Adelina Sotnikova

International Skating Union issues statement on judging system

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With yet another debate on figure skating’s judging system underway after Adelina Sotnikova’s upset of Yuna Kim in the Olympic ladies’ competition last night, the International Skating Union has issued a statement on the matter.

The statement is as follows:

The ISU is strongly committed to conducting performance evaluations strictly and fairly and has adequate procedures in place to ensure the proper running of the sporting competitions. The officiating judges were selected by random drawing from a pool of 13 potential judges. All judges in an event represent different ISU member federations. The Ladies’ free skating panel included judges from Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine. To avoid exaggerated markings, the highest and the lowest scores entered by the judges are excluded to produce the final score. The technical panel determines the elements of each performed program. The judges add a mark, grading the quality of the skater’s execution of the elements so identified. The technical marks and the artistic presentation marks are added together to produce the final score of the skater.

The ISU has not received any official protest with regard to the Ladies’ Free Skating event or any other event held during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and is confident in the high quality and integrity of the ISU judging system.

Sotnikova earned a free skate score that was almost six points higher than that of Kim, enabling her to become the first Russian to win the ladies’ gold in front of a raucous home crowd.

The result was a relatively surprising one, and it caused U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner to demand that “people need to be held accountable” and that the sport get rid of anonymous judging.

Over one million people have also signed a Change.org petition asking for an “open investigation” into the judging process.

The ISU’s current system was adopted in 2004 following the pairs’ figure skating scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. It became mandatory at all international competitions starting in the 2006 season, which included that year’s Torino Olympics.

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
AP
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
Getty Images
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

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