February 22, 2006
Figure skating scandal: 2002 - Salt Lake City, Utah
By GEORGE GROSS -- Sun Media
Probably the most crooked judging ever done in the Olympic Games was conducted by figure skating judges.
Space won't allow to list all the incidents, but it's worth mentioning a few.
Canadians were shocked when, through interference of a Russian mobster, a French official and a French judge, Canada's Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were at first denied Olympic gold in 2002 at Salt Lake City and were placed behind a Russian pair.
It reminded me of the case of French skater Jacqueline de Bief who, at the 1951 world championship was a clear winner over Jeanette Altwegg, but the judges gave the title to a British woman. So embarrassed was the referee of the event that he went over to de Bief and guaranteed she would win the following year's world title. She did.
Canadian officials protested the Sal Lake City result and proved the crookedness. As a result, the International Olympic Committee came up with a Solomon's decision and awarded the Canadian couple a share of the gold medal.
That incident brought about a significant change in figure skating judging.