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  1. #61

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    Manleywoman has tweeted this statement (originally sent via email, she says) by Dick Button in which he endorses Ron Pfenning for USFS president:
    A message from @PushDicksButton: http://pic.twitter.com/vy9i1BLxoZ
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #62

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    Dick Button and Janet Lynn provide one, two punch for Delegates to this week's U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council to consider...

    1. Dick Endorses Ron Pfenning for next President of U.S. Figure Skating - 'To Skaters Everywhere and to the Delegates of the 2014 USFS Governing Council Meeting in Seattle this week! Consider the Following'

    2. Janet Lynn issues 'An Open Inquiry to All Candidates Seeking the Presidency of U.S. Figure Skating Association'
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  3. #63
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    ^^ Thanks for posting Sylvia. Those are good words and support from Dick Button. I also appreciate Dick's recent editiorial (discussed in a recent thread) advocating for a change in the direction figure skating has been heading.

    And ITA with Janet Lynn's comments as well. Her words are so true!

    The sport and art of figure skating are dying, not because of a lack of marketing or lack of a “star,” but because the fundamentals of figure skating are dying... The next President of USFS has an opportunity to restore and rebuild the culture, language and integrity of figure skating. Audiences are drawn to joyful, refined, effortless, beautiful, free movement on ice using a figure skating language to music.

  4. #64

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    I agree with the thoughtful statements of Dick Button and Janet Lynn about these important issues.
    I hope that their positions are considered; and heeded, by those considering the future of figure skating, in the US and elsewhere.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    And ITA with Janet Lynn's comments as well. Her words are so true!

    The sport and art of figure skating are dying, not because of a lack of marketing or lack of a “star,” but because the fundamentals of figure skating are dying... The next President of USFS has an opportunity to restore and rebuild the culture, language and integrity of figure skating. Audiences are drawn to joyful, refined, effortless, beautiful, free movement on ice using a figure skating language to music.
    She's entitled to her opinion, but I don't agree with the first sentence at all and find it insulting to today's many wonderful skaters.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    She's entitled to her opinion, but I don't agree with the first sentence at all and find it insulting to today's many wonderful skaters.
    I agree.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  7. #67

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    I think Tim Wood and Janet Lynn are right in the sense that there is a whole knowledge base that will soon pass away with coaches that came up under compulsory figures because today's skaters do not know it. That does not mean that today's skaters can not jump better than ever or move across the ice with some expertise. However, today's skaters are not as intimately acquainted with their skates as past skaters, and even used different skates all together.

    To Tim and Janet, skating is carving into the ice, which happens to take the skater from here to there. To today's skaters, skating is looking nice while moving above the ice. These are very different mindsets.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 04-29-2014 at 12:57 AM.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    I think Tim Wood and Janet Lynn are right in the sense that there is a whole knowledge base that will soon pass away with coaches that came up under compulsory figures because today's skaters do not know it. That does not mean that today's skaters can not jump better than ever or move across the ice with some expertise. However, today's skaters are not as intimately acquainted with their skates as past skaters, and even used different skates all together.

    To Tim and Janet, skating is carving into the ice, which happens to take the skater from here to there. To today's skaters, skating is looking nice while moving above the ice. These are very different mindsets.
    I'm accustomed to hearing laments from the previous generation about how skating's going downhill and how it all has to do with the demise of figures and have been tired of it for a while. I understand to an extent, though as a younger person who grew up and become a fan in the post-figures era perhaps I can't FULLY appreciate it. Maybe we're both biased by age but generally when I look at "older" skating (even as recent as the '90s/early '00s skating that hooked me as a kid/teenager) I see a whole lot of things that I think skaters generally do better now. Spins were usually an afterthought and it seemed to be the exception rather than a norm to actually hit even a decent basic sit position on both feet. Many elite skaters didn't demonstrate much better spinning skills than I'd expect from a Juvenile skater today. Also footwork might have been fast and sometimes nice to watch but commonly consisted of only very simple turns going 90% in one direction. I find it interesting that with the way skaters were required to learn every turn on each foot and in every direction to a very exacting standard in the context of figures, those skills were not expected or demonstrated very often in free skating. Skaters now might not be able to execute all the turns in the context of figures but at least they're expected to demonstrate them in free skating. And we know that good figures didn't correlate especially strongly with good free skating (there probably would have been more of a correlation if more variety of turns were expected in free skating). And the jump difficulty skaters are doing is very impressive by comparison, and I think mostly the quality is at least as good, despite Tim Wood's disagreement.

    The consistency is probably less but that's to be expected when the difficulty increases by such a huge factor. Perhaps things like flutzing are more common (I've heard some people say that they had never heard of flutzing, and that figures helped you stay on the outside edge on a circle, and I can buy that). And more flexibility in the rules did allow for creativity in ways that IJS does really limit, like doing more small spinning movements that sometimes went with the music, cool variations of single and double jumps, etc., and I would like to see a little more flexibility added into IJS. Especially now that the new scale of values gives no points to Juniors and Seniors for single jumps, I wish they'd allow things like split flips to not take up a box and be done anywhere in the program (not just at the end so they don't lose points for a triple jump). I've thought of the idea of a "choreographic jump" before, and I think a "choreographic spin" could be included also that wouldn't block a spin box to allow more flexibility. Perhaps they could be worth a small number of technical points but the primary focus would be on creativity, quality, and enhancing the music, similar to the theory behind the choreographic sequence (though I still feel like most skaters could do a better job of using the choreo sequence, it's supposed to be a "moment" in the program that has importance with the music and choreography but most I just don't remember 5 minutes after the program). With all of the exhausting jump and spin requirements at the top level, skaters may or may not have the time or energy to do those kinds of things anyway.

    So there are definitely two sides to the coin. But for Janet and Tim to basically trash today's skaters and pretty much imply that the current state of skating is a disaster I really don't think is fair.
    Last edited by RFOS; 04-29-2014 at 02:53 AM.

  9. #69

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    [QUOTE=RFOS;425025

    So there are definitely two sides to the coin. But for Janet and Tim to basically trash today's skaters and pretty much imply that the current state of skating is a disaster I really don't think is fair.[/QUOTE]
    They are not thinking of skatings great athletic advances. They are working to advance political ambitions.
    Morry Stillwell

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morry Stillwell View Post
    They are not thinking of skatings great athletic advances. They are working to advance political ambitions.
    What political ambitions do Dick Button, Janet Lynn, and Tim Wood have? I'm genuinely curious.

    O-

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    What political ambitions do Dick Button, Janet Lynn, and Tim Wood have? I'm genuinely curious.

    O-
    Dick supported Ron Pfenning's bid for U.S. Figure Skating president.

    Tim Wood's interview was against Cinquanta.

  12. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    Dick supported Ron Pfenning's bid for U.S. Figure Skating president.

    Tim Wood's interview was against Cinquanta.
    Those are viewpoints. Everybody has one. But what political aspirations do they have? And how about Janet Lynn?

    O-

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    Spins were usually an afterthought and it seemed to be the exception rather than a norm to actually hit even a decent basic sit position on both feet. Many elite skaters didn't demonstrate much better spinning skills than I'd expect from a Juvenile skater today. Also footwork might have been fast and sometimes nice to watch but commonly consisted of only very simple turns going 90% in one direction. I find it interesting that with the way skaters were required to learn every turn on each foot and in every direction to a very exacting standard in the context of figures, those skills were not expected or demonstrated very often in free skating.
    This x 1000.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    And we know that good figures didn't correlate especially strongly with good free skating (there probably would have been more of a correlation if more variety of turns were expected in free skating). And the jump difficulty skaters are doing is very impressive by comparison, and I think mostly the quality is at least as good, despite Tim Wood's disagreement.
    From Fiona McQuarrie's transcription of manleywoman's podcast with John Misha Petkevich, who when asked about figures said:

    I’m sure people think this is heretical, but I’m a firm believer that figures have nothing to do with free skating. Trixi Schuba was by far one of the great school figure practitioners of all time, and she was by far not one of the best freeskaters. If she could be that good on school figures and it had an impact on free skating, she should have been better. I think they’re two separate disciplines, and one of the things that [coach] Arthur [Bourque] and I devised, we did a lot of training of high-speed crossovers and stroking. And that’s what produced my pretty strong edges, the freeskating. Trust me, it wasn’t from the figures.
    In Petkevich's book (Figure Skating: Championship TechniquesJ), there's no dearth of rockers, brackets, etc.: he just didn't attribute mastery of these if freeskating to the practice of figures. "Angular momentum" and other laws of physics were more up his alley.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    Perhaps things like flutzing are more common (I've heard some people say that they had never heard of flutzing, and that figures helped you stay on the outside edge on a circle, and I can buy that).
    I think this had more to do with triple lutzes becoming common, then necessary, and then the need to do them at an earlier and earlier age, when the skater didn't have the strength to hold the edge. If there was no visible penalty/it wasn't holding anyone back, why should they master the correct edge? Until edge calls were transferred to the tech panel, how many deductions were seen for flutzes? Cohen, for example, didn't have particularly high or powerful jumps that traveled very far, yet in the early years, when +3's on jumps were rare, how many times did she get +1's and +2's with an obvious flutz. There was a comment here that Derrick Delmore's coach, who was one of Ashley Wagner's early coaches, encouraged a technique in which jumps were under-rotated and landed with feet down, something common to both skaters; I can't believe that all of those coaches, including Takeshi Honda's, were oblivious to their students obvious flutzing. Arutunian complained when Asada's flutzes were called.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFOS View Post
    But for Janet and Tim to basically trash today's skaters and pretty much imply that the current state of skating is a disaster I really don't think is fair.
    In his commentary for Lynn's professional competition program, The Blue Danube, Toller Cranston implied by comparison and directly ("This is not seen in amateur competition today.") that Ladies skating had gone to hell in a handbasket, and this was in 1982, eight years before figures were eliminated. La plus ca change...
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    I think this had more to do with triple lutzes becoming common, then necessary, and then the need to do them at an earlier and earlier age, when the skater didn't have the strength to hold the edge. If there was no visible penalty/it wasn't holding anyone back, why should they master the correct edge?
    Yes, I think those are contributing factors too, to flutzing at the elite level, but skaters at the lower levels do commonly flutz single and double lutzes also. I never saw lower level skating from the figures era but according to some it "never happened." I doubt if that's completely true but can believe that it was rare and I can't off hand recall seeing obvious flutzes from the elite level skaters I've watched from the figures era.

  15. #75

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    RFOS, I find your comments insightful and worth contemplating even if I do not necessarily agree.

  16. #76

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    Pfenning has replied to Janet Lynn's questions on his FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-R...99834056751501
    An excerpt:
    Fan Base

    Another area needing our attention is the loss of figure skating’s fan base and television viewership. Trying to figure out why it happened can be an unproductive use of time; instead our efforts and energy should be used to rebuild what was lost. I visualize a symposium hosted by U.S. Figure Skating with invitations extended to those impacted by the decline, including the ISU, other ISU federations especially in North America and the media -- including print, TV (networks and cable), IMG, etc. Additional participants would include Internet bloggers, figure skating icons, representatives of STAR and the PSA, and others impacted by the loss of figure skating fan support.
    ...
    Marketing & Communications
    ..
    IJS is a complex scoring system and my goal/vision would be to continue to inform our membership on how it works, so they can explain it to their friends and neighbors. We should also communicate with the media covering our sport so they recognize their own obligation to communicate to their audience the workings of IJS. We should be there to provide the support system the media needs.

    In marketing our sport it is important to be inclusive rather than exclusive. We should provide as many press/media credentials to our events as possible to expand our audience. We must not overlook the growth and influence of Internet sites which are devoted to our sport and are building up a following who love skating. My vision is to see all forms of media granted accreditation to our competitions.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  17. #77

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    Skating Fans and Followers: An Important Read From George Rossano

    The Battle in Seattle Heats Up: George Rossano’s Take on the race for USFS President and the fear mongering tactics being used against Ron Pfenning

    International Competitive Figure Skating – Issues and Events
    There is nothing more captivating in this world than a woman's form gracing the ice in skating boots. It's simply sensational!

  18. #78

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    Thanks! Here's the direct link to George Rossano's editorial: The Battle in Seattle Heats Up (ETA: link is fixed)
    Excerpt:
    Bottom line, the election for president, for me, is not about the ISU. It is about how the next president will lead U.S. Figure Skating domestically. What ails figure skating in the U.S. and the challenges within the Association are only to a very very minor extent caused by the ISU (despite what fans think), and the solution to what ails us for sure is not to be found at the ISU. We are the masters of our fate.

    So the main questions delegates should be asking themselves, in my opinion, is which candidate will best be able to marshal the resources within U.S. Figure Skating to meet the challenges that face us, and which candidate has the best approach to do that.

    My take on the candidates is that Auxier represents a continuation of the increasingly top-down approach to managing figure skating we have seen over many years now -- an approach where all clubs are being pushed towards doing all things the exact same way under the guidance of Association management, and a small group of office holders who know everything about everything and let their wisdom flow downstream. Pfenning, to my mind, represents a return to the bottom-up approach to management that was the approach within the Association for most of its life, and produced a strong and vibrant Association, with numerous medalists and medal contending skaters.

    Clubs need the freedom and flexibility to innovate, and to respond to their individual and local needs. The Association needs to broaden the voices it listens to and get away from the "group think" mentality than possesses us more and more. You will not get that from a top-down approach.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 04-30-2014 at 05:09 PM. Reason: To fix link
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  19. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Pfenning has replied to Janet Lynn's questions on his FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Run-R...99834056751501
    An excerpt:
    I love Pfennings responses to her questions. Openness, inclusivity, looking to the future and not rehashing the past. This is where we need to go IMO.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Thanks! Here's the direct link to George Rossano's editorial: The Battle in Seattle Heats Up
    Excerpt:
    Link doesn't work.
    Visaliakid's link works just fine.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

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