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Middletown Transcript
  • Petition to investigate Olympic ice skating scoring garners 1.7 million supporters

  • After a Russian skater won the gold medal in an upset, a petition to investigate the scoring went viral and crashed the website Change.org.
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  • After a Russian won the gold medal for figure skating in an upset, a petition to investigate the scoring went viral and has garnered more than 1.7 million supporters on Change.org. Adelina Sotnikova, a relatively unknown figure skater, beat favorite Yuna Kim from South Korea to take home the gold medal Thursday. Within hours of the event's broadcast, a petition to look into the sport's Olympic scoring drew so many supporters that it crashed its host website Change.org. "This is not for Yuna Kim, this is for the fair sportsmanship that is supposed to be central to the world event of the Olympics," the petition reads. The petition was started by user who used the name "Justice Seeker" and asks for the International Skating Union to "open investigation into judging decisions of women's figure skating and demand re-judgement at the Sochi Olympics." They allege Sotnikova had a home advantage and was favored by the judges. The petition was back online Friday morning after it crashed earlier in the day. "The petition gained 700,000-plus signatures in just six hours and is sending traffic to our site at five times the highest previously recorded rate," a spokesperson told the AFP. Sotnikova is Russia's first gold medalist in Olympic figure skating history. The 17-year-old was behind Kim going into the competition Thursday before she edged her out to land in first place. Kim won the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and is the current world record holder for figure skating. Not everyone agrees Sotnikova's gold medal was undeserved. She skated a program that included seven triple jumps, while Kim's program only included six. "I think we need a little of a reality check here," International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told USA Today. "I don't know much about skating. I saw some of it last night, and her performance was agreed by many to be absolutely fantastic. ... The IOC has a pretty sophisticated judging system with safeguards in place and each of the judges has a video review where they can review each of the jumps so there's a number of things in place." However, even some skating insiders seem confused by the results that placed Sotnikova in the gold medal position and gave Kim a silver medal. "I just couldn't see how Yuna and Sotnikova were so close in the components," former Olympic skater Kurt Browning told the New York Times. "I was shocked. What, suddenly, she just became a better skater overnight? I don't know what happened. I'm still trying to figure it out." Controversy over the scoring system for Olympic figure skating is not new. U.S. skater Ashley Wagner, who finished in seventh place, called for a revision of system and an end to anonymous judging. The overall scores for each skater are released, but the the scores each individual judge assigns a skater remain anonymous. "It's confusing and we need to make it clear for people," Wagner told the New York Times. "I'm speechless. This sport needs to be held accountable if it wants more people to believe in it."%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D147558%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E
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