Sochi Olympics Figure Skating

South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver

39 Comments

South Korean skating and Olympic officials are calling on the International Skating Union (ISU) to investigate controversial judging at the Sochi Olympics that awarded Russian Adelina Sotnikova a gold medal over Yuna Kim.

“Together with the Korea Skating Union (KSU), we have decided to file an official complaint [to the ISU] over the controversial ruling and will demand the body look into the makeup of the judging panel and whether a fair judgment was possible,” a Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) official said Friday, according to the Korea Times.

The KOC called the women’s figure skating results in Sochi “unreasonable” and “unfair,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the complaint is unlikely to change results given it’s coming more than a month after the competition.

The KSU and KOC hope an investigation will prevent not only a similar judging dispute from occurring again but also potential bias against future South Korean skaters, according to reports.

An official with the KOC said it will send a joint letter with the KSU to the ISU after obtaining Kim’s consent. The official said the two South Korean bodies will demand a thorough investigation into the makeup of the judging panel in Sochi and also ask the ISU take extensive reform measures to prevent a recurrence of such judging disputes.

The 2010 Olympic champion Kim, 23, led by .28 of a point after the short program Feb. 19. Sotnikova, 17, outscored Kim by 5.76 points in the free skate the following night to win gold by a comfortable margin.

Both skated clean programs, and Sotnikova had one more triple jump. Of course, that’s not all that goes into scores, and many journalists, fans and skaters questioned the judging.

Kim has said she’s put the situation behind her, retiring and preparing for special ice shows in Seoul in May.

First tweets from Olympians

Simone Biles among Time Person of the Year finalists

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 07: Simone Biles of the United States competes on the uneven bars during Women's qualification for Artistic Gymnastics on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Simone Biles is one of 11 finalists for Time‘s Person of the Year.

Time‘s Person of the Year, named annually since 1927, has never been an individual athlete or team. Tennis player Billie Jean King was part of the “American Women” group named in 1975.

In 2015, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion Caitlyn Jenner was one of eight finalists.

The Person of the Year “is the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.”

Biles, 19, is the only teenager finalist and is six years younger than the youngest-ever solo Person of the Year, Charles Lindbergh in 1927. Biles won four gold medals and one bronze in Rio, the largest collection for a female gymnast at one Olympics since 1988.

The Person of the Year will be announced on Wednesday morning on “Today.”

Here are the finalists, in alphabetical order:

Simone Biles
Hillary Clinton
CRISPR Scientists
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Nigel Farage
The Flint Whistleblowers
Beyoncé Knowles
Narendra Modi
Vladimir Putin
Donald Trump
Mark Zuckerberg

VIDEO: Biles shows Stephen Colbert how to stick the landing

Tonga flag bearer Pita Taufatofua eyes 2018 Winter Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08:  (BROADCAST - OUT) Pita Taufatofua of Tonga poses for a photo on the NBC Today show set at Copacabana Beach on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tonga’s famous flag bearer, Pita Taufatofua, said he wants to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics as a cross-country skier.

“I’m going to be taking my Olympic dream one step further,” Taufatofua said in an Olympic Channel video published Monday. “My goal is to let people see, if I can do it, they can do it. The goal is to hunt down that Olympic medal at the 2018 Olympics.”

Sure enough, Taufatofua already has an International Ski Federation bio page. The federation lists one other Tongan cross-country skier with a bio, Makeleta Stephan, who was last of 93 finishers in a 2015 World Championships event.

In 2014, Bruno Banani became the first Tongan to compete at a Winter Olympics, placing 32nd in men’s luge. He was later the subject of a documentary. Banani gained fame starting in early 2012, when the story of his name was widely publicized. Banani’s real name is Fuahea Semi, but he changed it to the name of his German clothing sponsor as a marketing ploy.

Taufatofua lost his opening Olympic taekwondo match by mercy rule in Rio, two weeks after his his shirtless, oiled-up appearance in the Opening Ceremony.

Judging by the Olympic Channel video, Taufatofua’s chances of qualifying for the Olympics look better for Tokyo 2020 than Pyeongchang 2018.

PHOTOS: Tongan flag bearer steals show at Opening Ceremony