February 16, 2010 |
At 68, Alexei Mishin looks like the outermost member in a set of Russian nesting dolls. Round, bald and stout, with an impish smile that creates the effect of an innocent munchkin who is everyone's favorite uncle. The images on the inner Mishin dolls would show the venerable figure-skating coach and 1968 Olympian in pairs as a sly manipulator in a sport where such tactics have long been accepted. So Mishin wasted no time putting his spin on the tempest-in-a-teapot controversy that has preceded the men's Olympic competition, which begins Tuesday with the short program.
January 23, 2010 |
For years, ice dance costumes and programs have been so over-the-top they made it almost ridiculous to think this was a sport worthy of Olympic medals. Then the International Skating Union turned what was only a farce into an opportunity for cultural insensitivity as well as bad taste when it decided the dancers should use folk themes for their original dance in this Olympic season. That led Russians Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, the reigning world champions, to create a program with allegedly Australian aboriginal music and to perform it wearing brown face, tribal paint and costumes with clumps of faux foliage.
June 10, 2004 |
Prodded into overhauling figure skating's judging procedures after a controversy at the Salt Lake City Olympics, the International Skating Union on Wednesday approved a computer-reliant scoring system that offers many criteria for assessing skaters' performances but permits judges to retain anonymity. A U.S. proposal to list judges' names on protocol sheets after each event was defeated when it failed to get two-thirds approval from voters at the ISU Congress in Scheveningen, Netherlands.
December 12, 2003 |
Figure skaters' complaints that the sport's new judging system punishes risk-taking and rewards safer, simpler moves could result in changes to the scale of points, one of the system's architects said Thursday. Ted Barton, a consultant to the International Skating Union, said the system will continue to evolve based on input from skaters, coaches and judges.
April 2, 2003 |
The International Skating Union condemned the upstart World Skating Federation, calling the splinter group's decision to announce its formation during last week's World Figure Skating Championships "unjustified and an abuse of the most prestigious figure skating event in the world." Many of the WSF's founders and backers are, or were, ISU officials. They contend the ISU's use of a judging system that gives judges anonymity perpetuates unethical behavior.
March 30, 2003 |
In a major concession to confusion caused by the interim judging system and the wild variation in marks awarded during last week's World Figure Skating Championships, the International Skating Union will provide a new statistic next season to quantify skaters' performances. Its nature hasn't been determined, but ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta said Saturday it will be displayed on arena scoreboards next season.