Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

U.S. Judges Shortchange Wagner at Figure Skating Championships

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

U.S. Judges Shortchange Wagner at Figure Skating Championships

Article excerpt

SAN JOSE – It will shock absolutely no one to hear that there's a bit of a judging controversy at the 2018 U.S. figure skating national championships. This one doesn't involve a French judge or the Russians, the usual suspects when trouble is afoot in the land of sequins and ice. This one centers squarely on the judges from the good old U S of A, doing something that has not been done in recent memory at a nationals — hammering one of their own.

In an odd and unprecedented twist, the nine-judge panel in the women's event Wednesday night scored three-time national champion and 2016 world silver medalist Ashley Wagner lower in her short program component (artistic) score than international judges did at two Grand Prix events last fall. This might not sound like much, but within the arcane world of figure skating judging, it's very strange. It's not just that international judges almost always tend to be stingier than domestic judges. It's that U.S. judges at their national championships are understandably generous to their most illustrious skaters with these subjective artistic marks — although it must be said that no one can top Canada, which long ago retired the gold medal in the rush to toss high numbers at its skaters.

Wagner has skated three competitive short programs this season. She received a 33.47 total program component score at Skate Canada and a 33.68 score at Skate America. Don't be fooled by the name; Skate America is a Grand Prix event with international judges. On Wednesday, skating the same program to the same music in just about the same way, she received a 32.94.

Decimal points, you say? Agreed — but the very fact that it wasn't several points higher is what's surprising, and ominous, for Wagner, who found herself in fifth place, nearly eight points out of first.

Cheating, you say? No, more like home cooking with the referees in a basketball game. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.