Did Joannie Rochette of Canada Win The Bronze Medal Due To Nationalism, Racism, Pity, & Politics?

Yu-Na Kim of South Korea earned her gold medal. Her free skate was excellent, flawless, and wonderful. Kim is the Olympic champion, and the judges got that result right.

However, some critics on the Internet are suggesting that the judges are racists and they did not want an Asian female sweep of the Olympic medals in figure skating. I agree with this cogent assessment.

Since Joannie Rochette is a white Canadian woman, the judges made sure a white female slipped into third place to prevent an Asian sweep.

Can you imagine the faces of the white Canadian public if Kim, Mao Asada, and Miki Ando won all the Olympic medals in figure skating?

Does anyone  honestly think the white figure skating judges would allow Asian women to sweep the  medals? Can you imagine the outcry?

There is a subversive issue of racism here that needs to be explored. Black feminist bell hooks reminds us in her incendiary work  that “race matters”, and in women’s figure skating, “racism” was on full display last night.

It is obvious that the white women are not dominating  women’s figure skating anymore. The Asian women have taken over.

The Japanese women and the Korean woman, Kim, are the best female skaters in the world. They have the artistry, jumps, athleticism, and spins.

However,  the silver medallist Asada and Rochette did not skate perfectly. American Mirai Nagasu’s free skate was excellent. The  judges decided her skate was fourth best. Is this really fair? How can the general public take figure skating seriously when politics influences skating results?

Ando was robbed! She is the sexiest woman in figure skating, and she was treated very harshly by these judges.

I thought Ando of Japan deserved the silver medal. I saw her short program and I was shocked at the low marks she received. I also watched Ando’s free skate and she was excellent, yet she ends up in fifth place. Give me a break!

Ando is a graceful, talented, and beautiful skater, yet due to politics she was knocked off of the podium. I know very few people will defend Ando, but I feel I have to.

If  Rochette had skated a clean long program with no errors, then there would be nothing to dispute. But Rochette’s free skate was terrible; she was very sloppy, and her skating was not refined.

I think there are a couple of reasons why Rochette won the bronze medal.

First, obvious reason is that because Rochette’s mother died a few days ago, this clearly influenced the decision of the judges. Rochette won her medal due to pity and politics and that’s disgusting!

Secondly, Rochette won the bronze medal because the Winter Olympic Games are  in Canada. Rochette had an advantage over the other skaters because she is Canadian. To deny this would be lying.

The politics of nationalism are an important theme to the Rochette controversy. Rochette also played with the emotions of the Canadian public; she wanted the public to have sympathy and empathy for her.

Let’s be honest here. How do you criticize a young woman when her mother just died a few days ago? Maybe, Rochette’s dead mother deserves some credit for allowing her daughter to win a medal as well.

How can the Canadian media be objective without appearing insensitive?

Rochette’s sob story was perfect; she was in the right place at the right time.

The Canadian media don’t care about Rochette. All they care about is that Rochette won a medal to add to Canada’s medal count.

Canada has changed, and the aggressive attitude of the hostile Canadian media is just perfidious.

The truth is that when the Olympic Games take place in the home country of an athlete, this can sometimes have an influence on the figure-skating judges.

The Canadian crowd, of course, was on Rochette’s side. If the judges had not given Rochette a medal, the Canadian people would have been furious.

Is this what sport is about–feeling sorry for an athlete because of tragic circumstances?

Figure skating is a problematic sport because it is subjective. The results are based on other people’s opinions about a skater.

Thirdly, Rochette turned on the water works right after her short program.   A figure skater’s reaction after a performance is very important, and this can influence the judges.

After the short program, Rochette’s  tears worked to her advantage. Rochette wanted the judges to feel her pain and this obviously influenced the biased judging results.

Yes, it is very tragic that Rochette’s mother died, but this is the Winter Olympics. Rochette’s sad story was the feel-good sob story, and the television networks utilized this to garner television ratings.

Rochette’s tragedy allowed her to win the bronze medal. I believe it is very sad that Rochette’s mother is dead. However, I believe it is abhorrent that Ando and Nagasu were robbed!

Can  anyone imagine what would have happened if Rochette did not win a medal? I felt nauseated as the media  reiterated that Rochette’s mother died a million times during the CTV and NBC television broadcasts.

Yes, Rochette’s mother is dead, but figure skating is a sport. All the female figure skaters work hard, and they train for years for Olympic glory.

The Canadian media would be screaming at the top of their lungs if Rochette did not win a medal. The Canadian press should be screaming that Rochette won a bronze medal due to pity and politics.

Rochette did not earn this medal. This is a gross injustice and it discredits the sport of figure skating!

For example, after the short program both Rochette and Ando skated their programs and I thought Ando’s program was superior. Meanwhile, the judges give Rochette 71.36 points and Ando was well behind her with 64.76 points.

Ando’s face after the short program was priceless. She was shocked and she had every right to feel humiliated. Of course, Ando cannot criticize Rochette in the media because the press would rip her to shreds.

The bias for Rochette is pernicious and deleterious, and it is not fair to the other skaters.

The results of the competition just prove once again that opinions are more important than the facts in figure skating. Rochette utilized her tragedy to her  advantage and it is pathetic that the judges could not see through this.

About orvillelloyddouglas

I am a gay black Canadian male.

71 responses to “Did Joannie Rochette of Canada Win The Bronze Medal Due To Nationalism, Racism, Pity, & Politics?”

  1. The Le says :

    To be fair, Miko was not that good at all. She was very technical, but lacked any real style. It’s as if she was just going through the motions of getting point without any emotion.

    That being said, Rochette was not good enough to medal in my opinion.

    • a foreigner says :

      Mirai deserves a bronze medal, not Rochette. It is an insult to other skaters. Received a medal out of pity.

      • Janet says :

        Who are you to decide that it was out of pity?! Why dont you go pity yourself instead?

      • lea says :

        Obviously no one here really understands figure skating or its scoring and apparently no one else watched the short program either. Nagasu’s free skate was better than Rochette’s, however, Nagasu was in 6th after the short program and despite a great free skate, still did not have enough points to overtake Joannie. The ignorance of people astounds me and I think it is despicable that this “journalist” can say she turned on the water works as a tool to receive sympathy from the judges.

        AND RACISM? Yes, I can see the people of Vancouver causing a riot because OH MY GOD, could you imagine how horrible it would be if 3 ASIANS TOPPED THE PODIUM. Horrific, I would never watch figure skating again….

        You, Orville Loyd Douglas, should really take a second to pull your head out of your ass and maybe do a little research before you make some disgusting accusations.

  2. Joanne says :

    everyone is entitled to their opinion, as we all know.
    I thought the whole point of the olympics were to inspire the people all over the world to take risks, work hard and achieve their goals, no matter what the circumstances may bring.

    I think Joannie’s story provides the world with a perspective on life, a life that is not guaranteed. People can take her experience to gain strength in the trials in their own lives in order to move forward as human beings. Is this not the whole point of the olympics? To provide unity amongst the world?

    How do your criticisms and theories provide an inspiring outlook on peoples’ lives?

    • orvillelloyddouglas says :

      Joanne, your argument has no logic. What about the other female skaters? You think it is fair that the other female skaters get knocked off of the podium because of Rochette’s sob story? So all a skater requires is a tragedy to win an Olympic medal? Give me a break! The other skaters worked hard all their lives for Olympic glory. Rochette did not deserve to be on the podium it was totally racist and unfair to the Asian female skaters.

      • a viewer says :

        100% agree!!!

      • Kyle says :

        Don’t say someone’s argument has no logic. Everyone is entitled to free opinion, as Joanne said. Personally, I think your arguments are unreasonable. Do you honestly believe Olympic judges would let pity overcome logic as they made the final decisions? I sincerely doubt it.

      • Joanne says :

        by the way, I’m asian and did not find the judges
        “racist” or unfair towards the asian female
        I pity your anger.

        p.s. i’m assuming you are all American?

      • Renee says :

        You are disgusting. I have never been so appalled at any article in my life. You can argue all you want that Joannie shouldn’t have received the bronze medal (And you would be dead wrong) but you took it way to far when you suggested she turned on the water works to get sympathy and she worked the crowd on purpose. Are you flippin kidding me? Your mom just died at the most pivotal moment you’ve worked your life for, two days later you’re not going to cry? You’re not going to cry the first time you skate without your mom watching? You’re going to use it to your advantage? You are just a ridiculous hurtful human being who clearly doesn’t know anything about Figure Skating.

        On a side note, Mirai Nagas was in 6th place after the short! Sure she had a good free skate, but she did not have a good Short Program clearly.

        Do you know how to actually judge figure skating? Have you ever been a judge? Have you studied it for years? Do you know about how to calculate downgrades? Do you know about quality marks? Component Scores? I’m not pretending I know every detail, but it’s blatantly obvious that you don’t have the facts to back up your ridiculous argument. Shame on you! And are you freaking kidding me that you think it’s racist? Canada is the most multicultural country in the world! What do you think the judges all sit around and said listen up we can’t have all Asian’s on the podium? Ridiculous, Skating is skating, it doesn’t matter where your from, it’s about the quality of the skating. The quality Joannie Rochette had, the quality you clearly don’t know how to assess.

    • Jennifer says :

      I don’t think at all that was a “racism”, but Joannie Rochette obviously got much higher scores in both SP and free programs due to “pity”.
      To be fair, Miki Ando should have won Bronze, and Mirai Nagasu should have won the fourth place.

  3. Joanne says :

    p.s. i think Canada is more proud of what Joannie has overcome, rather than Joannie winning a medal

    • Janet says :

      I totally agree with you. I feel that Joannie has gotten what she deserves. I would be proud of her, no matter what because I would never have been strong enough to do what she did.

    • Renee says :

      Totally agree with you. We don’t care that she got the medal, we’re proud of what she overcame and that she just gave it her all.

  4. a skating figure lov says :

    I don’t believe Rochette won that bronze medal. Mirai did an excellent job last night. – Mirai deserves a bronze medal.

    Ando’s performance was not as good as Mirai. Neither Rochette – she made mistakes and she still got a medal.

    I guess pity plays a very powerful role in this competition.

    • Janet says :

      It was not because of pity. It was because her overall component marks are way higher than the rest

      • Danny says :

        As I was watching Mirai, I was thinking how are the judges going to handle this? She had a superior free skate performance, but Rochette has the sympathy of the crowd. When the judges awarded an IDENTICAL score to Mirai, I just shook my head. Mirai’s performance was *flawless* and Rochette had several mistakes. You can’t even give Rochette an edge in artistry or anywhere really. Mirai was robbed, plain and simple because the judges didn’t want to incur the wrath of the Canadian public.

  5. unfair game says :

    Anyone who watched last night’s ladies figure skating finals knew that the Canadian skater Rochette will win a medal as soon as she did not fall. It shows the world has a pity on her lost. But also it shows that it is NOT a fair game anymore. I strong believe that Rochette DID not win that medal – shame on her! I don’t think she will feel good about that.

    • orvillelloyddouglas says :

      I agree, Joannie Rochette is not some innocent victim here she worked the system to her advantage. Rochette turned on the water works after her short program it was so pathetic. Rochette presenting the image that the judges should feel “sorry” for her. Rochette’s performance was pathetic and lame!

      • Andrew says :

        Are you suggesting that, following the death of her mother, she wouldn’t normally have cried? She only saw fit to cry when she thought it might gain her a medal? And other (presumably non-racist) competitor would have stayed dry-eyed throughout?


        You said it yourself:

        “My goodness, this is absolutely tragic and very sad”

        But I guess “absolutely tragic” and “very sad” isn’t enough to cry over, huh?

      • blah says :

        Man, I would like to see how you react to going in front of a global audience after one of your parents die.

        You are a cruel, cruel Gay black man. Definitely not at all classy.

      • Janet says :

        If you dont take her crying scene, I doubt the judges did either so stop saying that the score is unfair.

      • lea says :

        How can you say that? This poor girl lost her mother and you are suggesting that she rehearsed crying just for pity. Obviously you have never had anyone close to you die. Joannie’s courage is remarkable- I doubt too many people could perform that well under those circumstances.

  6. James says :

    Mirai Nagasu skated WAY better than Joannie and really should have had the bronze medal. Her spins were faster, tighter, her jumps were better, she skated faster, and her artistry in general was better. But it is nothing new that the results are disproportionately affected by things like politics and home country favoritism, as well as a love of sob stories to try to get people interested in watching sports they could care less about until the Olympics roll along.

  7. matt says :

    It may be tragic about Rochette’s loss of her mother but it should not be in anyway a ticket to an Olympic medal. The judges probably was trying to to do Rochette a favor, however, what they did is actually an insult to the memory of Rochette’s mother. It is clear that Rochette really does not deserve the medal now many are of the opinion that she got it out of pity. Fair judging would have merited the support of everyone and endeared Rochette to all, but alas, now, many think she robbed deserving skaters of the bronze and what much sympathy and good vibes Rochette may have garnered have now dwindled and turned sour.

  8. raja says :

    I totally agree that Mirai should have given bronze, so sad. Rochette did not win last night at all, even though i pity her for her mom`s loss but it shouldn`t be counted when it comes to sports (especially in winter olymbics).
    Sad for Mirai and shame on the judges. ( puppets )

  9. c says :

    Joannie did not win because the judges were biased or pitied her. These feelings do not happen in the Olympics; not for judges, anyway. The Olympics is purely about the best and most excellent athletes. Joannie performed extremely well. This is not a fact to be questioned.

    • Kyle says :

      I agree! She did perform well, as did all the other skaters. However, it’s unfair to say things that are not true; Joannie, for example, did not cry because she wanted to put on a show for the judges. Imagine losing your mother. Would you not cry?

  10. woodie says :

    No doubt in my mind that Mirai Nigasu deserved the bronze, and she was over scrutinized for her jumps while Rochette was given a pass on hers, plus the Rochette program was not unlike Ando’s, physical and athletic but did not have that great combination of grace, style, skill and flow that marked the gold and silver medal winners and Nigasu’s as well. Nigasu should have been give another 10 points for her long program, and was markedly improved over her short program. Indeed she was robbed in the US Nationals as well as was proved in the Olympics where she prevailed over the US Champion. Maybe it is racial, but the grace and class of the Yu, Asada and Nigasu programs were markedly superior to the audience, commentators, and us fans.

    • C says :

      Figure skating is judged on the overall total of several marks. All skaters performed well, but in the end, Joannie placed third. I don’t quite understand why there is so much controversy flying about. Judges judge simply by skill.

      • orvillelloyddouglas says :

        C, I disagree since figure skating is a “subjective” sport it is based on the biases and prejudices of the judges. The reason Rochette got the bronze medal is because of her tragedy. If Rochette’s mother did not die I doubt she would of won the bronze medal. The judges gave Rochette the bronze medal out of pity she did not deserve the medal.

  11. Andrew says :

    The full breakdowns of the scores are available online:


    Mr. Douglas: I await your analysis of what the skaters *should* have received, since you are such a self-proclaimed expert on this.

    For example, what grade of execution would you have applied to Ms. Rochette’s spiral sequences?

    Do you even know *how* the sport is judged?

    • WW says :

      Obviously, like the other comments wailing about Nagasu and Ando, he doesn’t have any idea how it’s done.

      And the fact that 4 of the top 5 skaters are Asian negates any argument he makes about racism.

      “Can you imagine the faces of the white Canadian public if Kim, Mao Asada, and Miki Ando won all the Olympic medals in figure skating?”
      They would have been disappointed for Rochette as a person and because there was no Canadian on the podium, but I know a lot of “white Canadians” who were rooting for Ando and Nagasu. If anyone is a racist here, it’s the blog owner. And stop calling youreslf a black gay Canadian. You embarrass the rest of us who don’t share your racism.

  12. Andrew says :

    I have to admit, when I first read this I was pretty angry. But since then I’ve focused more and more on this absolutely vacuous comment: “Ando was robbed! She is the sexiest woman in figure skating, and she was treated very harshly by these judges.”

    The fact that Mr. Douglas sees fit to make such sexist remarks has convinced me that his commentary can be dismissed out of hand and is certainly nothing to get worked up over.

    And it’s not just the obvious sexism that comes through, but as he is a western man referring to an Asian woman in this way there are blatant racist and orientalist overtones in this article.

    Just as people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, racists and sexists and shouldn’t be so quick to accuse others, especially when they clearly reveal themselves for what they are in the process.

  13. leo says :

    I think Marai was the one robbed of the bronze medal. Her short program was excellent and only got 63+?? come on her PCS mark should have been over 30 and she deserved at least 69-70 for her program. Her lonng program was the best, next to Yuna Kim and should have crack the 130+ mark. The fact that her spiral sequence only got a level 2 is beyong me. Her spins, spiral and speed are just amazing. If any conselation you are looking at a future world and Olympics champion.

  14. AHF says :

    My favorite event at the winter Olympics hinge on these two performances. I think there is no question that Yuna Kim is in a league of her own. It goes to show you that there are differences among people. Right now Yuna is the Queen.

    I must say that I am terribly sorry for Joannie’s family and I applaud her strength to fight through the Olympics despite the crushing events. My comments in no way undermine the fact that I think it shows true strength and courage to go out and give a performance as she did those two nights.

    The judges did not make good decisions in the scoring on several fronts. I did not see continuity in the scoring with regards to Mirai Nagasu and Miki Ando as related to the scores Ms. Rochette received who to even the most untrained eye simply did not have the same caliber of skating as the former. It is my contention that I believe the judges where heavily influenced by the untimely death of Joannie Rochette’s mother. I simply try but can’t really imagine how she was awarded a bronze medal. I would have put her in fifth place.

  15. No says :

    I think it is ridiculus that you guys are even saying that it is because of racism that Joannie Rochette got the Bronze metal. ITS CALLED TALENT PEOPLE! she deserved it and if your all to negative and hurtful to realize it then you should probably just keep your mouth shut

    • orvillelloyddouglas says :

      What talent? What are you talking about? Rochette is good but she is not a top three level skater that is for sure! Rochette won her medal because the mainstream white Canadian media PRESSURED the Olympic judges to give her a medal. If you can’t see that well you are blind!

  16. No says :

    also saying ‘Maybe, Rochette’s dead mother deserves some credit for allowing her daughter to win a medal as well’ is the least classy and most unprofessional thing i have ever heard anyone ever say. AND as for Ando, they dont judge people on how sexy you are. so give it up

  17. Tawni L. says :

    Are you sure you are not the person who is racist here? Who are you to say that Joannie didn’t deserve the medal? Even though she made a few mistakes in her long program, they were small. They didn’t affect her marks too much, and the judges did deduct her marks.

    Jumps are not everything in figure skating. Her program components are very high and her step sequences were very difficult. If one of the judges were helping Joannie, it wouldn’t have reflected that much on her marks because there are many more judges. Are you telling me that all the judges are on her side? Why don’t you wake up from your little bubble and take a good look at this situation!

    “Won out of pity?” “Fake crying?” Try and fake cry when your parent die. See if you can you heartless thing.

  18. Tawni L. says :

    When did this world become so heartless.

  19. John G says :

    I don’t think it’s about raicism. Nonetheless, Joannie Rochette received suspiciously high scores for both programs. The spirit of Olympic meant to be the pure competition in itself and the outcome need to be self-explanatorical. I don’t think this outcome embrace this virtue. Eventually it is inglorious for the Olympic organization and Joannie Rochette.

    Olympic organization has been out there for money and power, not world harmony and pure drama. They should stop insult all athlets and followers.

  20. Jim says :

    Oh Jim Crow, where are you? Why do we have to put up with such oppresive views?

  21. Raymond says :

    Tell me about it. I was thinking exactly the same thing! I’m not sure about the asian thing (maybe right), but I’m pretty sure pity and home advantage played a critical role. Nagasu’s performance was fantastic, and deserve a Bronze. I personally liked it more than Mao’s but Mao’s did very difficult jumps, so I guess she deserved it. Rochette’s Bronze is … one of hard to believe medals… to me.

  22. me says :

    Please don’t apply the Black American race experience to all experiences of non-white people wherever they are from. CLearly Mr. Douglas hasn’t traveled and has–like most Black Americans–has the narrow minded disease where they generalize their experiences to all people of color. Guess what, you experience is not the end all be all of non-whiteness. Open your mind.

    As Mao Asada if she sees herself in the same category as Korean Kim Yu-Na? No. They are Asian but Japanese and Koreans have a long, racist history that, if Douglas had bothered to do a 2-second Google search, he would have known.

    Rochette won because she was more lyrical and steadier than Ando and Nagasu both of whom had major slip ups or missed combination jumps. The fact that she is an example of the true indomitable human spirit is icing on the cake.

    And, I wonder if the Asian community would be so dripplingly ingratiating as this “author” (and I use the term loosely). Yea, Orville, you wait for Yu-na or Mao to take cogently about the Black experience. LOL! Not all people of color are in the same boat. Another typically Black American mistake.

    Speak for yourself. You’ve got enough to deal with. And from the sounds of it…lots of issues.

    Not everything is race, dude. Sometimes, it’s just about a skater and a girl who just lost her mother and performs her dream in front of the whole world anyway. Regardless.


    A Black American woman.

    • orvillelloyddouglas says :

      First off, I am not a black American so why don’t you read before you write? My blog clearly says “GayBlackCandianman” last time I checked I am not American! I think a lot more about Canada since I was born in Canada and I know about the racism in Canada more than you do!

      Second, the judges over inflated Rochette’s scores cheating for her while downgrading Miki Ando’s scores. This bullshit about Rochette being better than Ando is just that bullshit! Rochette won due to pity and I cannot believe some people are so biased?
      Rochette won because the judges felt sorry for her and every single day the Canadian press kept on pushing her tragedy down our throats. It was annoying and it was not fair to the other skaters. The other female skaters they worked very hard yet they got shafted because of Rochette. Just because Rochette’s mother died does not mean she deserves a free ticket to an Olympic medal. I believe the Japanese figure skating association needs to investigate and get the IOC involved. Rochette won due to pity and politics!

      • Andrew says :

        “the judges over inflated Rochette’s scores cheating for her while downgrading Miki Ando’s scores”

        Again, please reference the official results and indicate what scores were inflated and what each skater *should* have received.

        You can’t just say that the scores were inflated and expect people to take you seriously without actually telling us exactly *how* they were inflated. All of the data is there on the Vancouver2010 website, nothing is hidden, and I’ve already linked the results for the free skate earlier in the comments.

        I look forward to seeing your revised score cards for Rochette, Ando and Nagasu and having this cleared up once and for all.

      • KinLon Ma says :

        I really think you should check the scoring system these days.

        Do you remember the scoring system at the 2002 Winter olympics? How for the final pair in figure skating (Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier) how there was such controversy surrounding the final podium finishes that they had to fix up the grading system?

        They made everything count for points; landings, techniques, music, footwork, other component marks.

        So it’s not just as simple as “landing”, “pity”, “politics”, and “sexy people”

        It’s true how CTV played on her story, and how she cried during her short program, but WHO WOULDN’T cry. She’s a girl who was so close to her mom, and forcing herself to do something she didn’t have to do would definitely force her to leave everything on the ice, including her emotions.

        And i want to regard to comment 27 of this page, because i think that person explains EVERYTHING. I hate how ignorant people are these days and will just say anything they want without thinking if they’re right or wrong

  23. George says :

    Rochette probably would not have won if her mother was still alive today. Nagasu would have won the bronze. Dont believe it had anything to do with racism, but sympathy.

  24. Patrick Ross says :

    So, did you ever consider making a reasonable attempt to suggest that Miki Ando’s skate was better than Rochette, other than simply accusing Rochette of being “sloppy”?

    Clearly, the judges — actual experts on figure skating — disagreed with you.

    Maybe you’d like to save your vapid accusations of racism for something other than Rochette’s exemplary example of grace under pressure. That would be a really good idea for you.

  25. Dara says :

    Rochette was not good at all. I saw a few of her jumps end up with the whirly twirly extra spins afterwards. Yes, she barely kept herself from falling but in no way were they clean. The fact that she got a higher score than the last skater (who made a clean performance) was shameful. She’s just not at the same level as the other skaters. I’m sorry that her mom died, but it is the olympics. It’s suppose to be the “best of the best” not the “sadder than the rest”… I guess her mom would be proud that her daughter had a metal, whether deserving or not. Can’t blame the girl for jumping at the opportunity at getting a metal (the bronze being low enough to be believable). It’s not like she won gold…haha…

  26. Andrew says :

    Huh, I just noticed that the Georgia Straight has taken down Mr. Douglas’ column. I guess they wised-up.

  27. nosnoop says :

    If you understand the ISU scoring system, you would have known that the conspiracy theory you put forward would be difficult to pull off. A total of 9 judges are used, the top and the bottom scores are discarded. And two more scores are randomly thrown away. Only 5 out of the 9 judges scores would be used. So you need a secret agenda among majority of the judges from different nationalities to significantly skew the score.

    Mirai did score better on technical element than Joannie! So the judges agreed with you! Joannie was penalized for over 3.28 points on the imperfect landings. Hence the scoring reflects exactly what you observed.

    What brings Mirai scores down is the Program presentation and component. And what she scored in the Olympics is very similar to what she scored in US figure skating championship in Jan, 2010 (60.58 vs 61.78). Joannie also has similar program component scores in Olympics and Skate Canada 2010 (68.48 vs 69.14). So two very different panels of judges have very similar opinion of their program component. I see no bias or unusual scoring here.

    Remember that Joannie has a slightly higher technical difficulty program then Mirai, and has a higher base value. For example, Joannie has 4 level-4 and 1 level-3 sequence; while Mirai has only 2 level-4, 1 level-3 and 2 level-2 sequence (and the difference not apparent to the uninitiated, but the scores would add up).
    So by comparison, Mirai did do much better technically in the Olympics scoring 65.83 in technical element vs the 56.94 score she got at US figure skating championship. On the other hand, Joannie only got 62.80 in technical element, which was much worse than the 74.94 mark she got at Skate Canada just over a month ago.

    So don’t just look at the final score and throw up your arms. Check out the detailed breakdown, compare with what they scored a few weeks ago, and you will see that they perform in line with their records. I don’t see any bias or out-of-line results.

    The results are fair according to the new figure skating scoring system.

    • python says :

      Thank heavens someone posted the details of the ISU scoring system. Anyone who bothered to read the detailed results of the women’s skating competition would see that Rochette clearly won the bronze medal. Of course, I know most people who provide commentary on this and other sites clearly NEVER want facts to impinge upon their reality.

  28. Dave Ma says :

    Who’s the racist one here? You sir is what is wrong with this world and why there will never be racial harmony. And I am and Asian by the way.

  29. Luder says :

    What will people say… unbelievable
    Did Joannie Rochette of Canada Win The Bronze Medal Due To Nationalism, Racism, Pity, & Politics?
    The fact is that Joannie skated a very good short program, well worth a third spot after that. She had quit a few points over 4th place. Second performance was not as good but the lead she had was enough to keep her in third place.
    Would she have won the bronze if her mom did not die? We don’t know that, but we can be sure that she would have been more rested and would have had alot less stress on her shoulder and able to concentrate more on her skating if she would have been alive; then probably would have skated better, who knows, maybe worth a silver medal.
    I love this comment by the Author… : “Ando was robbed! She is the sexiest woman in figure skating, and she was treated very harshly by these judges”
    So it’s not fair to give a medal out of pity, but you should give a medal to someone based on her looks and not how she performed? priceless..
    Sounds like Russia blaming Canada for being allied with the US and giving the medal to the US Figure Skater instead of the Russian, then in speed skating, US is blaming Canada for disqualifying their figure skater to put two Canadian on the podium.. Can’t win.. That’s why they made a song about it.. “Blame Canada”.

  30. Claude Martel says :

    Wow, I’m not sure I understand what is going on here or maybe I do…
    Kindergarden sandbox mentality similar to my father is better than your’s na! na! nana nahhh!

    Who cares… ! will this change the world? Will the armies of Troy prepare for battle and conquer the fields of Armagedon because thou has not been avenged for the injustice of Olympia?

    I’m positive in my thinking and in my heart and soul, that if there was three identical hooter girls on the podium that day, it would mean, no more world hunger and cancer would finally be cured!!!

    Who cares about what you think! who cares!!! you have sunk to the lowest common denominator that separates us from dirt!
    The world does not need people who think like you anymore because when the time comes that your kind outnumbers the good people left in the world I hope I’m dead and gone!!!

  31. Kenn says :

    I agree mostly with what you said

  32. Lydia says :

    I understand where you’re coming from, but to be honest, most skating fans agree that Miki Ando’s two performances at the Olympics was not her best. As for Rochette, I can see where you might say pity marks were given, but you know, figure skating judging has never been perfect. In 2006, Zhang & Zhang won the silver medal in Pairs despite a huge fall because the judges were caught up in the emotion of that performance. Joannie’s two programs were quite clean, and though she hasn’t been consistent in the past, she delivered at the Olympis.

    You are entitled to your opinion, of course, as to whether racism and home-advantage was a part of it. But please don’t blame Rochette, because she would return that medal and all the medals she’s ever won in a heartbeat if she could get her mother back. The fault of judging bias in sports lies with the judges and teh system, never the athlete.

    (Btw, I’m an Asian-Canadian female and a long-time Figure Skating fan. I was quite pleased with the final podium. Imo, if anything, Kim was the one heavily overmarked, although the results wouldn’t have changed)

  33. Jan Jenkins says :

    You plainly don’t know the first thing about figure skating or the new code of points. It’s all about the points now. We don’t have subjective marks anymore. Everything you do, don’t do, or partially do is added up and VOILA – you get a score. It’s all math, all the time.

    The lovely Mirai Nagasu skated a beautiful performance. But to get into 3rd place after her poor SP performance would have meant 140+ points – in other words she would have needed the same GOE as Kim. She skated nicely, but there’s no way she was going to get 140+. Even Yuna Kim never topped 140+ until her Olympic gold performance. Also, lovely as she is, Nagasu under-rotates her jumps. Judges will give a lower GOE on a step-out on the landing, but they will only mark a jump as a double if it is under-rotated. Do the math – under-rotation vs. step-outs and Joannie will win every time.

    Joannie skated a beautiful performance with six perfect triples – she stepped out on one triple (and on one of her doubles) – but she would have received full credit for the jumps because her landing edge in both instances was correct, and the jumps were fully rotated. So while she might have lost on GOE, she was credited for triples. Again, do the bloody math – and keep in mind that in every Olympics except this one, 6 triples would have got you the gold medal – forget the seventh! Remember the lovely Shizuka Arakawa? She won with only 5. On the night Arakawa won with 5 triples, Joannie landed 7 triples and still came in fifth – was it racism? No, of course not. She had been in ninth place after the SP and needed an impossible score.

    And while we’re on the subject of scoring, I should point out that Joannie performed 4 perfect triples (including a triple-half loop-triple combination) AFTER her half-way mark. That means she earned +10% for each of those perfect jumps.

    It is not Joannie Rochette’s fault that Mirai Nagasu’s coach did not choreograph a winning program under the new code of points. Remember how Lysaceck won with no quadruple jump? He won by only a point and a bit – he gained that edge by doing most of his jumps in a bottom-heavy performance (4 or 5 triples after the half-way mark). Joannie did the same. That’s not a crime, that’s simply clever choreography.

    And what about Laura Lepisto (Finland) who came in 4th in the LP? Like Nagasu, she was too far behind to win, but she skated beautifully – I notice you don’t mention her. Is she too Nordic to make your article?

    I personally adore Miki Ando, especially after all that crap she had to put up with from the obscene Japanese tabloid media after the last Olympics (they were almost as obscenely cruel to her as you have been to Joannie Rochette in this article). If she had won, it would have been the BEST comeback story of the event, in my opinion. She just didn’t have it that night. She was slow and cautious and you can’t be slow and cautious when you have 6 points to make up after the SP.

    So to recap – Joannie won because she was ahead after a fast and flawless SP, she performed an LP with most of her jumps past the half-way mark, she didn’t under-rotate any jumps, she was fast and fluid, and she had the good fortune to skate immediately after Mao Asada’s remarkably slow and ungainly performance – which threw Joannie’s natural speed and fluidity into relief.

    And admit it – she is sexy. I realize you like Ando, but you have to admit, Joannie put down a seductive, beautiful performance. I really believed she was Delilah.

    I’m sure you’ve come to regret writing such nasty tripe about a lovely young girl. I never understand what it is about ladies’ figure skating that brings out the worst in people. Why can’t people just enjoy these lovely young women, who skate their hearts out and do their best, and give us such a wonderful aesthetic and emotional experience? And if you favour one skater over another, why don’t you simply write nice things about that skater, instead of writing nasty tripe about a girl who skated courageously after a terrible personal tragedy? Imagine how much nicer it would have been to write a tribute to the beautiful Miki Ando and her courage in returning to her sport after a horrific injury and negative tabloid press attention? Why take cheap shots at someone else?

    I love all the girls who skate. When they do well, I’m happy. When they don’t do well, my heart bleeds for them – all that beauty and hard-work gone in an instant’s mistake. There is no sport so lovely or so heart-breaking.

  34. rinksidecafe says :

    I actually felt that the judges were rather fair this time at the Olympics.

    As far as I can remember, Miki Ando underrotated her triple-lutz, triple-toe combination in the short and made her jumping passes easier in the long which accounts for her low scores. Her choreography with Nikolai Morozov is also problematic because there are so many pauses in it and Morozov programs aren’t really known to be masterpieces.

    Mirai Nagasu skated a wonderful long but she’s known to screw up at least 1 program per competition. Mirai also has the tendency of underrotating her jumps, which was penalized very heavily before this figure skating season.

    As for Joannie Rochette, it’s true that she had home ice advantage but then again, all skaters skating at their home Olympics do. It’s a well known fact. She was outclassed and wasn’t going to win the gold but I thought it was fair to give her the bronze. Her SP was flawless and her jumps that night were surprisingly, more textbook than Yuna Kim’s. Yuna tends to mule kick a little bit whereas Joannie’s toe jump technique is comparable to that of the men’s, meaning that she doesn’t need to raise her leg too high to get momentum when she digs her toepick in the ice. I agree that I would’ve marked her down a few points lower if her mother didn’t die but she was soundly in 3rd place. Her LP wasn’t completely clean but the choreography for it was intricate and interesting, although perhaps not obvious to an amateur figure skating fan.

    In any case, I feel that your judgment upon the ladies figure skating competition to be unfair and it was rather mean of you to put down a skater like this. When you criticize figure skating, you criticize not the skater but the skating itself in hopes that the skater will improve. I may not agree with your opinion that Miki was robbed but bashing Rochette in this way is not constructive and is just malicious.

  35. Skater Boy says :

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion although the logic of this “Joannie did not deserve the bronze medal”, to me is a little unsettle and almost has tones of hatred if not bias in itself. Okay, so an argument that Ando and Nagasu could have gotten bronze, but an equally compellable argument especially in light of the scores could be made that Rochette could have won silver over Asada.

    The scoring system looks at many things and the things Nagasu did better ie. spins she did score higher than Rochette. However, in our world there is a general conotation those with power aren’t graceful, artistic and refined. Slutskaya, Kostner and Rochette are fine examples. But they have their own style just not the very traditional feminine beauty of Kwan, Nagasu, Cohen or Czisny. This doesn’t mean they should necessarily lose marks.

    I am not sure clear politics has been proven. We recently saw at the 2011 World’s a north American sweep. Yes, home town skaters tend to do better however, that could be in part due to the partisan crowds cheering on their skaters to do their best. The olympics has some neutralization in that people from all over the world come and watch at the host city unlike most sporting ie. world championships where far fewer will travel to cheer on their nation’s skaters.

    Clear arguments can be made besides faulting Joannie’s skating which I respect that for example Ando is technically fairly sound although under rotated in some spots uninspired skating – going through the motions. Nagasu is the ballerina look favoured by many however her interpretation of Carmen like the recent Davis and White free dance in 2011 could have been slaughtered for interpretation. Pretty, elegant yes. But Nagasu was no Carmen = smiling to the cameras throughout. she had no vixenish, vampish, a woman of maturity and substance – she was a smiling, graceful ballerina but not carmen. She did not have the presence, the intensity. She was like a pretty person smiling at a funeral. Wrong mood and tone and the judges could have penalized her for interpretation. Oh wow, another pretty ballerina on ice skating to classical music – but she missed the mark though her look is gorgeous on the ice – it should fit the performance.

    As for racism – where is the evidence. Over the years the judges have more than been willing to place multitudes of nationalities on the podium including Asian. The results were appropriate or at least in the realm of possibility. Remember Joannie had a sizeable lead after the short. Not on point, but it is funny as one poster brought up that the Olympics were in Vancouver one of the world’s most diverse populations and in particular Asian dominated or friend. the University of British Columbia is affectionately know as the University of a Billion Chinese:)

    I think it is disgusting to think Rochette or any skaters could put on a performance of waterworks. Watch out Merly Streep if that is the case. To lose your mother on centerstage so to speak during the biggest moment of your life = I’d cry too, I’m almost crying that someone things Rochette or anyone can just pour on the waterworks.

    Despite the errors and remember Asada had them too the placements were fine. to be fair this is nothing compared to what should be the controversy in the men’s Olympic results. At the very least Lysacek should go down in history as really lucky and his win should not be compared to the artistry of Lambiel, Takahashi, Chan and Buttle. There should be a clear distinction. And a quadless Evan really has no greatness or artistic merit compared to the forementioned. the judges could have sewered EVan on PCS if they so chose too and Plushenko for that matter.

    I hope those who are saying Rochette was given unfairly the bronze have yelled louder and with more fervor about Evan winning over Evgeni.

    Yes, skating interpretation is still alive and well. I still am trying to figure out how Kostner and the Finnish ladies do so well constantly now that is where I think there is more controversy. But as for Joannie’s winning bronze i think it was deserved and at the very least in the realm of reasonableness considering all the performances.

  36. Jedi says :

    This is a very scarey article. It boggles the mind. While we should appreciate the freedom of speech we see how nasty words can bring about hatred, anger and general stupidity.

    For sure, everyone should have their opinion as to who was the best at the 2010 Winter Olympics including who should have won the bronze medal. It’s interesting that people can’t even decide whether it should be Mirai Nagasu or Miki Ando for the bronze and for that matter the scores were closer that Joannie could have won silver than lose bronze. Mirai had the cleaner performance and looked graceful. Although she lacked the sophistication to pull off Carmen and wore, she had the “Miss America ” smile plastered on her face – so much for the tragedy of Carmen. She looked like a mature junior skating. As for Ando – Joannie has her own sense of powerful style reminsicent perhaps of Kostner or Slutskaya. Ando, on the other hand has the body to be balletic but comes off rather bland. Mirai does not have the power, finesse or style of Kwan who most closely represents her style. Joannie despite some flaws has amazing power in her jumps and I have seen for example the German pairs team get huge GOE’s for their skates desptie mistakes because of the power. Likewise Joannie is probably deservedly here has received some huge GOE’s. As for the crying I don’t think we should dignify a response – look at the tv – it was pure, raw emotion.

    As for racism in Vancouver. Vancouver is practically all Chinese. The University of British Columbia is often called the University of (a) Billion Chinese. One could also say there is a bias towards or for Chinese girls – petite and graceful but somhow that is worth more than the power and speed of a Slutskaya similar to that of Rochette.

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  1. Joannie Rochette Of Canada Won The Bronze Medal Due To Pity … | Canada today - Friday , February 26 , 2010
  2. Olympics Figure Skating Results - Nardu - Friday , February 26 , 2010

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