Todd Kapostasy directs all four episodes of the Peacock original ‘Meddling: The Olympic Skating Scandal That Shocked the World.’ The documentary miniseries follows the 2002 Olympics ice-skating scandal and the fallout from the event.
Canadian ice-skating duo Jamie Salé and David Pelletier had trained for years for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. As they hit the ice, they wowed the audience who began chanting for them to get a perfect score at the end. Instead, they won second place to the Russians, who made mistakes during their performance. They handled receiving the silver medal with grace, but soon, they discovered that the French judge may have been involved with the Russian mafia to cheat. At first, French judge Jean Senft confessed to the crime, but backtracked when the American media rallied behind the Canadians. As the Olympics continue, it is overshadowed by one of the most shocking sports in the world.
The documentary is very well made and it tells the story in a good, setting it up in a way that you could follow along and become engrossed in the scandal. It was interesting to hear the story from both the American and Russian perspectives. I will stipulate that I do not believe the Russian skaters knew of the cheating that was going on behind the scenes, as there is no evidence of this. I found it engrossing as the underworld of sports was explored.
That being said, I thought it was gross how Senft was allowed to whine about the cheating. She confessed early on when there was little media scrutiny or public pressure. She recanted and just expected everyone to believe her. She did get pushback, but this French elitist did not deserve any of the sympathy that was geared toward her. Senft confessed (to multiple people), was heard being talked about by a Russian criminal, and then recanted. She cheated, got caught, and now she is doing what all elites do when they are busted, throw a hissy fit.
With this in mind, the story was gripping and the interviews were interesting. You do not realize how shady sports is until you hear how something like figure skating, a sport about beauty and grace, is infiltrated by these bad elements.
Sadly, the documentary does not offer solutions to these issues and so there is a feeling where justice is not served by the events of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Sports violence, Disturbing topics
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