Aussies say Begg-Smith was cheated
An Australian sport official accused judges of awarding inflated scores to Canadian Alex Bilodeau Sunday, allowing him to edge out Canadian-turned Aussie Dale Begg-Smith for gold in men's moguls -- and raising the specter of a possible protest of the Olympic men's moguls final, The Vancouver Sun wrote.
"My own opinion is that probably Alex is not capable of a 4.8 or a 4.9 [on his turns], because five is a perfect score," Geoff Lipshut, the team's high-performance director, told Queensland's Courier-Mail.
"Dale had the highest turn points and the highest air points," he told the newspaper. "Dale skied unbelievable and I don't think you can fault anything he did. I thought Dale won, but that's just a gut feel."
Bilodeau gave Canada its first gold medal on home soil with a score of 26.75, .17 points better than Begg-Smith. Coach Steve Desovich refused to criticize the judges, but said he thought Begg-Smith deserved gold, according to the Sun.
Begg-Smith, who split from the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association in 2001 over philosophical differences, showed zero emotion upon winning silver just over the hill and up the highway from his childhood home in West Vancouver.
Some Australian officials believed Bilodeau was given turn scores from two judges that were too high.
Three of the five judges awarded Begg-Smith, the 2006 Olympic champion, superior scores for his turns, but two judges, the Finn Pipsa Pohjavirta and a Norwegian, Morten Skarpaas, awarded Bilodeau higher scores of 4.8 and 4.9.
Turns are traditionally not Bilodeau's strength.
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