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  1. #1

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    The pewter medalist at US Nats

    How do you all feel about it?

    I know it's an old tradition at US Nationals, but I dislike it intensely. A podium is gold, silver and bronze: I think we all know that. I suppose if a skater has a personal pinnacle of success by placing 4th at US Nationals, it's sort of a nice moment. But for most skaters, standing on that 4th "podium spot" is not a pleasant experience.

    To my knowledge, no other country has such a tradition and you certainly don't see it at international events. What's the point?
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

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    I don't think Ashley Wagner has any complaints.

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    I agree that 4th place is a bit of a "Jesus can s*** it moment," but post 1999, at least skaters are assigned competitions like Four Continents.

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    Ah the bridesmaid medal. Up close it looks like a piece of cement.

    Elaine Zayak was thrilled to get hers in 94 though. And doesn't Jenny Kirk have like 3 of them?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I don't think Ashley Wagner has any complaints.
    I don't think Joshua Farris does either.

    (Actually, it was possibly one of the most fun moments of last year's Nationals - his delighted gasp and grin when he realised he was going to stand on that podium.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    To my knowledge, no other country has such a tradition and you certainly don't see it at international events. What's the point?
    I never gave it much thought but I don't see anything negative about awarding a pewter medal at Natls.
    Not sure if I see a point in getting rid of it and for sure I see no point in trying to be like everybody else.
    Last edited by MrLucky; 02-03-2014 at 01:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateboy View Post
    What's the point?
    I have always thought the "point" was because in the qualifying structure 4 people move up from regionals and 4 from sectionals- so there is a medal for them; since it doesn't make sense for a non-medalist to move on. Because they do it the whole rest of the qualifying structure, it makes sense to also give a pewter medal at nationals.

    At least at nationals they make a 4 position podium; a lot of time at regionals/sectionals (maybe not all...) the pewter medalist stands to the side.

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    I think its nice and makes the podium photos more interesting to look at. US Nationals is such a hard competition to do well at, I'm glad more people get medals.

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    I like the fourth place medalist. Most of the time that person skated their best to get there, and it is nice to see them on the podium. That is one of the few things I appreciate about the USFSA's recognition of the fourth place finisher. I wish there was room for fifth place on the podium.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    I agree that 4th place is a bit of a "Jesus can s*** it moment," but post 1999, at least skaters are assigned competitions like Four Continents.
    U.S. skaters were assigned to internationals before they started giving pewter medals, which was only in the early to mid 90s. Ashley Wagner would have gotten the Olympic spot regardless of whether she got a medal. It's nice for the unexpected fourth-place finishers.

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    I love that more people get to stand on the podium. There are sports like swimming and gymnastics where so many medals of each color are given out...but for figure skating there are only 4, even with the pewter. Someone like Josh Farris who worked hard and skated great gets to stand on a podium...I think that's great! I wish the international governing bodies would see the error of their ways and reward pewter medals like we do in the US

    Sure if you are established like Ashley Wagner and you were aiming for Gold, the pewter is a big dissapointment. But the truth is she would be disappointed with her placement and skating regardless of whether she stood on the podium. Yet for someone like Hannah Miller or Barbie Long it'd be a big acknowledgment of their acheivement. For the great majority of skaters at Nationals, getting to stand on that podium would be a great thrill, and I am glad they have that opportunity. I'd even be in favor of a copper or nickel medal... for Christina Gao, the four time Nickel Medalist

  12. #12

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    I never liked the pewter medal tradition. The podium is gold, silver, bronze. If you miss it, so be it. I see no point in awarding the pewter medal.

  13. #13
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    I think people are making way too big of a deal about this.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I think people are making way too big of a deal about this.
    The OP asked for an opinion and posters are giving their opinions. That's all. If you don't have an opinion, that's fine too.

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    How do you feel about giving pewter medals at regionals and sectionals, where four skaters advance to the next level? Should three of them get medals and the other nothing to take home, just the paperwork to advance?

    How about at junior and lower levels at Nationals, from which is no automatic advancement?

    Should senior national practices match international practice, and then all other levels match that? Should national practices match regional and sectional practice? Or should there be different numbers of medals awarded at different levels of the US qualifying structure?

    (I'm just proud of my own pewter medal at once won at adult sectionals -- which was a big accomplishment for me even if it's one of the lowest levels for which such things are given. )

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    The pewter medal is meaningless. Even if you finish 4th you won't be going to Worlds or the Olympics even with 3 spots so why have it at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    The pewter medal is meaningless. Even if you finish 4th you won't be going to Worlds or the Olympics even with 3 spots so why have it at all?
    oh but you might!
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    The pewter medal is meaningless. Even if you finish 4th you won't be going to Worlds or the Olympics even with 3 spots so why have it at all?
    Well, if there are only 2 spots then even with a bronze medal you won't be going to Worlds or Olympics. If there is only 1 spot, you won't be going even with silver.

    If you're not age eligible, or in the case of the Olympics not a citizen, you won't be going even with gold.

    There's no automatic correlation between medals at Nationals and international assignments. The medals represent the actual placements within the the US qualifying structure, which STOPS at Nationals.

    Any international assignments (or funding) earned because of Nationals placements are additional privileges, not part of the medals.

  19. #19
    Blergh
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    The pewter medal certainly wasn't meaningless to Elaine Zayak.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Any international assignments (or funding) earned because of Nationals placements are additional privileges, not part of the medals.
    The placements would still remain, pewter medal or not, and 4th place at any competition is still something to be proud of (unless you were the favorite for the Gold and ended up with 3rd or 4th place). I just don't see why it should be there at the nationals level. I have not skated at that level, so I don't really know how it would feel to get a 'pewter medal'.

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