The 'Skategate' Olympic scandal set the Internet buzzing with opinions that ranged from the cynical to the jingoistic to the obscene. There was even a bit of poetry.
"Moral: Complain loudly and get gold!" said one typical post on a Yahoo! news message board Friday. "There are so many other things wrong in this world. WHO CARES if a couple of skaters get screwed out of a medal?"
The writer was commenting on Friday's decision by the International Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union to give gold medals to Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, after a frenzied public outcry.
That means there will be two gold-medal-winning pairs teams. The other is the Russian duo, Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze, who won last Monday on a 5-4 judges' decision. The French judge who figured in the decision was later suspended and the matter is being investigated.
Chat room comment was generally vehement.
"This is truly a sign that communism is alive and well and playing itself out at the Olympics in OUR country," one correspondent wrote in a forum on the Los Angeles Times' Web site. "The Canadians clearly won. Why must the Russians always win? Because it's the trend? Or because there's larger political implications?"
But one writer on the Washington Post's site sounded pensive: "I think that the judging in the figure skating pairs competition has greatly hurt the integrity of the 2002 Olympics. I could only hope that there would be some redeeming method of review and that the suspicious judges would not be allowed to ever judge in a competition again.'