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



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Really
06-16-2011, 05:58 AM
Wow, the way some people are reacting, you'd think she was the second coming of Tonya Harding!

manhn
06-16-2011, 06:01 AM
Wow, the way some people are reacting, you'd think she was the second coming of Tonya Harding!

Exactly. I cannot believe this story has continued on for so long. She skated while injured--big whup!

5Ali3
06-16-2011, 06:05 AM
5Ali3,
Thanks for the explanations. However, I did not write the third quote you quoted...

I'm not sure how I managed to do that, but I was able to correct it (I think). I didn't intend to misquote anyone and I should have double-check my multi-quoting. Thank you for pointing this out - I'm really embarrassed.


You misunderstood what I meant. I wasn't talking at all about what Rachael did in 2010 (to help the US earn 2 spots).
(snip)My point is that Rachael earned her spot to go, even if she was likely to come in last place.)

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.

skateboy
06-16-2011, 06:13 AM
No. At Worlds 2010, Rachel helped earned two spots for the United States; spots haven't been allocated to individual skaters in about two decades. Rachel was selected for the 2011 World Team based in her performance during the 2009-2011 seasons. The spot still belonged to the United States; part of the contract that Rachel (presumably) signed includes a requirement to notify U.S. Figure Skating of medical conditions that develop after the contract is signed. Figure skating isn't a right and representing the United States in competition isn't a right: it's a privilege.

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.

ltnskater
06-16-2011, 06:17 AM
But the degree that this girl has been villified is despicable. She "cost the US ladies three spots." OMG, US ladies figure skating is OVER! Crucify her!

Hmmm... I wonder if USFSA is a little peeved at finally having Czisny place in the top 5 with relatively good skates from a "nonconsistent" jumper (though this season, she has improved drastically in that department!), and then had Flatt, what used to be a deadlock for around 7th or 8th because of her consistency... well... we all know what happened at worlds... :P

But wow... this off season has been the most exciting yet in terms of surprises! I wonder where we'll be by the end of the summer!

madm
06-16-2011, 06:24 AM
The written "competition readiness agreement" that Rachel and Tom Z. had to sign is available on the USFS website at:

http://www.usfigureskating.org/Athletes.asp?id=212

Specifically it states:

Training Commitment, Injury & Case Management.

I, the skater, agree to adhere to my seasonal plan and to develop and maintain a level of health and fitness that will enable me to train at a high level and compete in peak condition. In the event that I become injured and/or ill to the extent that I requires surgery and/or ongoing medical treatment, and/or is otherwise unable to train consistently, effectively, and according to the seasonal plan, and which may therefore jeopardize my ability to compete for Team USA, I agree to communicate the situation with U.S. Figure Skating’s Director of Sports Sciences & Medicine and/or Senior Director of Athlete High Performance. Under such circumstances, I authorize U.S. Figure Skating to request a Return-to-Plan Plan & Status Report (see Exhibit 5 - RETURN-TO-PLAY PLAN & STATUS REPORT REQUIREMENTS) from me and/or my healthcare provider(s) and that this information may be shared with select members of the International Committee Management Sub-Committee. I understand that all such communication will be handled with the utmost discretion and is incorporated for the sole purpose of enabling U.S. Figure Skating to help facilitate access to services that may support my effort to recover.
Failure to comply.
I, the skater, understand that if I individually fail to meet each of the competition readiness requirements defined by
U.S. Figure Skating, I may be deemed “not ready” or “unprepared” for competition, in which case, except for Senior Grand Prix events, the Grand Prix Final, the World Team Trophy, the ISU World Championships and the Olympic Winter Games, U.S. Figure Skating reserves the right to replace me on a team, or revoke all of my expense coverage related to my assigned competition (ex. travel, lodging, apparel, etc). For Senior Grand Prix events, U.S. Figure Skating reserves the right to decline to pay for travel and lodging expenses of my coach.

The Fly On The Wall
06-16-2011, 06:30 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.

I agree with your entire post, and I just lost a considerable amount of respect for Frank Carroll. Frank - your skater didn't have it together when the team was chosen. Deal with it!

Sylvia
06-16-2011, 06:30 AM
I Googled and found the 2010-11 U.S. Figure Skating ISP COMPETITION READINESS AGREEMENT at: http://www.usfsa.org/Content/CompetitionReadinessAgreement.pdf
(madm's link above is to the 2011-12 season forms.)


Training Commitment, Injury & Case Management. I, the skater, agree to adhere to my seasonal plan and to develop and maintain a level of health and fitness that will enable me to train at a high level and compete in peak condition. In the event that I become injured and/or ill to the extent that I require surgery and/or ongoing medical treatment, and/or is otherwise unable to train consistently, effectively, and according to the seasonal plan, and which may therefore jeopardize my ability to compete for Team USA, I agree to communicate the situation with U.S. Figure Skating’s Director of Sports Sciences & Medicine and/or Senior Director of Athlete High Performance. Under such circumstances, I authorize U.S. Figure Skating to request a Return-to-Play Plan & Status Report (see Exhibit D - RETURN-TO-PLAY PLAN & STATUS REPORT REQUIREMENTS) from me and/or my healthcare provider(s) and that this information may be shared with select members of the International Committee Management Sub-Committee. I understand that all such communication will be handled with the utmost discretion and is incorporated for the sole purpose of enabling U.S. Figure Skating to help facilitate access to services that may support my effort to recover.

Failure to comply. I, the skater, understand that if I individually fail to meet each of the competition readiness requirements defined by U.S. Figure Skating, I may be deemed “not ready” or “unprepared” for competition, in which case, except for Senior Grand Prix events, the Grand Prix Final, the ISU World Championships and the Olympic Winter Games, U.S. Figure Skating reserves the right to replace me on a team, or revoke all of my expense coverage related to my assigned competition (ex. travel, lodging, apparel, etc). For Senior Grand Prix events, U.S. Figure Skating reserves the right to decline to pay for travel and lodging expenses of my coach.
Note that Worlds is listed in the "except for" category (I've underlined this part above) -- I think this could be because Worlds skaters' expenses are (partially?) covered by the host country's LOC? I'm not sure.
ETA: According to the 2011 Worlds Announcement, the LOC covers the "accommodation and meals for all Competitors participating in the Championships (not including the Preliminary Rounds)."

Triple Butz
06-16-2011, 06:48 AM
Yes, for a skater of Mirai's caliber, placing 11th in the FS after 1st in the SP, with multiple jump mistakes including a fall on a 2axel, would be considered bombing in my book. As I said earlier, I like Mirai, but let's be honest here.

There's that pesky double standard again...

If Mirai had finished 7th (as she did when she "bombed") this year, that, combined with Alissa's 5th, would have been enough for three spots. Even if you factor in Alissa as a new competitor and bump Mirai down to 8th, we still get 13. So that "bomb" would have come in handy this year...

All of this is totally irrelevant at this point anyhow. The issue is no longer about three spots-- it's about a coach and an athlete making poor decisions, disobeying the rules, and deceiving their federation.

geoskate
06-16-2011, 06:54 AM
That's almost as interesting as reading my Mastercard agreement.

For a teenage skater, I think it would probably be about one-tenth as interesting as reading a Mastercard agreement.

Yes, I know a person is supposed to take responsibility for everything they sign (and the relevant bits are there), but does everyone who is so judgemental about Rachael actually read in detail and understand completely any agreements that they sign? Really?

I don't think so.

On the other hand, I'd personally put the coach in a different situation. He or she should be reading in detail and competely understanding any documents their skater is required to sign. It's part of their professional responsibility, IMO.

To me it's like the relationship to a financial advisor or an accountant. I don't necessarily understand all the details of forms that I sign with them, although I would read them, but I certainly expect that they WILL understand the details and any implications, and will give proper advice based on that understanding.

The Fly On The Wall
06-16-2011, 06:54 AM
Will this affect Rachael's ability to find a new coach? Will the next one be afraid of blackballing?

Where is Rachael living right now? If I wanted to send a contribution toward her fine, where would I send it?

(((Rachael)))

bek
06-16-2011, 06:56 AM
That's almost as interesting as reading my Mastercard agreement.

For a teenage skater, I think it would probably be about one-tenth as interesting as reading a Mastercard agreement.

Yes, I know a person is supposed to take responsibility for everything they sign (and the relevant bits are there), but does everyone who is so judgemental about Rachael actually read in detail and understand completely any agreements that they sign? Really?

I don't think so.

On the other hand, I'd personally put the coach in a different situation. He or she should be reading in detail and competely understanding any documents their skater is required to sign. It's part of their professional responsibility, IMO.

To me it's like the relationship to a financial advisor or an accountant. I don't necessarily understand all the details of forms that I sign with them, although I would read them, but I certainly expect that they WILL understand the details and any implications, and will give proper advice based on that understanding.

Rachael's been competiting for the US for a lot of years internationally. I can't imagine she wasn't aware she had duty to inform. I definetly think Tom should be punished more though.

geoskate
06-16-2011, 06:58 AM
I can imagine that, even if you can't.

Skaters focus on their skating, not on what their legal obligations are.

IceAlisa
06-16-2011, 06:59 AM
I agree with your entire post, and I just lost a considerable amount of respect for Frank Carroll. Frank - your skater didn't have it together when the team was chosen. Deal with it!
His skater had it together enough to have been named an alternate. She should have been given a chance to replace Rachael.

Triple Butz
06-16-2011, 07:01 AM
To me it's like the relationship to a financial advisor or an accountant. I don't necessarily understand all the details of forms that I sign with them, although I would read them, but I certainly expect that they WILL understand the details and any implications, and will give proper advice based on that understanding.

It isn't like she forgot to sign one page, or had a typo. This is a huge honking mistake on her (and Tom's) part. With or without reading the agreement, every athlete knows that they are expected to show up healthy and in top form. It's a no-brainer. I'm sure she was in touch with USFSA officials about her travel arrangements, schedule, etc, and she never once mentioned to anyone that she was injured. I don't think Kwan had to go back and read her agreement before she pulled out of Torino. The minute she realized she couldn't compete well, she bailed. It wasn't because of the agreement she signed; it was common sense. She even had the courtesy to warn the USFSA and the alternate beforehand. That's called class.