Can you say conspiracy? Any way you look at it Jamie Salé and David Pelletier were robbed on Mon., Feb. 11. I don't claim to be a figure skating expert but, it would take the mental capabilities of a gnat to actually think that Russians Anton Sikharulidze and Elena Berezhnaia performed better than the Canadian pair. The Russians looked sloppy in many of their landings and somewhat out of sync for most of their Long Program performance. Salé and Pelletier skated perfectly, never skipping a beat and never missing a step.
I know who Elvis Stojko is and I've heard of Michelle Kwan but, as I'm not a fan of the sport, I can't say I really keep up with the major happenings in the four years between Olympics. So what do I know, right? While I don't claim to be an expert, every person-except for one Russian, a Polish, a Chinese, a Ukrainian and a French judge-in the Salt Lake Ice Center, from the fans to the commentators and probably most of the other skaters would tell you the same thing-the Canadians were robbed. There is no way you could tell me that judges from the Eastern Bloc weren't pulling for the Russian duo. Russia held a 42-year winning streak coming into Salt Lake and it is quite apparent that these judges didn't want that to end, especially at the hands of a Canadian couple. Salé and Pelletier would probably have had to complete four quad jumps before these cheating judges would ever consider changing their minds.
Which brings me to my next point-subjective sports are crap. It is unfair to the competitors to be judged by a bunch of people with a fraction of the athlete's skill. Therefore, all such events should be scrapped from the Games. Half-pipe. Gone. Diving. Goodbye. Figure skating. So long.
The only events that should be allowed are those which are removed from outside interests. Sure, as a hockey player there have been times when I've blamed a referee for losing my team the game. But in reality, it's not as if a ref ever threw a puck into our net or had the scorekeeper add a couple goals to the opponents' tally. Games measured by a clock, or by real points earned-not those concocted in some judges head-should be the only measure of winners and losers. Any other way leaves too much to chance. Or in this case, blatant bias.