Sunday, March 30, 2003

And they didn't ask France for permission...

A group of American figure skating figures got so fed up with the corruption of their support's worldwide governing body, the International Skating Union, that they formed their own rival sanctioning group, the World Skating Federation. The WSF hopes to convince national figure skating bodies to join their cause, and eventually to force the International Olympic Committee to dump the ISU in favor of the WSF.

What's interesting about this dispute is the difference in governing philosophies. The ISU is composed of two separate sports—figure skating and speed skating—while the WSF is devoted exclusively to figure skating. The ISU's current president comes from the speed skating side. Why is this important? Because figure skating generates the overwhelming share of the ISU's revenue, but the organization splits those proceeds equally with both sports, essentially subsidizing money-losing speed skating with the figure skating profits.

Hmm.. an international body largely funded by one group that's at the mercy of another group which suffers from systematic corruption. Sound like any international "peacekeeping" organization we know?

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