Millions of people are unhappy that Russia's Adelina Sotnikova beat out South Korea's
I’ll be honest: I don’t remember much about Sotnikova’s free skate at the
Yes, her long program was jam-packed with jumps, and it was entertaining to watch her unique spins. I remember those, but I recall little of what she did in between.
I enjoyed watching Kim much more. She embodied one of the things that makes figure skating -- a sport in which I used to compete -- unlike most other sports: artistic grace. She skated beautifully.
But does that mean she deserved to win? Russia's first gold medal in Olympic women’s figure skating is causing quite the controversy. That Sotnikova, who was trailing then-reigning Olympic champion Kim by a fraction of a point after the short program, won on home ice is leading to speculation that there might have been something fishy going on with the judging. There’s even a Change.org petition with nearly 2 million signatures demanding an investigation into the result.
Having Kim denied the Olympic gold medal because of judging favoritism would be wrong. That's a no-brainer. But I'm not going to debate the judges' integrity.
Bottom line? Kim had a better skate to watch, but Sotnikova played the game -- she had a more technically challenging routine. And in my mind, if figure skating is a sport, and not an art, then technical superiority must always win out over artistry.
That can be hard to swallow. We're moved by Kim's routine, which makes us emotionally invested. I'm all for well-rounded skaters. And I absolutely love that my sport, which I've been watching or participating in almost all my life, combines beauty and power.
But with Sotnikova's win, the word "sport" was uppermost in my thoughts. In sports, whoever racks up the most points wins. That was Sotnikova.
What do you think? I think this is a discussion worth having, so share your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet me @lauraelizdavis.