Olympic Figure-Skating Scandal 'Planned for Some Time'

Kim Yu-na Kim Yu-na

The controversial judges' decision in women's figure skating at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics that saw Kim Yu-na win only silver was carefully premeditated by the International Skating Union, a pundit claims.

Jesse Helms, a pseudonymous blogger specializing in figure skating, made the claim in a Yahoo post on Tuesday titled "Scandal, Fraud, and Death of Figure Skating."

"The 2014 Sochi Olympics will be remembered as the day when the ladies figure skating finally met its demise," writes Helms. "It was the Russian mob politics that robbed [Kim Yu-na] of Korea of her rightful gold medal in front of the global TV audience. It was the ISU's premeditated device, since they began promoting the 15-year-old Yulia Lipnitskaya, that turned upside down the COP system as well as the integrity of figure skating."

The grammar is the blogger's own.

Scandal and fraud are not new in 100 years of history in figure skating, but "never before was it displayed in so outrageous a manner as in Sochi."

Helms claimed that this had been planned for some time by awarding "unthinkable" grade-of-execution bonus points to middling jumps by Lipnitskaya throughout the Grand Prix last year. "ISU judges had been building up the momentum for the grand Sochi fraud."

Helms cited Sochi gold medalist Adelina Sotnikova's scores from the 2013 World Championships and the 2014 Olympics. Sotnikova received 59.62 points in the short program of the 2013 worlds but nearly 75 points in Sochi. Her score for the free program inflated from 111.36 in the 2013 worlds to 149.95 in Sochi.

"In the 2013 Worlds Adelina Sotnikova's perfect short program, which is an almost exact replica of hers in Sochi, earned barely 60. Now nearly 75? Are you kidding?" Helms fumed.

The 2013 championships proved that the podium would prove too hard for young skaters to reach unless Kim Yu-na, Carolina Kostner, and Mao Asada made serious mistakes. "That's why the ISU judges began to award a pile of GOE on the young skaters' poor-quality jump in the Grand Prix as long as they managed to land them," he said.

"The ISU since the 2013 Worlds prepared this coup against the figure standard upheld since the COP introduction. In order to make it plausible in the eyes of public who have no knowledge of figure skating, the ISU judges rewarded" poor-quality jumps.

Helms called for an apology and reversal of the decision by the ISU, adding, "That is the only way of remedying this heinous crime."

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 27, 2014 12:27 KST