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National Bias Yet Again

by George Rossano


(23 February) The Ladies Free Skate was a segment ripe for possible national bias, with Canadian Kaitlyn Osmond in third place after the short, and Japanese skater Satoko Miyahara close behind in fourth, in range of the Bronze medal, and two countries whose judges are know to give their skaters a helping hand.

Japan did not have a judge on the panel, but Canada did, and true to form the Canadian judge could not resist the urge to mark her country's skater anomalously higher than the rest of the panel.  So much so that the Canadian judge had Osmond the highest scoring skater of the segment, beating out both Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva.  No other judge saw it that way.

Here are the panel and Canadian scores for the medalists.

SKATER TES
(Panel)
PCS
(Panel)
Total
(Panel)
  TES
(Canada)
PCS
(Canada)
Total
(Canada)
Evgenia Medvedeva 79.18 77.47 156.65 77.33 76.00 153.33
Alina Zagitova 81.62 75.03 156.65   81.21 74.00 155.21
Kaitlyn Osmond 76.50 75.65 152.15   80.42 77.20 157.62

The judge, Nicole Leblanc-Richard, was called out in a article on BuzzFeed prior to the Games as a judge with a history of national bias, and Canada as a country whose judges regularly inflate the scores of their skaters by an average of 3.5 points.  In this case the inflation of the score was 5.47 points.

Copyright 2018 by George S. Rossano