Was Yuna Kim Cheated Out Of The Olympic Gold? Fans Call For IOC Investigation Into 'Corrupt' Win
You don't want to anger a mob of figure-skating fans. A petition on Change.org calling for an investigation into Russian skater Adelina Sotnikova's figure-skating win at the Sochi Olympics Thursday nearly crashed the site, racking up more than a million signatures overnight. Many were outraged when Sotnikova unexpectedly won gold at the event, and crowd favorite Yuna Kim of South Korea took the silver medal. Kim had won gold at the Vancouver Games in 2010, and had been pegged to collect her second at Sochi this year.
And, true to form, Kim's performance Thursday proved to be pretty flawless. It was a close match-up between Sotnikova and Kim, but ultimately the Russian skater snagged more points — and some people weren't pleased at all. The petition, addressed to the International Skating Union in Switzerland, is titled "Open Investigation into Judging Decisions of Women's Figure Skating and Demand Rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics" and was created by the user "Justice Seeker."
According to the petition, 17-year-old Russian Sotnikova "did an amazing job and showed amazing performance," but her victory "illustrates the home advantage," since Sotnikova stumbled slightly after a jump. In light of that, Sotnikova's score, according to the petition, was pretty generous. The petition goes on to say that the appeal isn't specifically for Kim's sake, but for the sake of restoring "fair sportsmanship" to the Olympic Games.
After Sotnikova's skating win was announced, the Web was flooded by criticisms of the judging system, and mentions of other athletes being "cheated" out of gold medals. (No word on how many of those people were Canadian, a country known to cry conspiracy after losing Olympic events on a number of occasions.) Still, experts say an extra triple jump won Sotnikova the gold, compared to Kim's double jump, which had a lower base value for being far easier.
Supporters of the petition disagree. Apparently, this is the "biggest scandal ever in women figure skating history," and "Russia should be ashamed." Web traffic on Change.org was so crazy that the site had to employ a team of engineers to work double overtime just to keep up.
Representatives for the site have said more than 700,000 people signed the petition in just over six hours; that nearly 100,000 new signatures were popping up every 15 minutes; that and 90 percent of the supporters were from South Korea. This was five times the maximum traffic Change.org had ever seen, reported the activist-petition site.
Korea is set to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, so we'll see how friendly (or not) the competition gets during the figure-skating finals of the Pyeongchang Games...