international skating union

Synchronized Skating

ISU wants synchronized figure skating in Winter Olympics

1 Comment

Synchronized figure skating could be added to the Winter Olympics in 2018, if an International Skating Union request goes through.

The ISU asked the International Olympic Committee to consider adding synchronized skating and a mass start speed skating event to the Winter Olympic program, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The ISU also asked the IOC to consider adding a mass start long-track speed skating event. ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta made initial, internal proposals to ISU officials in March before going to the IOC.

The IOC Executive Board will approve the final 2018 Winter Olympic program in April, according to the newspaper.

As with any sports seeking Olympic inclusion, a big hurdle for synchronized skating is its associated added number of athletes, officials and costs to the Winter Games.

Synchronized skating has its own World Championships but has never been part of the Olympics. The ISU prefers the teams be all women in the Olympics but is open to mixed-gender, according to the report.

The proposed mass start speed skating event would not increase the total number of athletes at the Olympics, because it would only include those skaters already qualified in either short track or long track, according to the report.

Yevgeny Plushenko wants to prove he ‘is not a coward’

ISU wants to add mass start speed skating to Olympics

Mass Start
1 Comment

The International Skating Union voted to propose the addition of a mass start speed skating event to the Olympic program beginning in 2018, according to Dutch reports.

The mass start, where up to 20 skaters race around the oval at the same time for 15 laps (women) or 20 laps (men), has been on the World Cup program each of the last three seasons.

The ISU also wants to change the 500m to one race instead of two, according to Dutch reports. It switched from one race to two races beginning with the 1998 Olympics.

It’s up to the International Olympic Committee to ratify the proposals.

Olympic silver medalist short track skater signs with Chicago White Sox

Olympic figure skating judging complaints rejected by ISU

Figure skating
9 Comments

Two Korea Skating Union complaints over the women’s figure skating judging at the Sochi Olympics were separately deemed inadmissible and dismissed by the International Skating Union, which found no bias from a Russian judge.

The KSU’s first complaint called for an investigation of “the wrongful constitution of the panel of judges and the unjust outcome” of the Olympic women’s figure skating event, according to the ISU. Russian Adelina Sotnikova controversially won gold over 2010 South Korean Olympic champion Yuna Kim.

The first complaint demanded that “corrective actions” take place based on the outcome of the requested investigation.

It specifically mentioned Sochi Olympic judge Alla Shekhovtseva, who made headlines in the aftermath of the women’s free skate as being married to a top Russian figure skating federation official and was seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after she won gold.

“The complainants admonished the appointment of Alla Shekovtseva as a violation of the rule against conflict of interest and the code of ethics,” the ISU wrote.

A three-member ISU Disciplinary Committee panel ruled that Shekhovtseva was “neither biased nor partial to the Russian skater Sotnikova.”

Further, the complaint was deemed inadmissible because the ISU said it was not directed at an individual or a federation.

The second complaint, “dismissed” by the ISU, similarly called for an immediate investigation of “the judging composition and whether it was biased toward Sotnikova.” Again, Shekhovtseva’s husband and her mixed-zone embrace with Sotnikokva were cited, with this YouTube URL. The KSU wanted any and all available sanctions against the judge.

The judge’s marriage “may be reasonably viewed as suggesting allegiance to Shekhovtseva’s national federation and Russian athletes such as Sotnikova,” the KSU complaint read, according to the ISU.

Shekhovtseva described her embrace with Sotnikova in the ISU’s decision to dismiss the complaint:

“After the end of the Event I walked in the arena and had to stop at the mixed zone because the flower ceremony was going to start and the hall way was blocked by TV crews, ceremony stuff, skaters, and a lot of other people. Adelina Sotnikova was there. She was very excited and she was hugging everybody around whom she knew. This can be seen on the mentioned YouTube piece- that she ran to several people whom she knew. But this YouTube piece shows only 3-4 persons. In reality there were much more. For example, she was whipping of happiness on the shoulder of the Russian Assistant Team 5 leader for more than a minute before she approached me and this episode was shown a lot on TV including the closing ceremony video but was not shown on the mentioned YouTube piece. And as I said the skater was so excited that she was running to everybody whom she knew. She also approached me and embraced me. Of course, I congratulated her with her performance.”

The ISU said the second complaint was dismissed because it was submitted too late, more than 60 days after the women’s free skate in Sochi.

The ISU panel also said Shekhovtseva’s presence was not a conflict of interest because she and her husband were not on the same judging panel and pointed out that Sotnikova initiated the hug and that the embrace came while the judge was off duty.

WADA satisfied with Tyson Gay’s suspension