A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer
I personally think it is cute that Rachael is excited about her school, and putting on school gear.
and for being interested in the jacked or not - I think people are reading WAY too much into it, maybe she was still hot? I notice lots of skaters don't put on their team jacket after their skate.
First off, given the lack of figure skating on US TV, Rachel is one of the more recognizable names in the sport for US ladies right now. She is not a household name by any means, but no current ladies figure skater is in the US. Since the 2010 Olympics, pretty much the only figure skating being shown on a standard US network are US Nationals, Skate America and World Championships -- and for World's since there have been no ladies medalists, the ladies coverage has been sparse. So, for a casual fan, the ladies skaters names they might recognize are Czisny, Wagner, Flatt, Nagasu. If you are trying to sell tickets in the Seattle area for Skate America to the casual fan, competitors they may have actually heard of are a draw regardless of how they actually compete-- it's that way in any sport. And getting butts in the seats matters -- yes the athlete they came to see might have had an off day or be on the downward side of their career but the fans in the seats could discover another one to follow.
Secondly, Rachel EARNED a Grand Prix spot by placing 6th at Nationals. You can argue she was gifted, somebody was robbed, whatever, but the fact remains she placed 6th. Figure skating already has a problem with being perceived as a not a "real" sport because of the judging and politicking. If USFS starts down the path of throwing out results and awarding spots to athletes based on the perception of how they will compete, fitness, who needs promotion, etc, it will marginalize it further. Yes, there are a limited number of competitions and a limited number of spots at each but that is the same in any sport. Actual results should matter the most as to who gets the opportunities. As soon as you get into questioning an athletes commitment, fitness, priorities, potential and all those other nebulous things discussed here it becomes less like a sport and more like a beauty pageant. If I were a coach, I would much rather say to a skater, hey -- you want a Grand Prix spot, you work your butt off and skate well to get a top place at Nationals, then have to say hey -- you work your butt off and skate well to get a top place at Nationals, then I'll work on convincing the USFS powers that be that you are worthy of a selection.
Since this is a US ladies thread, I'm going to use it to wish Caroline and Gracie the best of luck at SC this weekend! go girls!
Also, out of plain curiosity, have we heard anything from Team Alissa since they told us she was recovering from her surgery? Or any training updates from any kind of source? I really want to see her contending again, but I'm worried that she may push herself too hard/have any kind of classic Alissa meltdown/otherwise lose her mental game.
Team Czisny is keeping pretty mum from what I can see. She may or may not be ready, but I wouldn't expect much from her this season.
You are right that it's Rachael's decision whether she takes the SA spot that was offered to her, and she doesn't "owe" it to anyone else. But when she's making excuses about school and injuries, basically stating how under-trained she is, and appears to no longer be invested in her skating, then she's going to lose some support from her fans. No one is saying that her future with skating is no longer her decision or that it requires approval from people posting on a forum. But as fans, we're free to talk about how disappointing it is to see a formerly great skater deteriorate so much without seeming to care.
And FYI, plenty of the people criticizing Rachael now have said plenty of nice things about her in the past. It isn't just those who never liked her and will bash her every time they get the chance.
Last edited by RockTheTassel; 10-26-2012 at 04:36 AM.
I get the feeling that Rachael really internalized Tom Z’s belief that hard work is what makes you a great skater. But that’s only true to a point, as she’s coming to realize. Sensitivity to music, a genuine sense of giving yourself to the crowd, the ability to get up and keep going when you’re crashing - are all things that the very best skaters have had to learn. For a while, I thought Rachael had escaped that painful growing period that most female skaters seem to go through in their mid to late teens. But here it is.
Rachael’s had a really tough time of it ever since she started battling her injuries. She had that incredibly lost look during the Grand Prix series last year, as if she couldn’t quite believe what was happening to her, that her hard work WASN’T paying off.
Maybe she’s now getting that fulfillment at college, hence the inflated college pride. I agree that it doesn’t really have a place in international competition (she’s representing the US, not Stanford), especially since her attendance at Stanford has no bearing whatsoever on how she’s judged. She’s not judged based on how well she skates in spite of her schoolwork, she’s judged based on how she skates, period.
I can see why she feels more pride in her schoolwork than her skating right now, and why she might be making excuses for her subpar performances. I just wish she would own up to the fact that she’s not skating well without constantly justifying it.
That said, ITA re the incessant belaboring re Rachael Flatt picked to skate at SA over Mirai and/ or any other U.S. lady other than Gao and Ashley who were there and wonder of wonders actually medaled (lost in the OTT Rachael chatter). Rachael being there apparently sucked for some who complain about Flatt's performances at SA, Flatt's love of everything Stanford, Flatt's parents' bucks, Flatt's injuries, Flatt's desire to keep skating, Flatt's careless attitude to not winning, etc., etc.
Good luck at Stanford, and good luck with your skating, Rachael.
Other federations have required a minimum score during summer competitions in order to get an international assignment, or some good summer showings for host pick selections. But since such a practice is not in place right now, Flatt got her assignment like another 6th place finisher.
Oh, I'm not objective. Definitely rooting for Ashley.
Gold was jumping well in the Skate Canada practices yesterday (based on what I saw of the live stream), landing 3F+3T, 3Lz+3T, and 3F+half loop+3S. Let's see what the SP brings later today!
"Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden
^^Did you get a chance to see Caroline? I'm wondering how she's doing...
She didn't look too secure at her last competition so I'm hoping that was just a bad day and that she's gotten herself back to nationals/4CC form. It'd be great to see the American ladies continue the good skating Ashley and Christina started last week...
Someone on Golden Skate noted that Caroline wasn't doing the Pearl Spin in her run-through, which I know in the past was her plan when she had back problems. BTW, that poster noted she kept falling on 3loop attempts but was landing the 3F-2T in her practice run-throughs.
Cue the hand-wringing....
Results are up...US girls are 8th and 9th. Caroline 52.97, Gracie 52.19...
Apparently Caroline was clean but slow (no 3l-3l) and Gracie flubbed her 3-3 and fell on her 2A...