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Cinquanta and Grandi, they must be related.

April 3, 2009 |  4:20 pm

As Phil Hersh pointed out, figure skating's czar, Ottavio Cinquanta of Italy, speaks a lot, says little and seems committed to doing stupid things that hurt the sport. Since figure skating is consistently one of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics, it would seem that someone associated with the International Olympic Committee -- or, you know, the sport itself -- might eventually want to look for a new guy to give hour-long state-of-the-sport addresses that are both imperious and insipid.

One of the most popular Summer Olympic sports, gymnastics, has the same deal. Bruno Grandi, also of Italy, runs the International Gymnastics Federation. He, too, is fond of meddling with the scoring system -- making it something impenetrable to the casual fan -- and ignoring important issues (Chinese age controversy, anyone?) He also loves speaking for hours at a time and saying nothing. How has it happened that these two men, who seem far removed from the sports they are supposed to help foster, have kept their jobs?

-- Diane Pucin