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



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tangerine_dream
04-11-2010, 08:02 AM
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.

It's based on 5 years of Worlds results, plus European results. That's certainly a much better indicator of her potential on the international competition scene than her own assessment of how she would do, claiming she could earn a top 20 finish which she's never managed to do in the other big international events. I think waging that Tamar would have a hard time posting a top 20 finish at the Olympics when she's NEVER posted a top 20 finish at either Worlds (or Europeans this year) is a pretty safe bet to make. Sure, "we'll never know", but realistically there's a pretty good chance 5 years of results speak for themselves, especially since each year she has a worse result than the last.

Also, the rule is that she needs to be top 20 at Europeans to be sent and she couldn't manage that without ALL the Asian/US competition so add those in and she had no chance at all. Her combined best score ever is 126.09. I know we cannot take results from one competition and transfer it to another, but still...that "personal best" score would have placed her LAST at the Olympics, several points behind Tugba.

As for "Tamar trained in Israel when she was little..." 11-14 are not exactly the "high level training" years. I don't think I said she NEVER trained in Israel (because I don't know nor does it have much bearing on the current situation), I only said she's not training there now, and maybe the federation is better off spending money developing their program rather than essentially sponsoring a US skater to go to the Olympics for them when she won't be bringing home a medal anyway. Many skaters don't train at home. I'm not saying that because she trains in the US, that she shouldn't take the opportunity of Israel having no viable skaters to get sent to as many international events as she can. I'm only saying that it wasn't exactly in the Israeli federation's best interest to spend whatever little amount of money they do have to send a girl they never see except once a year to claim the national championship. Of course Tamar is their best skater- she can afford to skate in the US year round with the US's best coaches; she just doesn't have to compete with all the other US ladies. That doesn't mean she can bring anything of substance (aka money) to Israel so I don't see why she felt entitled to be sent. She did qualify a spot for the Olympics, but by not placing top 20 at Europeans she didn't qualify to be sent. It's pretty simple and once again...rules are rules. If you don't like them, use your situation in a positive way and change them for the next skater.

Just for the sake of argument, you'll also note Tamar did not always compete for Israel. She competed at US Junior Nationals at age 12, negating the claim that she was "training in Israel from ages 11-14". From what I understand she went back to Israel briefly because her dad's job moved him back out there, and then turned right around and returned to the US due to lack of ice time in Israel. I took this as my reference: http://www.tamarkatz.com/index.php?id=16.

I think it's clear as day she only started skating for Israel when she realized she would not get similar international assignments by skating for the US. Again, I don't blame her for that but I do however think the federation sees through it and found it one more reason NOT to waste their money on letting her have an "Olympic experience" that would bring them back nothing. She admits herself that there are basically no suitable training conditions in Israel, so maybe she should think more about what she can do for her country's figure skating program, rather than what it can do for her. After all, she wouldn't have gotten to skate in all those World events were she *not* skating for Israel. It's just not right to take years and years of excellent ice time and coaching in the US, suddenly join the Israeli federation, and say "hey, I'm your best skater, spend all your $$ to send me to events even though I will never, ever medal". What's in it for them?

@Asli- I don't think there was extra pressure for her for Worlds. This year's results are consistent with the decline in results she has had every year since her first World outing.

TAHbKA
04-11-2010, 08:52 AM
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?


Move your question to an appropriate thread and I'll reply. This one is supposed to be discussing Tamar and her qualifying and not going to the Olympics

Zemgirl
04-11-2010, 08:56 AM
As for "Tamar trained in Israel when she was little..." 11-14 are not exactly the "high level training" years. I don't think I said she NEVER trained in Israel (because I don't know nor does it have much bearing on the current situation), I only said she's not training there now, and maybe the federation is better off spending money developing their program rather than essentially sponsoring a US skater to go to the Olympics for them when she won't be bringing home a medal anyway.
Her family is in Israel. She's lived in Israel for many years and was forced to move away because it's impossible to do "high level training" in the country. The timeline for her training and where she lived is pretty clear from the article on her website; it's clear that she is not a US skater shopping for a smaller federation. She competed in the US as a kid because that's where her family lived at the time.

There is no ice time in Israel, no elite coaching, and no opportunity for a skater to progress. The Zaretskis moved away as teenagers too - because they couldn't get the coaching they needed. What exactly is the Israeli Fed supposed to spend what little money is available on? No top level coaches are going to move their training base to Israel. And even if they do manage to develop a more serious skating program for younger kids - not easy when there's only one rink in the country, and that rink's management and the IISF are forever feuding - those kids will still have to leave once they get older in order to have the training they need to be competitive. I've seen a few of the Israeli novice skaters, and though some have potential, there is no way any of them will get anywhere in the sport unless they train abroad.

The right thing to do, with the current funding level and infrastructure, is to have a program for younger kids and to keep enough money available to send the best skaters abroad, if they are old enough and have real potential. The IISF is trying to lobby for another rink in a more central location, but I'm not optimistic on that count.

TAHbKA
04-11-2010, 10:22 AM
last reply after which you are joining the charming company of Frau Muller in my ignore list of idiots speaking to whom is :wall: and waste of time,


It's based on 5 years of Worlds results, plus European results. That's certainly a much better indicator of her potential on the international competition scene than her own assessment of how she would do, claiming she could earn a top 20 finish which she's never managed to do in the other big international events. I think waging that Tamar would have a hard time posting a top 20 finish at the Olympics when she's NEVER posted a top 20 finish at either Worlds (or Europeans this year) is a pretty safe bet to make.

Simple maths: to place top 20 out of 30 is easier than to place top 20 out of 55. Tamar knew there are only 30 participants in the Olympics, there were at least 3-4 who she constantly beats even if she completely screws the programmes. Simple maths. BTW, even if she never made it to the LP she would still be 30th at the worst case, while at worlds/euros the worst case scenario is 55th or so.


Also, the rule is that she needs to be top 20 at Europeans to be sent
Actually it's in the top 1/3. I.e. she would have to be something like 13th. How realistic is that for an israeli skater?


and she couldn't manage that without ALL the Asian/US competition so add those in and she had no chance at all. Her combined best score ever is 126.09. I know we cannot take results from one competition and transfer it to another, but still...that "personal best" score would have placed her LAST at the Olympics, several points behind Tugba.

Which again, represents nothing since she finished ahead of Tugba at worlds. To make an argument with the points/placement/statistics you would have to speak about consistent skaters. None outside the top 10 is (including Tamar), so all the guesses are useless. The best you could do is assume she could not finish top 10 even had she nailed all her elements or below 40 even if she blew all her jumps and spins.


As for "Tamar trained in Israel when she was little..." 11-14 are not exactly the "high level training" years.

When do you think exactly the skaters start learning their triple jumps? At the age of 20? There is no one in Israel who can teach a decent 3 jump. Just for the record. The best we see here is Yafit Asaf who is a huge talent but did not progress since she was 9 and Krasnapolski, who ever learned how to land a double footed Salchow. There was Kotov, but as far as I know he participated every possible and impossible Russian camps and brought his jumps from there.



I say let's close the israeli ice skating altogether. No skater from here will ever bring any medal home. So who needs that sport then anyway? While on that, lets' cancel all the skating except for China, Canada, US and Russia. Deal?
And again (that poor dead horse who we keep beating): NONE of the skaters who train in Israel made it to the senior competitions. The level here is not even enough for the juniors (actually the juniors who compete for Israel this year train outside ISrael as well... come to think of it - so does the novice girl).


[QUOTE=tangerine_dream]Many skaters don't train at home. I'm not saying that because she trains in the US, that she shouldn't take the opportunity of Israel having no viable skaters to get sent to as many international events as she can. I'm only saying that it wasn't exactly in the Israeli federation's best interest to spend whatever little amount of money they do have to send a girl they never see except once a year to claim the national championship.

Read above: Tamar lived and trained in Israel. If we, the israelis consider her enough of an israeli for us, what's there for you????

The girl who comes once a year, claims a national medal and goes on skating for Israel were Syken and Skolnik. As far as I know they never demanded any funds from the federation, moreover, if am not mistaken Syken's family supported other israeli skaters who might had never have a chance to use normal facilities if it wasn't for their help.


Of course Tamar is their best skater- she can afford to skate in the US year round with the US's best coaches

So do other skaters and some represent Israel as well. It's just that they never made it to Tamar's level.


she just doesn't have to compete with all the other US ladies.

Let's not forget those 4-5 years she trained in Israel unlike the US ladies who she would have to compete against.


That doesn't mean she can bring anything of substance (aka money)

Because, obviously, the other skaters can??? Seriously, show me a skater from a small country (say, don't know, Ukraine? Lithuania? Latvia? Norway?) who brings money to their country.



I don't see why she felt entitled to be sent.

Because she was qualified by the ISU rules.


She did qualify a spot for the Olympics, but by not placing top 20 at Europeans she didn't qualify to be sent. It's pretty simple and once again...rules are rules. If you don't like them, use your situation in a positive way and change them for the next skater.

And that is, by the way, exactly what she did at the end of the day. If in the process she would be sent herself - great. I hope she sticks around and qualifies to the next olympics.


Just for the sake of argument, you'll also note Tamar did not always compete for Israel. She competed at US Junior Nationals at age 12, negating the claim that she was "training in Israel from ages 11-14". From what I understand she went back to Israel briefly because her dad's job moved him back out there, and then turned right around and returned to the US due to lack of ice time in Israel. I took this as my reference: http://www.tamarkatz.com/index.php?id=16.
I still don't see your point. You are not really making one, but whatever. Till the age of 11 she did not participate any serious competitions. At the age of 11 (or so) she had to take the tests in the USA and she didn't want to. She was going back to Israel anyway and didn't know whether she would be going back to the US or not. So she started representing .il instead of taking the tests in the USA (and again, she was moving to Israel anyway, so training in Israel while competing under the US rules would be silly and am not sure exactly how it works, but I doubt the US federation would fly her to the local competitions in the US in order to participate). At the age of 14 (or 15) she decides she is serious about her skating, so she must move elsewhere as there are no coaches and no facilities to train in Israel. Her choices are Russia and US - that's where the good coaches are, so she moves to the US (duuuh, having the US citizenship and speaking English). I still don't see how does all that story makes her any less an Israeli skater than anyone else.

Had there been any local skaters who were born and always trained in Israel (like in the case with Syken/Belyi) I would argue - but there was no one - Lior, Shua Haim and Zurabitski retired by then (and if am not mistaken neither of them lived/ trained / in Israel by that time anyway), no one new grew here (again duuuh), no one was imported (thanks for that). So who would the federation spend the money on if not her????



I think it's clear as day she only started skating for Israel when she realized she would not get similar international assignments by skating for the US.

Or when she realized her family is moving to Israel anyway and if she wants to compete at all it'd better be for Israel since logistically she has no chance to make it to the local club competition if she lives in Israel and competes for the US


Again, I don't blame her for that but I do however think the federation sees through it and found it one more reason NOT to waste their money on letting her have an "Olympic experience" that would bring them back nothing.

The federation sees through and was very eager to send Tamar to the Olympics. You are mixing the IISF with the IOC again. The federation who sponspors Tamar was VERY eager to send her, the IOC who have no idea what figure skating is, and am not sure sponsoring anything were not.


She admits herself that there are basically no suitable training conditions in Israel, so maybe she should think more about what she can do for her country's figure skating program, rather than what it can do for her.

Frankly, if she can't afford building a new ice rink in Israel she can't do anything. You see, the simple truth is that in order to ice skate one needs an ice rink. I realize it never occured to you, but well, that's the simple fact. The only ice rink in Israel is closed for at least 2-3 months a year (then there is a small rink of a 20x30m size. Even the junior skater can't do jumps there, never mind someone who is fast on the ice as Tamar), the coaches are working during the public skates (Sergey Sheiko still pops into my nightmares shouting at me `can't you see there is a kid skating??!?!? Where do you think you are going, you fat cow?!?!?!?!').
What she can do is set an example. Going to the olympics would make her even more of a role model she is already. She would be the first israeli lady to ever go to the olympics. Do you think setting an example being the first to achieve something is not enough????


After all, she wouldn't have gotten to skate in all those World events were she *not* skating for Israel.

After all if it wasn't for Tamar there would be no israeli skater in all those competition, if it wasn't for Tamar, Zars and Krasnapolski our federation would become an Azerbajan (it will once those skaters retire).


It's just not right to take years and years of excellent ice time and coaching in the US, suddenly join the Israeli federation, and say "hey, I'm your best skater, spend all your $$ to send me to events even though I will never, ever medal". What's in it for them?

It's SOOO wrong to join the israeli ice skating at the age of 11 and expect at the age of 18 after representing the country for 7 years to expect to be sent to the competition after actually qualifying for that competition....


@Asli- I don't think there was extra pressure for her for Worlds. This year's results are consistent with the decline in results she has had every year since her first World outing.
I seem to agree with that. Tamar has been out of shape ever since her injury a year ago, she is slowly getting into the shape, but she is still far from what she CAN be. Perhaps the college life will do her good and I really hope she sticks to the skating. I love her skating, her style and some of her programmes and I like my country being represented by her - for me she is a true israeli skater (together with the Zars and Krasnapolski).

tangerine_dream, welcome to the ignore list.

Zemgirl
04-11-2010, 11:09 AM
When do you think exactly the skaters start learning their triple jumps? At the age of 20? There is no one in Israel who can teach a decent 3 jump. Just for the record. The best we see here is Yafit Asaf who is a huge talent but did not progress since she was 9 and Krasnapolski, who ever learned how to land a double footed Salchow.

And again (that poor dead horse who we keep beating): NONE of the skaters who train in Israel made it to the senior competitions. The level here is not even enough for the juniors (actually the juniors who compete for Israel this year train outside ISrael as well... come to think of it - so does the novice girl).
The novice girl = Yafit Asaf? Because ITA agree about her being talented, and also agree that she can't get anywhere with her career while training in Israel. So if she's now training abroad, that is very good.

TAHbKA
04-11-2010, 11:41 AM
Zemgirl, no, not Asaf, unfortunately. Kuritsky. As far as I remember Asaf is a junior now age-wise

Asli
04-11-2010, 04:15 PM
I don't think I said she NEVER trained in Israel (because I don't know nor does it have much bearing on the current situation), I only said she's not training there now, and maybe the federation is better off spending money developing their program rather than essentially sponsoring a US skater to go to the Olympics for them when she won't be bringing home a medal anyway.

A skater training in the US does not automatically become a US-skater. Skaters from all around the world train in the US, because the best conditions and a good part of the best coaches are there.

Tamar Katz is an Israeli skater, born to Israeli parents who worked in the US from time to time. If her father's company hadn't relocated him to the US when she was 8, maybe she wouldn't have skated at all. But that still does not make her a US skater. It makes her an Israeli skater who had the good luck of living in a country where the skating conditions are infinitely superior to those in Israel.




She did qualify a spot for the Olympics, but by not placing top 20 at Europeans she didn't qualify to be sent. It's pretty simple and once again...rules are rules.

And ridiculous rules are ridiculous rules! Israel was able to send only THREE athletes to the winter olympics, AFAIK. Was their olympic committee in a position to eliminate the fourth athlete who qualified, moreover an athlete who was supported by her federation? :rolleyes:

What is wrong with 21st place at the Europeans anyway? There were 42 skaters in the ladies' SP. Is Israel such a skating powerhouse that they can sniff at placing in the middle of the field at the Euros? :rolleyes: again.

I honestly think the Israeli Federation will have a hard time finding another skater like Tamar, if she decides to quit. A skater who is really from Israel, one whose parents were motivated enough to move to Metulla for several years and especially a skater who is so pleasant to watch, who has style and charisma! She is very flexible and her spirals and spins are ambitious. There are skaters who are placed slightly higher than her, but who do not attract as much attention as Tamar, because they are so bland. It is really a pity she couldn't skate at the Olympics. Even if she were 30th and last in the short program, Israeli figure skating would not have been worse off for having been represented by her. :)

Ziggy
04-12-2010, 01:54 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).

She is hilarious. I've seen her live at the JGP Torun Cup and it was an unbelievable hot mess.

She needed to skate around the rink TWO times to set-up the triple loop that she obviously didn't fully rotate and fell on, etc. :P

So yeah, when Katz retires Israel will have no elite level female skaters left whatsoever.

I think the issue raised by some people is that Tamar showed her lack of experience by publically saying 'she could have placed top 20 at Olympics' considering she has failed to do so at both Europeans and Worlds.

She should have been more careful, which still doesn't change the fact she obviously should have been sent to Olympics for all the reasons that TAHbKA mentioned in her posts.


(Sergey Sheiko still pops into my nightmares shouting at me `can't you see there is a kid skating??!?!? Where do you think you are going, you fat cow?!?!?!?!').

:rofl:

((TAHbKA))

tangerine_dream
04-12-2010, 08:18 AM
And ridiculous rules are ridiculous rules! Israel was able to send only THREE athletes to the winter olympics, AFAIK. Was their olympic committee in a position to eliminate the fourth athlete who qualified, moreover an athlete who was supported by her federation? :rolleyes:

What is wrong with 21st place at the Europeans anyway?

Well no one seems to think they're ridiculous enough to lobby for a change. It's convenient to only hate on the rules when they screw you over.

There's nothing WRONG with being 21st at all- it's a great achievement. That has nothing to do with the "stupid rules" which weren't lobbied against, however. Like I said, if you don't like a rule, at least lobby for a change rather than just complain when they bite you in the ass.

I want to reply to TAHbKA but as much as I write walls of texts a lot of the time, I can't read/follow stuff that's broken down into 80 paragraphs. I understand you're trying to reply to each bit I'm saying separately, but it's just too time consuming. Might seem like a cop out but let's just agree to disagree because as much as I've brought up other things, this isn't really about whether Tamar trained in Israel or not (or whether she should) but rather about her not getting send to the Olympics, and the reasons why.

Regardless, perhaps someone should take this as a cue to *lobby for a rule change* if it was such an unfair development.

Sylvia
05-30-2010, 05:31 PM
I didn't feel like starting a whole new Katz thread so forgive me for bumping up this one ;) ... Tamar Katz has registered for the Senior Ladies FS event at Liberty (July 13-17 in Aston, PA) -- Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson are listed as her coaches (ETA: I didn't realize she had switched to them earlier this year).