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Get the politics out of the Olympic selection process

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It is only Monday, but the “Boo of the week,” has to go to the Olympic committee’s figure skating selection committee. It played politics and allowed a skater who had a complete meltdown in her final skate on the team over one who should have earned a spot based on her display at the U.S. Figure Skating championship in Boston.

The beauty and purity of athletic competition is that it lets individuals or teams determine who is best in competition. If it is raining on one side of the field, it rains on the other side. When a race starts, everybody is at the starting line. Each athlete either controls her nerves or let’s her nerve control her. A competitor does his best and the result speaks for itself.

At least it should. Not so with the figure skating selection committee. Gracie Gold and local girl Ashley Wagner were the odds on favorites going into the competition last weekend. Gold was Gold. Wagner choked finishing fourth in the competition.

High school sophomore Polina Edmunds came out of nowhere to finish second. Mirai Nagasu, who finished fourth at the Vancouver Games,was third, but she is out. It is the first time the U.S. Figure Skating Association has passed over a skater with the credentials and placements to make the team

Here it is 2014 and instead of having Wagner suffer the agony of defeat, like she deserves, the USFSA opted to dismiss a minority skater who earned a place on the team for one of its pre-selected favorites. Maybe we haven’t come such a long way after all.

It is time to get rid of the secretive selection committees and let the athletes performances determine who competes for the United States.

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