2021 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, June 23-26, Rochester Hills, MI

bladesofgorey

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I mean here's the thing- former elite athletes who have continued to skate/train/coach have a huge advantage over adults who took a long break from skating and adult-onset skaters. But a dance team is only as good as its weakest link. If their partners can't match their turns and edges then they aren't going to go very far. Dances where one partner just dragging the other partner around the ice aren't going to be scored very high. Takes two to tango. etc. So I think you are doing a huge disservice to the non-elite partners who have been able to skate up to their level.
 

Sylvia

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Recap article:

I enjoyed watching Michael Solonoski and Stephanie Roth compete at Nationals at the senior level many years ago - congrats to them both on their respective wins! :) Photo of them together: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQoIWmzND1x/
Michael Solonoski (IceWorks SC) shattered the U.S. Adult Championships scoring record, landing five triple jumps en route to a score of 91.62 and the gold medal in the championship masters junior-senior men's division.
"I tried to set the bar pretty high for myself," said Solonoski, who last competed in 2010. "I just wanted to give myself a good challenge and see what I was capable of pulling off."
Solonoski's only miscue came on fall while trying a triple Lutz early in his program to "Send in the Clowns," which he covered with his own voice.
"Unfortunately, I missed the Lutz but I was really happy that I came back strong and was able to focus and not make any more mistakes," he said.
The previous record score was 74.86 points.
A change of music and some late modifications to her program propelled Stephanie Roth (Jersey Coast FSC) to the title in the championship masters junior-senior ladies division.
Roth, who earned the bronze medal at the 2019 event with a score of 53.27, skated first in the field of 25 ladies and posted a personal-best score of 74.47.
Roth competed in a virtual competition leading up to the U.S. Adult Championships and took the feedback she received and fine-tuned her program, which was set to music from the Avengers soundtrack.
"I made a ton of changes and from that program to here, it [her score] went up 18 points so I got those scores on June 1st so the training I did over June was just getting comfortable with transitions, attacking the jumps. I feel this year my spins are better than ever," she said.
 
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Everyone is different. IMO, wanting to have fun and compete a program for the love of skating is enough of a reason.
That has always been my approach. Many of my friends focus on attaining higher-level skills and gaining points from one competition to the next. I applaud their commitment. I enjoy interpreting music. That’s the beauty of Adultland. Different strokes.
 

Sylvia

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Michael Solonoski's Instagram post today with photos/3Lo+2T clip: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQokAPALHmZ/
Very proud of this experience competing for the first time at Adult Nationals, and my first national competition in over 11 years. I wanted to set a high bar for myself and see what was possible if I worked hard. Cliché as it sounds, it wasn’t about winning or earning a score; this was for myself. I was chasing that feeling of being an athlete and hoping to have a memorable performance. I truly enjoyed the process and I am happy that the training showed up when it counted. Adult skating is a special place: a self-driven, just for-the-love-of-it kind of endeavor. It’s an inspiring group of people and I hope that more skaters decide to skate for life!
This February 2020 article is linked fom his IG profile:
 

GarrAargHrumph

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You seem to have many answers. I was not aware of olympic medalists skating at adult nationals before. It is of interest because it is not something I would expect to see. Perhaps I will get an answer on FSU. You do not get answers if you do not ask questions I have been told!

I think it’s hilarious that someone who has reached the pinnacle of achievement by reaching the Olympics or National titles has a desire to compete as an adult skater in the event you reached your pinnacle against those who are mostly recreational part time skaters. What motivates that? A love of skating or a need to still compete or a need to win? No one competes to lose! I also find it sad as it infers that being a high level professional coach is not fun enough nor fulfilling enough hence their need to continue to compete. I hope they get their fulfillment as clearly there is some big hole that needs to be filled. My opinion unless i’m not supposed to have one? Maybe I’ll start a thread on the rise in numbers of local hockey players vs figure skating due to the massive costs of figure skating ice, coaching and competitions and how USA skaters unlike other federations get minuscule funding.

He has to be genuinely interested in this, because it takes a hell of a lot of work, and remember, these guys all retired long ago, and are often suffering from injuries that impact their ability to skate. They also all now have full time jobs (coaching, or outside of skating), and their time on the ice working on their own stuff tends to be extremely limited.

His motivation is not the same as when he was skating elite level. He may want to be there because his partner or student asked him to be there, and she and he have developed specific goals for their team. It may be that he wants to see what he can still do, or to regain a certain level of fitness. These men have different goals now, in terms of things like the placement they'd like to meet, as well as goals in terms of specific moves they want to compete cleanly (themselves, their partner), which are based on where they are now as skaters, injuries that impact what they can and cannot do, the amount of time they can spend on the ice with their partner (which for some of these teams, can either be only an hour a week, or only when she can fly to his city to meet him, or etc. - so very limited.)

I watched the Olympics. I remembered the name. Its not common. Google her and she hopes to compete internationally. Ironically the Top 4 teams men are all former elite level Ukrainian ice dancers. What fun? That’s serious competition aspirations. Rest of the flights didn’t have a chance. So fun right?

The rest of the teams actually do have a shot, as someone else noted re: Yovanni Durango and Shay Sturlace, who routinely beat pairs which contained former elite level ice dancers. But generally speaking, the dance level at the adult masters level is extremely high. I love watching it. It is the one event at adult nationals that I make sure I see.
 

ioana

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I’ve never met any of these skaters nor do I skate. Just seems like an odd desire to compete when these skaters have already competed at very high levels or the highest level. There is such little opportunity to begin with as an adult skater. Why take away their opportunity to achieve when you have attained so much already? Just doesn’t seem like it would be fun to be one of those other less medaled skaters.
I used to skate with Pam who placed second in Championship Dance and she's been saying it's so nice to compete in the same group with former Olympic medalists and national medalists in singles (Barbora in Czechoslovakia). So at least half of the 'less medaled' team doesn't share your view.
I honestly don't know too many adult skaters who are focused on placements, instead of improving scores, specific elements or parts of the program. The few that are placement-driven are outliers.

Also, no idea where your comment about such little opportunity for adult skaters came from. We have fewer competitions than standard track skaters in the US, but the vast majority of adults also have jobs, families and other commitments that wouldn't support a lengthy competition schedule. A non-cov!d season would have sectionals, nationals and (depending on where you live) at least one local competition that had adult entries. Speaking for myself, 3 competitions a year is plenty to go around and I generally don't even do that. I'm also a silver-level skater, which is closer to the recreational level you brought up earlier. Championship Masters entrants all skated as kids, albeit some regionally and some internationally, but they're all great skaters who passed high level tests.
One of my friends who passed Novice freestyle moved up to Jr-Senior Masters exactly because she wants to go to Obersdorf and 'compete' in Midori Ito's group. And she will happily take a much lesser placement, never mind medal, for that claim to fame :p
 

MarciajsR

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Just for information the women skating pairs with the two ice dancers were age 60 and 54. I can understand them wanting competent skaters holding them up if pairs is their discipline of choice
 

Sylvia

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"Achievement" is not just winning medals. An 81-year-old skater competed at Adult Nationals yesterday. I doubt that she feels she didn't "achieve" anything because she placed last in her category.
Photo posted yesterday by usadultskating's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQjwsG-rh00/
The ultimate success in adult skating is continuing to be able to skate for life. Today, the Yvonne M. Dowlen Trophy was presented to our oldest Adult Championships competitor: 81-year-old Molly MacGowan. The trophy was presented by our youngest competitor, 21-year-old Alex Polega. We hope you enjoy this symbol of longevity and friendship in our sport. ❤️
Photo from Molly's Bronze Light Entertainment program - her hilarious performance as a “judge!”: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQjlJWorANG/
Another 81-year-old skater who competed at Nationals this year, Meredith Hall, was on the local news in Utah a few days ago:
At age 24, Meredith was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis and stopped skating. She had thymectomy and Prednisone for two years. Eventually, going to college and married in her early 30s, and raised her sons. She later became divorced.
Meredith became Professional Level Three Ski Instructor at the age of 62.
She made a return to the ice and was able to manage her disease. At the age of 78, she decided to try skating again after 55 years.
She competed in the 25th annual U.S. Adult Championships in Salt Lake City in 2019.
Hall trained at the Broadmoor Skating Club when she was young and showed a man's sweater she has saved for 60 years on the news segment:
Mrs. Hall had admired a sweater of [Greg] Kelley’s and wanted to knit a copy. Nathalie [his older sister] offered it to her while the team headed to Prague, Czechoslovakia for the 1961 World Championships. On February 14th, Hall gave Kelley a ride home from the rink, Kelley sharing his plans for medical school upon return. Hall had planned to go along on the trip, which her parents nixed. She parted Kelley with a hug and, “See you when you come back!”
:(
(In the segment she said her father didn't allow her to go as a spectator to 1961 Worlds because Czechoslovkia was a Communist country.)

ETA that she was the only competitor in the Masters Junior-Senior V event: https://ijs.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/2021/28672/CAT062SEG066.html
 
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ioana

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I didn't realize Masters Jr-Sr rules had changed so there are no limits on non-Axel single jumps. Makes sense for older competitors or someone dealing with an injury who wouldn't be able to attempt all jumps. You're basically giving up on being competitive once you try lower singles anyway. Might as well let them get a few more points for doing a single jump well, even if it's a repeat.
 

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