Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by muffinbiscuit, Dec 4, 2010.
I agree, those two didn't exactly set the world on fire with their career.
But you have to agree that they were each the right 3rd skater from their Federation to go to Olympics
If Jeremy had made the GPF or medalled at last year's World's I would have argued for him to have gone to Tokyo.
I think federations should go off book sometimes where warranted and not always stick to nationals placements. Imagine if Jeremy, Johnny and Evan all skated poorly at nationals last year and finished off the podium. The more a federation sticks to nats placements, the bigger the controversy they will face if they advance lower-placing skaters when they really need to.
While in theory, it seems like the committee should pick the best possible team based on lots of results. But in reality, that often results in people being picked for political reasons rather than for real results and that old favorites who have performed well in the past but are not performing well now get sent over younger less experience athletes who are performing well now but don't have the rep.
For example, what if someone who didn't participate in the GP wins Nationals? They have no former results to go on. Maybe they weren't on the GP due to an injury which is now healed though. Or they didn't have a SB score the prior year because they were too young. So not being on the GP doesn't mean they usually suck and winning Nationals is a fluke.
I think in reality it's impossible to pick the "best" team based on multiple factors. Therefore, I'm fine with doing it based on the results of Nationals.
If Jeremy could do that... he probably won't be where he is right now.
Okay, what about this....S/S got sick and didn't go to their nationals or europeans and H/W won, do you think the german fed wouldn't send them because it was the rules? I think the rule would be broken and that would be in any federaltion be it Russian, Canadian, American or anyone.
The feds want to send the best team, even if the best team don't aways win nationals.
You can't compare the two scenarios though. Even the US federation makes exceptions for injuries etc. But in order to qualify for said exception, you have to have amazing qualifications. Jeremy's track record doesn't not in anyway compare to S/S. He doesn't even have a world medal, let along being a reining Olympic bronze medalist, and 2 time world champ.
And how do we know for sure that Jeremy will do better than the three that were on the team. Who would have though two years ago that Mroz would do better than Jeremy at worlds, Mroz! But Brandon did. Its not like Jeremy is a consistent skater, with consistent placements.
Different federations have different rules. Not every federation is required to go by the results of their nationals. Plus, in most NGBs there are rules for how to deal with injured skaters. So sending them wouldn't be against the rules in most countries including the US.
But if it was against the rules, they wouldn't be broken, at least in the US.
The problem with just sending whomever you want regardless of the rules is that you get sued for not following your own rules. This is why NGBs have leeway in their rules. USFS only has to send the winner in each discipline, for example. The other slots are up to the discretion of the International Committee. However, USFS rarely goes against the results of Nationals even though technically they can. I think they've figured out it rarely pays off and it pisses off the athletes.
I'm not sure how gymnastics compares anyways. Nowadays gymanstics is 3 up 3 count and with five/six person team lineups are incredibly important. You may have finished 4th in the All Around at Nationals in gymnastics, but you might have done so being 5th on every event, while perhaps the person behind you was 1/2 in two events. All the girls competiting for gymnastics spots know that its about where they place in lineups.
And really the thing is the US system has overall worked very well for us. Is there a federation in its long term history (I'm not talking about just a decade) that has had more singles medals than us? Making nationals important makes it easier for young talent to get notice and the ability to compete. And the thing is if you can't handle your national championship, are you really going to be able to handle worlds.
I think the main thing is that the skaters know what they have to do to make the teams ahead of time for example the Russian federation pretty made it clear that if you wanted to make the Europeans team, you needed to place top 3 at nationals. And then to I/K and R/T that how they did at Euros would determine Worlds spots..
You can't go changing the qualification after the fact.
Ross Miner posted a blog entry on his official site that recaps the ankle sprain injury that forced his withdrawal from 2010 Nationals/Junior Worlds and his season to date through 2011 Nationals: http://www.figureskatersonline.com/rossminer/blog-february2011.html
Before I write entirely too much, I just want to say I am not some crazed Abbott fan. I like both Abbott and Miner, and I wish Miner well at Worlds.
Aside from beating him by 0.19 at Nationals, Miner hasn't really come close to scoring at the level of Abbott this season. Abbott's 4CC score (and he certainly left points on the table) crushes Miner's personal best. And it's not that Miner has scored lower than Abbott because he's a "newbie"... At this point in time, Abbott is the better skater and most likely was the US's only medal chance at Worlds (you could argue that it was an outside chance, but it was still a chance). I don't think selecting Abbott would have come across as political at all... I think it would have just been an obvious way to increase the US's potential at Worlds, which is what I think should be the most important thing. If a country doesn't want their best team at the most important competition of the year, then what's the point?
I completely agree. But in this particular case, it was a 0.19 difference between a 3rd and 4th place skater. I would feel somewhat differently if Miner had won Nationals and/or Abbott finished far off the podium.
I would guess the very top skaters are more pissed off by the way it's done now. Their recent international accomplishments end up not meaning much, and the pressure to peak at Nationals is very high.
Absolutely. But my point is that the gymnasts are given multiple chances to prove themselves. If they are off at Nationals, they know they have other chances to demonstrate their scoring potential, and won't automatically get "dumped".
The US has done extremely well, but no matter how great you are, you should always want to try to do your personal best. I'm not sure we can always do that by strictly following Nationals results. As for your comment about pressure, right now I would think Nationals are more pressure-filled than Worlds because it could end a skater's season. And certainly a front-runner like Abbott had more pressure on him than a new guy coming in. Therefore, I really don't think how Abbott/Miner handled Nationals is very indicative of how they would handle Worlds.
Absolutely, I agree... And the USFS rules do say they will consider other international results. It's just that they appear not to.
Here is what it says in the Rulebook.
Nowhere does it say these competitions are equally weighted. The USFSA rules DO NOT say that the World team selection will be made up of skaters who score the most qualification points based on performance at certain competitions. It is NOT that A+B+C+D+E = World team. The only one who must be included is the national champion, unless there's a problem with age-eligibility.
And I don't see what the problem with this is at all. Nationals is the only place where all the skaters can all compete and all be judged against each other, where scores can be directly compared because it's the same competition, is nationals. (And even then, the USFSA does allow for medical reasons, like Belbin/Agosto in 2009.)
The rules may say one thing, but the US in practice has done completely different. And there are a lot strong cases than Abbott's this year. For example look at Johnny Weir who was the reigning GPF and World bronze medalist.
We don't know how Miner will handle Worlds. But I think that Abbott's last three world performances and Olympic performance is a pretty good indicator of how he'll handle it. I mean you never know and he could have the skate of his life but.
Jeremy has been given multiple chances and he's managed to pretty much give some of his worst performances at the top competitions the last three years straight. The US men at Four Continents finished with TES below China. And now PCS wise Hanyu Japan's # 4 is starting to come close to Abbott.. The US needs to find guys who can deliver the technical goods under pressure.
Miner is very young and its his first Senior international season. I don't know if he'll do well at Worlds or not, but he's earned the right to try and as I said before it wouldn't hurt the USFSA to see how he and Dornbush handle the opportunity. Its not just about spots for next year its also about figuring out who they can rely on long term.
And as for Marta. Marta doesn't put up with headcases, especially headcases who mess up at the biggest international meets of the year. She'd have been done with Jeremy a lot earlier. I mean she's done with Larson after one bad performance at Worlds.
Please don't get me wrong Abbott is a beautiful skater, and I wouldn't have had a problem if PCS had put him in the top 3 at Nationals. But I just don't think that Abbott has done so much internationally or proven to be such a steller competitor that the USFSA should change their established practice for him. Yes if Abbott skated well he could world champion. Its not about his talent, its about the fact that Jeremy is not a good competitor. I also think at this point, the USFSA essentially issuing the ultimatium to get his mental game together, is frankly the only thing they can do.
Huh? Jeremy is not a good competitor? That's a bit sweeping, not to mention untrue.
Well then what's your definition of a good competitor. For me a good competitor is someone who normally delivers according to their abilities or close to it. Or they are a skater who may not be great in the early season, but show up to the big dance and skate well. See for example Mao Asada, hitting a clean short at the Olympics, when it really counted!!!!! And then Kim responding back. Great competitors do that.
Good competitor does not necessarily = great skater. Bad competitor doesn't = Bad skater. For example, I'd call Rachael Flatt a good competitor, more than a great skater. And I'd say that Carolina Kostner is an amazing skater, but pretty much a bad competitor. Kim and Asada, well they are the full package.
Jeremy may have 2 national titles and GPF title, but his results are no where near his talent level for the most part. His National performance last was a better skate than Evan could ever dream of delivering. But there's a reason Evan is a World and Olympic Champ, and Jeremy isn't. Its because Evan knows how to deliver at the truly big moments. The killer instinct.
Sometimes you can get skaters who are so talented, that they never develop that killer instinct. The ability to go out there and hit the routine when it counts. It was just never necessary because they always won/did well anyways. But then eventually they get to a level where there are skaters who are good enough skaters, that they actual have to deliver in order to beat them, and that can be a problem.
Its not about Jeremy being a bad guy or anything like that. But reliable competitor he's not. I'd love to see it change and him one day deliver a miracle performance at Worlds. But USFSA can't be at this point pinning their hopes on that . They need to test different guys and find the ones who can deliver under pressure. Lyseck was never the most talented male skater of his quad/not really close. But he was the best competitor, and that worked out very well for the USFSA. A lot of the top men are very inconsistent. And so if the USFSA can find another guy who can deliver high tech content under pressure, with good skating skills it could very well be another winning combination or at least medal winning for Sochi.
The skaters are always introducing and supporting amendments at Governing Council to pick the teams by Nationals results. I'm sure there are skaters who disagree (there are a lot of skaters and they don't think in lock step), but at all the Governing Councils I've been to, the athlete reps have made it very clear that they want the team picked based on Nationals results and not some vague criteria that isn't knowable ahead of time.
What about preparing for the future? Sooner or later, the newbies have to make their first trip to an important event; what is wrong by using legitimate criteria (national placements) to start easing the young ones into the big leagues early? It makes sense to me to test out Miner (and Dornbush) now ... when there is time to recover any lost spots before Sochi.
Why would the top skaters only be pissed off now? Absent injury byes, the US has been using only Nats to select its World (and Oly) teams for years.
Based on the rulebook, the only bright spot to look at on Jeremy's recent record is his nats win last year (and a sensational skate at that!). But aside from that, I don't think he accomplished much else in the last season or two that would warrant a near-automatic selection. Had he won a GP event, made the GP final and medalled there or medalled at World's or Olympics last year, I think the decision would have been tougher. Jeremy unfortunately as not come through with results more than he has in recent history, so I can see why the USFSA isn't doing him any favors and is therefore shifting its focus to the future.
Sad, though. His two programs this year are among the best I have ever seen in men's skating.
But it used to be the rules. The rules had to be modified though because USFS didn't want US Nationals in Olympic years to be the official Olympic Trials. Making them so would give some control to the USOC and IOC and they didn't want that. So they modified the rules to say that the make-up of the team was up to their discretion. Athletes got upset about that and a compromise was reached ... the National Champion was guaranteed a spot but the rest of the team was up to the International Committee.
And I agree that USFS had no reason to leave Miner off the World team. We're not talking about a skater with a proven track record having one uncharacteristic bad skate and being left off the Olympic team thus crushing years of dreams. We're talking about a two-time national champion with a spotty international record being left off the World team in the first year post-Olympics (i.e., a rebuilding year).
Why not send Miner? Only time is going to tell us what skaters are really the "future of US figure skating" and USFS has the time, this being the very first year of the Olympic cycle, so why upset the apple cart by going against Nationals results when nothing is to be gained by it?
Why not, indeed?
Sending Miner sends the message that the USFSA does not play favorites. Do well enough at Nationals, and you will be sent to Worlds. Choosing Abbott would open the door to sending a skater who finished a lot more than 0.19 points out of third (or second) place.
Exactly once the USFSA starts playing favorites, that opens a huge can of worms. That's why if exceptions are going to be made, they need to be made for really exceptional examples. I.e a reigning world champion, or maybe reigning bronze medalist.
The higher a skater's level of ability, the harder it is to deliver that ability. Unless Abbott skates clean with a 4T, 3A-3T, and 3A (which happens rarely for most skaters), there are people not happy with him and consider him to be underachieving. But the way I look at it is that Abbott not at his best would still outscore Miner just about every time right now.
Oh, I can imagine most of the skaters want the World team based on National results...But that's probably because the average skater has very little on their resume BUT Nationals results. I assume plenty of skaters from that very top echelon of US skaters who have decent international results (aka the favorites to make it to Worlds) would prefer that their Int'l performances are at least considered in the selection for Int'l teams. Sadly, the top skaters would never win a vote on this matter because they are in the heavy minority.
Worlds is the most important competition of the year. The purpose there, I would think, is for countries to try to get their best results, not to test out new guys. We can test out Miner on the Grand Prix, Senior Bs, and anything else. Miner competed twice on the GP and didn't prove to be on Abbott's level of scoring ability, and he barely (an understatement) squeaked by Abbott at Nationals with the "skate of his life"... I understand the reasoning behind sending Miner (he did beat Abbott at the most important competition), and I think it will be a fantastic experience for him. But to me it's just a sign that the US isn't very concerned about trying to get their best results at Worlds. And that's fine... Not everyone is going to have the same goals. And the US has plenty of skating depth in this country that even if they don't try their hardest to send their best team, they will still get nice enough results.
I agree that Abbott didn't deserve an automatic selection. For him, this hasn't been a great season. I just think his far superior track record internationally (even just looking at this season only) over Miner deserved some serious consideration, especially when these two skaters nearly finished in a tie at Nationals. It's not like we're deciding a University Games roster here... This is Worlds.
We're never all going to agree on this, but I think there's a lot to be gained by trying to send the best team we can. It would have improved the US's chances of doing well, most importantly. On top of that, it would have given us a very real chance of maintaining 3 spots. While some believe it's not a big deal to lose one of these spots and that we can just get it back next year, the odds of getting 3 spots decrease substantially when you are down to 2 skaters (as the US ladies have shown). Both skaters really have to be on their game at the same time to expect them to turn 2 spots into 3... There's VERY little room for error. Also, the more skaters you have entered, the better the chances of getting good placements. For example, the US ladies would be in much better shape if they had Mirai there in addition to Alissa and Rachael this year.
I don't know any details about the situations that MacMadame was describing, but, fwiw, Mark Ladwig is an athlete representative.
(And I think your No True Scotsman clarification defense is a little disingenuous.)
Sorry, but I disagree with the idea that we could test out Miner on the Grand Prix or Senior Bs. Right now, Miner's competitive results are as consistent with his being a strong minded competitor who knows how to "bring it" to the really important events ... the only way to prove if this is so or not is to send him to the really important events. After all, Mao Asada was horrible during the GP events, and was soundly trounced by Suzuki; later events showed the situation was completely turned around. Whether Miner/Abbott could be similar or not is still not known.
Lets See- in just this season when we all agree Jeremy wasn't at his best-
US mens singles skater with most SR GP points this year- Abbott (missed GPF in a tiebreaker)
US mens singles skater that medaled at ALL his international events -Abbott (despite travel overseas for all)
Nope, can't understand why we'd want to send our best international mens skater to Worlds...
maybe to help keep 3 spots for deserving skaters next year?
I'd be interested in knowing if his opinion on this matter changed once E/L's Int'l results improved and they became a top US pair. I'd find it hard to believe that these skaters winning Int'l medals and outscoring all the other US skaters internationally don't wish for it to be taken into consideration.
Lots of posters in this thread and elsewhere have been arguing that it's best to send Miner because, Hey! He needs to gain international exposure! But there's a Grand Prix series for that... Ross did nothing special on the GP this year. He's never even broken 200.
Worlds is the biggest event of the year and it's prudent to try to send your best, highest scoring team. I don't think we'll get 3 spots for next year, and that's ok with it being so early in the quadrennium, but it's a bit silly to kid ourselves into thinking that, for example, an Abbott-Rippon-Dornbush team or an Abbott-Rippon-Armin team would fail to get 3 spots. It's possible, certainly, but not likely. Even if it was a really weak event for Adam and Jeremy, I don't see them, with their PCS, finishing out of the top 10. I don't see Ross finishing in the top 10 even with the skate of his life.
But we'll see!
I understand the need to expose young guns to top events, but if this is the case, I'm not sure if it's a great idea to send US 4th-6th to 4cc at all, esp. when Ryan hasn't competed all season internationally and the second place has not ever competed at a senior international. Both Ryan and Dornbush really could use a tune-up event. WIthout 4cc as a tuneup, this world men's team is probably the most untested team in recent USFS history. I think USFS should have done it all the way and sent top three to 4cc (or US #1, 2 and 4)
I think US skaters know prior to this season US nationals is the main selection criterion, so it's a moot point who goes to worlds. If the US team ends up doing poorly then perhaps then USFS can reconsider modifying its selection criteria to consider other events, eg. considering skaters who win GPF or medal at 4cc, etc. etc.
Aren't skaters offered 4CC in order of their nationals finish, and then can then decline it? Certain skaters always tended to decline it, whereas certain skaters usually went.
Abbott went to Worlds in the season he won the GPF, and Czisny's going this year, so *shrug*. (And not to belabor the point, but Abbott subsequently placed 11th and was the lowest ranked of US skaters at that event.) And skate-offs at 4CC are leaving it a little late and are basically requiring a do-over of US nationals, because you will have to send your World team to 4CC or else the argument of "you have to put them on the Worlds team, they medalled at 4CC" falls apart if not everyone who was already on the World team had a chance to medal at 4CC, so who are they going to displace, someone who didn't even have a chance? And do we really need to have a do-over of US nationals one to two weeks later? (And by this logic, the GPF champ would be booted off the Worlds team because she was the 3rd placed US skater at 4CC.)
Abbott has been to Worlds three times and has failed to get anywhere near the podium, finishing out of the top 10 two out of those three times. He is by no means a slam dunk. Lysacek and Weir could be counted on for a decent placement. But Abbott is the least dependable champion the U.S. has had in about as long as I can remember. He is a wonderfully talented skater, but he is not a reliable competitor.