Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by AlexDSSF, Mar 8, 2013.
Yes, Bobrina was with Caluza in the K&C at Worlds.
thanks, Ziggy. I missed the live stream so I didn't get to see all of the skaters. I was hoping someone would upload his performance to youtube, but I haven't found anything yet.
Will be interesting what the decision process will be for the male entrant for Nebelhorn. I think both should make top 6 (based on those countries who still need to qualify)
being filipina myself, i would love to see the philippines make an impact on ice-dancing since dancesport is huge there, and we filipinos love dancing.
I love Caluza but Martinez needs to go. 5th at Junior Worlds, big momentum behind him, judges seem to love him and he has a 3axel that's consistent.
Christopher Caluza article/interview: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130521&content_id=48160754&vkey=ice_news
ETA that the second ISU World Development Trophy was held in Manila from April 16-20 and included a one day competition for Junior/Novice singles skaters - link to the thread in GSD with a local preview article and results: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/sho...pment-Trophy&p=3905294&viewfull=1#post3905294
Looking forward to Caluza's new programs. It's good to know that these smaller more unknown countries in skating can groom skaters like Caluza. Hope to see more skaters from small countries. Maybe some day, Philippines can have a world medallist.
Japan federation is also considered to huge fed in figure skating.
I care (obviously).
It might not be the case for the current Philippines skaters, but in general I heavily dislike the "Azerbaijan Syndrome", both as a skating fan and as a spectator. When US number 4 can't skate in the 4cc, but US number 58 can because she found some distant relation to an obscure Asian country, I find that both unwatchable and against the sports spirit.
And no, that doesn't help to develop the local skating. It's very difficult to develop the local skating if
1)it didn't exist to start with.
2)the "imported star" doesn't even appear in her/his "home country" and if s/he does, s/he can't communicate with the local skaters for lack of common language.
3)every time a local skater appears, s/he gets replaced by a slightly better foreign import.
In fact, it does exactly the opposite: kills the national skating.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against changes of countries, but there must be some sane limit to it. Philippines might not be an example for the absurd the change of flags became (if the info on this thread is correct), but Azerbaijan and some other federations definitely are.
By and large, the U.S. and Canadian skaters who skate for overseas federations fall into two categories.
1. People with a close family connection to other countries. (Typically, their parents were immigrants.)
2. People wishing to compete in ice dance or pairs with a skater from another country.
North American skaters in the first group often either have citizenship in the second country from birth or can obtain it as a matter of right.
North American skaters in the second group typically are chosen because their partner cannot find anyone suitable in his or her own country. These skaters have to earn citizenship if they want to skate in the Olympics, usually by having what is considered to be "extraordinary talent."
I would agree that having an "imported star" doesn't usually help develop skating in the new "home country," but that's largely because the skater usually doesn't actually stay there, train there, or coach younger skaters there. On the other hand, it simply isn't true that none of these skaters can communicate in the local language. Many immigrant families do speak their ancestral language at home.
I'm also not sure that it is true that "every time a local skater appears, s/he gets replaced by a slightly better foreign import." With the current qualifying rules, the homegrown skaters usually cannot get into the ISU Championships any more. The one place one might expect to see the effect you are describing is on the Junior Grand Prix, but I am not sure that this is the case, and even if it is, there are Junior "B" events at which those skaters can compete.
First of all, I don't consider immigrant parents a "close family connection". Secondly, the problem as I see is not only with the US and Canada skaters, but with Russian and Japanese (to a lesser extent) if that makes you feel more comfortable.
I'm also not very keen about Heeken-Kennedy skating for Ukraine or the three Reeds skating for 4 different countries en total, while living, training and having the family in the 5th. I understand when a talented skater from a small country looks for a partner in the Big Six because there's no one around, but this is obviously not the case when the search is the other way around. I can see the problem for Nora Hoffman, but you will have a hard time convincing me that it's the case for Dun.
Having a citizenship does not automatically qualify you as a legitimate representative of a country (in my eyes, of course). I'm sure that the Azerbaijani citizenship is obtained also by right, that doesn't make the whole issue any less non-kosher.
Some do, some don't. And as you quite rightly pointed out, that's not even the biggest problem - even if they do, that makes absolutely no effect on the development of the sport because they don't stay, train, coach or even visit their "home" country. I don't know whether the Reeds speak Japanese, but I can assure you that Allison doesn't speak neither Georgian nor Hebrew. And even if she did, it's ridiculous to claim that she contributes to the development of the skating in the corresponding countries simply by the fact of her existence.
So what? A skater from Serbia who fails to qualify for the Europeans contributes million times more to the Serbian figure skating than a random Russian import who can't find Belgrade on the map. And to have any kind of ambition to continue training, one has to have the slightest hope of getting in to the major competitions (even if just to the qualification round), Junior "B" are just not enough; moreover, many federations simply don't have the money to send all their skaters to all the competitions, so they concentrate on one who is most likely to get to the Euros/4CC/Worlds/Olympics, withdrawing the funding from the others. Obviously, that's the problem of the federation's management and not of the "US number 58", but it doesn't mean that I have to like it or to accept it.
Completely agree with this. This is especially worse when a marginally better import skater is repeatedly sent to Europeans instead of a local skater (who also met the tech min), but is slightly behind in terms of overall scores. IMO, this is less of an issue with 4CC since any country has up to 3 entries, as long as those skaters meet the min requirements.
Back to Philippine skaters, Victoria Muniz had a very enjoyable SP back in 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IScd4_uWIjE
Actually, Muniz represented Puerto Rico.
Another excerpt from the Caluza interview): http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130521&content_id=48160754&vkey=ice_news
Martinez was born in the Philippines and I believe he still trains there, with occasional trips to the USA for choreography and coaching in California. I don't know if it's been decided by the federation whether Caluza or Martinez (coming off his strong 5th place finish at Junior Worlds) will go to Nebelhorn Trophy.
Victoria Muniz skates for Puerto Rico, not The Philippines. (...and how does one become a citizen of a territory such as Puerto Rico? The residents are citizens of the U.S.)
ETA: Sylvia beat me to it.
I don't know Chris' work well enough so I can't comment. Michael, for a fairly young skater, seems to perform pretty well under pressure. I hope that is something that will benefit the Philippines team.
Then it's a good thing that there are objective rules about this, not determinations based on feeling. There's also language in Rule 109 that gives the ISU the right to reject skaters where they feel the Federation has been shopping.
Okay, I'll bite. What do you consider a "close family connection"?
You originally said that you had a problem with skaters from the U.S. skating for other countries at 4CC's because they couldn't qualify to represent the U.S. I threw in Canada because the situation of skaters from that country is not very different. The situation with respect to skaters from Russia and Japan is very different, so, no, your changing the subject does not make me feel more comfortable. It only indicates that you cannot support your original argument.
I don't know the specifics of how Siobhan Heekin-Kennedy came to skate for Ukraine, but the fact that there were other female skaters in that country doesn't necessarily mean they would have been suitable partners. Just read through all of the threads here about the problems Caitlin Yanowskas, Jana Khokhlova, and Rockne Brubaker have had in finding suitable partners. And Russia and the U.S. have far larger pools of potential pair and ice dance partners the Ukraine does.
Chris and Cathy Reed have either had or been entitled to Japanese citizenship since birth. And Japan didn't have any ice dance teams when that team switch federations.
As for Allison Reed, can you name any suitable Georgian or Israeli-born ice dancer who would have been a more suitable partner for Otar Japaridze or Vasili Rogov?
(I'm not sure how you come up with five countries. My my count, it's four: the U.S., Japan, Georgia, and Israel.)
Citizenship is good enough for the ISU and not necessary for the ISU. Deal with it.
Unless you can show me specific examples of how, under the current rules, any singles skater from the U.S. or Canada actually took away opportunities from another federation's skater by switching to that federation, I don't think there's any way to make a meaningful response to this. I do know, however, that many of the skaters from "smaller" federations such as, say, Mexico and Singapore, belong to wealthy families or otherwise find the financing to go to Junior (and Senior "B's" abroad. Just look at the results pages for such competitions and you will see that this is so.
I really do know the difference between Puerto Rico and the Philippines . Thank you for correcting that. Melissa Bulanhagui who skates for the Philippines is a former US competitor, as well.
Is the mall rink in the Philippines open year-round? I didn't realize Martinez spent a good portion of the season training at home, but good for him for figuring out a training schedule that works.
I'm wondering who those skaters from Azerbaijan are who are not getting opportunities because of the foreign skaters taking them away.
Having the family in the country and visiting it often.
Both my parents were born in Georgia, but I don't carry the Georgian culture, don't speak the language and haven't been in the country for 25 years. I don't feel I'm qualified to represent Georgia in ANYTHING (even though I still know about its culture and language more than Allison Reed). Fair enough?
My problem is with skaters from a Big Six country representing a small country to which they have a rather empirical connection. I don't see any difference between US, Canada or Russia on this issue, US was mentioned specifically because the original thread talked about a Philippines skater who lives and trains in US (and IIRC was also born there, but whatever; I'm willing to accept that he's "the good one"). The fact that for you there's a difference between US/Canada and Russia just because you care for the former, but not for the latter, makes no interest to me. I don't care whether it's Morgan Matthews or Zlobina/Sitnikov who represent Azerbaijan, neither of them is Azerbaijani. I also don't care if it's 4CC or Europeans that get those "tourists" - for me there's no difference. Were I clear, or are we going to continue with the stupid game of "you cannot support your original argument"?
Saying that, I don't automatically reject the idea of country changing. In some cases it might be a positive thing, depending on the way it's done. However, in many cases it's clearly unsuccessful (mostly American ladies and post-Soviet dancers) skaters who couldn't make it out of their national competitions and were looking for a different (any) flag.
Ok, no problem, you can continue enjoying watching Heekin-Kennedy skating to gopak or whatever. Obviously, you don't have to take my word for anything.
First of all, I have no idea who told you that Japan didn't have any ice-dance couples; there were more than one for that matter. But I'm quite fine with the Japanese Reeds, I just find the claim about the "legitimate countries switch" very amusing when siblings represent different countries, none of which is the one where they live.
Second of all, I'm not closely familiar with the Georgian federation, but I know the Israeli one quite well. And yes, this is a classic example of "a slightly better import that kills the local skating".
Oh, I'm quite fine with the rules and don't call to change them or whatever. But that shouldn't prevent me from having the right of disliking it when those rules are abused and harm the sport.
I'm pretty sure that the posters from the smaller countries can back me on this, even based on the little I know about how things are done in Ukraine, Hungary and the likes; but if you don't believe in life outside of NA, that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Specifically, US imports with all the credible connections, citizenship and the rest killed Israeli figure skating that used to be quite well developed considering. US girls, struggling with triple toeloops were brought to represent Israel in front of the Israeli girls struggling with double axels since the mid 2000s on all the levels, including novice and juniors. Now there's no Israeli figure skating, ok? None, it simply doesn't exist anymore. This is year is the first year that Nationals have been held since 2008 or so, given that once Israel was figure skating nation number 4 in Europe. Krasnapolski and Rogov (after his partner has been successfully replaced by another US import) are the last ones.
Of course, that is not the skaters fault but the fault of the federation head that has very little interest in developing the sport as long as his daughter gets a ticket to the championships; but it doesn't make me feel any better.
Know what? You will never even find out, because they will never get the chance to fail to qualify in an ISU championships.
I totally see your point, Andrey. It does seem a little weird when some of those skaters have little or no connection to the country they skate for. But some do. And shouldn't it be the responsibility of the federations of those countries to develop skating within the country?
Last season, in ISU competition, Michelle QUINTERO and Aislin ROSADO competed at JGP and Reyna Hamui and Pilar MAEKAWA / Leonardo MAEKAWA competed at Four Continents for Mexico. In Junior and Senior B's, Hamui, for example, competed in Golden Spin, Helmlmut Siebt Memorial, Nebelhorn, New Year's Cup, NRW Trophy, Ondrej Nepala, and Volvo Cup in addition to 4C's, presumably in an attempt to meet the Worlds TES minimums. (She may have met the 4C's minimums in the 2011-12 season season; she met them them early in 2012-13 at Nebelhorn.) As a 4C's skater, she was an outlier, with no other skater/team from Mexico competing in more than two international events. Hamui was born in Mexico City: her family moved to the US when she was ten for their training. If she's not Mexican, then Tugba Karademir isn't Turkish.
There were two senior Ladies who competed for Singapore last season at internationals, Ceciliane Mei Ling Hartmann, born in Singapore and whose hometown is listed as Lichtenstein, and Kai-Jing Leong, who was born and lives in Canada. Hong Kong, and Taipei were the usual suspects for having lots of North American born skaters at 4C's.
Last season, representing Hong Kong:
Born in Hong Kong: Sumika Yamada (2 Sr. B's), PuiLam Yuen (1 Jr. int'l), Tsz Ying Crystal Chik (2 Jr. int'ls), Harry Hau Yin Lee (1 Jr. int'l, 1 JGP), Ronald Lam (competed for Canada until 2010, 5 Sr. B's and Worlds), Lap Kan Yuen (1 JGP, 1 Jr. int'l),
Born in North America: Tiffany Packard Yu (US, 3 Sr. B's), Wayne Wing Yin Chung (Canada, 1 JGP, 1 Jr. int'l)
Can't find bio or info not in bio: Marin Ono (3 Jr. int'ls), Yong Yeu Tiffany Lau (2 Jr. int'ls), Kwun Hung Leung (1 Jr. int'l)
Last season, representing Thailand:
Born in Thailand: Mimi Tanasorn Chindasook (6 Sr. B's), Promsan Rattanadilok Na Phuket (2 Jr. B's), Suchet Kongchim (1 JGP, 1 Sr. B.)
Born in North America: Melanie Swang (1 JGP, 2 Jr. int'ls)
Last season, representing Taipei:
Born in Taipei: Chih-I Tsao (3 Jr. int'ls, 2 JGP's, Jr. Worlds), Jui-Shu Chen (1 JGP), Wun-Chang Shih (1 Sr. B)
Born in North America: Chaochih Liu (USA, 3 Sr. B's), Corinna Lijun Lin (USA, 2 Jr. int'ls), Crystal Kiang (USA, 5 Sr. B's, 4C's), Jiajen Hsieh (USA, 1 Sr. B), Melinda Wang (USA, 2 Sr. B's, 4C's), Charles Shou-San Pao (USA, 1 Sr. B), Jordan Ju (Canada, 1 Jr. int'l, 2 JGP, 4C's),
Can't find bio/info not in bio: Alison Shu Yu Chow (2 Jr. int'l, 1 Sr. B), An Ni Hsu (1 Jr. int'l), Lena Wu (1 JGP, 1 Jr. int'l), Levana Wu (1 JGP, 1 Jr. int'l), Li Hsueh Lin (1 JGP, 1 Jr. int'l), Melanie Yuung-Hui Chang (1 Jr. int'l), Pei-Xuan Lu (1 Sr. B), Hung-Wun Tony Tien (1 Sr. B), Meng Ju Lee (2 Jr. int'ls)
Almost all competed at Asian FS Trophy.
This pretty much sums up the cavalier attitude of many foreigners to Americans and American culture. I find it especially true of foreigners who have not spent much (or, indeed, any) time in the United States.
The United States and Canada -- like Israel, in fact -- has a large number of first and second generation residents, whose connection to their country of origin is quite varied. I have known many people who grew up speaking a language other than English at home and/or who spent a substantial amount of time back in the old country. Japan does not have a very big immigrant population, and Russia's immigrant population islargely from the "Near Abroad." So there is a meaningful cultural difference between a Taiwanese-American skater who grew up speaking Mandarin and visiting relatives in Taiwan and ultimately skates for Taiwan and a female Japanese pair skater who went to the U.S., Canada, or Russia because she couldn't find a suitable partner in Japan.
In almost every IOC sport, there is at least one federation that provides a flag of convenience, and in figure skating, it has been Azerbaijan above all others. But almost all of the skaters who have represented Azerbaijan have been from the Former Soviet Union, specifically Russia. As far as I can recall, the only American who actually competed for Azerbaijan was an ice dancer whose partner was, in fact, Russian.
I don't know all that much about the Israeli Federation, but I do recall that Michael Shmerkin, Natalia Gudina, and Andrei Beletski were all born in Odessa and trained in the United States and Roman Serov and Sergei Sakhnovski was born in Moscow and trained in the United States (and Sakhnovski wasn't even chalachically Jewish). Did you have a problem with any of that?
You seem to want a world in which no one moves from one country to another for career reasons and a sport in which national federations can inevitably override ice dancers and pair skaters' partnership preferences. That isn't realistic or, when you get right down to it, desirable.
For what it's worth, I have lived outside of North America, and I suspect I have done so for far longer than you have lived anywhere other than the Former Soviet Union and Israel.
Not long enough to get over your obsession with boobs and private parts though.
Close family ties: I would expect almost anyone who has to parents who immigrated from the same country to know the language of thei parents, go back and visit grandparents and uncles etc, in this day and age.
I am assuming both Caluza and Bulanhagui has visited family there - without knowing, this would be my initial assumption.
I know that for my kid, I do my best to talk Danish, have him Skype with grandparent and cousins, go back, do culturally Danish things, have Danish toys, children's books and videos etc, etc so that even growing up here in the US he will be connected to Danish culture (and should he ever want to do an Olympic sport, yes he will probably be better off representing Denmark in most of them. Though maybe he will pick badminton )
I think it is strange to assume that people don't have any connection to their parent's country, afaik both the Shibutnis and the Reeds speak Japanese.
I find it different when a single skater switches to a country they have very little connection to, but that doesn't seem to be happening that often.
It varies wildly, in my experience (in the US). Some immigrant parents speak the language to their kids at home, observe many cultural traditions, are very involved in the local ethnic communities, and bring their children to their home country for lengthy visits every summer. Other parents want their kids to become Americanized as quickly as possible so they will feel assimilated, and they avoid speaking their native tongue at home because they want their kids to learn English, try to get their kids involved in more traditional American pastimes, and do not or cannot afford to go to their home country for visits.
Sometimes kids refuse to learn the language. Sometimes the parents have such bad associations with the language and country that they don't try to teach their kids. Then there are situations where people can't go back.
Yes, they both have.
Re-posting from Caluza's interview:
Link to Caluza's 2013 4CC FS (128.26 is his ISU personal best FS score) to Andre Mathieu's "Concerto de Quebec": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHMjJgodB-Y
Caluza's ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00013313.htm
These blogs seem to indicate that Michael Christian Martinez will represent the Philippines at 2013 Nebelhorn Trophy:
Martinez's 2013 Junior Worlds FS (124.63 is his ISU PB FS score) to Lecuona's "Malaguena": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lprV9bnBufY
All of his ISU personal best scores were set at Junior Worlds this year - his ISU bio: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00012802.htm
Even if Martinez earns the spot for Sochi, is it possible that 4 Continents will be used (just as was done for the Senior Worlds this year) to see who actually goes? Or will they use Nationals results in the late fall/early winter?