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Triple Butz
12-20-2011, 06:32 PM
Because the sport and especially his recent programs require him to be much more extroverted and expressive than he is capable of or is showing. He needs a style that fits him.



Since you are on this topic, just because he said he played the piano doesn't mean he thought he was great at it. He was asked by a fan to play and so he did. It was clear from the youtube video that he knew he wasn't very good. The point of the video wasn't to show how good he was, it was to respond to a fan's request. If I were that fan, I would be glad to see a goofy performance from him than to see him humbly decline to play.

Again, I think this is one of those instances when everyone made a big deal out of nothing.



Does she fall twice everytime she performs too? :slinkaway:

re: Patrick, he lists his piano playing as a credential in interviews and articles all the time, which is puzzling considering his skill level. It would be like me saying I'm an artist and I love to draw, and then showing a YouTube video of a children's coloring book that i finished.

Re: Bebe- she often fell more than twice but 1)she never won and 2)she had musicality and personality.

kwanfan1818
12-20-2011, 06:54 PM
Hoards of people who pass a certain level of the Royal Academy of Music testing system list piano playing as a credential.

Vash01
12-20-2011, 07:45 PM
I know what you are getting at, but IMHO there's a difference between struggling financially to cover one's training costs, and struggling financially to provide for one's family. Since Patrick's dad is a lawyer and his mother has a university degree, I think they are capable of earning a living for themselves without relying on him. I can definitely see there being an issue if he can't cover the costs of his training by himself, or with his family's help, but I'm a little more ambivalent as to whether support for his skating should include support for his family as well.

A lawyer struggling financially? I don't believe that, even with Patrick's high expenses.

As a sidenote, I am thinking that the Champions on Ice tour must have been a good way for eligible skaters to recover some of their skating costs. Why is Patrick not joining a tour of some kind (SOI would love to have him, I think), even though COI is not around anymore?

euterpe
12-20-2011, 09:30 PM
Both of Chan's parents are originally from Hong Kong, not mainland China. His father emigrated to Montreal, Canada when he was 4 years old; his mother came to Canada at age 21. That is why Patrick is fluent in both French and Chinese, and English is a third language for him.

But if his parents had remained in Hong Kong, that would NOT mean that Patrick would have received free training from the Chinese government. At the time of Patrick's birth, Hong Kong was a British territory and remained so until 1997, when Patrick was 7, when it reverted to the People's Republic of China. But even though it is part of the PRC, Hong Kong retains a capitalist economy and a democratic government. And Hong Kong didn't have an Olympic-sized skating facility while Patrick would have been growing up, so it's very likely that Patrick wouldn't have had much opportunity to skate, let alone have his talent recognized. Even if he could skate and get noticed, under the Hong Kong government, he might not have received funding for his training.

So IMO, it would be more correct to say "caught between three worlds"

agalisgv
12-20-2011, 10:12 PM
how do we increase sponsorship for sport in Canada? How can circumstances be made easier for parents who foot so much of the bill for skaters? What breaks or incentives can exist for people and/or corporations to fund developing athletes (and not just the top 5 in Senior)? What can Skate Canada do to encourage this? Pursuing sport at a high level pays dividends for the general public. Sport builds leaders, encourages excellence in life, inspires others to get active which improves the health and well-being of more than just the elite athlete, builds community, and so on. Funny that a similar discussion happened in PI, but there people were arguing just the opposite--too much money is going to sports instead of things like higher education, housing, public services like libraries and after-school programs.

Also funny that some of the people decrying sports in the Sandusky thread are now trumpeting it here if it means funding Chan :P.
There is a broader interest in promoting and funding sports. I think there's a broader interest in providing health care and housing for low-income folk. For every tax dollar diverted to sports, there's one less dollar available to fund housing and healthcare. Arguing that sports is more worthy of funding than other more pressing public concerns takes quite a bit of class privilege to assert.
With Chan, this should not even be a discussion. His fees and expenses for skating and traveling should be covered at his level. Why?

His family has chosen to have not one coach, but four or five. Why should anyone be expected to foot the bill for that? Another article said his training expenses are around $200,000/year or more. Other elite skaters pay more in the realm of $60,000/year. Should the public be expected to pay $500,000/year if an athlete wants it? What are the limits here?

Chan and his family have decided to spend four times as much as normal training costs. That's their choice. But then they should be expected to foot the bill for that instead of expecting a handout from the public who is largely composed of people making far less than Chan and his family. I don't understand the logic of thinking tax payers should be providing subsidies to those far better off financially in society. I especially don't understand it when it comes from posters who decry upwards redistribution of wealth elsewhere, but champion it if it benefits their favorite skater. Seriously now....

Japanfan
12-21-2011, 12:48 AM
I think there's a broader interest in providing health care and housing for low-income folk. For every tax dollar diverted to sports, there's one less dollar available to fund housing and healthcare. Arguing that sports is more worthy of funding than other more pressing public concerns takes quite a bit of class privilege to assert. Why?


Well said.



Chan and his family have decided to spend four times as much as normal training costs. That's their choice. But then they should be expected to foot the bill for that instead of expecting a handout from the public who is largely composed of people making far less than Chan and his family. I don't understand the logic of thinking tax payers should be providing subsidies to those far better off financially in society. I especially don't understand it when it comes from posters who decry upwards redistribution of wealth elsewhere, but champion it if it benefits their favorite skater. Seriously now....

I find it odd as well. There seems to be a view that skaters are somehow entitled to more than the rest of us because they are elite athletes. One of the justifications is that their expenses are so high. But as you point out, it's a choice. But skaters spending the most also bring in the most money.

And their expenses, while important to them, are not a genuine need. Plus, when they do quit competing and work at the other end of the sport as coaches, etc., they'll benefit directly from the high fees which skaters have to pay them.

Marco
12-21-2011, 04:17 AM
re: Patrick, he lists his piano playing as a credential in interviews and articles all the time, which is puzzling considering his skill level. It would be like me saying I'm an artist and I love to draw, and then showing a YouTube video of a children's coloring book that i finished.


:lol: I think I would be very nervous talking to you in real person. Not everything has to be taken so seriously.

He said he played the piano, I don't believe he ever said he played it professionally? Why do so many people feel cheated when it turns out he doesn't play so well? :confused:

If you were some sort of idol and answered a fan request, I would find it endearing. The quality of what you did wouldn't matter for me at all.

DaveRocks
12-21-2011, 05:34 AM
:lol: I think I would be very nervous talking to you in real person. Not everything has to be taken so seriously.

He said he played the piano, I don't believe he ever said he played it professionally? Why do so many people feel cheated when it turns out he doesn't play so well? :confused:


Exactly, Marco.

Patrick has never listed piano as a credential; he mentions it as an extra activity. When someone asks me what I do outside of my main job, I tell them I play tennis. Am I going to beat Federer, Nadal or Djokovic? No. But, do I play for fun? Yes.

Is Patrick a great pianist? Hell no. Does he enjoy playing once in a while? I'd say, yes.

This is simply another example of people jumping on the opportunity to put down Patrick. That's all. :)

manhn
12-21-2011, 05:51 AM
Well, crap on a cracker, the posts made me watch the damn YT video of Patrick playing the piano and he APOLOGIZES IN ADVANCE of playing the stupid piano. AND THEN APOLOGIZES AGAIN after playing the stupid piano. How arrogant!

Meanwhile, he has the audacity to put playing the piano as, GASP!, one of his off-training activities:

http://www.starsonice.ca/bio-patrick-chan.php


Patrick's off-ice training includes dance, piano, yoga, Pilates, stretching, running, tennis and gym workouts.

Running!?!? Who does he think he is--The Bolt?!?!?

IceAlisa
12-21-2011, 05:56 AM
Well, crap on a cracker, the posts made me watch the damn YT video of Patrick playing the piano and he APOLOGIZES IN ADVANCE of playing the stupid piano. AND THEN APOLOGIZES AGAIN after playing the stupid piano. How arrogant!

Meanwhile, he has the audacity to put playing the piano as, GASP!, one of his off-training activities:

http://www.starsonice.ca/bio-patrick-chan.php



Running!?!? Who does he think he is--The Bolt?!?!?

:rofl:

Zemgirl
12-21-2011, 07:29 AM
Chan and his family have decided to spend four times as much as normal training costs. That's their choice. But then they should be expected to foot the bill for that instead of expecting a handout from the public who is largely composed of people making far less than Chan and his family. I don't understand the logic of thinking tax payers should be providing subsidies to those far better off financially in society. I especially don't understand it when it comes from posters who decry upwards redistribution of wealth elsewhere, but champion it if it benefits their favorite skater. Seriously now....
I agree. Skaters have succeeded in the sport without spending the sort of sums we are reading about. The Chans are entitled, of course, to make whatever decisions they feel are best for Patrick's career, but there's no reason for expenses that go far beyond the normal, even for an elite skater, to be covered by the government. Meanwhile, Patrick is not taking advantage of some of the opportunities open to him as an elite skater (doing more shows, adding an extra GP). Yes, it's easier to have government support or nice sponsorships, but it's not as though there are no other options for successful skaters to generate income.


I think there's a broader interest in providing health care and housing for low-income folk. For every tax dollar diverted to sports, there's one less dollar available to fund housing and healthcare. Arguing that sports is more worthy of funding than other more pressing public concerns takes quite a bit of class privilege to assert.
I do think that promoting sports is a good idea, though I would like to see most of the funding directed to the grassroots level. Participation in sports is part of a healthy lifestyle and as such, can be considered a public health issue.

Jaana
12-21-2011, 11:08 AM
A lawyer struggling financially? I don't believe that, even with Patrick's high expenses.

There are various kinds of lawyers, depending on what kind of work they do. All of them do not get high salaries, especially if e.g. working for the government.

4rkidz
12-21-2011, 11:45 AM
There are various kinds of lawyers, depending on what kind of work they do. All of them do not get high salaries, especially if e.g. working for the government.

Also legal aid lawyers hardly make any money.. their overhead costs are not covered by the money from the gov't.. In additional many family law lawyers don't make a lot of money either. Canadian legal system is quite different (thank goodness) so not as much ligitation here, thus lawyers not making as much..

Having said that.. I do think that it was the Chan's choice to pursue a different training path that resulted in much higher training costs.. my daughter moved to Quebec to train in her sport as much, much cheaper.. also the funding from the government isn't very much - so if no sponsorship its parents footing the bill.. even the shows don't pay as much now..

NorthernDancers
12-21-2011, 04:25 PM
Funny that a similar discussion happened in PI, but there people were arguing just the opposite--too much money is going to sports instead of things like higher education, housing, public services like libraries and after-school programs.

Also funny that some of the people decrying sports in the Sandusky thread are now trumpeting it here if it means funding Chan :P. I think there's a broader interest in providing health care and housing for low-income folk. For every tax dollar diverted to sports, there's one less dollar available to fund housing and healthcare. Arguing that sports is more worthy of funding than other more pressing public concerns takes quite a bit of class privilege to assert. Why?

His family has chosen to have not one coach, but four or five. Why should anyone be expected to foot the bill for that? Another article said his training expenses are around $200,000/year or more. Other elite skaters pay more in the realm of $60,000/year. Should the public be expected to pay $500,000/year if an athlete wants it? What are the limits here?

Chan and his family have decided to spend four times as much as normal training costs. That's their choice. But then they should be expected to foot the bill for that instead of expecting a handout from the public who is largely composed of people making far less than Chan and his family. I don't understand the logic of thinking tax payers should be providing subsidies to those far better off financially in society. I especially don't understand it when it comes from posters who decry upwards redistribution of wealth elsewhere, but champion it if it benefits their favorite skater. Seriously now....

Where do I start?

The idea that money for sports will automatically come out of the budget for higher education, low income housing, libraries and after school programs is just not accurate. Nevermind that higher education is funded by the provincial government, and housing and libraries are funded at the regional and city level, and after school programs can be funded by both depending on the program, whereas tax write-offs are managed federally, and a little bit provincially. No bureaucrat is ever going to say, "well, I saved $20K over here, let me move that over to the transfer payments to the province", and no bureaucrat at the provincial level is going to say, "well, Joe in the Ministry for Sport saved $20K, which increased the transfer payments, so let's make sure that amount transfers over to the regions for housing", and no bureaucrat at the regional level is ever going to say, "o, I just got a few extra dollars from the province (remember the $20K will likely be divided many ways by now)...that must have come from Joe at the federal level from the extra money from sport; let me move that over to my housing budget." There just is no direct relationship here. Budgets at a departmental level are set by government policy, and each department can run a deficit or a surplus. The surplus in one is generally not transferred to other departments.

Another thing. When a corporation is looking to reduce it's tax payable and wants to do something good for the community, they will give money to their pet projects. They are going to give the money away. Why not make it possible to give that money to aspiring athletes at whatever level of development - grassroots to international competitors? It's not a choice for them to either give to skating or give to the government in tax. It's give to skating or give to some other cause. Let's make skating one of those causes. There is no impact on the public here. The money was never gong to the public. Right now, the tax laws in Canada are not structured to support this. There is a natural fit between sports and corporate culture. I have known some companies who will only hire account managers and sales people who have participated meaningfully in sports. Sponsoring at a grassroots level shows their involvement in the community. Sponsoring at an international level such as Patrick Chan can give them name recognition and advertising and is even more valuable and able to be written off. It's not really possible under the current tax laws, and perhaps even Skate Canada rules.

For parents, a simple change in the tax law could be allowing skating expenses to be claimed as private education expense. There is already a facility for that in the tax law. Why not add ice time and coaching fees as private education expense? A little change that will make a huge difference, and I don't think it is such a stretch to consider training in sport part of education. The tax deduction would be proportional to the expense. A grassroots skater has very tiny bills compared to a national or international level competitor. The overall exposure is not that huge. The benefit to society in helping parents is that parents will then be able to live a little less sacrificially, and could then afford to spend money on things they make do without and help build the economy.

Why should society care about promoting and funding participation in sports? Because we have a whole generation of obese and inactive people who will place a tremendous burden on the health care system as they age. We don't generally work on farms or in the trades. We work at desks in front of computers. When we teach our children the value of regular exercise from a young age, it becomes a life-long habit (hopefully). Physical activity in school is limited at best, and almost non-existent at worst. Kids need external sources of exercise. Sport also teaches people to strive for their best. School is designed to ensure everyone wins, noone ever feels bad, and there is no competition. We like to give awards to our kids just for participating. Sports teach kids to excel and do their very best and push themselves beyond what they thought possible. They learn to win and lose, and the power of achievement. They learn to respect authority. They learn to have that moment where everything has to come together in a short performance when it all counts. They learn to focus and achieve. For Michael Phelps, swimming gave him the outlet he needed to "treat" his ADD. How many more kids should really be in a competitive, organized, structured sport instead of taking Ritalin? Kids in sports generally do very well academically. Not all kids become coaches and make a ton of money from the sport after skating. Many go on to excel in university or college, and then in life - even the international achievers. In reality, few people actually become elite athletes. But the benefits are there for those who participate at the lower competitive levels and test levels. The elite athletes inspire more and broader participation, and serve as role models. The more people with the mental, educational and life skills to succeed in life and support themselves, the better for the tax base and better for the overall health and well-being of society, and the less drains on the social systems. Investing in sports is an investment in society's future well-being in so many ways.

I'm not saying that there should be no burden on the parents. However, right now the costs of skating are so tremendous it is driving people away from the sport. I don't think we want to be an elitest sport of only the very wealthy. That is not good for the long-term health of the sport. We need a healthy group of grassroots and developing skaters to feed the competitive ranks. We need to ensure the best and the brightest and the most committed are able to stay in the sport from the grassroots to senior international competition. With so many choices for sports, including hockey for girls, parents are going to think long and hard before forcing the entire family to make extreme sacrifices in order for one child to skate. Nevermind the families with multiple skaters. There should be options through corporate sponsorships and better tax breaks for parents. As those interested in the sport of skating, we do well to really wrap our heads around this if we want to be a viable and thriving sport in the future, or we will be relegated to historical footnote always remembering the "glory days of figure skating". The decline of figure skating and popular appeal today has less to do with COP, and a whole lot to do with the amount of money required to participate in the sport, and the perception that it is a nice past-time (not a real sport) for the very rich only.

I am not in the Sandusky thread. So that comment does not apply to me. I have also been very consistent in my beliefs on this topic. Neither do I disagree that Chan's coaches should be brought to account to justify why so much expense is required, and whether or not it is possible to cut down some of this. Someone at Chan's level will have extremely high bills for living away from home, travel, coaches, etc. If he is spending $200K a year, and Virtue's dad has said something about $100K for dance, then $150K wouldn't be that out of line for Chan. My comments here are not really about Chan at all, or any other favourite skater. What the article and Chan's comments have done is provide I think a springboard for discussing the high cost of skating in general, how do we fund it better, and how do we ensure we keep the best, brightest and most committed in the sport over the longterm? I and a few others have provided some ideas and rationale for this.

This also does not mean I don't care about libraries, after-school programs or social housing. Quite the opposite. I think we need strong and real strategies for solving these issues. And I believe the solutions have little to do with just giving away money to the problem, and more to do with a longterm approach to solving the root causes of the poverty in the first place. It can't be about redistribution of wealth. It has to be about helping people help themselves, and helping those who are completely incapable of helping themselves. I don't think that it's either fund sports or get these things. It's a false choice. The reality is that corporate sponsorship for sports and athletes will have minimal to no impact on the current tax revenues. The generally public would not be paying. It's simply redistributing where a corporation already donates their money. There will be some impact on tax revenues if parents are permitted to deduct an educational expense, but with corporate sponsorship available first, this should not be a tremendous amount. The decrease in tax revenue could be off-set in large part by the increased taxes received through sales taxes from increased buying power. And that does not consider the long-term positive financial benefits to society of investing in sports. We need to think outside the box about investment in sports, AND in how we solve the core issues creating poverty and homelessness.

VarBar
12-21-2011, 05:05 PM
I find it odd as well. There seems to be a view that skaters are somehow entitled to more than the rest of us because they are elite athletes. One of the justifications is that their expenses are so high. But as you point out, it's a choice. But skaters spending the most also bring in the most money.

Could also be that top athletes are perceived as making their countries proud internationally and I think it would be safe to say it does fill the hearts of most people with collective joy and emotion to hear their national anthem playing and/or their national flag rising at medal ceremonies. Also seems athletes by their achievements are bringing fun and excitement into the lives of millions of people worldwide and help them forget their daily hardships and concerns for a while and given this special appeal that they have for being able to do what others can't do, there is indeed a wide-spread view among the fans of all sports that athletes would be entitled to more than the rest of us. It might not be about creating a class priviledge but just encouraging and supporting special gifts and excellence like in any other area.

I guess we - common figure skating fans - too believe skaters are special people, otherwise we wouldn't be constantly coming here from all around the world to talk about them. LOL