Ottavio Cinquanta

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2011 Rostelecom Cup - Ottavio Cinquanta.jpg

Ottavio Cinquanta (born 15 August 1938, in Rome), is President of the International Skating Union and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

He has held the ISU position since 1994 and the IOC position since 1996.

In 2000 he was elected member of the IOC Executive Committee, position that he held until 2008.

Prior to becoming ISU President he was ISU Vice President and before the Chair of its Technical Committee for Short Track Speed Skating.

Cinquanta grew up in Milan, Italy, where he practiced ice hockey, athletics and speed skating. Cinquanta attended university and he was mainly active in business administration. At the time of his election to the ISU Presidency, at the age of 56, he retired from his position as a manager of an international chemical company.

When Cinquanta was first elected to the ISU Presidency, he was initially regarded as a progressive who introduced prize money at ISU Events after positively negotiating several commercial contracts, which put the ISU on much firmer ground with respect to competitions, from the unsanctioned professional skating competitions. The television money also allowed the ISU to sustain a variety of development programs in both Figure Skating and Speed Skating branches, including, for example, the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

On the occasion of the 2002 Winter Olympics,one Figure Skating event had a case related to the result and the ISU was criticized for the evasiveness of a judging system based mainly on subjectivity, a system adopted by the ISU many decades earlier. On the initiative of President Cinquanta the ISU Council at the beginning of the 2002 Winter Olympics voted in favor of a new revolutionary scoring system. This happened before the mentioned case of judging happened in one Figure Skating event at the same 2002 Winter Olympics.

The new Figure Skating Judging System was defined as an absolute system and considerably less affected by subjectivity. It was also later approved by the ISU Ordinary Congress of 2002 in Kyoto, Japan.

The ISU Judging System takes advantage of the latest technology including video replay and a network of computarized systems. This demonstrated to be a positive development although limited fan protests were presented especially by those who were in favor of a full subjective decision; but the opinion of a large part of technical people involved in Figure Skating was firmly different. Like any other technical rule and procedure the ISU Judging System is subject to evaluation by the experts whose inputs are submitted to the ISU Congress for consideration in order to evaluate all initiatives to be adopted to follow the natural development of a high technical sport like Figure Skating.

Cinquanta has been consecutively reelected to the ISU Presidency at all the ISU elective Congresses and since his first election in 1994, approximately thirty innovations have been introduced in the International Skating Union regarding the two branches administered of Figure Skating and Speed Skating. The International Olympic Committee has benefited for the Olympic events from all the innovations produced by the ISU that have been adopted and maintained for a period of almost twenty years.


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Sporting positions
Preceded by
Olaf Poulsen
President of the International Skating Union
Succeeded by