Did Rachael take a spot from another skater at SA? Like was she host's pick or would she have definitely been guaranteed a spot based on her performance last year? In a way, if Rachael isn't up to it, she should have withdrawn from SA and given the spot to another aspiring skater who has more of a chance. I am all for Rachael competing for personal pleasure, but the strength of the US ladies program should be considered as well. Part of the reason US figure skating is in the state it is in is because USFS kept giving chances to Alyssa, Jeremy and Rachael (though last season they seemed to back away from this).
Rachael can compete at nationals next year or whatever but she has no shot at all at being competitive internationally anymore. And i think Rachael knows that and is making a choice for it to be that way. there is no way she can have a normal college experience, do well in a science curriculum at stanford and be on top of the world in figure skating. It is not possible, and rachel knows it and she is making a choice to focus more on Stanford. i just do not think it is right to give her international spots (unless it is literally the case that there is no one else these spots can go to?)
With the few international spots the US has they should divide them up so as to give skaters who have a chance more exposure. Indeed, Carolina Kostner had 3 GP spots last year which allowed her to refine her program and be ready for worlds. We should be getting all the top skaters at least 2 spots and then getting some other skaters in rather than giving the same people multiple chances. With the Olympics next year and Worlds this year to determine whether we get 3 spots, USFS dos not have the spots to give people who just want to skate for personal pleasure and who have no shot at going to worlds or Olympics.