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Mathman
06-19-2011, 03:27 PM
as for mathman's contention that figure skating will be sissy-fied by this incident :) please. figure skating was already a niche sport. those who like it, like it for or despite it sissy-ness, those who think ill of skating because of the flatt situation's resolution, well, they were never well-disposed towards skating in the first place, and pretty unlikely to affect NBC's ratings one way or the other.

It's not so much NBCs ratings that make me sad about this.

If you have the heart of a champion your attitude is, "I came here, not to be part of a tag-team relay race, but to skate for the World Championship. Come hell or high water, that's what I'm going to do."

ProgramerUSFS
06-19-2011, 03:28 PM
What we do know is (1) Russia expedited its visa process for foreign skaters, coaches, and officials going to Worlds and that Nagasu (and Frank Carroll) might already have obtained a visa because she was the designated first alternate on the U.S. ladies' team and (2) Flatt said in her interview (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG3lNEgWB40) after her Free Skate in Moscow that she "didn't find out what it was," i.e., a stress fracture of the tibia, until the Friday before Worlds. That leaves open the possibility that she knew she had something wrong with her leg much earlier than that, perhaps early enough for Nagasu to obtain a visa if she didn't have one already.

Can you imagine how differently we would have all been talking about Rachel if she would have done what Michelle did, and simply said "I respect my country and the art of figure skating, and myself to much to skate less then what is expected, and feel that it is only right that the alternate skate in my place." We would have all been saying that Rachel is that role model girl the poster child for what figure skating and being a world class athlete really is. I am not sure who played what role behind the scenes, but their are some adults that really let her down, as they should have been advising her alone the way.

ProgramerUSFS
06-19-2011, 03:45 PM
It's not so much NBCs ratings that make me sad about this.

If you have the heart of a champion your attitude is, "I came here, not to be part of a tag-team relay race, but to skate for the World Championship. Come hell or high water, that's what I'm going to do."

Yes you are correct, but then their is that in which we wish to teach the next generation, which is to sign everything you do with excellence, to take pride in your country, your sport, and yourself. And mostly to show other young skaters that your determination to be a champion has its responsibilities toward the great nation you are representing. I think world class athletes need to realize how will my actions as a whole be perceived and how do I want to be remembered when I am done in the sport. This idea of being head strong competitor and I will do it even though I am hurt, I understand as I was once a competitor as well. However, each coach, each parent, and each teacher, should teach what it means to be a role model, which is someone we all look up to. We have many skaters we look up to, some who have battled cancer, some who have battled drugs and other of life's issues. What I would like to see, is USFS showing the next generation, that a competitor is more then just winning, or going for it. Representing your country is bigger then you, bigger then figure skating, and bigger then even USFS.

Mathman
06-19-2011, 03:58 PM
I know you were just kidding, but I think if Rachael signed a legal contract with USFSA (and I don't know that she did) she'd probably be obliged to pay said fine or else risk getting sued.

That would only make the USFSA look pettty and foolish. To win in court, they would have to prove not only that Rachael violated the terms of the contract but also that this violation caused a financial loss for the USFSA.

Plus, whatever publicity the case generated, it would look like the Bad Bad Wolf picking on Little Red Riding Hood.

Mathman
06-19-2011, 04:18 PM
Representing your country is bigger then you, bigger then figure skating, and bigger then even USFS.

That is very eloquently put :respec:., and imho goes straight to the heart of the matter.

Do athletes in individual sports (golf, tennis) feel that they are representing their counties, their national sports governing organizations, etc., when they compete internationally?

At the Olympics every effort is made to ensure that they do. The competitors march in carrying flags to great pomp and circumstance. The "winner of the Olympic Games" is not the individual who earns a gold medal, but the country whose athletes win the most medals.

In my opinion the World Championship has a different goal. It is to determine who is the best skater in the world. The nationality of the best skater seems less important than the excellence of his or her performances. I think patriotism recedes to the background in such a setting, and properly so.

The United States prides itself not in being more patriotic than other countries, but in promoting a balance between national pride and encouragement of individual initiative.

Vagabond
06-19-2011, 04:32 PM
Professional golf and tennis function differently from ice skating. There isn't a maximum number of entries any one country can have at the Masters or Wimbledon. The skaters pay their own travel costs to tournaments. And so on.

If you want ice skating to reconfigure itself along the lines of professional golf and tennis, then you'll have to be prepared to accept a Ladies' Short Program where more than half of the competitors are from Canada, Japan, Russia, and the United States, as could easily happen if entries were selected as they are at top-level events in those two sports.

taf2002
06-19-2011, 04:40 PM
In my opinion the World Championship has a different goal. It is to determine who is the best skater in the world. The nationality of the best skater seems less important than the excellence of his or her performances. I think patriotism recedes to the background in such a setting, and properly so.

The difference is that the World Championship earns spots for the next season. If spots were earned by say performance on the Grand Prix, then the GP would carry the same responsibility.

Your federation sends you to Worlds to earn spots. If an elite athlete is injured, then they are replaced IF their federation has an alternate with the potential to do better than the injured athlete. So if Yuna or Carolina is injured but they want to skate, their federations will let them because even injured they have more potential than the next skater in their country. But if Rachael is injured, no way does she now have more potential than Mirai or Ashley, maybe even Christina Gao or Agnes could have done better than 12th. But I consider Tom Z most at fault here even if Rachael didn't tell him the doctor's diagnosis. He had to know there was a problem.

Mathman
06-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Your federation sends you to Worlds to earn spots.

I look at it differently.

The USFSA exists to serve the skaters, parents, coaches and local clubs. Skaters, parents, caoches and local clubs do not exist to serve the USFSA (and certainly not to serve the ISU). Skaters do not go to worlds to earn spots; they go to worlds to compete for the world championship.

Hiow could "earning spots" possibly be the reason for holding a world championship competition?

olifaunt
06-19-2011, 07:14 PM
I wish we could get a definitive statement from Rachael herself just to put rumors about her motivations to rest. Whether she says "I've skated better through worse pain and thought I would be fine," or "Everyone does it so I didn't see the problem," or "I wanted to withdraw but my coach wouldn't let me," or "I knew I should have withdrawn but that was realistically my last shot at a world championship and I ignored my coach's advice because I wanted one last hurrah," or "I lied to officials because a shadowy cabal of supervillains paid me off to lose the third spot," I would respect her for telling the truth. I think she needs some credibility back, and honestly opening up about why, exactly, she and/or her team chose not to notify might help in that regard.

Triple Butz
06-19-2011, 07:18 PM
I look at it differently.

The USFSA exists to serve the skaters, parents, coaches and local clubs. Skaters, parents, caoches and local clubs do not exist to serve the USFSA (and certainly not to serve the ISU). Skaters do not go to worlds to earn spots; they go to worlds to compete for the world championship.

Hiow could "earning spots" possibly be the reason for holding a world championship competition?

I certainly don't think "earning spots" is the only reason for sending skaters to Worlds, but it is most definitely a concern. Regarding this decision, I think Flatt AND the USFSA are both at fault. The USFSA for sending Flatt in the first place, and Flatt, herself, for competing when she could not be at her best. I do feel that Flatt broke the rules and acted selfishly, but I'm starting to think her punishment is a way for the USFSA to deflect the blame for the current slump in women's skating. The real problem is the crooked and bizarre judging at their own National Championships and they need to own up to that.

Triple Butz
06-19-2011, 07:19 PM
I wish we could get a definitive statement from Rachael herself just to put rumors about her motivations to rest. Whether she says "I've skated better through worse pain and thought I would be fine," or "Everyone does it so I didn't see the problem," or "I wanted to withdraw but my coach wouldn't let me," or "I knew I should have withdrawn but that was realistically my last shot at a world championship and I ignored my coach's advice because I wanted one last hurrah," or "I lied to officials because a shadowy cabal of supervillains paid me off to lose the third spot," I would respect her for telling the truth. I think she needs some credibility back, and honestly opening up about why, exactly, she and/or her team chose not to notify might help in that regard.

I'm sure NBC will do a great fluff piece on it when Flatt gets to Skate America :)

RD
06-19-2011, 07:22 PM
I certainly don't think "earning spots" is the only reason for sending skaters to Worlds, but it is most definitely a concern. Regarding this decision, I think Flatt AND the USFSA are both at fault. The USFSA for sending Flatt in the first place, and Flatt, herself, for competing when she could not be at her best. I do feel that Flatt broke the rules and acted selfishly, but I'm starting to think her punishment is a way for the USFSA to deflect the blame for the current slump in women's skating. The real problem is the crooked and bizarre judging at their own National Championships and they need to own up to that.

:confused: So who should have won? What should have the team been?

Triple Butz
06-19-2011, 07:48 PM
:confused: So who should have won? What should have the team been?

It's not just this year, the sketchy judging at US Nationals goes all the way back to 1993 when we sent Lisa Ervin and Tonia Kwiatkowski.

The Fly On The Wall
06-19-2011, 08:32 PM
I look at it differently.

The USFSA exists to serve the skaters, parents, coaches and local clubs.

At times, I feel the skaters, parents, coaches, and local clubs exist to serve the USFSA. :shuffle:

Mathman
06-19-2011, 09:20 PM
It's not just this year, the sketchy judging at US Nationals goes all the way back to 1993 when we sent Lisa Ervin and Tonia Kwiatkowski.

Did you think that Harding and Bobek skated better than Kwiatkowski and Ervin at that event?

I don't think the judging was at fault. But the press raised the same issue then as now. Should we go strictly by the performances at Nationals, or should we leap-frog skaters like Harding and Bobek to the front of the line because we think they have the best chance to win medals and high placements at Worlds?

As for questionable judging, I would look rather to 1980, when Lisa-Marie Allen appreared substantially to outskate Linda Fratianne, but the judges put Fratianne first anyway to send her off to the Olympics with a stronger endorsement.

Frank Carroll is still fighting this battle -- trying to get Allen removed as technical specialist at U.S. nationals because he thinks she holds a grudge against him 30 years later.