I watched last night's LP for pairs live last night and am still not
sure what to think. I've been following pairs skating since I was
twelve and had a hard time making up my mind. I can make an argument
for either pair. My more serious concern is the effect this will have
on the pro (and any additional ISU level) lives of B&S. Will this
haunt them for years, in terms of touring and shows? I am afraid that
it will, which I find the greatest tragedy. Winning this medal might
end up being the worst result for them.
What we all need to keep in mind is that B&S did not have the impact
many would like to accuse them of. Yes, they are Russian. Yes, they
won. Yes, they were the 11th Russian pair in a row to do so. But the
problems are NOT about B&S. They can't do anything about the judging.
Four people went onto that ice, skated their hearts out, and left
their fate in the hands of nine men and women. No one should be
blaming them, and I believe that they have, under the circumstances,
handled themselves quite well. They are in a very awkward position.
They *do* deserve our congratulations, not for winning the gold medal
but for being one of the best of two pairs out there. Why should we
yank away praise for such a great performance (I did not say the best
of the night) because we disagree with the people assigned to make the
I feel for Sale and Pelletier. I debate at the national collegiate
level and I've lost rounds I knew I should have won-- because the
judges were idiots. It happens. But I have not allowed myself to
unfairly place that decision on the shoulders of the other team. Like
it or not, after you've finished your program, it's out of your hands.
If you don't like it, go try speed skating or luge. Sale and Pelletier
are right to be disappointed and would be appropriate in directing
frustration toward the ISU, but I do hope the sphere of their
frustrations does not expand to the other two people with no control
Let's all be the good sports our third grade teachers taught us to be.
Isn't that what the Olympics are about? Why don't we give B&S both a
break and a hand while we are at it.