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An interesting article on the new judging system for skating, and a look back at some skaters of yore:

http://www.arts.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2006/02/04/btskating04.xml&sSheet=/arts/2006/02/04/ixtop.html

A snippet:

<<The word "sport" is the giveaway. With its pancaked athletes in garish clothes grinding out desperate spins and neck-breaking jumps in neon-lit arenas, in front of politically-motivated judges with protégés of their own among the competitors, ice-skating can be as offputting to watch as it seems dubious. Even the ice-dancing can be underwhelming, straining to mimic ballet or musical theatre.

It's when someone comes along who transforms skating into a uniquely icy expression of being alive, who casts spells of personal imagination that blur the eyes of even the most biased judges, and snap the dulled cameramen into sharp-focused attention, that suddenly skating justifies itself as a TV sport.
>>
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