Yes, book rate.
"'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney
The media was a big part of the reason for the changes happening in the first place, if I understand it correctly.
I don't know any more details, unfortunately. We'd have to ask Skate Canada.
As Morry Stillwell posted, less money from entry fees is probably a factor as well.
TLDR version: Unless skaters aren't given opportunities to at least perform at the big events, skating programs in smaller countries are never going to develop.
Because I think what is going to happen now is ISU Council pushing higher minimum scores behind everybody's backs so that ISU Championships can happen at all.
There isn't enough time to let everybody skate SP/SD.
So there doesn't seem to be any other solution now, other than drastically cutting the number of the skaters who can actually compete.
The following changes have been passed today:
- Novice maximum age for Singles lowered by 1 year
- Novice maximum age for Pairs/Dance lowered to 'not have yet reached 15/17'
- Senior minimum age is now 15 for all events (so no more 14 year olds at the GP; Lipnitskaya will have to return to the JGP)
A lot of feds are going to be pissed off about the Novice changes, once again, not particularly well played.
I wish they'd go back to the rule that Junior Worlds medalists are exempted from the age qualification requirements for senior competition, or at least that the Junior World Champions were.
Aren't the changes effective starting 2014?
Thanks for the update, Ziggy.
Alexander Gorshkov says they are:
Initially, minimum age limitations were to come into force immediately. But we made an amendment that it starts in 2014 as well.