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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eislauffan View Post
    Maybe some of them, maybe not. I remember what Alexander Abt said- he said he sees no point in competing for another country. If he is not strong enough to be at the top in Russia, he won't be at the top anyway.
    Alexander Abt was a Russian skater who competed end of the 90s, and in the early 2000 years, he was an Olympian in 2002 and earned medals at Europeans, came close to the podium at Worlds. He had a though time getting through in Russia with Urmanov, Yagudin, Plushenko, Pashkevitch at that time. Some people suggested he should compete for another country.
    This. I was that Russia won't have 3 spots at Sochi, but in retrospect, the two who do go will be the strongest of a deep field and will be a top skater overall. If a skater can't be on top in their own country, they aren't going to win against those same skaters skating for another country. I think Russia will emerge very strong during the next quad in both ladies and men.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    This. I was that Russia won't have 3 spots at Sochi, but in retrospect, the two who do go will be the strongest of a deep field and will be a top skater overall. If a skater can't be on top in their own country, they aren't going to win against those same skaters skating for another country. I think Russia will emerge very strong during the next quad in both ladies and men.
    Perhaps but maybe for some just the opportunity to compete at the Olympics is enough.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    This. I was that Russia won't have 3 spots at Sochi, but in retrospect, the two who do go will be the strongest of a deep field and will be a top skater overall. If a skater can't be on top in their own country, they aren't going to win against those same skaters skating for another country. I think Russia will emerge very strong during the next quad in both ladies and men.
    Maybe. There are instances where the competition was won by the third skater from that country, in theory the weakest one.

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    This. I was that Russia won't have 3 spots at Sochi, but in retrospect, the two who do go will be the strongest of a deep field and will be a top skater overall. If a skater can't be on top in their own country, they aren't going to win against those same skaters skating for another country. I think Russia will emerge very strong during the next quad in both ladies and men.
    If you think about Japanese men, I think the top few are on pretty equal level - all having quads and all capable of delivering a great program. The thing is, the skater who did not deliver at their nationals could have easily delivered at worlds. E.g. Kozuka - I do believe that on any different day the results of Japanese nationals may have been different. It is really who delivers when it counts (at nationals), but that doesn't mean that the same person will deliver again on the next competition (worlds). I don't think anyone can really say Kozuka did not deserve to be at worlds. Sometimes I do hate the limit of three skaters per country per discipline.

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    If you think about Japanese men, I think the top few are on pretty equal level - all having quads and all capable of delivering a great program. The thing is, the skater who did not deliver at their nationals could have easily delivered at worlds. E.g. Kozuka - I do believe that on any different day the results of Japanese nationals may have been different. It is really who delivers when it counts (at nationals), but that doesn't mean that the same person will deliver again on the next competition (worlds). I don't think anyone can really say Kozuka did not deserve to be at worlds. Sometimes I do hate the limit of three skaters per country per discipline.
    So agree, this rule is ludicrous and all to supposedly 'help the developping countries'. Its' just not the best of the best when Kozuka, Oda and many others are not at worlds but skaters with 10% of their ability are.

  6. #106

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    Russia will have three spots for euros so the team could actually be sorted out by that event. So if top 3 are 1. LiPnitskaya very possible 2. Tuktamisheva and 3. Sotnikova and at euros It is 1. Sotnikova 2. Tuktamisheva. 3. Lipnitskaya then what? The stronger skaters later than russian nationals go. But what if lipnitskaya had an off day and would be back to being the best? Wouldn't ever be known! Worlds is also two spots.

  7. #107

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    I don't understand people who can country-swap so easily. Have they no pride? No loyalty? No sense of belonging or nationality?

    It bewilders me.

  8. #108
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    Re: Country swapping. Seems like some skaters who swap countries earlier in their development have some success, like Makarova and Malinina. Or Kyoko Ina.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I don't understand people who can country-swap so easily. Have they no pride? No loyalty? No sense of belonging or nationality?

    It bewilders me.
    The people who do it vary considerably in their attitudes. Generally speaking, country-swapping doesn't require relinquishing citizenship (though it does if you're Japanese and want to represent another country in the Olympics or if you are an adult and want to skate for Japan), so it is often more of a career move than a change of personal identity. And some skaters, like Ksenia Makarova and Vanessa James, grow up with more than one national identity, so changing federations or acquiring an additional citizenship, isn't as big a step for them as it would be for some others.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eislauffan View Post
    Maybe some of them, maybe not. I remember what Alexander Abt said- he said he sees no point in competing for another country. If he is not strong enough to be at the top in Russia, he won't be at the top anyway. Alexander Abt was a Russian skater who competed end of the 90s, and in the early 2000 years, he was an Olympian in 2002 and earned medals at Europeans, came close to the podium at Worlds. He had a though time getting through in Russia with Urmanov, Yagudin, Plushenko, Pashkevitch at that time. Some people suggested he should compete for another country.
    This honours Sasha Abt and I really respect him for his attitude (one of my favourite skaters anyways), but I’m pretty sure he might have won one or two medals at Worlds or one or two more at Euros if decided to compete for another country after Nagano Olympics at the latest. What prevented him e.g. in 1998 to become a member of the Olympic & World team was not skating weaker than Yagudin & Plushenko at that year’s Nationals, but his own Figure Skating Federation's politics & some questionable judging at this event. Actually he is the first skater who comes to my mind when thinking about skaters who should have switched countries. :::

    This was kind of golden era of Russian men, adding some skaters who competed that time for Russia: Ilia Kulik, Oleg Tataurov and Sergej Davydov.
    Sergej Davydov was Vice-Junior World Champion for Russia in 1998 and competed for Belarus. He’d never managed to compete at Euros or Worlds if he had not switched countries, as he never got a reliable quad under his belt. But he had beautiful basic skating skills, elegant programmes and placed within top 6 at Euros a couple of times and I think twice top 10 at Worlds. – His career for sure would have been worse in case he decided to keep on skating for Russia. So it was a smart move! ;-)

    Igor Pashkevitch also switched countries after a stellar season in 1996 and competed for Azerbeidzhan. But he couldn’t continue with such success and his results were pretty much similar to those prior to 1996 if I recall it right. But he was already about 25 years of age then and thus changed countries at a pretty much progressed age for a skater.


    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    If a skater can't be on top in their own country, they aren't going to win against those same skaters skating for another country.
    In principle yes, if the reason the skaters can't beat his teammates due to lack of abilities, which is the reason in the majority of cases. However, IMO this does not apply in case a skaters is held back due to bad judging at Nationals / issues with his own fed / if he couldn`t beat the teammates due to injury / sickness during nationals. Just look at Samuel Contesti - he couldn't compete for France for a while at major ISU championships, but then he beat those former teammates which got his spot for French team in earlier years when competing for Italy.


    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    If you think about Japanese men, I think the top few are on pretty equal level - all having quads and all capable of delivering a great program. The thing is, the skater who did not deliver at their nationals could have easily delivered at worlds. E.g. Kozuka - I do believe that on any different day the results of Japanese nationals may have been different. It is really who delivers when it counts (at nationals), but that doesn't mean that the same person will deliver again on the next competition (worlds). I don't think anyone can really say Kozuka did not deserve to be at worlds. Sometimes I do hate the limit of three skaters per country per discipline.
    I think that’s a big problem for countries whose team is so strong that they actually have 4-5 skaters who might fight for medals at major events: they have to peak at Nationals to make the team, but then they are not able to keep that kind of shape till Worlds. Personally I’m really worried about the Russian girls next year: Nationals will be about 2 month before Sochi, but still the skaters have to prepare in way that they’ll peak at Nationals in order to get a spot on the team.


    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I don't understand people who can country-swap so easily. Have they no pride? No loyalty? No sense of belonging or nationality?
    In principle - i.e. if skaters swap countries (= meaning citizenship) easily and in particular without having any relation of relevance to that country, I agree with you. Julia Soldatova with switching countries twice comes to my mind. However, I would e.g. understand a skater like Menshov, who has been treated by his fed like sh**, if he switched country (though he certainly won't considering his age).

    But I don't think most skaters take this decision easy. However, if you trained since being a little child, sacrificed a lot and know you are good enough to get some decent results, but it's just heavy competition in your country that prevents you from doing so, I think it's different. And Polina Shelepen is a different case anyways - she apparently has also Jewish heritage, i.e. mixed heritage, so I don't think her skating for Israel shows lack of loyalty or belonging to a nationality. This in particular not as anti-Semitism unfortunately is an issue in Russia. I keep my fingers crossed that she will represent her new country very successfully.

  11. #111
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    So this is completely unrelated to anything, but I just realized that Bobrova and Soloviev's straight jacket lift in their FD (their choreographic lift) is Usova and Zhulin's final Blues for Klook lift!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLIVER View Post
    So agree, this rule is ludicrous and all to supposedly 'help the developping countries'. Its' just not the best of the best when Kozuka, Oda and many others are not at worlds but skaters with 10% of their ability are.
    This rule needs to be tweaked to allow skaters beyond the top 3 entries from a country to compete in an international pool to earn spots at worlds. It could mean -for example- 5 Japanese men, or 4 Russian pairs, etc. Years ago US ladies were so strong that many deserving ones did not make it to worlds, and they could have used something like this. Same with the USSR pairs- their top 10 pairs could have medaled at worlds.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I don't understand people who can country-swap so easily. Have they no pride? No loyalty? No sense of belonging or nationality?

    It bewilders me.
    That's because you live in a more or less civilised, developed country. Most people don't.

  14. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by misskarne View Post
    I don't understand people who can country-swap so easily. Have they no pride? No loyalty? No sense of belonging or nationality?

    It bewilders me.
    Athletes train for many years with a dream to -for example- make it to the Olympics. If it's impossible to make it in their own country, I don't see why cannot try competing for another country. I don't see this as being disloyal to the country of birth, but rather as pursuing a dream. I would consider an athlete winning (again, for example) winning an Olympic gold in the country of birth but then moving to a richer country to make more money as being borderline disloyal, because the country that invested in the athlete did not get a return on investment (other than the claim to the medal). I don't want to be too judgmental though. Athletes are human beings and as long as they don't harm anyone, I don't see a major problem in them taking care of their own interests.

  15. #115
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    I recognized that straight jacket lift of Bobrova/Soloviev's too. I was surprised that the commentators didn't comment on it.


    I understand that they want to keep the field managable and have representatives from smaller countries, but sometimes a country is just so strong at a moment in time in one discipline that it is really unfair that they don't have more than 3. I often think of the Soviet pairs or dancers in the late 80s, the Russian men in the later 90s, the american women in the 90s, the Japanese men now.... I like that concept that there be a pool of skaters to compete for extra spots...

  16. #116

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    Not everyone feels a strong sense of national pride or patriotism. I don't see anything wrong with that. For some people, the chance to go to the Olympics far outweighs any vague sense of loyalty to their country of residence. Plenty of people compete for themselves, not for their country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triple_toe View Post
    Not everyone feels a strong sense of national pride or patriotism. I don't see anything wrong with that. For some people, the chance to go to the Olympics far outweighs any vague sense of loyalty to their country of residence. Plenty of people compete for themselves, not for their country.
    My problem is when those people who compete for themselves and can't even win the local rink competition choke the small countrys kids chances to make it to any competition. There is also a question of funding. I don't mind paying taxes for the kids in Metulla to skate and represent me, I do mind paying taxes that will go to some american/russian rubbish skaters who might not be able to point my country on the map

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    My problem is when those people who compete for themselves and can't even win the local rink competition choke the small countrys kids chances to make it to any competition. There is also a question of funding. I don't mind paying taxes for the kids in Metulla to skate and represent me, I do mind paying taxes that will go to some american/russian rubbish skaters who might not be able to point my country on the map
    Well, but then the problem is not those American/Russian skaters lacking pride / loyalty or whatsoever to their original country, but the Israeli skating / tax system – so don’t blame "the rubbish". +
    Seriously, usually a country “adopts” skaters if they help to move forwards the sport. From your post I get the impression that Israeli Figure Skating Federation is trying to make any senior skater an Israeli one, who can barely land a single axel. I too would not want to pay taxes for that, but again, I think the skaters are the wrong targets to blame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Katarzyna View Post
    Well, but then the problem is not those American/Russian skaters lacking pride / loyalty or whatsoever to their original country, but the Israeli skating / tax system – so don’t blame "the rubbish". +
    Seriously, usually a country “adopts” skaters if they help to move forwards the sport. From your post I get the impression that Israeli Figure Skating Federation is trying to make any senior skater an Israeli one, who can barely land a single axel. I too would not want to pay taxes for that, but again, I think the skaters are the wrong targets to blame.
    I doubt anyone points a gun to the skaters' heads. I reckon they are given a choice: to work hard in their native countries and may be, just may be making it to the major competition or to have an easy life, a promised participation in major events and no competition from the locals. Excuse me if I fail to respect or like those skaters. Don't get me wrong, I realize Mouallem is a lousy jumper and probably will never make the European minimum TES, but she is the local lousy skater. I'd rather have Mouallem than Shelepen representing Israel.

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    I reckon they are given a choice: to work hard in their native countries and may be, just may be making it to the major competition or to have an easy life, a promised participation in major events and no competition from the locals. Excuse me if I fail to respect or like those skaters.
    I agree with you with regards to people switching countries for opportunistic reasons like paying lower taxes at expense of other, basically going the “easy way” any time they can instead of investing some hard work to achieve their goals. No respect from my side as well.

    But with skating you presume that there is a perfect world, where only hard work is the key to success. But it’s not. It’s also politics, influence of coaches, the luck of good timing and sometimes even – things which are beyond of the control of young skaters. Just look at the decision Russian Fed made with regards to handing out spots in the men for Euros and Worlds – it’s hard to argue the 5th place finisher Kovtun worked harder than Menshov. Actually I expected that this affair might be the final decision point for one or two skaters to switch countries.


    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I realize Mouallem is a lousy jumper and probably will never make the European minimum TES, but she is the local lousy skater. I'd rather have Mouallem than Shelepen representing Israel.
    Feel free to express whom you are cheering for. However, even countries like Russia or France with a huge skating tradition compared to Israel had quite a few of “imported” skaters (the Duchesnays, Kawaguchi, Volosozhar) still most people in those countries managed to be proud of their success.

    Despite understanding the frustration to a certain point, I sadly think your statements and similar ones by others, but in particular the way and the language you are presenting your arguments with pointing out Israel doesn’t have enough “local skaters” only non-local ones and indicating that even “rubbish” Amercian/Russian skaters due to lousy jumps of locals are still technically superior to them, is a perfect effort to possibly subvert the achievements Israeli figures skaters made in the past decades in the eyes of many non-Israeli skating fans. Most of them would not waste a minute of time thinking if the skaters were imported / local, unless pointed out by others. So if that was the goal, it might have been achieved perfectly.

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