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View Full Version : U.S. Figure Skating reprimands, fines Rachael Flatt



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Sylvia
06-16-2011, 01:49 PM
Seriously, why would someone trying to hide an injury blurt it out at the end of the competition? It's weird.

I think it's plausible to believe that Rachael was in pain, emotionally drained, and therefore not thinking clearly at that moment.

To add to my earlier reply above, I've seen a couple of people in this thread referrring to a "press conference" but, just to be clear, Rachael's post-skate comments at Worlds (transcribed by Hersh) took place in the media's "mixed zone" immediately after she had finished skating and exited the kiss and cry.

Oldsk8ter
06-16-2011, 01:53 PM
Frank Carroll coach of OGM Evan Lysacek, OSM's Michelle Kwan, Linda Fratianne, OBM Timothy Goebel, Christopher Bowman, Tiffany Chin etc ?

A feud based on what because it certainly isn't professional jealousy. :rofl:

On the other hand, there is something wrong when the PSA is nominating Tom Z for coach of the year and here we have Rachael Flatt being reprimanded and fined by the USFS. I realize they are not one and the same, but it's just off.

I agree with both comments - there is nothing to base a feud on. Frank's career speaks for itself.

There is something totally wrong with Tom Z being nominated as coach of the year. He was the experience adult in this situation and it was up to him to contact Frank and tell the USFSA Rachel was injured. The fine was assessed against the wrong person.

mikemba
06-16-2011, 01:54 PM
. Maybe this will encourage skaters to listen to their doctors more when they tell them to rest and not compete.

I know this is not a mjaor point of your post but I just had to respond: doctors offer opinions. They are often wrong, in fact they often disagree with eachother. Many athletes have disregarded their doctor's opinion and went on to do something the doctor said they'd "never be able to do." (I'm no elite athlete -- far from it! -- but I have cancer and on a few occasions have gone on to do things my doctor said would never happen.)

Sylvia
06-16-2011, 01:58 PM
There is something totally wrong with Tom Z being nominated as coach of the year. He was the experience adult in this situation and it was up to him to contact Frank and tell the USFSA Rachel was injured. The fine was assessed against the wrong person.
With Worlds being pushed back to late April this year, it's more than likely that the coaching nominations took place before Worlds was held in Moscow -- see: U.S. Figure Skating/PSA Annual Coaching Awards Nomination Procedure and Criteria (http://www.usfsa.org/content/Award%20Criteria.pdf).

ETA: Turns out the press release on the coaching award nominees was published on May 10 (http://www.usfigureskating.org/Story.asp?id=46137&type=media), so it looks like the nominations may have be made at the conclusion of Worlds. However, I believe the Flatt/Zakrajsek Worlds injury situation, as spotlighted by Hersh, may not have had much of an impact, if any, on the nomination process itself.

Vagabond
06-16-2011, 02:03 PM
Is it possible to study at Stanford full-time and be a competitive skater?

Yes. It's been done before. (http://news.stanford.edu/pr/91/910618Arc1293.html)


Thomas entered Stanford as a freshman in the fall of 1985, intending to become a physician. Just four months later, she won the U.S. national figure skating title, and a month after that, the world title.

RumbleFish
06-16-2011, 02:11 PM
There's something off about this situation to me. First of all, do all athletes report their injuries to their federation all the time? Second, how could the injury have been kept secret? Lastly, if Rachel was aiming to keep it hush hush, she wouldn't have mentioned it in a press conference.

It appears that they got her on a technicality but I this this is mostly about sour grapes - Frank's sour grapes that Mirai didn't get to compete and general sour grapes about the US not getting that third space.

Rachel could have placed lower than eight even without an injury. But for now, she is a convenient scapegoat.

In societies, crazy things happen when there are huge imbalances in political power. I guess figure skating world is just like any other society.

Props to Frank Carrol. He knows his politics.

I hope Rachel comes back stong and make the 2012 Worlds team.

Skittl1321
06-16-2011, 02:11 PM
I get what you're saying, but to play devil's advocate, I think it's safe to say that there isn't one elite skater (or athlete in any individual sport, for that matter) who gives two s**ts about earning an extra spot for another skater. I'm sure that if it happens, the skater(s) may consider it a nice bonus to be credited with but, privilege or not, I doubt that any of the skaters are THAT thoughtful.

That's not true at all. I know a junior skater who went to World's and came home THRILLED that they, combined with the other team, earned enough points that the next year 3 teams would be able to go. Heck, his facebook update immediatly after the competition was "3 spots" - nothing about their particular skate/placement. He's not junior eligible anymore, so it had nothing to do with them, they won't benefit from it. Their placement was excellent for them, but unremarkable otherwise. The excitment was about doing something good for the pairs program.


so she probably did not need "ongoing medical treatment" (heck, I didn't even see Rachael in a boot or anything after Worlds, did anyone else? Did the fracture heal on it's own without medical treatment?)... And she claims that she was still doing her normal training on a regular basis and still doing all her jumps before traveling to Worlds... So technically, she may not have needed to communicate the situation, according to this rule.

She wasn't training normally by the time she got to Worlds- her jumps were clearly affected, and I bet they had been affected before she got there. Additionally, I would put money down that she was working with a PT due to the injury (most elite athletes have ongoing appointments with PT) and a Physical Therapist is medical treatment, so if PT was specifically to help with that issue, and not generic issues, then I'd say it was ongoing medical treatment.

You would think the USFS has evidence that she violated the agreement if they issued a reprimand. They clearly don't do it lightly, since they have never done it before.

Rex
06-16-2011, 02:11 PM
I also think blaming Rachael for costing the US 3 spots is utterly ridiculous. The US hasn't had 3 spots in ladies' skating in years.
You make it sound like it was back in the 90s :lol:
Wasn't it last in 2009 that the ladies had 3 spots?

Was Tonya Harding the last skater actually fined prior to Rachael?

What on earth makes Carroll think that Nagasu could have helped get three spots for Worlds next year? As inconsistent as she is, with her triples being downgraded on a semi-regular basis?

Hannahclear
06-16-2011, 02:19 PM
Wow I had no idea that was a rule!

This is quite a story. I do hope Rachel goes to Stanford. She's accomplished a lot, but I think she's reached her peak level. Time to move on.

taf2002
06-16-2011, 02:44 PM
None of this is the fault of Frank Carroll or Phil Hersh. Those blaming either of them are just trying to kill the messenger. The fault lies with Rachel, who is the only one who knows how bad the pain was AND who was the one the doctor told about the stress fracture. And part of the fault lies with Tom Z, who didn't pull his skater or even warn the alternate.


Props to Frank Carrol. He knows his politics.

This is insulting to Frank & IMO he doesn't deserve your scorn.

skatemommy
06-16-2011, 02:47 PM
Sorry if I missed it somewhere written before, but will USFSA take any action against her coach? He always strikes me as a person who asks his students to tough it out and skate (see Sandy Rucker in Ice Diaries back in 2006).

I had forgotten about that one...didn't she have severe back problems?

GarrAarghHrumph
06-16-2011, 02:48 PM
This requirement to inform the federation is commonly known. The coaches know full well what this rule is and what it means, as do the elite level skaters. This should not have been a surprise to Rachel - and certainly not to her coach. Tom Z. *absolutely* knows this requirement.

I might think this was a mistake on Rachel's part - she really thought she could gut through this, and figured it wasn't severe enough to inform USFS, and she was wrong. But Tom Z. absolutely knew what he was doing - and if he did not, he REALLY should have.

skatesindreams
06-16-2011, 03:00 PM
No, I didn't misunderstand - I developed the point, starting with 2010 and working through the requirements to represent the U.S. at Worlds. I do think we are misunderstanding each other at some level, though, perhaps on the purpose of the World Team and what it means to earn a spot representing the U.S. internationally. U.S. Figure Skating selects skaters to compete internationally based on the skaters' possible contribution to the goals of U.S. Figure Skating, which is basically to earn medals and position the United States to do as well as possible at the Olympic Games. There's a line in U.S. Government, "I serve at the pleasure of the President." Well, the athletes skate at the pleasure of the association: those spots belong to the association, not individual athletes, and the association has the legal right to select whomever it wishes, constrained only by the contract with the USOC, which is mirrored in our association's regulations, to a certain extent.

This is the real issue; and something which participants/parents/coaches should realise when they sign those documents/contracts.
They are representing the association - and the United States As such, they are answerable for their actions,

Allen
06-16-2011, 03:01 PM
I might think this was a mistake on Rachel's part - she really thought she could gut through this, and figured it wasn't severe enough to inform USFS, and she was wrong. But Tom Z. absolutely knew what he was doing - and if he did not, he REALLY should have.

Listen, after seeing Joshua Farris in the kiss 'n cry in Greensboro and Tom Z's reaction to his injury, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he knew everything about Rachael's injury.

I'm not a fan of Rachael by any means, but for some reason, even though she made a bad decision, I feel really bad for her. I think in my head, I want this to be because Tom Z pushed her to do it, but I guess that doesn't change anything in the eyes of USFSA.

Willowway
06-16-2011, 03:20 PM
I'm not a fan of Rachael by any means, but for some reason, even though she made a bad decision, I feel really bad for her. I think in my head, I want this to be because Tom Z pushed her to do it, but I guess that doesn't change anything in the eyes of USFSA.

I think we all have to accept that responsibility is shared here. Rachel is a bright young lady with bright parents - they doubtless knew the rule and knew better. Tom certainly knew better in terms of this rule and undoubtedly knew the details of her injury (think about it, how could he not know?). The rule is pretty straight-forward. The USFSA wasn't saying that she couldn't skate but rather that they should have (as they are entitled to) gotten into the discussion about her injury and entry for Worlds. Sounds pretty simple to me.

It's definitely not a 'grace note' on which to end a competitive career (and I think she has pretty much realized whatever she can achieve), but choices were made and the consequences are what they are.