This story covers the three pairs team competing for the gold medal in the 2002 Olympics. It covers their years of training, their families, living conditions, coaches etc. The it covers the actually competition and the fall out of the one FRENCH judge who trade a placement with the RUSSIAN judge. There is even more to the scandal than just the one FRENCH judge. Very well written - couldn't but it down but then I love pairs skating. I loved the book so much I can't force myself to repost it.
you do not have to care or know anything about ice skating to be completely caught up in this book. It is a fascinating study of people and cultures and courage and dedication. The situation at the Olympics with the cheating judge is part of the book, but the very smallest part, as the author takes you into the personal stories of each athlete of the six involved: the Russian skater with her abusive partner and abusive coach, the little Chinese girl whose father takes her to the freezing cold ice and leaves here there every day until he can get back to pick her up. The separation from family so that there can be a hope of a future better than her family knows. The rough-and-tumble Canadian skater who loves ice hockey and finds himself in pairs skating. the financial burdens on families who give up personal lives and homes for the hope of future Olympic Gold. The Chinese skater who was laughed at; who uses that humiliation to drag his country into modern times and studies and works coaching his team brilliantly from laughable status to Gold Medal standing. This is a brilliant book.