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Figure Skating at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games

2002 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games


Host City: Salt Lake City, United States
Date Started: February 9, 2002
Date Finished: February 21, 2002
Events: 4

Participants: 143 (72 men and 71 women) from 31 countries
Youngest Participant: CHN Zhang Dan (16 years, 129 days)
Oldest Participant: USA Charles Sinek (33 years, 49 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 18 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): RUS Russia (5 medals)


Held at the Salt Lake Ice Center, the 2002 figure skating program had no significant changes from the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics. There were still four events – men, women, pairs, and dance – with overall placements determined by factored placements of majority placements in each of the phases of each event. There were still nine judges giving two scores for each phase – technical merit and artistic impression for the singles events. But after Salt Lake, figure skating would never be the same again. More details of this will be found in the description of the pairs event for 2002. But in that event, after the short program the Canadian couple of [Jamie Salé] and [David Pelletier] trailed the Russian pair of [Yelena Berezhnaya] and [Anton Sikharulidze]. It appeared that the Canadians skated cleaner, but the judges awarded the title to Berezhnaya and Sikhularidze, And then things got really interesting. It turned out that the French judge had set up a quid pro quo with the Russian judge, offering her “votes” in return for the Russians supporting the French ice dance couple. Because of the controversy, the pairs’ event was declared to have co-champions and both Salé/Pelletier and Berezhnaya/Sikhularidze were given gold medals. And the International Skating Union (ISU) was forced to take steps to change the judging and scoring system, to try to prevent bribery and corruption in the future. Before the 2006 Winter Olympics, figure skatings’ time-honored scoring system of perfect 6.0, with majority placements, would no longer exist at all.