If you have read any of my articles on the Winter Olympics over the past week you probably picked up a few things. I love Canada. I can’t wait for the World Cup. I hate Figure Skating. I hate even more that Figure Skating is shoved down our throats by Bob Costas and everyone else at NBC. I decided to fix the sport that everyone loves. Give it a new identity that will transcend the Olympics, and maybe get the IOC to actually schedule figure skating in primetime so everyone can see it live instead of on tape delay. Here are my suggestions –
Get rid of the Judges – That is right, much like boxing figure skating has been marred with fixing and rigging of events by the judges. Most recently, in the 2002 Olympics, the Canadian pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were given the silver when a French judge was pressured into favoring the Russians. In the end the Russians and Canadians both received gold.
Fix the Scoring – I understand that after the debacle in Salt Lake City the scoring system was changed to make the Judges less of a factor (They now control 55% of the scoring instead of 100%). That helps, but why not just throw the judges out and make each trick worth something? A triple axle is 12 points a double axle is 9. If your hand touches on the landing you loose 1 point; if you land on both feet instead of one foot you loose .5 points. If you fall outright, no points. Then just say each competitor has to do a certain number of each kind of trick. There, done. Plus, it is simpler to keep track at home. I don’t think anyone, not even the judges, really gets the current scoring system.
Put a Clock Up – The short program for singles is 2:50 long. Put a clock for everyone to see. When it gets down to ten, everyone starts counting. It builds the drama. Imagine hitting that big quad toe loop with two seconds left to win the gold. Tell me that wouldn’t get everyone exited. It would be the equivalent of the buzzer beater, the Hail Mary and a walk-off homerun.
Change the Music – Only music from the Billboard Top 100 is to be played. I don’t want to listen to Mozart and Beethoven during an athletic event. I get enough of that when I put on my daughter’s Baby Einstein so she’s distracted and I can write. I want to watch them skate to Kings of Leon and Alicia Keys. Hell, you could probably get the artists to be at the venue to play live. I know these people are from all over the world, but you can’t convince me that they don’t know Coldplay.
This athletic event has chance to become a sport, and a chance to be popular. People might actually like to watch it. But it needs some changes. Can someone get me the President of the IOC’s e-mail?
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