ISU Council's Proposal to change Rule 108 - Age Limits for Single & Pair Skating / Ice Dance + ISU Medical Commission's report

Trillian

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It's just that other skaters will have the opportunity to shine. If success at 15 was everything, we would never see a figure skater like Loena Hendrickx.

Or Kaori Sakamoto, for that matter. Obviously there are a lot more historical examples. But fact that Kaori and Loena were doing the best skating of their lives just this past season, and a lot of us found them way more enjoyable to watch than all the stressed, injured, emaciated teenagers, is pretty good evidence that raising the age minimum won’t be the apocalypse that some people are predicting. There’s never been a shortage of great skaters over 17.
 

once_upon

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There will always be someone who missed the current Olympic cycles by age, who became injured or whatever causes them to not compete next cycle no matter what age limits are imposed. A decision needs to be in place.
When someone is allowed to compete because of a protected minor age status, when someone else would be disqualified because of their age - that's not fair either.
 

airgelaal

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Or Kaori Sakamoto, for that matter. Obviously there are a lot more historical examples. But fact that Kaori and Loena were doing the best skating of their lives just this past season, and a lot of us found them way more enjoyable to watch than all the stressed, injured, emaciated teenagers, is pretty good evidence that raising the age minimum won’t be the apocalypse that some people are predicting. There’s never been a shortage of great skaters over 17.
Kaori was successful as a junior, but Loena not.
For example, its Loena when she was 15
She finished this competition in 14th place, while Kaori won silver. And not so long ago they stood together on a pedestal.
 

clairecloutier

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It's interesting because the last decade or so of women's skating has seen this sort of bifurcated path, where on the one hand, we have the 15-year-old champions who retire by 17, and on the other hand, we have a group of women who have competed at a high level and had some of their greatest success into their 20s--Hendrickx, Bell, Tennell, Sakamoto, Kostner, Osmond, Tukt, Mihara, Kim, Asada. The youngest women skaters were still having success, as they always have traditionally in the sport, but we've started to see an alternative path as well.
 

Trillian

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Kaori was successful as a junior, but Loena not.
For example, its Loena when she was 15
She finished this competition in 14th place, while Kaori won silver. And not so long ago they stood together on a pedestal.

I agree. But while Kaori was an excellent junior competitor, she also spent most of her career overshadowed by others (even within Japan). It was fun to watch her finally have a real breakout season.

Loena is a perfect example of how smaller federations will be helped by the new age minimum. Skaters from Russia, Japan, the U.S., etc., have tended to be more successful in juniors because they often have access to elite-level training and resources at a younger age. Equally talented skaters from other countries might take longer to develop, and they also don’t get the same political lift. I’m hoping there’s a chance we see more skaters from countries that aren’t traditionally as well-represented follow in Loena’s footsteps.
 

airgelaal

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I hope we will be able to see new interesting skaters from big federations.
I hope that the balance between skating and jumping will return. In recent years, figure skating has become so complicated that we have seen less and less new programs. Skaters began to use the old programs for several years, they began to actively bring back the old programs. What was not welcomed not so long ago is no longer surprising.
I hope to see more creativity and less quads.
 

MacMadame

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Plenty of them seem to shell our for young adults quite happily right now. If they do it when the young adults in question are male (or ice dancers), why wouldn't they do it when they're female too?
In the US, many male pairs & ice dancers have a lot (or most or all) of their expenses paid for by the girl's parents.

I think a common pattern in the US is for parents to pay for their skater up until HS graduation and then switch to paying for college unless their skater has made a splash at Nationals and is getting international assignments and is on a path to going to Worlds or the Olympics if all goes well. I don't see raising the age limit as changing this much.

Again, there just aren't that many 15-16-year-olds competing in Seniors at the highest levels in the US.

Oh I did want to mention something on the topic of faking ages. How do we know that wasn’t already being done to make sure people were on the right side of 15 for olympic years? Trusova, for instance, has a birthday 8 days before the cutoff. if she was born nine days later don’t you think they would’ve changed it?
The same arguments for why it would be hard to cheat on the year kids are born also apply to cheating on the month and day they are born.
 

Karen-W

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Oh I did want to mention something on the topic of faking ages. How do we know that wasn’t already being done to make sure people were on the right side of 15 for olympic years? Trusova, for instance, has a birthday 8 days before the cutoff. if she was born nine days later don’t you think they would’ve changed it?
I suppose it might be easier to try and cheat and say "ohhhhh, her DOB was entered incorrectly and she's a month older than we've thought, but no one caught it all these years," but, again, so many of these skaters are competing at a young age and getting attention because the competitions are being streamed online or results are readily available and that personal information winds up being known at least amongst hardcore fans. I just don't think it would be as easy for Russia to manipulate DOBs as it has been for China in other sports in the past (or even Sui a dozen years ago, if those rumors are true).
 

Nadya

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Or Kaori Sakamoto, for that matter. Obviously there are a lot more historical examples. But fact that Kaori and Loena were doing the best skating of their lives just this past season, and a lot of us found them way more enjoyable to watch than all the stressed, injured, emaciated teenagers, is pretty good evidence that raising the age minimum won’t be the apocalypse that some people are predicting. There’s never been a shortage of great skaters over 17.

Scherbakova looked emaciated. Kamila and Alina both look slender but healthy. Trusova has serious muscle tone.

I'm not going to get into Sarah Thunder Thighs Hughes or Oksana I Drunk My Dinner Baiul.
 

Nadya

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I suppose it might be easier to try and cheat and say "ohhhhh, her DOB was entered incorrectly and she's a month older than we've thought, but no one caught it all these years," but, again, so many of these skaters are competing at a young age and getting attention because the competitions are being streamed online or results are readily available and that personal information winds up being known at least amongst hardcore fans. I just don't think it would be as easy for Russia to manipulate DOBs as it has been for China in other sports in the past (or even Sui a dozen years ago, if those rumors are true).

My son was born two weeks after the cutoff for his school and I ground them down by an argument that had he been premature, he would have made the deadline, and they are discriminating against full term babies while privileging the premature, with all the development delays it entails. The bullshit hose was turned to eleven so they simply folded.
 

PRlady

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Scherbakova looked emaciated. Kamila and Alina both look slender but healthy. Trusova has serious muscle tone.

I'm not going to get into Sarah Thunder Thighs Hughes or Oksana I Drunk My Dinner Baiul.
Leaving their physique aside, what disturbed me was how upset the Russian girls looked after any program that wasn’t perfect. I don’t mean the awful catastrophe that every skater dreads, just a missed jump or stumble. Like the beatings would commence at 0600 hours….
 

Trillian

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Scherbakova looked emaciated. Kamila and Alina both look slender but healthy. Trusova has serious muscle tone.

I'm not going to get into Sarah Thunder Thighs Hughes or Oksana I Drunk My Dinner Baiul.

I’ll back down on that one because I shouldn’t have commented on anyone’s appearance. That one is on me. But every comment that has ever come out of that camp with regards to weight and nutrition is problematic AF, so there’s no way they’re nurturing healthy attitudes about food.

And personally, if I was a Kamila truther, I’d probably avoid attacking anyone else with references to questionable drinking habits, but you do you. :grandpa:
 

Karen-W

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My son was born two weeks after the cutoff for his school and I ground them down by an argument that had he been premature, he would have made the deadline, and they are discriminating against full term babies while privileging the premature, with all the development delays it entails. The bullshit hose was turned to eleven so they simply folded.
LMAO! That sounds like something my grandmother would have tried if she were alive today. One of her daughters was born 1 day before the school's deadline and, sure as heck, she put her in school that year. She also had, by that point, 5 kids and wanted 3 of them in school, lol.

It still doesn't change my thought that, nowadays, with the proliferation of streamed competitions for these kids starting well before they're old enough to be a certain contender at even the junior level internationally, and with the way hardcore fans compile so much personal data about most of these skaters, it would be hard to fudge a birthdate. Beyond that, the sport is so cutthroat competitive that if some rival coach or parent got wind of a cheated DOB, I expect it would not be kept secret if it meant eliminating the competition.
 

airgelaal

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Leaving their physique aside, what disturbed me was how upset the Russian girls looked after any program that wasn’t perfect. I don’t mean the awful catastrophe that every skater dreads, just a missed jump or stumble. Like the beatings would commence at 0600 hours….
And me on the contrary, when the performance was perfect.
Their response was usually this:
1. Very low scores! How dare they!
2. These seem to be low scores.
3. Okay, let's consider it ok
4. These are normal scores, I agree.

I don't remember girls being sincerely happy about their very high scores. That is why I stopped watching Russian juniors. Their K&C made me very upset.
 

giselle23

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I agree with changing the age limit but I think it should be 17 by 12/31. All 17 year olds should be eligible. This would mean 17 by Worlds or the Olympics and would avoid the situation where a skater is 17 by July 2 and has to wait until they are 18.
 

Karen-W

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I agree with changing the age limit but I think it should be 17 by 12/31. All 17 year olds should be eligible. This would mean 17 by Worlds or the Olympics and would avoid the situation where a skater is 17 by July 2 and has to wait until they are 18.
No, this would be wrong as the season starts on July 1st, so you would have skaters who aren't allowed to compete senior for the 1st half of the season (Challengers, GPs and the GPF if they qualify), but can compete at Euros/4CCs, Olympics and Worlds. The fairest way to do it is to have them all be 17 at the start of the season.

Any date you pick is going to leave some skater out in the cold - what about all those January babies who miss your suggested deadline of 12/31? How is it fair to them? Especially in the middle of the season?
 

Nadya

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Leaving their physique aside, what disturbed me was how upset the Russian girls looked after any program that wasn’t perfect. I don’t mean the awful catastrophe that every skater dreads, just a missed jump or stumble. Like the beatings would commence at 0600 hours….
I personally think that Michelle “I’m just here to have fun” Kwan fostered unrealistic expectations with regard to how skater should feel about wins and losses, and with regard to the level of restraint one is supposed to display in K&C. And I love her you know.
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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I don't really wish to see the Kiss and Cry anymore. It's just ridiculous to me to focus on skater or coach reactions, whether good or bad, about the skating. Emotions will be high one way or the other, and I find it makes me question whether this thing's really a sport or not sometimes.

If we talk about Trusova, you cannot seriously tell me that we needed to see her extended meltdown that was being broadcast on NBC. It was shameful, and if Eteri deserves criticism for it, then so do the broadcasters for showing it, and so do people like Adam Rippon for their bitchfests about it.
 

PRlady

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I don't really wish to see the Kiss and Cry anymore. It's just ridiculous to me to focus on skater or coach reactions, whether good or bad, about the skating. Emotions will be high one way or the other, and I find it makes me question whether this thing's really a sport or not sometimes.
Have you ever seen a baseball star break a bat in frustration? A football star doing a long dance in the end zone? The camera following a tennis player who double-faulted? That thrill of victory and agony of defeat is intrinsic to sports.
 

Karen-W

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I don't really wish to see the Kiss and Cry anymore. It's just ridiculous to me to focus on skater or coach reactions, whether good or bad, about the skating. Emotions will be high one way or the other, and I find it makes me question whether this thing's really a sport or not sometimes.
Oh, come on... It's part of the drama of any sport - the reactions to a great play or scores. We see it when divers and gymnasts are waiting for their marks, we see teams celebrating on the sidelines or tumbling out of the dugout when a clutch touchdown, three-pointer or home run happens. Take away the KnC and you make the sport even less interesting or relatable to the public. Everyone understands and knows that sigh of relief that Isabeau Levito gave when her marks came up in the FS at Jr Worlds and she stayed in the lead. Everyone understands and appreciates the "aw shucks" humility of Nathan, even when Raf was raising their fists victoriously in Beijing. It's human emotion at it's very best - and, in the case of the Russian women, at it's most ugly, raw and worst. ABC had it right when they came up with the Wide World of Sports intro... "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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Have you ever seen a baseball star break a bat in frustration? A football star doing a long dance in the end zone? The camera following a tennis player who double-faulted? That thrill of victory and agony of defeat is intrinsic to sports.
I don't like those either. And I don't particularly care for the argument that the viewership likes seeing it, therefore it should be shown. It's not entertaining to me, and I was certainly not entertained by seeing Trusova meltdown, nor for the criticism she got for it. These people's emotions getting milked for money is disgusting to me.
 

Karen-W

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I don't like those either. And I don't particularly care for the argument that the viewership likes seeing it, therefore it should be shown. It's not entertaining to me, and I was certainly not entertained by seeing Trusova meltdown, nor for the criticism she got for it. These people's emotions getting milked for money is disgusting to me.
It isn't as though they aren't aware of and getting paid to put those emotions out there on display for public consumption. Let's not pretend like they are innocent victims in the greedy, corporate sporting machine.
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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It isn't as though they aren't aware of and getting paid to put those emotions out there on display for public consumption.
I accept that your argument makes some sense for the K&C (still don't wish to see it), but that is not what this is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnwlY_TlyLw


I don't see why this was necessary, especially that ominous music in the background. You cannot pretend that Network TV partly does thrive on drama, and these girls did get more than what they signed up for.
 

carriecmu0503

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I agree with changing the age limit but I think it should be 17 by 12/31. All 17 year olds should be eligible. This would mean 17 by Worlds or the Olympics and would avoid the situation where a skater is 17 by July 2 and has to wait until they are 18.
The figure skating season has always started on July 1. That is why skaters have to meet whatever the age limit is before that date. I presume they settled on 17 because they know that the majority of skaters will be 18 by the time worlds/ Olympics comes around. If they are not 18 at that time, they will only be 3 to 4 months from their 18th birthday. Thank goodness. I’m tired of seeing children in elite, senior level sport. Sports like gymnastics have their age deadline by December 31 because their new season starts on January 1. I would love to see gymnastics go from requiring gymnasts to turn 16 in the calendar year to turning 17. This would at least eliminate having 15–year-olds at the Olympics. No more of this “protected person” garbage as far as WADA is concerned. If someone is too young to be responsible for what is put into their body as far as illegal drugs/performance enhancing drugs, they are absolutely too young to compete in elite competition.
 

Karen-W

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I accept that your argument makes some sense for the K&C (still don't wish to see it), but that is not what this is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnwlY_TlyLw


I don't see why this was necessary, especially that ominous music in the background. You cannot pretend that Network TV partly does thrive on drama, and these girls did get more than what they signed up for.
I'm not arguing or pretending that network TV doesn't partly thrive on the drama from KnC. What I am arguing, as is @PRlady, is that the drama exists in sport regardless of the number of cameras trained on the athletes. I can still remember how absolutely thrilling it was for my HS football team to win our CA Sectionals my freshman year. Practically the entire town it seemed drove up to Sacramento for the championship (CA Sectionals are equivalent to winning a State Championship in most other states) because we cared so much about our team. It's the same reason you get standing ovations for tremendous skates, or the audience clapping along to pick a skater up when they're having a bad skate. We care as much as the athletes themselves.
 

Trillian

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Oh, come on... It's part of the drama of any sport - the reactions to a great play or scores. We see it when divers and gymnasts are waiting for their marks, we see teams celebrating on the sidelines or tumbling out of the dugout when a clutch touchdown, three-pointer or home run happens. Take away the KnC and you make the sport even less interesting or relatable to the public.

I don’t disagree with you, and I’ve always enjoyed watching skaters celebrate when the good scores come up - as a fan, I would miss that.

But I do think this is also yet another argument in favor of raising the age minimum. It’s one thing when we’re watching adults, but it’s really uncomfortable and feels borderline predatory when kids are in that position after a disappointing performance. The whole point of filming the kiss and cry reactions is to create entertainment for a TV audience, which means that kids - who generally have less control over their emotions and also less agency to remove themselves from a position like that - are being exploited so that adults can make a profit from better TV ratings.
 

MacMadame

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I personally think that Michelle “I’m just here to have fun” Kwan fostered unrealistic expectations with regard to how skater should feel about wins and losses, and with regard to the level of restraint one is supposed to display in K&C. And I love her you know.
You missed the original point. Which is that the behavior of Eteri's girls in the KnC when they don't have a perfect skate gives the OP the impression they are being abused.

Have you ever seen a baseball star break a bat in frustration? A football star doing a long dance in the end zone? The camera following a tennis player who double-faulted? That thrill of victory and agony of defeat is intrinsic to sports.
I don't think this is the same thing. The equivalent to a tennis player fist-pumping after an ace would be a skater fist-pumping after they land a quad. When the tennis game ends, the tennis player gets to go into the locker room to clean up (and collect themselves) before talking to the press.

(And the NFL is trying to stop those touchdown dances so they are their own special thing.)

Figure skating is different in that you don't know your scores when you get off the ice. But there wasn't always a Kiss and Cry (and there isn't one at lower level comps) and there are similar sports where the scores come up later and the athletes just mill around with the other people involved in competing. There are cameras at the important comps but they aren't right in the athletes' faces like the cameras were on Trusova.
 

Trillian

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Figure skating is different in that you don't know your scores when you get off the ice. But there wasn't always a Kiss and Cry (and there isn't one at lower level comps) and there are similar sports where the scores come up later and the athletes just mill around with the other people involved in competing. There are cameras at the important comps but they aren't right in the athletes' faces like the cameras were on Trusova.

Plus, skaters are required to be in the kiss and cry until the scoring is finished, correct? At least in ISU events? I’m not sure when that rule was instituted, but the ha-ha moments when skaters stand up to leave and someone gestures at them to sit back down aren’t always that cute. I hate seeing kids who just had a disappointing skate being forced to sit there when they’d clearly rather be anywhere else. I’d like to see that rule waived for junior events, even if they’re just being streamed online.
 

Dai's Blues for Klook

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I'd argue that it applies to all athletes, I very much would prefer they were able to collect themselves after a bad performance instead of sitting in the K&C with the cameras pointing at them. As has been pointed out, it's not the same as a tennis match or baseball match. But when it comes to younger athletes, I feel very disgusted. This is further to the point of whether or not I should be watching sports with young athletes. It's an opinion based on what I like to watch, and solely what I like to watch, but children being used in that way for my "entertainment"... well I'm not entertained. And I feel disgusted with my own self watching it, much like I did during the women's event at the Olympics.
 

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