Okay, I am going to let this forum know what I really think of the USFSA. I think they are obsessed with pleasing corporations and sponsors who know and care nothing about skating. I think they are also out of touch with current trends, and their notions of what skating is and what makes a good champion remain stuck in the mud of 6.0.
Why is the USFSA calling the ladies field chaos? Why are they demanding consistency and predictability in ladies skating-- with a star at the top and clear second and third place rivals?
It is not because these things are essential for strong American finishes at Worlds/Olympics. It is not even because the public demands this. The USFSA does this because the corporations want it. The corporate suits are impatiently demanding an "it girl," and the USFSA, with no marketing strategy or savvy of its own, is following a tired model of skating that no longer applies. And furthermore, why can't the sport defy what corporations want? Is it all about them?
I think it should not be considered "chaos" what we see in the USA ladies. It is just reality that the USA does not have anyone of the caliber to be a dominant world star. Period.
Christine Brennan, I know, is just mouthing what the USFSA is saying, but one of the reasons why USA ladies have been so disappointing is they keep attempting to find the next Kwan, Hughes, or Kimmie Meissner. They should stop looking and let the competition happen and the chips fall. If they get a wild child like Mirai, they need to live with it. I don't think it should be the USFSA's job to hold a coronation for the perfect corporate spokeswoman for the sport-- a Kwan, Hughes, or Yamaguchi. 6.0 was a system where you moved up the ranks and could hold your place at or near the top until you ran out of money or your body fell apart. Under IJS anybody can lose on any day. You aren't going to have a Kwan again, so there is no point in looking for one. The only reason I see they are complaining about the absence of a Michelle, a Hughes, or a Kimmie is the big hegemonic sponsors are not happy. This model fits their marketing strategies and interests. But does it fit the interests of the sport? I do not think it fits the reality of world competition under IJS.
The USFSA should never have tried to force Czisny into a Kwan mold. They started in 2009 by over scoring her at nationals and building her up in front of her home town to be a Kwan-like heart throb. She is an enormous talent, but she is not the kind of personality who takes pressure easily, and she is never going to be a jumping automaton. I wonder if last season she would have performed better if the USFSA hadn't overblown her image. I think the USFSA does it just to get money for themselves as an organization, but in the medium term the sport ends up with little to show for it.
What are constructive things the USFSA should do to promote winning performances and encourage public excitement about its ladies? I am sure this forum can offer suggestions. The USFSA seems to think it is helpful to: hand wring about who will be the next Kwan, prop up and over-promote certain skaters, and desperately kiss up to corporations by making promises that cannot be fulfilled internationally in the IJS era. These things are not particularly helpful, especially for skaters, like Czisny, who will never fit the mold of a predictable jumping machine.
I would like the USFSA to concentrate foremost on maintaining excellence in the sport. Secondly, they need younger people who are business savvy (who can get out ahead of the corporations and tell the corporations what they want instead of vice versa) and fire all the people complaining that things aren't like they were in ladies seven or forty years ago!