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  1. #81
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    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 In a way, if Rachael isn't up to it, she should have withdrawn from SA and given the spot to another aspiring skater who has more of a chance.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.

  2. #82

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    Rachael didn't take a spot from anyone, she was the host pick and she earned it with her finish at Nats. The 6th place finisher traditionally gets two international assignments. In Rachael's case these were SA and Ice Challenge.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

  3. #83
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    Wishing Rachael a complete recovery regarding her right leg and ankle. I can't blame her for wanting to be healthy even if means not skating the rest of the season. Smart young lady.
    Angie
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simone411 View Post
    Wishing Rachael a complete recovery regarding her right leg and ankle. I can't blame her for wanting to be healthy even if means not skating the rest of the season. Smart young lady.
    I wish Ms. Flatt the best and wonderful things in her future. However, her new body is unable to sustain world class figure skating. There is nothing wrong with her to walk/skate away from competition and focus on her studies. Heck, as a world class skater she multi-tasked enough to get into Stanford. She's clearly headed for big things academically, whether a physics PhD or MD or whatever. She's shown she's a 'winner'. So why stick around skating? I suppose because she LIKES it, but to give her a spot when there are too many other skaters in the US who actually intend to work like maniacs to get to the Olympics? This just seems to be like a "Oh gee, I'm not ready, kinda injured, but I can't pass up Skate America". I think it's wrong. I wish her all the best, and I have no doubt she will be incredibly successful in her academic pursuits. But she's crossed that bridge of injury, she's getting heavier and filling out (not that it's a bad thing, but it's a realistic thing). She's not quite world class anymore, or at least competitive on a world class level. I'd rather read about her academic accomplishments than her skating failures. She's going places, but not in skating.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    that a skater and a coach worth forgetting about long ago still command so much attention
    It's not so much Rachael that commands my attention as it is the situations in which she is faced. This particular situation potentially affects many a skater, not just Rachael.

    Quote Originally Posted by haribobo View Post
    Its not as if it was a surprise though- she knew the consequence of withdrawing. And the timing stinks, but chances are she wouldn't be recovered by January anyway. If she hadn't done the international, she'd be required to skate at Mids at the same time. I get that it would be a nice gesture for her to keep her bye, but that is still sending a really cruddy message to the 5th place finisher at sectionals this year, who could end up being someone like Nina Jiang or Kiri Baga, who also represented the US this year on the JGP. They wouldn't get to go to Nationals, but Rachael was swept right through due to her star status and the fact that she showed up and did a few triples at Skate America? Nice. Now, had Rachael medaled at SA, *that* situation would really stink. I wouldn't mind seeing a rule built in that international medalists that season get a bye to Nationals. But I don't really see her indicating anywhere that she's bumming hard about her bye being rescinded. Girl needs more than a month to sort out these injuries, I'd think.
    It's not like they picked Rachael's name out of a hat and sent her to Skate America... They sent her primarily because she finished 6th at Nationals (in other words, she beat a lot of skaters who could have been selected for SA instead). And because Rachael was good enough to represent her country at a Sr Int'l, I believe she deserves a bye to Nat'ls. I think it's wrong to grant a skater a bye to Nat'ls based on "scheduling conflicts" and then yank away that bye when the skater is injured. I think it's sad that USFS worries more about skaters potentially abusing a medical bye system than they do about the skaters' actual health & smart recovery methods. A lot of US Sr Int'l skaters are automatically qualified to Nat'ls anyway (based on their Nat'l finish last year), so the amount of medical byes they could possibly have wouldn't be large even if every remaining intl competitor wanted to abuse the system.

    And last time I checked, most US skaters on the Int'l circuit WANT to compete and aren't just trying to fake medical bye their way into Nat's. I'd MUCH rather give a US Int'l competitor a medical bye than to force the skater to show up at her Int'l, even if she's in poor condition and better off recovering at home, in order to keep the bye. I don't see the point in putting the skaters in that type of predicament. Why would USFS want one of their athletes limping through an international competition anyway? Even if they don't care about injury recovery, they certainly care about results (as they should), and the results won't be good if the competitor is that injured.
    Last edited by stjeaskategym; 11-06-2012 at 12:44 AM.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    she's getting heavier and filling out (not that it's a bad thing, but it's a realistic thing).
    No, she isn't.
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    You want "figure skating" to be a real sport but then you want o allow those you like to just make the finals. Sorry it doesn't work that way in a lot of 'real sports' LOL! There were runners who didn't make the Olympic team because when the trials were held they were injured. There are lots of sports teams that don't make the finals because a key player get's injured. Even the Williams sisters were fighting to come back from injury to make sure they made the Olympic team because it wasn't a "bye" based on their past success. Venus admitted she was back before she was ready because "it's the Olympics"

    I think the real truth is "we want byes for Skaters we like" LOL!
    It has nothing to do with skaters I like. I'm not a Rachael fan, and I'm not saying she should receive a bye onto the Olympic team when she's injured ... I just think she deserves an injury bye to Nationals as a Sr international competitor. I don't think this is playing favorites at all. Rachael has earned her opportunity to be a Sr Intl competitor this year based on her solid Nat'ls finish last year.

    You mentioned track & field--- to qualify to their Olympic Trials, you have to meet the "A" standard at certain Nat'l or Int'l competitions (sometimes the "B" standard is okay, too). If you are too injured to compete at one of these competitions, you can simply rest your injury and try to qualify at different events. Obviously, skating is different than track & field because it's a judged sport, but the overall point is that there is no overwhelming pressure for track and field athletes to show up at one specific event to qualify to Olympic Trials (I'm assuming Nat'ls for track & field has a similar qualifying structure). If you are injured earlier on in the season, it doesn't have to mean your entire season just went down the toilet.

    And if you look at a sport that's more similar to skating, like gymnastics, you will see that the athletes are encouraged to take proper care of their injuries during downtime in the competition schedule and are given numerous opportunities to qualify to Nationals or to petition there with an injury.

    Figure skating has a "you better compete at this one event otherwise you're screwed for the rest of the season" mentality, and I find that odd in a sport that continues to push the envelope every year. The sport is not getting any easier, and even if it did, injuries are still absolutely inevitable. There is nothing you can do to prevent all injuries... But you can control how you treat the skaters, and right now USFS treats injured skaters as if they are worthy of punishment.
    Last edited by stjeaskategym; 11-06-2012 at 01:19 AM.

  8. #88
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    Flatt's 6h place finish at nationals wasn't good enough for a bye according to USFS policy. If you think 6th place is good enough, next year someone will say 7th is good enough. And so on.

    You can't give every skater who has had an international competition a bye either. That would make running nationals very expensive. Currently, the competition bye receivers who are not already top 5 last year are JGPF qualifiers, Mirai, Gold for ladies. That's it.

    I think staying healthy is part of the competition.

    ETA: The rules are very clear. Either you are top five, or you have a competition scheduling conflict.
    Last edited by jlai; 11-06-2012 at 01:15 AM.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by stjeaskategym View Post
    If you are injured earlier on in the season, it doesn't have to mean your entire season just went down the toilet. .
    The people who get to vote on these things want US nationals to be the winner-take-all. Because of the importance of US nationals, the qualifying procedure to US nationals part has to be fair to every skater involved, including those without assignments, not just being "fair" to the injured skater involved.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Flatt's 6h place finish at nationals wasn't good enough for a bye according to USFS policy. If you think 6th place is good enough, next year someone will say 7th is good enough. And so on.
    It was good enough to get her Skate America... to be an Sr International competitor. If you are 6th place and not selected to represent the US internationally, fine, I understand why a bye maybe can't be granted. But if you are out there representing USA on the highest level of your sport (Sr obviously), I think you should be allowed at your own Nationals.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    You can't give every skater who has had an international competition a bye either. That would make running nationals very expensive. Currently, the competition bye receivers who are not already top 5 last year are JGPF qualifiers, Mirai, Gold for ladies. That's it.
    How many Sr International competitors won't end up at Nationals besides Flatt though? It's not like the international pool for Srs is so huge that they can't all come to Nationals... They will all be there-- due to "scheduling conflicts". I don't see where the huge added expense is if you allow them byes just based on the fact that they are Sr Intl competitors. Maybe if you give all Jr Intl competitors byes, too, it's too much of an expense, but I'm not suggesting that... I don't think a Jr Intl should qualify you to Sr Nationals, and it's not as difficult to get on the Jr Intl circuit anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    I think staying healthy is part of the competition.
    Fair enough. But you could get injured tripping on a sidewalk. I hate to see skaters getting "blamed" for their injuries. Often when injuries happen, nobody is to blame.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    ETA: The rules are very clear. Either you are top five, or you have a competition scheduling conflict.
    I definitely agree the rules are clear, I just don't think they make sense. Remember when Alissa Czisny had to cram Sectionals in between her 2 GP events because the dates of the competitions didn't quite meet the "scheduling conflict" bye? Meanwhile, a skater with 1 GP who was lucky enough to have that GP fall on a date near Sectionals got a bye. That was a complete joke, too. In an effort to make things "fair", we forget the skaters are human, not machines.
    Last edited by stjeaskategym; 11-06-2012 at 02:03 AM.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by stjeaskategym View Post
    I just think she deserves an injury bye to Nationals as a Sr international competitor.
    But there aren't any injury byes. For anyone.

    Maybe there should be in general but in the Flatt situation in particular she isn't going to have enough recovery time to get to Nationals even if there were injury byes. So having them wouldn't help her.
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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by stjeaskategym View Post
    It was good enough to get her Skate America... to be an Sr International competitor. If you are 6th place and not selected to represent the US internationally, fine, I understand why a bye maybe can't be granted. But if you are out there representing USA on the highest level of your sport (Sr obviously), I think you should be allowed at your own Nationals

    How many Sr International competitors won't end up at Nationals besides Flatt though?
    It's not like the international pool for Srs is so huge that they can't all come to Nationals... They will all be there-- due to "scheduling conflicts". I don't see where the huge added expense is if you allow them byes just based on the fact that they are Sr Intl competitors.
    Currently there're no byes for competing at 1gp or senior Bs unless it conflicts with sectionals (someone corrects me if I'm wrong). So Dolensky, Messing, Carriere, Max Aaron have to compete at sectionals. And Carriere was 6th at nationals last year and got a decent placmeent and score at his senior international. Had they all gotten byes, that would have meant more skaters would qualify through sectionals, and that means probably 1 more group at nationals.

    Maybe if you give all Jr Intl competitors byes, too, it's too much of an expense, but I'm not suggesting that...

    I don't think a Jr Intl should qualify you to Sr Nationals, and it's not as difficult to get on the Jr Intl circuit anyway.
    Actually, a few of the US JGP girls (and a couple of jgp men) are skaters who could have had 1 gp this season or done "sr internationals". ANd the jgp medalists like Wang and Hicks are trying harder elements. Yet they don't get byes through sectionals to nationals because their compettions didn't conflict with sectionals, not because they are not worthy.

    There're not enough incentives for promising skaters to move up to do senior internationals unless you're assured of 2 gps before the season starts. So now US has girls who could have ended up with 1 gp but chosen to do jgp again for strategic reasons. Had the rules re: byes changed, that would have changed the ball game, and those girls who did jgp could have chosen to do seniors and might have ended with Flatt's spot at Skate America or a spot at Cup of China.
    In other words, the rule change may mean more girls doing seniors, and that in turn changes whether Flatt got her spot, which is the premise of the discussion.

    But you could get injured tripping on a sidewalk. I hate to see skaters getting "blamed" for their injuries. Often when injuries happen, nobody is to blame.
    Who's blaming skaters for their injuries? If you allow them to compete while not completely healthy, someone will bitch about USFSA being not concerned about skaters' welfare. If you don't allow them to complete, someone else will say you're so mean.

    I definitely agree the rules are clear, I just don't think they make sense. Remember when Alissa Czisny had to cram Sectionals in between her 2 GP events because the dates of the competitions didn't quite meet the "scheduling conflict" bye? Meanwhile, a skater with 1 GP who was lucky enough to have that GP fall on a date near Sectionals got a bye. That was a complete joke, too. In an effort to make things "fair", we forget the skaters are human, not machines.
    Date cutoffs are date cutoffs. And neither Czisny or Flatt complained. I think the competitors with no internationals are the majority of the competitors qualifying to US nationals, and the rules should be built around them, not around the chosen few. Skaters with no international assignments don't get byes for injuries through regionals or sectionals. Skaters with injuries don't skip nationals to go to worlds.
    For consistent and fair policies, it's fair for the policy to apply across all competitions, and not have some exceptions to get to US nationals
    Last edited by jlai; 11-06-2012 at 03:51 AM.

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    Jlai I don't understand and remember the rules anywhere near as well as you and Sylvia do, but I am wondering about this comment you made: Currently there're no byes for competing at 1gp or senior Bs unless it conflicts with sectionals (someone corrects me if I'm wrong

    I thought Johnny Weir received a bye through regionals due to his Finlandia assignment. Maybe he got his bye because he is a returning skater?

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    I find this pretty entertaining.

    I saw how she skated at SA. Now she's off the ice for injury. But if she had a bye she'd be competitive at Nationals? LOL! REALLY? She could recover from that injury and be in the top three? Sorry I don't see that.


    (Weir did get his bye due to scheduling which of course was arranged that way by USFS. So they do control the "bye" process LOL! Skaters they want to get to Nationals (see Weir) can have events that allow them not to have to do the "lessor" competitions)

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    Quote Originally Posted by maureenfarone View Post
    I thought Johnny Weir received a bye through regionals due to his Finlandia assignment. Maybe he got his bye because he is a returning skater?
    This year, it was my understanding that a bye through Regionals, approved by the Chair of USFS' Competitions Committee, was given to the singles skaters with 2 Grand Prix assignments that didn't already have a bye (Dornbush, Weir, Gold). It just so happened that the dates of Finlandia Trophy also conflicted with the Regionals of Dornbush, Weir, and Nagasu (that's how she received a bye through Regionals and her 1 Cup of China GP assignment gives her a bye through Sectionals). Flatt received a bye through her Regionals because it was held the same week as Skate America but Sectionals is 3 weeks later so no bye to Nationals (ditto for A. Cannuscio/McManus in Senior Dance whose only GP was Skate America).

    Rostelecom Cup this week gives Dornbush, Weir and Gold a bye to Nationals because the dates overlap with Sectionals.

    ETA link to this relevant thread with my updated post today: US Skaters with Byes to Nationals 2013
    Last edited by Sylvia; 11-06-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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  16. #96
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    Thx,Sylvia. I meant to say byes to nationals through sectionals which waswhat Flatt would have needed, but omitted it while typing lol
    Thx, again for clarifying
    Last edited by jlai; 11-06-2012 at 01:56 PM.

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    Thanks for clarifying Sylvia. Rachael also was added to Graz which gave her the bye through sectionals. Since she can't compete at Graz (or Mids) because she is injured, she also can't compete at Nationals. I really think Rachael has a long term injury in her leg and she needs to get medical treatment and rest. Competing and skating are great and I do believe she enjoys them, but walking without pain is also important!

    JMO - I believe she did the right thing. If she wishes to compete next year, that is her decision.

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    Everyone seems to think she did the right thing.

    There appears to be a minority who think "well she should race back, like she has time and time again, so she can go to Nationals" Maybe that's why it's a chronic condition? And we want to blame USFS for "forcing" her to skip Nationals which might be good for her health? Hmmm...

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    So as I understand it Rachel, even if she recovers, cannot go to nationals this year? What about next year, will she get any GP assignments and does she have to do regionals, etc to qualify for 2014 nationals?

    It is fine and all for Rachel to skate for personal enjoyment, but even if she "earned" her spot for Skate Amercia, I still think it was just a waste as a hosts pick. There is no way she can be competitive internationally. The spot could have gone to Mirai, who, if motivated and got her head together, could be very competitive in a weak international field. Or it could have gone to a promising unheard of skater. There is no other sport that hands out intl assignments to athletes that are at the end of their career and that are not training seriously over other athletes who have better chances. Rachel may be a nice girl and all, but there is just not the spots for her to take away from the other girls to get experience. Rachel showed she (or her coach, maybe you cannot put it all on Rachel) acted in a selfish and unsportsmanlike manner when she did not withdraw from Worlds and let Mirai go and possibly, however unlikely, try to get the 3rd spot. IMO, Rachel should have done what was good for her sport and given someone else a chance at SA if she was injured.

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    If Mirai wanted the SA spot, all she had to do was beat Rachel at Nationals.
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