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  1. #1
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    Tamar Katz: An Olympic Qualifier, but Not in Israelís Eyes (article)

    New York Times article today: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/sp...0olympics.html
    “If the Israeli Olympic Committee is concerned I’ll place last in the Olympics, they don’t have to worry — even if I don’t skate my best, I can place in the top 20,” Katz said in a telephone interview. “I am not talking about a medal, because it is not just about medals, it is also about representing your country with honor and respect.”
    Jan. 19, 2010 NY Times article on the Zaretskys that also mentions the Katz situation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/sp...s/19skate.html
    Last edited by Sylvia; 01-30-2010 at 08:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    New York Times article today: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/sp...0olympics.html

    Jan. 19, 2010 NY Times article on the Zaretskys that also mentions the Katz situation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/sp...s/19skate.html
    The story has also been picked up by the Israeli media, which usually ignores skating. There's a Facebook group as well, and it looks like she's gotten some support from other skaters.

    Katz does have a shot at reversing this decision - there was an Israeli swimmer who managed to get a ticket to Beijing at the last moment, after many appeals. I hope she will be able to skate in Vancouver. She won't finish in the top half, but she earned her spot and deserves to go.

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    I really hope that she can go, she has qualified on her own right.

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    edit
    Last edited by agalisgv; 01-30-2010 at 09:14 PM.

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    i hate when federations do this to their athletes.

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    Aww they should let her go. Its an accomplishment to even earn a spot at the Olympics.

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    She's a very good quality skater (eh...aside from the jumps) and I'd love to see her participate in Vancouver.

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    I bet Naomi Syken must be doing a happy dance !

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    Thanks for the article, very unfair (IMO) not to let her skate. And per Katz's statement (and I don't think she would place last either), but honestly, what would be the big deal (from the federation p.o.v.) if Katz does end up in last place?
    I mean obviously federations want their skaters to do well, but I don't see what the big deal would be to send her to the Olympics.

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    Despite what the article said, I do wonder if this isn't a money thing. From what I understand, most Olympic sports are severely underfunded in Israel, and I think that's particularly the case for women's sports. If so, allocating very scarce resources could require some tough choices being made.

    On a separate note, I didn't understand why Katz would say this:
    If the Israeli Olympic Committee is concerned I’ll place last in the Olympics, they don’t have to worry — even if I don’t skate my best, I can place in the top 20,” Katz said in a telephone interview. “
    I don't believe Katz has every cracked the top 20 in a Worlds competition. I'm not sure why she thinks she could do that at the Olympics with a less-than-best skate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lulu View Post
    Thanks for the article, very unfair (IMO) not to let her skate. And per Katz's statement (and I don't think she would place last either), but honestly, what would be the big deal (from the federation p.o.v.) if Katz does end up in last place?
    I mean obviously federations want their skaters to do well, but I don't see what the big deal would be to send her to the Olympics.
    Costs can be an issue, for example. Many countries' NOCs have some additional internal criteria which have to apply to all olympic sports. If they send Katz now, they may have to also send a plethora of swimmers/runners/rowers etc. in 2012 who will have qualified by the international bodies' rules but will just be not have any chance to compete. Depending on how much money the Israeli NOC has, this might be of serious concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mazzy View Post
    Costs can be an issue, for example. Many countries' NOCs have some additional internal criteria which have to apply to all olympic sports. If they send Katz now, they may have to also send a plethora of swimmers/runners/rowers etc. in 2012 who will have qualified by the international bodies' rules but will just be not have any chance to compete. Depending on how much money the Israeli NOC has, this might be of serious concern.
    Thanks for the explanation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by footwork View Post
    I bet Naomi Syken must be doing a happy dance !
    Ah poor Jenna Syken, who never actually competed at any competition.

    As for Tamar, she didn't manage to place 20th at Euros, with a skate much better than her usual bombfest, I wonder how she thinks she could easily do so at Olympics.

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    Katz said she had a viral infection a couple weeks before Euros so was off the ice for two weeks before competing--that's why she says she placed so badly. Thing is she really hasn't progressed in the standings over the years, and in fact has gone down the past two or three. To me it looks like she has already peaked and will likely not do better than she already has.

    Now, in an Olympic year some top competitors sit out Worlds afterwards, and if that happens this year she may move up a bit from the twenty-somethings. But without people sitting out, I don't see her moving up in the standings at all.

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    I don't think it really matters where she will place. She earned the spot. Isn't the Olympic spirit about competing and representing your country in the eyes of the rest of the world?

    I can't believe the costs are that great. Housing is in the Olympic village; I suspect the clothing for the opening ceremonies is sponsored; and there are probably sources for skating-specific costs like practice ice. I would bet, with the publicity, that a sponsor or sponsors would probably help her fulfill her Olympic dream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    I don't think it really matters where she will place. She earned the spot. Isn't the Olympic spirit about competing and representing your country in the eyes of the rest of the world?
    I was only commenting on her statement in the article that she was sure even with a subpar performance on her part that she would place in the top 20 at the Olympics.

    I'm guessing part of the costs associated with going to the Olympics is security. I believe the Mossad or Shin Bet accompanies all Israeli competitors--not sure who picks up the tab for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    Katz said she had a viral infection a couple weeks before Euros so was off the ice for two weeks before competing--that's why she says she placed so badly. Thing is she really hasn't progressed in the standings over the years, and in fact has gone down the past two or three. To me it looks like she has already peaked and will likely not do better than she already has.
    Wasn't she injured for almost all of last season, though? I don't think she'll ever contend for the top ten (well, maybe at Euros ) but she's not bad.

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    I'm not saying she's bad at all--just that, for whatever reason, her place in international standings has dropped over the past 2-3 years. She's never been in the top 20 at Worlds ever, and she's gone from placing 13 at Euros in 2007 to 21 this year. She never did better at Euros than in 2007. In 2006 she placed 2 at Golden Spin, but in 2009 she placed 5 at the same comp.

    I can't think of any instance where her standings have improved from 2006-7. That doesn't make her a bad skater at all. It may mean she's peaked though.

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    I vote for letting her go (not that anyone cares what I think ). This is probably her last opportunity for her to represent her country in the Olympics. Even if she finished last, so what? Someone has to finish last anyway.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    As for Tamar, she didn't manage to place 20th at Euros, with a skate much better than her usual bombfest, I wonder how she thinks she could easily do so at Olympics.
    Well I would say Tamar deserved to be in the top 20. How that piece-of-dog-crap-on-ice Gozeva was ahead of her in the SP is completely beyond me...

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