A Sport on Thin Ice

A bad call--and a quick recall--expose the darker side of Olympic skating

There were a lot of smiles at the final outcome of the figure-skating fiasco at the Winter Games, especially from the Canadians. Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, who had been forcing smiles all week, flashed real ones when they heard that their silver medals in the ferociously disputed pairs skating event would be traded in for gold. But what made the biggest difference last week were tears.

Early on Tuesday morning, just hours after the gold medal had gone to the Russians, Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, the nine judges of the pairs event and two referees convened in a windowless...

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