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How Adelina Sotnikova Beat Yuna Kim, Move by Move -

On two elements, the footwork and the layback spin, Sotnikova had a difficulty level of 4, while Kim had a level 3. This meant that Kim had nearly a point deficit in the base value for the two elements combined. In her layback spin, Sotnikova changed positions with ease while maintaining speed and intensity, and the judges rewarded her with higher marks. She received nearly two points more than Kim did for the two elements.

How Sotnikova Beat Kim Move by Move NYTimes com

Sotnikova’s combination had a much higher base value because she chose to do the most difficult double jump, the double axel. She received high marks for her good flow, height and distance. She added a 10 percent bonus by executing the combination in the second half of the program.

How Sotnikova Beat Kim Move by Move NYTimes com

The double jump Kim chose is one of the easiest, so it has a low base value. The entry was simple, and the jump ended with little speed.

How Sotnikova Beat Kim Move by Move NYTimes com


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So the conclusion I take away from this is, the position of the judges and their perspective is the most important thing for scoring.  That simply means contestants should take into consideration the place in their routine where they want to score the highest points to maximize the view from the judges box.

Definitely. All the athletes know this.

The graphics really help understand this. 

I heard the discourse this morning on the news, that Kim got robbed, and the Russian judges, some who have a history of rigging the vote, one married to the Russian Figure Skating Federation President.  Judges are anonymous, maybe this should be transparent, seems like they are leaving the door open to fudge the judging.

After seeing the marks and replay, with my little skating knowledge, I still would say it looks like Sotnikova won it fairly.


"Anonymity was granted to judges in an effort to lessen pressure from their national skating federations. But this makes it extremely difficult to detect collusion and nationalistic bias, Bianchetti recently said.

Here is a rundown of the officials and judges involved with the women’s free program on Thursday night in Sochi:

■ Judge No. 1: Birgit Föll of Germany.

■ Judge No. 2: Yuri Balkov of Ukraine. At the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Balkov was taped by the Canadian judge Jean Senft explaining what order the competitors would finish in the ice-dancing competition before it took place. He was suspended for one year. He returned to judging and is certified by the international federation.

■ Judge No. 3: Franco Benini of Italy.

■ Judge No. 4: Zanna Kulik of Estonia.

■ Judge No. 5: Nobuhiko Yoshioka of Japan.

■ Judge No. 6: Alla Shekhovtsova of Russia. She is the wife of Valentin Piseev, general director of the Russian figure skating federation.

■ Judge No. 7: Hélène Cucuphat of France.

■ Judge No. 8: Karen Howard of Canada.

■ Judge No. 9: Adriana Domanska of Slovakia.

■ Technical controller: Alexander Lakernik of Russia, who has been the vice president of the Russian figure skating federation. He was voted chairman of the international federation’s technical committee in the wake of the 2002 Salt Lake scandal.

■ Technical specialist: Vanessa Gusmeroli, a retired French figure skater and a world championships bronze medalist.

■ Assistant technical specialist: Olga Baranova of Finland.

■ Referee: Diana Barbacci Levy of Switzerland.

■ Data operator: David Santee of the United States.

■ Replay operator: Alexander Kuznetsov of Russia. In the aftermath of the judging scandal at the 2002 Salt Lake Games, Russian officials, including Kuznetsov, expressed frustration that the Canadians pushed to have the pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier elevated to a gold medal. “The Russians would never have brought up this issue,” said Kuznetsov, identified as a “figure skating coach.” “The Russians would have proven their right to victory at the next competition.”

After reading all of this...

...I agree with you.

Sotnikova had the best night of her career whereas Kim was merely excellent.

Sotnikova had the tougher program and put more hard moves in the second half, netting bonuses.

Sotnikova was athletic and showed strength, whereas Kim was more graceful like a dancer.


I admit that Yuna had lower base value than Adelina in the free skating.

However, figure skating score is not just about the base value of each technical element. In other words, the higher base value doesn't mean the better skating. For instance, Mao Asada had higher base value than Sotnikova since she landed 8 triples in her free skating, while Sotnikova landed only 7. But it was Sotnikova who had higher total element score.

What about the case of Lysacek and Plyushchenko in 2010 winter Olympics? Plyushchenko had higher base value, since he landed quad jump, but it was Lysacek who won the gold. Therefore I think your argument does not justify how Adelina beat Yuna. I admit she did a great job, but I can definitely say she wasn't good enough to win the gold medal.


Two million people signed a petition to open transparent scores and remove anonymity from the judging decisions, so clearly there are a lot of people who agree with you:

They crashed the servers at :

In any case, Yuna was excellent. I've watched her routine several times, and she is wonderful.

Yuna Kim Sochi 2014 Figure Skating Petition Crashes - Business Insider

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