American Women Used to Dominate in Figure Skating. What Happened?

clairecloutier

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In Japan, Novice Nationals (A & B divisions) only compete a free skate.

That is interesting. Thinking about it more from a competition viewpoint, it would definitely save a considerable bit in travel costs/entrance fees if Novice skaters only did an LP. I wasn't really thinking about that when I wrote my last comment; I was thinking more of training costs. If doing only an LP meant that you only had to have one evening's overnight stay at competition, vs. two evenings', for example, and if you're doing a number of competitions per season--well, that does add up. Plus, you would save costume expenses. Another thing I didn't think of before. ;)

I do think there are quite a few benefits to having 2 programs in Novice, but I guess I wasn't taking the full cost ramifications into consideration.

I would still think you'd want to survey coaches, parents, skaters, before making changes to the current competition structure.
 

GarrAarghHrumph

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At the very least why can't USFS use some of their funding to help some highly talented skaters get training?
They do some stuff. For example, clubs can apply for grants for specific programs they've developed. And they offer support to skaters at specific levels.


In my area (Northeast), rinks are almost entirely owned by municipalities. They almost all operate at a loss and get subsidies from the local/county/state government.
That's true in Massachusetts, but not in NY/NJ. So perhaps not all of the Northeast, but I'd be interested in knowing which states this is true in, other than those I've experienced.


For the most part here, clubs buy figure skating ice and coaches are contracted by the club. There is one rink where the rink itself “owns” the figure skating ice but that is a new and unusual arrangement. Club ice can restrict by ability (high freestyle so your tot in a helmet doesn’t interrupt a 2axel), age (adult only :cheer2: ) and discipline (moves/dance or freestyle), where rink ice usually is just a free for all.
Here in NY/NJ, clubs can buy ice, but most rinks I know also offer their own freestyle ice. At most of my rinks, there's more rink-based freestyle ice than club ice. Whether the ice is leveled in terms of test level or type of skater (such as adult, or elite) varies by rink. Some rinks offer only open freestyle, which anyone who owns a pair of figure skates can go on, but many rinks here offer some separate sessions for skaters above/below a certain test level. Only a few offer special ice dance or pairs ice.


P.S. Just for the record. Sambo-70 rink, where Eteri’s group trains, also has ice time issues, and often have to train with many other private lesson skaters and beginner groups, because Sambo/Kristalny rink IS commercial. Anyone wants to practice a Quad with all the little kids on the ice? http://xn---70-5cdf9dpu.xn--p1ai/file_handler.php?image=3841
That is not crowded at all for a freestyle, in my experience. Where I am, the freestyles can have 28-32 skaters on them, if it's after school or on a weekend. Those during the school day tend to be fantastic - usually just me and a few others. Here, the elite level skaters tend to either find rinks that have less crowded freestyle ice, or, if they can, go to an elite only session. The elite sessions tend to be less crowded; although those at Hackensack can get pretty busy.

With that said, several of the Russian coaching groups bring some of their skaters to NJ during the summer. They buy a certain number of hours of ice per day, and it's only used by the few skaters they've brought, so they get to work on choreography and etc., and in an environment where no one really knows who they are - there's no one here trying to find out what music they're planning to use, etc.


As for the US ladies, would it be a good idea, or even possible, to do more of what Eteri's doing that works so well? I've seen that, aside from individual coachings, she's got all her students in lots of dance classes and more. I don't have enough info on US training to know if there's much of that going on or not.
There aren't a lot of programs/rinks in the US that have off ice and/or dance classes as part of them, or available in the same facility. Although here, some coaches do want their students in specific types of dance classes, it's usually up to the parents to find those classes and schedule them; and of course, in the US, it can be hit-or-miss in terms of the quality of your dance teacher.

Most rinks in my region of the US don't have facilities for dance or off-ice training. If off-ice is offered at all, it's normally by a specific coach rather than for all students; and it's usually done in one of the rooms they normally use to hold birthday parties on Saturdays, so the facilities are less than ideal. That said, there are some rinks that have nice facilities for such things. This past weekend, for example, someone from the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society mentioned that they're building an off-ice/dance studio on site. That's pretty cool.
 
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Frau Muller

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That may be an attraction for figure skating ubers, but not for the general public. I also think the US has lots of stars--skaters the public will pay to see. I have my tickets!
So you’re inferring that the SOI management doesn’t care about knowledgeable fs fans? Hilarious!
 

MacMadame

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Are Novice skaters in Japan the equivalent age and skill level as Novice in the US. All the countries do have different test structures (if any) so I don't want to assume.
 

Jozet

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I'm just tossing out some ideas. :) Two programs can add up in the beginning with ice time learning the program, paying for choreography, two dresses. I know...skating is in for a penny, in for a pound. But if there are ways to shave off some cash here and there that might keep talented athletes in longer or transfer some training costs...I'm just brainstorming some places where that can be done.
 

mag

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I like the idea of looking at the programs, but I could see some backlash from Skaters. Most Skaters I know like the short program because it is way easier to run a clean short :saint:
 

GarrAarghHrumph

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And at the lower levels, in my experience, many parents would rather their kid compete in more phases of an event, rather than less. If you're going to be there, you might as well see them do more than one thing. Make it worth your time and effort.
 

essence_of_soy

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You have to wonder with the technical level being presented by Russia and Japan, whether a lot of girls in the US and elsewhere look at that and think they don't have a chance in Hades.

Conversely, I've known of some skaters with Olympic aspirations who never watch the competition.
 

MacMadame

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And at the lower levels, in my experience, many parents would rather their kid compete in more phases of an event, rather than less. If you're going to be there, you might as well see them do more than one thing. Make it worth your time and effort.
Which is why a lot of skaters will often have THREE programs. They will skate in some artistic event as well as the regular SP and FS (if it exists at their level) or the technical program at their level (if not a SP & FS) and something else such as a solo dance number or maybe a group number with friends and maybe even a different kind of artistic program -- say one Light Entertainment and one Dramatic.

As for the "pressure" to skate both the SP and FS at the Intermediate and above levels when it's not required, I haven't seen that in my area based on what the kids enter and what their parents say.
 

GarrAarghHrumph

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I do that myself. I'll do an artistic, a technical/compulsory, and a free skate, to make it worth my time, effort and money. And some events at these things are just for a bit of fun, such as the jumps events or spins events. I usually cap myself and my daughter at three things per event, but if I had more money, I'd do more. I mean, I'm there anyway. If I have to haul my patootie all the way to Pennsylvania or where have you, I'm doing more than just one event! ;) :lol:
 

lala

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Tinami Amori

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If you miss these videos not only Eteri's team has dance classes.. Look at Plushenko Academy!
interesting info (but i have a question strictly for accuracy reasons: were you trying to put it in "russian" topic and skipped a line? or you intended it for "american ladies" topic?).
 

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