25 March 2013

A petition to award a gold medal to Denis Ten for his performance at the 2013 Worlds

"No doubt his (Chan's) skating is very good and he glides and moves well on the ice. Still, his placement and the marks he was awarded in the PCS, in my opinion, are definitely not acceptable. How could he be placed ahead of Javier Fernandez and Yuzuru Hanyu, who executed flawless programs of a very high technical and artistic standard? And this is not the first time that this has happened. It has become “normal”. I am speechless. Surely it is not Patrick’s fault if the judges continue to overmark him. He  is the lucky and happy victim of a judging system that, thanks to secret judging, allows the judges to carry on unpunished" - Sonia Bianchetti

This petition is not an idea of mine, but I totally agree with it. Hope we can make us heard.

Feel free to sign, or not to. And don't forget to tell me what you think.


  1. Laura, did you read Sonia Bianchetti's book (Crepe sul ghiaccio - Cracked Ice)? I found it very interesting, though it seems more than clear her attitude against Ottavio Cinquanta and the new judging system. As I already wrote in my blog, the program components scores are the weakest and most "touchable" aspects, above all when you have to deal with an exercise full of errors and falls performed by the current leading male skater (moreover, skating in his own country): in my opinion the greatest flaw, here, is the lack of bravery, without considering the political weight of the strongest skating federations.
    What do you think?

  2. Unluckly I did not read it, but I know Bianchetti's thoughts on the matter. The human part could not be removed, or judging would became mechanical. But using componets as a bonus to increase the score of a program in wich even a layman would find flaws, it's simply ridiculous. And yes, we can't overlook the political weight of the strongest skating federations.
    I seem a broken record, and poor Chan always gets the bulk of it, but this judging system doesn't work well. Someone should fix it.

  3. Many thanks, Laura, for posting this petition. I signed, as clearly something is going wrong in this judging system. And it is the second time in a row that Worlds gold medal is under dispute because of inflated PCS. Denis Ten was robbed as Daisuke Takahashi was in 2012 (of course, I am a Dai-chan fan). Thanks again, your blog is so good. Regards.

  4. Thanks to you, Pat, for reading my blog and for commenting.
    I agree with you, PCS are at gunpoint here, being inflated at the judges' leisure depending on the skater they have to judge. I am a big fan of Dai-chan, too, and I was so sorry for him last worlds. By the way, all this is not good for Chan either: figure skating fans are led to target him as the emblem of the system bias. Hope Ten will get his deserved gold medal.
    Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. Hope to hear your thoughts again.

  5. I voted but it wasn't just for Denis Ten, In ice dance the scores are inflated for the top 2 and underscored for 6th place, you see horrible programs receiving higher notes (I/K and the Shibs) and in pairs V/T marked a ridiculous 225, if we watch ladies, is exactly the same with Yuna's LP mark. The code is not bad, the judges and people yes and I think ISU has considered the public as an idiot fan from hell who always will pay.

  6. Agreed. It is not only for Ten. Ice dance, the Pairs and the Ladies competitions suffer from inflated scores, too.
    I think reputation have a lot to do with it: a big champ is skating, his/her personal best is of so many points, hence we can't let him/her score less then bla bla bla. And that's where the human part come into play. But you can't deny that PCS, thanks to the anonymity of the judging system, are used as a jack of all trades.
    In any case, they must consider fans blind, or stupid. This way feds win for sure, but competitions become a trade and skaters become the target of fans frustration. And none of this is good for the sport.

  7. I basically agree to the notion and the basis behind it all, but am reluctant to sign on and probably won't.
    It's a different story if his own federation or coaching staff makes the appeal, but if they're willing to move on, I don't see why outsiders shouldn't.
    Also, I'm apprehensive as to now this movement will affect Denis Ten HIMSELF, and whether he HIMSELF wants this to happen, whether he HIMSELF will be proud of the this whole thing, or if he will will embarassed by it. After all, I don't really think he'll want to be remembered as a winner of a contronversial Worlds Championship in the long run.
    I would personally want the appeal to be more based on the neccesary tranformation of the current system itself rather than on the pin point agenda of simply awarding Denis with the gold.

  8. Ciao Laura è un periodo che sono davvero troppo impegnata in un sacco di cose da fare - ed ho meno tempo per internet ti seguo sempre ma non riesco più a commentare.
    Comunque sono stata per l'ennesima volta scioccata dal risultato - come al solito Chan ha vinto il Mondiale senza merito come era successo negli ultimi anni - questa volta davvero Ten con i suoi due programmi perfetti e magnifici meritava davvero lui il primo posto.
    Come ha detto Vittorio anche io ti consiglio la lettura di "Crepe sul ghiaccio" che ho letto anche io - avevo dei dubbi a riguardo già prima delle Olimpiadi che hanno fatto scandalo - ma dopo avere letto il libro ho capito che non ci vedevo doppio.
    Comunque è un bel libro davvero interessante.
    Ho firmato anche io la petizione - anche se penso che non servirà davvero a nulla
    Auguri di Buona Serena e felice Pasqua

  9. I think Denis only an emblem here, as could have been Daisuke last here. But this here was the straw that broke the camel's back, apparently.
    Besides, don't you think that this kind of manipulated judging will affect Chan, too? It is HE who will be remembered as a winner of TWO controversial World Championships, for sure. In fact, a new word is already commonly used in skating: Chanflation. He can't be happy about it.
    Moreover, if you have read the full petition, it is the judging system at gunpoint here. And the deadly effect it will have on the sport and on the fans.
    Friedlander says: "It is in part because of this kind of judging that the sport of figure skating has seen a catastrophic decline in recent years. Audiences believe that what they watch and what the judges judge are entirely different competitions. It is little wonder that most fans become alienated, refusing to travel to events and patronize a corrupt sport that is quickly losing its last trace of credibility."
    And then she adds: "What makes Chanflation and other biased judging possible is the very judging system implemented by the ISU after the 2002 Olympic scandal — presumably to make political judging less likely to happen. Instead, it accomplished the exact opposite. The judging is now anonymous, with no one knowing which judge awards which mark to which skater. Moreover, the arbitrary program component scores (PCSs) are entirely subjective."
    I really understand your concern for Ten. But, as I've already said, if we don't expose this bias, feds will win, not skaters, and competitions will become a trade and skaters like Chan will become the target of fans frustration. And this can't be good for the sport, or other skaters.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope to hear your thoughts again.

  10. Ciao Maria Raffaela!
    Chan è un magnifico pattinatore, sebbene non tra i miei preferiti, ma due cadute e l'interruzione della routine non possono valergli PCS così alti. Forse non servirà nell'immediato, ma possiamo farci sentire e aspettare un cambiamento nella dirigenza. Dovranno ascoltarci prima o poi, se non vogliono far passare la voglia ai fan di seguire questo sport e di comprare i biglietti per le competizioni. Questa volta anche molti giornali hanno denunciato l'assegnazione sospetta dei PCS, non potranno mettere a tacere la cosa per sempre.
    Auguri di una buona Pasqua anche a te!

  11. Ciao Laura. D'accordo con te e con tutti che non è Chan il responsabile se i PCS sono gonfiati e che sicuramente a lui non fa piacere essere additato come chi ruba le medaglie. Ma a mio personale giudizio, un pochino di umiltà non gli farebbe male ed avrebbe potuto evitare di sottolineare più volte che, anche se caduto due volte, meritava comunque l'oro per la sua parte artistica. Chan è un bravissimo pattinatore, ma non mi ha mai emozionato: secondo me come parte artistica gli manca ancora qualcosa - anche se so che si sta dando molto da fare e gli auguro veramente di migliorare...però magari solo dopo che Dai avrà vinto la medaglia d'oro a Sochi(non riesco a inserirlo, ma qui ci dovrebbe stare un mega-smile).
    Auguri a tutti anche se la Pasqua è finita.

  12. Ciao Pat!
    Sono assolutamente d'accordo con te, e anziché lamentarsi del fatto che il numero dei suoi fan sia minore di quello di molti altri pattinatori, anche meno medagliati, forse dovrebbe chiedersi un attimino perché. Anche a me lascia un po' freddina la sua pattinata: seppur bella, non mi coinvolge particolarmente. Detto questo, posso anche capire che si sia sentito attaccato (di nuovo) e magari un po' umiliato e abbia voluto difendersi.
    Mi associo agli auguri per Chan, e anche alla speranza di vedere Daisuke sul podio di Sochi (mega-smile compreso)! E adesso, per distogliere un po' la mente da tutte le polemiche, rilassiamoci un po' con il WTT, dove, almeno per me, più che il punteggio vale lo spettacolo e lo spirito di squadra! E, mancando il fantastico team italiano, speriamo che quello francese si scateni con la fantasia! ;)
    Auguroni anche a te!

  13. I really don't understand why some skaters are given a hard time for winning despite a poor skate on the technical side, while a poor skate is sometimes overlooked because of the "better skating skills" of skaters. Reynolds has a great skate at 2013 4CC compared to Hanyu, but there's still a lot of people who thinks he shouldn't have won. Isn't there seriously a double standard? "Better skating skills" is an acceptable excuse for only certain skaters?
    By the way, ISU award small medals for placements in the short and long program. Since Ten won the free skate, he technically did win a gold medal at the worlds.
    I think Chanflation, Fallmond, Yunabot, and other similar names/term is rude and inconsiderate. It's a personal attack and shouldn't we be above that?

  14. In my opinion, you need a strong skating on both side (technical and artistic) to be a great skater and a gold medal winner.
    Reynolds is a great and powerful skater. Hanyu is a synthesis of power and grace. Two different kind of skating. AND I love them both.
    Medals in single programs are not the point here. Awarding anonymous and convenient points to make up for skaters' errors is at stake here.
    You are totally right on that. But THAT is another point I made before: with this kind of manipulated judging competitions are becoming a trade of points based on reputation (instead of a rewarding of the skills displayed at the moment) and skaters are becoming the target of fans frustration. And that's not right, but fans are starting to feel they're considered blind or plain stupid. And this won't do any good to the skaters, or the sport itself.

  15. It seems to me that this whole discussion is centered on one skater and two incidents(or at least that's the impression I'm getting after reading a few blogs). Some skaters get defended and some gets bashed. I just find that confounding.
    If this is about changing the judging system, a more well-rounded petition should include incidents relating to more than one skater. It will a more solid argument and get more attention.

  16. I can understand your point. But it is not only for Ten. Ice dance, the Pairs and the Ladies competitions suffer from inflated scores, too. But it is the second time in a row that a Worlds gold medal in the men's field is under dispute because of inflated PCS (see Takahashi in Nice).
    I think Mrs. Friedlander used Ten as an emblem here, as could have been Takahashi last year. But this time it was the straw that broke the camel's back, apparently.
    Poor Chan always gets the bulk of it, but this judging system doesn't work well. If you have read the full petition, it is the judging system at gunpoint here (biased judging, anonymity, arbitrary program component scores). And the deadly effect it will have on the sport and on the fans.
    The petition may have focused on that right away, I agree with you, but maybe, without a symbol, there would have been less talking about it.

  17. Oh, yeah, I forgot to ask two thing. Please, sign comments with your name or a nickname. It's strange to talk to Anons ;) Thank you.
    And the second one is, whom Fallmond refers to? I heard of Yunabot, an Chanflation of course, but never to Fallmond...

  18. lol.. Sorry about the name thing. I don't have any of the accounts listed. Figured out how to
    And Fallmond refers to Kaetlyn Osmond. There's quite a bit of name calling on some boards. It's like grade school all over again.
    The problem with the current system is mainly the fact that it's hard for fans to understand where some of the marks are coming from. Apparently, judges get to see everything in slow motion and therefore be able to pick up on details that viewers miss. Unfortunately, all of that is a complete mystery to us viewers.
    I feel kinda of sorry for the winners of a "controversial" competition... like Chan and Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze... feels like they are getting blamed for things out of their control.

  19. Don't worry Beth, I understand. It happens to me too, when I comments on other blogs. ;)
    Never heard of that, really. You're totally right, it's like elementary school. And it's plain stupid. Skaters shouldn't be blamed for the scores they receive. But it's their faces the fans see, and not those of the judges that give them questionable scores.
    It's true, it's hard for fans to understand all judges' decisions, because they have a better view of everything with the slow motion. But, if they say a jump is under-rotated and penalize that, you can understand it, even if you did not see it in normal view. If you see incredibly high PCS it is harder to understand, especially if the technical score is low. And if a fan does not understand, I fear slowly he/she will stop following.