POPSUGAR Celebrity

An Ice Dancing Fix and More Sochi Conspiracy Theories

Feb 18 2014 - 8:00pm

Was Canada robbed? By an unlikely alliance between Russia and the United States, no less? Probably not. Still, the alleged conspiracy to rig Olympic figure skating has gained attention. Here's the theory: the old Cold War rivals agreed to help US ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White take gold while working to get Russia the top prize in both the team and pairs competitions. While those outcomes did come true, with Meryl Davis and Charlie White winning gold on Monday [1], evidence of cheating doesn't go much further than a quote by an anonymous Russian coach in the French newspaper L'Equipe and an article in the Toronto Star by columnist Rosie DiManno. The latter pointed to generous judging for the Americans over a two-year period [2] and read, "The US has never won an ice dance championship at the Olympics. Obviously, the judges have decided it's time."

Source: Getty / AFP [3]

While figure skating score fixing did happen at the 2002 Salt Lake City games (the Olympic Committee had to later award a second gold medal), there's evidence that Meryl and Charlie won the gold fair and square over silver medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada. First of all, the pairs have the same coach, which suggests that they would be friendly versus dishonest. And Meryl and Charlie were ranked No. 1 and just won the world championships. Also, Scott Moir does not suspect foul play, telling reporters after Monday's finals, "It's all about us. When we sit in the kiss and cry and get our marks, the disappointment on our faces was because of our performance. It has nothing to do with the technical panel or the judges."

The Canadian skaters are satisfied with the fairness, but not every athlete or team is, as evidenced by the other conspiracy theories floating around Sochi. Canada's top luge official has decried the current rules, saying Canadian lugers were subject to different conditions [4].

And when it comes to skiing, Norway is finding someone or something to blame for its horrendous performance. Considering Norway holds the most cross-country medals and has the biggest budget, how has it not medaled so far in the relays? Well, according to some, it's a waxing conspiracy [5]! The skiers are pointing to a bad wax job as the reason they can't deal with warmer snow. But head technician Knut Nystad believes certain wax manufacturers are holding out on the Norwegians, saying, "I wish I had the best products, preferably the stuff the Swedes have. There are rumors that certain producers favor certain countries. We've heard that rumor from two distributors."

Finally, social media seems like a natural place to find Olympic conspiracy theories. But would you expect them to come from the athletes? Australian skier Jenny Owens called out the judges for awarding Vancouver gold-medalist American Hannah Kearney a bronze in Sochi after a poor showing. Apparently she thinks popularity won out over performance.

Do you buy any of these?

Source URL