A day short of two weeks after the 2014 ISU World Figure Skating Championships wrap-up the skating world is in the midst of a fan revolt.
ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta first ignores a petition (with 2 million signatories) seeking an investigation into the dubious judging during the Ladies Olympic skating competition. This competition featured both the unethical selection of the former Russian Skating Federation President’s wife as a member of the judging panel as well as two formerly sanctioned Judges for their past cheating.
Cinquanta simply writes off the extraordinary petition saying the judging was proper and there was no problem with the panel, or with how they were selected. He simply does not comment on the appearance of impropriety and tainting of the judging panel.
Within a week, Cinquanta offers up a set of bizarre proposals to radically change the sport. The worst of these is to eliminate all short programs across all disciplines. The skating world explodes in anger and a war is ignited; a war in the form of two more petitions within this past week.
The first of these petitions addresses Mr. Cinquanta’s ill-conceived proposals with the Short Program being the featured point of fans anger. Fans are signing it and forwarding their copy of the petition to their individual National Governing Body leaders and reps to the ISU.
Just last night three former skaters, Tim Wood, world champion and Olympic silver medalist; Bill Fauver, five-time U.S. pairs silver medalist; and Tim Gerber, ice skating technical specialist along with Monica Friedlander, founder of Facebook’s Save the Short Program published the third petition directed straight at the ISU President demanding his immediate resignation.
These actions have lit up social media sites across its many platforms and it has without a doubt been registering throughout the international skating community. So what is the reaction from these national governing bodies? Well if the deafening silence is any indication it’s likely a “Let’s just ignore the clamor and it will go away” attitude is the reaction. After all, this is the exact same attitude that skating fans and the general public has witnessed time and time again during and after past horrific decisions made under the inept and corrupt leadership of the speed skater Cinquanta.
The silence is the continuing indicator that those that lead the national governing bodies and their reps to the ISU Congress are all playing the same game. The Game is Power and Influence and Perks within International Skating Governance and within their national skating entities as well. How far down the chain does this pattern of leadership extend? Is the whole game rigged? Are there enough honest folk within figure skating at all levels to break this cycle of power for powers sake? That is the question that really needs answering.
Since my country’s skating body is U.S. Figure Skating and all its extended club membership I would suggest that at the upcoming Governing Council next month we may well learn our answer. Will we see ANY discussion, ANY proposal, ANY vote demanding the U.S. Figure Skating newly elected President and our voting representative take a mandate with them to the next ISU Congress in June that first votes down the Cinquanta proposals; demands his immediate resignation and then offers up and gets support for the END to Secret Judging. This is the bar that must be met and demonstrated to American Skating Fans. Anything less is unacceptable.
I urge all American Skating Fans to write to their local club leadership and let them know the current condition of skating is unacceptable. Please feel to use all of the above through the above paragraph as your letter or write your own to your local club Presidents, and their voting representatives to the May USFS Governing Council.
Editor, Blazing Blades @ http://www.blazingblades.com
(I would greatly appreciate if you find the time to send an email to your club officials, that you send me a cc: or bcc: copy to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can gauge the extent of pressure we can bring on American Skating Officialdom. Thanks!)