Irina Slutskaya didn't deserve a gold medal. She skated a program that, while technically solid, had precious little artistic merit (i.e., it was boring as hell). Michelle Kwan didn't deserve the gold medal - it's unfortunate that a moment's lapse in body positioning led to a stumble and a mandatory deduction, but that's what can happen in life. Sarah Hughes skated a routine that was solid both technically and artistically, and skated it when it mattered most - during the section of the program which accounted for two-thirds of the total score.
The Russians are behaving like spoiled children because the calls are not going their way. They don't seem to realize that their team - and other teams of the former Eastern Bloc - have benefited from some rather debatable calls in the past. Witness the 1972 Munich men's basketball finals, or perhaps the 1980 Lake Placid women's figure skating finals. Even at this Olympics, their team has benefited from the debatable judging at the pairs competition, when the Russian pair won the gold despite stumbles obvious to even the untrained eye.
Now the Russians may boycott the remainder of this Olympics, and perhaps the 2004 Athens Olympics as well. Well, fine - more medals for everyone else. The Olympics is about sportsmanship - if the Russians wish to be petty, let them leave. The world has changed - I doubt many, if any, teams will join their protest. Their energies would be better directed at supporting reforms in the judging of figure skating than engaging in endless bickering and insults.
Get over yourselves, Russians - and get on with the Games.
I'm going twenty-four hours a day...I can't seem to stop - "Turn Up The Radio", Autograph
Yeah, whenever the Russians bitch about calls not going their way, I always simply say, “Munich, 1972.” That men's basketball gold-medal finals featured the absolute biggest piece of crap ending ever. It was arguably the biggest sports travesty in history, with the Soviets getting the benefit of three opportunities to win the game-- finally capitalizing on the last one.
I agree, if the Russians are gonna be so damn petty, they should leave. They're hardly the first country to be screwed by questionable calls in the Olympics-- and the decisions against them in these Olympics are hardly questionable.
I mean, crap! It's not even as if the Russian pair were stripped of their gold medals-- which, I believe, they probably should have been. That French judge was paid off, plain and simple. Instead the Canadians rightfully get duplicate gold medals, and the Russians are all in a tizzy over that?
The preceding announcement has been paid for by the New World Order.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/offbeat/2004-08-18-beer-bear_x.htm --- The gist: A bear was found passed out at a camping resort in Washington State. Turns out it was DRUNK after getting a hold of some Rainier beer some campers had in a cooler.