David Wilson Calls for New Leadership at Skate Canada

Judy

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Own the Podium also gives big money to SC. I am hoping to see my niece this weekend so I’ll ask how all of it works.
 

4rkidz

plotting, planning and travelling
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Own the Podium also gives big money to SC. I am hoping to see my niece this weekend so I’ll ask how all of it works.
They don’t get that much money just similar to the other sporting bodies like curling etc . All their finances are online it’s quite transparent.

$1,680,000 for Skate Canada
 

Judy

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They don’t get that much money just similar to the other sporting bodies like curling etc . All their finances are online it’s quite transparent.

$1,680,000 for Skate Canada
Yes but I’ll ask her if it’s on an on going basis every year etc. etc.
 

Mont

Active Member
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Well, based on the results from Worlds and WTT so far, it sure looks like David has a point. Canada is in the wilderness. Big change needed to find its way back. Which btw, I think is totally feasible with so many great coaches and young athletes skating
 

Karen-W

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None of our top skaters are taking part.

So you’re saying there’s a whole different group of skaters who are better than the ones you sent to worlds and the team trophy? Where are you hiding them?
Here is my thought on this...

You send the #3/4 US ladies (Amber & Mariah) and they aren't going to finish 9th & 10th after the SP. They are likely to finish 5th & 6th, possibly 4th if they're perfect. Daleman, right now, is, as I said in the WTT Ladies SP pbp, at the same level as Gracie Gold. That she is Canada's #3/4 lady is hugely concerning, IMO. I can give Schumacher the benefit of doubt - say she's comparable to Audrey Shin or Lindsay Thorngren, and call this a learning experience for her.

You send the #4 US Dance team (CarPom) and they definitely aren't finishing any lower than the 3rd place that Hawayek/Baker finished in this field. You could send our #5 or 6 dance teams and they would still finish in 3rd. For a country like Canada who has had a very deep dance field for much of the last 15-20 years, having a team finish dead last in this competition, behind a team that finished 19th at Worlds and who hasn't ever come close to passing whichever teams the US and Canada routinely send to 4CCs, should be disturbing to fans of Canadian ice dance.

You send the #3/4 US men (Vincent & Tomoki) and they aren't likely to finish 1st & 3rd after the SP because the men are gonna be the hot, inconsistent messes they all are when they're not named Nathan, Yuzuru, or Jason (who all seem to deliver pretty consistently solid SPs - I might have to add Kevin and Mikhail to that list if they keep this level up, lol) but we all know Vincent IS capable of finishing as high as 2nd, and Tomoki is probably capable of at least 5th in an AU field that consists of Yuzu, Kevin, Mikhail, Vincent and Tomoki. I am less concerned about the men because, as we all know, the men's field, as a whole, internationally, is inconsistent as hell. I mean, we did just see, 3 weeks ago, our #3 US man fail to make it to the FS at Worlds, so yeah. Though, I will say, Keegan has, IMO, clearly established himself as the top Canadian man.

We'll see how Matte/Ferland do tonight but, if they finish behind the French team, I'd be giving them the side-eye. The #3 US team is, like the #1 & 2 US pairs teams, going to finish anywhere from 2nd to 4th (boy, the Japanese pairs team has made major improvements). And, frankly, that's where the Canadian #3 team SHOULD be slotting in in this field. Traditionally, Canada has had much greater depth in its pairs program, and much more success, than the US. The fact that their #2 and #3 teams aren't likely to finish higher than 5th at WTT, should be a cause for concern, IMO.

I'm deliberately not using Russia for comparison but instead the US because the US has been through some pretty rough patches in the last decade in 3 of the 4 disciplines. We've had some really down years with only 2 men or women qualifying for Worlds/Olympics spots, and let's not even talk about the sorry state of our pairs program just 5-6 years ago.

But, even Russia has a drop off in quality and if it was fielding its "B" team at WTT... Well, Sasha and Aliona would still be better than the #3/4 Canadian ladies, Pavliuchenko/Khodykin are still likely to win the pairs event in this field, and Shevchenko/Eremenko, Skoptcova/Aleshin, or even Morozov/Bagan would have slotted in at no worse than 3rd in this field. And the men... well, like almost every other country... the men are gonna be hot messes of inconsistency.

Canada has won the silver and gold in the Olympic team event the past 2 Olympics and right now? They would be lucky to scrape into the top 5 for the free skate portion - and that's with China bowing out of WTT this season, France missing its strongest Lady and PapCiz, and Italy down its, arguably, best man. Even if you swap in the "A" Canadian team, I'd be worried about them making the FS at the Olympic team event next year. That says something very worrying about the depth of Canada's skating program, overall, right now.
 
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Colonel Green

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Here is my thought on this...

You send the #3/4 US ladies (Amber & Mariah) and they aren't going to finish 9th & 10th after the SP. They are likely to finish 5th & 6th, possibly 4th if they're perfect. Daleman, right now, is, as I said in the WTT Ladies SP pbp, at the same level as Gracie Gold. That she is Canada's #3/4 lady is hugely concerning, IMO. I can give Schumacher the benefit of doubt - say she's comparable to Audrey Shin or Lindsay Thorngren, and call this a learning experience for her.
While it's certainly true that the US ladies bench would be expected (on average) to perform better, I would not call this "hugely concerning" because it is nothing new in the least. There has never been a point in Canadian skating history where Canada's #3 or #4 lady would be expected to finish in the top half of an event like this. A majority of the time even the #2 wouldn't.

Why that is is a topic that has attracted endless opinions, but it's not a unique problem for this period or particularly damning toward this leadership team.
You send the #4 US Dance team (CarPom) and they definitely aren't finishing any lower than the 3rd place that Hawayek/Baker finished in this field. You could send our #5 or 6 dance teams and they would still finish in 3rd. For a country like Canada who has had a very deep dance field for much of the last 15-20 years, having a team finish dead last in this competition, behind a team that finished 19th at Worlds and who hasn't ever come close to passing whichever teams the US and Canada routinely send to 4CCs, should be disturbing to fans of Canadian ice dance.
Ice dance is the discipline where the pipeline has been (overall) the most consistent in recent history. I would agree that in the current senior ranks the dropoff after the podium three is a bit steeper than has recently been the case (though S/F were the #4 team even during the late V/M period, it should be noted, back when they seemed to be a rising team and before the struggles set in), but (setting aside S/F's recent coaching change and issues) a lot of this is the legacy of losing much of the middle of the dance field when V/M decided to come back in 2016 and smothered the midfield's hopes of going to the Olympics, leading to a bunch of retirements. Canada has a very good top three and a number of lower-level seniors or promising juniors on their way up right now. There's just a bit of a gap between those things. But it's not something I'd worry about long term.
We'll see how Matte/Ferland do tonight but, if they finish behind the French team, I'd be giving them the side-eye. The #3 US team is, like the #1 & 2 US pairs teams, going to finish anywhere from 2nd to 4th (boy, the Japanese pairs team has made major improvements). And, frankly, that's where the Canadian #3 team SHOULD be slotting in in this field. Traditionally, Canada has had much greater depth in its pairs program, and much more success, than the US. The fact that their #2 and #3 teams aren't likely to finish higher than 5th at WTT, should be a cause for concern, IMO.
Pairs below the top two just went through a big partner reshuffling that has generated several brand new teams that will hopefully have long-term potential, but they aren't ready for the big-time yet (and then there's the whole Bilodeau-is-a-terrible-person saga that broke up multiple promising teams in succession). This is one area where things are very up in the air right now, but I'm modestly optimistic about where some of the new teams will be in a season or two.
 

William

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Worlds was quite good for Canada. We won a medal, had top six placements in two other disciplines, and a finally a promising lady showed up.

WTT is a lot more mixed, but that’s not exactly unexpected since we didn’t send anybody from the World team.
Let's just say that I wouldn't view that as quite good. The goal should be challenging for a medal in every discipline and in time with the goal of having more than 1 contender per discipline.
 

Jammers

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Let's just say that I wouldn't view that as quite good. The goal should be challenging for a medal in every discipline and in time with the goal of having more than 1 contender per discipline.
Canada has never had the depth of say the US or Russian and they lost a lot of veteran world class former champions after 2018 and knew they had a major rebuilding project on their hands post Olympics. Yes they should still be a solid bet to by this time of the Olympic cycle to win a Bronze in 2022 and right now it's not looking good but that 2018 Olympic team was probably the greatest Canadian figure skating team of all time and many of those skaters carried Canada for two or even three Olympic games so it's going to take a couple of Olympic cycles for Canada to become strong again.
 

Colonel Green

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Let's just say that I wouldn't view that as quite good. The goal should be challenging for a medal in every discipline and in time with the goal of having more than 1 contender per discipline.
I define good based on context. Canada has never had multiple medal contenders in every discipline — indeed, having contenders in every discipline is extremely rare, historically (and arguably didn’t happen even in the recent “golden age” because Chan and Osmond/Daleman’s career peaks did not overlap).
 

William

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Canada has never had the depth of say the US or Russian and they lost a lot of veteran world class former champions after 2018 and knew they had a major rebuilding project on their hands post Olympics. Yes they should still be a solid bet to by this time of the Olympic cycle to win a Bronze in 2022 and right now it's not looking good but that 2018 Olympic team was probably the greatest Canadian figure skating team of all time and many of those skaters carried Canada for two or even three Olympic games so it's going to take a couple of Olympic cycles for Canada to become strong again.
That's my point. There shouldn't be a gap. You know this is coming and you prepare. William Thompson
 

manhn

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What countries besides the US and Russia are challenging for Worlds medals in every discipline? Even those countries have their weaker points—pairs for the US and men for Russia (but not really). A world champion really masks a lot, but is the US’ one extra medal that great?

TBH, aside from MMT, the Canadians performed beyond my own kinda low expectations. That does not always happen at a Worlds. Even when a Canadian won a Worlds title, the performance itself was not always one for the ages. Regardless of their specific placements, the skaters’ performance quality was strong.
 

Sylvia

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Having 2020 Montreal Worlds cancelled was a terrible setback for the Canadian skaters. :(

ETA: I remember how uplifting 2016 Boston Worlds was for me as a fan & volunteer -- Team USA skaters winning 3 medals (2 silver, 1 bronze) and all 3 U.S. men's free skates receiving standing ovations...
 
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Colonel Green

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That's my point. There shouldn't be a gap. You know this is coming and you prepare.
They did try to prepare — skaters don’t always develop the way you want them to.

Like, there’s an alternate universe where Julianne Seguin didn’t keep getting concussions and Charlie Bilodeau wasn’t a colossal narcissist where they’re contending for World medals in pairs right now. That’s what plenty of people on FSU were expecting from them.

Or where every promising younger guy who came up through junior in the 2014-18 quad didn’t grow to be 6 feet tall.
 

Colonel Green

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Having 2020 Montreal Worlds cancelled was a terrible setback for the Canadian skaters. :(
While it was disappointing in general, it’s not like having it would have dramatically changed skater development.

In ice dance, ironically, we actually benefited from it, as Zachary Lagha noted since we’d have lost our third dance spot in 2020 had it happened.
 

skategal

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You also have to remember that many Canadian skaters were restricted from their training facilities for chunks of time this past season.

Results this season are perhaps not an accurate reflection of ability and promise.

Also, as much as I like Daleman, to accept that she is the 3rd or 4th best ladies skater in Canada at this point is optimistic. 😞
 

Japanfan

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That's my point. There shouldn't be a gap. You know this is coming and you prepare. William Thompson
I'm sure there is more that Skate Canada can do to build up strength in FS and particularly to train up or offer opportunities to younger skating.

However, our population is much smaller than the population of the US, so its unrealistic to expect that we our going to have the same results/outcomes as the US.

Overall we are a powerful and successful FS nation. There is just going to be a bit of a gap in terms of filling the gap that was left after 2018.
 

tony

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I've heard now from several different camps that many of the elite skaters within Skate Canada were very upset/annoyed with the organization doing next to nothing once Nationals was canceled because they were banking everything on Worlds being canceled, too. I'm not here to make an argument about how they did everything they could (because they didn't), but it's definitely the way of thinking beyond Wilson's words. I'm also not here to argue how long a virtual competition took to organize ;)

That doesn't solve the overall drop in quality though. I can't remember the last time a nation had all top stars retire at the same time across all disciplines, but there wasn't going to be that many skaters challenging for the top anyways had Worlds happened last year or if they had a better season of training (which, by the way, other countries had even less and in several major skating areas in Canada there was little to no shutdown past what the rest of the world experienced).

If some of your group of top skaters and the coaches involved are all annoyed with the way things are happening at the top, then I would say that the process of building up skaters is also very much lacking.
However, our population is much smaller than the population of the US, so its unrealistic to expect that we our going to have the same results/outcomes as the US.
Yet aren't the membership totals just about the same? It's not as if figure skating is a huge popular sport in the States once you get to the higher competitive levels.
 

Japanfan

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Yet aren't the membership totals just about the same? It's not as if figure skating is a huge popular sport in the States once you get to the higher competitive levels.

I don't know about the membership levels.

But there are just a lot more kids who will try out skating on a local or outdoor rinks, so more kids who will be talented at it, and encouraged to take lessons for ice skating or FS. And those who show an interest in ice skating may gravitate towards FS, or be encouraged to give it a try.
 

MsZem

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You also have to remember that many Canadian skaters were restricted from their training facilities for chunks of time this past season.

Results this season are perhaps not an accurate reflection of ability and promise.
That's true in other countries too, though; it was mentioned with respect to the British skaters at Worlds, for instance. And it didn't stop quite a few of the Montreal teams from performing well at Worlds - were things different in Quebec?
 

Carolla5501

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What countries besides the US and Russia are challenging for Worlds medals in every discipline? Even those countries have their weaker points—pairs for the US and men for Russia (but not really). A world champion really masks a lot, but is the US’ one extra medal that great?

TBH, aside from MMT, the Canadians performed beyond my own kinda low expectations. That does not always happen at a Worlds. Even when a Canadian won a Worlds title, the performance itself was not always one for the ages. Regardless of their specific placements, the skaters’ performance quality was strong.
US Pairs is a train wreck. Ladies is OK, but not really a contender.

That said I don't think our results are bad because "none of our top skaters are taking part" in response to a comment that the results for Worlds and WTT are not encouraging. We sent the top skaters, it is what it is.
 

Karen-W

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That's true in other countries too, though; it was mentioned with respect to the British skaters at Worlds, for instance. And it didn't stop quite a few of the Montreal teams from performing well at Worlds - were things different in Quebec?
South Korea has also had numerous shut downs and some rinks being used as morgues during several waves - to the point where the KSF wasn't sure if they were going to be able to hold any sort of national championship/ranking competition in February to select competitors for Worlds. And yet, the skaters they sent performed pretty well and finished in the general range of where they were expected by most knowledgeable fans and insiders.
 

skategal

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That's true in other countries too, though; it was mentioned with respect to the British skaters at Worlds, for instance. And it didn't stop quite a few of the Montreal teams from performing well at Worlds - were things different in Quebec?
I’m not sure where and when rinks were shut. (Nothing closed for very long where I live but we don’t have elite skaters here.)

I just know that some rinks and gyms were closed for some times in various provinces in Canada.

I think if we compare Canadian skaters to other countries whose rinks were also closed for some time, they come out well.

But this thread is mostly comparing them to USA and Russian skaters who had competitive opportunities this season and minimal rink/gym closures.
 

emilieh

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That's true in other countries too, though; it was mentioned with respect to the British skaters at Worlds, for instance. And it didn't stop quite a few of the Montreal teams from performing well at Worlds - were things different in Quebec?
It seems that most international level elite skaters have been able to train in Canada, even when rinks were closed to most other skaters. I think Alberta was an exception, and rinks were closed to all for a time, which is why the speed skaters were training outdoors for a time. But I don't think any of Skate Canada's national team trains in Alberta currently.
 

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