^^ I'm not sure what you mean by "lacks spine in competition." IMO, no one who makes it to the top levels of this sport "lacks spine," either in competition or off the ice. Perhaps you are fooled by Alyssa's sweet smile and angelic grace, but she's one tough cookie. Otherwise, there's no way she could have made it through last season suffering from the frustrations of a physical ailment that she wasn't even aware of until the disastrous end of her season. And, without steely determination and courage, there's no way she could have come back from that injury, the surgery, and the intensive training that was required to skate again the way she was skating earlier this month before she suffered the hip dislocation in competition. To the contrary of what some non-fans of the sport think, figure skating is NOT for sissies nor for people who "lack spine in competition." It's quite normal to experience nervousness in competition. And often the measure of success in figure skating depends upon an athlete's ability to make their nerves work for them in a good way.