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

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06-26-2011, 12:59 AM
Ultimately, the big question is: Why did she announce how serious the injury was right after leaving the ice? We know she is a smart girl. It was not a smart thing to do. It led to this controversy by incensing Frank and annoying others who expected 3 spots. Was she doped up slightly on pain killers? Was she tired and not thinking? Or was it her ego that prevented her from telling the media, "I'm not sure why I popped almost all my jumps for the first time and skated more miserably than usual. I just had some pain."

Like all tough athletes, she has an ego, and I think it clouded her judgement when she opened her mouth to excuse the bomb she dropped on the ice. The lesson here, right or wrong, is you must keep your wits about you and think through what you say.

Some will say the lesson is she should have bowed out gracefully. But if you think about it, this is why her team chose not to disclose the injury immediately. At that stage, they didn't want last minute pressure to withdraw. Rachael/Tom Z decided she could do it, like many skaters who have previously done it on broken parts. Unfortunately, she did not "do it". She fought but failed to surmount the physical odds. She got through the short reasonably well, although a double lutz was uncharacteristic. But her free skate was a mess, even when you consider the injury. A friend has theorized that she had lost some confidence. We cannot read Rachael's mind from this distance, so it is speculative. After losing Nationals and finishing behind Mirai at 4CC, there were signals that she wouldn't get the scores she wanted. This could explain some of her difficulty working through the injury that night.

As an athlete it is not her job to think about how much better Mirai might skate. The bottom line for her was that she was selected for the team and chose to compete. If you look at what has happened, Rachael's biggest mistake was opening her mouth.

Garden Kitty
06-26-2011, 01:23 AM
US Figure Skating just tweeted a couple of a nice pics of Rachael signing autographs (http://yfrog.com/kkqkenj) for the USADA booth during Community Appreciation Day activities.

And this one (http://yfrog.com/klbjcqj)

06-26-2011, 01:28 AM
^ Neither Rachael nor USFS seem to be as worked up about this as we are.

06-26-2011, 02:01 AM
She looks like she is really being swamped for autographs.

06-26-2011, 02:07 AM

06-26-2011, 02:26 AM
Rachel is intelligent. Rachel is naive. Rachel is not crafty or sneaky or manipulative. She seems to have little social awareness of the impressions she gives. She came off the ice and was disappointed in her performance and was hurting both physically and emotionally. She blurted out what she thought and how she felt. She is not carefully diplomatic or astute at playing the angles. Her behavior strongly implies that she did not realize that she had broken any rules. Yes, it was her responsibility to understand all the rules. She has been punished, and it sounds as though she is not treating the incident as the apocalypse.

06-26-2011, 02:43 AM
US Figure Skating just tweeted a couple of a nice pics of Rachael signing autographs (http://yfrog.com/kkqkenj) for the USADA booth during Community Appreciation Day activities.

And this one (http://yfrog.com/klbjcqj)

Lets see, Phil was on the USFSA back about this, then on June 1st USFSA hired to run their marketing the former editor of the Chicago Tribune (maybe Phils former boss?). Now Rachael and her picture is being promoted by USFS at an autograph signing, nothing has been done to Tom, and Phil is not acting as before, pretty much silent.

My friends, you all paint USFSA as some group of dumb hicks, but to me, they look like some real smart business people, and this new marketing person is on a mission to get past this. But she has one problem, and it is a big one. Tom isn't liked, everyone thinks he doesn't have the kids interest at heart, and we all think he has USFSA stamped on his forehead. Simple fact and one I don't think she can spin her way out of. I think they are going to have to act on him, but we will see.

06-26-2011, 02:46 AM
Here is the link:

LOL, I just love politics.

06-26-2011, 04:10 AM
LOL, I just love politics.

Me. too! :lol:

She was at Chicago paper for only two years back in 1997-99, so I doubt if she has much to do with Phil Hersh. But before that she was at the Colorado Springs Gazette for ten years, so she probably knows skating people.

Garden Kitty
06-26-2011, 05:10 AM
I think Rachael has been at the last few Community Appreciation Days (at least I recall her being there last year), and she's been affiliated with a "competing clean" program at the USADA for some time as well.

06-26-2011, 06:02 AM
Do you mean "Flatt"-ered? ;)

Ok-you got me. :lol:

06-26-2011, 06:24 AM
Of course we don't know exactly how bad her injury was, but it seems difficult to believe that skating with the injury, she would have managed to find the 12.50 points overall that would have enabled her to earn the 167.11 points to pip Kanako Murakami for eighth place. If she had been healthy, she could have been a legitimate contender for the bronze medal, but she wasn't healthy.

What is the point of a reprimand and a fine if no one else knows about it? Obviously, the USFSA wants to discourage skaters and their connections, especially their coaches, from doing this ever again.

None whatsoever. But point of the rule in question is to protect the skater's health, not to garner the maximum number of spots at the following year's Worlds.

ITA. Well put.

06-26-2011, 10:20 AM
But I don't find your point particularly fair. Because Rachael has health and money, we can't feel sorry for her or empathize with her troubles?

Unfair, how?

I didn't say there was no possible scenario in which I could feel sorry for Flatt.
I spoke about this particular one.

Wealthy people aren't allowed to have problems? Money buys happiness?

To answer your question: money doesn't buy happiness.

But I'm pretty sure being healthy (you and your family), having caring parents, a bright future ahead, and on top of that a pretty lucky financial situation, would put anybody in darn blessed position.
Wouldn't it?

So blessed, I feel it hard to be sorry just becasue she made a mistake and her deserved reprimend was made public: there's simply no material in a situation like that to rise any sorry feelings.

-- (Plus, any private reprimed/fine would have had a very little if no impact).

I don't object to her being punished, but, if I understand your post correctly, I don't see why one can't feel for Rachael for this situation and those less fortunate for their situations. The two seem like parallel trains to me.

As I said, I feel sorry when there's something to feel sorry about. In this Flatt's situation here, there really isn't. It's a matter of perspective.

06-26-2011, 01:59 PM
^ I don't think anyone "feels sorry" for Rachael. Some people think that the USFSA over-reacted. Others may even admire Rachael for persevering under difficult circumstances.

06-26-2011, 02:32 PM
^ I don't think anyone "feels sorry" for Rachael. Some people think that the USFSA over-reacted. Others may even admire Rachael for persevering under difficult circumstances.

And others are unhappy Tom Z wasn't singled out for censure - he was the coach responsible.