Rachael Flatt out for rest of the 2012-2013 season

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Capella, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Just saw this, and wanted to say thanks so very much Rachael for Skate America, you shine from within. :) Love love love your "Firebird"! :hat1:

    Take care, heal your injuries, enjoy school, and know that your fans will be here for you when you return to the ice. :)

    HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
     
  2. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    She can't now unless she competes at Midwestern Sectionals and places among the top 4 Senior Ladies.

    No more medical byes and yes, you are correct.

    Best wishes to Rachael!
     
  3. sk8ingcoach

    sk8ingcoach Active Member

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    Such a shame. If she was skating now like she was at Olympics, she would be world champion.

    However I think she has taken the road to having a normal life
     
  4. ginask8s

    ginask8s New Member

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    I hope she can relax now and have the time of her life at Stanford!!!!!
     
  5. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    I don't think she was holding back from anything at Stanford judging from the friends who went to Nationals last year, she seems very happy. I think she just finally realized that she has already done her best in years past, that the best might not return with age, and that more and more others are going to be passing her. In other words, she had a great run, and it's over, and life is good in front of her at college and in a career.
     
  6. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    I don't know her exact injury, but it is very realistic for her to be back for Nationals even taking time off. It's not like she is having major surgery or anything. - posted by Carriemarie


    Exactly. You don't know her exact injury, and you are not her doctor. Rachael has taken time off in the past, felt healed, went back to training, only to have the injury flare up on her again. The location/ type of injury and they way people heal is different for everybody. You have zero idea that it would be realistic for her to be back for Nationals. Tendinitis in her and tendinitis in you could be and probably are two completely different injuries. If Raechel's is in her Achilles as rumored, she may need surgery eventually, especially if it doesn't heal on its own. Further, let's say she takes two months off to heal. That would only leave her about 5-6 weeks to prep for Nationals. It's not very realistic to get all triples back and be in tip top shape for Nationals all the while not re injuring herself.

    Also, as others have stated, she does not have a bye to Nationals this year, and would either need to compete at her international or at Mids; both of which are occurring in the next couple weeks. No competition there means she cannot compete at Nationals.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    This.
     
  8. carriemarie

    carriemarie New Member

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    I am not going to argue about her injury or the logistics of her making Nationals. It is what it is. The point is you and I have zero idea what is going on, but I was just stating my thoughts on the subject. I never claimed to be Rachael's personal doctor. It may be the most serious case of tendonitis ever or it could just be a nagging recurring problem, that really isn't the point. If it is as serious as some are saying then maybe it is time for her to re-evaluate what is best for her long term health and it's most likely not going to be elite skating. If she is going to make a bid for the Olympics next year it is going to be tough, missing Nationals this year. She seems to have been dealing with this condition for some time and I believe if she was serious about competing this year she could have watered down her program for her senior B (and done decently), qualified for Nationals, and taken some time off and evaluated the situation after a month or so of rest. It's not like she was taking someone's spot in her bye to Nationals or withdrew in time for the US to send someone in her place to her International. USFSA has nearly passed her by and not competing this year is not going to help her cause.

    She wants to skate for another year, that is up to her. I just don't think she has anything left to prove and realistically doesn't have a chance to improve her results in 2010. She can go wild and compete for the next eight years if she wants to, but she has ultimately had a very impressive career and has nothing left to prove in my eyes. I think that she will retire from the timing and tone of her statements. It's only my opinion and I am certainly not asking anyone to buy it, but I would be shocked if she skated in 2013-14. It's not a slam on Rachael. I can take or leave her skating, but I wish her the best. She seems like a lovely, intelligent lady and is going to be successful in whatever she chooses to do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  9. sadya

    sadya Active Member

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    Perhaps it's because she has nothing left to prove that she wants to continue, just for pleasure. Many people miss competing once they stop. I always liked her skating, it wasn't as horrible as some people say. Besides, you never know what happens. People give up on you and unexpectedly you medal or even win. And there won't be any 'what if' questions in her mind if she continues skating as long as she wants to. I wouldn't mind seeing her trying next season. Whatever she does, I hope she's in peace with her decision.
     
  10. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of the extent of her injury or what Rachael is thinking in regard to her career, the fact that she had to chose between competing injured in the next few days and ending her entire season is pathetic. USFS's old-fashioned rules strike again. To grant a skater a bye through to Nationals because they are strong enough to be competing at an international competition during the week of Sectionals and then to say "never mind, no bye for you" and punish the skater when she's injured and needs to withdraw is absolutely ridiculous. When will USFS treat skating as an actual sport and realize that putting so much pressure on these skaters to compete injured or face really bad consequences is unnecessary, unsmart, and potentially unsafe? Rachael and anyone else who gets affected by these rules deserve better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  11. maureenfarone

    maureenfarone Active Member

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    Wishing Rachael the best! Hope she is able to make a complete recovery and enjoy her time at Stanford. Perhaps she will compete next year or not...it is her decision. While she isn't my favorite lady skater, I have certainly enjoyed some of her programs.
     
  12. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    When hell freezes over, unfortunately. All that matters is winning medals.

    USFS does not give two hoots about their skaters' health, well-being, career, psyche etc. Skaters are treated like racehorses, and tossed to the side when injured/sick, and the "next big thing" is brought out from the wings. The cycle goes on and on and on........
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  13. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    Which is exactly what she says she's doing by withdrawing at this time.
     
  14. Carolla5501

    Carolla5501 Well-Known Member

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    So where do you draw the line? "bubba" the skater claims injury. Do you let "bubba" who would have finished DEAD LAST at regionals go to Nationals just because "he was injured" Because that's going to create an "everyone is injured" game :)

    And USFS did "stomp" hard on Rachel a few years ago for competing injured. They didn't tell her to go to World's injured, she and her team packed up and headed out thinking "it won't matter" Rachel made that decision NOT USFS. She has proven that she does what she wants LOL!

    I see nothing wrong with saying "if you can't compete, we are sorry but we have to move on" That's how they do it in other sports. The sad truth is doing it the the other way and giving "byes" actually seems more problematic. That's what tends to lead to the 'come back to quick' attempts and long term chronic problems IMHO
     
  15. RD

    RD Well-Known Member

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    But - are other federations any better about this?

    I don't think it's so much USFS as it's just skating in general. Backing up even more, it's SPORTS in general. It's just the way it is...

    Because competitive skaters tend to be younger, it "seems" more harsh because a lot of times these girls are still growing, and it's the level of competition at the top that pushes them to do harder and harder tricks. NOT the federation. And it's more complicated than that, too- I suspect training habits among other things NOT controlled by USFS factor much more into injury susceptibility than some arbitrary rule about a competition...JMO
     
  16. B.Cooper

    B.Cooper Active Member

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    Looking at some of the other NGB's like US Ski Team....there is a greater respect for injured athletes. And, although the structure for going to international competitions is different, perhaps it is time that the ISU looks at the structure for qualifying for ISU World Championship events (yes, I know, a minimum TES is now required). But, from the perspective of someone who has followed skiing for a number of years, the World Cup series allows athletes to compete through out the season, and if they have to miss an event due to injury, they have time to recover, and get back to competing during the same season. Not sure of the approach that figure skating could take, but perhaps athletes that have a world ranking above a certain level or if they have competed at the World Championships, if they so choose to compete at their national championship, are invited back in a certain time frame, say within two years of their last Worlds competition. I am just thinking "out loud"...but then it opens up the competitions to just that....a competition, not a coronation. So, then perhaps it brings back fans who followed a certain athlete (thinking of keeping the fan base alive), but also allows the federation to create a unique marketing strategy ....battle of the newbies or up and comings, vs the seasoned athlete. Look at the San Francisco Giants...Buster Posey lost last season due to an injury, but he wasn't discarded. Yeah, I know, they guy gets paid $$$$$, but the team stood by him as a valuable asset. I don't think many federations view their athletes as assets, more as a item to be toyed with and jettisoned when they are finished with them. Skating has changed so much in the last twenty years...hard to see it existing in its current state twenty years from now.

    I agree with a number of posters, that a number of federations view their athletes as disposable. And, these same federations wonder why the sport is on the downhill slide....there is no momentum built around a "brand" that is recognizable.

    So, back to Flatt....None of us know the extent of her injuries, but Wishing her a total recovery, and happiness in where her path leads her.
     
  17. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

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    Yes, most of these competitors are under 18. That's what makes the shabby way they are treated when injured, etc. even worse. This is not the NBA. For the most part, these are not adults we are talking about, they are children. The way they are treated is borderline abusive, IMHO>
     
  18. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a Rachael fan but it is unfortunate she had to end her season injured. I wish for her a full recovery and I'm sure she's enjoying her studies.
     
  19. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Wishing Rachael a speedy and full recovery.
     
    Maofan7 and (deleted member) like this.
  20. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    Adding my good wishes for a full recovery to the list. If she ends up leaving competitive skating, best of luck to her. I just hope she gets to make the decision on her own, instead of being forced into it by injuries.
     
  21. B.Cooper

    B.Cooper Active Member

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    Is there an athlete's advocacy group within the skating federations? What are the rights of the athletes?


    There is the Athletes Advisory committee at USFS whose mission is :
    "the collection of viewpoints and ideas of active and former competitive athletes, the representation and promotion of the rights and viewpoints of active and former competitive athletes, the conducting of informational meetings and the election of individuals to serve in athlete positions of U.S. Figure Skating as well as athlete positions in the USOC."
    http://www.usfsa.org/Story.asp?type=leadership&id=826
    Based upon the current roster of this group, about a half dozen active skaters involved ...so about 10% of the total committee

    There is the PSA....The Professional Skaters Assocation " The PSA is the official figure skating coachÂ’s education, training and accreditation program for the U.S. Figure Skating and the Ice Skating Institute. We are the largest and most recognized of all figure skating coachÂ’s organizations in the world"

    And, the only other group that I can think of that would be actively involved in the safety of the athletes (mental health as well as physical health)..would be the USFS Parents committee, whose mission is:
    "collecting viewpoints and ideas of parents of active and former competitive athletes; communicating these ideas and viewpoints; informational and educational meetings for parents; providing guidance to parents in their supportive role in the lives of competitive athletes; promoting Codes of Ethics and good sportsmanship; selecting spokespersons for meetings, seminars and camps; preparing and publishing FOCUS for Parents in SKATING magazine."

    Unless I have missed something notable, not sure how these groups actively help the bulk of the USFS skaters, who are mostly under age 18, esp the girls. This is a group of athletes that really has no voice in their federation IMO. Because, if it am correct, to serve on a USFS committee, the individual has to be 18 or older, correct?

    How do other federations work? Is there a good example out there of a federation that does really work to serve the athletes' needs in terms of health and well being?

    Found this website....
    http://www.injuredathletes.org/
    But, this is more of a high school format, not quite the level of figure skating, which quite frankly, sits between an amateur sport and a professional sport.

    Not sure of the best way to approach this, but if there is a silver lining in all of this, perhaps with the greater incidence of injury due to COP, maybe the federations will wake up and smell the coffee and rethink how they approach the sport....to do more to keep the athletes healthy, and when injured, help them find answers and find service providers that can help them get healthy and get them back to competing. Ultimately, the Federations want medals, and to do so, they have to have healthy functioning athletes. How about being "pro-active" rather than "re-active" for a change. ;)
     
  22. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    A lot of members for the Athletes Advisory Committee are over 18 and retired, but that doesn't mean they didn't compete at that age and cannot speak for skaters who currently do. If anything, they are in a better position to explain their point of view since they are no longer competing themselves which makes it easier to be objective, i.e., there is less at stake for them personally, but they were in a situation where USFSA decisions impacted their career and could offer their own experience as examples.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  23. B.Cooper

    B.Cooper Active Member

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    ioana...you hit the nail on the head...as many of the AAC members are no longer competing ....and in your words..."there is less at stake for them personally".....and quite frankly, therein lies the problem. They may be better able to voice their concerns as to what is an issue for the younger group of skaters with no/little risk, but those athletes who are currently competing can not and will not voice their concerns, because there is SO much at risk. How does that mentality change, because until it does (think cycling and the entire Lance Armstrong issues)...until the door is open, and there is a frank discussion, very little will change. The cyclists that have come forward, hopefully, will help that sport clean itself up.

    But, with skating, because there ARE so many young elite skaters, and even the elite skaters who are over 18, can not voice their concerns because of the risk to their careers, what can be done to help them? Are there concerns that committee members become jaded over the years....and the old boys mentality, like medical school interns...."we did it, or we put up with the system, why shouldn't the newbies coming up have to deal with it as well?" Not convinced that is the way to go. Change is difficult for everyone, but with COP and the physical demands on these kids, esp the young girls, something has to give, and it is usually their bodies, unfortunately. Not looking for a utopian society, but wouldn't it be great if there were voices that advocated the health of these athletes?
     
  24. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    What role(s) should parents and coaches play in minimizing severe and/or repetitive injury risks for skaters who are pushing their bodies to their physical limits?
     
  25. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    As long as coaches like Tom Zakrajsek get Coach of the Year nominations and awards and do little to discourage injured skaters like Flatt and Farris from competing, I think this is an uphill battle to be fought by mavericks like Gauthier.
     
  26. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    Amen kwanfan, amen. "Uphill battle" is putting it nicely.
     
  27. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    This x infinity.
     
  28. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Tom's win was before the mass exotus of skaters from his camp though. He doesn't have any high level skater competing at the international circuit now, does he? I thought they all left
     
  29. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    But that's the point, is that he was being given awards while he was (apparently) encouraging skaters to push themselves too far physically.
     
  30. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    True, though skaters left him soon after because of his "reputation".
    A skater's parent told me how he disapproved of Tom Z.; his kid, who's had some success, won't be training with Tom Z at all.
    If Tom Z. wants top skaters to come back, he may want to rethink his training strategy.