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Frau Muller
12-22-2011, 02:43 PM
I cringe whenever I read the title of this thread. It's so ridiculous...as in Patrick being caged and miserable...ROTFL!

NorthernDancers
12-22-2011, 04:46 PM
My point was there is a finite amount of money a country has for spending projects. The more money is spent in one place, the less it can be spent in another.

Is spending a quarter million dollars a year on *one* athlete a good use of tax payer dollars?

I would say unequivocally no. Those two sentences contradict each other. It's the avoidance of paying taxes that push corporations to give to charity. In effect those charitable corporate contributions are functioning as distribution of tax dollars. And governments have interest in seeing those tax dollars go to where they are most needed.

Giving it to a single figure skater who isn't exactly poor isn't a prudent expenditure of taxpayer monies, and does not represent sound public policy. Skating does not equal an education. In many cases, it actually impedes it. Taking money away from education to fund skating is wrong on so many levels, I think it's pretty sad that someone would even think to advocate that. Except you also have the grassroots horseback rider, the grassroots soccer player, the grassroots hockey player, the grassroots curling player, the grassroots archer, the grassroots chess player, the grassroots baseball player, the grassroots basketball player, the grassroots gymnast, the grassroots ballet dancer, the grassroots powwow dancer, etc.

That's quite a bit of money to fund all that. And it comes out of the budget, according to you, from education.

No thanks Government can *promote* healthy lifestyles, and I would argue should do that aggressively.

But there's a BIG difference between promoting something, and providing public funds to subsidize it. The government could just as easily fund gym memberships for people. At least there the money would go to people who actually have weight problems. Elite athletes aren't exactly the ones struggling with obesity. Schools are designed to teach specific skill sets that can then be used for future training in either trade fields or university education.

I'm sorry, but your views on education and economics are very far divorced from reality. You missed the interview he did with a Singapore newspaper where he said he wanted to compete for Singapore in the future.

That quip about competing for China wasn't an isolated incident. I've yet to hear Chan distance himself from his statements regarding Singapore.


Interesting points.

I'm not suggesting a whole pile of public tax money simply be given away to athletes, or one athlete in particular. I'm suggesting instead that the government incentivize CORPORATIONS and INDIVIDUALS who have money to part with more of it to support their local communities. There is never a dollar for dollar payback, but some payback will encourage more who do have money to give more. And for corporations, they are already going to donate money. I'm just saying that it should be easier to sponsor an athlete and get some reward and recognition for it. Of course causes like cancer and abused women deserve support. But the government today has no control over what charities which companies or individuals support. There are all sorts of questionable charities for all the wonderful ones out there. There are many religious institutions (ie. churches, quasi political foundations, etc.) that have charitable status. I don't follow the logic that support for athletes doesn't deserve charitable status because we have to support cancer research. Manulife can sponsor millions of dollars into cancer research. But that doesn't mean they can't take $100K, a very tiny fraction of their charity budget, and decide to give it to Virtue/Moir in exchange for some name recognition and a tax deduction. Or they could take that money and divide it up 5 or 10 ways to cover a future star. Right now, there is no benefit for them to sponsor an athlete or team. They can't get the charity deduction. Sponsoring amateur athletes doesn't fall under charitable deductions in Canada. I think that's wrong.

This is not about Patrick getting more money. Absolutely Skate Canada and his family should be monitoring why his expenses are so high, and is there a way to do this more efficiently. And there can be limits on what someone can claim. I'm pretty sure corporations and individuals would not be eager to give away more money to someone who is over spending on training. That would police itself.

My comments are about the maybe 2500 skaters at most at the competitive levels across Canada in skating, many of whom we lose because they can't afford to stay in the sport. And yes, I think this concept should be extended to other competitive/olympic sports that have national sport associations and are already funded to some extent by the Ministry of Sport (don't believe Chess fits that definition). There can be rules and limits in place to ensure there isn't abuse. When looking at the total number of competitive athletes across the sports (I'm thinking Juvenile and up in skating) in Canada, I would think there are probably less than 1% of the entire population. Perhaps much less than that. The overall impact of less tax revenue would barely register in comparison to the entire budget, and what is lost in tax revenue on one side can be recouped through a variety of other counter benefits as explained previously. Perhaps the "own the podium" program money can offset this as well. I think this approach to funding athletes puts much more emphasis in the private sector instead of government, and will make better use of "own the podium" dollars.

In Canada, and at least in Ontario, it is possible for parents who pay to send their children to private schools - Christian, Muslum, Jewish, Montessori, Waldorf, etc... - to claim the expense on their income tax and get a portion of that money they spent back. Not all of it, just a percentage. It's called an Education Expense. That is what I'm referring to when I say that parents should be able to claim their skating as education expense. I'm sorry that you do not have a good experience with skaters and their education. The ones I know are all very good students, tend to be at the top of the class actually, and often go on to succeed in life. They might take longer to finish school, or complete school differently, but they receive top notch education. Probably the most prominant current Canadian example is Wing/Lowe. She earned a Masters in Sports Psychology and he earned a Masters in Kinesiology while they were competing internationally. There are many who are not as well known who go on to hold leadership positions in their communities outside of sports. Skating teaches many life skills which are not taught in school, and it is not my experience that skating impedes education. It strengthens, enriches and broadens education in the skaters I know. It's not such a stretch to include amateur competitive sports in this tax deduction category - at least coaching (teaching) and facility (school) time. This is no more public funding of sports than the Education Expense is public funding for private schools. There's a difference. Just ask the Ontario PC party.

Government does provide a $1000 tax deduction for sports and activities. We all know that's a joke for competitive athletes. It does cover things like gym memberships for the non-athletes. What elite and competitive athletes do is build awareness around sports, the value of being active, and so on. They inspire people to get active. Call it a marketing campaign if you will. How many kids are ice dancing now at the grassroots in Canada and the US because of Tessa/Scott and Meryl/Charlie? How many kids started speed skating because of Canada's medals in that sport? I'm sure quite a few. And Canada likes to win at the Olympics and world events. We can't expect medals, but provide no way for athletes to earn them. That's why Own the Podium came into being, and why Canada did earn more medals at the last Olympics.

I don't share Hirschel's pessimistic view that all is lost and Skate Canada is dead and we just have to wait for the sport to die out now. I agree Skate Canada has not achieved their goals over the last couple of years. But I think there are lots of opportunities to revitalize the sport. Skate Canada, with the right people and ideas in place, can help drive this change. I think funding is a big part of increasing participation in the sport, which will drive audience and viewers and supporters. It's not the only thing that needs to change. We have some wonderful stars at the top and in the developing ranks in Canada. We have the raw materials. It can be done with the right minds in place and working together.

walei
12-22-2011, 04:52 PM
I just want to throw this out there.

I am not Patrick Chan and I don't know how "Chinese" his parents raised him, but if he is anything like my family I can understand some of his frustrations. Chinese are raised with the virtue of, for the lack of a better word, obedience. And I don't mean listen to what your parents say but do your best to provide to your parents even if they don't need it.

As a personal example, my parents have a house in Toronto and a small condo in Taipei. As soon as my brother and I started working and be financial independent we pay the mortgage even if we don't live there. During Chinese New Year, WE would give our parents including grand parents red envelope money. None of them need our money but it's a gesture that we take care of our elders when we are able.

For Patrick, going back to my previous post, as a Canadian World Champion in Figure Skating, he probably feels bad that even at his status he is still a sizeable financial drain. I think in China, if you win OGM you get so much money from the government your family is SET. Not that Patrick is a OGMedallist but he is a World Champ. The Chan's are probably a well off family but its possible for Patrick to feel the frustration with his current financial status given his 'success'

overedge
12-22-2011, 06:06 PM
I just want to throw this out there.

I am not Patrick Chan and I don't know how "Chinese" his parents raised him, but if he is anything like my family I can understand some of his frustrations. Chinese are raised with the virtue of, for the lack of a better word, obedience. And I don't mean listen to what your parents say but do your best to provide to your parents even if they don't need it.

As a personal example, my parents have a house in Toronto and a small condo in Taipei. As soon as my brother and I started working and be financial independent we pay the mortgage even if we don't live there. During Chinese New Year, WE would give our parents including grand parents red envelope money. None of them need our money but it's a gesture that we take care of our elders when we are able.

For Patrick, going back to my previous post, as a Canadian World Champion in Figure Skating, he probably feels bad that even at his status he is still a sizeable financial drain. I think in China, if you win OGM you get so much money from the government your family is SET. Not that Patrick is a OGMedallist but he is a World Champ. The Chan's are probably a well off family but its possible for Patrick to feel the frustration with his current financial status given his 'success'

All excellent points, thanks for adding them.

Hirschel
12-22-2011, 06:44 PM
Sometimes on this site, I get the feeling I am a fox, trying to explain to a sea bass, what it is like living on land, but as Christmas is not the busiest time of year for me, I will try once more.

The company I work for, ceased to be a sponsor of figure skating, so I have some insight. I can not skate myself.

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This forum is a place where everyone is gentle and respectful. That is appropriate, it is a social place, BUT, business is not like this. Business is efficiently ruthless. Money does not care to be your friend and will roll over top of you, without any remorse.

Just because people do not want figure skating to collapse, in no way changes the reality. Further more, avoiding the tough and uncomfortable discussions, is poisonous. Emotions cloud good business judgment. This thread is utter proof.

*******************************************

The next 10 years are going to be economically nasty, because all Western governments have been racking up the national credit cards, for years. This means an increase in personal taxes while simultaneously cutting funding for everything – non essential funding (like amateur sports) a priority. You are not going to ever get more government money through tax breaks for figure skating in this economic environment. You are guaranteed to lose much of what you already have. I guarantee you, both the US and Canadian governments, will introduce and promote your “new sports funding tax breaks” and then quietly, slip in back door cuts to existing amateur sports funding, resulting a huge net loss in funding for all amateur sports. I know this upsets people, but that is reality.

The next 10 years are guaranteed to mean less money for figure skating, not more.
If you want to bury your head in the sand about this, go work for Skate Canada, you will find the current management more than happy to join you.

There ARE positives, but none are being discussed here.

1. David Raith (USFSA Chief) does know. He does not yet have a solution, but he genuinely understands the real problems, and that is a start.

2. Figure Skating has a friend in the entertainment industry, Johnny Weir. Weir is their “guy”. The entertainment industry historically always does well in nasty economic times and therefore is an excellent potential source of future funding.

3. Do not assume the collapse of Skating Show franchises or Skating Federations is a bad thing. Sometimes "Good Destruction" is needed to spark a rebirth. Good Destruction, flushes out the old ways, old management and old ideologies. From manure, beautiful flowers can grow.

Sugar
12-22-2011, 08:24 PM
Athlete of the Year: Patrick Chan
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/figureskating/story/2011/12/20/spf-2011-athleteoftheyear-chan.html?cmp=rss

agalisgv
12-22-2011, 08:59 PM
I'm not suggesting a whole pile of public tax money simply be given away to athletes, or one athlete in particular. I'm suggesting instead that the government incentivize CORPORATIONS and INDIVIDUALS who have money to part with more of it to support their local communities. My point was you seem to be distinguishing those from tax monies, and I'm trying to show those *are* tax monies. Why? Because you're basically taking money that would otherwise go to the government in the form of taxes, and allowing individuals and corporations to redirect that to sports. That's really no different than the government directly funding sports via tax payer monies. It's the same principle and would have the same effect. The more money diverted to sports, whatever the mechanism, means less public monies available for other things (including infrastructure, housing, healthcare, education, etc.). That simply how it works.

That's typically why government leaves sports funding up to individuals--if they have extra money they want to throw at that, fine. But it cannot come at the expense of current government funding because there are too many other things that require proper funding. Government simply cannot pay for everything.
In Canada, and at least in Ontario, it is possible for parents who pay to send their children to private schools - Christian, Muslum, Jewish, Montessori, Waldorf, etc... - to claim the expense on their income tax and get a portion of that money they spent back. Not all of it, just a percentage. It's called an Education Expense. That is what I'm referring to when I say that parents should be able to claim their skating as education expense. I'll leave my thoughts on public subsidies for religious education out of this :shuffle:. Skating for the vast majority of people is a fun extra curricular activity. Government would go broke financing every extracurricular under the sun. And let's be honest--at the beginning levels, skating expenses aren't nearly as onerous as they become in elite skating. But at the elite skating level, you can have people spending over a 100,000/year. You said earlier that all training expenses should be covered at this level by the government. I'm saying that's just not realistic, nor is it good public policy. Should the Canadian public, who in the majority make less than $30,000/year, be forced to contribute to an ice dancer's Vera Wang costume one season? Should that person making $25,000/year be forced to subsidize someone's personal trainer?

Doesn't that strike you as incredibly off?


Skating teaches many life skills which are not taught in school So does building model rockets, skateboarding, playing video games, and a whole lot of other activities. Skating isn't exactly unique in that way. But that doesn't mean skating should be getting special tax payer subsidies unlike all those many other activities.
and it is not my experience that skating impedes education. It strengthens, enriches and broadens education in the skaters I know. Some skaters in the US are pulled out of school just so they can skate. Technically they are home-schooled, but sometimes their schooling takes place in name only. Nicole Bobek anyone?
What elite and competitive athletes do is build awareness around sports, the value of being active, and so on. They inspire people to get active. Do you have any evidence to back that up? I ask because for the vast majority of people, sports are enjoyed by watching it on TV. In the case of figure skating, fans either watch on tv, on their computers, or by sitting for hours on end at a skating venue. Those are hardly physical strenuous activities. Arguably, televising sports leads to further sedentary behaviors rather than more activity. If you look in the stands at figure skating events, the prime demographic tends to be older women that aren't exactly fitness buffs. So I don't know on what basis you could say watching figure skating leads to greater levels of physical activity. I've yet to see any evidence of that.

Prancer
12-22-2011, 09:04 PM
This forum is a place where everyone is gentle and respectful.

:rofl:

genevieve
12-22-2011, 09:06 PM
This forum is a place where everyone is gentle and respectful.
:rofl:

you new here?

Sylvia
12-22-2011, 09:26 PM
Athlete of the Year: Patrick Chan
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/figureskating/story/2011/12/20/spf-2011-athleteoftheyear-chan.html?cmp=rss
And the link to another 2011 award article is posted in Chan's Uber thread: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3411494&postcount=118


The next 10 years are guaranteed to mean less money for figure skating, not more.
This I can well believe, unfortunately. :(


There ARE positives, but none are being discussed here.

1. David Raith (USFSA Chief) does know. He does not yet have a solution, but he genuinely understands the real problems, and that is a start.
Would you care to cite one (or more) of these "real problems"?

ETA: We American and Canadian fans already know that our respective Nationals schedules are affected by TV network scheduling and revenue decisions, for example: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=81278

Iceman
12-23-2011, 01:05 AM
I wonder who Patrick will celebrate xmas with this year now that the Flatts are gone?

Emdee
12-23-2011, 01:09 AM
Isnt Patrick skating at Vail with Rachel Flatt and then off to Japan for the Gala at the Japanese Nationals?

Sylvia
12-23-2011, 01:12 AM
Isnt Patrick skating at Vail with Rachel Flatt and then off to Japan for the Gala at the Japanese Nationals?
Yes -- see: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3410441&postcount=115

Vagabond
12-23-2011, 06:31 AM
This forum is a place where everyone is gentle and respectful.

Where am I? I thought this was FSU. :confused:

kwanfan1818
12-26-2011, 10:17 PM
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.
That isn't particularly relevant: Tonya Harding learned to skate and trained on a shopping mall rink. Mishin needed very little space to train small children with the band he used. Tuberidze was training on a full-sized rink, but had 1.5 hours/day on good days, and still managed to give Shelepen, Korobeinikova, and Lipnitskaya the basics at very early ages. From ages 5-7, it wouldn't have mattered all that much.


Even if he could skate and get noticed, under the Hong Kong government, he might not have received funding for his training.
That's the relevant issue: since Hong Kong is its own skating entity, if the mainland China government did not recruit in Hong Kong after the changeover or Chan's parents did not (or could not) bring him to the mainland to be assessed, it's unlikely he would have had a skating career.