Host City: Torino, Italy
Date Started: February 11, 2006
Date Finished: February 23, 2006
Participants: 147 (74 men and 73 women) from 35 countries
Youngest Participant: Elene Gedevanishvili (16 years, 46 days)
Oldest Participant: Povilas Vanagas (35 years, 210 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 18 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): Russia (4 medals)
The 2006 figure skating events were held at the Palevela Skating Palace, but it was the scoring, not the location, that was the story in 2006. Because of the controversy that had occurred at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics in the pairs event, the International Skating Union had been forced to make major changes to the system of judging and scoring figure skating. No longer were skaters or couples scored based on a perfect score of 6.0, with deductions given for errors or omissions. Other changes were that there were now 12 judges instead of nine, with 9 of the 12 scores chosen at random, and the judges’ identities for each chosen score were not revealed.
Also gone was the majority placement system that had ruled for over a century. Skaters were now judged by a positive scoring system, with points given for each maneuver, with degree of difficulty, similar to diving, now taken into account. There was no theoretic maximum, and critics said that the new scoring system encouraged and rewarded jumping more than artistic skating. Other criticism noted that because the judges’ scores were not released, the new system had less transparency, rather than more. But no matter how it affected the scoring, the skaters had to adapt because this was the system that was in effect from 2004 on.