Team competition at Sochi

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by That Don Guy, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. Rock2

    Rock2 Well-Known Member

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    I love this event. Gives skaters the opportunity to compete on the Olympic ice before their main event. And, it can work, like gymnastics made it work. So much for some of the ladies not showing up until the second week to maximize their training time at home, though....

    On further thought, if I could rejigger the skating sched I would make the SP's also the qualifier for the team competition. Forget qualification based on 2013, etc. Just go with who has qualified for Sochi in their event. This adds drama to the SP which has lacked some since IJS because you can't lose the event in the SP so much anymore...so there's less at stake.
    So, Team Free would be the only added event.

    I'd also space everything out to give skaters ample time between events and I'd have all the SPs at the beginning. Think of most major events...all event 'prelims' in first week, all medal events second week. So, order would be:

    Pairs SP, Men SP, Dance SD, Ladies SP, Team Free, Pairs FP, Men FP, Dance FD, Ladies LP.

    Team Free takes six best teams based on SP scores and you have 6x4=24 skates in the team event on one evening.

    Just a thought...
     
  2. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I am still shaking my head at the people who think of the athletes as some horribly vulnerable and fragile little things that can't possibly expect to skate one more program without succumbing to utter exhaustion and dying a horrible death mid-ice in front of thousands. Just stop it! These are seasoned athletes. They train 6 days a week or more during the Olympic season. They do back to back run-throughs without breaks as practice all the time. Believe it or not, they even do run-throughs during practice at the events. Yes, full run throughs most of the time! I hope none of you watch swimming in the Summer Olympics. You might think it is torture with as many races as they swim. Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals and he had to go through qualifying for almost all of those races. OMG! And he didn't die!!
     
  3. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    I thought the counterargument generally being proposed was more about the psychological element than physical exertion, which few seem to doubt elite skaters can handle.

    There are comparative arguments to be made with the gymnastics event, as both disciplines are artistic as well as athletic in nature, and it's appeared to work well enough there. That said, having been long accustomed to the idea in figure skating of athletes preparing for months or years in advance to give the performances of their lives as individuals (or duos) at the Olympic Games -- it's hard with no skating examples yet to know exactly how that might pan out in this new reality. Will the individual performances by those who participated in the team event come as emotional letdowns? Will skaters hold back in the team event? Will the general audience develop intense program exhaustion and give the sport its lowest ratings in televised Olympic history? ;)

    It's just something that needs to be seen, and it helps at least that the Youth Olympics will serve as a test run.
     
  4. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    OMG, they do this in swimming?!?! OMG, that's why I spend so much time watching swimming events on television! Not.

    And goodness, no more of the "They do it in gymnastics!?!?!" argument. Artistic (heh) gymnastics sucks. Maybe if they didn't have a team competition, the floor exercises wouldn't be so barfworthy.
     
  5. lavenderblue

    lavenderblue Active Member

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    Heh. Despite borrowing the claim of others above, I have minimal personal interest in gymnastics; if that's the real source of my floor routine ennui, I'm now wholeheartedly against the Sochi team event! ;)

    But as an ice dance fan first and foremost, and someone with more interest in the other disciplines in choreography than jumps, it is the artistic and emotional component that I wonder about, as far as achieving that height. I wonder what Mahler, for example, may have looked like in a team-event Olympics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  6. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    Bumping this up in response to this post in the U.S. Pairs thread:
    Only 1 entry will compete in each discipline per country for the short program (10 countries will qualify to compete in the SP and then will be cut to 5 after the short programs) in the team event in Sochi, according to this summary of Cinquanta's press conference at 2012 Worlds about WTT and the team event at the Sochi Olympics:
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  7. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    Copying more posts over:
     
  8. stjeaskategym

    stjeaskategym Well-Known Member

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    Can we think of any instances where a country would want a different skater doing the long? (aside from maybe fatigue) Seems kind of weird.
     
  9. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    I love the team idea, I love WTT and how free all the skaters are, cheering for each other. Just look at any WTT clips on youtube and you'll see how loose everyone gets. Countries cheering on other countries, etc etc I can't express how much I love this concept.

    Having that said, this event really needs to take place AFTER all the traditional singles/pairs events are over. It's the best way to close off the event before the gala. Also, I want to bring up the Japanese men. They'll have 3 strong medal contenders all vying for the Olympic gold medal. If only 1 of them are required to skate the team event (2 if they decide to rotate and be fair, stjeaskategym I think this would be that instance), it`s not that the Japan men (most likely to be Daisuke/Yuzuru/Kozuka) can't do it. It's that it'll be completely unfair for the skaters that need to exhaust themselves at the team event relative to the skater(s) who don't need to at all.

    Even the 0.01 point matters and I would hate for this to come down to that. The playing field should be completely leveled and fair going into the singles/pairs competitions.

    Injury makes for everything as well. As we saw at GPF with Ashley Wagner, if that was her team skate, she definitely would have the lower hand going into her own ladies singles event, if she would be able to skate at all. Poor girl was using crutches after the free skate. Whereas, if she injured herself at the singles event, she could be replaced with another skater for the team

    Of course, this would not apply to countries with only 1 qualifier for a discipline. In which I bring up the lone Russian man Plushenko. Let's face it, unless a miracle happens, Russia will only have 1 spot for Men's and baring injury, the one going would be Plu. His would-be 31 year old body is not made to skate his 2 programs twice at 100%. Look at how many competitions he skips out on just to maintain his body. He'll be exhausted after the team event that he'll have no chances for a gold medal by the time the Men's Singles event starts.

    Figure skating can't be directly compared to gymnastics in the sense that the nature is different. Skaters are constantly moving for a longer period and is all about stamina.
    I just don't understand why the ISU would want to tarnish skaters' chances at a singles/pairs medal by exhausting only some of the skaters at the team event. Yes you get to skate for your country but you'll just end up at a disadvantage for your own event. This is especially unfair if all country qualifiers are Gold medal contenders a la Japanese men. Chan would be disadvantaged as well compared to most of his competition. Fernandez obviously would not even be competing at the team event.

    Why WTT works is because skaters have so much time after world championships to continue to refine their programs and skate it for the last time in a "fun and relaxed" setting.

    Basically, I'm completely for the team event if it's the last event before the gala. Otherwise, there's just too much at stake.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  10. professordeb

    professordeb Well-Known Member

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    Well said! And I'm completely on board with what I bolded in your post.
     
  11. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^

    I completely agree that a team event in fs at Sochi should take place after the singles and pairs events. You are right that fs is NOT gymnastics in any way, shape or form. A team event in fs is an entirely different entity than a team event in gymnastics. Gymnasts are trained to perform on various apparatus for a much shorter period of time than skaters perform on the ice in a sp and a fp. Figure skaters exert a great deal more energy during a sp and even more during a fp than gymnasts exert on a single apparatus. And, after their brief "exercise" routine on an apparatus, gymnasts have a chance to rest before moving on to the next apparatus. Gymnasts also have an opportunity to build strength on the various apparatus during the opening team event, toward peaking in the single and all-around events. However, that would definitely NOT be the case for figure skaters -- they would be worn out after exerting so much energy if the team event was held first, ESPECIALLY for such an event taking place FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER combined with the singles and pairs disciplines, and at an Olympics to boot!!!

    The structure of gymnastics events suits that particular sport. It DOES NOT suit figure skating. But, is anybody who has power over the decision-making process actually listening?!
     
  12. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    To be honest, no one is listening. If they had any sense, the team event wouldn't be in the beginning at all.

    I do believe in doing something rather than nothing, even if it has little influence. So I know you can send the ISU a message on their website under the "Contact" tab. It's not like moving the timeline of the events is anything too crazy.
    http://www.isu.org/vsite/vform/page...520-221743-313549-user-feedback-start,00.html
    You can defiitely send a message to the federations as well (Skate Canada, USFS), if they are concerned, they would definitely try to raise the issue.

    Russia honestly needs to exercise its power here and ask for this instead of 2 spots at Sochi, seriously. They can't afford to hurt their golden man.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  13. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

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    ^ I should think the skaters would complain about this too, although of course skaters tend to realize the sport treats them as children who should skate only, and "be seen but not heard."

    Guess it's worth a try posting a message on isu.org if a huge group of fans acted together in doing so, especially in the crucial months leading up to the actual organizing of the Olympic figure skating events.
     
  14. Sedge

    Sedge Active Member

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    The most likely location for the use of an alternate is in the Pairs part of the competition.
    Pairs skaters skate 4 segments in the first week of the Olympics..not to mention opening ceremonies.
     
  15. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm I thought I recalled reading that the Team has the option to have one skater/pair/couple skate the SP/SD and then the other skates the FS/FD. In fact I remember how excited Cinquata was about this, how it would make it more exciting/dramatic, whom would get the derision or the cheers depending on how such & such did in their part of the competition. :watch:

    I have to agree because in all honesty I'm most looking forward to this part of the competition, and am hopeful that in years to come the Team Competition will overshadow the individual events.

    To me the best strategy would be to have the skater known as a SP skater skate that half, then the stronger skater skate the FS. Also, this would make it possible for more skaters to share in an Olympic Medal instead of just being given one opportunity, they are now given another. :)

    Lol now I'm just trying to decide whom would be the best to skate what half? :confused: It would be easy if it was Michelle & Sasha. The latter would skate the SP, whereas the former would skate the FS. :D Anyhow, if it was Jeremy & Evan that made the team, I would have Jeremy skate the SP, Evan the FS. Likewise, Agnes the SP, Ashley the FS. Of course if would be even more difficult to choose if 3 made the team, not just 2. :eek: One of them is going to be left out, that's for sure, and going home with no medal. :(

    Ooops, also in ice dance D/W would be the easiest choice, but then there is S/S, whom could possibly skate the SD, with D/W the FD, and (knock on wood) both would get an Olympic Medal. :) For pairs it gets tricky, the hardest to choose, depending on whom makes the Team, and how good of shape they are in. If by some miracle D/S made the Team I would obviously have them skate the SP, with D/C or C/S skating the LP. Then there's Rockne Brubaker, will he come blazing back next year with a new partner? He already has the international cred. with the judges, rightfully so, and he is a sentimental favorite, having struck out making the last Olympic Team. We shall see...
     
  16. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    I can't imagine splitting any event unless you either had two very evenly matched skaters/teams and wanted to lessen the burden on each one (I could see this happening with D&R and MT&M for Canada at full strength), one skater is very consistently better at the FS and the other at the SP (if the team event had existed in 2006, the US might have done this with Evan and Johnny), or the team can actually afford to throw points away.

    I can't, for example, see this happening with D&W and the Shibs as of right now. The two teams are not at all evenly matched. And the US cannot afford to throw away the points they'd lose from having the shibs skate one program. In the US, I'd expect the only way it would happen is if we end up with two closely matched men or if another pair improves to the point that they regularly beat D&C in at least segments of the competition. But, the USA being the USA, they will probably just send the national champ in each discipline.

    Canada will absolutely not switch out in Men. In Ladies, even if they have someone to switch out, every other lady is a bad bet right now. In dance, I'd be shocked if they left any of V&M's potential points on the table even with how strong W&P are. In pairs, it's a possibility if MT&M and D&R go back and forth during the season.

    Russia will likely have only one man. Unless K&S look stronger next year, they will probably want V&T to do the whole thing although V&T may want the break. In dance, it is possible although they'll most likely be pushing B&S for a medal by then (unless things switch with I&K) so they'll be hoping the two teams aren't scoring at the same level. I could see them switching in ladies depending on who is on the team and who looks strong next year.

    France really has only one option in Dance and men. Pairs is a bit of a mess. And Ladies they may have two options.

    Italy has one option in Ladies, Dance, and Pairs. And the men are a mess.

    I'd expect that Russia, the USA, and Italy will gain a lot of points on the other two in Ladies. It'll depend on the day who comes out the best. In men, Canada will have a huge advantage. The USA, Russia, and Canada are all sort of a question mark. And Italy is in even worse shape. In pairs, Russia should gain some points over Canada who will gain some over the USA and Italy, who will gain a bunch over France. In dance, the US and Canada will most likely gain a bunch over France and Russia who will gain a bit more over Italy.

    My guess is that it will be difficult, but not impossible, for France and Italy to medal. The USA, Canada, and Russia will be the favorites to medal but the majority of team members will be fairly inconsistent.

    Right now, I'm more worried about Men for the USA. A healthy D&C have a very good shot at a top 10 worlds level score. None of the US men are consistent enough to feel comfortable with what they will deliver in a team situation.
     
  17. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    Not too sure if these are the latest rules but it says that a country can only swap skaters between SP/LP for a max of 2 disciplines (under 3.2.1)
    http://corporate.olympics.com.au/files/dmfile/ISU_FigureSkating_Sochi2014_QualSystems_Dec2011_web.pdf

    That's a bit of a problem =/

    Federations won't have a say in who to send to the SP because they'll have to have the 2 or 3 qualifiers battle it out
    So they'll have to skate their SP a number of 3 times during the olympics...? Someone burn these rules immediately.
     
  18. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't look like it. Those rules don't say that the 2 or 3 entries have to battle it out on the ice, nor is there any indication that the Olympic venue would provide ice time for them to do so. It just says that the federations must declare which skater will compete the short program by 10 AM the day before. They could base that decision by watching practices, but they could just as well flip coins if they prefer.
     
  19. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    Hmm, I reread that again and it does seem like that's what it says. The wording of it is a little weird. I'm little more relaxed now but the the entire idea is still implemented completely wrong. They should really wait for the traditional events to finish and use the combined scores (or higher of the 2 or 3 in the SP and LP, if they are different) to see who makes the team event.

    Is there any country that's strong with multiple skaters within a discipline that would require switching skaters for more than max 2 disciplines? Because I guess the 2 is enough. Even Japan only really needs 2, they don't even have a second dance or pairs team. Canada only needs 1, maybe 2 (pairs, maybe dance). US also seems to only need 2 (mens, ladies). Russia will be the one that might require 3 (pairs, ladies, dance) but their dance is weak and ladies are behind. There just won't be any room to wiggle with the limitation.
     
  20. Theatregirl1122

    Theatregirl1122 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with gkelly. I'm not sure where you're getting that the skaters have to battle it out on the ice, starryxskies. That just gives the deadline by which the teams have to be named for the SP.

    And yes, they can only swap out 2 teams/skaters between the SP and LP but I don't think there are any teams consistently strong enough to want more than that.

    ETA:

    Japan would have to make the LP to need to switch anyone at all. With no pair team and a very weak dance team, that is sort of unlikely.
     
  21. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    If this is anything like how the WTT is, their men and ladies alone would take them to the LP. Both will be top 3. They have a pairs team - Taka/Tran (the Canadian). If he gets his visa sorted out he'll be able to compete for Japan. They're sitting out this season due to injury but they're promising.
     
  22. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    I don't think it's that simple.

    See this discussion thread from earlier this year: Mervin Tran Aiming to Obtain Japanese Citizenship
     
  23. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    But you shouldn't completely rule it out. JSF is gonna fight for it with all they have, and skating is huge in Japan.
     
  24. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Interesting analysis, Theatregirl122 :)

    In retrospect I'm thinking France has as good a chance for the bronze medal as anyone else. IIRC they've got a strong top 5 dance team, and their pairs team is almost as good as D/C, they've already handily beaten D/S, but not C/S. And their top 2 ladies skaters' are on the rise, not as good as the USA, but better than Canada's #2 lady. And then of course there's the men, Joubert is still a top 5 skater, and Amodio not far behind, equal depending on the day.

    As for Italy, I totally forgot about Carolina Kostner, she should put up a great score. And I'm not too familiar with their pairs/mens/dance, but IIRC their pairs & dance are top 10, however their leading man retired recently, the one that could do quads and was charming on the ice. :)

    Hmmm, I really think it will be close for gold because I'm not as confident that Russia will easily win gold over Canada. Yep, they got the edge on pairs, but Canada's got the edge on both men & dance! And if Joannie Rochette comes back, or Osmond (whom has it all) keeps skating the way she has been then she'll put up a high score for ladies as well. Whereas Russia only truly has the edge in two disciplines, pairs, and mens to a lesser degree, depending on how they score Zhenya against Patrick? But that's it, dance is top 5 for them, but ladies is the biggest question mark. They are *unproven* in this regard. Even though I still prefer Adelina over Liza, each one is still young and growing, and anything can happen. That said, I would definitely have Liza skate the FS, Adelina the SP. I'll know more after 2013 Worlds, that's where I want to see how they do against Osmond.

    As for the USA, we'll be lucky to get bronze, no more no less. Dance is a shoo in, but the rest is literally up in the air! I'm not as confident that Couglin is just going to come back sashaying in with no problems, big question mark there, unfortunately, because before the injury he & Caydee were on the rise, slowly but steadily riding that ladder up the international circuit, but now that's all gone. :( My hope is that Castelli & Schnapir keep their momentum going because I think they are just as good as D/C. It's the second pair that concerns me... :eek:


    ETA: I admit how the Olympic Team Event shakes out is still unsure to me, that's why I'm most looking forward to the *first* time WORLD TEAM EVENT this coming Worlds, that should give us all a good idea of how the Olympic Team Event will go. Jmho. The one thing I'm sure of is it will be nothing like the WTT, that's more of a cheesefest, not a serious event like Worlds & the Olympics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  25. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    I really doubt Zhenya is going to even compete in the teams event at all. He can care less about that. He's only going to Sochi to claim his Men's Singles gold medal. He can't afford to injure himself during teams or even tire himself out. It really depends on who's the bigger boss: Zhenya vs Russian Fed. If the Fed makes him skate, say goodbye to Mens gold, maybe even podium if he gets unlucky. So he better pray to the skating gods that whoever goes to 2013 Worlds gets them their second spot.
     
  26. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Oh please :rolleyes: of course he's going to skate the Team Event. End of story. Period.

    ***note: in fact I recall how interested he was in the first time ever 2013 Worlds Team Event*** :cool:
     
  27. Sylvia

    Sylvia On to GP & U.S. Sectionals!

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    There is no 2013 Worlds Team event.

    The third World Team Trophy will be held in Japan after 2013 Worlds.
     
  28. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Ay yi yi *hits self on head*, I honestly thought I read that there was going to finally be a World Team Event. Darn!

    I thought I read somewhere they wanted to test it out there first before the Olympic Team Event. Silly me. I guess it's on to the Olympic then, prepared or not, first time ever! :hat1:
     
  29. starryxskies

    starryxskies New Member

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    I read somewhere they were going to test it out at the youth olympics first, but I don't remember where I read that and cannot find it either so take this with a grain of salt.

    I'm sure Zhenya would want to compete for Russia because he's the skating god and Russians love him but he's definitely going to be cautious about it. I truly believe he's not competing at Worlds (last time I read) because he doesn't want to risk injury and wants to keep the mystery before facing his Japanese + Chan competition before Olympics. They all fear him and if he doesn't perform at Worlds, he'll lose that edge he has over them. I'm just saying there's a good chance he'll withdraw from the Sochi team event. Remember his goal is Sochi - Mens Singles.
     
  30. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

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    Btw, anyone that thinks a skater will pass up the opportunity to earn that once-in-a-lifetime Olympic Medal, no matter if in the Team Event is a fool. Now the skater has *2* opportunities, not just one, to earn that much coveted Olympic Medal. So if s/he earns it in the Team Event, then the individual event will be less stressful, however the opposite is true as well. In fact I think the skater will be more stressed out if s/he doesn't earn it in the the Team Event. Jmho.

    Anyhow, enough, I've talked too much about it already (easy to see how much I'm looking forward to it though)!!!! :kickass::):cool::respec: