Canadian Columnist Says Ice Dancing Is Rigged

Before you get the impression that an entire nation is drowning in sour grapes, know that Rosie DiManno is Canada's worst columnist (non Sue-Ann Levy division). But even for her, this is something:

Strip away the sequins, wipe off the pancake makeup, delete the frozen-in-place smiles, and what's left is a tawdry whore of a sport where the judges are the johns.

If the fix is not in against Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, then I'm the Princess of Wales.

[...]

The U.S. has never won an ice dance championship at the Olympics. Obviously, the judges have decided it's time.

Be careful not to burn your typing fingers on the SCORCHINGLY HOT TAKE.

At issue are the results from yesterday's ice dancing short program, which saw Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White receive a world-record score, putting them 2.56 points ahead of Canadian rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. The two pairs are the undisputed best in the world right now, and are expected to finish gold-silver in some order. DiManno's upset that it appears it'll be the Americans first.

DiManno gives credence to a recent French report that the U.S. and Russian judges are in cahoots, trading high marks to hand each other's skaters golds in the team and ice dancing competitions. That alone wouldn't explain Davis and White's record score, which couldn't be achieved by a single generous judge.

Let's watch DiManno torpedo her own argument:

It can be done, surpassing the Americans. But given how generously they've been marked for two years now — defeating the Canadians in their last four head-to-head competitions, including worlds last March in London, Ont. — the Yanks would damn near have to fall on their backsides to blow it.

One could take the recent evidence to show that Davis and White are better than Virtue and Moir right now, and have proven it in recent competition. DiManno takes that same evidence and comes to the conclusion that every judge everywhere is out to shit on the Canadian couple.

DiManno also acknowledges that scoring is subjective and the judges' nationalities and individual scores anonymous, so she can't ever actually back up her accusations.

But that's the flaw with figure skating, isn't it? Other Canadian observers questioning yesterday's scores call judging in general "incomprehensible" and "baffling," and they're right. There's something inherently wrong—nonsporting—about an event where viewers can't tell with their own eyes who won. It's just as pointless to allege corruption as it is to claim that everything's on the up-and-up. This is a competition that encourages conspiracy theories, perhaps intentionally. Drama is drama.