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



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ks1227
06-17-2011, 07:03 AM
I don't think the judges were going to let Alissa come in 2nd no matter how well she skated, so it's a moot point. 3rd was the highest she realistically had a chance at. After 4CC it became really clear that either Miki or Yuna was going to win Worlds, and whichever one didn't would come in 2nd.
:confused:

Hmmm. International judges "let" her win the GPF. I really don't think the majority of the judges sit up nights to scheme how they can screw Alissa. On the contrary, they seem to love her & they reward her when the jumps are there.
Exactly.

The Fly On The Wall
06-17-2011, 07:09 AM
I'm confused. Doesn't USFSA monitor the skaters' practice sessions? If she was that injured, why didn't they notice or intervene?

Sasha'sSpins
06-17-2011, 07:15 AM
And she bombed at Nats (otherwise she'd have gone to Worlds) and bombed last year at Worlds (otherwise we would have had 3 spots this year and she would have gone to Worlds - see a trend?). I like Mirai, and I like Frank, but he needs to stop whining and focus on preparing his student for next season.

I imagine that the root of Frank's ire has nothing to do with Rachael. I'm willing to bet this is about some feud between Frank and Tom Z.

I have never seen the specific requirements the USFSA gives its int'l team members regarding reporting injuries, but if Rachael didn't follow them, I agree with the USFSA's actions. But I'm not sure it's realistic to think that Rachael made (or could make) the decision to tell or not to tell all by herself. Tom Z was likely a major driver in this and I think he should bear the brunt of the consequences, not Rachael.

Mirai didn't 'bomb' at Nationals any worse than Rachael Flatt did, and at Worlds if you'll recall Mirai finished AHEAD of Rachael Flatt in 7th, just as she's placed ahead of Rachale at every single senior international they've competed against each other including the Olympics. It could be argued that had Rachael placed higher at those championships, say in 6h place we would have had those 3 spots.

stjeaskategym
06-17-2011, 08:21 AM
Knocked Flatt for skating through pain
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jun/16/knocked-flatt-skating-through-pain/
“For U.S. Figure Skating to do that to a former national champion, that’s just a total smack in the face,” Baldwin said. “Our federation just sent a message: If you’re injured, don’t tell anybody. Keep your mouth shut. Where Rachael made a mistake was talking about it in a press conference.

“But she’s young. She’ll learn.”

:lol: Baldwin wouldn't pass up a chance to comment on something controversial. He mentions this issue was supposed to be handled internally. He also claims he himself never reported any injuries. If this is true, perhaps USFS's "injury reporting" policy is not really heavily enforced or 100% clear to these skaters. I certainly don't think those documents the skaters are required to sign provide absolute clarity. If Rachael didn't believe the injury was serious enough to consider withdrawing, maybe she didn't feel obligated to announce it. Does she contact USFS every day her bulging disks in her back flare up? Probably not. These skaters are competing with all sorts of ailments.. What are the odds everything is getting reported?


I'm confused. Doesn't USFSA monitor the skaters' practice sessions? If she was that injured, why didn't they notice or intervene?

I was thinking that as well. Not all stress fractures are serious. Just because the injury was in a bad, pesky spot (her landing leg), it doesn't necessarily mean it was a major issue that was noticeably hampering her training. It's possible that she was feeling good enough leading up to Worlds and that things didn't get worse until before the LP. I still think Rachael should have told someone about the stress fracture, but if it really wasn't impacting her that much early on in practice, I could see why she chose not to say anything.

I have to agree with Baldwin here... It would have been nice if they had handled this internally, or at least waited before announcing it. It isn't likely that this issue is 100% Rachael's fault, so I'm not sure a public announcement focusing exclusively on Rachael's "misbehavior" is really necessary. It sounds like there may need to be better communication amongst everyone involved in an injury situation like this. If skaters are fearful of reporting injuries (or don't even see a point in doing so), then that's a problem that USFS might want to address.

reese
06-17-2011, 09:15 AM
Baldwin... as classy as ever.

FigureSpins
06-17-2011, 01:29 PM
Knocked Flatt for skating through pain
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jun/16/knocked-flatt-skating-through-pain/

I liked this paragraph from the article:



“If you’re injured, you’re supposed to tell them if you think it’s going to hinder how you’re going to perform,” said Baldwin, who lives in Escondido with Inoue, now his wife. “She obviously didn’t think it would. She didn’t purposely deceive them to take a free trip. I mean, who wants to go to Russia?”
(Full disclosure: Baldwin was once assaulted and robbed during a skating event there.)

Too funny.

OT: Note the reference to Inoue as John Baldwin's wife.

riveredge
06-17-2011, 02:04 PM
“If you’re injured, you’re supposed to tell them if you think it’s going to hinder how you’re going to perform,” said Baldwin, who lives in Escondido with Inoue, now his wife. “She obviously didn’t think it would. She didn’t purposely deceive them to take a free trip. I mean, who wants to go to Russia?”
(Full disclosure: Baldwin was once assaulted and robbed during a skating event there.)

:lol:

GarrAarghHrumph
06-17-2011, 02:36 PM
Knocked Flatt for skating through pain
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jun/16/knocked-flatt-skating-through-pain/
“For U.S. Figure Skating to do that to a former national champion, that’s just a total smack in the face,” Baldwin said. “Our federation just sent a message: If you’re injured, don’t tell anybody. Keep your mouth shut. Where Rachael made a mistake was talking about it in a press conference.

“But she’s young. She’ll learn.”

Well, John's not wrong. If Rachel hadn't said anything to the press, likely nothing would have been done. The USFS themselves said they began the investigation based on what she said to the press. So the real learning here, unfortunately, is to keep your mouth shut.

kwanatic
06-17-2011, 02:52 PM
I understand wanting to compete, but the point is she was in breach of her contract. Rachael's lucky she got off with a fine and a simple slap on the wrist b/c if the USFSA wanted to suspend her, they could have.

She and Tom Z gambled and they came up short. The issue with skating injured is aways determined by how well you're able to perform. Rachael was absolutely terrible. Had she skated well enough to earn that third spot, IDK, there probably wouldn't be as much outrage over her decision not to disclose the injury.

I honestly think the reason behind concealing the injury has to do with what action the USFSA would have taken. If they reported that injury to the USFSA, chances are they would have pulled her from that spot and sent a healthy and ready Mirai in Rachael's place. It wouldn't be worth the gamble for the team's spot, not to mention Rachael's health and future in the sport, to let her compete the way she did--so more than likely Mirai would have been called. What other reason would there be to conceal the injury?

However, I do agree that Tom Z's fine and punishment should be much worse. A coach is supposed to protect the skater and put their health and well-being over any competition or result. Tom has basically thrown Rachael under the bus and if the USFSA doesn't hammer him for this, I'll be really pissed. I'm glad all of his skaters are leaving him...

Iceman
06-17-2011, 02:56 PM
the obligation to report requires that the skater have had surgery and/or is undergoing on-going medical treatment----we know the first wasn't true. The second is questionable.

The fact that Rachel discussed the injury publicly after the competition makes me think she really did not believe she had committed an infraction.
She is too smart a woman to get herself in this kind of hot water otherwise.

Miki skated with a severe injury at the GPF and it was very evident, but the most general reaction i think was how brave she was, not that she had kept another skater out of the finals.

kwanette
06-17-2011, 03:14 PM
the obligation to report requires that the skater have had surgery and/or is undergoing on-going medical treatment----we know the first wasn't true. The second is questionable.

The fact that Rachel discussed the injury publicly after the competition makes me think she really did not believe she had committed an infraction.
She is too smart a woman to get herself in this kind of hot water otherwise.

Miki skated with a severe injury at the GPF and it was very evident, but the most general reaction i think was how brave she was, not that she had kept another skater out of the finals.

But does the Japanese Federation have a rule like US Figure Skating does? Maybe Miki did report it..

Rachael broke a rule, Rachael was sanctioned. I am sure that the USFSA will investigate Tom Z's role in this. If he was complicit in this, he'll be sanctioned. It doesn't matter if the alternate was Mirai or not. There are rules in place for this type of situation..and Rachael broke 'em..

VIETgrlTerifa
06-17-2011, 03:16 PM
Miki skated with a severe injury at the GPF and it was very evident, but the most general reaction i think was how brave she was, not that she had kept another skater out of the finals.

Was that the general reaction? I must've missed it with all the "Miki is boring" and "Morosov's choreography is crap" type of posts.

Iceman
06-17-2011, 03:19 PM
Was that the general reaction? I must've missed it with all the "Miki is boring" and "Morosov's choreography is crap" type of posts.


I meant the general reaction to her skating injured, not the other aspects of her skating.

Jammers
06-17-2011, 03:25 PM
Yes, but that can also be a testament to the current level of U.S. ladies figure skating. Alissa was on two of those rosters, and Mirai on one. Rachael earned her way for every one of those world championships.

Mirai may have helped secure the third spot had she competed at worlds this time around, but that's still only a hypothetical. Frank can insist to all ends that Mirai would have gotten the job done, but he also has to own up that she blew it at nationals.
Frank has always been the first one to admit when Mirai blows it. All you had to do was watch and listen in the K&C at Nationals to see how angry he was at how she skated. He even tells her that she gave it away. Frank never coddles his students if anything he's blunt which is why he's a great coach.

VIETgrlTerifa
06-17-2011, 03:29 PM
I meant the general reaction to her skating injured, not the other aspects of her skating.

Again, were people really saying how brave she was for skating injured? There are also different levels and severity of injuries.