Journal: News & Comment

Monday, February 11, 2002
# 9:14:00 PM:

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Did we offend someone?

Most people think of us Canadians as inoffensive, friendly people, and for the most part we are. But one of us must have disturbed an ancient mummy and been hexed to be disliked by Olympic skating judges for all eternity.

Tonight, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Canada's world-champion figure skaters, won silver -- despite what all onlookers seemed to think was a better program than the Russians who won gold. The Canadians even skated a flawless program after Sale and the Russians collided during warmup.

At the last Olympics, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, our extraordinary ice dancers, placed fourth because of rigged judging -- controversial enough that the International Olympic Committee considered dropping ice dance from the next Olympics. They didn't, but the judging panels were cleaned out, and Bourne and Kraatz are back again in Salt Lake City. We'll see what happens this time.

Perhaps the reason I prefer downhill skiing, luge, cross-country, speed skating, and other such sports in the Winter Olympics is that judging vagaries don't affect them. There are no judges, just times and scores. But other people hate that.


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