David Wilson Calls for New Leadership at Skate Canada

hanca

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11,937
Of course, David, it is a great idea to have a national championship! Because Canada can afford to lose a few top skaters because of *********. Why not risk those who you have, I am sure you will eventually grow up more skaters if those current ones have to retire from health reasons. If, for example MooreTowers/Marinaro or Gilles/Poirier follow the fate of Russian Spilevaya, oh well, never mind. Everyone is replaceable. It may cost you medals at the Olympics though! But I am sure you wouldn’t mind, one cannot be too greedy.
 

Karen-W

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11,362
Of course, David, it is a great idea to have a national championship! Because Canada can afford to lose a few top skaters because of *********. Why not risk those who you have, I am sure you will eventually grow up more skaters if those current ones have to retire from health reasons. If, for example MooreTowers/Marinaro or Gilles/Poirier follow the fate of Russian Spilevaya, oh well, never mind. Everyone is replaceable. It may cost you medals at the Olympics though! But I am sure you wouldn’t mind, one cannot be too greedy.
And how many top skaters has the US or Japan lost due to the crud? NONE. Both Japan and the US have proven that holding the event was possible. And Wilson is right that skaters will go where they can find ice when local rinks are closed. Ask Samuel Mindra how well that worked out for him in the junior men's competition. He is now the bronze medalist after spending most of the last year chasing ice because Kate Brown refused to allow rinks to reopen in the Portland metro area.

I thought it was a damn crying shame when SC overreacted and canceled Skate Canada in the fall and it was an even rougher go for the Canadian skaters to also lose their Nationals. It will be interesting to see how they fare at Worlds next month with almost no competitions this season under their collective belts.
 

Brenda_Bottems

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779
Of course, David, it is a great idea to have a national championship! Because Canada can afford to lose a few top skaters because of *********. Why not risk those who you have, I am sure you will eventually grow up more skaters if those current ones have to retire from health reasons. If, for example MooreTowers/Marinaro or Gilles/Poirier follow the fate of Russian Spilevaya, oh well, never mind. Everyone is replaceable. It may cost you medals at the Olympics though! But I am sure you wouldn’t mind, one cannot be too greedy.
Is this intended to be satire? You seem stressed—may I suggest a glass of red and a bath with essential oils?

-BB
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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10,016
I don't. USFS has shown it is possible to put on a National championship without it becoming a super-spreader event and with a high level of quality even though rinks were opening and closing all over the country and our case rate is higher too
The USFS has financial resources that Skate Canada does not - we also have rules in place in this country that the US does not - travel is restricted to parts of this country - it just was not the time to have such an event.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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44,507
Hockey has a National Championships?
It was in the article. It was actually a World Jr. Championship. So travel was even greater than for a National Championship.

And also, why wouldn't they have Nationals championships of some sort? They are an Olympic sport. They have to qualify people to Worlds and then the Olympics somehow. 🤷‍♀️
 

Judy

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There is no way Skate Canada could have been held in Ottawa. Borders are closed and quarantining etc. Our numbers were also getting increasingly higher In Ottawa too. Currently we are in lockdown until Tuesday and then they will be reopening restaurants/retail. I believe with only 25% allowed ... etc.

As for the NHL yes they have a lot more money. The world juniors .. I think things were a lot better out west but I thought it was a bit 😳 risky to say the least.
 

greenapple

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970
There is no way Skate Canada could have been held in Ottawa. Borders are closed and quarantining etc. Our numbers were also getting increasingly higher In Ottawa too. Currently we are in lockdown until Tuesday and then they will be reopening restaurants/retail. I believe with only 25% allowed ... etc.
Other nations held Grand Prix events with only those who live and train in the country competing. The fact that only one virtual event was organized a year after the last live one I find questionable.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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10,016
It was in the article. It was actually a World Jr. Championship. So travel was even greater than for a National Championship.

And also, why wouldn't they have Nationals championships of some sort? They are an Olympic sport. They have to qualify people to Worlds and then the Olympics somehow. 🤷‍♀️
There's no national championships for hockey in Canada beyond Junior level, and that's a club competition which includes international players. World & Olympic teams are selected based on camps, and player evaluations in their professional leagues. The players arriving for the World Junior Championships arrived & had to quarantine prior to the event, and a quarter of the German team wasn't allowed to play because they were positive. There's also a lot more money in hockey, particularly in television coverage, and the event is a couple weeks long as opposed to a two event that are the Canadian Figure Skating Championships.
 

Karen-W

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11,362
I find the suggestion that the USFS has a lot more money/support than Skate Canada questionable. I'm not an insider by any stretch, but both feds have a contract with a major network to broadcast their Nationals and their major fall international. Beyond that... I suppose it is possible the USFS has done a better job of saving/investing the financial windfalls that both feds experienced when FS was at its North American zenith in the 90s and 00s. But I'm not sure I buy the notion that the USFS has so much money in its coffers that it could afford to make Nats happen this year in Vegas with the small planning/organizing window they had from the time SkAm was held to mid-January (less than 3 months), especially when they had to pivot in November from in-person qualifying events to a virtual qualifying competition. David Wilson made some good points in his remarks about Skate Canada's seeming inability to shift in any meaningful way that allows Canadian skaters competition opportunities, especially an in-person Nationals, and it does make Skate Canada look, IMO, like a fading power in the sport when the other 3 leading nations all managed to hold their own Nationals in December and January, along with other countries like Italy and France.
 

aka_gerbil

Rooting for the Underdogs
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3,426
@Judy pointed out upthread that Canada has a different approach to YNW containment than the US. Canada has been much more cautious than many parts of the US. I have a friend who wasn’t even able to cross a provincial border between Ontario and Quebec (they live on one side, work on the other) to go into their office to pick something up.

As for nationals, a lot of Canadian skaters train in the eastern part of the country that was hit harder than BC. Remember, allowing big events to happen during YNW isn’t just about if Skate Canada wants to have it or not. It’s also about what is and isn’t permissible or desired by the governments in the location the events were supposed to be held.

At the end of the day, USFS and SC being in different nations with different approaches to YNW meant that the two organizations had different options available to them.

That said, I do think calling of nationals was the right call and that while USFS went to great lengths, there was probably some luck in there too.
 

Brenda_Bottems

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779
How have...
the United States
Japan
Russia
Italy
Germany
France
Austria
Hungary
New Zealand
Czech Republic
Slovakia

all managed to complete a national championship this season? Surely not all these federations are as financially destitute as the Canadian federation?

Face it,your figure skating president dropped the ball (whilst living in Europe!) and now the skaters suffer.

-BB
 
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misskarne

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21,492
So what about all the other countries you ignored? ;)
I don't know. I just felt compelled to point out that NZ, at least, wouldn't have needed a bubble or any expensive precautions, thus was probably more or less about as financially viable as previous years.

I think, judging by the comments relating to closures and restrictions at the time, there was nothing wrong with the cancellation of Canadian Nationals. As to whether they need a new leader, I cannot say on the details but superficially it sounds like it could be the case.
 

greenapple

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It is hard to conceive that the Canadian federation is short of money and it is certainly not destitute. It laid off a lot of people last year and as it did not have to fund any overseas trips for skaters/officials, homeland competitions or its Swiss based president there had to be money available to invest in domestic competitions - virtual or live.

@skaitngguy - Travel is restricted to parts of this country? Since when? People were asked not to travel but there was no restriction ever placed on people travelling.
 
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Colonel Green

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10,718
How have...
the United States
Japan
Russia
Italy
Germany
France
Austria
Hungary
New Zealand
Czech Republic
Slovakia

all managed to complete a national championship this season? Surely not all these federations are as financially destitute as the Canadian federation?
Well, that would depend on both the geography of those countries, what government regulations were in place, and what the case numbers were like. Among the countries you name, one could start by saying Russia was able to hold a nationals (and numerous other domestic events) by simply not giving a damn about YKW. New Zealand, as noted, has one of the most effective quarantines in the world; Japan's case numbers are also low in comparison with Canada and many other places. The United States held its nationals in Las Vegas both because the rink was nicely suited and because the Nevada state government allowed it. And so on.

Canada is a large country with numerous jurisdictions and (generally) fairly tough restrictions on sizeable public gatherings, in addition to many policies in place aiming (with intermittent results outside of the Atlantic provinces) to discourage internal movement.

Wilson's interview is pretty obnoxious, as with this:
“People have ingenuity. If the national championships were happening, they would go train in B.C., or go train in Saskatchewan,” Wilson said. “Coaches would help each other. We would find a way to make it feasible.”
Er, yes, David, that's in fact part of the issue. The government does not want people traveling between provinces (or long distances within provinces), and has been trying to dissuade people from doing so. That's how the ***** spreads.
Wilson says the fact that the world junior hockey championships, a 10-nation competition lasting 10 days, was allowed to be contested illustrates a disparity in the perception of the sports.

“I want to say publicly that I find it disgraceful that hockey is allowed to have their world junior championships, and we are hosting it, but we are not even allowed to have our national figure skating championships,” Wilson commented. “I find that embarrassing and disgraceful. It is such preferential treatment.

“The concept of having something like a hockey tournament, and doing it safely, as opposed to a figure skating event where it is an individual sport, it is so much more feasible to do an event for our sport than a hockey event,” added Wilson. “All that comes down to is money. The only difference is money because there is more money behind hockey.”
Nobody was given "preferential treatment", which is a bizarre way of phrasing it when he goes on to admit that it's because the World Juniors had the money to afford the very expensive health measures the province and federal government required to hold the event -- which involved a full two-week quarantine for all athletes (and good thing, too, since a bunch of them turned out to have YKW; poor Team Germany) and a real bubble.

Skate Canada doesn't have the money to run a bubble; not even the ISU is planning a bubble for Worlds. It would effectively require hosting the skaters for a month, since after the two-week quarantine they'd need to train back up.

Skate Canada International was cancelled because Ottawa, the city where it was going to be held, would never have allowed it with the case counts rising. The national championships were supposed to be in Vancouver, at a time when the British Columbian government was very actively telling people not to come there unless absolutely necessary; it's very doubtful it would have been allowed either if Skate Canada had tried to go ahead with it.
 
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Colonel Green

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Messages
10,718
It is hard to conceive that the Canadian federation is short of money and it is certainly not destitute. It laid off a lot of people last year and as it did not have to fund any overseas trips for skaters/officials, homeland competitions or its Swiss based president there had to be money available to invest in domestic competitions - virtual or live.
They did hold a virtual competition. But the skaters on the whole didn't particularly care for that format (as Roman Sadovsky noted, for one), so there wasn't any eagerness to try it again, quite apart from the fact that it would have been logistically difficult since none of the Alberta skaters (most obviously) had any rink access to even film their segments.
@skaitngguy - Travel is restricted to parts of this country? Since when? People were asked not to travel but there was no restriction ever placed on people travelling.
Not restricted in the sense of being forbidden, but in many places you have to (or are asked to) quarantine on arrival after crossing provincial boundaries, which is a considerable hindrance (and is intended to be).
 

Orm Irian

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,310
I think Skate Canada made the correct decision to cancel the event.
I agree; the problem wasn't that Canadian Nationals didn't go ahead but that the ice hockey Worlds did.

It's not only about avoiding a superspreader event but about ensuring equity for the competitors. Wilson can yap on all he likes, but the fact remains that not all of the skaters who would have been expected to take part had comparable ice access and preparation time, and it would not be equitable to expect them to compete unprepared when others were allowed to train more or less as usual. Whether Skate Canada should have done something about that earlier can be debated, but as they hadn't done so, cancelling the event was the fair choice.

And let's face it, the USA got lucky by the skin of its teeth, Russia...we all saw what happened there, and everybody seems to have overlooked the risks Japan took with international travellers, occasional social distancing breaches and an audience at Juniors. Canada and the small federations that have cancelled their Nationals look mature and responsible by comparison.

Also, re New Zealand completing its Nationals safely: they took place a lot earlier than most countries' Nationals do and they are tiny. Much easier to do things safely when you have very few competitors and are working in the lull between waves, especially when you're already in one of the best lurgi situations in the world. Remember how Nebelhorn was able to run safely because it occurred before the European second wave started to swell, but Budapest Trophy just a few weeks later was a much more worrying proposition? Timing matters.
 
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