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  1. #21
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    What if - in addition to the skaters sent to Worlds, the ISU selected the next 5 skaters on the SB roster?

    To help keep countries from manipulating who gets sent, these 5 skaters could not be in the top 10 SB. (That way Canada couldn't just choose to not send Patrick knowing that he would be selected anyways). It's an idea at least.

  2. #22
    I <3 Kozuka
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    One of the things I've always found interesting about Rule 109 is that if a federation won't release a skater, and the ISU grants an exception release, that skater/team doesn't count towards the country-specific spot allocation. Also, the ISU has allowed the championships (not Olympics) host to allow a lone entry to continue to phases for which s/he hasn't qualified. There's no reason they couldn't add more skaters from one country.

    The point I would make about a Top 10 (or Top X) SB restriction is that there are legitimate examples where a nation would drop a Top X skater. For example, at least one of Oda, Takahasi, Hanyu, and Kozuka can't all make the Japanese Men's team. If a rule were that if all were in the Top X, it wouldn't be an issue where they placed on the National team. The choice would be restricted, though, if number X +5 skated a blinder and made the team legitimately, even though there could be two more skaters among the World's best.

    Nations traditionally have been pretty controlling about not letting their podium contenders lose Nationals to skaters who have been better, arguably. There's a video of Gary Beacon's 1984 LP where the commentators -- I think CBC -- talk openly about how Orser's chances at the Olympics would be hurt if he didn't go in as National champion, and there was a controversy about John Curry beating Robin Cousins one year. I suppose to game the system, they could come up with alternate criteria for the World Team -- or actually really use them -- in order to have their National champion and leave that skater off the team to get a wildcard spot. I think it's more likely for the second/third spot (s), especially if the SB was achieved in a prior season or earlier when the skater was healthy/motivated.
    "'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

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