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  1. #1

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    Whatever happened to the World Skating Federation (aka WSF)?

    I vaguely remember after the 2002 Olympic pairs judging scandal some elite skaters, coaches and even ISU judges tried to form an alternative governing body to replace the ISU.

    I remember there were some big names behind this movement like Scott Hamilton, Dick Button, Kristi Yamaguchi, etc...mostly North American if I recall correctly.

    Anyway, I was just wondering whatever happened to this effort? Obviously, they were not successful in ousting the ISU, but did it even make an impact at all?

    I remember it was big news at the time, but it seemed to fade pretty quickly from public consciousness to where I barely remember the circumstances surrounding it.

    Can anyone jog my memory?

  2. #2
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMoRf-RPssQ

    Link to part of the press conference associated with the attempt to develop the WSF. Unfortunately, the effort failed due to lack of full support from USFS, as well as apparently not having garnered enough support from other federations. Also, I think there was a complete lack of understanding of just how difficult the undertaking would be, and how it would backfire.

    The points made by Dick Button in the above link remain absolutely on target. However, I doubt anyone is eager to challenge the ISU. It will take a lot of people in the skating world, including skaters (I mean those who are now retired well-known and lesser known), coaches, officials, and a groundswell of support from fans and from all federations before anything will happen to help figure skaters gain majority decision-making control over their own sport. The IOC seems to have no understanding of the complexities involved in how the sport of figure skating is organized, and how it has hurt the sport, nor does the IOC seem to care. The IOC currently seems to be fully on board with the ISU -- perhaps because both are antiquated institutions, largely helmed by males over the age of 65, who grew up in the early part of the 20th century, when Victorian modes of thinking were still rampant?

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the recap and insight aftershocks.

    I wonder if anyone who supported WSF suffered negative repercussions long-term from the ISU. I'm sure it was a huge political risk to go against them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DBZ View Post
    I wonder if anyone who supported WSF suffered negative repercussions long-term from the ISU. I'm sure it was a huge political risk to go against them.
    Those who openly supported WSF, for the most part, were kicked out of the ISU. If you want, take a look at this link and the ISU's statements on Eligibility for the seven people listed including Stapleford, Pfenning, and Lindgren.

    Those who lost ISU eligibility (meaning, these former ISU officials can no longer officiate at ISU events) included Ronald Pfenning (USA, member of the Singles and Pairs Technical Committee, Referee of the pairs event at the 2002 Olympics), Sally Anne Stapleford (GBR, chair of the Singles and Pairs Technical Committee until 2002), Britta Lindgren (SWE, member of the Singles and Pairs Technical Committee), Judit Furst Tombor (HUN), Janet Garden (CAN), and Jon Jackson (USA judge). Only Donald McKnight (AUS), who openly supported WSF, but then later "dissociated himself from the WSF" was not kicked out.

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    After reading Jon Jackson's sad, distorted, and heavily biased and factually bogus book, I am very glad the WSF never went anywhere if he was to be one its principal leaders. And Paul Wylie who is one of the most biased and awful commentators ever would probably be nearly as bad as a "leader" for figure skating, as much as I liked him as a skater. The leaders of this initial group were all American, so probably would have been even more biased and perhaps corrupt as the ISU.

    I would like to see a group overhaul the ISU someday. Not this particular one though.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 04-26-2011 at 09:06 AM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    After reading Jon Jackson's sad, distorted, and heavily biased and factually bogus book, I am very glad the WSF never went anywhere if he was to be one its principal leaders. And Paul Wylie who is one of the most biased and awful commentators ever would probably be nearly as bad as a "leader" for figure skating, as much as I liked him as a skater. The leaders of this initial group were all American, so probably would have been even more biased and perhaps corrupt as the ISU.

    I would like to see a group overhaul the ISU someday. Not this particular one though.
    I disagree with you about Wylie. I think he'd be the ideal leader for figure skating and is a superb commentator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopysnake View Post
    I disagree with you about Wylie. I think he'd be the ideal leader for figure skating and is a superb commentator.

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