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



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5Ali3
06-17-2011, 06:55 PM
She goes to the OTC everyday and recieves treatment for her injury prior to leaving for Worlds. She continues to receive treatment from the US medical team at Worlds, and USFS is acting like they were left in the dark. USFS knew what RF was dealing with. If there wasn't some formal paper work that wasn't filed, it's simply semantics.

Read HIPAA. Even if a member of the medical team at Worlds knew, they couldn't share that information with anyone without Rachel's permission.

Sylvia
06-17-2011, 06:57 PM
USFS knew what RF was dealing with. If there wasn't some formal paper work that wasn't filed, it's simply semantics.
But how many people in "USFS" knew the extent of Flatt's injury or stress fracture diagnosis who also had the power to determine whether or not her injury was serious enough to replace her at Worlds with Nagasu? And I'm still not clear whether or not "USFS" could have replaced her unless she had decided to withdraw on her own accord first.

Jenna
06-17-2011, 06:59 PM
I'd forgotten about that.

http://worldskating.blogspot.com/2011/04/rachael-flatt-i-am-in-great-spot.html



:shuffle:

:eek: Wow.

RD
06-17-2011, 07:10 PM
R. Flatt: It was a difficult situation, but it was definitely a learning experience in flexibility. I ended up breaking in new skates to force a low in my training, but I am in a great spot mentally and physically right now.

Ouch...I'd forgotten about the pre-Worlds interviews. Yes, she certainly downplayed the situation. Wow. If there's anyone remaining that actually feels sorry for her now, I dunno what to say...

julieann
06-17-2011, 07:47 PM
No matter what she would have done she would have lost either way, damned if you do and damed if you don't. If she would have withdrawn, there would have people who said she shouldn't have even gone and others who said she shouldn't be such a baby and she should just skate though the pain.

I don't think she was downplaying the situation. I think in certain situations you can talk yourself into anything. I talked myself into having a baby with no painkillers (what a dumb ass I was) but I though I could it, and maybe she though she could just push though the pain. She worked too hard to get their to just throw up her hands and quit. And if the next day it were fine and she had quit she would have never forgave herself, I'm sure one million thoughts ran though her mind.

And strangely enough the tweet that Mirai had sent out that said she hadn't been practicing much since 4CC has been mysteriously deleted. So I'm not sure what Frank was trying to prove by saying Mirai was ready to go if need be when she herself said she had been taking it easy since she had got home.

I agree with who ever said the only thing that got accomplished was now athletes won't say a word when they are injured, if anything the problem will get worse.

pinky166
06-17-2011, 07:51 PM
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.

This isn't about screwing Alissa, at all, but there's a lot of politics behind this sport. The GPF was before Miki broke 200 points at 4CC, beating Mao, the reigning world champion, for the 2nd time this season (and at both nationals and 4CC Mao had skated WELL and still lost to Miki), and besting Alissa's winning GPF score by over 20 points. After 4CC, it was pretty clear that Miki and Yuna were both locks for the podium at Worlds so long as neither bombed. Alissa's SB FS score was 117, which Yuna can manage with a semi-bomb and Miki could probably earn with 3 triples after she put up 134 at 4CC with 6. Also fresh in the judges mind was Miki creaming Alissa at 4CC (by over 30 points), NOT Alissa beating Miki at the GPF by 7 points, and further, Alissa's winning score at the GPF would have put her only in 4th at 4CC. This could also be a reason for Rachael trying to tough it out and skate at Worlds. Yes, she bombed at the GPF, but she skated well at nationals and 4CC, which is what was fresh in the judges mind. At nationals, she beat Mirai who was brilliant at 4CC, and at 4CC she beat Alissa who had recently won the GPF and US nationals, showing that she COULD compete with the top skaters. Rachael skated injured at SA and was able to win the FS and earn the silver medal. My guess is she was still fighting injury at nationals and 4CC too, but she got through it. In her mind, the GPF result was a fluke and she probably expected she could skate like she did at SA, nationals, or 4CC at Worlds - at none of those competitions was she at her best, but she was still competitive and would have been in the mix to get the US 3 spots back. The way it turned out, she wasn't able to skate as well as she did at SA, nationals, and 4CC at Worlds and faired more like she did at the GPF. There was no way to predict that though, really.

skatemommy
06-17-2011, 07:52 PM
Could it be that Rachael wanted to "out" Tom for making her skate? Not giving her the option of withdrawing? If he made Josh skate with broken bones it would not be beyond him. Maybe she took the risk to warn the other skaters in his camp (who have left in droves...). Maybe RF threw herself under the bus to save her training partners?????

Sylvia
06-17-2011, 07:58 PM
And strangely enough the tweet that Mirai had sent out that said she hadn't been practicing much since 4CC has been mysteriously deleted. So I'm not sure what Frank was trying to prove by saying Mirai was ready to go if need be when she herself said she had been taking it easy since she had got home.
I don't recall reading that specific tweet by Mirai, but, for what it's worth, I was told by more than one person who saw Nagasu practicing before Worlds that she looked really good.


If he made Josh skate with broken bones it would not be beyond him.
Yes, Joshua Farris skated injured at Nationals (reportedly a very painful adductor, or groin muscle, tear, IIRC), but neither he nor Zakrajsek knew that he had suffered a small fracture in his fibula (leg) during his FS until it was diagnosed after the event was over.

Zemgirl
06-17-2011, 08:27 PM
This (http://www.universalsports.com/news-blogs/article/newsid=504615.html) is a short interview that Flatt did right before the GPF, and I think it gives some insight into what probably led to her decision to keep skating with the stress fracture later in the season.

I would have been happier if whatever disciplinary action had been decided upon would have been kept private, and the focus had been on reiterating what skaters' responsibilities are in their relationship with the USFS. Instead, the way this was handled seems cruel and vindictive; it's clear that Flatt thought she could represent the USA well, and she's competed internationally long enough (and with good enough results) to want more out of Worlds than a trip to Moscow. In hindsight, we know that she was wrong, but there's no need to publicly embarrass her like this. I bet if she'd finished 8th no action would have been taken in this case; we'd have been hearing how brave she was to persevere despite her injury.

I think for athletes, it's very easy to get caught up in preparing for competition and ignoring the pain, and they are often expected to compete while injured - "no pain, no gain" and all that. Skaters are generally younger than athletes in most other sports, and are probably more susceptible to poor decision making as a result. I think it would be good to have some sort of system in place to monitor elite skaters regularly rather than placing the responsibility for reporting injuries solely on them. This would have the additional benefit of minimizing the probability of coaches pushing the skaters to do things they shouldn't.

BTW, Flatt must have mentioned to the media that she had an injury before skating the LP, and maybe even earlier than that, or it wouldn't have shown up in Phil Hersh's SP recap (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-29/sports/ct-spt-0430-hersh-figure-skating--20110429_1_alissa-czisny-rachael-flatt-triple-lutz).

MacMadame
06-17-2011, 08:29 PM
You may be right, Sylvia, but I always thought this was an informal, unfunded, networking sort of thing.
There is but the way it generally works is that the coach asks a high ranking judge/TS to come to a specific workout in order to judge some aspect of the skater's skating. Judges and technical specialists don't just randomly show up to monitor skaters.


I have a hard time thinking that no one but Rachel and her coach (in the skating community) knew about her injury at the time it was diagnosed. Surely someone had at least a tacit responsibility to pass that information along to USFSA officials.
I'm sure a lot of people knew that Flatt was dealing with some sort of injury. But, unless they were on Team Flatt, they couldn't know the details. Therefore, passing on what they "knew" would just be gossiping. Plus, it's not clear to me what USFS would be able to do based on such gossip.


there would have people who said she shouldn't have even gone and others who said she shouldn't be such a baby and she should just skate though the pain.
I've actually never seen anyone on FSU say that a skater who withdraws due to injury should have skated through the pain. So, if that ever happens, it must be being said by whackos I have on ignore...

Generally, people assume a skater wouldn't withdraw unless it was really serious because that's generally what happens. It's much more common to skate when you shouldn't than to withdraw when you shouldn't.

B.Cooper
06-17-2011, 08:30 PM
Ouch...I'd forgotten about the pre-Worlds interviews. Yes, she certainly downplayed the situation. Wow. If there's anyone remaining that actually feels sorry for her now, I dunno what to say...

Perhaps, the pain level that Flatt felt when the interview took place was of not much significance..... just the normal aches and pains, daily grind, end of season weariness in your bones sort of thing...like spring gardening clean up for a week...everything hurts. Athletes know their own bodies best.

RD
06-17-2011, 08:30 PM
Yes, Joshua Farris skated injured at Nationals (reportedly a very painful adductor, or groin muscle, tear, IIRC), but neither he nor Zakrajsek knew that he had suffered a small fracture in his fibula (leg) during his FS until it was diagnosed after the event was over.

But even if the injury is unknown, if it's painful enough to strongly affect your skating like that...

It's really the coach's call, because the athlete is obviously going to push through it (and beg the coach to let him play) until the damage has been done.

kwanette
06-17-2011, 08:32 PM
Could it be that Rachael wanted to "out" Tom for making her skate? Not giving her the option of withdrawing? If he made Josh skate with broken bones it would not be beyond him. Maybe she took the risk to warn the other skaters in his camp (who have left in droves...). Maybe RF threw herself under the bus to save her training partners?????


It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

Sylvia
06-17-2011, 08:33 PM
BTW, Flatt must have mentioned to the media that she had an injury before skating the LP
It was implied in her mixed zone comments after her SP: http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/2011/05/coach-why-flatt-skated-at-worlds.html/
Transcription of her words (I bolded the part below):

Friday's short program: ``My (right) leg has been bothering me a little bit and it was kind of thinking at the last second whether I should do a lutz or a loop. That kind of distracted me, so that’s what happened. Stick to your program!

“I think it was a lack of belief in what I’m doing right now, in my jumps, just doubting what I’ve been doing. Practice at home was going really well until maybe a week before we left and my leg started bothering me but I just have to deal with it at this point.”

Zemgirl
06-17-2011, 08:55 PM
It was in her mixed zone comments after her SP: http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/sports_globetrotting/2011/05/coach-why-flatt-skated-at-worlds.html/
Transcription of her words (I bolded the part below):
Thanks, Sylvia. So Flatt talked about having pain and Hersh reported it as an injury? Or was there more information that was given?

The other thing that jumps out is that she wasn't sure which jump to do. Maybe the problem wasn't the injury so much as the lack of adjustment for it; after all, Carolina Kostner competed with no 3F or 3L earlier in the season and did quite well. Flatt wasn't going to get Kostner-like PCS (nor should she) but she might have done well enough to finish a few places higher.

I do wish Rachael would make some sort of statement addressing what exactly happened, but then, she may have been advised not to.