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.
WHERE THE 6 POINTS DIFFERENCE LIES
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.
THE COMPONENTS HISTERIA
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.
BLOW ON GOE
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.