America and Russia have come under much criticism for its alleged “rigging” of the paired figure skating event on February 9 following allegations of corruption in the days leading up to the event.
According to an anonymous Russian coach, both America and Russia allegedly decided ahead of time which pair would receive the gold, silver and bronze medals.
The anonymous Russian coach also claimed that Russian officials pledged to give Charlie White and Meryl Davis favour in other competitions if America would do the same for Russia’s team in paired events.
Following these allegations, White and Davis received record high scores of 114.34 for ice-dancing, making them the future favourites to win gold in the paired skating events on February 17.
Following White and Davis’s “suspiciously” high scores, several critics have pointed out that such actions can been seen as a direct insult to Canada as Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were the current reigning champions.
Despite these allegations, Virtue and Moir seemed to be more focused on preparing for their final appearance later in the Sochi games.
In an interview with CTV, Moir commented that scandal surrounding the judging, “Being Canadians, we lived through Sale and Pelletier . .. figure skating has a storied past with all that stuff. The wonderful thing about the Olympic Games is that we are athletes and we do our jobs and we don’t have to worry about all that.
“When we sit in the kiss ’n’ cry and get the mark, the disappointment on our faces is because of our performance today. It’s got nothing to do with the technical panel or the judges.”
Moir further commented that “We’re here for our moment, and our moment is what Tessa and I make on the ice. Our goal is to go out there and make a tribute to our career and the training that we’ve done this year, and make all Canadians figure skating fans proud.”
Despite all of the allegations surrounding the event, Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada’s director stated in an interview that,”I have full confidence that [when] the skaters go out and do their job, they will do their job on the ice, [and] the judges will judge it as they see it.”
Regardless of Russia and America’s reassurance that neither tampered with the results in any way, one can’t help but look back to the Olympics scandal in Salt Lake City and remember that maybe the Olympics is more about money and political prestige than competition.
Four Canadians place in moguls
Canada dominated the men’s moguls on February 10 with all four Canadians advancing to the finals.
Alexandre Bilodeau, defending Olympic champion and Mikael Kingsbury, world champion both seemed to be favoured by both their scores as well as public opinion.
Bilodeau scored 24.7 giving himself the top score, with Kingsbury coming in at a close second with 23.81.
Two other Canadians Phil Marquis and Marc-Antoine Gagnon also advanced with scores of (22.90) and (22.43), respectively earning Gagnon fifth and Marquis sixth place.
Though Kingsbury is the defending world champion, it is worthy to note that Bilodeau won gold at the Vancouver games, a point which suggests we are in for a treat in the finals.
Hamelin takes gold again
Canadian Charles Hamelin won the gold in the men’s 1,500 meter at the Sochi Olympics on February 10.
His victory comes as no shock, however as Hamelin to date has received four Olympic medals and is in contention to becoming the most decorated Canadian Olympian of all time
Hamelin finished his heat in two minutes 14.985 seconds Monday, narrowly beating Han Tianyu who was skating for China.
Despite Hamelin winning the event, in a press release he commented on how the 1,500 was “out of his element”
“It’s not the distance I’m most comfortable with, but I had a good start and, later, I was able to keep control of the course,”
Hamelin will appear in three more events in the ensuing weeks and is a favourite in each category.