Saturday, February 11, 2006

Figure This: Skating is Corrupt

Emily Hughes took the number three position at the US Olympic trials. This is an undeniable fact, and a matter of record. The trials were held, a great many skaters skated, and Emily came in third.

The top three finishers were entitled to a slot on the US Olympic Team.

Except this is Figure Skating, the sport where the "winner" is chosen by a Star Chamber. Evidently the skaters are chosen to skate by the same chamber.

I am insulted by anyone who supports the decision to put Michelle Kwan on the team over Emily Hughes. I have nothing for or against Michelle Kwan, or at least I didn't until she accepted this injustice, but: Michelle didn't skate, therefore she didn't qualify. In any real sport it would be as simple as that, but Figure Skating is neither a sport, nor is it fair.

"Michelle's History" was factored in, and Emily was tossed. This is the same logic that told us that even though Bill Clinton had lied under oath, he was "really a nice guy, and a fine president," so we would have to ignore his peccadillo's. This is the same logic that kept Mary Jo Kopechne from getting her fair day in court.

It is wrong. It is wrong for the big things, and it is wrong for the little things. And, btw, when it's YOUR shot at going to the OLYMPICS, it's hardly a little thing - but even if it were a small thing, the point would still be valid.

The New England Patiots have dominated the NFL for the past several years, but this year Teddy Bruschi was injured and/or ineffective for most of the year. The Colts were clearly the best team in football most of the time - just not in the AFC Championship game. The Yankees have won more World Series than any other two teams combined, but there are also the Cubs who really WANT to win, and try really hard.

By the insane logic of the US Figure Skating Commission, any - or perhaps all - of these teams should have been granted a free pass to their respective championship. Never mind that other teams beat them on the field.

I am fiercely independent, and feel that we are a society where lawsuits are far too frivolous. Even so, if I were Emily Hughes I'd have lawsuits in the works right now, during the Olympics, against the USOC, any Figure Skating commission/official that was involved in this, and perhaps Michelle Kwan herself if I could find a way to do that. Michelle's acceptance of the slot was criminal, deplorable, and disgusting.

And, oh, look... the news from Torino today says that it seems as if Michelle can't skate after all. Her groin injury is nowhere near healed enough.

Maybe the IOC can find a way to just cancel the skating and give her the Gold Medal.

It's only fair.


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