators. That much he owes the sport and Yuna Kim.

19
Mark over 5 years ago

Murali, if you want to give the argument that we should depend on the experts, then why prefer your expert over my expert?

Among the experts who disputed the result were the commentators for ARD, BBC, CBC, France2, and NBC (which boast the likes of Katarina Witt, Robin Cousins, Kurt Browning, Sandra Bezic, etc.), as well as the former ABC commentator Dick Button (no indiscriminate fan of Kim's by the way), and some of them declared Kim the winner even before the scores were read.

Were they all just swept up by emotion like idiots?

If you want to give a newspaper article, columnists from LA Times (Plaschke), Chicago Tribune (Hersh), NY Times (Macur, though it gave two dueling assessments), and The Washington Post (though its author on the subject, Robert Samuels, is apparently not a sportswriter) all argued in favor of Kim, or at the very least, were skeptical about the result.

See (for one);

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/sports/olympics/adelina-sotnikovas-upset-victory-is-hard-to-figure.html?_r1

Experts once said sun goes around the earth.

20
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Ahh.. another dumb superficial article. This article is misleading, written with lack of understanding of the sport and its scoring system. Seems like you write this to get more traffic to your site. Don't talk about analysis when all you did was googling other article posted by so-called 'expert'. You clearly didn't follow this sport well, because if you do, you will know that there was something fishy going on. Mr. Siva, I advise you to stick to the sport you like and expert at, don't write a lousy article that you couldn't defend yourself when we present you evidence to debunk all your points.

God, what's with sport writers nowadays? Just looking for cheap publicity? If you don't know anything, just stay away!

21
Murali over 5 years ago

Among the ex-skaters who said they were surprised with the result, but also felt Adelina Sotnikova deserved the gold were Elvis Stojko (Canada), Scott Hamilton (USA), Philippe Candeloro (France) and Paul Wylie (USA).

And some of the many articles that tell you why Adelina got the gold.

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/olympics/bondy-debating-russian-adelina-sotnikova-figure-skating-medal-pointless-article-1.1622148

http://www.thestar.com/sports/sochi2014/figureskating/2014/02/20/russian_teen_adelina_sotnikova_wins_figure_skating_gold.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/sports/olympics/russian-is-upset-winner-in-womens-figure-skating.html?hpwrrefsports_r0

Experts once said the earth was flat.

22
Krishna over 5 years ago

Hey Murali,

Aptly pointed out. People are letting their emotions do the talking.

Among the ex-skaters who said Adelina Sotnikova deserved the gold were Johnny Weir (USA) and Tara Lipinski (USA).

And as you mentioned - Elvis Stojko (Canada), Scott Hamilton (USA), Philippe Candeloro (France) and Paul Wylie (USA) - all support the result.

Majority of the skating world supports Adelina - the new Queen of figure skating.

No point in arguing to boost our ego.

Lets accept it.

23
Pip over 5 years ago

"Majority of ex-skaters, coaches and figure-skating experts think Adelina Sotnikova thoroughly deserved the gold. Are they corrupt as well or do we think we know more about the sport than the experts."

Both Katarina Witt and Brian Boitano, two of the greatest figure skaters of all time, disagreed with the results. I don't really know how you feel so justified in your position, except to say you cherry pick those "experts" who agree with you and ignore those who don't.

24
Billy Choi over 5 years ago

Dear Siva, you are revealing your lack of basic knowledge of figure skating. I feel sorry for journalists without proper knowledge. You never mentioned that Adelina made 3 other mistakes that were not reflected by judges in long program. What's the point of one more triple jump when she made 4 mistakes? You wonder what are 4 mistakes? Just google it. Without proper basic knowledge you are brave enough to challenge the legendaries' opinion such as Katarina Witt, Dick Button, Sonia Bianchetti, Kurt Browing. Wondering their response? Just google it.

25
John over 5 years ago

Sotnikova has been using the exact same program for the past year with scores well below 200. She barely scored above 200 at the European Championships in January, then suddenly jumped to 225 to win the gold medal. Did her skating abilities suddenly improve overnight? The fact that Sotnikova's scores rose so quickly over a period of several weeks, including the scores for choreography that shouldn't change at all with time, strongly suggests that she was overscored in Sochi. In any case, it is indisputable that some of the judges should not have been allowed because of conflicts of interest.

As in experimental science, replication is the best way to determine if something is real or fraudulent. The best way to sort this out would be to see how well she does with a completely different judging panel at the Worlds held in Japan in late March. If her medal is real, she should get a score around 220 again.

But guess what, according to the news release today, Sotnikova is only listed as a substitute for the Worlds. Maybe she will try to compete only in events held in Russia in the future?

26
Peter over 5 years ago

At the beginning of this discussion, I laid out the historical facts(records don't tell a lie neither does numbers nor statistics) that points to a consistent pattern of Sotnikova's score increase manipulation in the previous competitions held in Russia. It is apparent that some experts and ex-skaters tried to justify and defend Sotnikova's performances at the Sochi olympic with only a minimum amount of analysis and without any substantial evidences to support Sotnikova's case and to refute the overwhelming evidences against it.

On the other hand, much more logical explanations backed up by a massive amount of detailed analysis which include graphs, calculations of points in question and video segments as described and provided by numerous commentators and figure skating experts abroad are readily available. Even this discussion page alone contains a substantial amount of such a detail analysis by a number of commentators.

So it's not a matter of which expert opinion is to be believed although only a handful of ex-figure skaters defended Sotnikovas case compare to many many more of those who are again it. The question should be which side has more solid case established based not just on opinions of so called experts but more in terms of visual evidences. After all, even so called experts in the sports can have hidden agenda as shown by those NBC commentators who were praising the performance of Yuna Kim profusely during her performance at the Olympic and then suddenly kept silent right after the final score was announced and even went far as defending the ridiculously high score of Sotnikova's score. They should be ashamed of themselves for not being truthful to their conscience. In my eyes, they are just profitieers of the sport of figure skating who do not care anything about the integrity of the sport which they have been an important part of their lives as ex- figure skaters themselves.

27
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Siva,

What are you to say that "Sotnikovas performance justifies her win in Sochi" when you are not as knowledgeable and "only watch the sport once every four years"?

This article is misleading in many ways. If you are not going to bother editing it, just throw it in the garbage.

28
Peter over 5 years ago

Correction of typo in the comment # 26.

The first sentence of the second paragraph should read:

"So it's not a matter of which expert opinion is to be believed although only a handful of ex-figure skaters defended Sotnikova's case compare to many many more of those who are against it."

29
Morten over 5 years ago

To those who count Paul Wylie among the supporters of the result, I wouldn't be to sure about that, cf the following excerpt from a NYT interview published on 20 Feb.:

"Sotnikova scored 149.95 points in the free skate. It was a massive leap from her previous best, recorded last month, of 131.63. I asked Wylie how he would explain Sotnikovas sudden improvement to the casual fan. He paused, and couldnt come up with an answer.

Its figure skating at its finest, right? he said.

Everyone around him laughed."

A rather sarcastic remark if you ask me.

30
Sara over 5 years ago

To say she didn't deserve the medal is totally unfair. And lets face it - if the majority of television commentators, experts and ex-skaters think she deserved gold - then why not just accept the result. Concocting facts just to prove your point is not going to make any impact on the facts.

She skated an extremely difficult program and executed that with the kind of showmanship and energy that her rivals could not beat on that night. That is it. Though she made a minor mistake - for which she was penalized - she was way ahead of her peers. She totally deserved to win.

Please read this.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/adelina-sotnikova--olympic-figure-skating-champ--no-apology-necessary-220700745.html

31
Sara over 5 years ago

Adam Leib - coach and national technical specialist for U.S. Figure Skating - analyzes the performances.

He describes how Adelina just blew Kim away with a highly difficult program and by choosing combinations with a higher base value. She did those in the second half where you get additional bonus points.

Please read this.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/20/sports/olympics/womens-figure-skating.html?_r0

Facts, numbers and statistics do not lie or change, but can be interpreted to our convenience and to befit our arguments.

What happened on that night was that Adelina Sotnikova was the best and Kim was merely brilliant. She had a tougher program and put more hard moves in the second half, getting extra bonus points.

Like some comment said - Adelina Sotnikova is the new queen of figure skating. Totally agreed.

32
John over 5 years ago

sara

"if the majority of television commentators, experts and ex-skaters think she deserved gold - then why not just accept the result."

What's your basis for claiming the "majority" exactly? Did you survey all the commentators, experts, and ex-skaters?

"Concocting facts just to prove your point is not going to make any impact on the facts."

Who's concocting anything? It's a FACT that Sotnikova's scores were all below 200 this past year and suddenly soared to 225 at the Olympics with the same program. What's your explanation for the sudden jump in her score? She just got so much better overnight?

"She skated an extremely difficult program and executed that with the kind of showmanship and energy that her rivals could not beat on that night."

Yes, she got below 200s before with this exact same extremely difficult program so what's your point? Are you saying that her showmanship and energy was responsible for the 20 point jump? As a matter of fact, Asada Mao's program was widely acknowledged as being more technically difficult than Sotnikova's, and she did not make any mistakes and yet her score in the free program was 8 points LOWER than Sotnikova's. What is your explanation for this?

Also, virtually every commentator agreed (I have yet to see a single quote to the contrary - if you can find it, please let me know) that Sotnikova's performance was not as artistic as Kim's, and yet her score for artistry was essentially the same as Kim's. What is your explanation for this?

Your argument amounts to referring to some random commentators that happen to say what you like. That is not much of an argument, and you do not provide any facts, either.

33
John over 5 years ago

So what are the actual facts here that cannot be manipulated or distorted?

It is a known FACT that there have been all sorts of scandals with figure skating judges in the past.

It is a known FACT that Russia has tried and gotten caught cheating in Olympic figure skating competitions in the past.

It is a known FACT that Russia is a corrupt and extremely nationalistic country, and its government is perfectly capable of engaging in unethical and even criminal acts.

It is a known FACT that one of the figure skating judges at Sochi was the wife of the director of the Russian figure skating federation, which directly benefits from having a Russian figure skater win a gold medal, and she hugged Sotnikova immediately after the end of the competition. Another of the judges was formerly convicted of trying to fix a skating competition at Nagano.

It is a known FACT that the head of the technical panel that determines the difficulty levels and upgrades/downgrades jumps (and can thus influence the scores directly) was vice president of the Russian figure skating federation. A technician on the panel was a Russian-turned-Finnish woman, who was also seen hugging the Russian skaters after the competition.

Based on these FACTS, there is a very real and even strongly likely possibility that the judging was far from being fair.

Combine the above FACTS with the known FACT that Sotnikova's scores were below 200 pretty much all year and all of sudden she received 225 points, with technical scores higher than other skaters who performed better technically (Mao Asada) and artistic scores higher than other skaters who performed better artistically (Carolina Kostner). Here we have a very strong grounds to believe that her gold medal was not deserved.

Any critically thinking individual would not consider Sotnikova a true winner in this competition until she can replicate her 225 point score in another international competition with a completely different panel of judges.

34
John over 5 years ago

One more point for those who keep on arguing that Sotnikova won because she had a more difficult program to begin with. This is flawed. The actual base values were as follows:

Short program:

Kim 31.43

Sotnikova 30.43

Free program:

Sotnikova 61.43

Kim 57.49

So Sotnikova's base value was 3.94 points higher than Kim for the free program, and 1 point lower than Kim for the short program. Combined, Sotnikova's program base value was just 2.94 points higher.

Out of Sotnikova's extremely high total final score of 225, only 91.86 comes from the base value, with the majority of the score coming from the GOE points and the component scores. The thing is, Kim skated flawlessly while Sotnikova did not, so Kim should have gotten higher GOE scores. Many of the elements in the component scores, because of their nature, do not change much with time, so Kim should have comfortably outscored Sotnikova in that area (unless you argue that the judges in previous competitions were consistently underscoring Sotnikova). If the judging was fair at Sochi, Kim's GOEs and component scores should have been more than enough to make up for the mere 2.94 difference in the starting value.

35
Peter over 5 years ago

Sara, you wrote, And lets face it - if the majority of television commentators, experts and ex-skaters think she deserved gold - then why not just accept the result.

Please dont make a statement that is contrary to the fact that everyone can easily observe and detect. It is exactly the opposite of what you have written if you care to do just a little bit of research on line. You should be more responsible when you make a public statement and try not to mislead people whether its intentional or by a mistake. Let me use your own words to reiterate my point. You said, Facts, numbers and statistics do not lie or change, but can be interpreted to our convenience and to befit our arguments.

Historical facts in records that points to a consistent pattern of Sotnikova's score increase manipulation in the previous competitions that were held in Russia CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT be interpreted to our convenience as you suggest because they are so obvious to anyones common sense.

You also said Concocting facts just to prove your point is not going to make any impact on the facts. You dont seem to realize that you are the one who is doing the very thing you are condemning about. You are accusing majority of people in this discussion who has a point of view different from yours based on their observation and analysis as being Concocting facts just to prove your point

36
Peter over 5 years ago

Sara, You seem to have closed off your eyes and ears to 28 comments out of 31 in this article alone besides the vast majority of the articles and comments and YouTube videos out there demonstrating analytically and scientifically how futile it is to defend or justify Sotnikovas rigged score of the outrageous 224.59 points with a recycled junior season program that is artistically immature with a number of technical mistakes. As far as your opposing point of view, you know you are in a small minority group and if you dont realize that by now, you are in a denial.

As for the two links you posted to support your point of view, in the first one titled, No apology necessary the author expressed only his personal point of view without any analytical efforts to support his point. And for the second link you posted, How Sotnikova Beat Kim, by Adam Leib, it was later found out that the two photos that were used to show the superiority of Sotnikovas jumps compare to that of Yuna Kim was in fact not exact same side by side comparable equal sizes nor the starting point of jumping angles correctly depicted. There is a major scale discrepancy in the photos. Thus nullifying the legitimacy of the whole article. See the link: http://www.feverskating.com/fevers/sochi2014/65081423

The Rebuttal of The New York Times Article

37
Krishna over 5 years ago

"The scoring system worked as it is designed to work; by the rules in place, the correct skater won. The problem is that the current system doesn't reward the things that figure skating fans want rewarded and doesn't punish the things they want punished.

Above all, fans want the illusion of effortless grace. Whether a routine is technically perfect or whether it is technically difficult isn't all that important, but obvious flaws will kill it. Then they want showmanship: the ability to sell themselves and the routine to the audience.

There are at least three basic kinds of mistakes that one can make in figure skating (and also in gymnastics, another sport that has often faced similar judging issues). The first is failure to perform the moves that one is supposed to perform; substituting a move with lower difficulty for a planned jump. This kind of error is punished severely in judging, as one would expect. Neither of these skaters did that; in high level competition that type of error is rarely seen unless a skater was injured during the competition and finds herself incapable of performing a routine as planned.

The second kind is the technical error. Underrotation is the classic example, and one that you hear the commentators talk about over and over. Basically, it means that if you perform a move that is supposed to have three rotations (spin around three times) you have to do all three. Not 2.9 rotations; if you do that the judges will lower your score a lot. The reason is that this kind of error compromises the basic nature of the scoring system, where a lot of your score comes from the difficulty of the moves you do. Rotating only 2.9 times is easier than rotating 3.0 times, and if you could do that without penalty then everybody would do that. But this class of error doesn't affect the audience experience much, so people are often puzzled when they see low scores that are caused by things that they consider overly nitpicky.

The third kind is the bobble or the fall; errors that shatter the illusion of effortless grace. These aren't penalized severely by the current scoring system. But the public expects them to be; this class of error seems far more serious to the skate fan than the technical error does, but it doesn't result in the much larger score deduction that they expect."

The above were comments made by Shirley Marquez Dulcey.

38
Anonymous over 5 years ago

It's a bit frustrating to find someone who is from MIT, but officially raises up excessively brilliant opinion without any expertise or deeper knowledge on a sport. I don't know what or why he wanted to give others that silly lesson. Just he seems to need more learning himself firstly.

39
Krishna over 5 years ago

"As for showmanship, that was amply rewarded by the old system that had a score for artistic merit. The new scoring system lessens its importance and shifts the emphasis of the sport to athletic skills: more jumps, more difficult jumps, higher leaping, and so forth.

The audience thinks the artistry should be more important than the athletics, and that is why so many of them are unhappy with the result."

The above were comments made by Shirley Marquez Dulcey.

Please read this article.

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2014/02/sochi_olympics_figure_skating_russia_s_adelina_sotnikova_won_figure_skating.html#lf_comment140193620

40
John over 5 years ago

Krishna,

Please stop quoting random comments from random people. They are completely useless and do not provide any factual information.

If you want to convince anyone, please answer the questions I posed above:

1) Why did Sotnikova's score (with the exact same program she used in the Olympics) average around 170 for most of last year, and suddenly soar by 50 points to 225 at the Olympics this year?

2) The claim is that Sotnikova's program was technically more demanding, ie. her base score was slightly higher than Kim's (2.94 points to be exact) and that's how she got higher technical scores. Then why did Mao Asada, whose base value was even higher than Sotnikova, and thus technically more demanding, and performed flawlessly unlike Sotnikova, score 8 points below Sotnikova?

3) There is a universal consensus that Sotnikova's artistry was well below that of Kim and Kostner. Then why did Sotnikova score just as high in artistry as Kim and Kostner?

4) Why did Sotnikova's component scores go up so high when by their nature many of the component scores do not change with time?

These discrepancies must be explained in a satisfactory manner before you can convince me that the judging makes any sense.

41
Krishna over 5 years ago

A good and precise article on the current scoring system and why Adelina Sotnikova deserved to win.

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2014/02/sochi_olympics_figure_skating_russia_s_adelina_sotnikova_won_figure_skating.html

42
John over 5 years ago

Krishna,

Please provide answers. I do not need more links. Thanks.

43
Trish over 5 years ago

Its funny how people repeatedly keep saying 'majority' of the articles and comments point to the competition being rigged.

Most of the ex-skaters think Adelina Sotnikova deserves to win. Do we know more about the technicalities of figure skating than they do? Certainly not. So why not accept the truth as it is.

It is totally not fair to trash an entire competition because your favorite skater didn't win.

Judging in figure skating is not about rewarding and punishing what fans think is right or wrong. It about rewarding every aspect of a skaters routine. And in that sense, Adelina Sotnikova was way ahead of the rest. She was the best on that night - so she won. Let's leave it at that.

So many questions being asked on who is the expert and who isn't. These are just passionate arguments based on passion and not reason. Someone who truly understands figure skating and the current scoring system would certainly accept the result. Which isn't to say that absolutely everyone would be happy with it. But a whole bunch of ex-skaters think Adelina Sotnikova thoroughly deserved the gold. Can't argue with them.

It is totally absurd to think Kim should have won because she was more artistic. That is like saying one book is better than the other because the grammar is better. As novels go, Sotnikova's soared over the rest.

The current scoring system - where every single aspect of a skater is rewarded - Adelina's athleticism and energy was too much for her rivals to handle. The best skate of that night deserved to win and she did. Period.

Please read this.

http://news.yahoo.com/figure-skating-judging-did-adelina-sotnikova-beat-kim-035839076.html

44
John over 5 years ago

Trish/Sara,

Please answer my questions. I do not need any more of your idiotic links.

Thanks.

45
Krishna over 5 years ago

John,

The answers that you need are there in every article that supports Adelina Sotnikova. Most of the articles in the previous comments answer your questions.

In your free time, try searching for them. It'll be easy to find should you choose to look at them with an open mind and without an ounce of fanaticism.

The problem is - even if an ex-skater were to tell you about the results and the so called 'discrepancies' that you've assumed - you'd still won't be convinced because those won't be the answers that you'd want to hear.

Truth isn't pleasing to the ears is it?

So please do some research for those answers and I'm sure you'll find them.

Good luck with that.

46
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Disgusting and silly article that spoils MIT image.

Cant believe this fool is at MIT.

Supporters of Adelina ALWAYS refer to other peoples opinion because they cant h ave a logic to explain why by themselves. What a fool. Learn and u will be red faced about what u said before.

47
John over 5 years ago

Krishna,

On the contrary, I am perfectly willing to change my mind if provided with sufficiently convincing evidence. That is a common trait of a reasonable, open- minded, and rational person.

It sounds like you are simply trying to bullshit your way out of this because you cannot actually answer any of my questions.

48
Peter over 5 years ago

Krishna/Trish

Krishna stated,"Majority of the skating world supports Adelina - the new Queen of figure skating."

Trish stated:"Most of the ex-skaters think Adelina Sotnikova deserves to win."

Please dont make a statement that is contrary to the fact that everyone can easily observe and detect. It is exactly the opposite of what you have written if you care to do just a little bit of research on line. You should be more responsible when you make a public statement and try not to mislead people whether its intentional or by a mistake.

Both Krishna and Trish seem to have closed off their eyes and ears to 40 comments out of 47 in this article alone besides the vast majority of the articles and comments and YouTube videos out there demonstrating analytically and scientifically how futile it is to defend or justify Sotnikovas rigged score of the outrageous 224.59 points with a recycled junior season program that is artistically immature with a number of technical mistakes. As far as your opposing point of view, you know you are in a small minority group and if you dont realize that by now, you are in a denial.

49
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Elvis Stojko, Scott Hamilton, Philippe Candeloro, Paul Wylie and many more ex-skaters support the result.

Why don't the conspiracy theorists - who keep repeating the same recycled comment again and again - pose their questions to them.

If you think you know more about figure skating than these ex-skaters then you are just delusional.

http://www.thestar.com/sports/sochi2014/figureskating/2014/02/20/russian_teen_adelina_sotnikova_wins_figure_skating_gold.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/sports/olympics/russian-is-upset-winner-in-womens-figure-skating.html?hpwrrefsports_r0

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/olympics/bondy-debating-russian-adelina-sotnikova-figure-skating-medal-pointless-article-1.1622148

Adelina Sotnikova totally deserved gold.

50
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Elvis Stojko, Scott Hamilton, Philippe Candeloro, Paul Wylie: The same old list of names are the total extent of your arsenal as i been hearing it over and over again and you could not come up with any more names to add to that list i am afraid. And look who is keep repeating the same recycled comment and the same old links again and again. Have you look in the mirror yourself lately?

51
Giap over 5 years ago

Kim's worshipers here, become more and more rude and audacious, unlike the skater herself.

I am getting angry and they won't like it.

52
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Interesting he fails to mention any names of experts who do NOT support the decision, isn't it? A classical example of intellectual dishonesty.

People like Weir and Lipinski, etc. need to maintain good relationships with the broadcasters and the ISU if they want to have their gigs again in the future. Naturally they try their best to avoid putting the ISU in a difficult position, even if it means lying straight through their teeth.

You can tell a lot from their reactions during the competition.

First, profuse praises during Kim's skate (notice you don't hear any of them saying this landing was faulty or this jump was not as high as Sotnikova's)

Second, shocked silence when the final rankings are announced.

Followed by comments to the effect that oh, this all kind of makes sense if you think about it. Yeah right.

If we have to blindly believe someone because someone is supposed to be an "expert", then why is there a disagreement among these experts and why did other experts from previous competitions give much lower scores to Sotnikova? Go check out her previous performances on YouTube and compare to her Olympic performance and see if you can come up with the 50 point differential. I can't.

Following their dumbass logic, you couldn't ever question the ISU results, because the ISU is the official figure skating organization so they must be the real, real, official, lawful, authoritative, true experts, right?

53
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Siva is a hero of a sort at MIT. We all just assume he's right on these sorts of things.

54
John over 5 years ago

Being a "hero of a sort" is not necessary to see what's going on here and doesn't make you any more qualified. You just need a bit of common sense.

Siva's claim that the judging could not have been rigged because Sotnikova was a surprise winner is singularly lacking in common sense. Yes, it was probably Lipnikskaia who was originally meant to be the winner, but why does that automatically preclude the possibility that other Russian skaters will also be overscored? The scorecards in fact strongly suggest that both of them were overscored. When it became clear that Lipniskaia could not win because of her multiple falls, it would seem logical that the corrupt judges would back the next most capable Russian skater, ie. Sotnikova.

Siva also gets the numbers wrong. Sotnikova's base value was only 2.94 points higher than Kim's, not 5.85 points. Kim should have easily overcome this minor deficit because of her superior execution of the elements, and higher component scores.

In fact, Siva seems to lack a basic understanding of the structure of the scoring system.

"Thus, the technical score is set before the skate even takes place. The only score calculated during the actual performance is the component score."

This is incorrect. The technical score includes the base value and the GOE scores, which are only awarded during the actual performance.

Basically, this guy is clueless. But that clearly doesn't prevent him from writing down nonsense.

55
Anonymous over 5 years ago

The International Olympic Committee is apparently so desperate to make it appear that there is no controversy about this medal that they went as far as FABRICATING quotes by Yuna Kim on the official Olympic website to make it appear as if she admitted Sotnikova was better that night.

"She put on a great show. said the Korean of her young Russian rival. She is a highly technical skater and was very difficult to beat tonight. We both battled for gold tonight, but she managed to come out on top."

Of course, Kim never said such things and the IOC quickly removed the fabricated quote when Kim's staff contacted them, but they did not leave any explanations or corrections.

It just tells you how unethical these people are. For the full story see:

http://www.thewire.com/culture/2014/03/ioc-printed-fake-quotes-kim-yu-na-praising-adelina-sotnikova/358956/

For a succinct illustration of how the cheating occurred at Sochi, see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?vRQK-iFlQLvg

56
Anonymous over 5 years ago

The correct link is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?vRQK-iFlQLvg

57
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Not sure why the link is not posting correctly but there should be an "" sign between "v" and "ROK-" in the web address.

Alternatively, search for "how to manipulate scores in figure skating" in the YouTube search engine.

58
Anonymous over 5 years ago

There should be an equal sign between "v" and "ROK-".

59
Anonymous over 5 years ago

Some interesting statistics from the YouTube video:

Sotnikova received an extremely high number of 3 GEOs (19 out of 90 possible) that blew away the competition at Sochi. But during the whole past year, she only received 5 out of 450 possible. This is more than a 20-FOLD INCREASE in the percentage of 3 GEOs awarded at Sochi compared to her previous performances.

Also, while she was penalized on numerous occasions for wrong edges and under rotated jumps in her previous performances throughout the year, she received hardly any penalty at Sochi. It is the technical panel that calls the under rotations and wrong edges. The technical panel at Sochi was headed by the vice president of the Russian figure skating federation, and one of the technical panel technicians was a Russian figure skating coach who later obtained Finnish citizenship. This woman was later seen hugging the Russian team members immediately after the competition.

Although the judging system was changed after the 2002 Salk Lake City scandal, the judges haven't changed. At the Salt Lake City scandal, the judges neatly split along the political lines, with those from the former Eastern Bloc favoring the Russian skaters, and the others favoring the Canadian skaters. The only oddball was the French judge, who favored the Russian, and when confronted, she admitted that she was involved in a secret deal. At Sochi, four out of nine judges during the free skate were from Eastern European countries, including the wife of the director of the Russian figure skating federation and an Ukrainian judge formerly convicted of fixing Olympic figure skating competitions.

You don't have to be a genius to see that corrupt technical panel officials acting in collusion with a handful of corrupt judges could very easily manipulate the scores to crown Sotnikova as the gold medalist although what she really deserved was the bronze medal or the 4th place.

60
Giap over 5 years ago

"Siva also gets the numbers wrong. Sotnikova's base value was only 2.94 points higher than Kim's, not 5.85 points."

John also gets the numbers wrong.

Sotnikova's previous achievement was not 50 points less, but 22,23 points less.

She got 202,36 at the European Championship held in Budapest and her Sochi score was 224.59 and not 225 as John (falsely) claims.

Bigmouth John purposely refers to "Sotnikova's score average for most of last year", since it is the only way for him to claim that Sotnikova's score "suddenly soar by 50 points"...

61
John over 5 years ago

Giap,

Please see Peter's post #2 above. Excluding her scores in the Russian championships, which were always inflated and do not count anyway for ISU rankings,

Sotnikova's average season scores were pretty consistently in the 170s:

2010-2011 season: 172.67

2011-2012 season: 167.89

2012-2013 season: 174.70

2013-2014 season: 179.27

62
John over 5 years ago

Let's examine Sotnikova's most recent scores, excluding the Russian championship.

175.98 (March 13-17, 2013)

183.10 (April 11-14, 2013)

174.40 (November 1-2, 2013)

189.81 (November 15-17, 2013)

173.30 (December 5-8, 2013)

202.36 (January 15-19, 2014) - European Championships

224.59 (February 6-22, 2014) - Sochi Olympics

It is basically a flat line with a very sharp upturn at the end. Sotnikova's scores jumped from her usual baseline of 173 to 225 in a period of just 2 months. I think it's quite accurate to describe this as "suddenly soaring by 50 points". In the past four years, the variance in Sotnikova's scores has consistently been within a 20-30 point range. It certainly strains one's credulity to believe that she was able to improve her skills by the double the magnitude of her usual variance, all within a period of just 2 months.

If that is indeed what she has accomplished, however unlikely, then Sotnikova should be able to silence her critics simply by replicating her extremely high score of 225 at the Worlds this month. The fact that Sotnikova has inexplicably forgone this opportunity further supports that her critics are likely justified.

63
Morten over 5 years ago

Sotnikova has the opportunity to legitimise her gold medal at the Worlds this month, to show the world that she can medal under fairer circumstances. She has no legacy and everything to prove.

Given this, it is strange and surprising that she seems to duck the competition at the Worlds as she is listed only as a substitute to two 15-year olds, one whose best result is victory in 2013 Cup of China Grand Prix.

On Feb 21 Sotnikova told NBC:

""This isn't the end. There are new golds to win", a smiling Sotnikova told a packed press room. "There are the World Championships I want to win there.

I only have a silver at the European Championships; I want to win gold there. I want all the gold that there is."" However, subsequent to this statement someone has decided that she most likely will not have that opportunity. This has politics written all over it.

64
billy over 5 years ago

Calm down everybody.

The history will tell us everything.

Sotnikova CAN'T prove she deserve gold at all.

In every competition she will be, she will prove she stole gold from Yuna. Defenders of sotnikova, get ready to face the truth that you wanted to avoid. You will realize you were cluelessly wrong. MIT? You will see Siva proved MIT is nothing.

65
John over 5 years ago

I'm curious to know who the judges were at the European championships. I read a post saying that the Russian and Ukrainian judges from Sochi were also on the panel at the European championships (which would explain a lot) and would like to verify that but can't find the list of judges.

Maybe Sotnikova will only participate in the Russian nationals and the European Championships in the future.

People who are calling this a conspiracy theory are deliberately ignoring several things. First, Russia in fact has cheated before in Olympic figure skating and was caught in 2002. Second, the judges are the same judges. Third, because of anonymous judging, it is now possible to cheat with abandon.

66
Anonymous over 5 years ago

You need to remove this cluelessly written article immediately. This is misleading and is basically lying to whoever read this. You are essentially fabricating facts and you are clearly oblivious to how judging in this sport works.

67
DJ over 5 years ago

You're completely ignoring the component scores. Adelina is a 65 skater on her best day, which has been clearly established by multiple events in which she has been judged by international judges..

That night, she was given a score of 75, over 10 points higher than the best she's ever done, which is virtual tie with Yuna, and higher than Kostner.

Kim Yuna's program is 5.8 points less difficult on its BASE score, but she does that in order to do the jumps that she does do as perfectly and artistically as possible.

Somehow Adelina was give a component score FAR higher than any historical precedent.

I could understand if Lipnitskaya had managed component scores in the 70s... but Adelina is, relatively speaking, a cow on skates. Not a graceful skater. More like a hockey player.

68
John over 5 years ago

It looks like the judges under suspicion were also at the European championships. The figure skating blogger Jesse Helms has written that the "ICU judges had been building up the momentum for the grand Sochi fraud" and I do think he may just be correct.

If you do statistical tests based on Sotnikova's previous scores, her Olympic performance comes out as a statistical outlier with a p-value 0.05. Her European Championships performance is still within two standards of deviation but is significant in that it serves as a useful tool to hide the steepness of the rise in her scores.

It was pointed out above that Sotnikova had received very few 3 GEOs during the past year (only 5 out of 450 possible) while receiving at Sochi:

Sotnikova 19 out of 90 possible.

Her teammate Yulia Lipinskaia received even more 3 GEOs, receiving 27, despite falling multiple times. She received more than Kim (13) and Kostner (12) combined, both of whom had perfect skates!

69
John over 5 years ago

p value less than 0.05

70
Nadan over 5 years ago

http://www.insideskating.net/2014/03/20/interviews/letter-to-isu-office-holders-people-deserve-to-know-if-a-mistake-was-made

Letter to ISU office holders: People deserve to know if a mistake was made

A month after the ladies event at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, people are still questioning the result, with the Russian Adelina Sotnikova winning the gold medal ahead of Yuna Kim, the defending Olympic champion. And when I say people, Im not referring only to the regular figure skating fans who could be somehow accused of subjectivity when it comes to their favorite athletes but to the figure skating specialists, very much acquainted with the ISU Code of Points, the scoring system currently used to judge figure skating disciplines. One of those people is Tim Gerber, former figure skater and, most importantly, a person who attended the ISU technical specialist seminar in the past; a seminar meant to provide full training for people to become technical specialists at competition. In this capacity, Tim Gerber has recently sent a letter via email to 33 figure skating office holders within the International Skating Union including Alexander Lakernik, Technical Controller in the ladies event in Sochi inquiring into the work done by the technical panel in this particular competition at the Winter Olympics.

by Florentina Tone

71
Skater '16 over 5 years ago

Frankly it is really sad what a joke the IOC and ISU have made out of this Olympics under pressure of you-know-who. Yu-Na herself knows that she won gold both technically and in the hearts of the world, and I think she is happy with that. Her "silver" medal is worth gold, while Sotnikova's medal will always be questioned. I am glad that there are so many insightful and logical comments here about the shocking GOE discrepancies; I have been watching figure skating (and Yu-na and Mao especially) since 2006 (start of the scoring system) so to me the fraud is as clear as day. The fact Sotnikova is not competing in the World Championships this month (no reason was given for this, even though she claimed she would!) shows that she knows (and her coaches know) that she cannot actually defend her title. I think we should use this time to celebrate Yu-Na and her amazing skating and accomplishments, such as the fact she has NEVER in her career placed off the podium (in 17 years!). Meanwhile, the "gold" medal in Sochi was literally the FIRST medal Sotnikova has ever received on the senior stage. So go figure. :)