Friday, February 21, 2014

Why Yuna Kim should have won the Sochi Olympics

In my ladies preview a couple of days ago I wrote that I expected the Russian ladies to be overscored in this event, as it had been a trend of these Olympics. I had also written that as much as Sotnikova or Lipnitskaya could skate well, if Yuna Kim brought her A game, no one would have been able to beat her. Well, judges never cease to amaze me. Yuna skated two perfect programs, with just a little, very little, bubble on a triple lutz, yet she was put in second place. Kim's silver medal has been considered a scandal by many people, including athletes, former athletes, coaches, fans, broadcasters from every country (except Russia). When I personally saw her scores coming out, I started yelling at the television as many of you. But then I cooled down and took a look at the protocols with a much more composed attitude. I haven't changed my opinion: Yuna deserved the gold.

When the speaker announced Adelina's score I thought: "They scored her high enough to challenge Kim". And I was right. 149 is the best score of this quadriennal and Yuna had to do anything perfectly to replicate that and take the gold. That was absolutely in her possibilities, if she did something similar to her free skate performance at Worlds last year. As I said hundreds of times now, she was perfect, yet she received 4 points less than last year even if she skated an almost identical program. How this could be possible? How come in a system where scores inflate every year she could earn six points less than Sotnikova? The answer is very simple and very evident for everyone: GOEs and components.

There are so many things I could say about how hilariously components were given: Sotnikova tied with Kim and above Kostner, a clean Asada surpassed by a struggling Lipnitskaya is something beyond my worst nightmares. A lot of people have been said that, at the end of the day, the components scores are determined by the subjective opinion of the judges. There might be something true in that, but let's not forgive that the ISU gives a detailed explanation about what skaters are required to do to achieve that "artistic perfection".
Yuna and Carolina (and Mao for sure, but I guess that skating in the second group did affect her marks) should get higher components than Adelina not because of their reputation but because their choreography and interpretation has nothing to do with Sotnikova's. Adelina has great skating skills and maybe more transitions than the others (even though they are not original nor very high quality moves compared to Kim's), but in the voices Performance, Choreography and Interpretation her scores are just unjustifiable. If you watch these three programs back to back you will definetely see that especially Kim's free, but also Kostner's, has a more sophisticated concept, is better portrayed on the ice, phrases the music perfectly.
Yuna's Adios Nonino is an incredibly complex program that gives you femininity, sensuality, fierce, melancholy, sadness and lightness in four minutes. A landslide from Sotnikova.

Furthermore, Adelina has earned an enormous technical score. That has to be said that she skated incredibly well and that was not easy for her, considering the pressure she was facing. However, she received more than deserved compared to others. The GOE on any of her elements were super high as never before. Is not that her elements were not worthy of those points, but it is difficult to understand why Yuna consistently received lower GOEs for perfectly executed jumps and spins. As I wrote before, Yuna practically skated a replica of last year's free skate at worlds technique wise, but lost over four points in the GOEs of the elements with no reason at all.

Obviously, this result damages the image of the sport especially because the controversy happened during the Olympics. Honestly, I have no idea about what will happen in the future to the athletes. For sure Adelina won't ever be invited to a Korean show and The 2018 Olympics might be difficult for her. The competition and how it was judge will damage Adelina as well in the long term: on one side the shadows and the doubts about these Olympics will always be around her, and on the other side she won't probably get this kind of result in the future and her improvement on the quality of her skating and on her artistry, just because you can't get more than 10 in the pcs.

I want to conclude that I really admire Adelina Sotnikova because she skated with an incredible competitive strenght, believing in her skating and confident as a veteran. She is a pure talent, a complete skater who will become one of the best ever once she will get maturity. A lot of things have been said about her and I honestly despise everyone who has had an offensive attitude towards her. After all it has been an amazing competition with several great skates and this is how I will remember these Olympic games. 


  1. Yuna only did six triples, Adelina did SEVEN. Both girls had a jump with a shacky landing, but were clean otherwise. I think Adelina rightly deserved to win. Yet, Julia's score was waaay too inflated!

    1. If you are going to talk about higher TES, you have to also talk about SP as well. Because total score is a combination of both short and free skate. Judges didn't wanted to give Yuna the gold from the start. It became obvious in SP. Yuna and Carolina had more difficult triple-triple combination compared to Adelina's. Yet Adelina got almost the same scores as Yuna and actually HIGHER scores than Carolina. Yuna was underscored even though she had the highest level of difficulty which is 3lz-3t.

      Adelina and Julia's score was waaay too inflated! Adelina's score raised almost 50pts within two months. Compare her previous competition score and olympic score and talk about inflation. Figure Skating is a joke.

    2. Sotnikova jumped more than Yuna of course. But in addition that she stumbled once, she jumped more than Yuna just with wrong edges on which judges should have given her penalties. instead they gave her inflated grades on the wrong and easy jumps.

    3. Yeah, Adelina won because seven beats six. That's all both figure skaters did: jump seven and six times respectively and waited for their marks.

    4. There is only a 1.4 base value difference in total. Kim skated both programs(SP&FP) clean.
      Adelina made several mistakes (Two foot landing and e:Flutz(Wrongedge), < :(Under rotated ) But the judges ignored these mistakes (< ,e)
      (In fact, Technical judging panel was led by the former vice-president of the Russian skating federation, Alexander Lakernik)
      Yet the result? Sotnikova wins by 5 POINTS.
      This isn't even considering the crazy step sequence calls (LV4) or the ridiculous increase in PCS (+19.48)
      Who on Earth could ever give Sotnikova’s step sequence +3 GOE when she has so many sloppy edges, lack of flow between movements, and very little rhythmic timing of her movements?
      All of these incorrect marks look like far more than honest mistakes or being generous to a young girl who skated well in front of a home audience. It looks like cheating. There is no explanation other than complete incompetence by the both the technical panel and the judges.

      Sotnikova has no history of winning any Worlds or Grand Prix for the past 3 years. In fact, she received about 20 points (19.48 )more for the Program Component Score (PCS) with the exact same program on the Olympics compared to the game that happened just 2 months ago. PCS is different from Technical Element Score that may depend on short-term improvements on jumps or spins; this increase is simply not within the acceptable range of variability.

      Only 1.4 difference in the base value! It is the actual execution of those jumps and judges’ perception of their quality that determine the marks, not the plan on the paper. It has already been said that Sotnikova’s executions of technical elements were not the cleanest on the night. But GOE given to her is something you would see given to perfectly executed elements.

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    7. I'm just sick and tired of 1more Triple theory. Did you watch the 2014 world? Did you watch the 2013 TEB?
      1) 2014World
      /Yulia:6triple/ Anna pogo:7triple
      2) 2013 TEB
      /Adelina:6triple/ Anna:7triple
      According ridiculous 1more triple theory, Anna Pogorilaya(7triple) should have won in FP.

      3) Sochi 2014 FP
      Mao Asada -8triple
      Adelina - 7triple
      According ridiculous 1more triple theory, Mao should have won in FP.
      The point is FigureSkating was NEVER about counting triple ;)

      Oh by the way, If you count the under-rotation on Adelina's 3T, she did NOT hav 7 triple, she had 6. and Don't forget, Kim had one more double jump. So really, the difference is One Turn. And like I said, counting Adelina's 3T under-rotation, the difference is Zero ;)

      I mean FIGURE-SKATING is a sport that is evaluated by THE QUALITY OF THE TECHNIQUE, not by the number of jumps.
      So what wins the competition is the GOE (Grade of Execution, the "additional" points that given for superior performance) and PCS

  2. I thought that Yuna was underscored in the sp, but mainly in the pcs. But I believe that the scores were less questionable because Adelina had stronger spins and steps. As far as number of triples are concerned, this is not really the matter of the question, because Carolina did seven triples but her score was way lower than Adelina's. And yes, many wrong edges on lutzes haven't been detected by judges. Besides, Yuna's "mistake" on the second lutz was less severe than Adelina's on the combo, according to isu rules on how to assign goes

    1. i know adelina had bielman which yuna didnt, but steps??????
      seriously, adelina had stronger STEPs???????????
      r u fucking kidding me????????

      do u even have eyes?????

  3. Yuna should have won.

  4. Yuna was underscored in the SP

  5. Yuna Kim deserved the gold.
    Stunning Yuna Kim!! You will forever be the Queen of ice skating in our eyes.

  6. I think of Adelina as the first Russian woman to win Olympic gold and the second Russian to win a rigged Olympic gold.
    Yuna deserves the gold!!!!!!!

  7. Not a secret, that athletes of the host country in figure skating gets higher scores. It's not just about Olympics, it happens every year at every single event.

    For example, American skaters get unfair high GOE's and components when they compete at Skate America Grand Prix; Canadians - at Skate Canada; the same situation with Europeans, Worlds and Olympics.

    It's obvious that if Olympics are in Russia, then Russian skaters will be getting a little bit over scored. It's something that everyone expect. That's why I don't understand all these noises about unfair judging, "Yuna Kim should have won" and etc.

    Did Sotnikova skated great? Yes she did and she deserved to win. Did Yuna Kim skated her best? No, she didn't, she didn't had that passion, emotions... In my opinion something was just not there in Yuna Kim's performances in Sochi...

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  8. Yuna didnt deserve gold medal becuz she didnt skate HER best??? She is a consistent skater which means she is always near her best.

    And even if she didnt skate her best, it doesnt justify some other skater who had never won before wins just becuz she skated HER best. What kind of sport is that? Does usein bolt not deserve to win if he beats each one of his conpetitors but couldnt break his personal best? No! He still has to win.

    And home inflation in host country happens all the time and thus is normal? Bullshit. Then why isnt the host country always placed first with the largest number of gold medal at the end if the event? Becuz they will win every single game, becuz thats how it is. Oh wait, was Yuna canadian in 2010? Was evan canadian in 2010? Was the gold medalist in mens single russian last year??? No none of them was. And they still won!

    If u r not gonna feel sorry ashamed about the home cooking then at least keep ur mouth shut and stop making these loads of crap cuz that way u would look less stupid and less ugly

  9. so the rule of sport games have changed.

    next time when justin gatlin, who just has broken 100m record by the way, finished in 9.49sec, he cant win the gold medal even if he finished the fastest because HE ISN'T AS GOOD AS HE WAS BEFORE.

    that's what these "yuna didnt deserve gold because it wasnt her best performance" morons are arguing, right??