In honor of the bullshit that is The Olympics, I give you my Top 10 Olympic Scandals!

1Despite holding a lead heading into her final skate and delivering what many termed a flawless performance, and despite the fact that Russian Adelina Sotnikova reportedly “stepped out” after landing a triple combination, Yuna Kim had to settle for the silver medal.  The Russian, of course, won the gold.  Among the anonymous judges was one who was suspended for a year for trying to fix an event at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, while another is married to the head of the Russian Figure Skating Federation.  Outraged viewers have started an online petition calling for the IOC to open an investigation into the suspect judging:  – urging that the judging be investigated. – which is presently inching toward 2 million signatures.  Still, this is the IOC we’re talking about.  Good luck with that.

1The Olympics has a rich history of really suspicious judging.  Take the case of the bantam weight bout pitting Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu against Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidov at the 2012 Summer Olympics.  The Azerbaijani boxer was knocked to the canvas not once, not twice, not three times, not four times, but FIVE TIMES in the third and final round – AND STILL WON THE ROUND!  And the bout.  Sure seemed fishy, especially after THIS BBC report: Azerbaijan had paid millions of dollars in an international boxing organization.  Perhaps even more surprising than the initial result was the fact that the Japan lodged an appeal – and won.  And the judges were punished.  Ha ha.  Just kidding about that last part.

1At the same 2012 Summer Olympics, Chinese boxer Zou Shiming had to endure the boos of the crowd after winning a highly controversial bout against Kaeo Pongprayoon of Thailand.  Everyone in attendance thought the Thai boxer should have won – and he would have if he hadn’t been given a two point penalty for some mystery infraction with 9 seconds left to go in the match.


Everybody makes mistakes.  Sometimes two.  Even three.  But when you’re judging a gold medal olympic event, six is apparently a bit much.  Such was the case at the 2004 Summer Olympics.  With the gold medal in fencing at stake, Hungarian referee Joszef Hidasi made six scoring errors decisions in favor of Italy.  How egregious were his errors?  So bad that he was replaced at the end of the match.  Too little too late though for the Chinese who ended up losing by 45-42.


This one was painful to watch.  With a one point lead over her German adversary with less than a second to go in her gold medal match, South Korean fencer Shin Lam was certain to emerge victorious.  Unfortunately for her, the clock “stuck”, giving her opponent some extra time, time she put to good use by scoring a touch and snatching victory from the jaws of, well, somebody else’s victory.  It was clearly a clock issue and, while the officials talked it over, viewers were treated to an inconsolable Shin Lam seated on the mat, in tears, as she awaited a decision.  It finally came, one hour later but, with the extra time, officials were able to make the right decision and reversed the call, awarding the gold medal to the rightful win — Aaaah, just kidding.  They screwed her over and gave the German the gold.


At the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, American boxer Roy Jones Jr was on the receiving end of some suspect judging when he lost a decision to South Korean Park Si-Hun in their middleweight gold medal bout, this despite landing 86 punches to Park’s 32. After the match, one of the judges admitted he voted for Park Si-Hun because he assumed Jones had the win in the bag and simply wanted it to look close for the home crowd.  Despite investigating and discovering that three of the judges were wined and dined by Korean officials prior to the bout, the decision was allowed to stand.

1Allegations of bribery dogged the IOC in connection with the awarding of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City.  With several investigations underway, the Department of Justice also got involved.  Heads rolled.  The members of the IOC were expelled and another ten were sanctioned.  By the way, the investigations discovered that the Salt Lake City bribery scandal was not an isolated incident.

1Down 49-48 in their gold medal game against the Soviet Union, the USA Olympic basketball team sunk two clutch free throws (the second going in despite the sounding of the game-ending buzzer).  The Soviets inbounded the ball to half-court when – they are awarded a time out.  Sort of.  The Soviet coaches were arguing they’d called a time out earlier.  According to international rules, they could not be awarded the time out – but the officials stopped play anyway.  Three seconds were put back on the clock.  The Soviets inbounded.  They put up a shot.  And missed! The game was over!  Nope.  Apparently, the clock hadn’t been properly reset so the Soviets received yet another chance.  And scored.  Third times the charm I guess. Apparently, team USA’s silver medals still lie unclaimed.


At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, one judge recorded another trying to fix the results.  For some reason, no one was in a hurry to change the dodgy judging system…until four years later when yet another scandal forced their hand…


Two gold medals were awarded in pairs figure skating at the 2002 Winter Olympics, one to the Russians who were the original winners, and another to the second place Canadians after allegations surfaced that the results had been fixed.  A French judge claimed she had been pressured to give the Russians higher marks and then, once the scandal heated up, retracted her initial statements.

Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch with…The Gift!


My past thoughts on this episode (and the last one) here: June 16, 2012: An early start to the day! Days of Stargate Atlantis Past! Letters from Pegasus! The Gift!

“Dream!  Double dream!”  This episode got off to a good start.  Immediately folllowing the tease: “So far, so good.”

And, despite the many talky scenes dealing with some extensive backstory, most of which went over her head, Akemi enjoyed the episode.  She was on the edge of her seat for the hypnotism sequence and did like the new resident psychiatrist, Dr. Heightmeyer (“Oh, beautiful!”).

On the other hand, Ford is fast falling out of favor: “Are you sure he’s military?  So casual.”   This a reference to the scene where Teyla shockingly disappears beyond the seemingly firm wall.  As panic sets in, McKay suggests he take a running start.  A concerned Sheppard reacts.  Cut to: McKay and Ford, McKay equally concerned, Ford sporting a goofy ear to ear grin.

And regarding the Atlantis military personnel in general: “SGA’s army is a little more casual than well-trained SGU.”

She did find it curious that Beckett proved so reluctant to sit in the Ancient chair and initiate it, but in retrospect: “I learned from SGU.  Chair is very dangerous.”  True dat.

18 down and only 2 to go!  Tonight, we roll into Siege I.

So, what did you all think of The Gift?

Today’s entry is dedicated to all the hard-training athletes who were robbed.

34 thoughts on “February 21, 2014: My Top 10 Olympic Scandals! Our Stargate Atlantis rewatch continues with…The Gift!

  1. What are “the Olympics”? I don’t think I’ve heard of such a thing.

    The Gift was creepy. Who wants to learn they have a bit of their enemy’s DNA? Ew.


  2. The Gift was a good episode for Teyla – it gave her an interesting history and led to developments with Michael down the road.
    You should be happy about the Olympics, evidently the Candadian hockey wins mean we have to keep Justin Bieber here in the States. 🙁

  3. I was wondering when you were going to bring up your dislike of the Olympics, Joe. Your lack of comment on anything Olympic over the past week has been quite telling. Of course, controversies have already occurred, with the winning side calling those who complain, “Sour grapes”. And, trending on Twitter today are the words “#FuckCanada” because the U.S was beaten fairly in mens hockey by the Canadian team. It’s really sad that the corruption of the IOC seems to turn people against each other when athletes from their countries are involved.

  4. This time watching The Gift I noticed that McKay has a tissue in his hand as he exits Dr. Heightmeyer’s office. Oh, how I would love to hear what he was in tears over.

    I never understood why people twirl their sticks just before a fight. If I were in a stick fight, and someone began twirling their sticks, I’d strike and hit them before their weapon was at the ready. Leave the stick twirling to the color guard in the marching band.

    This is a great episode for Teyla’s growth and development as a character. She is so often the voice of reason that it is refreshing to see her not in control of herself. Of course, this terrifies her, but it also shows us that she is more complex than just the token stoic alien.

    Regarding the throne chair, I get so frustrated with Beckett that I just want McKay to pick the man up, throw him in the chair, and glue him to it.

    I don’t have many comments tonight. I will leave it for others to contribute. Come, my lurker friends, tell us what you thought about the episode.

  5. I’m just happy that it’s Canada v Sweden in the finals of the ice hockey..when I go see the Canucks play on Sunday 13th April at Rogers Arena v Calgary Flames I’ll be watching some Olympic Gold Medallists on the ice, either Canadian or Swedish…unfairness for me is poor Henrik Sedin being injured and missing out on a Gold or Silver Medal and having to watch his twin brother play ..but knowing Henrik and his sense of fair play and kindness he’ll be nothing but thrilled for him…am sure there are many fans around the world who could learn a lesson in humility when their team either wins or loses ..imho of course..;)

    But hey, at least we Brits won one Gold, the same one we won in Vancouver 2010 as well 🙂 Women’s Skeleton – trust us to be best in the world at the only sport that is basically hurling yourself down an ice slope head first on what amounts to nothing but an upmarket tea tray and the only petition we’re interested in signing is to get the Winner a Royal Mail Post Box in her home town painted Gold like the rest of our Summer 2012 Gold Medal Olympians did!..that’s hard core Olympic protest for you eh?…

  6. Judging scandals are nothing new, and are particularly problematic in sports with an “artistic” element, such as figure skating. It is more egregious when it is a non-artistic event, such as basketball, that the “subjective” can weigh so heavily.

  7. In the first encounter with Dr. Heightmeyer, Teyla reacts as anyone to send him to a psychiatrist against her will (I dont need you analyze me bit..!).
    I think Athosians dont had direct experience what a psychiatrist is?. It seems more the reaction of a ertahling person.

    In other side Atlantis reused something from SG1 like this:

    Who knowns in what personal room in Atlantis is this comic from Citizen Joe? 😆

  8. Olympics . . . meh! Any “sport” that requires judges to decide how good something was should be banned. That would get rid of most of the controversy.

    For the first half of The Gift I was wondering when the “twist” would be revealed. Why else would we have to put up with all that talking and jibber jabber that was going on without any action! Talk, talk, talk. You must have allocated all your remaining budget on The Siege by this point of the season.

    I had money on Dr Heightmeyer (I’m trying to think of a nominative determinism joke but coming up short 😉 ) being a figment of Teyla’s imagination. The only person to acknowledge Heightmeyer’s presence was Teyla. Even the bit with Rodney coming out of Heightmeyer’s office could have been explained because we never actually see Rodney talking to her. But then Dr Weir started talking to Dr Heightmeyer and I was disappointed.

    Anyway, what could have been an interesting twist turned out to be some nonsense about the Wraith experimenting on humans to make them more palatable. Stupid Wraith. Everyone knows genetically modified food is dangerous!!!!

    @Jenny Horn: Re: Twirling sticks. I know! It seems so stupid wasting energy twirling your sticks. Another thing that aggravates me is sword fighters who continually turn their backs to their opponents. If you’re fighting someone with a sword don’t turn your back on them!!!!!!!

    1. @Line Noise…if I’m remembering future episodes correctly, Dr. Heightmeyer could be called Dr. Heightjumper. It’s a little modification to fit your nominative determinism theme, but hey, we are flexible, right. As for my name, I actually do play the horn. I played French horn middle school through college on the concert stage and mellophone for marching band, drum corps, and now my brass jazz band.

  9. I haven’t watched any of this Olympics. Just don’t care anymore. We do get a lot of ramping up and interviews here, Utah has some of the premier training sites from when we hosted, so we have a ton of athletes running around. Even have a small college which has a partnership with Park City resorts for their potential athletes to train at the big venues for next to nothing.
    I still have a very unofficial “Bribes R Us” Olympic pin from 2002.

  10. Joe wrote: “Today’s entry is dedicated to all the hard-training athletes who were robbed.”

    Yes, like Elise Christie! Friday evening’s short track event was a fix if ever I saw one! To say we (UK) were robbed is a huge understatment! Since when did cheating become acceptable? Oh, yeah, all the times Joe’s just referenced in today’s blog! I’m done with the Winter Olympics! Watching the guys and gals play curling was entertaining though – not that I could explain the rules to a passing alien!

  11. Hard for me to watch the Olympics, so I do not, for oh so many reasons, your discussion showcasing just some of the many ones. Also am enjoying Akemis comments on the episodes, thanks for sharing. And I think Ford was a redshirt in the series after a fashion, not sure why, but you could see it coming.(sorry Rainbow) Looking forward here to go to the Daytona 500 tomorrow, hope the rain holds off. Have a great day!

  12. Just wanted to let everybody know I read the blog and comments every day. I feel like I know some of you & love references I recognize. It wasn’t till Anne Teldy passed that I realized I lived less than 50 miles from her. I miss her posts

  13. Chair is very dangerous.” Yes and it comes with responsibility too. I’m not sure I could fly Atlantis with it but I might have managed some drones. Isn’t it cool that drones have come to fruition? I don’t remember hearing about drones when SGA was out.

    On the Olympics being unfairly judged, I’ll just day “duh”. It’s Russia and they don’t like to lose. I watched some of the skating, skiing and the skeleton. Crazy good! These athletes did things I could never imagine! I cringed at every fall and cheered for every country. I’ve read that Sochi has a sub-tropical climate, so I’m not sure why they picked it for the winter games (scenic views perhaps?). On some days Sochi’s reported temps were 60F! I would imagine other areas of Russia would have been better for skiing.

    melinda ward: Welcome aboard! I try and read all the posts but sometimes life interferes.

    skua: Sometimes comments slip by but we all try to reply. Your English is very good! I’m trying to pick up some Spanish but it’s slow going. There are a few French commenters here and that’s always interesting. I like to attempt to translate. 😉

    whovian: I thought the DNA was interesting.

    Mr. M.: Is the DNA storyline a reference to nature vs. nurture? After working with animals, I know that DNA influences an animal’s behavior. I believe that environment can help to overcome/influence though. I suspect the same is true of people. Although, that might not be a popular belief.

  14. hummm.. the Gift.. watched bits of it 3 nights ago.. it seems that Sky is 3 epiodes ahead of you guys 😉
    To be honest the episode creeps me out … so i did not watch it again.. except a few shots.. and my partner, whose comments I might also share someday, finds the Wraith too ugly and scary.. then again.. he finds the Ferengi that way too on Star Trek.. and they are not scary at all.. lol
    i did like the idea of Teyla tapping into the Wraith’s mind, however the explainations on how this is possible remain sort of obscure, as the rest of the episode. I mean.. what ? Teyla is only a small percentage Wraith and she can fool them all? as we will see in Siege III… really? wow!! perhaps due to the fact that she is a woman or to her good looks? i wonder which one it is? lol and yes, also curious that having Wraith DNA, she never felt like human cravings, nor does she looks like one of the Wraith, nor does she behave like one.. all she has is the purks of beating the Wraith at their own mind games.. hummm

  15. I watched the ladies individual figure skating and did not have a problem with the results. While Yuna Kim skated so beautiful and flawless, the American “expert” announcers noted Russian Adelina Sotnikova made up for any miscues by performing more difficult jumps and absolutely incredible spins, and added another difficult jump to make up for one that did not go so well. Those two girls made it very dramatic.

    The American team was a different story. Talking about unfair… Ashley Wagner was placed in the third spot on the US Olympic team over another girl who actually should have been there. And Ashley was crying fowl the loudest about the Olympic judging after Sotnikova won. How quickly she forgot that she fell in the US Nationals and placed 4th. But the team decided to switch her with the flawless 3rd place winner allowing Ashley to go to the Olympics. The reasoning was Ashley was just having a bad day. Some suspected NBC wanted Ashley, with the bigger personality, over the other girl. See Joe, unfairness can take many forms. I guess it is just the nature of the “games”. When you get competitive people together, ears start getting bit off.

  16. Hey Joe, how about your top 10 most memorable people or moments from the Olympics? Like, remember Eddie “the Eagle” from Brittian, the ski jumper? He wasn’t very good but sure was endearing. I wish they would revisit his story and what he is doing today.

  17. @ JeffyW – 😉

    The addition of the ‘y’ to any name is always an endearment. So is the addition of ‘poo’ to any name, but I thought you might take issue with me calling you ‘Jeffypoo’. 😉 Maybe I should ask Sparrowhawkypoo what she thinks…

    My dear cousin is named Jeff – I sometimes call him Jeffy…but not to his face, of course. 😉 You’d like him – he’s a mechanic and builds and races cars (dragsters, stock, street) at Atco Raceway. And he’s old, like us. 🙂

    We have friends from China. They named their first American-born child Jeffrey, but his mom – with her heavy accent – calls him ‘Jeffy’, so we do, too.

    And then there’s my FAVORITE JEFF EVER…



  18. I guess I’m just so cynical about the Olympics that I don’t feel sorry for the losers. They know what they’re getting into and only fooling themselves if they think the competition isn’t corrupt – it’s not much different from politics. Heck, it IS politics. There’s also something that rubs me the wrong way about the modern professional competition (I did enjoy it a bit more when it was an ametuer event, but stopped watching when it went pro), and the sense of egotism I get from the participants themselves.

    Not sure how I’ll feel about rugby 7s as part of the Olympics coming up in …2016, I think. Team sports do feel a bit more ‘fair’ when it comes to the final outcome, and probably why I do maintain a half-hearted interest in the hockey results during the Olympics.

    Speaking of which, thanks US for blowing it…now we gotta keep that Bieber feller. Ugh. 🙄


  19. I know this is completely off-topic, but I just wanted to share. I’m a loyal reader, but infrequent poster, otherwise known as a lurker. I went to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra last night for their Sci-Fi spectacular, and there was one piece where they played a selection of 7 or 8 TV theme shows together, and I was busy trying to figure out each one as it played. X-Files, Jetsons, Twilight Zone, etc. and I was thrilled to recognize the theme song to Stargate SG-1! I would highly recommend the show to any readers here if their local orchestras do a version of the Sci-Fi Spectacular. There’s just nothing quite like hearing all of our favorite music from movies like Star Trek and Star Wars and the theme songs to the shows we love.

    Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled comments on Stargate and food. 🙂 Btw, I’m introducing my nephews to sci-fi like Star Wars and Star Trek, but hope to pull them into Stargate as well. I’ll start with SGA for them, like I’m doing with my boyfriend. After a few episodes, he went out and bought the blu-ray set of SGA. We are enjoying going through them. I’m enjoying seeing Akemi’s reactions to each of the shows as well.

  20. Eddie the Eagle still appears on TV from time to time…he’s been on the BBC commenting on the Ski Jumping and during the coverage they’ve shown a sweet little story about his special time at the Olympics….he doesn’t look much different today – maybe the glasses are a bit more snazzy.. Oh and he won a Celebrity Diving Show on UK TV called “Splash” last year as well…:D

  21. I guess Olympics judging scandals are as much a part of the games as ski jumping and bobsleds – it just wouldn’t be the same without it! I do appreciate the Olympics for giving us moments like this from 1988, though:

    I enjoyed The Gift, but now I definitely put it in the context of a set up episode for future developments. It gets done what it needs to do. As far as the stick spinning goes, I always figured it was for intimidation, the better to mentally weaken your opponent. Of course, realistically I expect it was done just because it looks cool in the show, just like Ronon and his constant gun-spinning.

  22. the olympics have disgusted me for years. especially back when the USSR & other “eastern bloc” countries judges gave better to their own, no mater how badly they screwed up.

  23. @ Carol – Thanks for the update. Glad Eddie the Eagle didn’t just sail off into obscurity. When you said “…he doesn’t look much different today – maybe the glasses are a bit more snazzy…” I thought you were going to say his glasses are a bit more thicker. 😉

  24. Actually, now that I think of it, this is one of the best Olympic moments in history. Something that sums up the Olympic spirit and something that we should all strive for:

    In Australia, when something goes right for you, through no fault of your own, it’s now known as “doing a Bradbury.”

  25. The Gift
    I notice that Ford takes his firearm (P90) to his quarters. Is that normal, or is he afraid? He is tossing and turning in bed. It looks like the producer couldn’t have made the P90 more obvious, even if he was spooning it. Ford also has his handgun beside his pillow. Ford is frightened.

    Carson is being a weenie again. Why such a weenie, Carson? Isn’t it time to man up and sit in the damned chair? Did he have a bad experience with a dentist at some time? And perhaps an overly large houseplant?

    Near the end of the episode when Teyla is being taken over by a wraith for the second time and begins kicking ass, John Sheppard (and everyone else) just stands around with a stupid look on their faces. “Ah, golly gee whillickers, something isn’t quite right. I wonder what it is?” SMACK! POP! BANG!!!
    Sheppard: “Ah, what’s going on, Teyla?” Crunch! “What’d you do that for, Teyla?” Hmm. I wonder if I should do something, or just stand here a while more…

    Bates is the only one intelligent enough to see whats coming. He brought a wraith stunner to the party, and it takes two hits to take Teyla down.

    Bates looks like he quite enjoyed it.

    Ponytail (Kavanagh) makes another appearance. Did Ben Cotton have a ponytail in real life or was this a wig? I get the feeling he was given a ponytail to get people to feel just that much worse about him.
    Kavanagh is sort of what McKay would be if McKay hadn’t grown as a person. While McKay is growing, Kavanagh does not, and it is for that reason, and his whining that I find his character so detestable. And the ponytail.

    This is not my favourite episode, but it’s not bad.

  26. When your all done with Stargate rewatches with Akemi, how about an Adventure Time rewatch with Akemi?

  27. @Joe:

    Over the years I’ve only casually followed the winter Olympics…the long running controversies and scandals, and the occasional truth-telling book, just makes me lose interest. That and I tend to like the summer sports better anyway.


    How come I feel like I just got saddled with a nickname? 😉

    Speaking of racecars and mechanics, I picked up our freshly machined, 30-over re-bore, small block Chevy block from the machine shop yesterday. We’re adding in 6-inch forged rods, 64cc Dart SHP 180cfm heads, and a Lunati Cam. We should end up with around 9.6:1 compression ratio and about 350hp when Jackie and I are done. Your cousin Jeff will know what all that means. 😀

  28. Oh, man. Figure skating and it’s issues. Thanks for sharing some other scandals because I only ever hear (or pay attention, I guess) to the figure skating ones and it’s SO OLD at this point. The only thing I can say about this year is that Adelina’s program was technically more difficult than Yuna’s (the announcers explicitly said that while Adelina was skating, that her’s was the most difficult in terms of jumps and such), so a program that is technically more difficult but not executed entirely perfectly CAN still beat a perfectly clean but less difficult program, especially while their scores were so close after the short program. That said, it clearly is never going to matter what scoring system there is…hell, if basketball can have scandals when it’s pretty straightforward (score the points; win the thing), there’s no way a more subjective sport that depends in part on artistry will ever get away from actual or perceived scandals. Yet, it’s exhausting. I am all in favor of removing anonymous judge score cards, at least. /end rant of a former figure skater

  29. I’ll leave the olympics topic alone since you covered it so well, Joe. As for The Gift, I also had the same reaction to Heightmeyer as Akemi, she’s very pretty. I prefer her with the dark red hair, personally, but she looks good with just about any hair color.

    Not much else to say about The Gift that hasn’t already been mentioned!

    -Mike A.

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