Figure Skating Thread (Olympic Spoilers/Discussion starting at post #16)

Russia - Soviet Union - are they really that different? I’ll gladly replace the words “Soviet Union” in my post with “Russia”.



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The world’s not just divided into autocracies and democracies. Some autocracies are more oppressive than others (and some democracies are more repressive than others too). Russia might not be a valid democracy but it’s also not the Soviet Union, and not just in terms of civil repression. The end of the Cold War brought about tumultuous political and social change.


Um, yes. It is a great deal different. Life has changed beyond recognition.

Is it a democracy? No. But it’s not North Korea either.

Yes, they are that different. To suggest they are one and the same demonstrates a lack of understanding of the last 75 years or so.

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With regards to Putin’s television address tonight, he said “the breakup of USSR robbed Russia of it’s jewels”. A clear message that Ukraine is the beginning.

Which is terribly bad news if you’re a 2nd or 3rd tier Russian figure skater

This is going to be terrible news beyond skating I’m afraid. Here in Berlin already crimea was really palpable in the number of Ukrainians in the city…

So now that the Olympics are over.

Will IOC

DQ Valieva and ROC from Team Event
Let this one just slowly fizzle out and do nothing?

I am guessing the 2nd one.

#2. It’s too bad for the people who didn’t cheat. But the CAS decision does highlight the need for accountability regardless of age. I am in favor of both holding the coaches accountable for this and raising the age limit.

Your question assumes it’s the IOC’s decision to make, no?

Guessing the first one, but much like the 2000 Olympics team medals, it will be years down the road for a diminished medal ceremony

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That’s all in WADA and CAS’s hands now. But there is more to speculate about. The IOC has to face the consequences of its non-punishments. The ISU has to confront its enablement of unsustainable and abusive practices in figure skating.

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I thought that CAS ruled against suspending Valieva due to investigation process and being a protected person.
Since WADA already has the positive drug test, I thought that IOC had jurisdiction over medals and the decisions to strip or not.

To my understanding, the IOC is responsible for the Olympics and the ISU would be responsible for Europeans.

But I think CAS to decide whether or not to suspend her since WADA made her a protected person. Her positive test was from a domestic competition so technically I don’t think the IOC can sanction her without a CAS decision first.

I don’t think she’ll end up being suspended for the games — maybe Europeans but not the Olympics.

Really? Do you think it’s a good time to be defending Russia right now?

Yes, I’m sure there are differences between Russia and the Soviet Union. Perhaps you can enlighten me: which one is more kleptocratic?

My grandfather’s family was born near Kiev, and the lucky ones got out and went to the west, and the unlucky ones got sent to labor camps and Siberia and some were never heard from again, so forgive me if I have nothing good to say about your ill-timed defense of Russia.

It’s not North Korea? That’s not a very high standard to compare it to.

Did you by the way see that a guy filmed a Russian attack of the Ukraine on his phone yesterday in which he died? I admire the 900 or so people who got arrested for demonstrating in Russia against this useless and unprovoked war.

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I would agree to disagree on this one. I agree there are tradeoffs. Some people must find something good about pot, since some people smoke it, but I think the disadvantages would outweigh the advantages with regard to athletics, and the advantages would be far less than cardiac endurance enhancers. For myself, many years ago, if I was stoned and driving, I was very careful, but I forgot where I was going; if I was reading, I read the same paragraph 16 times; if I was writing a check at the grocery store, it seemed like a very complicated process. Maybe you don’t have to think much when you’re running, but it seems to me it would slow you down. Maybe she didn’t take it while she was running.

Another comment slightly off this topic, about Valieva’s coach berating her after her skate; it seems to me unsurprising that it happened to a young female skater. When you think about all the categories of skating: pairs, men’s, women’s, doesn’t it just seem like it would unfortunately be more likely to happen to a young female skater, because society gives less respect to women, and to the very young and very old, as they don’t have the same power as middle-aged adults to defend themselves. It just sucks. How stupid that this coach would take advantage of her athlete.

It’s not that the press can behave however they want towards minors in general. Minors who are not public figures are generally protected, and there are certain other aspects of minor’s private lives that are protected under law (grades, criminal history, medical history, etc.) However, there are some instances where minors are in the public eye, and it is considered acceptable to comment fairly and discuss issues that are relevant to the public. For example, high-profile child actors and famous child musicians may have their performance discussed and critiqued. Similarly, athletes who are capable of performing in major international competitions that are broadcast for a global audience are inherently in the public eye. Thus, it’s expected, and it’s part of the deal that these minors are mature enough to handle this pressure and any public critique. This also means that journalists can write editorials or express their opinion on air provided that they are in keeping with professional standards. Like, journalists can’t just make unfounded accusations because that’s unprofessional and potentially illegal (slander), and if a journalist were to really grill a kid during an interview this wouldn’t fly with the public because it would be perceived as harassing a kid.
Issuing an opinion that is grounded in publicly available information, however, is just fine and totally acceptable in a society with a free press and freedom of speech. That’s just sort of how things work in the US.


I am not “defending Russia”, I want to counter the ignorance and assumptions which Westerns often hold against my country.

There are many things I dislike about Russia and the president, from quite trivial domestic issues to the more obvious current affairs. But there are also many good things about life in Russia and the idea that we are oppressed or controlled in our day to day lives is completely untrue.

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Current matters certainly aren’t helping…