- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 13, 2002

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Determining a winner in figure skating is like electing a president; though a candidate may have the popular vote, he can't win without the electoral vote.
Judges give skaters a technical score and artistic score for their performance, which is the "popular vote." The skaters are then given ordinals, or ranks, which serve as the "electoral vote" and can overrule the scores.
That's how Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze won gold over Canadians Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.
In Monday's pairs long program, the judges were forced to give the Russians lower technical scores because of errors. But the majority of the panel felt the performance was more worthy of Olympic gold and the duo got a No.1 ordinance.
If you add Sale and Pelletier's technical and artistic scores together, they received more points than the Russians.
However, the Russians had higher marks in the artistry category, which is the focus of the long program. The Russians' errors would have been more critical in the short program, where strong technical merit is favored.
Any pair in the top three after the short program can win the overall event by placing first in the long program, which is worth two-thirds of the overall score. The Russian pair received five of nine No.1 ordinals from the judges, which gave them the title.
Jenine M. Zimmers


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