And the Canadians are determined to ruin it. Their long history of causing trouble when they’re deprived of Olympic medals they think they deserve is well known, and has often done the sport good, but now they might drag it down to very low rating and undo all the gain that could be gotten by a competition of this quality that could have otherwise won fans back, all because their team didn’t win. With the help of some Russian who, it seems, thought by throwing shade on the US could distract attention from a much more plausible theory of the bronze being fixed. But really, L’Equipe‘s allegations don’t fly for two big reasons.
For one thing, if the US was ever any good at politicking, Meryl & Charlie would’ve won their first world medal a year earlier than they did, Tanith & Ben would’ve won gold at that same competition(it was even on home ice, for pete’s sake!), might have even won bronze in Vancouver, and Meryl & Charlie probably would’ve won 2012 Worlds too. I’ve heard the accusations of Marina dumping one team in favor of the other, but surely when Tessa & Scott were firmly back on top in 2012, she would not have put her chances at another Olympic gold plus her prospects of coaching future Canadian teams at risk like that. And surely if Tessa & Scott ever suspected that, they would’ve headed off to Shpilband.
And really, L’Equipe lost all their plausibility when they described Pechalat & Bourzat as the team that might even upset the Canadians for silver. There was never any way the Russians would be involved in any ice dance fix that didn’t put one of their own teams on the podium. In fact, I think Bobrova & Soloviev’s results disprove everything; I’m even more skeptical of any thought that after B & S continually being the highest-finishing Russian team & I & K failed to even win Europeans they made a super last minute change to their fixing plan either, especially when I & K are often prone to the kind of mistakes that would’ve wrecked it.
And really, the Russians never needed this deal. The only one of their skaters who was egregiously overscored in the team event was Plushenko, and we’ve seen enough reputation judging for him that there was no need for outright fixing. In fact, the same goes for Davis & White after the last two seasons. The only way this deal is plausible is if it was made years ago, and involved so many tech panels & judges it probably would’ve come out long before now.
But of course, none of the people who only watch four years are aware of this, and they don’t care either. So skating’s popularity will be wrecked because of one Russian and one notorious French paper. Ugh!