Monday, February 18, 2013

On the Other Side of the Boards: An Interview with Chuck Foster

Judging a subjective sports opens itself to rampant debate, scandal and intrigue. Chuck Foster served as a World and Olympic judge for 58 years. In part one of our interview with Chuck Foster, we tackle a myriad of issues including politics, the USOC's position on the participation of Tonya Harding at the 1994 Olympic Games, and serving on the panel during one of the sport's most debated evenings at the 1980 Olympic Games.


  1. You two are fantastic. I cannot believe the amount of work that clearly goes into these videos. You are much appreciated. I hope everyone 'likes' your videos on youtube and helps promote these.

  2. You guys have really improved a lot! Not that you were bad to begin with, but things are much smoother now. Great work!

  3. Very interesting.

    Btw., It wasn't only Mr. Foster who placed Linda in 1st.
    Overall the Japanese Judge had her first too, and in the free skate the Austrian judge placed her 1st as well.

  4. Interesting how he throws a wet blanket over the notion of judges politicking, but a lot of what he said about the small federations vs the larger ones made some sense.

  5. Interesting interview. Will part II be all about IJS vs 6.0 (or will I have to wait until Thursday to find out :P) ?

  6. I love that the American judge ranked Kwan's SP second. USFSA, get your shit together!

  7. I want to know more about Linda Fratianne and Anett Pötzsch.

    Tell me if I am correct...

    At that time you were not given Ordinal votes, but scores. So even though Linda was 3rd in Figures, Anett was way ahead. Linda did a perfect SP and won, Anett placed 5th and did a double-double combination...which wasn't necessarily a deduction (especially if the judges were on your side.) I take it this is where most of the controversy lies.

    In the LP, I thought that Linda and Anett were pretty similar. Placing 2nd and 3rd. Denise Biellmann placed 1st in the LP and had Linda placed 1st, she would had won?

  8. The controversy is that:

    1. Were Linda's figures that inferior to Anett to be so far back?
    2. Anett's scores for a double-duoble, wonky double axel and a tepid perofmance were too high in coimparison to Linda's qhich actually had speed, energy and showed spark.
    3. Both had nervous FS and Denise rightfully won that one.

    Since points mattered, and Linda lost by literally a fraction of a point, these are still points of argument today. You add in the intrigue of possible vote swapping as argued by Carroll which Fassi supposedly was involved in to lobby for Cousins and here is the controversy..

  9. To clarify further, perhaps Linda would've won if she had been placed first in the freeskate, perhaps not. It would've depended on the scores and points. This is why the SP was so important because Anett really was under par in the SP yet her scores were very decent considering her skate. Maybe no one else deserved higher than her but those scores were too high and since points mattered back then, not just the ordinal, I think this is what remains the controversy. Denise winning the FS almost everybody accepts as correct. In fact, Denise was probably UNDERSCORED in the FS... Linda and Annett both skated nerviously in the FS albeit Linda a tad bit better perhaps. It's the SP scoring that is the issue..