sochi 2014

Yuna Kim

ISU receives South Korea complaint over figure skating judging

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South Korea has officially filed its complaint over figure skating judging at the Sochi Olympics to the International Skating Union, nearly two months after Yuna Kim won silver behind Russian Adelina Sotnikova in a controversial decision.

The Korea Skating Union (KSU) filed a complaint over the makeup of the judging panel for the women’s free skate rather than the results of the competition, according to Yonhap News, reporting that the KSU believes the panel’s composition was in violation of the ISU’s ethical rules.

One of the judges from Sochi is married to a top Russian figure skating federation official and was seen hugging Sotnikova shortly after she won gold. Another was suspended one year as being part of the 1998 Olympic ice dance fixing scandal.

The Russian figure skating vice president headed the three-person technical panel that decided on difficulty levels (and therefore points rewarded) for skaters’ spins and jumps.

“We are not perfect, as also the skaters are not perfect,” ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta said in March, according to Reuters. “Sometimes, they do a mistake. Mistakes are possible, because we are human beings.”

The next step could take three weeks — deciding whether the ISU or the Court of Arbitration for Sport will handle the matter — according to the German press agency DPA, quoting an ISU official.

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Sochi Olympics sold more tickets than Vancouver, boss says

Sochi Olympic Park
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The Sochi Olympics beat the 2010 Vancouver Games for tickets sold, Sochi Organizing Committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko said Monday.

At least 640,000 people registered for tickets to the 2014 Olympics, about two million visited the Sochi Olympic Park and two billion people saw at least “one minute” of the Sochi Olympics on TV, Chernyshenko said, according to R-Sport.

The report did not state how many tickets were sold, but Chernyshenko said it was more than four years ago, when Vancouver reportedly sold 1.49 million tickets out of a possible 1.54 million.

A number of variables must be taken into consideration, such as the number of events (12 more in Sochi) as well as venue capacities.

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Steven Holcomb competed at Olympics with torn Achilles

Steve Holcomb
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That calf strain that Steven Holcomb fought through to win two bronze medals in Sochi was actually a torn Achilles, according to the bobsledder’s social media.

Before the diagnosis, Holcomb said his two- and four-man bobsled teams could have won two silver medals in Sochi if not for his injury.

“Unfortunately, my calf injury held us back,” Holcomb said at the Best of U.S. Awards in Washington last week. “These guys [teammates] rose to the occasion. I couldn’t push quite as hard as I wanted to.”

Holcomb said gold medals, even if healthy, were out of reach because of Russian Aleksandr Zubkov‘s experience on his home-nation track. Zubkov’s sled set track records in winning both the two- and four-man competitions.

Holcomb and his four-man teammates Chris FogtSteven Langton and Curt Tomasevicz haven’t seen too much of each other since Sochi after essentially living together in the previous six months.

Holcomb said he will continue his break until May or June. Tomasevicz, 33 and the only push athlete on both the 2010 and 2014 sleds, has retired.

“There’s going to be 100 second thoughts,” Tomasevicz said last week. “Come September, October, it’s going to be tough sitting around, watching, and not being a part of it. Hopefully, I’ll find something else to occupy my focus.”

The Army Capt. Fogt will go back on active duty in May, heading to Fort Huachuca in Arizona. He expects to spend six months there and then around a year and a half “wherever the Army sends me.” He speculated Germany, Korea or Georgia.

“I’m very, very excited,” said Fogt, who hopes to return to bobsledding before the 2018 Olympics. “After the last [Olympics], I went to Iraq for a year. That was my first love. I joined the Army in 2005 and started bobsledding in 2007. It’s been a great experience. I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity of being a regular Joe and working with soldiers again.”

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