The value of a European versus Four Continents title/medal

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by essence_of_soy, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Chan, Abbott and Wagner skipping 4CCs this year is understandable due to their somewhat erratic season - doesn't change the general US and Canadian trend of sending their top skaters to 4CCs these couple of seasons - IIRC they were offered a trip to 4CCs but turned it down for strategic reasons. This is different to the last decade when they automatically skipped over Kwan and Cohen and went straight to the rest of the top five etc.
     
  2. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    It's more of a timing than a prestige issue IMO.
     
  3. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B comps!

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    Just like in 2010, none of the U.S. Olympic team members will go to Four Continents next year.
     
  4. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Too bad Plushenko couldn't emulate the above skaters' performances. ;)

    What is the time difference between Euros and the Olympics? If I were V&T, I would get a haircut and then consider whether I would do Euros given the pairs event is the first individual event at the Olympics and the team event that occurs before even when the Olympics officially commences (not sure whether S&S will or should compete in the team event). Same for the top ladies, where competing at Euros/4CC was not as big a deal previously because they normally skated at the end of the Olympics.

    The top skaters regularly skip Worlds after the Olympics. Guess Worlds isn't truly prestigious.
     
  5. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    But that's just the thing - if it were truly prestigious, skaters wouldn't be skipping it so readily. And it's hard to consider the two event to be of equal prestige when the quality of 4CC fields is so dependent on timing and location.

    Looking at 2010, Mao Asada and the Zhangs were the only top skaters at 4CC, and two disciplines were won by skaters who did not qualify for the Olympics out of their own Nationals (Rippon and W/P). But every top European skater was in Tallinn for Euros, with the exception of DelSchoes who weren't ready to compete after Isabelle had her baby (they weren't really ready in Vancouver, either, but that's another matter).

    What does that have to do with anything? Plushenko went to Euros and was too injured to complete the event. It's hardly the same as intentionally keeping top skaters out of an event.

    The following skaters skipped 2010 Worlds after top 5 placement at the Olympics: Shen and Zhao (retired), Evan Lysacek (may as well have retired), Plushenko (for whatever reason you choose to believe), Joannie Rochette (still dealing with the death of her mother, probably retired), Domnina/Shabalin (retired), Stephane Lambiel (retired), Belbin/Agosto (retired). Usually if skaters skip post-Olympic Worlds, is because they have ended their career or are taking a long hiatus. It's not the same as active skaters skipping an in-season event because of location/timing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  6. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Hm... Abbott skipped 4CC last year when he was the National Champion. Czisny wasn't sent (and she had been automatically skipped like Kwan and Cohen - she specifically said she wasn't asked). Suzuki, Hanyu, and Kozuka didn't go to 4CC but did go to Worlds. Pang & Tong skipped 4CC.

    2011 was fairly well-attended, but Chan and Pang & Tong are missing.

    Yu-Na also skipped 4CC in 2011 and 2013 (I know you only mentioned China, Japan, US, and Canada, but she's basically the only top skater from outside those countries).

    Now, it may still be true that 4CC is more prestigious than Euros, if the level of 4CC skaters is that much better that even with a couple of top names missing the fields are still comparable to/stronger than Euros.

    He did, in the long program. ;)
     
  7. Sylvia

    Sylvia Bring on the JGP & Sr B comps!

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    He was named to 4CC and later withdrew due to injury.

    For countries with deeper fields, I like that some of the skaters/teams not going to Worlds have the opportunity to compete at 4CC and gain ISU World Standings ranking points and SB scores.
     
  8. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    Thanks - I had forgotten about that (I was only looking at the final 4CC results and noticed his name wasn't there).
     
  9. IceIceBaby

    IceIceBaby New Member

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    All the European skaters really want to participate at the Euros, no matter what year it is. I don't get the same impression of 4CC. This year no Yuna Kim, Patrick Chan or Ashley Wagner...
     
  10. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Interestingly, except for Russia, this hasn't been so much a problem for most Euro nations (occasionally French men and German ladies... about a century ago). They usually only have 1 or 2 skaters / teams at the elite level and there's really no reason not to send them to both Euros and Worlds, especially with the spacing between the timing of their Nationals, Euros and Worlds. It's almost by default that the same skaters go to Euros and Worlds.

    In recent years, (maybe after Turino?) I gradually see the same trend emerging for 4CCs. You see the top Chinese and NA pairs going (except during Olympic season), the top NA dance teams going, the top Japanese, NA and Chinese singles going. That has been a general trend I see. Certain top skaters may have skipped once in a while, due to timing, injury or strategizing, but most 4CCs nations have since 2006 sent their top skaters to 4CCs than not (perhaps the ISU has exerted pressure? I don't know). So in the past 2 Olympic quads, I see the prestige of Euros and 4CCs equaling, and with the surge in Japanese singles and NA dance teams in particular, 4CCs has featured as many if not more worlds medalists than Euros has in the same season.
     
  11. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Kim has a prior engagement.

    In the case of Chan and Wagner, I am more inclined to think they are skipping to re-group / avoid competition rather than because they don't regard the competition as prestigious enough to compete. They are both defending champions and would probably have competed if they had been more solid at their respective Nationals and 4CCs doesn't involve substantive travel / jet lag issues so soon after Nationals.

    IMO their skipping does not make the competition less prestigious simply because besides them, almost all the Japan, US, Canada and China world team members are here, unlike in say 2004 where no one from the whole Japanese 4CCs ladies team made Worlds or the fact that back in those years neither Kwan nor Cohen ever competed at 4CCs.
     
  12. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    But you don't see skaters make these sort of strategic decisions when it comes to Europeans. You didn't see Pechalat and Bourzat skip last year to do other things just because Euros was a transatlantic flight away, or the Kerrs back when they were competing, or Kostner during her California season - and I'm willing to bet that Toronto-based Javier Fernandez will be in Budapest next year to defend his title.

    If the skaters consider 4CC less important and and something that can/should be avoided, which you just argued that some do, then it's hard to expect fans to look at the two continental championships as being equivalent.
     
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  13. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Euros is always one month after their Nationals and at least 1 month before Jr Worlds / 1.5 month before Worlds. 4CCs isn't quite the same time wise, especially for NA skaters.

    With 2 more international championships so closely scheduled immediately after 4CCs, every week counts.

    As I said earlier, individual top skaters may have skipped once in a while, the trend is there: US, Canada, Japan and China now send their world team members to 4CCs, just like Euro nations send their world team members to Euros.
     
  14. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Europeans have more tradition. 4CC is fairly new, hence not the same amount of prestige. May be 20 years from now it would be a fair comparison.
     
  15. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Except European skaters compete at Euros in Olympic seasons, too, when the turnaround time between the two events isn't very big. As I noted earlier, the only top skaters who missed 2010 Euros were Delobel/Schoenfelder, and they had a very good reason for not being there.
     
  16. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    What was the reason ? ;)
     
  17. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

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    Lack of effective contraception a year earlier? :D

    They were not ready to compete so soon after she gave birth. I don't think they were ready at the Olympics, either. A pity.
     
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  18. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they were not ready, but I'm not sure it can be considered as better reason than "travel and time" reasons by some skaters about 4CC's.
    I understand those reasons, but the only "good reasons" are injuries. No ? ;)
     
  19. VarBar

    VarBar Well-Known Member

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    If I am not mistaken, Plushenko skipped 2002 Euros because his coach had changed his long program after Plushenko had been beaten by Yagudin at the Grand Prix Final and Mishin wanted Plushenko to stay home and learn his new program well for the Olympic Games. I would call this a strategic decision but I agree it's probably rare when you see strategic decisions from European skaters.

    Maybe it's true for Chan this season because I know from his statements that he wanted to meet with his choreographers and ask them to tweak his programs a little. But I'm not sure Chan was regrouping back in 2011 when he decided to skip 4CC as he was coming out of a brilliant Nationals with a flawless free skate. He said back then it would be very tiring for him to travel all the way to Taipei to compete at 4CC.
     
  20. DaiKozOda

    DaiKozOda Active Member

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    As far as I can remember (with the help of a few old vhs tapes :p), Plushenko was injuried and that's why Mishin thought it would be better to skip Euros in order to try to recover properly for the OG.
     
  21. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I have definitely seen European skaters skip Euros for slight injuries that they wouldn't skip Worlds for. There have also been times when skaters in certain rivalries were accused of skipping Euros so they wouldn't risk losing to their rivals prior to Worlds.

    So skaters certainly skip Euros for strategic reasons.

    As for going to NHK and CoC during the GP, the timing is completely different. For US skaters, going to those events usually means a Bye to Nationals because they conflict with most Sectionals. Going to 4CCs in an Asian country means being extra fatigued right before Worlds. It's a completely different equation.
     
  22. morqet

    morqet Active Member

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    Who were you thinking of? I can't think of anyone in recent years who has done that.
     
  23. umronnie

    umronnie Active Member

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    I wonder if the "strategy" would change if the ISU changed the way they calculate world and seasonal standing points. Winning Euros was worth 840 points for Fernandez. Coming 4th at worlds is worth 875 - and will override his Euro title. From the point-gathering standpoint it makes more sense to attend a senior B, as two of those count every year, than to attend Euros/4CC, whereas only your highest scoring place from both continental and global championships count. Crazy, isn't it?

    Now, I think winning a title is prestigious enough, but if you think you'll only come in 3rd or 4th then maybe it's not worth the bother...
     
  24. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    It wasn't that recent and it was an ice dance team. #1 and #2 were both from Europe like #1 and 2 are now from North America and it was pre-IJS so people believed there was more reputation judging and it was important to win Euros coming into Worlds. I can't remember the exact names of the teams involved. I'm sure someone else will though. FSU is good like that. :D

    The point is, all skaters pick their competitions according to strategy. Otherwise, they'd just all go to everything they were allowed to. They pick the ones that make the most sense based on their level of training, how much they expect the event to fatigue them, if they have nagging injuries they want to rest up, if they need to rearrange their programs, if their programs need more mileage in competitive situations, etc.

    4CCs is always going to see more skips because of it's timing and because it's bound to be harder to get to for more competitors than Euros but in recent years it does seem like the top competitors mostly do go to 4CCs most of the time and that's a big change from when it first was created and skaters like Tatiana Malinina won.

    Now is it better now than then? I think that depends on who you ask. I bet Tatiana Malinina was happy a lot of skaters who could have beat her skipped in 1999. :) Then again, I think Kevin Reynolds is happier now because his win means a lot more than it would if Hanynu, etc. hadn't been there.
     
  25. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

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    IMO, the fact that we have to rack our brains to come up with 1-2 examples of skaters opting out of Euros for purely strategic reasons in the past 10-15 years, whereas we can usually come up with a couple of examples of NA/Asian skaters doing so for 4CC every year, underscores the point that the skaters consider the 4CC less prestigious. The other example was Plushenko back in 2002 (which was officially cited as injury, whereas skaters like Kwan never felt they needed to claim injury to justify missing 4CC). I can think of FP&M skipping Euros in 2006 (they only did Italian Nationals and Olympics that season); Denkova & Staviski didn't go either, but I believe they cited illness or injury.

    On the opposite side, I can remember skaters going to Europeans under circumstances where they probably should've just skipped it for health reasons. I remember Gerboldt going to Europeans with a drain in her nose, and Shabalin getting back on the ice way too soon after surgery so he could go to Europeans.

    I agree with this, but it seems like 4CC is still one of the events that's first to get dropped from a packed schedule. A European skater who needs rest time would be far more likely to skip their Nationals and go to Euros while it would be almost unheard of for an NA skater to do this. Europeans is generally regarded by European skaters as the second most important competition in a non-Olympic year. 4CC is, IMO, regarded by North Americans as 3rd at best (after Nationals and Worlds), and possibly even behind GPF and SC/SA. Not sure about the Asian countries, but I think they might put it below GPF and Japanese Nationals.
    Malinina was actually 4th at 1999 Worlds behind Kwan and two Russians, so she wasn't actually that far down the ranks of 4CC.
     
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  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I think it shows I'm getting old. ;)

    But seriously I think most of the time when people withdraw from Euros they cite injuries but there have been many cases where those reasons have been questioned over the years and chalked up to strategy. Maybe it's not as acceptable to just say you aren't going to Euros as it is 4CCs but that isn't necessarily because one is more prestigious than the other.

    You talk about people missing their Nationals rather than Euros but that just can't happen in the US or Japan. You miss your Nationals in those countries and you don't get sent to 4CCs! The fields are too deep. In Europe, as was mentioned, there are countries that use Euros to pick their Worlds teams or that combine with other countries to have a decent Nationals and who invite skaters from other countries to their Nationals to make them more competitive. This completely changes the landscape which changes the strategy.

    I don't think that makes Euros more prestigious automatically. I think what makes a competition more prestigious is whether or not skaters boast of the title and how often they use it in their promotional materials or it's used to introduce them at a show. In that regard, I think Euros and 4CCs are now on an even playing field when they used to not be.
     
  27. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Exactly. For Euro nations with one or two elites at best in each discipline, Nationals almost means nothing as far as making Euros go. In the past 10 or so years, Jenna McCorkell was going to Euros as long as she wanted to go. Same for Kevin VDP or Elene G or Glebova etc. They almost work to peak at Euros and then later at Worlds with next to no consideration for Nationals.

    Ignoring Nationals is not an option for the top 4CCs nations due to depth of field. If you skip Nationals, your season is basically over (unless your history / season is good enough to justify a bye). So they need to peak at Nationals first and foremost, before even considering the rest of the season. The Russians are lucky because their Nationals is early. They never really had to make stratetgic decisions due to timing.
     
  28. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    I think you all kind of don't get that that it's not just about individuals skipping. Euros goes on fine even when the field is devoid of talent and horrible. What hurts 4CC so much, as someone mentioned, is that some events should be renamed "4 Countries" or perhaps "2 or 3 Countries." This makes the event seem not very prestigious or interesting, even when world champions and former world champions are in attendance. What is needed is more and stronger representation in all the disciplines from outside Japan, CAN, & USA.

    ETA: This is why Yu Na skipping or Pang/Tong skipping has a disproportionate effect on the competition. It makes the event look like a two or three country gathering. In ice dance, Uzbekistan is not even decent any more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
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  29. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Historically how much did Russian Nationals factor into Worlds team decisions? How much does it count for today?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  30. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    :lol:

    Diversity is one way to make a competition prestigious. High level participation is another. It's almost the per country rule argument :cheer:.

    4CCs occasionally features interesting, up and coming skaters from random nations like Tatyana Malinina, or Misha Ge, or Denis Ten, or Cheltzie Lee etc, too bad due to various reasons not many of them have really made it big. If they did, 4CCs would probably have been better regarded still. 4CCs is actually pretty well represented in the singles field, but yeah the strength is mostly in the top 4 countries. [On the flip side, as diversely represented as Euro is, it has also been dominated by Russia, France, Italy, German pair, Finnish ladies etc in recent years]

    As to high level participation, the only discipline where 4CCs is noticeably weaker to Euros in recent years is pairs, and that's because of the retirement / injury of the Chinese pairs. But then 4CCs has a much stronger dance field.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013