Agreed.Figure skating programs are going to have to begin luring kids away early on from lacrosse and hockey, etc. (also sports that want kids in by 6 or 7 yo) to build their base.
The sport in the U.S.A. has really been up against it when trying to find internal and external factors that will help stimulate desire, energy, and motivation in people to be continually interested and committed to the sport.
To be fair, I don’t think the sport’s lagging popularity and disinterest is due to the of lack of trying so much as it is to the program being improperly managed and beset by ideas that have been holding it back, in many cases, instead of moving it forward. I think there has been too much hesitation in the past to take the leaps and gambles other countries have for future success, and USFS now finds itself scrambling to catch-up.