Nothing Prompts Calls For Swift Action Like a Women's Figure Skating Controversy

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 21 2014 11:02 AM

Nothing Prompts Calls For Swift Action Like a Women's Figure Skating Controversy

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Adelina Sotnikova's unexpected gold medal has the world asking questions

Photo by Goh Chai HinO/AFP/Getty Images

As my colleague Jessica Winter has already documented, Russian Adelina Sotnikova's upset figure-skating victory over reigning Olympic champion Yuna Kim of South Korea yesterday has plenty of people suggesting that that the fix was in. Among those wondering aloud if the Eastern European-dominated judge's panel gave the gold to an inferior performance: sports columnists, skating analysts, and even some of the skaters themselves. Anyone else we should add to that list? How about the nearly 1.7 million people who have already signed a Change.org petition calling for an investigation into the final results.

The petition garnered 730,000 signatures in the first six hours it was up following the final skate—a figure that represented the most traffic Change.org has ever seen on its website by a factor of five, according to a spokesperson for the site. The vast majority of those early signatures—about 90 percent—were, perhaps unsurprisingly, coming from people inside Korea, with the rest mostly from the United States. You can check out the petition itself here.

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For more on the controversy—and the scoring system that made it possible—go check out Winter's great piece here.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. Follow him on Twitter.