I have no clue as to the standards by which the judges scored the Olympic Pairs Skaters, but it obviously was not based on the skill of the athletes.
It is clear to me that the Canadians were far superior to the Russians, and that the Chinese should be starting their Long March. The 5th place Americans were better than the Bronze-winning Chinese, who had two visible errors that should have crowded them off the platform.
The most charitable explanation I can come up with is that the judges are all Democrats, who scored more highly for effort than for results. The Chinese tried a quadruple throw, which still has never been done successfully in Olympic competition. Apparently, the fact that they failed doesn’t count as much as that they made the attempt.
The blatant scoring of the Russian judge is offensive, but expected. Even more disturbing, however, is the scoring of other Slavic countries, who seemed to follow the Russian lead. Perhaps it was merely ethnic pride.
It is a shame that much of the score is for artistry, which is in the eye (and politics) of the beholder. Perhaps it is time for an additional judgement to come from the audience. While that might give an advantage to the home team, it might also yield an overall fairer score. I hope the audience would be more nearly neutral than the obviously biased National judges.
Then again, perhaps my time as a Boy Scout has doomed me to a life of disappointment.