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View Full Version : Tamar Katz: An Olympic Qualifier, but Not in Israelís Eyes (article)



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TAHbKA
04-08-2010, 03:36 PM
The TALENTED Russian girls wouldn't skate for Israel. The one who skates now on the junior level (Bardakova) seems to have regressed (if that was even possible).

pinky166
04-08-2010, 05:05 PM
Maybe they'd tap into the unlimited supply of the talented Russian girls?:) However, what the Israeli Fed did to Tamar was such a shame. They should have sent her!

Most of the Russian girls are Christian (Russian Orthodox), I've noticed a lot of them wear cross necklaces. I don't think they could represent Israel if they're not Jewish.

tangerine_dream
04-09-2010, 10:18 AM
The TALENTED Russian girls wouldn't skate for Israel. The one who skates now on the junior level (Bardakova) seems to have regressed (if that was even possible).

I don't think who they skate for has any effect on their training. It's not like Tamar actually trains in Israel, or ever has. She just wouldn't be getting sent to Worlds if she were competing for the US.

I personally don't care if she was sent or not, she's just never had top 20 results at Worlds before (wiki says her past few years' results were 23rd, 22nd, 25th and 27th) so I don't know what made her claim she suddenly could at the Olympics (which is generally much more stressful than Worlds especially for first timers). I don't think it's right to promise something to your federation in order to get funding for a huge trip like that, when you can't deliver. That was my only issue with that- not whether she was sent or not, but that she gave promises she most likely couldn't deliver in order to get that funding which is honestly most likely better spent supporting the growth of the sport in Israel, where she doesn't train.

Also as a note: Tamar (or anyone else who supported her in her Olympic quest) never lobbied for the rules to be changed regarding how one gets sent to the Olympics. The reason she wasn't sent is because she placed TOO LOW at Europeans. Those are part of the rules. She qualified a spot, yes. But it's not "hers" and the Federation had no obligation to send her since she didn't qualify as per the rules. If she had placed higher at Europeans, she would have been sent. She controlled her own destiny there. Although she claimed she could finish top 20 at the Oympics, she couldn't even manage top 20 at Europeans. Rules are rules, if you want them changed then petition for it. But she didn't even do that, so the next girl who might be in her situation will be just as screwed. She could have used her situation to better the rules for the next girl, but she didn't.

TAHbKA
04-09-2010, 11:10 AM
I don't think who they skate for has any effect on their training.

Welcome to the real world. If a skater skates for Russia they have to work VERY hard in order to qualify - there is a competition. If they skate for Israel they can do whatever - they will qualify anyway (see the lovely example of Shipov who used to be half a decent skater before started representing Israel. Syken is the only exception - she did not become any worse after switching countries)


It's not like Tamar actually trains in Israel, or ever has.
Check your facts before you post shit. She was. For several years. She obviously does not train nor lives here now (nor do Zaretskis). There are no coaches in Israel that would suit a level of a skater above the age of 12. She skated here till she was 14 or so. Was a huge inspiration for the kids and it is still talked nicely about on the local ice rink.


She just wouldn't be getting sent to Worlds if she were competing for the US.

I think she competed for the US till she was like 10 or 11. Don't believe it was a question of the worlds, more like her lack of will doing the US tests. The Israeli system is different, she switched. I don't believe at the age of 10 or 11 she even thought about getting to worlds nevermind qualifying for the Olys.


I personally don't care if she was sent or not

Really??


she's just never had top 20 results at Worlds before (wiki says her past few years' results were 23rd, 22nd, 25th and 27th) so I don't know what made her claim she suddenly could at the Olympics (which is generally much more stressful than Worlds especially for first timers).

Guess by seeing the list of the competitors which was twice shorter than the worlds and knowing who she might be able to beat there. Assume she knew better in what shape she is and what she can do.


I don't think it's right to promise something to your federation in order to get funding for a huge trip like that, when you can't deliver.

And the federation fully supported Tamar's claims and decisions and was all for sending her to the Olys. It's the IOC who declined. As far as I understand the funding goes from the federation, so there was no problem with that.


That was my only issue with that- not whether she was sent or not, but that she gave promises she most likely couldn't deliver in order to get that funding which is honestly most likely better spent supporting the growth of the sport in Israel, where she doesn't train.

Her participating the Olympics would do much more to the local sport than the funding, which, believe me, never made it to the right people anyway. A presentation of a skater who is considered local (unfortunately, Zaretskis are still considered `Russians' by most of the locals because of their names and accents. Stupid, but..) would do miles more than the money that went nowhere.


Also as a note: Tamar (or anyone else who supported her in her Olympic quest) never lobbied for the rules to be changed regarding how one gets sent to the Olympics.
It's not figure skating rules, it's general IOC rules. Every 4 years there are shouts how stupid those laws are, but as far as I know nothing had changed (can't say much on the matter, I don't really care about other sports).



The reason she wasn't sent is because she placed TOO LOW at Europeans. Those are part of the rules. She qualified a spot, yes. But it's not "hers" and the Federation had no obligation to send her since she didn't qualify as per the rules. If she had placed higher at Europeans, she would have been sent. She controlled her own destiny there.

applause, the whole 5 lines of your post that are actually not crap.


Although she claimed she could finish top 20 at the Oympics, she couldn't even manage top 20 at Europeans. Rules are rules, if you want them changed then petition for it. But she didn't even do that, so the next girl who might be in her situation will be just as screwed. She could have used her situation to better the rules for the next girl, but she didn't.
As far as I know (Shi should know better) there were only 2-3 cases in the whole history of Israel in the Olys when the sportsmen were not sent. Usually the rules are bent. I fail to understand why they were not for Tamar.
As for the NEXT GIRL who qualifies for the Olys in Israel - am quite sure you have no idea, but there is no one after Zaretskis, Tamar or Krasnapolski. Those are the only skaters left who were actually raised in Israel. The rest are well.. Azerbjan

agalisgv
04-09-2010, 05:00 PM
If a skater skates for Russia they have to work VERY hard in order to qualify - there is a competition. If they skate for Israel they can do whatever - they will qualify anyway So are you saying if Tamar were to skate for another country, she might be training harder?
She skated here till she was 14 or so. Was a huge inspiration for the kids and it is still talked nicely about on the local ice rink...
I think she competed for the US till she was like 10 or 11. Don't believe it was a question of the worlds, more like her lack of will doing the US tests. The Israeli system is different, she switched. I don't believe at the age of 10 or 11 she even thought about getting to worlds nevermind qualifying for the Olys. Tamar skated in Israel from 11-14? If training is so deficient in Israel, what would be the motive for going to Israel to train during that period? I'm assuming if Tamar switched countries to represent, she wouldn't have to train according to USFSA rules even if she stayed in the US.

Obviously I don't know the motivation, but is it really unusual for aspiring tween skaters to hope for the Olympics? It seems pretty common even before that age.

As for why she wasn't sent when other athletes in the past were, did that apply to the Winter Olympics, or only the Summer? I wonder if there is a lack of interest in the former outside of hockey.

reckless
04-09-2010, 05:02 PM
I think it's ridiculous to assume how Tamar would have done at the Olympics based on her Worlds results. As pointed out, there were skaters who placed in the top 20 at Worlds this year who placed behind Tamar last year. Further, we don't know what being denied the opportunity to compete at the Olympics did to Tamar. Was she timing her training so that she would peak at the Olympics? Did she continue to train much for Worlds after she was denied her Olympics spot or did she say "feck it, why spend the money on coaches and ice time?" I hope she didn't, but I think it would be understandable if she did.

chipso1
04-09-2010, 05:45 PM
You got that one right. Here's hoping that Israel will have a more worthy Ladies Champion in the next quadrennium. For Tamar: moveon.org !

Are you serious? You know nothing about her training situation, personal life or why she performed poorly at Worlds. Stop speaking out of your ass, Frau.:wall:

BittyBug
04-09-2010, 06:18 PM
Tamar skated in Israel from 11-14? If training is so deficient in Israel, what would be the motive for going to Israel to train during that period? I'm assuming if Tamar switched countries to represent, she wouldn't have to train according to USFSA rules even if she stayed in the US.IIRC, when Tamar was younger she lived in the U.S. because that's where her father was stationed for his job. Her dad was transferred back to Israel, and she returned there with her family, but I believe she then later returned to the U.S. (on her own?) to train because the training conditions in Israel were not the best.

TAHbKA
04-09-2010, 06:35 PM
So are you saying if Tamar were to skate for another country, she might be training harder?

No, not Tamar. Shipov and Bardakova on the other hand would be far better skaters or would retire had they not represented Israel.


Tamar skated in Israel from 11-14? If training is so deficient in Israel, what would be the motive for going to Israel to train during that period?

At that age it was not about training but about being where her parents were. They moved back to Israel, so did Tamar. At the age of 14 (so here am not sure, it might had been 15, can't remember) when her skating became important enough she moved to the USA.


I'm assuming if Tamar switched countries to represent, she wouldn't have to train according to USFSA rules even if she stayed in the US.
Yes. That's what Syken and Skolnik did - they never actually lived in Israel. Guess that what annoys when those who don't bother reading the skater's profiles shout aloud Tamar never trained in Israel. She did.



Obviously I don't know the motivation, but is it really unusual for aspiring tween skaters to hope for the Olympics? It seems pretty common even before that age.

In the countries with the Olympics history - perhaps. Israel's first time in the Winter Olympics were 1992 and Tamar is the first lady to qualify. For what it's worth there was no role model or someone to look up to in Israel.


As for why she wasn't sent when other athletes in the past were, did that apply to the Winter Olympics, or only the Summer? I wonder if there is a lack of interest in the former outside of hockey.
There is no interest in the Winter Olys in general. When I tell my co-workers the Olys are on they look at me as if I were crazy and lived by a wrong calendar. The similar to Tamar's case was with one of the Summer athletes, but afraid am clueless who the athlete was.

The whole story is a bit blurry - when Tamar came to Israel from the Europeans it was still not certain whether she is or is not going to the Olympics. There was a hearing etc etc etc, so guess it would be stupid had she filed a petition before the IOC decision. After the decision was made it was too late to do anything about .The fact her story made it to the newspapers and was talked about is a huge deal here. I can probably name all the people in Israel who are even remotely interested in Figure Skating.

Zemgirl
04-09-2010, 06:41 PM
IIRC, when Tamar was younger she lived in the U.S. because that's where her father was stationed for his job. Her dad was transferred back to Israel, and she returned there with her family, but I believe she then later returned to the U.S. (on her own?) to train because the training conditions in Israel were not the best.
I think that's correct. She was born in the US (so she should have US citizenship) but her family is Israeli and they moved back and forth due to her father's career. I believe she moved to the US on her own for training when she was 15. Katz made a coaching change earlier this year and I'm not sure what effect that will have in the long term.

I'm not aware of any younger Israel ladies who can seriously challenge for decent placements internationally. Certainly anyone with potential would have to move abroad; it's impossible to train seriously in Metula and there are no other options.

nylynnr
04-09-2010, 07:22 PM
Tamar holds Israeli and U.S. passports and has spent a great deal of time in Israel -- she was born in Dallas but moved back to her home country when she was a few months old, and stayed there until she was about 8, when her father moved the family to the Washington, D.C., area for his job.

When her family moved back to Israel, she skated at the Canada Centre, but in 2006 during hostilities the roof was damaged. Also, the family was evacuated several times, so obviously the training conditions weren't ideal, and she moved to California to train; quit the sport for a while; and then trained in Russia, before moving to New Jersey in, I think, 2006. Hopefully this sequence is correct.

Just my opinion, but I don't think where Tamar trained had anything to do with the decision not to send her to Vancouver. The Israeli Olympic Committee is nothing if not consistent. In 2008, it refused to send tennis player Dudi Sela to the summer Olympics, despite his ranking of about 60 in the world (I think) and the fact that he had been key to helping Israel win several Davis Cup ties. This caused an uproar, but since Sela didn't meet the Committee's requirement of a top 50 ranking, he wasn't sent. When this controversy about Tamar first came up, it was plain they could not send her -- she didn't meet the criteria, and it would have made the Committee look very arbitrary and inconsistent.

isk8junkie
04-10-2010, 09:20 AM
Asli wrote:
Her federation will never know how Tamar Katz would have skated at the Olympics. At the Worlds she finished in-between Sarah Meier and Tugba Karademir, who were 15th and 24th at the Olympics. How can we know that she wouldn't have finished somewhere between those placements too? Cheltzie Lee, whom Katz had easily beaten at the Olympic qualifying event, finished 20th at the Olympics. Maybe Katz could have done it too.

The Olympics were a different event, with a different atmosphere, timing, number of skaters etc. Katz was the first lady ever to qualify a spot for Israel. She should have been sent.

Good luck to the Israeli federation for finding another skater who can qualify a spot in four years' time.

FACT - NOBODY can speculate where they will place in a competition! So, I think Tamar didn't do herself any favours by saying she would place in the top 20 in the Olympics! She had to the opportunity to prove her Federation wrong for not sending her by performing well at the World Championships....did this happen??? NO!

It is unfair to speculate that just because she placed higher than Cheltzie Lee at the OQC that she would have done so at the Olympics! She had the opportunity to prove it at Worlds but did she???? NOOOOOOO! Whose to say that Cheltzie Lee didn't have issues prior to the OQC that affected her performance as Tamar had excuses in reference to her performance at the European Cships. At the end of the day Cheltzie Lee is a champion in her own right. No excuses....nobody wants to hear excuses unfortunately.

Cheltzie Lee seized the opportunity to perform to the best of her ability and won many fans in the process! Then went on to the World Championships and once again took advantage of the opportunity of qualified for the free prog. I watch this young lady skate 11 hrs a week. She too has inconsistent jumps, 3lz, 3f and 3T3Tcombo but still no excuses....just tends to get on with it and make most of it! My daughters admire her so much. She is a lovely person who trains hard, is quiet, kind and polite.

My suggestion to TAMAR is "It's time to move on! Look towards the new season and the new opportunities if will bring for you!" GOOD LUCK and maybe you can take the "I'll show you approach to your federation!" I truly think that would work!

Angelskates
04-10-2010, 10:20 AM
Tamar showed her inexperience in talking to the press when she declared that she would prove to the IOC that they were wrong in not sending her by placing top 20. You should never state something like that to the press, because there's no guarantee that you can deliver and it can then come back and bite you in the bum - which is exactly what has happened.

Tamar spoke out of bitterness, anger and disappointment, and it is understandable that she was bitter, angry and disappointed, however what the athletes with more experience would have likely said is that they would go to worlds hoping for personal best skate, and a good placing (not giving numbers) and that at this stage, that was all they could hope for. They would be diplomatic in their disappointment, especially if they planned to appeal for a change in the future. They might say that they hoped to make the free, or hoped to make top 20, but they wouldn't say that they would make the free and would make top 20 - because there's no way to guarantee that.

I also think that Tamar (and anyone else) should have been campaigning to have the rules change before she needed them changed for her. If the rules are unfair (and I think in this case they are), they're unfair - not just because they don't suit you and your current circumstances. I don't know if Tamar was campaigning earlier, but if she was, it was being done quietly.

Every skater out there could make up excuses (which are sometimes legitimate reasons) for not skating well on the day or days. The (experienced) athletes don't make excuses, they understand there's no point, they just say that it didn't go to plan on the day and that they will focus on the next competition. They try not to blame other people, events or things. Part of being a successful athlete is dealing well with things that don't go to plan and trying not to let it affect your performance.

I disagree a bit with isk8junkie in that I don't think Tamar should take the "I'll show you" approach to her federation (it was actually her OC not the federation though). If that is her sole motivation, it will more likely backfire. I agree that she needs to move on and put this season behind her, but I think Tamar needs to skate because she wants to skate, not to prove something to her Olympic Committee, otherwise she could be setting herself up for disappointment again.

Asli
04-10-2010, 11:23 AM
My suggestion to TAMAR is "It's time to move on! Look towards the new season and the new opportunities if will bring for you!" GOOD LUCK and maybe you can take the "I'll show you approach to your federation!" I truly think that would work!

She probably has moved on. We are the ones who are rehashing what she said before the worlds. ;)

Maybe she did take the "I'll show you!" approach and therefore put extra pressure on herself at the Worlds. Anger and bitterness may push one to work and prepare harder, but I don't believe these feelings improve one's performance under stressful conditions.




I also think that Tamar (and anyone else) should have been campaigning to have the rules change before she needed them changed for her. If the rules are unfair (and I think in this case they are), they're unfair - not just because they don't suit you and your current circumstances. I don't know if Tamar was campaigning earlier, but if she was, it was being done quietly.

In order for one person or one family to campaign effectively, they need to have the teeniest bit of name or influence. TAHbKA explained in this thread how few people are interested in figure skating or other winter sports in Israel and how her colleagues were incredulous that Olympics were being held in the middle of the winter! Tamar did a good job even to have newspaper articles printed on this issue.

I think the Israeli Skating Federation and federations of other small sports could try to convince the IOC to send their athletes who qualify according to the standards of the international sports bodies. Name athletes from other sports could also campaign.

Satoko
04-10-2010, 10:21 PM
It's very difficult problem.
But I have a question because I am colored(I am a Buddhist ),
Do You Cheer Palestinian Skater Same As Tamar?