So the Olympics ice-dancing competition has finished. One wants to hope, that the war, declared by the North-American press to the whole other sports world will also finally finish. It's truly said that even in the democratic countries the mood of mass media always follows the mood of the politicians. After all, editors of magazines and newspapers, and TV-channels bosses as a rule are people close to the circle of "the strongest of this world".

The IOC and ISU decision of giving another set of gold medals in pair skating to the Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier had become the brightest scandal of the Nineteen White Olympics. This decision is unprecedented and in future it promises a lot of problems for the judges in all kinds of sport, where the results are not calculated in goals, meters or seconds. Marie Le Gougne, the judge from France had become a scapegoat, who quasi confessed, that she was pressed by the French Figure Skating Federation President Didier Gaillaguet. Accordingly to ISU announcements, Le Gougne quoted Gaillaguet, that if she put the Russians Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze first, the Russian judge in ice-dancing Alla Shekhovtsova quasi promised to give the first place in dancing to the French Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat.

So, what made the French judge to expose the president of her own Federation with a risk of never representing her country at the international skating competitions, moreover with such an unlikely fairytale? With an existing judge panel choice even a person, who knows little about the judge's (разборки), it was clear that the Russian judge would make a stake on her own couple Irina Lobacheva/Ilya Averbukh, and that experienced Alla Shekhovtsova couldn't give such a promise in any case. And even if she did that, Didier Gaillaguet wouldn't believe, and he would be right: judging the free dance, all the Russian "organized" judges would give the first place to Lobacheva and Averbukh. I'm sorry for them, that there were only four of nine of these judges.

This is the only explanation of the strange French mental striptease, which came to my mind the ISU congress, which takes place this summer, where on the International Skating Union President post, besides Ottavio Cinquanta, its present head, who aims staying for the third period, Didier Gaillaguet, the ISU Council Member is going to come forward as a candidate. The figure skating Person, unlike the short tracker Cinquanta has every prospect of success, that's why behind all that show a hand of a director from Milan, called in one of my articles "Don Figurleone", could hide. In some of the well-known Italian organizations this method of "letting down" of a dangerous rival is considered to be the most humane.

But let's go back to the ice-dancing. Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat had become the Olympic champions by right. They were the best in all four dances: in compulsories, in the Spanish Original, which was made by the ballet-masters of the Ballet and Opera Theatre in Madrid, and in the free dance, where Natalia Dubova again flashed with her talent and fantasy. Nevertheless exactly in the compulsories and the Original I would place Irina Lobacheva and Ilya Averbukh literally nears them. Firstly for the last years they not only skated but they looked tastefully: modest with expensive beauty costumes, modest manner of moving on ice. Even Irina's head had got rid of a look of a rag, which the painter wipes his brushes at and had got the bright of a good coiffeur's hands. One can suppose that someone with a perfect taste appeared in the Linichuk-Karponosov's group, since Natalia Vladimirovna got a new hair style too, which accords much more to her successful coach and beautiful, mature woman image.

After the Original Dance Maurizio Margaglio declared, that they wouldn't become the Olympic champions already, whom they had to be by right, because of the judges machinations. Most probably he hoped for the repeating of the ISU decision in pairs skating. But during the free dance Maurizio fell and with this fall he nearly unloaded the couple on the fourth place. In the Kiss-n-Cry corner Barbara Fusar-Poli burst into tears, mourning over her unrealized hopes.

I'm very sorry for this pleasant young woman, but I don't quite understand what she'd been hoping for. There are no hesitations that Barbara is a great dancer, and has a great command of skate, but her partner is no more than an uncertainly standing on skates handsome with a good acting talent. With this partner she got even a bronze medal only due to the fact, that their compatriot Ottavio Cinquanta occupies a place of the boss of all skaters in ISU.

The Canadians Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz had the real chances for the medal, but unfortunately they weren't able to skate any dance without mistakes. Their free dance was really very good, but literally in the last seconds Victor fell on ice with his partner and left a medal for the Italians. The Eurosport's and other channels commentators often repeated the fact that Shae-Lynn lives with her coach and choreographer Nikolai Morozov, and that probably Victor had Appeared to be the "third is an odd". The fact of living together is known, so it's possible that enamored Nikolai really paid too little attention to the partner of his girlfriend. At least Victor's sad face expression, which he kept from the first dance till the last one, witnesses that the relations in the group are far from the ideal.

The Lithuanian couple Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas was very good. And it's a pity that judges don't give medals for their wonderful, done for the sensitive spectator intellectual program, in time of quick body moves. If the judging was enough objective, and put the marks for the technique and presentation and not for the personal ambitions or the collections of American former presidents, than Drobiazko and Vanagas would have a full right for the bronze medal, having switched places with the Italians. From the other dancers, which the German television showed, I was impressed first of all by the Bulgarians Albena Denkova/Maxim Staviysky and the Israelis Galit Chait/Sergey Sakhnovsky, the Englishmen Marika Humphreys/Vitaly Baranov and the Ukrainians Elena Grushina/Ruslan Goncharov. The latter I consider to be the "sold" pair, the dancers, the success of who even their coach doesn't fight for. Even in Lausanne that was already clear, that the judges would place them in the first ten at most. In the Original dance Ruslan was dressed in the jacket with waving tails, which unwittingly made an expression that it was called upon to veil not only his figure, but its moves as well. And their almost ten years old image of the exemplary schoolchildren, who are far away from any thoughts about sexuality obviously hasn't added to the beautiful married couple from Odessa any "ten" to the second mark. The Israelis flashed with a diamond of the Natalia Dubova's coach talent, and the Bulgarians had proved once again that the replacement to the great ice-dancing Russian coaches Elena Chaikovskaya, Tatiana Tarassova and Natalia Dubova grew up in the face of Alexander Gorshkov. I'm very happy for all the medalists, especially for Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, but I have to admit, that as at the Europeans in Lausanne, none couple had convinced me with its grace and beauty. If Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov were in the Salt Lake City, or even Tatiana Navka with Samvel Gezalyan, there was no any question about the Olympic champions. Several years ago during one of the warming ups, where graceful as a statuette Anjelika and Flying past her Marina with a waving red mane, unwittingly a comparison of a gazelle and a horse came to my mind. The horse with the belle blood, well-groomed, nervous and excellently trained. Though the other medalist also didn't shine with any breed. Tatiana Navka remained the last "princess on ice", but comparing her with the young generation, she'll soon be enrolled in the Category "Queen Mom".

© World copyright by Arthur Werner

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