I didn't expect myself to be writing a blog post about figure skating, but sour grapes really are very unedifying. Slate.com reports that 1.7 million people (unsurprisingly, mostly South Korean) have signed a Change.org petition alleging that the voting in the Sochi competition was rigged in favour of the Russians (a charge rather distastefully put to the American public last night on NBC by figure skater Gracie Gold).
It's all a bit pathetic really; and although Jessica Winter's , also in Slate, starts off sounding like it is on the side of the tin-foil hat brigade, it is actually worth reading, explaining the conspiracy theory, how the voting system actually works, and the problems that are associated with it.
She also notes that Yuna Kim herself admitted that she didn't have the passion to win she had four years ago (something that couldn't be said about Adelina Sotnikova, the reigning Russian champion), which chimes with Johnny Weir's observations that Kim's performance was a bit wooden, and that she performed one fewer jump than Sotnikova.
For me, the conspiracy theory is all highly circumstantial, based mostly on the assertion that there is a pro-Russian bias among the judges, given that one is Russian and married to the Director of the Russian Figure Skating Federation (ok, you may have something there), one is Ukrainian, and one an ethnic Russian Estonian. Others also point to the fact that one of the other judges is also "Eastern European", being from Slovakia, which is in central Europe not Eastern Europe. Slovakia is also strongly anchored in the EU, and a pro-Russian bias is only slightly more likely from her than from the Italian or French judges.Read more »