Ron Pfenning Running for U.S. Figure Skating President

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Visaliakid, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Sylvia

    Sylvia Worlds is HERE & NOW!

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    Manleywoman has tweeted this statement (originally sent via email, she says) by Dick Button in which he endorses Ron Pfenning for USFS president:
     
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  2. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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  3. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Thanks for posting Sylvia. Those are good words and support from Dick Button. I also appreciate Dick's recent editiorial (discussed in a recent thread) advocating for a change in the direction figure skating has been heading.

    And ITA with Janet Lynn's comments as well. Her words are so true!

    The sport and art of figure skating are dying, not because of a lack of marketing or lack of a “star,” but because the fundamentals of figure skating are dying... The next President of USFS has an opportunity to restore and rebuild the culture, language and integrity of figure skating. Audiences are drawn to joyful, refined, effortless, beautiful, free movement on ice using a figure skating language to music.
     
  4. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the thoughtful statements of Dick Button and Janet Lynn about these important issues.
    I hope that their positions are considered; and heeded, by those considering the future of figure skating, in the US and elsewhere.
     
  5. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    She's entitled to her opinion, but I don't agree with the first sentence at all and find it insulting to today's many wonderful skaters.
     
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    I agree.
     
  7. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    I think Tim Wood and Janet Lynn are right in the sense that there is a whole knowledge base that will soon pass away with coaches that came up under compulsory figures because today's skaters do not know it. That does not mean that today's skaters can not jump better than ever or move across the ice with some expertise. However, today's skaters are not as intimately acquainted with their skates as past skaters, and even used different skates all together.

    To Tim and Janet, skating is carving into the ice, which happens to take the skater from here to there. To today's skaters, skating is looking nice while moving above the ice. These are very different mindsets.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  8. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    I'm accustomed to hearing laments from the previous generation about how skating's going downhill and how it all has to do with the demise of figures and have been tired of it for a while. I understand to an extent, though as a younger person who grew up and become a fan in the post-figures era perhaps I can't FULLY appreciate it. Maybe we're both biased by age but generally when I look at "older" skating (even as recent as the '90s/early '00s skating that hooked me as a kid/teenager) I see a whole lot of things that I think skaters generally do better now. Spins were usually an afterthought and it seemed to be the exception rather than a norm to actually hit even a decent basic sit position on both feet. Many elite skaters didn't demonstrate much better spinning skills than I'd expect from a Juvenile skater today. Also footwork might have been fast and sometimes nice to watch but commonly consisted of only very simple turns going 90% in one direction. I find it interesting that with the way skaters were required to learn every turn on each foot and in every direction to a very exacting standard in the context of figures, those skills were not expected or demonstrated very often in free skating. Skaters now might not be able to execute all the turns in the context of figures but at least they're expected to demonstrate them in free skating. And we know that good figures didn't correlate especially strongly with good free skating (there probably would have been more of a correlation if more variety of turns were expected in free skating). And the jump difficulty skaters are doing is very impressive by comparison, and I think mostly the quality is at least as good, despite Tim Wood's disagreement.

    The consistency is probably less but that's to be expected when the difficulty increases by such a huge factor. Perhaps things like flutzing are more common (I've heard some people say that they had never heard of flutzing, and that figures helped you stay on the outside edge on a circle, and I can buy that). And more flexibility in the rules did allow for creativity in ways that IJS does really limit, like doing more small spinning movements that sometimes went with the music, cool variations of single and double jumps, etc., and I would like to see a little more flexibility added into IJS. Especially now that the new scale of values gives no points to Juniors and Seniors for single jumps, I wish they'd allow things like split flips to not take up a box and be done anywhere in the program (not just at the end so they don't lose points for a triple jump). I've thought of the idea of a "choreographic jump" before, and I think a "choreographic spin" could be included also that wouldn't block a spin box to allow more flexibility. Perhaps they could be worth a small number of technical points but the primary focus would be on creativity, quality, and enhancing the music, similar to the theory behind the choreographic sequence (though I still feel like most skaters could do a better job of using the choreo sequence, it's supposed to be a "moment" in the program that has importance with the music and choreography but most I just don't remember 5 minutes after the program). With all of the exhausting jump and spin requirements at the top level, skaters may or may not have the time or energy to do those kinds of things anyway.

    So there are definitely two sides to the coin. But for Janet and Tim to basically trash today's skaters and pretty much imply that the current state of skating is a disaster I really don't think is fair.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
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  9. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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  10. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    What political ambitions do Dick Button, Janet Lynn, and Tim Wood have? I'm genuinely curious.

    O-
     
  11. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    Dick supported Ron Pfenning's bid for U.S. Figure Skating president.

    Tim Wood's interview was against Cinquanta.
     
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  12. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Those are viewpoints. Everybody has one. But what political aspirations do they have? And how about Janet Lynn?

    O-
     
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  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    This x 1000.

    From Fiona McQuarrie's transcription of manleywoman's podcast with John Misha Petkevich, who when asked about figures said:

    In Petkevich's book (Figure Skating: Championship TechniquesJ), there's no dearth of rockers, brackets, etc.: he just didn't attribute mastery of these if freeskating to the practice of figures. "Angular momentum" and other laws of physics were more up his alley.

    I think this had more to do with triple lutzes becoming common, then necessary, and then the need to do them at an earlier and earlier age, when the skater didn't have the strength to hold the edge. If there was no visible penalty/it wasn't holding anyone back, why should they master the correct edge? Until edge calls were transferred to the tech panel, how many deductions were seen for flutzes? Cohen, for example, didn't have particularly high or powerful jumps that traveled very far, yet in the early years, when +3's on jumps were rare, how many times did she get +1's and +2's with an obvious flutz. There was a comment here that Derrick Delmore's coach, who was one of Ashley Wagner's early coaches, encouraged a technique in which jumps were under-rotated and landed with feet down, something common to both skaters; I can't believe that all of those coaches, including Takeshi Honda's, were oblivious to their students obvious flutzing. Arutunian complained when Asada's flutzes were called.

    In his commentary for Lynn's professional competition program, The Blue Danube, Toller Cranston implied by comparison and directly ("This is not seen in amateur competition today.") that Ladies skating had gone to hell in a handbasket, and this was in 1982, eight years before figures were eliminated. La plus ca change...
     
  14. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think those are contributing factors too, to flutzing at the elite level, but skaters at the lower levels do commonly flutz single and double lutzes also. I never saw lower level skating from the figures era but according to some it "never happened." I doubt if that's completely true but can believe that it was rare and I can't off hand recall seeing obvious flutzes from the elite level skaters I've watched from the figures era.
     
  15. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    RFOS, I find your comments insightful and worth contemplating even if I do not necessarily agree.
     
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  16. Sylvia

    Sylvia Worlds is HERE & NOW!

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    Pfenning has replied to Janet Lynn's questions on his FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-Ron-Run/499834056751501
    An excerpt:
     
  17. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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  18. Sylvia

    Sylvia Worlds is HERE & NOW!

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    Thanks! Here's the direct link to George Rossano's editorial: The Battle in Seattle Heats Up (ETA: link is fixed)
    Excerpt:
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
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  19. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

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    I love Pfennings responses to her questions. Openness, inclusivity, looking to the future and not rehashing the past. This is where we need to go IMO.
     
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  20. alilou

    alilou Crazy Stalker Lady

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    Link doesn't work.
    Visaliakid's link works just fine.
     
  21. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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  22. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

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    I found it interesting as well,seeing as how I remember the 2005 election.
     
  23. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

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    There ARE a lot of wonderful skaters today,but the fundamentals of figure skating are dying.I've seen it when I've been trial judging,it really depends upon the coaches,are they making the fundamentals important,and it depends upon how bad the skater wants everything to be right. When I do a critique and tell a skater to work on something before their test and they come to the test and it's clear they did NOT work on what I suggested to them,it's clear they don't care.
     
  24. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    Just because there exist skaters who either don't care, have bad coaching, don't get to practice enough, the improvements are hard for them or just get nervous on tests and regress, and therefore don't improve from critique to test, doesn't mean that "the fundamentals of figure skating are dying." You may still feel that way but I find it to be a vast, VAST overstatement. I've seen some especially impressive improvements in a short time from one test to another after a skater retried a test the first time. Some do improve, some don't, and some take more time to improve. There may come a certain level, different for each skater, where it's difficult to improve further given the amount of time and energy they're able to devote to skating. I certainly hit that wall in my own skating. It wasn't that I didn't try or didn't care, but I DID get nervous on tests and wasn't skating enough to develop the consistency on the test that I needed. I think it's unfair to assume that the skater doesn't care just because they didn't improve for the test.
     
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  25. jenniferlyon

    jenniferlyon Well-Known Member

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    How much weight do their endorsements carry with the folks who will actually be electing the new USFS President?
     
  26. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    nvm. Someone already pointed it out. :)
     
  27. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Not enough, apparently.
    I hope for the best from the man who was elected.
     
  28. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    None. The Athletes Advisory Committee voted in a block for Sam. Mr Pfenning was soundly defeated by the Governing Council Voters.
     
  29. jenniferlyon

    jenniferlyon Well-Known Member

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    I saw the election results on Twitter. What's the reason behind the block voting?
     
  30. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I do not know, except they felt insulted by outside comments.