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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.

By Amy Shipley  |  February 16, 2010; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  Freestyle Skiing  
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Um, this is a slightly confusing headline because it makes it look like Begg-Smith actually was the one doing the cheating. I think a better headline would be "Aussies say Begg-Smith was cheated" or even better "Two judges liked Bilodeau better than Begg-Smith which is not surprising because Begg-Smith seems like kind of a jerk and the Australians are crybabies".

Posted by: rg_okc | February 16, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The headline to this article is the exact opposite of the text. The "Aussies" are not saying their own man cheated, they are saying he was cheated. Trying to compress thoughts into headlines by deleting verbs can be dangerous.

Posted by: judyline | February 16, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

What, the same way he cheated millions of people out of a halfway decent, private computing experience with his spyware business? Pardon my lack of disappointment.

Posted by: JoshCVT | February 16, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The Courier-Mail is a conservative, borderline nationalist newspaper in Brisbane. I lived there for many years, and it thrived on claiming Australians were 'robbed' of various things. The worst case was when when Denzel Washington (Training Day) beat Russell Crowe (A Dangerous Mind) for the Best Actor Oscar. They ran a front page headline story 'We Were Robbed' and went on a long rant about how the Academy voted for a black actor to help the US heal after 9/11 instead of the clearly superior Crowe. A racist, nonsensical opinion piece headline story, mind you, in one of the biggest papers in Australia in 2002. Australians aren't huge nationalists, but when it comes to sports and competition, they're Nazis.

Posted by: SammyT1 | February 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Once again proving my theory that anything, whose scoring is entirely up to judges, should not be competition sports. Now I don't deny the incredible athletic ability one must have in some of these events, but the same can be said for ballet.

Posted by: Chuckled | February 16, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

It's actually not entirely up to judging. 75% is judged, 25% is speed.

Posted by: washcaps | February 16, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

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