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  1. #61

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    I'm usually a very empathetic person, but I am still really mad at the fiasco with Rachel. I don't think it is at all heroic to show up and try to slob your way through such high level competition when we have so many other girls who are healthy and could have skated much better. Surely USFS had alternates visas. Since USFS headquarters is about 2 miles down the road from where team Rachel trains, it is unbelievable that no monitoring was going on. USFS just seems to have checked out of their active management/oversight of the state of the US team. I also don't think I am gonna look at Rachel in the same light anymore....seems many fans are pissed!

  2. #62

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    I find it hard to believe that Team Flatt knew the extent of the injury and actively hid it from USFS. It's very possible that they simply did not think it would impact her that much.

    Think about it, having only two spots hurts Team Flatt as much as it hurts everyone else. Next year, if she skates, Flatt could very well find herself with the bronze at Nats and the odd girl out. Obviously, if she knew how bad her foot was, she should have WD but I'm of the mind that she really did not know.

  3. #63

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    The difference between Rachael's injury and Michelle's, Evans, Shen's is that Michelle, Evan, and Shen were still able to skate well. Athletes DO compete injured all the time, and so I have no issue with athletes competiting injured.

    However, if your going to compete injured, when you have healthy teammates who can replace you and do a good job at it. You shouldn't use the injury excuse if you skate poorly.

    Its obviously Rachael's injury was bad enough to the point where she couldn't skate well. I mean if she was contemplating leaving out the 3lutz.

    It is hard to known if there was enough time to get a replacement. But if there was MEH. On Team Flatt for this crap. At the very least they shouldn't have mentioned the injury at all because how did they think the USFSA or US figure skating fans would feel about Rachael competiting in that poor of a condition when we had healthy athletes at home.

    I will say this I don't see the big deal about the GPF because she was only competiting for herself there. And if it was the Olympics, I'd have less issue too frankly because thats a once in a lifetime thing and she's not earning spots for the US there. (The only time I feel differently about the Olympics is when someone wins a spot based on a petition. IF you get a spot to the Olympics based on a petition and not Nationals than if you are still injured and not up to the standards that earned you the petition you should withdraw. It was absolutely wrong of Todd Eldridge to not withdraw in 92, when he knew full well he wasn't at the level that won him World Bronze. And he knew full well that he wouldn't beat Mitchell head to head.

    Michelle in contrast was right to withdraw in favor of Emily.
    But if an athlete earns a spot at the Olympics fair and square, and skates injured there I don't have as much of a problem because it doesn't affect USFSA's long term future. Skating injured at Worlds does.

  4. #64

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    Rachel's situation aside. I find it odd that the US doesn't bring the first alternate as a matter of course. After all, people do get injured or sick in the few days leading up to an event. My rinky-dink golf team brings the first alternate to every away match, just in case.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Really View Post
    OMG, I cannot believe the vitriol I'm seeing thrown at this young woman! You'd think that having three entries in ladies every year is a God-given right or something with the way some people are reacting! C'mon, people! She didn't drown kittens!

    Athletes compete injured. Gameday is gameday. It happens. She went out and did the best she could. It's unfortunate it wasn't up to some people's standards, but shit happens. No one except Rachael and the people closest to her know what really happened (no, not even Phil himself), so all this haranguing is rather pointless -- and just plain mean and nasty.

    /rant off
    Perfectly said. This entire situation is REALLY being analyzed over the top, and we barely know anything about it. I don't care for her skating, but Flatt earned her spot here. And we know hardly anything about the circumstances regarding her injury.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Rachel's situation aside. I find it odd that the US doesn't bring the first alternate as a matter of course. After all, people do get injured or sick in the few days leading up to an event. My rinky-dink golf team brings the first alternate to every away match, just in case.
    I totally agree with this; especially with the change in venue and date. The first alternate should be on all the practice ice and getting used to the time changes. Whether or not Rachael toughed it out, there was a pattern here in the GPF.
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

  7. #67
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    I don't blame Rachael. I blame the USFS who has pushed her down our throats as some perky, brainy, AP'd to death, girl next door. I blame the judges at Nationals that consistently hype her with their marks. She is not in any LEAGUE near Nagasu, even if Nagasu UR's half her jumps. It's like comparing Tiffany Chin and Claudia Leistner back in the 80s. Under no circumstance really should Leistner ever beat Chin. Ever.

    As for skating injured, my take on it is that Rachael is not going to compete again, and she wanted this one last Worlds. Selfish? Yeah. But she earned her spot, miraculously.

    I'm willing to cut her some slack, so long as I never have to see her compete with her fakey Betty Boopy yet angsty performances. Total dreckitude.

    Good luck Rachael on your new life at Stanford. You will be very successful in whatever field you choose. Success breeds success and you will find it rather easily I imagine.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagerboy View Post
    This bit with Rachael is just frustrating... [Her team knew about her problems] but they continued on. And the USFSA should be ashamed of themselves for the way they push Rachael down folks throats. I hate when they get on a skaters bandwagon and then do what ever they can to make sure the world loves her. I'm sorry, but while Rachael is a nice girl, she doesn't have the qualities that many people enjoy in skating. It doesn't make a difference of how you tell her to dress or to cut her hair, them trying to make her fit in actually did more damage IMO...
    As far as Mirai, I believe she was in Canada working on her new programs.
    ^ This ITA!

    For those who feel this is vilification, perhaps we are rubbing it in here, and we would not enjoy having people do the same to us under similar circumstances, but when you are in the public eye in a high profile sport, people will talk and say all kinds of things, warranted or unwarranted. In this instance, however, let's face it: Rachael and her team had the opportunity right after the Olympics to make the decision for her to appreciate what she'd accomplished in skating and move forward with her life. I ask, Why was it necessary to push for another year??? Especially with a nagging injury??? Why the (jury still out) makeover??? Rachael did not skate that well at Nationals, so why was she conveniently put in second over Mirai??? Even with Mirai's mistake in her Nats lp, her skills are still so absolutely superior to Flatt's. For goodness sake, Mirai was in first place in the sp at Worlds last year. Yes, she didn't hold up in the long, and we didn't garner 3 spots, but why not stick more solidly behind skaters who have the blazing talent rather than trying to rehab and push those with middling talent? So what it worked with Evan -- he has more skills and intensity than Flatt, and he also has a better coach who in fact deserves the most credit. Hey, pointer, Frank is also Mirai's coach and with time and support and the opportunity to continue going out there on the Worlds stage [instead of being held back in favor of a less gifted skater], Mirai is the better bet, IMHO. And of course, coming up are also Zawadski and Gao. Some may be down on Ashley Wagner, but I would have picked her over Flatt to go to the 2010 Olympics. It has hurt Ashley's progress as a skater that she hasn't had the opportunity to compete on the biggest stages at this time in her career.

    Again, I'm not jumping on Rachael just because of what happened in Moscow. I believe her talents peaked a long time ago. I haven't been a fan of her skating for several years now. Mainly what she had going for her was her consistency -- and if she's been dealing with an off-and-on injury this season, again I ask, "Why push her to go to Worlds? What did anyone expect her to accomplish there beyond 5th to 7th place or lower, even at her fullest strength?"

  9. #69
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    Oh come on, anyone who is criticizing Rachael for her decision just wanted Mirai to go instead, no matter what the reason. A lot of skaters skate hurt. She won her spot fair and square at US Nationals, and Mirai didn't deliver. As long as she can still skate, she should be able to go and shouldn't be criticized for it! Mirai may have went and had a total meltdown; no one really knows. I don't hate Mirai but I think this is completely ridiculous.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post
    I don't blame Rachael. I blame the USFS who has pushed her down our throats as some perky, brainy, AP'd to death, girl next door. I blame the judges at Nationals that consistently hype her with their marks. She is not in any LEAGUE near Nagasu, even if Nagasu UR's half her jumps. It's like comparing Tiffany Chin and Claudia Leistner back in the 80s. Under no circumstance really should Leistner ever beat Chin. Ever.

    As for skating injured, my take on it is that Rachael is not going to compete again, and she wanted this one last Worlds. Selfish? Yeah. But she earned her spot, miraculously.

    I'm willing to cut her some slack, so long as I never have to see her compete with her fakey Betty Boopy yet angsty performances. Total dreckitude.

    Good luck Rachael on your new life at Stanford. You will be very successful in whatever field you choose. Success breeds success and you will find it rather easily I imagine.
    LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS POST

  11. #71
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    ^^ Ditto!

    Yes blue_idealist, lots of people don't like Rachael's skating (but not all of us are blaming her for that) ... and yes a lot of us prefer Mirai's skating and would have preferred seeing Mirai perform at Worlds. Yeah, Mirai could have had another meltdown, but also maybe she's learning too (and possibly by leaving her back, she's lost momentum). She performed well at 4CC. The main thing is, how can anyone argue against the fact that Mirai has loads more talent as a skater than Rachael? By investing so much in Rachael and pushing her so hard this season, knowing she was not at full strength, what did USFS and her team hope to accomplish? If you only have 2 spots, why not send skaters with the best talent? Rachael did not perform that well at Nationals. If Rachael had actually delivered her long program at Nationals much better than Mirai, I would be less critical. The fact is, Rachael did not, but USFS saw fit to put her in second anyway -- they were bound to after putting so much time and effort into the unsuccessful makeover. That's the gist of my criticism, and not the fact of how Flatt performed in Moscow. What's so surprising about her performance there when everyone knew (apparently) that she was dealing with an off-and-on injury. Even at full strength, she would not have landed higher than 6th or 7th. I'd take my chances with a younger and more gifted Mirai, anyday!

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    What did anyone expect her to accomplish there beyond 5th to 7th place or lower, even at her fullest strength?
    I get the feeling that Team Flatt expected to accomplish quite a bit more. I remember reading an early season article in which Tom Z claimed that one of Rachael's goals this year was to be on the World podium. Let's also not forget the "the judges think Rachael has the best SP in the World" comments. It's clear that they want more than what Rachael is realistically able to accomplish, even at her best.

    Honestly, I think Rachael (and most skaters, for that matter) believes she's capable of a lot more than she actually is, which may be why she competed when she really shouldn't have. I'm not saying it's arrogance, but more just a strong desire to fulfill a dream, probably combined with a lot of praise and eagerness from her coach, parents, ect.

    Of course that's purely speculation, but it's something I sense from a lot of skaters, especially Team Flatt.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    The principle is not about the 3 spots obviously.

    If you're injured, step aside and let your healthy teammate replace you.

    Not to mention that if I was a coach, I wouldn't let my skaters compete injured because their health is more important than short term results.
    Who says Mirai was ready to go? Wasn't she at the beach this time last year?

  14. #74
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    Well, podium finish as a goal for Flatt is not unreasonable. At her current state (well, ok, the state she was in before the injury popped up), I would think she would be hard-pressed to do so without help from many of the more talented skaters above her, but it's definitely not an impossible task. (Hughes? Meissner? Anyone?)

    I actually expected Flatt to be marked a bit lower in the SP, but the thing about her is- once the jumps are gone, there's little left. We've seen this phenomenon before with a few other skaters.

    I never tell a skater directly to retire- but I think she has a promising career ahead of her in another field. She seems to be dedicated to getting a quality education, and it might be a good break for her to let those injuries heal up a bit.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    ^^ Ditto!

    Yes blue_idealist, lots of people don't like Rachael's skating (but not all of us are blaming her for that) ... and yes a lot of us prefer Mirai's skating and would have preferred seeing Mirai perform at Worlds. Yeah, Mirai could have had another meltdown, but also maybe she's learning too (and possibly by leaving her back, she's lost momentum). She performed well at 4CC. The main thing is, how can anyone argue against the fact that Mirai has loads more talent as a skater than Rachael? By investing so much in Rachael and pushing her so hard this season, knowing she was not at full strength, what did USFS and her team hope to accomplish? If you only have 2 spots, why not send skaters with the best talent? Rachael did not perform that well at Nationals. If Rachael had actually delivered her long program at Nationals much better than Mirai, I would be less critical. The fact is, Rachael did not, but USFS saw fit to put her in second anyway -- they were bound to after putting so much time and effort into the unsuccessful makeover. That's the gist of my criticism, and not the fact of how Flatt performed in Moscow. What's so surprising about her performance there when everyone knew (apparently) that she was dealing with an off-and-on injury. Even at full strength, she would not have landed higher than 6th or 7th. I'd take my chances with a younger and more gifted Mirai, anyday!
    I want to understand where you are coming from. You indicate that USFS pushed her to second? Please explain this because it was my understanding that the judges at US nationals fairly judged and Flatt came out second? Your comments make me wonder if their are some politics going on with judges and Tom Z? Can you explain your comment more openly, because I have been bothered by some of Agnes scores as well, for instance per PCS scores at Nationals, vers someone like Gao who also had a fall. I started this thread because I was upset after reading Phils multiple questions in his Tweeting about "who allowed her to skate hurt?" And I still wonder how you can have a team effort when members of the team act this way, and think some of you are protecting Flatt, but she is a member of a team call the USA, and I for one want to be proud of that team. The remarks above bring up other unsettling thoughts which I hope aren't true.

  16. #76

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    I think its perfectly fair to ask questions about why Rachael skated here. (Although some benefit of the doubt perhaps too needs to be given.)

    But I must say its absolutely ridiculous and wrong to hate Rachael for not retiring. Its Rachael's career/skating. She's given years of her life to it, and she's only 17/18 (still pretty young). Its her life and career and she should be able to skate as long as she wants too. PERIOD. Its not Rachaels fault the other US ladies have their issues. And yes Mirai DOES have her issues.

    I don't think that the USFSA backed Rachael due to some great love for her. As much as they backed her because of some concerns about a Mirai/Alissa team. Both can be very hot/cold skaters, and in the case of Mirai, there are talks about lack of discipline. I think it may have been more of a "get it together" message to Mirai. Which frankly may be what Mirai needed.

  17. #77
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    Re RockTheTassel:
    Yeah, I would agree with your assessments, RockTheTassel. Nothing wrong with desire and going after a dream. But, duh ... USFS judges getting behind it also 100%. International judges had already shown they would reward Mirai at her best with a podium position, and that their assessment of Flatt was 5th place at most, at her best. Lots of falling and subpar performances among the top skaters in the world would have had to happen for the remotest possibility of Flatt overachieving beyond 5th place. Who didn't realize this?

    While I'm very happy for Ryan and was pulling for him, and I'm glad he won Nationals, dreaming about "hardware" at Worlds was also a reach for him, even with the field reduced of veterans. Might have been better for Ryan to have stayed more low key in his comments and have worked harder on bringing his charisma to the ice along with his quads. I say this, and I love Ryan. So, you are spot on RTT about "strong desire ... and eagerness" leading us to hope for overachieving. At least in Ryan's case, USFS may have thought consistency on his quads would help him overachieve at Worlds, plus he wasn't going in with an injury. I think Ross and Richard performed great under pressure at their first Worlds, and were simply not favored in the marks. It's a political game at Nationals and at Worlds -- so nothing that happens should be too surprising.

    Fans have opinions and they will talk, which should not be surprising either. No one is hating on Rachael -- a lot of people have praise for her as a person. I felt sorry for her watching her skate, but she's young, resilient, and has a great life ahead of her. It is my opinion that her team and USFS erred in pushing her for more this year. It would be very different, if there weren't more talented skaters like Mirai in particular, as well as Ashley, Zawadski and Gao having to take a back seat. But that's figure skating.

    Re ProgramerUSFS:
    How new are you to the sport? I felt at Nationals that Rachael was overscored for a supbar performance in the lp. Mirai had glitches in the lp, but her talent as well as her programs are far superior to Rachael's IMHO. If Rachael had actually performed her lp as well as she did in 2010, I would have said okay, Mirai foolishly blew her chances and that's that. However, Rachael, IMO, did not perform well either -- so on the basis of performance, talent, skating skills, potential possibilities at Worlds, my bet would be on Mirai. USFS had already invested in their makeover of Rachael, therefore, knowing there were only 2 spots, they went with Rachael and felt justified because Mirai had slightly faltered -- they ignored a lot of things --mainly the fact Rachael had lesser talent and a nagging injury.

    There are all kinds of instances in the long history of this sport of manipulation and politics. A really good, well-researched and unbiased book should be written about the politics and manipulation that are so much apart of this sport that longtime fans accept it as a matter of course. I doubt that such a book will be written anytime soon, but it would sure shed some needed light on the subject.

  18. #78

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    Sigh....

    No telling what Mirai would have done. But I can't imagine Frank Carroll would let a Worlds team alternate stop training until the cutoff point, whenever that was.

    And if you are getting an MRI 6 days before worlds start, when it is probably too late to get the alternate a VISA in time for her to arrive for official practices, it must be a really serious injury, or your team is just lining up your excuse.

    Athletes at this level will go until they can't, so no one should rely on Rachael or any other athlete to withdraw themself.

    But Tom Z. has some 'splaining to do.

    I've always been a bit dubious of Team Flatt's injury excuses. Without knowing, what can we really know? But the injury excuses always pop up to explain her shortcomings and her poor performances, like clockwork, as if to assure judges that poor skating is an injury related aberration. If it's true, that the injuries are overemphasized, well this time that practice bit them in the butt. But if they are real injuries, what the heck is she doing on the ice? I'm thinking about the bulging disks more than the foot.

    Oh, and when I had a stress fracture, it was preceded by 6 weeks of "tendonitis." A lot of times, tendonitis is just code for "pain that doesn't warrant any kind of imaging."


    It's enough to make me wish USFSA had Martha Karolyi whispering in their ear about "showing readiness". Aww, heck, at the least they should have used 4CCs before they named the 2nd and 3rd spots in disciplines where they had no clear designee.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  19. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rottie View Post
    Why wouldn't first alternates, or for that matter all alternates, get visas just in case? After all, being an alternate means possibly having to make the trip on short notice.
    I think the "1st Alternate" should always go to Worlds; in case one of the others cannot skate, they are there, and prepared to perform.
    Otherwise, there is no point in naming/having them.

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    Wow. I just watched the free skate finally. I didn't see what everyone else claims to have seen. I see a kid who was in obvious pain, fighting for everything.

    With Mirai's history of inconsistency, mental lapses and meltdowns, why is everyone insisting that she would have been the better choice?

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