Corrupt Chinese Figure Skating Judge: I’m back, baby! | This is the loop
You couldn’t pay me to watch figure skating outside of the Winter Olympics [Note: You could definitely pay me to do this] but when is olympic time? I’m riveted. Like gymnastics, archery or biathlon, it’s one of those sports that I’m absolutely not interested in for 99.8% of my life, but in the remaining 0.2% I watch it as … (searches his brain for a timely reference)… like I’ve been watching the Russian roulette scene for deer hunter for the first time. It’s more important to me, at this crucial moment, than anything up to and including my own life.
One truth about Olympic figure skating is that for all the impressive athleticism and execution under pressure, it’s just more exciting when there’s controversy. This is the case with all sports where the winner is judge. There is judging in all sports, because we need referees and umpires, but figure skating is almost pure judging. You win or lose based on a number concocted by people, and while steps are constantly taken to ensure the process is objective, the human element is always hidden, especially when geopolitical status is at stake. .
Enter Huang Feng. Feng is a figure skating judge who got a one-year suspension in 2018 because he showed “obvious and systematic bias” during the pair figure skating event in Pyeongchang. In this event, a Chinese pair won the silver medal, edging out the Canadians in third place, and Feng apparently played a major role in their success, giving them ridiculously high scores while lowering the scores of their competitors. This was in tandem with another judge whose grades were so bad he was banned from the 2022 Olympics.
Now, how much can we blame the judges? It’s hard to say, but China has a long history of institutional interference in its Olympic program, and there’s a chance – probably even a good chance – that the judges were acting under orders from above, in which case, were they supposed to do anything else? To do? I’m not really mad at the judges. Actually, I’m not really mad at anything here, because the Olympics are basically corrupt and broken anyway.
But he is worthy of interest that with the approach of the Beijing Games, Feng is back. From Yahoo:
For the Beijing Games, which begin on Friday, Huang is listed as a technical controller, an official who oversees technical specialists and can offer corrections regarding the level of difficulty identified for a given element.
This is quite amazing, because in theory, Feng now has even more power, and that power spans the entire figure skating program, not just a single event. The fact that these Olympic Games are in China is giving him an even longer leash, and you get the feeling that – stop me if I’m being controversial – things might not get better when the skaters hit the ice.
For me, it’s fine. I want fair play, of course, of course, but as one of the many American figure skating fans, I want controversy above all else. I want the emotions to be overstimulated. I want to go crazy. Huang Feng and all the other judges the Chinese have ready to rock give us the best chance for chaos, so you know what? Unleash the beast.