David Wilson Calls for New Leadership at Skate Canada

Judy

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Well, too bad for SC. Those old and overweight women contribute a lot of $$ to the sport - especially the Japanese women. Those old ladiezz often join tours, although the number of old ladiezz going on their own is worthwhile financially.
I have NEVER seen or read that said. if it was they should be fired on the spot. I’d be really, really interested in Dave’s source if he has one.
 

_Lola_

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Could be, in that figure skating is considered a female sport, but there was 24 years between 1947 and 1948 European Champion and 1948 Olympic Gold Medallist Barbara Ann Scott and 1972 Olympic Silver Medalist and 1973 World Champion Karen Magnussen, and then over 30 years between Magnussen and Joannie Rochette, and then a dozen years between Rochette and Osmond.

Canadian Men have had contenders in every decade since Donald Jackson (late '50's, early '60's), Cranston in the early '70's, a medal from Pockar in '82 and Orser in the '80's, followed by Browning, Stojko, Buttle, and Chan. Plus they've been half of every medal-winning Pairs and Dance team, and heavily represented among figure skating commentators.
I guess it is the audience that makes the sport 'female'.

I'm usually stunned, while watching hockey, how routinely they say that 5, 8, 11... people were sent to quarantine and it's not even second, but third lineup playing, because that many players are infected. I'm not talking about Canada specifically now as I watched the US games and KHL as well. I also watched American football.
 

meggonzo

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Could be, in that figure skating is considered a female sport, but there was 24 years between 1947 and 1948 European Champion and 1948 Olympic Gold Medallist Barbara Ann Scott and 1972 Olympic Silver Medalist and 1973 World Champion Karen Magnussen, and then over 30 years between Magnussen and Joannie Rochette, and then a dozen years between Rochette and Osmond.
Liz Manley would like to have a word with you.
 

fan

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I would guess that curling is really only culturally significant in the prairies and the east. Quebec, Ontario and BC are less involved. They hold the majority of the population
 

Lil Sarah

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It would only be a true comparison if the Nationals were supposed to be held in Alberta and Skate Canada cancelled while the World Junior Hockey was able to proceed.
This exactly! Alberta has mostly been (but did recently re-nig on Freestyle Skiing Worlds) allowing any international worlds if the organization has the money to do a bubble, pay for every single ********* test, etc. All while NOT allowing its own high performance athletes to train inside. Double-standard much? It’s also been the province with the lease amount of restrictions in Canada, at least for the first 9-10 months.

To cancel nationals, I see both sides, but there was no way BC would’ve allowed it to happen so they would’ve needed to secure a different arena (which could’ve been possible, maybe). Yes some skaters had significantly more training time than others, Canada/ provinces weren’t supporting travel, and still aren’t even within the same province.

As for SCI, it was to be held at the exact dates and still in Ottawa, they were moved into more stringent ********* measures where there wasn’t allowed to be more than 30 people in an athletic facility. That would’ve made it hard to run even if you had judges sitting in a different building judging virtually, especially pairs and dance plus coaches.
 

manhn

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There are small towns in BC, Ontario, even Quebec.

I doubt Calgary or Halifax has a particularly more intense curling population than Vancouver or Toronto. We had curling classes when I was in school. The curling rinks in Vancouver are often busy.
 

Judy

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What part of "most of the rinks in Canada are closed or operating under restrictions" is so difficult to understand? You can't have a competition without a rink that can accommodate it. And you can't have a fair competition if skaters across Canada have had limited or no access to rinks they could train at.
Yes the indoor rinks are closed. NHL rinks are owned by the owners of the team but the majority of rinks are city run and operated.

to give you an idea ... my house backs onto a ❤️❤️❤️ park and there are two outdoor rinks plus a toboggan hill. Kids aren’t even allowed to play hockey. The hockey rink has boards. I’ve seen a couple of kids play .. not calling bylaw on them.

I can’t speak for other provinces or cities except I think it’s the same. Obviously outdoor park rinks are not where figure skaters would choose to train lol. Not the best ice but kids love it.
 

Ruby999

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Thoughts on this issue:

1) Maybe Skate Canada could have held nationals at an outdoor rink? (I’m only half joking. Europeans was basically held at an outdoor rink last season.)

2) Most of Wilson’s argument seems to be where is the money/investment in figure skating compared to hockey? People keep saying on this thread, well the rinks are closed, what were they supposed to do but cancel — but I think his point is: somehow hockey was held. And obviously money equals support: so where is the money for figure skating, where is the investment? That would make me mad too, if I was him.

3) At the outset of COVnineteen, I heard this apt description: that Canada’s location relative to the United States is like having to live on top of a crackhouse. I live in the US — and between the politicization of a public health crisis, the lack of meaningful financial support to small businesses and people who’ve lost work, and the belief in the right of the individual to put others at risk by not even wearing a mask, we have not handled the situation well. Imagine the added stress and difficulty for countries who share our border. All that to say, I feel Canada’s strict policies have had to make up for the leniency of the US policies — so comparing their cancellation of nationals to the US holding nationals feels a little unfair.
 

Judy

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Thoughts on this issue:

1) Maybe Skate Canada could have held nationals at an outdoor rink? (I’m only half joking. Europeans was basically held at an outdoor rink last season.)

2) Most of Wilson’s argument seems to be where is the money/investment in figure skating compared to hockey? People keep saying on this thread, well the rinks are closed, what were they supposed to do but cancel — but I think his point is: somehow hockey was held. And obviously money equals support: so where is the money for figure skating, where is the investment? That would make me mad too, if I was him.

3) At the outset of COVnineteen, I heard this apt description: that Canada’s location relative to the United States is like having to live on top of a crackhouse. I live in the US — and between the politicization of a public health crisis, the lack of meaningful financial support to small businesses and people who’ve lost work, and the belief in the right of the individual to put others at risk by not even wearing a mask, we have not handled the situation well. Imagine the added stress and difficulty for countries who share our border. All that to say, I feel Canada’s strict policies have had to make up for the leniency of the US policies — so comparing their cancellation of nationals to the US holding nationals feels a little unfair.
But the NHL rinks are privately owned. I guess you can compare American football to Canadian hockey. Both are huge, huge sports in America and Canada. There is no comparison.

Wilson knows that very well too lol.
 

Ruby999

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But the NHL rinks are privately owned. I guess you can compare American football to Canadian hockey. Both are huge sports here.

Wilson knows that very well too lol.

And wouldn’t it have been cool if those private rinks could have offered a little space to figure skating, in a time of national crisis? Solidarity, outreach, etc.
 

Judy

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And wouldn’t it have been cool if those private rinks could have offered a little space to figure skating, in a time of national crisis? Solidarity, outreach, etc.
I guess except a) they still would have followed all the ********* rules and b) skaters would have still had to travel from all over. That would have included their coaches and living accomodations.

I have an NHL tesm in Ottawa. But players live here along with coaches etc etc. It doesn’t take much to understand the complexity of what you are suggesting though.

Not every city has an NHL team Ottawa really shouldn’t even have one and Ottawa fans absolutely HATES the owner.
 
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MacMadame

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I was curious and looked it up, and the two organizations are actually almost identical in size in terms of membership (both around 185,000 for 2019-2020).
Oh that's very interesting. So with Canada's much smaller population, they manage to get as many members interested in figure skating. Good for them!

Clearly Canadian public health officers do not share your optimism as it is they who have outlawed these kind of events. We really need to let the medical experts guide us on this one and not sporting federations or FSU members.
Except those same public health officers are allowing other sports to play. A previous post lists 3 different competitions at the level of a Nationals or even more involved that are going on.
 

skategal

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Oh that's very interesting. So with Canada's much smaller population, they manage to get as many members interested in figure skating. Good for them!


Except those same public health officers are allowing other sports to play. A previous post lists 3 different competitions at the level of a Nationals or even more involved that are going on.
All of those event are in Alberta with the exception of the Toronto NHL bubble, which has a small number of games associated with it.

As was already noted several times in this thread, Nationals probably would have been held if it had originally been scheduled to be in Alberta.
 

MacMadame

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As was already noted several times in this thread, Nationals probably would have been held if it had originally been scheduled to be in Alberta.
That doesn't change my point. It's not universal that all public health officials think all events like this are impossible.

SC chould have moved Nationals to Alberta a few months ago like USFS did to our Nationals. They could have changed the date as well. They had options and didn't take them as far as we know. And if they tried the alternatives and it didn't work out, they should have said so in their announcement.

Which reminds me: Did people see Phill Hersh's response to Ted Barton?

 

Mont

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However, there are long-standing problems with Skate Canada's leadership. They made the right decision in this case, but that doesn't mean they do a great job the rest of the time. Yes, the president does live in another country (Switzerland: https://skatecanada.ca/portfolio-item/board-of-directors/) but that's the least of its problems. From what I understand, not unlike other federations, in the upper ranks of Skate Canada "you get along by going along", i.e. the culture discourages dissenting opinions, and those who express them are marginalized and not taken seriously, even when what they have to say is important.

A
I believe that you are completely right that there are two issues but I think that what you are seeing from David is frustration with the organization that was ignited by this issue but probably is a symptom of deeper problems. Its, kind of funny as I wrote a post a number of years ago that predicted that this was the situation that Skate Canada would find itself in and was largely ridiculed for my comments. Yet, the same points are now leading to a lack of success; specifically a bloated organizational structure (the number of committees is totally insane), lack of knowledge in senior positions and a lack of commitment to development has eventually come home to roost. I'm very good friends with a senior coach who can't speak out but has made it clear that in his view, there has been no commitment to development since the first Thompson administration ending around 2011 or so. Its now all about who is friends with who. A senior director position going to friend of Caron's despite no background in sport admin. A next generation director who accomplished nothing anywhere else he worked around the world. A CEO who doesn't understand the sport. Then senior volunteers who put their own interests above the interests of the athletes and coaches.

Canada has way too many athletes and skilled coaches to be in this position. The only reason is lack of focus and commitment to the priorities that matter.
 

skategal

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That doesn't change my point. It's not universal that all public health officials think all events like this are impossible.

SC should have moved Nationals to Alberta a few months ago like USFS did to our Nationals. They could have changed the date as well. They had options and didn't take them as far as we know. And if they tried the alternatives and it didn't work out, they should have said so in their announcement.

Which reminds me: Did people see Phill Hersh's response to Ted Barton?

You were arguing that the same Public Health people were letting some sports play and not allowing figure skating to take place. Most have shut down all sports.

Also Alberta Public Health is not under any obligation to allow another event to move there and neither is the government of Alberta, especially if Skate Canada can’t meet the timelines of submitting a Public Heath plan (this takes many months) and especially if it means moving Hockey teams away from the arenas.

I’m not sure why this is hard to understand?

Is Skate Canada supposed to be transparent to David Wilson or anyone else in the public in their decision making processes?
 

Lemonade20

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I believe that you are completely right that there are two issues but I think that what you are seeing from David is frustration with the organization that was ignited by this issue but probably is a symptom of deeper problems. Its, kind of funny as I wrote a post a number of years ago that predicted that this was the situation that Skate Canada would find itself in and was largely ridiculed for my comments. Yet, the same points are now leading to a lack of success; specifically a bloated organizational structure (the number of committees is totally insane), lack of knowledge in senior positions and a lack of commitment to development has eventually come home to roost. I'm very good friends with a senior coach who can't speak out but has made it clear that in his view, there has been no commitment to development since the first Thompson administration ending around 2011 or so. Its now all about who is friends with who. A senior director position going to friend of Caron's despite no background in sport admin. A next generation director who accomplished nothing anywhere else he worked around the world. A CEO who doesn't understand the sport. Then senior volunteers who put their own interests above the interests of the athletes and coaches.

Canada has way too many athletes and skilled coaches to be in this position. The only reason is lack of focus and commitment to the priorities that matter.
This! All of this!
 
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Colonel Green

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2) Most of Wilson’s argument seems to be where is the money/investment in figure skating compared to hockey? People keep saying on this thread, well the rinks are closed, what were they supposed to do but cancel — but I think his point is: somehow hockey was held. And obviously money equals support: so where is the money for figure skating, where is the investment? That would make me mad too, if I was him.
If Wilson is mad about that, then he should direct his anger at corporate sponsors and the general public, not the federation; unless he thinks the federation could easily get more money and isn't, which is a pretty naive view of things.
Except those same public health officers are allowing other sports to play. A previous post lists 3 different competitions at the level of a Nationals or even more involved that are going on.
Allowing some sports to play with extensive health measures that Skate Canada almost certainly couldn't afford.
SC chould have moved Nationals to Alberta a few months ago like USFS did to our Nationals.
Why? There was no reason at the time to think that Alberta would necessarily be more open to the idea (indeed, Alberta has closed all its public rinks right now; if Kaetlyn Osmond was still competing, she'd be training outdoors right now); nor, for that matter, is that clear even now. The USFS moved to Las Vegas because it had experience there with Skate America and thanks to the nature of the venue.
 

Dave of the North

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I have NEVER seen or read that said. if it was they should be fired on the spot. I’d be really, really interested in Dave’s source if he has one.

No source, just my memory of it being said somewhere, maybe mentioned on here.

On the other hand, maybe it stemmed from an honest assessment of the fanbase - maybe 25 years ago it averaged 50 years old, and now maybe it averages 65 years old - that's a sign of a sport that's not connecting with younger people for some reason.
 

Erin

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(indeed, Alberta has closed all its public rinks right now; if Kaetlyn Osmond was still competing, she'd be training outdoors right now)

Alberta opened up fitness centres for one on one training on Feb 8, which I believe included rinks. So I believe skaters in Alberta can train indoors as of this week.

I’m not touching the rest of this thread with a ten foot pole.
 

Judy

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That doesn't change my point. It's not universal that all public health officials think all events like this are impossible.

SC chould have moved Nationals to Alberta a few months ago like USFS did to our Nationals. They could have changed the date as well. They had options and didn't take them as far as we know. And if they tried the alternatives and it didn't work out, they should have said so in their announcement.

Which reminds me: Did people see Phill Hersh's response to Ted Barton?

We really don’t understqnd any facts at all. I responded to Hersh asking if he had interviewed Skate Canada about this. You could contact them too by email and ask them.
 

skategal

Bunny mama
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They should definitely be transparent with their members, one of which is Wilson. The idea that they shouldn't be is rather :huh: to me.
So you think it’s a good idea to throw Public Heath under the bus during CV by saying “Public Health in BC wouldn’t let us do it” or “Public Heath in X province wouldn’t let us move the event there?”

Or scare all the members by saying “We don’t have enough money to meet the Public Heath standards?” :scream:
 

shutterbug

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Judy

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Thoughts on this issue:

1) Maybe Skate Canada could have held nationals at an outdoor rink? (I’m only half joking. Europeans was basically held at an outdoor rink last season.)

2) Most of Wilson’s argument seems to be where is the money/investment in figure skating compared to hockey? People keep saying on this thread, well the rinks are closed, what were they supposed to do but cancel — but I think his point is: somehow hockey was held. And obviously money equals support: so where is the money for figure skating, where is the investment? That would make me mad too, if I was him.

3) At the outset of COVnineteen, I heard this apt description: that Canada’s location relative to the United States is like having to live on top of a crackhouse. I live in the US — and between the politicization of a public health crisis, the lack of meaningful financial support to small businesses and people who’ve lost work, and the belief in the right of the individual to put others at risk by not even wearing a mask, we have not handled the situation well. Imagine the added stress and difficulty for countries who share our border. All that to say, I feel Canada’s strict policies have had to make up for the leniency of the US policies — so comparing their cancellation of nationals to the US holding nationals feels a little unfair.
Well Canada cclosed it’s borders to the U.S. almost immediately except for essential workers. Trade, food, some people work in the U.S. and go back and forth. Canada would have behaved the same way regardless of what happened with the U.S. but what was going on likely sped things up. I am still resentful of Canada allowing people to go and vacation and bringing back variants. The latest is a Nigeria variant.
 

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