Team Celski Blog: I’m glad I’m not a figure skating judge

By Bob Celski
2-21-14
It is now Friday and we have only today and tomorrow left.
Yesterday (Thursday) was a very long day. It started with moving hotels from the Yuzhny to the Hotel Zelanaya Roscha in Matsesta which is about another 20 minutes away from the Olympic Park. A bit of a hassle but in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal. We have so much luggage we used a taxi instead of public transportation. It was interesting getting the cost of the ride from the taxi driver. I finally pulled out my phone and brought up the calculator so he could type in the price! What a way to communicate. It was a higher fee than I thought but not too out of line.
Sue and I stayed in the village yesterday so I could get caught up with some work items, update the blog and my Facebook posting, and rest a bit. Chris and Andrea went up to Krasna Polyana in the mountains with the girlfriends of some of the other short track team to see a snowboarding event. We have been interested in going up there, but have been so busy doing other things we have stayed in and around the P&G Family Home and USA House.
Last night, we had the opportunity to go see the women’s figure skating free skate. Never did I imagine I would have an opportunity to see the women’s free skate figure skating at the Olympics. Growing up in Minnesota as a youth hockey player, I have been watching this particular Olympic event on TV with great interest since I was just a kid. The style and grace of women figure skaters is like no other. This is why I was so excited to meet Kristi Yamaguchi a few days ago! She was one of the most graceful figure skaters I ever watched.
As is common, the end result of the event produced a huge controversy as to who should have won the gold medal, and that the American women were judged out of the medals. This morning, the questions and criticism are posted all over the Internet. The Koreans, whose skater was the favorite for gold, are outraged as she won the gold medal four years ago in Vancouver.
I’ll admit I am no expert on judging figure skating, but having watched it for decades I know a little bit. As I saw it, the judges got the first three places right – the Russian, the Korean and Italian skaters were clearly the medalists. They got the top two places right – the Russian and the Korean skaters were clearly the top two.
As to the gold medalist, to me the skaters were equally as strong. Obviously the judges favored the Russian skater which to me wasn’t a stretch. What I thought an injustice was placing Ashley Wagner in sixth. To me, she should have finished fourth. So goes the ambiguity and controversy of figure skating, it is still the same as it was decades ago . . .
The event let out late, so we moved quickly across the entire park to the train station. We had to catch the train to the hotel shuttle in Matsesta, the last one of which left at 1:30 a.m. It was a long day with miles and miles of walking through the park.

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