As an Olympic sport, ice dancing is an anomoly. I can understand that the skaters might have their own championships and even world events, but it's hardly a sport. As Philippe Candeloro, one of the commentators on France Television, and former Olympic Mens Figure Skating bronze medallist pointed out, the couples probably spent more time dressing and putting on their make-up than they did actually competing.
A lot of the remarks from the French commentators have been pretty acerbic. They were totally shocked at the Italian couple winning the obligatory dance after having described the guy as one of the worst skaters in the competition, and the girl as one of the best. The woman commentator said that such judging brought the whole competition into disrepute because there was no rigour to it and marks seemed to be awarded arbitrarily.
I just sat watching it wondering why it was part of the Olympic Games when it should just be attached to Holiday On Ice. How can you take some of these guys seriously when they skate in outfits that make them look like effeminate prats?
At the other end of the spectrum you have ex-Marines taking part in the 2-man bobsleigh, chunky types doing the downhill, and more gristly types doing the biathlon. They are more recognisable as sportsmen since they have to compete without make-up or frills.
They also participate in the Games without pretension, according to Canderolo, moving from one site to another on the bus, and staying in cosy chalets with teammates in a matey fashion. Unlike the Italian pair, however, who travel about in a private car with body guards and hoohar. Deep disapproval from the French lot. This is not in the spirit of the Games.
So, if anyone thinks they can convince me the point of ice dancing as an Olympic Sport, I'd love to hear it.