Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir unsure coach they shared with Meryl Davis and Charlie White was in their ‘corner’

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It’s one of those stories that almost seems fabricated for the Olympics: Marina Zoueva watched two sets of pupils compete for figure skating gold on Tuesday, with U.S. pair Meryl Davis-Charlie White topping Canadians Tessa Virtue-Scott Moir. The awkwardness of the situation was downplayed quite a bit … until Virtue and Moir vented following a frustrating silver finish, according to NBCOlympics.com.

“There are moments where you take a step back and evaluate whether this situation was ideal,” Moir said in a press conference Tuesday. “We have to credit Marina. There were times when we weren’t happy, and we sometimes felt that she wasn’t in our corner.”

In other words, Virtue and Moir don’t believe that Zoueva rooted equally for both duos. Here is a shot of everyone together from Getty Images:

source: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Zoueva has coached both Davis-White and Virtue-Moir for at least seven years. It’s worth noting that it was Virtue and Moir who won gold in Vancouver while Davis and White took silver.

The NBC Olympics report points to a few signs beyond the unsettling finish that indicate something was awry. For one thing, Virtue and Moir were increasingly seeking outside advice. There’s also this consideration:

Zoueva told NBCOlympics.com after the short dance Sunday that her full support was behind both teams, though she confirmed that she attended the U.S. Championships in January (and therefore not the Canadian National Championships) because she had more teams competing in the U.S. Zoueva also coaches Americans Maia and Alex Shibutani, who placed ninth in the ice dance competition in Sochi.

Virtue, 24, and Moir, 26, aren’t sure if this will be their last Olympic appearance. If it is, they’ll retire with some mixed feelings, including toward their long-time coach.

Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future

Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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MORE: Adam Rippon opines on figure skating future