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



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Mathman
06-24-2011, 04:42 AM
The hate in this thread is mind boggling.

This is true.

Marco
06-24-2011, 05:21 AM
Seriously? You don't get to the serious elite level without talent. Nobody does. Just because you may not like her style or skill set doesn't mean she doesn't have talent.

With all due respect, she is much less gifted / talent as a jumper, spinner, artistically, athletically and in overall skating than most other US medallists in recent years.


The hate in this thread is mind boggling.

So is the blind support. Not all criticisms are hate. I see much more criticism directly to USFS and Tom Z than to her directly (well, until this incident anyway).

Marco
06-24-2011, 05:25 AM
You know, y'all, maybe the US doesn't have three spots because we don't have the girls who have the consistency/skill set/whatever to get them. From US Nats 1st to US Nats 5th. It's just not there (including Miss Inconsistency Marai altough that can and hopefully will change) and all the angst and slamming US skaters and whatever isn't going to change that. Just because we are the United States of America doesn't give us the right to figure skating ladies supremacy. US Figure Skating cannot change that. There's some darn good non-American ladies out there right now, and that must be taken into consideration when talking about two vs three spots. That, and the new judging system doesn't forgive mistakes like the old system did, and this current crop of American ladies tends to make a lot of them.

Are we missing the Kween yet? ;)

No doubt the US is going through a weaker phase, but there are a few great talents out there and US has had a chance to send two of them out. USFS took a chance on her a couple of times and failed all but one time. They really should have come to their senses much sooner.

taf2002
06-24-2011, 05:36 AM
Please, Flatt never should have beaten Wagner in 2008. If anything it was a joke Wagner didnt win Nationals in 2008.

But there was a little thing called the short program. It still counts AFAIK. IMO Wagner was deservedly off the podium that year.

falling_dance
06-24-2011, 05:42 AM
But there was a little thing called the short program. It still counts AFAIK. IMO Wagner was deservedly off the podium that year.

Wagner finished fourth in 2009. 2008 was the one year she skated a clean short at Nats and she missed winning silver by less than a point.

Having a very poor eye for rotation, I don't know whether Wagner's 3z3r attempts should've counted, but I'd say that Flatt's 3z3t's attempts were clearly underrotated. (Not that it matters, but I still prefer the programs Flatt presented at that competition to Wagner's.)

RockTheTassel
06-24-2011, 05:42 AM
But there was a little thing called the short program. It still counts AFAIK. IMO Wagner was deservedly off the podium that year.

Are you thinking of 2009? In 2008 Wagner skated a clean SP that included a triple lutz/triple loop combination.

ETA: Oops, Falling Dance beat me to it.

skateboy
06-24-2011, 06:01 AM
Time to face facts. The US ladies just ain't all that good.

Japanfan
06-24-2011, 06:49 AM
Time to face facts. The US ladies just ain't all that good.

Would would like to trade with the Canadian ladies?

The US ladies field is lacking a superstar ice princess, which is a long American tradition. So, it's bound to feel strange.

But the American ladies aren't too bad. Alissa won the GPF this year and finished fifth, which wasn't so shabby. Rachel's performances were disappointing but she earned her spot fairly. And Mirai is definitely podium material - I think it is a question of not if, but when. Not making the World team this year but may have taught her a good lesson.

Plus, there are plenty of youngsters with room to grow, like Cristina Gao.

And the ladies field is ripe for shaking up. IMO none of the top three were inspiring at worlds and Leonova's fourth place finish is probably about as high as she's ever going to get. Ando's unlikely to get any better and this year was one of her high points. It is doubtful whether Kim has it in her to fully commit to competition and unknown whether Asada will ever recover peak form.

American ladies will be in the mix in years to come. Just be patient and enjoy the skaters who are good, even if they aren't in the class of superstars such as Kwan, Fleming, etc.

The Fly On The Wall
06-24-2011, 08:05 AM
Seriously? You don't get to the serious elite level without talent. Nobody does. Just because you may not like her style or skill set doesn't mean she doesn't have talent.

----(getting general here)--------

The hate in this thread is mind boggling. This is a young woman trying be the best she can at a sport she (presumably) loves. Why hate on her for it? I can absolutely understand being upset about breaking the rule. However some of the stuff in here is just plain spiteful.

EXACTLY!!! Major props to you.

Marco
06-24-2011, 08:52 AM
Wagner finished fourth in 2009. 2008 was the one year she skated a clean short at Nats and she missed winning silver by less than a point.

Having a very poor eye for rotation, I don't know whether Wagner's 3z3r attempts should've counted, but I'd say that Flatt's 3z3t's attempts were clearly underrotated. (Not that it matters, but I still prefer the programs Flatt presented at that competition to Wagner's.)


IMO Nagasu had a rightful lead over Wagner and Flatt after the short program, and the long should have been won by Wagner, followed by Nagasu and then Flatt. I would have been fine with either Nagasu or Wagner winning overall but Flatt was clearly 3rd best to me.

tangerine_dream
06-24-2011, 10:45 AM
In a country where the federation pays for all (or at least the majority) of training expenses, travel expenses, costume expenses, and so forth, then yes I'd say the athlete is required to let the federation know if they can't perform their best because it should be up to the federation who gets sent.

In the case of a federation like the US who pays for literally nothing and leaves their athletes to foot yearly bills totaling 20 grand or more, they should have no say. It should be up to the athlete and their family who spent all that money whether or not they feel like having completely wasted a year's worth of training expenses just for the "good of the team getting three spots". It's not a team sport when everyone pays for their own way. Everyone makes huge financial sacrifices just to keep training, and since it's their money, they should be the only ones to decide. It's easy to say "oh, she is selfish not letting someone else go who could have done better for the country", would you really drop 20,000 bucks on your "team" getting extra spots when you retire from a sport? Doubt it. So long as USFS makes athletes pay their own way, athletes will continue thinking about their own benefit before that of the "team", and honestly I don't see how it can be any other way in this economy when you think about the sums of money being spent on training by every single one of these skaters.

This s coming from someone who hates everything about Rachael Flatt's skating and thinks that even without injury she is the worst skater the USFS has ever gotten behind. It's not biased, it's just common sense. Your money, your decision, period.

tangerine_dream
06-24-2011, 10:49 AM
Seriously? You don't get to the serious elite level without talent. Nobody does. Just because you may not like her style or skill set doesn't mean she doesn't have talent.



I disagree with this. That's like saying you can't get into an ivy league if you're not smart. It's called spending lots and lots of time studying. Rachael's coach himself has mentioned that Rachael isn't a natural and is just a very hard worker. If you start someone off young enough, and their body isn't TOO out of shape, and you have all the money in the world to pay hours upon hours of daily training, then anyone can learn triple jumps. It's the few that couldn't. All you really need to be an elite figure skater is a WHOLE LOT OF MONEY. Sure, talent helps, but realistically speaking those who truly have "talent" are few and far between. In the world of skating whether you make it or not doesn't really hinge on whether or not you are talented...it hinges on whether or not your parents are willing and able to take out a second mortgage to afford the costs. Most people who do have talent never get anywhere because they don't have the money. Those who prevail just have more money, or connections to those who do. Plain and simple.

It's easy to see when you look at Rachael that she got where she is by hours and hours and hours of coaching- it's learned, not natural. If she'd had just a bit less coaching, she probably would've bottomed out as an Intermediate competitor like the rest of the "so so" skaters in the US.

paskatefan
06-24-2011, 11:14 AM
Seriously? You don't get to the serious elite level without talent. Nobody does. Just because you may not like her style or skill set doesn't mean she doesn't have talent.

----(getting general here)--------

The hate in this thread is mind boggling. This is a young woman trying be the best she can at a sport she (presumably) loves. Why hate on her for it? I can absolutely understand being upset about breaking the rule. However some of the stuff in here is just plain spiteful.


Thank you! :respec:

leafygreens
06-24-2011, 02:22 PM
You are right. It is really hard to predict early in quads for ladies especialy. Just look at some past ones:

1981- Everyone was talking about Biellmann, Zayak, Wainmann, and Witt at this point. 2 of those wouldnt even make it to Sarajevo, one would be the 3rd U.S lady by then, and of course one would be champion. However who would have ever guessed Sumners would be the top U.S lady and the gold medal favorite going into the 84 Games. Few had ever heard of her in 81, wasnt she something like #5 in the U.S that year.

1985- 1988 was going to be the Chin coronation. She never even made it to Calgary. Witt was probably going to retire after 86, she ended up repeating as Olympic Champion.

1989- You would have thought Ito would stroll to the 92 Olympic Gold without figures. And Trenary would be a big factor. And the idea of Kerrigan being a medalist at the 92 Games would been laughable.

1995- Who would have picked Tara to win the 98 Games when she couldnt even win Junior Nationals in 95 and came 5th at Juniors Worlds behind another 13 year old (who won bronze) in 96.

2003- Imagine saying Arakawa would be the 2006 Olympic Champ. This would be the funniest joke of all had anyone said that.

Thank you for this analysis, very interesting. Don't forget Oksana, also came from out of nowhere.

olympic
06-24-2011, 03:10 PM
I agree. Flatt is being backed by the USFSA not for her medal winning potential which obviously does not exist, and never existed. It is for her supposed consistency, her supposably being the rock, and supposably having a good chance of finishing somewhere between 5th-8th by skating 2 clean programs, getting good marks, and pecking off others who make enough mistakes. Thus helping the U.S's chances to reach the magic 13 to gain 2 spots. With only 2 women Flatt is supposed the be the reliable one with a flashier skater with more medal potential as the other.

Flatt at the last 2 Worlds has failed to deliver a finish between 5th-8th. She has not skated close to cleanly. She has not done her expected part to help the U.S gain 3 spots.

Since her consistency can no longer be counted on to help the U.S I dont see what purpose she serves anymore.

In a roundabout way, I argued this in an earlier post: I think the USFSA has been stuck on the idea of Flatt [Ms. Consistency] + 1 princess [Alissa or Mirai] going to Worlds for the last few years, hoping that one of the 'princesses' delivers in combo w/ a steady performance by Flatt, to give the US 3 spots (if not a medal to boot from one of said 'princesses'). And I think Flatt won '10 Nats because she had the performance of her life while the reigning champ Czisny completely and utterly bombed, Nagasu was still coming back and thus perhaps not as trustworthy as a consistent Flatt, and Wagner fell in the SP. I'm sure Flatt beating an admittedly flawed Yu Na in the LP at '09 SA still set hearts aflutter among USFSA members.

While I think about it, Wagner might actually be stuck in a USFSA no-man's land: something of a powerhouse but not as consistent or CoP savvy as Flatt, and somewhat of a sparkly skater but doesn't have as much panache as either Czisny or Nagasu.