Defector.com article on female skaters & Quads

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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SkateFanBerlin

Well-Known Member
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I thought the Gracie piece was right on. I think age itself will take care of a lot of this. Women add weight when they mature.

But, it doesn't capture many cases. Scherbekova looks unhealthy even though she's 17. She's clearly underweight. And, I've seen many stick figure pairs' women - easier to lift and throw.

Excuse if this has been discussed elsewhere on the forum. But, the ISU should change their charter to include an emphasis on athlete health. The age limit will be raised this summer, I'm sure. But, what about weight? We weigh boxers, wrestlers, others. Why not figure skaters to guarantee they are at a weight appropriate for their age and height? No sport governing body should include member states that manipulate the health of their athletes for some competitive goal.

Those states that won't sign and actively enforce these policies should simply be dropped from the ISU. Without these protections ALL ISU members look to be condoning the abuses we've seen in recent years.
 

alexikeguchi

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,072
I thought the Gracie piece was right on. I think age itself will take care of a lot of this. Women add weight when they mature.

But, it doesn't capture many cases. Scherbekova looks unhealthy even though she's 17. She's clearly underweight. And, I've seen many stick figure pairs' women - easier to lift and throw.

Excuse if this has been discussed elsewhere on the forum. But, the ISU should change their charter to include an emphasis on athlete health. The age limit will be raised this summer, I'm sure. But, what about weight? We weigh boxers, wrestlers, others. Why not figure skaters to guarantee they are at a weight appropriate for their age and height? No sport governing body should include member states that manipulate the health of their athletes for some competitive goal.

Those states that won't sign and actively enforce these policies should simply be dropped from the ISU. Without these protections ALL ISU members look to be condoning the abuses we've seen in recent years.
I agree on the weight issue. I read a recent article about the institution of a BMI requirement for ski jumping. Not that BMI is a perfect tool, but it would be a decent ballpark.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
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39,486
^Agree, but maybe US women should aspire to the level of say the JPN women, not necessarily the RUS women ...

If you look at most 4CC and Worlds results, they are comparable to them. I think the Americans have had bad timing when it came to the last two Olympics. Our two most competitive and successful skaters in the 2015-2018 cycle, Gracie and Ashley, were not on the Olympic team for their respective reasons. Ashley arguably could have been put on the team but is is what it is. Karen, the 4th place Worlds finisher who did make the team and had a then promising score ceiling did not compete well while Mirai who knocked it out of the park and placed second in the team event with a triple Axel didn’t replicate that performance in the individual. Bradie had a clean SP in the TE but underperformed in the individual. We also lost Polina, a four continents champ, due to injury and growth. She was one of our most consistent competitors who hardly ever fell and made sure to land every jump on one foot. Her issues with rotation got worse after her growth.

Kind of the same thing happened in 2019-2022. Bradie, our best skater who could score near 150 in the LP in the 2019-2020 season and had been our most consistent lady injured herself and couldn’t compete for a spot on the Olympic team. We had Alyssa Liu who was full of “ultra-C” elements and promise as a junior grew tall and lost whatever quads she sort of had as a young girl. She went through some growing pains and placed 4th at Nationals in 2021. Then some BTS stuff happened this season that hindered any stability she had. However, she had working on her skating skills and such and placed 7th at the Olympics with two clean skates at her first year eligible as a senior. Not bad at all.

Karen, same story as 2018. Could be competitive and managed to place high at Worlds unexpectedly but has had an underwhelming Olympics. I still think her TE LP was beautiful though and there’s a reason it was one of the most watched Beijing skating videos on YouTube with many people loving it.

Mariah had a ceiling and for some reason has had issues with her SP all season but her LP scores are on par with many of the Japanese and Koreans outside of Kaori.
 
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SkateFanBerlin

Well-Known Member
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1,218
I agree on the weight issue. I read a recent article about the institution of a BMI requirement for ski jumping. Not that BMI is a perfect tool, but it would be a decent ballpark.
I'm sure there all kinds of tools measuring underweight, malnourished, etc. All governments have them.
 

Viktoria

Active Member
Messages
86
One of the problems with funding in the US is that per IRS, it's almost impossible to allocate private donations to individual skaters. Unfortunately, or as it should be, sports and other charitable organization donations cannot inure to the benefit of specific individual without all kinds of shenanigans following; as I told my Girl Scout parents during cookie sale season, if you want money to go directly to your child based upon your fundraising abilities, that's called "a job," it's not tax-deductible donations.

So where does that leave figure skaters? In a difficult position to collect tax-deductible donations to support training. It is much easier to accept donations to a team because those donations are assumed by IRS to be applied evenly to support the team. Synchronized skating is at an advantage here. Changing competition structure to focus more on club competitive "teams" (e.g. team event at Olympics or college singles skating "teams") means charitable funding might be accessed more easily, perhaps even with setting up specific scholarships based on achievement or need.

If team training were to follow, it could reduce training costs even more. Then somehow, choose specific individuals or high scoring teams or team members to compete in individually awarded events -- competing as an individual at IJS above, say, Novice may not be at every club/rink, and having some sort of A, AA, AAA system of rink/coaching ratings with tryouts to train with those rinks/coaches would be a language many parents new to the sport "speak." It may possibly keep more families out of costly (financially and otherwise) Nationals/Olympics pipe dreams, focusing needed resources on high talent potential kids. Right now, there are way too many uneducated parents at the hands of unscrupulous coaches dumping money, energy and pressure onto kids who will never, ever, ever make to levels that even begin to balance the amount of Olympic-level stress, cost and injuries accrued by skaters.

ETA: Sorry, I know that's a lot of change to digest all at once, but I'm at the point now that, well, if sh*t is hitting the fan and we're using the opportunity to change things up, let's change things up.
 
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MacMadame

Doing all the things
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But, the ISU should change their charter to include an emphasis on athlete health. The age limit will be raised this summer, I'm sure. But, what about weight? We weigh boxers, wrestlers, others. Why not figure skaters to guarantee they are at a weight appropriate for their age and height? No sport governing body should include member states that manipulate the health of their athletes for some competitive goal.
First of all, weight is not heath. Secondly, an over-emphasis on weight is what triggers eating disorders.
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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Essay written by Gracie Gold with sports journalist Karen Crouse (who wrote the 2019 NY Times article "Gracie Gold's Battle for Olympic Glory Ended in a Fight to Save Herself") titled Stop Asking Why America Doesn’t Win Olympic Medals in Women’s-Singles Skating (Feb. 17): https://www.thecut.com/2022/02/america-olympic-medals-womens-singles-skating.html
Speaking of Crouse (I'm assuming she is working with Gracie on her memoir that was mentioned in The Cut article), she's scheduled to participate in Kelly Rippon's IG Live tonight - eta link to replay video: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CaI839nlaGa/

What happened to figure skating? Is it going to change or change us?

Tonight 2/18 Friday 7pm EST —let’s talk about it.

I am excited to sit down with author and world renowned sports writer, Karen Crouse. She’s covered over a dozen Olympic Games, and brings her lens as a journalist to offer us a unique take on the progression of the sport.

Joins us and send your thought on how the sport can improve and be made safer for girls and women.
 
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overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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33,783
Speaking of Crouse (I'm assuming she is working with Gracie on her memoir that was mentioned in The Cut article), she's scheduled to participate in Kelly Rippon's IG Live tonight: https://www.instagram.com/p/CaHmJSXLrT4

What happened to figure skating? Is it going to change or change us?

Tonight 2/18 Friday 7pm EST —let’s talk about it.

I am excited to sit down with author and world renowned sports writer, Karen Crouse. She’s covered over a dozen Olympic Games, and brings her lens as a journalist to offer us a unique take on the progression of the sport.

Joins us and send your thought on how the sport can improve and be made safer for girls and women.

I understand the focus on girls and women right now. But the sport needs to be safer for everybody.
 

olympic

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,599
If you look at most 4CC and Worlds results, they are comparable to them. I think the Americans have had bad timing when it came to the last two Olympics. Our two most competitive and successful skaters in the 2015-2018 cycle, Gracie and Ashley, were not on the Olympic team for their respective reasons. Ashley arguably could have been put on the team but is is what it is. Karen, the 4th place Worlds finisher who did make the team and had a then promising score ceiling did not compete well while Mirai who knocked it out of the park and placed second in the team event with a triple Axel didn’t replicate that performance in the individual. Bradie had a clean SP in the TE but underperformed in the individual. We also lost Polina, a four continents champ, due to injury and growth. She was one of our most consistent competitors who hardly ever fell and made sure to land every jump on one foot. Her issues with rotation got worse after her growth.

Kind of the same thing happened in 2019-2022. Bradie, our best skater who could score near 150 in the LP in the 2019-2020 season and had been our most consistent lady injured herself and couldn’t compete for a spot on the Olympic team. We had Alyssa Liu who was full of “ultra-C” elements and promise as a junior grew tall and lost whatever quads she sort of had as a young girl. She went through some growing pains and placed 4th at Nationals in 2021. Then some BTS stuff happened this season that hindered any stability she had. However, she had working on her skating skills and such and placed 7th at the Olympics with two clean skates at her first year eligible as a senior. Not bad at all.

Karen, same story as 2018. Could be competitive and managed to place high at Worlds unexpectedly but has had an underwhelming Olympics. I still think her TE LP was beautiful though and there’s a reason it was one of the most watched Beijing skating videos on YouTube with many people loving it.

Mariah had a ceiling and for some reason has had issues with her SP all season but her LP scores are on par with many of the Japanese and Koreans outside of Kaori.
Yes. I agree with this analysis. Spot on for both Olympic cycles.

I miss Bradie and her consistency this year. She gets dissed by fans and TSL, but I always thought her efforts were quite rewarding for herself and Team USA. She learned how to work IJS more than any other US woman and it kept her in the mix even with the intro of RUS quadsters and some tough JPN and KOR women.

Karen's career baffles me: So much promise beginning around 2014/5 as a Junior. Musicality for days, strong spins, flexible but tough, huge lift on jumps, BUT yet could not rotate on a regular basis. I don't get that ...
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
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39,486
Yes. I agree with this analysis. Spot on for both Olympic cycles.

I miss Bradie and her consistency this year. She gets dissed by fans and TSL, but I always thought her efforts were quite rewarding for herself and Team USA. She learned how to work IJS more than any other US woman and it kept her in the mix even with the intro of RUS quadsters and some tough JPN and KOR women.

Karen's career baffles me: So much promise beginning around 2014/5 as a Junior. Musicality for days, strong spins, flexible but tough, huge lift on jumps, BUT yet could not rotate on a regular basis. I don't get that ...
I was looking at Karen’s international results and they remind me so much of Carolina Kostner’s first two Olympic cycles. Kostner did get two world medals but when she didn’t, she was kind of far from the medal position. Her 2010 Olympics (her second Olympics) was a meltdown much like her 2009 Worlds appearance and she ended up placing comparatively to where Karen placed in 2022. Karen only had two worlds appearances thus far and placed 4th in both but had she been sort of the “lone” lady of US figure skating the way Carolina was the lone lady for Italy, she probably would have had low placements for the Worlds she didn’t make the team for.
 

tylersf

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Messages
491
You are putting the cart before the horse. They live in Richmond (which has nice areas, btw) because they spend so much money on skating. Not because they haven't got the money to live elsewhere. They are spending their discretionary money on skating and not on living in a posh neighborhood.
I used to live in Richmond on a hill. It's a nicer town than you think. My entire back of the house had views of San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate and Mount Tamalpais. It's location provides for not-so-hot summers and mild winters. It also has great access to all parts of the Bay Area.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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I used to live in Richmond on a hill. It's a nicer town than you think. My entire back of the house had views of San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate and Mount Tamalpais. It's location provides for not-so-hot summers and mild winters. It also has great access to all parts of the Bay Area.
I've been there. I'm not the one saying it's some kind of slum so it proves Alysa comes from a disadvantaged background. That was the person I was responding to.
 

Willin

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I never said it was a slum or she was disadvantaged. I was replying to a user who seemed to think she was a very privileged person with a super rich Dad. Which, not all of Richmond is a slum, but if Mr. Liu was really rich he'd probably be living in Piedmont, Berkeley, Lamorinda or the Oakland Hills (if not The City) like most of the rest of the skaters at OIC.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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but if Mr. Liu was really rich he'd probably be living in Piedmont, Berkeley, Lamorinda or the Oakland Hills (if not The City) like most of the rest of the skaters at OIC.
Only if he thinks that's a good way to spend his money.

and there are janky places in Berkeley so just living there doesn't make you rich either. :D
 

KaoriFan

Active Member
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84
Raise the age would help, but not solve the problem. Probably the ones who want to win more than anything will be on puberty blocker until 18+. The ISU need to change the scoring incentive to reward more mature presentation and skating skills. If the skater can reach mature level, then rank them by technical difficulty. If they can't reach that level, make the scoring so harsh on them for bad skating or immature presentation that they cannot be competitive.

The ISU never does the right thing so I won't hold my breath waiting too long.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
Messages
71,447
I thought the Gracie piece was right on. I think age itself will take care of a lot of this. Women add weight when they mature.

But, it doesn't capture many cases. Scherbekova looks unhealthy even though she's 17. She's clearly underweight. And, I've seen many stick figure pairs' women - easier to lift and throw.

Excuse if this has been discussed elsewhere on the forum. But, the ISU should change their charter to include an emphasis on athlete health. The age limit will be raised this summer, I'm sure. But, what about weight? We weigh boxers, wrestlers, others. Why not figure skaters to guarantee they are at a weight appropriate for their age and height? No sport governing body should include member states that manipulate the health of their athletes for some competitive goal.

Those states that won't sign and actively enforce these policies should simply be dropped from the ISU. Without these protections ALL ISU members look to be condoning the abuses we've seen in recent years.
Well, you must think her entire family is unhealthy because Anna is built exactly like her mother and sisters. Are you proposing policing entire families?
 

Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love!
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Well, you must think her entire family is unhealthy because Anna is built exactly like her mother and sisters. Are you proposing policing entire families?

That would enter racist territory, as some races are more naturally curvy than others. Talking about women, of crs.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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Raise the age would help, but not solve the problem.
Nothing will solve the problem 100% (and this is true for many problems) But we've seen it work pretty well in other sports like gymnastics so I think it will work pretty well here.

Once women go through puberty, they may be less aerodynamic but they are stronger. I think coaches need to take advantage of that and not rely on skinny jumping beans to have success.
 

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