Controversy At National Championships Proves Once Again That Figure Skating Is Not A Sport

  • Rick Chandler

Before we begin, let me just say that the repercussions I’m about to face in my own household for the above headline will be much more terrifying than anything you can write, so don’t bother, figure skating fans.

In short, Ashley Wagner, the darling of the U.S. Figure Skating Association, who fell twice and finished a distant fourth today at the Nationals, was awarded an Olympic spot ahead of Mirai Nagasu (above), who finished ahead of her. Because, figure skating.

So wrong on so many levels. Here’s the explanation, from the New York Daily News:

The move set a fresh precedent for the USFSA, because the federation had never before bumped a skater after he or she placed high enough at nationals to qualify for the Winter Games. In the past, qualifying skaters from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships had only been bumped by the federation when injuries prevented top-tier competitors from performing at nationals.

USFSA president Pat St. Peter said the federation made an “objective analysis” in this decision.

Here’s what’s so terribly wrong with this:

* The competition, in Boston, was called the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Championships?

* Seriously, look at the awards ceremony below. Nagasu’s podium is higher than Wagner’s. I measured! DO THE PODIUMS MEAN NOTHING?

* If recent history is any guide, the results of figure skating can be interpreted in different ways at any time. Cheating is allowed. Bad can be good, Good can be ignored, and rules can be changed willy-nilly, with precedent meaning nothing. In other words, what we’ve got here is an icy version of this:

* A great routine is good, but never underestimate the influence of a metal pipe.

Conclusion: Figure skating is not a sport. Please replace in Olympics with new event: The Bear Downhill:

No subjective scoring here. Either you outrun the bear, or you’re lunch.