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  1. #1

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    Elvis Stojko not a fan of new Olympic figure skating team event

    Elvis Stojko not a fan of new Olympic figure skating team event
    http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/201...ochi-olympics/
    Stojko, 41, said he probably wouldn’t have done the team event if it was part of the Olympic program when he competed in 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002.

    “Because I would be so focused on my individual stuff,” he said. “It’d be really tough. If I was not in medal contention for Olympics in solo, then maybe I would consider it, but still then it would be really tough. It’s really hard for us to do the technical stuff we’re doing to do it once and then do it again like a week later.
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    Elvis' objections seem to be mostly "I wouldn't do this event if I were competing". He doesn't seem to be objecting to the idea of the event itself, just that he as a skater would find it difficult to compete in it.
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    Another interesting article, thanks for posting it, Sugar.

    Still, I have no doubt that Elvis would have particiipated in it for a chance at a medal. Seriously, he's about the toughest competitor ever in the history of figure skating, tied with Evgeni Plushenko that is.

    To compete with a groin injury was unbelieveable and he still managed to secure the silver medal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Elvis' objections seem to be mostly "I wouldn't do this event if I were competing". He doesn't seem to be objecting to the idea of the event itself, just that he as a skater would find it difficult to compete in it.
    I kind of took his quote a bit differently. More like, "thank goodness they didn't have this when I was competing because it's not something I would want to be forced into doing". I totally get his not wanting to perform a technically difficult program twice in a short time, each time with thoughts of medalling.
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    I don't understand the idea it is tough to do the program again. Yes, competition requires a lot of mental fortitude but I've seen senior elite skaters run their program multiple times in a session and then do it again the next day. It's not a game where you don't know what will happen and some are harder than others. It's a program. The same one you do everyday, multiple times, at home.

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    Elvis Stojko not a fan of new Olympic figure skating team event

    I still don't understand this line of thinking. These are elite athletes who do full run-throughs every day, multiple times a day when healthy. What is one more for another medal? On that day you just use it as a practice and the very best kind of practice possible since it IS competition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I don't understand the idea it is tough to do the program again. Yes, competition requires a lot of mental fortitude but I've seen senior elite skaters run their program multiple times in a session and then do it again the next day. It's not a game where you don't know what will happen and some are harder than others. It's a program. The same one you do everyday, multiple times, at home.
    Maybe we ask the opinions of retired elite skaters? Maybe they may differ from Elvis's reasons and shed more light from the competitors' viewpoints.
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    Plushenko for example said that in his opinion a well trained skater would be able to skate successfully in both events and he does not see it as an impossible task for someone in good shape. Of course, Plushenko is not retired yet and if the qualifies for the Olympics he'll be forced to do both events. I don't know if he decided on which event to focus more.
    V/T said they will focus on the single event, so clearly there are skaters which share Elvis opinion. I believe most of them fear an injury in the teams event.
    Last edited by ciocio; 10-17-2013 at 08:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by professordeb View Post
    I kind of took his quote a bit differently. More like, "thank goodness they didn't have this when I was competing because it's not something I would want to be forced into doing". I totally get his not wanting to perform a technically difficult program twice in a short time, each time with thoughts of medalling.
    That is my impression too.


    Quote Originally Posted by ciocio
    Plushenko for example said that in his opinion a well trained skater would be able to skate successfully in both events and he does not see it as an impossible task for someone in good shape. Of course, Plushenko is not retired yet and if the qualifies for the Olympics he'll be forced to do both events. I don't know if he decided on which event to focus more.
    V/T said they will focus on the single event, so clearly there are skaters which share Elvis opinion. I believe most of them fear an injury in the teams event.
    Plushenko is bionic, ciocio.

    Looks like those who have a chance of medalling chose not to compete. Afterall, figure skating is not gymnastics which is over in less than a minute. And it may have a lot to do with mental preparation besides physical based on Elvis's comments.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

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    I think skaters should have the option if they want to compete in the team event or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Maybe we ask the opinions of retired elite skaters? Maybe they may differ from Elvis's reasons and shed more light from the competitors' viewpoints.
    You could ask current ones too...


    Personally, I agree that skaters shouldn't be forced to participate in anything. It should be their choice.

    When V/T say they will focus on the single event, I don't understand what that means: they do the same program every time they compete- how does one focus on one event over another? Or does this mean we should expect watered down programs in the team event? No throw 3As or throw quads from pairs? No quads from men? No triple triples from ladies? Is it possible for dancers to water down their programs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    You could ask current ones too...


    Personally, I agree that skaters shouldn't be forced to participate in anything. It should be their choice.

    When V/T say they will focus on the single event, I don't understand what that means: they do the same program every time they compete- how does one focus on one event over another? Or does this mean we should expect watered down programs in the team event? No throw 3As or throw quads from pairs? No quads from men? No triple triples from ladies? Is it possible for dancers to water down their programs?
    It seems that they will do only the SP and another team will skate the LP, which could mean a lower score for team Russia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ciocio View Post
    It seems that they will do only the SP and another team will skate the LP, which could mean a lower score for team Russia.
    Or more medals for Russians.

    (I actually think this would be a more ideal way to do the team event- require separate skaters for short and long. But the IOC doesn't want more skaters and not every country qualifies that many.)

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    I would think the skaters who are concerned about competing in 2 events would be more concerned about mental focus (especially if nerves are an issue), preparation routine/pacing, and injury than about pure physical capability. This event would surely be a distraction -- if you happen to win an Olympic medal, especially gold, are you not going to celebrate at all and just refocus on your preparation routine for your main event? I think that would be hard. When you accomplish a goal (even if it isn't the main goal), I would think that decompression-relaxation mode kicks in, and that could interfere at least with the events that start soon after the team event. They have time to prepare mentally, but they haven't actually done both events at the same Worlds in the same week so they don't have a routine down.

    In dance, a dancer might be onstage for a couple of hours several times in a week - they are physically capable. The difference is that they get to turn around and do it again and again - each performance is important, but there is another tomorrow or next week. At the Olympics, there is just one chance every four years. Different kind of mental pressure.

    Plushenko is a natural competitor - I doubt he battles nerves or focus issues much. He thrives on competition and winning, and adrenaline is his friend. I'd bet he'd take a chance at another OGM in a heartbeat even if he had to do 2 programs a day for 7 days.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    When V/T say they will focus on the single event, I don't understand what that means: they do the same program every time they compete- how does one focus on one event over another? Or does this mean we should expect watered down programs in the team event? No throw 3As or throw quads from pairs? No quads from men? No triple triples from ladies? Is it possible for dancers to water down their programs?
    Besides the obvious jump content that could be watered down, you could also run into other issues. For example, if a lift feels a little off, you might fight for it more and risk injury or a worse fall if this is your event, but in the team competition you might just abort it and take a 0 for that element. I only do a few adult competitions, so I can't really talk about what it's like to do 2 senior programs in the same week, but I would assume mental fatigue eventually comes into play since competing is a lot more draining than a practice run-through.

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    I think the ISU has the idea that "team spirit" will take the edge off.

    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    I think skaters should have the option if they want to compete in the team event or not.
    The skaters who are forced to do the team event are those whose country decides to participate in the TE -- this is optional -- and either no one on their OT from a given discipline wants to or their Fed forces them to. If the country enters the TE, and if they have skaters qualified for the individual event(s) for a discipline but skip that discipline in the TE, that/those skater(s) can't skate in the individual events.

    USFS has pages of rules on this, and each skater/team has to declare whether 1. They want to particiate and 2. If "no" they'd reconsider to complete the team.
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    This event would surely be a distraction -- if you happen to win an Olympic medal, especially gold, are you not going to celebrate at all and just refocus on your preparation routine for your main event?
    All the other multi-event athletes manage. Swimming, gymnastics, speed skating, shooting, track, diving. All these athletes prepare for and compete in separate events (many having to train different skills, which the skater's won't need to do.) And they manage to collect their gold, refocus and do it again. Skaters just need to realize this is a new event, and they need to devise strategies to deal with it.

    I do agree with your point that having had this at the last worlds would have been beneficial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    All the other multi-event athletes manage. Swimming, gymnastics, speed skating, shooting, track, diving. All these athletes prepare for and compete in separate events (many having to train different skills, which the skater's won't need to do.) And they manage to collect their gold, refocus and do it again. Skaters just need to realize this is a new event, and they need to devise strategies to deal with it.

    I do agree with your point that having had this at the last worlds would have been beneficial.
    Well said. I think that like every new thing the team event in FS is facing resistance. By 2018 they will get used to it and prepare accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    All the other multi-event athletes manage. Swimming, gymnastics, speed skating, shooting, track, diving. All these athletes prepare for and compete in separate events (many having to train different skills, which the skater's won't need to do.) And they manage to collect their gold, refocus and do it again. Skaters just need to realize this is a new event, and they need to devise strategies to deal with it.

    I do agree with your point that having had this at the last worlds would have been beneficial.


    Right, they've always done that at local, National, International, and World Championship meets since childhood. It is part of their well developed competition routine. The Olympics wouldn't be their first time doing this. The only people who would be accustomed to it in skating are those who did pairs and singles at some stage in their careers. They should have started this at Worlds and in a couple of generations, people will be used to it.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

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    There is something about skating with requires a skater to "emote" something onto the ice. You want THE performance for your Olympic gold medal, not for the tea, event. Th eone, only, stellar performance... That's why skaters who really had that perfect skate at Nationals rarely do it twice at Worlds. It's more about the mental aspect of giving it all. The skater do "perfect" run-throughs in practice but not with the same emotional charge as in a real competition setting.

    And they have never been used to skate a long program twice in a competition week . Lots a pacing and psychological planning to do.

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