Ethnic Controversy Arises: Kwan vs. Chen

Ethnic Controversy Arises: Kwan vs. Chen

Post by Nina del Rosar » Wed, 27 Mar 1996 04:00:00


        After being defeated and unable to hold
onto her world championship, Chinese skater
Chen Lu made a stinging comment in reference
to a realm considered insignificant, or taboo,
rather, in the world of figure skating.
        "I think I did my best," said the inter-
pretor by her side, "There was no Chinese judge
on the panel that might have had an effect."
        I wasn't there for the interview, but my
guess was that this was said in the heat of an-
ger and defeat. Now that incident would be un-
derstandable and excusable. If this was not the
case, it was simply said without intelligence
or understanding.
        How on earth could there be a Chinese
judge on the panel? It was even said by Chinese
officials that there weren't enough people in
China who knew enough about skating. That was
why Chen and her coach left for the United
States. Just because Chen Lu was a pioneer for
her country that doesn't automatically mean
that there should be Chinese judges.
        Did Chen Lu think that a Chinese judge
would relate to her program more? Now let's
see . . . that program, choreographed by Sandra
Bezic? Now I would understand if she was given
lower marks had she skated the brilliant pro-
gram with cultural ties to the movie "The Last
Emperor," but this was Rokmananov here!
        When looking at the scores, Chen Lu actu-
ally benefitted from a European panel. Her two
sixes came from France and Hungary. The only
Asian country, Japan, gave a six to Kwan, along
with Bulgaria.
        Those two sixes given to Kwan were not
the main deciding factors. Had those two sixes
been five point eights, Kwan would have still
won by one ordinal. It was her higher technic-
al marks which won it for her.
        I think that Chen was really mad because
she felt that she was simply more artistic as
Kwan, yet she did not want to make a personal
attack on another skater. It would be logical
to turn on the judges. That plus all in all
she was more elegant and polished than Kwan
was.
        Now what I really want to know is what
would have happened had Kwan skater before
Chen. This is because the high artistic marks
were partially given due to the intensity of
the moment and the pressure that was etched
in her face. The e***ment of the competition
is something to think about.
        Would Kwan have thrown in that last ris-
ky triple-toe loop if she knew that the only
skaters left were Chen and Butraskaya? After
all, Chen had not skated all that well that
season and Butraskaya was simply inconsistent.
        "AFTER I HEARD LU'S MARKS," Kwan said
after the competition was over, "I thought
'Oh my God, I have to do the quad loop to
win.'" Did the glory come under great press-
ure?
        But then again, discrepinsies due to
skating order are just a few entries on the
long list of things that come with the busi-
ness.
 
 
 

Ethnic Controversy Arises: Kwan vs. Chen

Post by Billy Kutul » Wed, 27 Mar 1996 04:00:00


  I think that Chen was really mad because she felt that she was simply more
  artistic as Kwan, yet she did not want to make a personal attack on
  another skater. It would be logical to turn on the judges. That plus all
  in all she was more elegant and polished than Kwan was.

It was disappointing to hear that Lu made those remarks.  I could easily
understand her reasons for doing so, but that still showed poor
sportsmanship.

  Now what I really want to know is what would have happened had Kwan
  skater before Chen.  This is because the high artistic marks were
  partially given due to the intensity of the moment and the pressure that
  was etched in her face. The e***ment of the competition is something to
  think about.

I may be wrong, but I'm not convinced the results would have been different if
Lu had skated after Michelle.  I think that might have thrown one more
judge on Lu's side, but I doubt it would have changed the outcome.  One
reason I say that is the way things turned out at this year's Nationals.
Tonia skated after Michelle, and a perfect program (essentially) at that.
Michelle did land her triple-triple, but that didn't take away from Tonia's
performance.  Still, not even *one* judge place Tonia first in the
free.  I think if a judge is pretty set in his/her vote for a
particular skater, timing ultimately has little effect.

--
Billy Kutulas