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Olympic Sports

South Korea Crashed Change.org After Yuna Kim Didn’t Win The Gold Medal In Women’s Figure Skating

figure skating yuna kim

Not surprisingly, a figure skating result at the Olympics is the subject of great controversy — probably because the judges include people who have previously been banned for trying to fix events and there’s no way to figure out which judges gave which scores and for what reasons. This one was enough to send record-breaking traffic to Change.org, eventually crashing the site.

Yesterday Adelina Sotnikova of Russia — on her home ice — bested gold medal favorite Yuna Kim of South Korea with a highly technical program that the judges favored. There’s plenty of reason to believe, or at least understand, that Sotnikova scored a justifiable upset. But:

1) As noted above, ice skating is one of the sketchiest sports out there.
2) Plenty of media members and experts expressed shock at the scores (examples here, and here, and here).

So when a petition called “Open Investigation into Judging Decisions of Women’s Figure Skating and Demand Rejudgement at the Sochi Olympics” (which, of course, will never, ever happen) was started on Change.org, the Internet went nuts. Kim is one of the most popular athletes in South Korea, and her countrymen and women rushed to her aid, sending traffic to the site at five times the highest previously-recorded rate, according to Change.org spokeswoman Charlotte Hill. While there are now over 1.6 million signatures on the petition, 90 percent of the traffic is coming from South Korea.

Just as Americans were upset with their gold medal game loss to Canada yesterday, South Koreans are understandably heartbroken and looking for an outlet. While they may have a case, nothing will change in ice skating until the rules are changed. It will continue to look like a sham, regardless of whether that’s actually the case.

Photo via Getty

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