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  1. #1

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    Article in l'Equipe : When Gailhaguet attacks the coaches

    Article in the written edition of L'Equipe.

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    When Gailhaguet attacks the coaches

    According to the president of the French Federation, the evils often come from the coaches. And his words can be violent.

    At the end of the figure skating World championships in London, medal-free for France, Didier Gailhaguet blamed "the people who were coaching" his athletes. As often happens, the president of the French Federation used harsh terms, writing about Pasquale Camerlengo [...blabla, even though Bourzat was injured, blabla...] that the italian had been a "worm" (litteraly "a larva").

    He has never been soft with technicians and it's weighting upon the current atmosphere. Architect of Alexis Contin's world titles in roller skating then of his progress on ice, Alain Nègre was called a "guru" last year, and a "clown" this winter, since that civil servant / middle manager executive refused to work full-time for the FFSG.

    "It's a habit to be told that you're incompetent", Didier Lucine scowls. Coach of the Annecy club, he (Lucine) has witnessed a year of roundtrips of the DTN Xavier Sendra to incite one of his best skaters, Lénaëlle Gilleron-Gory, to join the INSEP (note from me : Paris Sport Institute which is the base for skaters training in Bercy and Champigny). An incitement accompanied by threats about a possible qualification for the Olympic Games if the girl - minor - didn't comply. To the mail sent by the club to protest against that attitude, the DTN answered that "it didn't grab his attention" and signed with this disdainful salutation : "I ask you to believe in the expression of my profound tiredness" (note from me : traditional french salutation with a twist).

    Even if her decency invites her to keep quiet, Muriel Zazoui also suffers from that ostracism. In spite of her past record [...], she observes the regular settlement of her protégés abroad [...] : "the Federation promises to pay everything if they leave Lyon, and to cut any support if they stay".

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    Another note from me : if you wonder what the DTN is, that's an ex-good-sportsman become civil servant that the french government lend to sport federations (which are for the most part small non for-profit structures) to help organize high level sport (the current one comes from scuba diving, Gailhaguet prefered him over a guy who was already a member of the FFSG). Gailhaguet has always used the guy in this position to do the dirty work for him (or when he was out of office, as a target to attack the new president). DTNs usually stay no longer than a year or two. After that period, they know people and situations better and may start to ask questions. And they are always credited with bad results at Olys. Under Gailhaguet, the position has been a mix of henchman and scapegoat.

    I love how Gailhaguet knows how to improve the mood one year ahead of the Olympics.
    He blames every independent decision of the athletes and totally ignores the negative outcome of the decisions he pushed for.
    If only he could plug the french skaters with a wireless remote control system and decide everything, it would be sooooo much better.

    Last edited by Nmsis; 03-27-2013 at 04:17 AM.

  2. #2

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    One would think, if there are so many failures across so many disciplines, that the fault lies with the system and the person heading it and not the individuals?

    I don't see how making these sort of statements is helpful for anyone.

    Is there anything specific he wants P/B to do? Not get injured? Go back to Zazoui (clearly not)? Back to Zhulin (not possible)? Off to Shpilband (oh please no)? Morozov? Sending Amodio to Morozov, who's ruined much of his skating, was something the FFSG pushed for, wasn't it?

    I never understood why anyone attributes whatever success French skaters have to federation support and great politikking.

  3. #3

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    They are crazy.

    Thats the simplest way to describe it.

  4. #4
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    Isn't this the same Gailhaguet who kept all the moneys earned by skaters like Bonaly & Candoloro & they had to take him to court to collect their winnings? I tho't he'd been blacklisted from skating?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I never understood why anyone attributes whatever success French skaters have to federation support and great politikking.
    Remember Samuel Contesti? Even though he won loads of medals in International Bs, after he finished 9th at 2005 Euros, the French Fed refused to send him to major competitions. He skated for Italy quite successfully, winning Euros silver in 2009.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    Remember Samuel Contesti? Even though he won loads of medals in International Bs, after he finished 9th at 2005 Euros, the French Fed refused to send him to major competitions. He skated for Italy quite successfully, winning Euros silver in 2009.
    IIRC it was more complicated than that - Frederic Dambier was chosen based on some selection criteria or other for the Olympics (I think he even had to go to court for this?) and then the next season Contesti and the FFSG got into a spat which ended with Contesti switching to representing Italy. That actually worked out well for him.

    My point was more along the lines of the FFSG being quite interfering and not at all supportive, and Gailhaguet has about as much politikking finesse and as Morozov's choreo has subtlety.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    My point was more along the lines of the FFSG being quite interfering and not at all supportive, and Gailhaguet has about as much politikking finesse and as Morozov's choreo has subtlety.
    That has worked well some times in the past, for Gailhaguet and Morozov. That is the problem, lol !

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    That has worked well some times in the past, for Gailhaguet and Morozov. That is the problem, lol !
    When? I can't think of any French skaters during Gailhaguet's tenure who did better than they deserved (I realize Joubert is not everyone's cup of tea, but he earned his results). But I can think of quite a few French skaters who were undermarked over the years. And assuming he did everything that was attributed to him with the SLC scandal, that is hardly the work of an effective skating politician.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    When? I can't think of any French skaters during Gailhaguet's tenure who did better than they deserved (I realize Joubert is not everyone's cup of tea, but he earned his results). But I can think of quite a few French skaters who were undermarked over the years. And assuming he did everything that was attributed to him with the SLC scandal, that is hardly the work of an effective skating politician.
    It's not that french skaters have been overmarked. He has said that due to him, some french skaters had the title they deserved, and they probably wouldn't have it if he hasn't been there.
    I don't know much about that.

  10. #10
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    it's incredible HOW this individual could come ISU president !
    Really ! no words !!
    After what he did in all this years, he should hide himself somewhere and never enter again in a ice-rink !!

  11. #11
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    Can somebody explain why Chafik Besseghier who was 9th (NINTH!) at Euros wasn't sent to Worlds and isn't even a substitute at World Team Trophy? Any reasoning behind this? Or just the usual Gailhaguet being a moron?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Can somebody explain why Chafik Besseghier who was 9th (NINTH!) at Euros wasn't sent to Worlds and isn't even a substitute at World Team Trophy? Any reasoning behind this? Or just the usual Gailhaguet being a moron?
    IIRC it was because he didn't meet the minimum TES imposed by the French Fed to be sent to Worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeperryfan View Post
    IIRC it was because he didn't meet the minimum TES imposed by the French Fed to be sent to Worlds.
    If top 10 at Euros isn't good enough, then honestly *censored*.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    If top 10 at Euros isn't good enough, then honestly *censored*.
    I don't know why they decided to imposed their own minimums, but they were quite clear that it didn't have to do with the placement but with the score, and considering the field in Europe right now I can understand how they would prefer it that way, top ten in Europe is not what it used to be. :-p Having said that I feel bad for Chafik

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