Isabella Tobias denied Lithuanian citizenship ...

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by kosjenka, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    Ok, debating on which skater is artistic, sporty, or deserving enough is ridiculous, when it comes to their immigration status. Do you think the immigration committees actually sit around debating whether or not a skater deserved a medal?

    Regarding all the details about Kaitlyn, Tanith's immigration vs. other skaters... Yes, countries all have different rules and Isabella knew this. But that doesn't mean that Kaitlyn is any more "deserving" of citizenship or the chance to compete just because she chose a country with easier rules. Kaitlyn also "jumped the line."

    There's no need for bringing whatever money Isabella's family has into this, or how "pushy" her parents supposedly are. Even if it's true, she would not be the first or last skater with a pushy parent - so what? And if anyone thinks the top two teams in the world right now do not come from family money, they are dreaming. Does that make them less deserving? Did they themselves not put in the work to get where they are?

    I still think it's a good idea to give a mixed team the chance to compete at Olympics. If they can make a minimum qualifying score then why not?

    My last question is why they both didn't move out of Lithuania and into AZE or some "easier" country, long ago?
  2. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    What would you in terms of medals, if it comes to that? Would each country win 0.5? You couldn't really have each country winning a full medal since that would be unfair to same-country pairings...For better or worse, Olympic participation is tied into having your country's citizenship figured out. At least, based on the way things stand right now. Maybe the IOC would start looking into allowing mixed teams in the future, who knows?
  3. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Since the countries in question get to decide who is deserving based on their own goals and values, and they decide whether to use national resources for the exception processes, I don't think they care whether you or I or anyone else considers the recipients or those denied as "deserving."

    According to the article discussed above, Stagniunas didn't want to give up Lithuanian citizenship. Dual citizenship in Lithuania is allowed under limited circumstances, and skating for another country isn't one of them. In 2010 Lithuania killed a measure to allow dual citizenship on a broad basis.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  4. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    No, it has to be a *good-looking* sack of gold :p
  5. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Or at least a well dressed one. Oh, wait. This is ice dance. Strike that. ;)
  6. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I think the EU does look down on anything that resembles corruption or a member state bending laws for corrupt purposes. With the Baltic states being on the EU's "border," so to speak, it may want to keep its house looking clean.

    Funny thing is it was recently suggested that USA start combating its government's fiscal problems by allowing wealthy moguls to buy accelerated citizenship when they invest millions (or some high amount) in American public/urban projects like stadiums, convention centers, etc. There is also talk of just selling citizenship or residency to the highest bidders at auction.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/busin...d_solve_the_illegal_immigration_problem_.html
  7. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    Umm.... Allowing citizenship based on merit is not corrupt... That makes no sense.
    Most countries in the EU allow dual citizenship, andrh rules are very different (Great Britain has a unique set of rules for common wealth nations, afaik, for instance).

    No one has suggested she would buy her citizenship??? That is ludicrous.
  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Buying permanent residency isn't ludicrous: for example, there are two types of economic classes in Canada, the Entrepreneur Class, where a person invests a minimum amount in a business and needs to employ a minimum number of people in a set time frame, and Investor Class, where a much bigger sum is invested in a government approved fund. (The money is paid directly to the government.). There are limits -- the person has to show that they earned the money in the first place, and that they have the skills, not just a parent writing a big check for their kid -- but it's still using moeny to obtain rsidency. Once granted, the standard citizenship rules apply, unless an exception is granted.

    Canada isn't the only country with this kind of scheme, and it's not considered corrupt, at least by years of elected governments.
  9. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Based on what posters in this thread have said, it sounds like it could have the appearance of favoritism. Other posters suggested she was not going to live there or meet other expectations for merit-based citizenship. Anyway, I for one regret they could not make the exception based on their Europeans and Worlds placements.
  10. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    what I meant was - to say that it is some kind of corrupt scheme (that the EU cares about) that Tobias has engaged in is plain silly, as was insinuated in the post above mine.

    just as it is silly to call entrepreneur citizenship rules for corruption - afaik it exists for the US too (and you have to invest 500k$ I think), as you mention.
  11. 2sk8

    2sk8 Active Member

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    It does exist for the US too -
  12. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    As you pointed out, EU countries make their own citizenship rules. If an EU country had an economic class for PR/citizenship, then the EU would have no influence on that country's law or processes. Also, laws that allow exceptions for potential or service are deliberately vague and government officials and/or legislatures interpret them on a case-by-case basis, and that service could be economically based. As far as being a border country, former Eastern European countries have done well on their own in impeding citizenship for ethnic Russians within their borders; preventing dual Russian/[country] citizenship has been one of the, if not the main, drivers, for laws against dual citizenship there.

    There's so much talk about how much money Tobias's family has -- in an interview translated here, her former short-term partner Ilya Tkachenko described how her father had helicoptered them to practice to avoid traffic -- and how she bought a partner, that it's only one step away from thinking that her family could have contributed a well-needed facility or by starting a business in her new country, no matter how specious. However, depending on how the laws of a country are written, even were it true, this could be neither corrupt nor rule-bending.

    The same thing is true of merit and how merit is defined. The Estonian government thought that Mallory should be given not only Estonian citizenship, but a special citizenship that would expire in a set number of years. (Estonia does not allow dual citizenship, either, and this would have allowed her to regain US citizenship -- if they even bothered to see if she went through the formal renunciation process -- after two Olympic cycles.). Mallory/Rand's results weren't any better than Tobias/Stagniunas's, but the sovereign Lithuanian government has a different gauge for accomplishment and service than the Estonian government did at the time the decisions were made, just as they could have taken economic factors into consideration, unless prohibited by their own law.

    While there are valid arguments on the relative value of how residency/citizenship is attained, and to whom it should go, unless it is done purely by lottery, there is built-in favoritism, because, by definition, there are criteria and there is a hierarchy, in both acceptance and processing time. Corruption only comes into play when someone is given precedence or exception outside the standard processes.
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Because representing your country is what the whole idea of Olympics revolves around.

    Again, EU does not interfere at all with how individual members states draft and apply their own citizenship laws. Keeping the Schengen border safe is one thing, granting citizenship through "special merit" is another. There are countries in the EU where it's comparably easy to obtain citizenship this way. Lithuania is definitely not one of them. Never was and probably never will be.

    Yes and that's how the world works. If you have a lot of money, you can live whenever the hell you please and pay hardly any taxes on top of that. :p
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  14. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    ROTFLMAO!!!! :lol: :D :lol:

    This reminds me of actor Gerard Depardieu being granted Russian citizenship personally by Vladimir Putin. :hat1: :p
  15. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Tobias/Stagniunas have posted a link to a short article to their Facebook Page:

    http://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lith...tybes-teikimo-pletros-galimybes.d?id=60421955

    I'm not sure if I understand the bing translation properly, but I think it says the Lithuanian president has asked or is about the ask the Lithuanian Constitutional Court to clarify some prior rulings on citizenship and to see if there needs to be a new law or constitutional change to clarify the exception standards.
  16. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    so basically, to sum up most of what has been said in this thread, Ice Dancing is really just a way for rich people who don't have much talent to buy their way into the Olympics...... fantastic...
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Yeah, we're saying that everyone who isn't competitive for a World or Olympic title is a rich person who bought their way into competition.
  18. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    according to this thread - the same thing applies to even world champions i.e. Maurizio Margalio... and that Russian dude who won bronze.. ( Sorry, I don't follow ice dancing and can't remember his name and don't have the interest to go back through this thread to find it..)
  19. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    Because Margaglio and Shabalin are soooooo rich.
  20. Eislauffan

    Eislauffan Well-Known Member

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    More bad news for I. Tobias/D. Stagniunas as they had to withdraw from Europeans. Apparently he suffered a reocurring back injury. :-(
  21. DaiKozOda

    DaiKozOda Active Member

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    NOOOOOO! I really like T&S skating. It's being such a difficult season for them and I was hoping they could bounce back at Euros. :(
  22. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    So, then if they are not rich, can someone explain how people can win a world title and an Olympic medal if they are clearly not the best ice dancers around and didn't have the money to buy their medals and buy their way into competitions? I just don't understand this at all....
  23. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Certainly "not the best" doesn't mean "not even good enough to enter the competition at all." No need to buy their way into competition. There's a wide range of ability from top to bottom across the ice dance field.

    Several possibilities for a skater who is not the best earning elite medals:

    1) One partner may be weak and the other so strong that the team together is competitive with other top teams.

    2) The team may not be one of the best teams, but close enough that they can have the best overall set of performances at a given competition in the honest opinions of the majority of judges

    3) The skater and partner might not be rich themselves but have rich supporters, including within their federation, buying results for them, or using leverage other than money to trade for results
  24. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Good female partners, federation support (political and/or financial in terms of paying for good coaching and training conditions), good choreographers who can work around their weaknesses, audience support, making the most of chances when rivals are having a bad season, etc.
  25. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Being extremely good at what they do well, so much so that it helps them score well despite their weaknesses.
  26. analia

    analia Member

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    A quick Google search tells me the both of them can pop 100,000 dollars each to buy a dual citizenship from a certain country called "Dominica" (not to be confused with Dominican Republic), quickly form a skating federation and go to Sochi.....No one has to give up anything. And it will be an amazing political story of this age too. Also St. Kitts And Nevis, and probably Panama. I also won't be surprised some African passports are pretty easy to get.
    After all, Tobias' family invested so much in them.
    That being said, I do think it's quite unfair that someone like Allison Reed could be an Olympian. But again, what does that even mean? Does being an Olympian qualify you for anything other than free souvenirs? Is it really worth it to throw so much money into something that ends in two days?
  27. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    After all they've been through, now this? Sad.
  28. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    You mean that she doesn't have 3 more men on paid standby when something like this happens?
  29. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    I know you're being flippant, but it's clear from the interview with Isabella Tobias linked upthread that Deividas Stagniūnas doesn't want to skate for any country other than Lithuania. She, on the other hand, would probably be more than happy to do as you suggest. But it takes two to ice dance. ;)

    To whom is it unfair? If Georgia, or for that matter Israel, wants to grant citizenship to athletes who neither train nor live there, why is that unfair?

    It's true that by taking the last qualifying spot for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Nebelhorn in 2009, Allison Reed and her partner effectively denied Austria, Greece, or Finland of a spot, but Austria and Greece had foreign-born ice dancers too, and Finland's couple couldn't even score 100 points.
  30. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

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    I can see why Lithuania has strict rules, but it seems it would be difficult for the pair to train there so that Isabella can establish residency if there aren't any decent coaches for them to train with. Probably had to do with why Deividas left in the first place, right? That and needing a partner. It's like they're stuck in a catch-22.
  31. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

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    New article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130118&content_id=41031196&vkey=ice_news
    Excerpt:
  32. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    "They found I wasn't exceptional enough to Lithuanian society,"

    Mama must be IRATE!!!
  33. Proustable

    Proustable New Member

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    I do hope they continue skating and improve anyway.
  34. DaiKozOda

    DaiKozOda Active Member

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    I'm glad Isabella and Deividas will keep skating together at least one more season. They can still achieve a lot together and make themselves and their fans proud.
  35. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Very classy quotes from Tobias in that article.

    Given how difficult it is to learn Lithuanian as a native American speaker, really well done for Tobias for mastering it so fast and getting 58/60 questions right. :)

    I am glad to hear they are going to stick it out together regardless. Hopefully they will continue to improve.

    No.

    You can't 'quickly form a skating federation'. You need an organisational structure, you need an ice rink, etc.

    Yes, I also think it's unfair that a competitive skater who trains as hard as anybody else would be allowed to compete at Olympics. :p
  36. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    Also I don't think countries like Dominica or any Caribbean /African countries would be good enough for Mama even if it were allowed.. It's much easier to explain to the rest of high society how fantastic her daughter is by not only skating for an Eastern European country hoping to make it to the Olympics but also how smart she is for mastering such a hard European language by getting a 58/60 on an exam. "This is a language that normally would take years for the average person to learn, but because my daughter is so great at so many things, a year was good enough to be semi-fluent.."

    btw, did anyone check the ID at the language testing site to make sure that was a valid one or that the girl taking the test was not some random Lithuanian chick named Kofryna Antanas who needed $5,000 to continue her education here in NYC? LOL
  37. kosjenka

    kosjenka Well-Known Member

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    I know I started this thread, but reading it I felt really uncomfortable.
    I am used to sarcasm and wit, but some things written here about Tobias and her family (mother) are just poor taste.
    It looks like kindergarten jalousie. What is the problem - that girls is from wealthy family and her parents are willing to invest in something their daughter is passionate about?
    Somehow I think skating fans would love that there are skaters who actually have such family support. Not many do, sometimes the great come from humble background - but still, does this mean angry, nasty things have to be posted to those who come from wealthy families?

    I do not understand why is Tobias being set aside as unworthy of her on ice partner. If anything - this interview show how truly devoted she is to skating, to him and to Lithuania. Of all European languages, I guess only Hungarian would be more difficult for an English native speaker to learn well enough to answer questions in front of citizenship committee after a year of learning.

    I am sorry they cannot come to Zagreb. I was lucky to see them skate at Golden spin. They have improved so much, especially in free dance. Or I guess it was all about Shpilband standing by the boards... :rolleyes:
    timing and (deleted member) like this.
  38. apatinar

    apatinar New Member

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    Oh wow... goes to show how little I pay attention to dance... I didn't even know that somehow the best ice dancing coach in the world right now had time for these 2 with all of the top names he is coaching..
  39. reut

    reut Active Member

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  40. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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