Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by kosjenka, Jan 7, 2013.
It does exist for the US too -
As you pointed out, EU countries make their own citizenship rules. If an EU country had an economic class for PR/citizenship, then the EU would have no influence on that country's law or processes. Also, laws that allow exceptions for potential or service are deliberately vague and government officials and/or legislatures interpret them on a case-by-case basis, and that service could be economically based. As far as being a border country, former Eastern European countries have done well on their own in impeding citizenship for ethnic Russians within their borders; preventing dual Russian/[country] citizenship has been one of the, if not the main, drivers, for laws against dual citizenship there.
There's so much talk about how much money Tobias's family has -- in an interview translated here, her former short-term partner Ilya Tkachenko described how her father had helicoptered them to practice to avoid traffic -- and how she bought a partner, that it's only one step away from thinking that her family could have contributed a well-needed facility or by starting a business in her new country, no matter how specious. However, depending on how the laws of a country are written, even were it true, this could be neither corrupt nor rule-bending.
The same thing is true of merit and how merit is defined. The Estonian government thought that Mallory should be given not only Estonian citizenship, but a special citizenship that would expire in a set number of years. (Estonia does not allow dual citizenship, either, and this would have allowed her to regain US citizenship -- if they even bothered to see if she went through the formal renunciation process -- after two Olympic cycles.). Mallory/Rand's results weren't any better than Tobias/Stagniunas's, but the sovereign Lithuanian government has a different gauge for accomplishment and service than the Estonian government did at the time the decisions were made, just as they could have taken economic factors into consideration, unless prohibited by their own law.
While there are valid arguments on the relative value of how residency/citizenship is attained, and to whom it should go, unless it is done purely by lottery, there is built-in favoritism, because, by definition, there are criteria and there is a hierarchy, in both acceptance and processing time. Corruption only comes into play when someone is given precedence or exception outside the standard processes.
Because representing your country is what the whole idea of Olympics revolves around.
Again, EU does not interfere at all with how individual members states draft and apply their own citizenship laws. Keeping the Schengen border safe is one thing, granting citizenship through "special merit" is another. There are countries in the EU where it's comparably easy to obtain citizenship this way. Lithuania is definitely not one of them. Never was and probably never will be.
Yes and that's how the world works. If you have a lot of money, you can live whenever the hell you please and pay hardly any taxes on top of that.
This reminds me of actor Gerard Depardieu being granted Russian citizenship personally by Vladimir Putin.
Tobias/Stagniunas have posted a link to a short article to their Facebook Page:
I'm not sure if I understand the bing translation properly, but I think it says the Lithuanian president has asked or is about the ask the Lithuanian Constitutional Court to clarify some prior rulings on citizenship and to see if there needs to be a new law or constitutional change to clarify the exception standards.
so basically, to sum up most of what has been said in this thread, Ice Dancing is really just a way for rich people who don't have much talent to buy their way into the Olympics...... fantastic...
Yeah, we're saying that everyone who isn't competitive for a World or Olympic title is a rich person who bought their way into competition.
according to this thread - the same thing applies to even world champions i.e. Maurizio Margalio... and that Russian dude who won bronze.. ( Sorry, I don't follow ice dancing and can't remember his name and don't have the interest to go back through this thread to find it..)
Because Margaglio and Shabalin are soooooo rich.
More bad news for I. Tobias/D. Stagniunas as they had to withdraw from Europeans. Apparently he suffered a reocurring back injury. :-(
NOOOOOO! I really like T&S skating. It's being such a difficult season for them and I was hoping they could bounce back at Euros.
So, then if they are not rich, can someone explain how people can win a world title and an Olympic medal if they are clearly not the best ice dancers around and didn't have the money to buy their medals and buy their way into competitions? I just don't understand this at all....
Certainly "not the best" doesn't mean "not even good enough to enter the competition at all." No need to buy their way into competition. There's a wide range of ability from top to bottom across the ice dance field.
Several possibilities for a skater who is not the best earning elite medals:
1) One partner may be weak and the other so strong that the team together is competitive with other top teams.
2) The team may not be one of the best teams, but close enough that they can have the best overall set of performances at a given competition in the honest opinions of the majority of judges
3) The skater and partner might not be rich themselves but have rich supporters, including within their federation, buying results for them, or using leverage other than money to trade for results
Good female partners, federation support (political and/or financial in terms of paying for good coaching and training conditions), good choreographers who can work around their weaknesses, audience support, making the most of chances when rivals are having a bad season, etc.
Being extremely good at what they do well, so much so that it helps them score well despite their weaknesses.
A quick Google search tells me the both of them can pop 100,000 dollars each to buy a dual citizenship from a certain country called "Dominica" (not to be confused with Dominican Republic), quickly form a skating federation and go to Sochi.....No one has to give up anything. And it will be an amazing political story of this age too. Also St. Kitts And Nevis, and probably Panama. I also won't be surprised some African passports are pretty easy to get.
After all, Tobias' family invested so much in them.
That being said, I do think it's quite unfair that someone like Allison Reed could be an Olympian. But again, what does that even mean? Does being an Olympian qualify you for anything other than free souvenirs? Is it really worth it to throw so much money into something that ends in two days?
After all they've been through, now this? Sad.
You mean that she doesn't have 3 more men on paid standby when something like this happens?
I know you're being flippant, but it's clear from the interview with Isabella Tobias linked upthread that Deividas Stagniūnas doesn't want to skate for any country other than Lithuania. She, on the other hand, would probably be more than happy to do as you suggest. But it takes two to ice dance.
To whom is it unfair? If Georgia, or for that matter Israel, wants to grant citizenship to athletes who neither train nor live there, why is that unfair?
It's true that by taking the last qualifying spot for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games at Nebelhorn in 2009, Allison Reed and her partner effectively denied Austria, Greece, or Finland of a spot, but Austria and Greece had foreign-born ice dancers too, and Finland's couple couldn't even score 100 points.
I can see why Lithuania has strict rules, but it seems it would be difficult for the pair to train there so that Isabella can establish residency if there aren't any decent coaches for them to train with. Probably had to do with why Deividas left in the first place, right? That and needing a partner. It's like they're stuck in a catch-22.
New article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130118&content_id=41031196&vkey=ice_news
"They found I wasn't exceptional enough to Lithuanian society,"
Mama must be IRATE!!!
I do hope they continue skating and improve anyway.
I'm glad Isabella and Deividas will keep skating together at least one more season. They can still achieve a lot together and make themselves and their fans proud.
Very classy quotes from Tobias in that article.
Given how difficult it is to learn Lithuanian as a native American speaker, really well done for Tobias for mastering it so fast and getting 58/60 questions right.
I am glad to hear they are going to stick it out together regardless. Hopefully they will continue to improve.
You can't 'quickly form a skating federation'. You need an organisational structure, you need an ice rink, etc.
Yes, I also think it's unfair that a competitive skater who trains as hard as anybody else would be allowed to compete at Olympics.
Also I don't think countries like Dominica or any Caribbean /African countries would be good enough for Mama even if it were allowed.. It's much easier to explain to the rest of high society how fantastic her daughter is by not only skating for an Eastern European country hoping to make it to the Olympics but also how smart she is for mastering such a hard European language by getting a 58/60 on an exam. "This is a language that normally would take years for the average person to learn, but because my daughter is so great at so many things, a year was good enough to be semi-fluent.."
btw, did anyone check the ID at the language testing site to make sure that was a valid one or that the girl taking the test was not some random Lithuanian chick named Kofryna Antanas who needed $5,000 to continue her education here in NYC? LOL
I know I started this thread, but reading it I felt really uncomfortable.
I am used to sarcasm and wit, but some things written here about Tobias and her family (mother) are just poor taste.
It looks like kindergarten jalousie. What is the problem - that girls is from wealthy family and her parents are willing to invest in something their daughter is passionate about?
Somehow I think skating fans would love that there are skaters who actually have such family support. Not many do, sometimes the great come from humble background - but still, does this mean angry, nasty things have to be posted to those who come from wealthy families?
I do not understand why is Tobias being set aside as unworthy of her on ice partner. If anything - this interview show how truly devoted she is to skating, to him and to Lithuania. Of all European languages, I guess only Hungarian would be more difficult for an English native speaker to learn well enough to answer questions in front of citizenship committee after a year of learning.
I am sorry they cannot come to Zagreb. I was lucky to see them skate at Golden spin. They have improved so much, especially in free dance. Or I guess it was all about Shpilband standing by the boards...
Oh wow... goes to show how little I pay attention to dance... I didn't even know that somehow the best ice dancing coach in the world right now had time for these 2 with all of the top names he is coaching..
President exceptionally granted Lithuanian citizenship to the athlete Isabella Tobias