Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by maureenfarone, Jan 26, 2013.
I don't understand why your point of view is something you think the skaters should take into account The skaters you listed and I would add Katarina Witt to that list as another notable person, did so because they wanted to. The only person whose opinions count, is the skater, and possibly their coaches/team. The statement in bold answers your own question - it is their choice. Who are you to take their choice away from them?
Just because you don't get it, or it makes you sad, do you really think they should not be competing?
If it makes you sad, don't watch them?
AxelAnnie, how others live their lives; or spend their time and money isn't up to you.
You've made your feelings very clear.
You are kidding, right? I thought it was up to me. Geesh.
I was talking about how I view the situation. I hate watching people who have attained greatness slide down the other side of the hill. Simply my opinion.
As to taking up a slot.....who pays for these skaters to compete? If the skaters are subsidized by USFSA, and local clubs, wouldn't that money be better spent on up and coming skaters who need exposure? Actually, I don't know how that works, so it is just a question.
The funding point is moot, as Rachael is not getting any. Calm down and just let her skate. What's it to you?
There are 30 U.S. Ladies listed in USFS' International Selection Pool, and 21 currently have at least 1 international senior or junior assignment. 7 of 8 were Junior 6th or below or Novice 2nd-4th from 2013 Nationals and were not assigned to a JGP this year (ETA: I don't believe any of the 7 were "robbed" of a spot; Keiser originally was assigned to a JGP but reportedly withdrew due to injury. So my response to AxelAnnie's "wouldn't that money be better spent on up and coming skaters who need exposure?" is no in this case).
8 different U.S. ladies will compete in the Senior Grand Prix (14 slots total) - USFS pays for the 3 going to Skate America; the others received Grand Prix invitations from other federations (USFS pays for 1 coach per GP skater).
10 have received 1 Senior B assignment each, including Flatt; 9 have received at least 1 JGP assignment (14 slots total) - all expenses paid for by USFS.
Only Alissa Czisny of the ISP ladies who have previously competed as a senior internationally has not been assigned an international to date and I assume she may not be competition-ready yet.
Flatt currently is not listed in a Team USA funded envelope; however, she can be promoted to Team C if she medals at Cup of Nice.
In which case, I would say she deserves the funding just as much as any skater who medaled. The fact that she once was medaling at more prestigious events is irrelevant to me. If she does what she has to in order to qualify for the funding, she should get it.
In some other sports, there is more of a place for athletes who are past their prime but still want to compete. They have "masters" or "age group" or "silver" or other categories for those athletes. Having those categories really helps those sports too because enough people still want to see those athletes and interact with them and it brings attention to the sport. As an example, Julie Moss, who is famous for dragging herself across the finish line of the Ironman World Championships one year in the sort of "never give up" spirit that endurance sports are known for, now competes in Ironmans as an "age grouper."
People love it and don't think it's remotely 'sad.' She's not competing against the elite athletes any more because she isn't one but people in her age group can put themselves up against her and see how they rank. She can still win prizes and get sponsors. And, if she were to be as good as the elites, she could turn pro again if she still wanted that life for herself. But, she still has choices if she doesn't.
The closest thing that we have in skating is people like Midori Ito competing in the Adult track. It brings a lot of buzz to those competitions and she has fun and so do the other athletes who compete with her. It's only "sad" if you want it to be.
I'm baffled that anyone wants to do it at this level when they are not fully committed to it because of the massive cost of competing at this level in this sport. As for the argument that college athletes have the same pressures--not so much. Athletes competing for Stanford have access to a wealth of on campus resources for training and academic support that Rachel would not.
I also wonder if this girl will burn herself out by 25. That is not unheard of for high achievers and young millenial women seem to be particular vulnerable.
If Rachael were skating in Collegiate or Adult comps or some special oldtimers track nobody would question it at all and in fact she would bring enormous excitement to those comps. But to me she is focused on her own desires and not giving much thought to how she is representing either her sport or her country. She has already tried this combo of Stanford and competitive skating and it didn't go very well. I found her embarrassing to watch of late, frankly, and don't understand how she herself can be happy with what she put out there. (Although I admit her FS at 2012 Nats was a great flashback.) I truly respect Rachael's drive, brains, and positive spirit, but I would respect her character more if she said, You know what, I've already been a champion -- now I'm in the next phase of my life and I'm going to give an extra chance to one of those kids who's busting her butt for what I already had.
Johnny Weir showed the kind of pride I'm talking about when he withdrew in the middle of COR and from nats last season because he recognized he was not at the same level as his competition any more. http://johnnyscomebackgiftfund.com/...om-the-2013-u-s-figure-skating-championships/ He spoke and acted like a champion. That is where Rachael puzzles me. She treats competitive skating like a personal hobby. I'm sorry, but it's just not. Her attitude diminishes the sport. JMO.
Are you kidding me???? Her desire to compete "diminishes the sport???" Good grief, I will never understand why some posters here just take the attitude of "they aren't at the level they used to be, they won't medal" = washed up, lousy, have no right to even show up for the competition, but only for some skaters, not necessarily the ones that they personally favor. Rachel has every right to compete, she's not asking for special favors or to be placed in competitions she hasn't earned the place to be in from USFS. She isn't taking a spot from anyone else, what's the problem here? It seems that certain skaters who are not favored on this board (eg: Rachael, Evan) with previous success who are admittedly past their best skating days suddenly fit into the "go away, you shouldn't even by trying" category. Meanwhile, to use another example, Mirai Nagasu, whose work ethic sucks by her own admission and whose skating of the past few years just keeps going further downhill is still fervently claimed to be so brilliant and many here hope and pray she makes the Olympic team. (And before anyone screams, I've always been more of a Mirai fan than Rachael fan). Everyone has the right to compete within the scope USFS permits them. Period. And Spun, I'm not accusing you of bashing Rachael, I just think your comment about her attitude makes no sense considering how much she loves skating. She isn't everyone's cup of tea, but she still has a right and the fight to be in the mix, so I say go for it and skate!
No, I'm not kidding you. If Rachael is really skating for the love of skating, she can shine on the collegiate level or in shows. I am not talking about Rachael's rights, which I am not disputing, but the fact that other, younger skaters who hope for a future in the sport would benefit from her spot which she does not need -- she has only one way to go in skating, downhill!
As for the comparison with Mirai, the key point for me is that unlike Rachael, Mirai has not moved on. Taken some college courses, yes -- found a new career and established herself on the way there, no (AFAIK). She is one of many who are busting their butts in hopes of skating glory. I don't think Rachael has any thought of further skating glory. Please correct me if I am wrong. She is doing it for fun or as a personal challenge whereas for others their skating futures are on the line. Noblesse oblige.
Well if Rachael is such a terrible skater now, then Mirai should easily be able to beat her then. Same with the other folks who "skating futures are on the line."
FWIW, Rachel's Skate America scores, which were pretty terrible for her, already meet the technical minimums required for 4CC and the Olympics.
Those fabulous younger skaters can earn their spot by beating Rachael and every other competitor fair and square. I doubt judges are going to cut Rachael any breaks because of who she is; in fact, it will more likely go the other way, against her. I just get tired of the "whine and cheese" about skaters continuing to go on and "taking spots away" from those more deserving. (How many times did we hear complaints about Michelle Kwan continuing to compete because it was keeping Sasha Cohen from becoming National Champion, when the factor that kept Sasha from the championship was her continual habit of falling on her ass in freeskates). If they are more deserving and they are better, then let them compete and earn their spots.
Withdrawing in the middle of a competition is not something to be proud of, especially if you're attending at someone else's expense (in this case, the federation's). It's not as if doing so opens an opportunity for someone else instead.
Sometimes it's necessary if it is physically impossible to compete, but that's another story.
For anything short of international competition, i.e., regionals-sectionals-Nationals, it's on her own dime so for all practical purposes it absolutely is a personal hobby. Skaters who regularly make it to Nationals and get the attention of the international committee are just doing it at a much higher level than those who never get past regionals.
Representing the US at a senior B event is a step up from that, with somewhat greater responsibilities. But, based on Sylvia's breakdown above, who are you thinking is deserving of that opportunity and missing out because Flatt was given the assignment?
We're not talking about anything more than that yet. If Flatt comes out and qualifies for Nationals and skates well enough there to earn a top-6 placement, then she could be in line for a more prestigious assignment, but she's not going to be handed one at anyone else's expense without skating well enough to earn it.
What is the big deal that people are upset about this assignment?!?!? Siraj and Wang are on the JGP circuit, Ceasario has two GPs, Ashley Cain and Kiri Baga also have gotten senior B events, Hicks has a GP event and a senior B medal.... Who are all these "amazing talents" that Rachael is supposedly usurping to taking a spot in a rather minor Senior B competition?
I'm amazed at the number of people that are ragging on Rachael.. Obviosuly, $$ is not an issue for the Flatts otherwise her parents would've told her "enough already" and that's it. So, if they can pay for her to do what she is doing and she wants to skate, then so what? Good for her if she can do it all and be happy with her results! Geez.. Let the girl go out on her own terms; she will be done when she is ready.
This is a good point, but I was talking about a different kind of pride -- a high respect for the sport, oneself, and the fans that makes the athlete refuse (as far as possible) to go out on a low note. Obviously Johnny was mistaken about his competitiveness and he recognized it early in the season.
I don't necessarily agree with this. For most at the lower levels skating is a hobby. For some, the lower levels are the stepping stones to the elite level, and that is where the assignment of spots is angsty.
Well, my personal opinion is that someone like Polina Edmunds or Angela Wang would benefit greatly from a low-pressure senior B international assignment this year.
Polina Edmunds has had two great JGP competitions and has earned a spot to JGPF, which gives her a bye to Nationals. Angela will have the same opportunity to do so in her second event this week. They will also get more ranking points doing two JGP than a single Bs. That's why Josh and Jason have such high world ranking despite not doing a single senior competition.
Going to Senior B's allows JGP skaters to compete in front of senior judges and with international senior skaters, as well as getting mileage on a senior length program and levels on the last part.
In theory it would be nice for Edmunds or Wang to get to experience a Senior B this year. However, USFS already has paid for each of them to compete in 2 JGP assignments this fall and I think it would be hard to justify spending more from their international competition budget to give either of them an extra Senior B when both elected to compete internationally as juniors this fall.
I'm wondering how well you know skating at the lower levels to be able to generalize like this? (ETA: This sounds snarky but it's a genuine question I have.)
It's only massive if you want it to be. As far as I can tell, Rachel is being pretty low key about it. She choreographed her own programs so she saved herself a bunch of $$ there. I wouldn't be surprised if her costs are about even with her appearance fees at this point. Though I don't really see any evidence that she isn't committed to this equal to the level of her expenditure of time and money.
I'm sorry, but if that is your idea of 'refusing to go out on a low note,' you have your head so far up your ass that there isn't the slightly possibility of something intelligible coming out of there.
In answer to your first point, because they or others like them are the future of figure skating USA. And because Team USA's rivals, at least Russia in a big way, are doing it and giving their girls important senior experience.
In answer to your second point, your implied point that I don't know nuttin' about unseen lower level skating is perfectly correct. However, I was simply picking up, and partially taking issue with, Gkelly's statement that skating at any level below international competition is "absolutely" a personal hobby. I take Gkelly as an authority on all things skating... if not an "absolute" one. Please correct me if i am wrong about that. Still, it would have been more judicious of me to insert the word "perhaps." I am honored by your close reading of my argument.
i will bow out of this discussion now, having said my piece and answered enough critics IMO. Carry on.
Is this the same Rachael that had hidden her injury, didn't notify the committee, went to Worlds instead of letting the substitute a chance to compete at Worlds that year? And if I recall right, she did poorly causing US one spot in the following year?
Flatt was the one who got caught out for hiding an injury in 2011. However, the last time there were three US Ladies at Worlds was 2008, where Meissner, Liang, and Wagner placed 7th, 10th, and 16th and earned two spots for 2009, where Flatt finished 5th and Czisny 11th. In 2010, Nagasu placed 7th and Flatt 9th, earning two again. In 2011 Czisny placed 5th and Flatt placed 12th, almost the opposite of 2009.
Flatt was never part of a combination that lost a spot for US Ladies.
No, but she was not in condition to be at that competition, and she did not help win back a third spot. And hiding her injury was just not good sportsmanship.
If I recall correctly, the skaters have to declare prior to the start of the international season (when they fill out their federation's commitment to competing paperwork), the skaters have to declare if they are going to compete either at the Jr level or the Sr level internationally. I believe pairs still have the option of doing both? But not singles. So, with Flatt not having any assignments at the start of the international season when the initial JGP and SGP assignments were made, the skaters mentioned above...Edmunds and Wang, I am quite sure, did not take into consideration if Flatt was part of the puzzle this season. I am quite sure that they sat down with their coaches and families, looked at what their goals are for the season, both internationally and domestically, and decided what was best for them. So, if I am not mistaken, they are not eligible for a Sr B this autumn. Unless the rules changed in the last year or so.
Re: Weir w/d from the middle of an event, and not due to injury. Athletes know if they have achieved their goals in training and if they are prepared. So, either he needed to participate in the complete event (SP and LP) and deal with the consequences of being poorly prepared, or have not attended. IMO, it takes more guts to go thru a humbling experience and learn from the school of hard knocks than it does to walk half way thru the door, decide that you don't like what you see, and then turn around and leave. I can make the analogy to Ashley Wagner. She decided that she did not like the view where she was standing back in 2010 and 2011, and opened a new door and walked right thru. My two cents worth.
I think the 2008 team -- Meissner and Liang at least -- did a little better than how they had competed that year. It was Wagner who competed worse than how she competed all year. I think the 2010 team did okay at worlds too, with both making top ten.
The 2009, 2011 and 2012 teams had somewhat disappointing results--half of the team didn't make top ten.
After Mirai won bronze at 4CC in 2011, a Alissa-Mirai combination at worlds would have had a good chance at getting back the 3rd spot. [I thought Rachael was judged too lenient at nationals that year too].
When can we start blaming Flatt for the government shutdown?
This crap has been going on ever since she came on the scene. Long before "tibiagate". She is just not popular on FSU (she never was) - simple as that.
Rachael had the unfortunate problem of not being a long-limbed sylph like Alissa or at least a petite and elegant angel like Michelle or Kristi. She was a fireplug body type and more athletic than elegant; hell, I've known skaters who insisted she was "fat" when she was nothing of the kind. She just wasn't the aesthetically pleasing skater that other females in her generation were. So, she wasn't as deserving of praise or her accomplishments. And now, like Evan Lysacek, she's an over the hill skater who was lucky more than skilled, won medals and kudos that she didn't deserve, and she should just go away and not inflict herself on the skating world anymore. Like Evan, she is not popular here, so hearing about her now when her skills are not what they used to be is just a waste of time and ice according to some, which is really very sad. I wish her well, I hope she enjoys her season and whenever she goes out, goes out on her own terms, not those of fans who never cared for her in the first place.
I wonder what were the criteria that USFS used to pick skaters to Nice? It's almost like the gift/vacation for non contenders?? And we are talking about Olympic year and USFS are funding athletes for this event just for fun??....I can't see what will it do for US sending Flatt there. How did they pick her? Was it base on previous International or National result? Did she compete in any of those last year?? I thought the skaters had to perform well enough to earn the assignment?? I can see former Olympic or World gold medalists ( Evan or Yuna or Miki) could get free ride for assignments, but not sure about Flatt. I see no consistency in picking athletes by USFS....always a guessing game....
Hiding her injury was against USFS rules. She was hardly the first to do it, but she talked about it and was caught. It was a stupid thing to do, but the lesson is for skaters to hide injuries even more and not talk about it. I don't think she should have gone. I think she is old enough and smart enough not to have gone, but she was training under an influential coach with a track record of not caring about his skaters' injuries, and plenty of adults have buckled to demanding bosses in tough situations.
Yes, but who knows which Mirai would've shown up at '11 Worlds. It could just as easily have been splat city
Mirai had the worst long program of her life at 2010 worlds, and still beat Rachael by 8 points overall.
Did Rachael ever beat Mirai internationally, when they were skating in the same competition?
2008 Junior Worlds, 2008 Skate America, 2009 CoC - the first two by comfortable margins. They didn't skate in that many international events together as seniors.
I always thought that it was hypocritical how the USFSA went after Rachael when two years earlier Evan Lysacek was celebrated for winning Worlds despite having a stress fracture (which was not disclosed publicly in advance of the event). His risk paid off, hers didn't - but they did pretty much the same thing. If you send a message that it's OMG so brave to compete with injury, don't be surprised when it affects other people's choices and decisions.
I imagine Rachael understands what her prospects are for this season, and is skating because that's what she wants and loves. I hope things will go well for her.
Good for Rachael. I'm not sure what shape she'll be in after not competing for so long and having a heavy school schedule, but she's always seemed to be a hard worker with a good attitude and a good role model for younger skaters.
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