American figure skater Ashley Wagner, like many in the figure skating community, was shocked that the judges did not award Yuna Kim a gold medal that nearly everyone believed she had won Thursday night in Sochi.
“I am speechless,” Wagner said when asked about the final result. “The crowd was very supportive of the Russians, so to be a Russian figure skater must have been absolutely incredible to get out there … period.”
Wagner said figure skating needs to make the results more transparent if it wants to retain fans. One of the judges was married to the Russian skating federation president and another had been suspended in the past for fixing matches. In addition, the U.S. and South Korean judges were left off the final panel of judges.
“They need to get rid of the anonymous judging,” Wagner said. “There are many changes that need to come to this sport if we want a fan base, because you can’t depend on this sport to always be there when you need it. The sport in general needs to become more dependable.”
Wagner also said she suspected there would be some home-ice advantage and some shenanigans before the games.
“I came into this event knowing pretty well that that was how it was going to go,” she said. “It is not fair to the skaters who work so hard to become noticed if they are not going to have a sport that backs up what they are doing.”