Canada’s fight for a 2022 Olympic figure skating bronze medal is far from over.
High performance director Mike Slipchuk and other Skate Canada executives want clarity on why Canada remained in fourth place behind Russia after Monday’s decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to disqualify Russian athlete Kamila Valieva for doping at the Winter Games in Beijing.
Russia was stripped of the gold medal in the team event and dropped to bronze behind the United States and Japan. It lost a combined 20 points from Valieva’s victories in the short and long programs and concluded with 54, one point ahead of Canada. However, the International Skating Union neglected to add an extra point to the teams below Russia on Tuesday when it published the amended standings.
Under this scenario, Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., should have had her point total raised by one in each of the programs for placing second instead of third following Valieva’s disqualification, thus vaulting Canada into bronze-medal position.
On Wednesday morning, Slipchuk told Heather Hiscox of CBC News Network the ISU isn’t following its rules.
He noted while Schizas has been moved to second place, she is still being credited with third-place points and not the extra two to reflect her new standing.
“It’s the difference of a medal. Russia still earned two points off a disqualification,” Slipchuk said, with a wry smile. “With disqualifications, everybody moves up [a placement]. For some reason, [the ISU] chose not to do that this time.
“The rules of the rule book trump everything. How did this happen? Why has this happened? Everyone’s a bit mystified how this has occurred. We’re going to fight for what we feel is right.”
Slipchuk pointed out the other athletes moved up one placement when Valieva was disqualified from her title victory at the 2022 European championships.
The final decision on awarding medals is for the International Olympic Committee, which the ISU said was consulted before amending the results as the event organizer.
“The ISU is in close contact with the International Olympic Committee and the relevant ISU member federations in regard to the implementation of this decision,” the governing body said Tuesday.
Also Tuesday, Skate Canada said it would consider all options to appeal Monday’s decision. Slipchuk told Hiscox the national governing body for figure skating is currently gathering information and would proceed with “next steps” but didn’t elaborate.