Photo by Amy Salamey

The World Professional Championships were held in Washington, DC, at the MCI Center on December 8 and 9, with the televised versions showing the next day on NBC. Most of you have seen it by now. Rudy performed the Fosse "Big Spender" program and Danny Wright's "Colors of the Wind," and finished a close second to Philippe Candeloro. The articles below describe a little more about the judging controversy in which Rudy found himself.

Several articles appeared about both the Friday and Saturday competitions in the online sports services, and they include information about the judging situation. Following are links to the major ones.

General sports sites:

"Candeloro leads the men after technical program," Associated Press, Saturday, December 9, 2000

"Night of revivals at skating championships," Associated Press, Saturday, December 9, 2000

"Leonova, Khvalko win Pairs Competition," CNN/Sports Illustrated, Saturday, December 9, 2000

Skating sites:

Louis DiCesari's reviews of the World Professional Figure Skating Championships for (excerpts below)
Night 1
Night 2
"Underdogs prevail as champions," by Paul Martini for

Excerpts from reviews and articles:

[Artistic program]

"The performance that should have won was that of Rudy Galindo of the United States," said Paul Martini in the article listed above from

[Technical program]

"...from the audience reaction when the scores came up placing Rudy 2nd and the booos resounded, it seemed that the audience felt that Rudy should have been in 1st with his program. Personally, I really liked it. It had great attention to every beat of the music, but yes, I guess, it is a technical program and I believe that Phillipe did out-jump Rudy."


[Technical program]

From Yahoo News, Friday, December 8, Joseph White, AP Sports Writer
"Rudy Galindo was second, amid some controversy. His ``Fosse'' routine received a 9.4 for artistic impression from judge Janet Lynn, who in 1973 was the first women's pro champion. It was the lowest score given any skater all evening, although Lynn generally gave lower scores than most of the other judges.

"Asked about Lynn's score, Galindo said, ``It's very personal.''

"Galindo refused to elaborate, and referred further questions to his sister-choreographer, Laura Galindo-Black.

"Galindo-Black said head judge Kerry Leitch explained it was Lynn's first year as a judge.

"'All of them are elite skaters,'' Galindo-Black said. 'To get a 9.4. ... They all work so hard.'

"Galindo-Black declined to say why her brother felt the low mark was a personal matter. Lynn was not available for comment.

"The 9.4 did not count against Galindo because the high and low scores are thrown out for each routine. But it was booed soundly by the MCI Center audience.

"The men's competition belonged to Rudy. He had a true program with beautiful choreaography and technical prowess. He should have easily won this competition."


[Sandra Bezic's commentary]

"However I do think she may have a bit case of the bias bug when it came to Rudy and Candelero. She didn't seem to have a lot to say about his (Rudy) program,Plus the only other thing she said is that he had a huge following I wonder what did that had to do with skating."


"Rudy was great and I love that split rollover thingie he does. Two-footed a lot of his jumps but I'm glad he's back!"


[Artistic program]

"I also thought that Rudy should have beaten Philippe... His program without the elaborate costume and props was just basic skating around with a few triples and several 30-second breaks in the program. Also I thought that that Candel Town thing was not appropriate for the World Pro. (Wouldn't that have blocked some peoples' view of the competition??) I'm really surprised that they gave Philippe such high artistic marks as well. The program was sloppy, no refinement, distracting costume changes. Rudy was so refreshing, and that program is awesome. I still don't understand why Philippe won."


[Technical program]

"Second after the technical program, Rudy Galindo completed a two-footed triple axel, a two-footed triple flip into triple toe sequence, and a triple salchow-double toe in his program to selections from Fosse, which was very enjoyable even though it featured only one spin and had a significant amount of standing in place. When asked about the extremely low marks he received from judge Janet Lynn, Galindo called her marks "very personal" and indicated that his sister and coach, Laura Galindo Black, had taken up the issue with the appropriate people. Nevertheless, Galindo retained perspective and expressed appreciation for the audience and his entire support system, saying "I'm thankful that God allowed me to get through it." Both Candeloro and Galindo cited very dry conditions in the arena and were especially thankful for the audience support."

---Louis DiCesari, from, "2000 World Professional Championships," Night 1

[Technical program]

"Rudy Galindo placed second with a creditable attempt at a triple axel and three other triples to "Colors of the Wind" by Danny Wright, an artist whose music Galindo listened to while growing up. "This season has been special," said Galindo, who was diagnosed as being HIV-positive last winter. "I had such a hard time at the Goodwill Games and getting through the Champions on Ice tour. I worked hard, and I have something to live for. I want to live to see Tyler and Marina [his niece and nephew] grow up." Galindo commented that while he had never previously felt like a role model, his position as spokesperson for the National Minority Council on AIDS has changed that view. "I'm here to set an example," said Galindo. "You don't have to curl up in a ball. You can still capture your dreams." When asked what dreams he had in store for next season, Galindo pointed to Candeloro and said "to get his title."

---Louis DiCesari, from, "2000 World Professional Championships," Night 2

[The next several posts are from a thread on Figure Skating World: I love Philippe, but Rudy should have won!"]

"I really like Philippe Candeloro's skating very much! He is SO CREATIVE, and what a showman he is!!

"But I think Rudy skated better in the artistic program. Philippe had a great triple toe-triple toe, but Rudy did more overall, more true *skating*."

---Ben Dover

"I have to agree. I really enjoy Phillipe, but this was simply a spectacle, not a real program. Rudy was wonderful!"


"I loved Rudy's program. I was glad to see the old ballet-like Rudy reappear!"

---Nadine White

"ITA! I couldn't believe the results. At least Rudy's program had flow and choreography."


"I think that Rudy should have won. He had all the artistic qualities that should have lead to a winning performance. I wasn't impressed with Phillipe. Besides the jumps, there was nothing. Same old moves....... Next year, I want RUDY to win. He deserves it! Don't you just love Rudy's Charlotte move?"


"me too! ITA! Rudy was great!"


"Count me in, I thought Rudy should have won as well. Philippe's program was a show program and it was entertaining, but it was not World Professional Champion material.

"Rudy was the class of the event and should have gone home with the gold."


"I agree I would have gone with Rudy...For me, it was rather distracting Phillipe going back and forth changing clothes. I absolutely love Rudy's program and to see it live was

a special treat for me! love, love LOVED IT!"


"Count me in as well. I thought it should have been Rudy's night - he was the only one who actually "skated", IMO."


"P.S. I also want to say that I really liked Rudy's programs at World Pro."

---satin ice

[Technical program]

"R. Galindo: "Hey Big Spender" & a jazzy bit; muted dark sparkly shirt.Triple axel (hit about 2 1/2 of it), triple flip triple toe, triple double, killer spin.This is a really "out" number--& it definitely offended some in the audience & 1 of the judges. There's no question, this is the most open & out he's been. I liked it. He was a bit tired, but he was really working it for the audience & I think it'll be a killer number when he gets some experience with it."

Technical--9.8, 9.8, 9.7, 9.8, 9.6, 9.7, 9.7

Artistic--9.8, 9.8, 9.9, 9.9, 9.4, 9.8, 9.8

(The 9.4 was from Janet Lynn who was roundly booed for her score. Even the most naive audience member couldn't grasp what the 9.4 was for.)


"Candeloro won with _that_? I think that was "show skating" like they have at the American Open, not an "artistic program." One thing that doesn't come across on TV is how Galindo makes his "Colors of the Wind" program seamless. He connects everything. Oneof the big differences I saw between them was that Galindo is always centered, always over his feet. You can see it in his spins which don't travel, in his control when staying on one foot while changing the rest of his positions, the way his jumps always stay on axis even when he isn't able to land them successfully. Of course, Galindo's positions and posture are always impeccable.

"People may be giving Janet Lynn all sorts benefit of doubt for her judging of Galindo's technical program, but remember one thing here: the judging works differently from ISU judging. It's NOT what placement or ordinal you give. There are two major differences: one judge can skew things a lot more by giving an extreme mark in either direction, which Lynn did. And, the scores are cumulative. In ISU judging, last is last; but at World Pro, last with a 9.4 and last with a 9.7 are very different, and the scores carry over from each program to the total. In other words, if one judge has an agenda against one skater, they could have a big influence with just one score on where that skater ends up.

"I am not saying Lynn had an agenda against Galindo. But I am saying that her choice to give him a 9.4 was not just to say "this program deserves to be last in this group"; it said "this deserves to put Galindo way, way behind all the others, enough to make it hard for him to make up ground no matter how well his artistic program goes. Looking at the scores she handed out for the artistic program, it looks like she was spoken to about judging more in line with the others. Sigh. As much as pro competitions are derided for their judging, the fact is that

the results do matter to the skaters, and the judges ought to be trained beforehand, not on the job. Even if they are Ms. Landover Was Created For Me. (I wonder when my fur will lie down again and my claws will retract.)"

---Lorrie Kim

[Artistic program, etc.]

"Galindo skated to Colors of the Wind. He stepped out of the 3A but landed 3Loop, 3S, and 3TL2TL. Also a good reception from the crowd. Scores were 3 x 9.9 and 4 x 9.8 for technical; 4 x 9.8, 2 x 9.9 and 1 x 9.8 for artistic. Janet Lynn's marks were 9.8/9.7. I don't know why she went down to 9.7, but her marks tonight were, on average, just a little lower than the other

judges' marks. At least she seemed to have moved into the same range as the others. She was audibly booed when initially introduced (prior to the pairs event).

"But I think it's unlikely that Ms. Lynn was judging Rudy's lifestyle. I assume Dick Button selected the panel of judges. It is obvious from his commentary that he respects Rudy as a skater; he also seems fond of him as a person. I can't imagine that he would choose someone for his panel who would be inclined to pre-judge Rudy (or any other skater) based on non-skating characteristics.

"And wouldn't Dick B. be likely to know about it if Ms. Lynn were the sort to let prejudices color her skating judgements? He was *married to her coach* for quite some time either during or immediately after Ms. Lynn's years as US Champion. Surely he knows Ms. Lynn rather well, though I will grant that they may not have been in constant contact during the intervening period, since Ms. Lynn has apparently not been active in the skating world for the last 20 or so years."

---Ann Craven

[Artistic program]

"Rudy two-footed his first triple and put an end to his chances of winning, but his program to an instrumental version of "Colors of the Wind" was otherwise exquisite (and, ironically, more technically packed than his "technical" program, including more and better spins). He wore

a black bodysuit with one bare arm, all festooned with green vines and dangling reddish leaves/flowers. Janet didn't care for it (9.8/9.7), but the rest of the judges thought it rated 9.8 with a scattering of 9.9s (three for tech, two for "artistry")."


[Technical program]

"Rudy- he is such a delight to watch! He is still so technically sound and boy can he put on a show. I personall would have put him in first. A 9.4 for presentation.... what the heck is wrong with that judge??? Must be the hungarian judge."


From "A Night for revivals at World Pro Championships," SLAM! Sports, SLAM! Figure skating, Saturday, December 9, 2000]

"Galindo attempted four triple jumps, but stepped out of his triple axel. He wore a multicolored costume that flowed with the music in a moving performance that he said reflected his life. He tested positive for HIV early this year.

"You know my story -- it's been a roller-coaster," Galindo said. "You don't have to crawl up in a ball and hide. Now I feel like I am a true role model."


"It looked like he did a beautiful Charlotte, but it was hard to tell. The camera angle was bad. I thought Rudy should have won."


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Last updated March 4, 2001