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DimaToe

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I did that. I would never blame the skaters at all. My criticism was entirely directed at the judges and the governing bodies, and the direction of the sport.

You never clafirided that, and all artistic sports have been heading in that direction for a while. It is ok to not like something, but it is not ok to play age as a deciding factor. Not all people are the same at 13 then they are at 20. You really should not say “most people” without any tangible proof.
 

ToFarAwayTimes

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You never clafirided that

I think I did clarify that point in my first post, but if it wasn't clear, I said it again in the second one, and now here again.

I would never blame the skaters or take anything away from what they have done.

I simply do not agree with the judging system or the direction of the sport.

You really should not say “most people” without any tangible proof.

U.S. Nationals were the lowest rated TV program in its time slot that night, for the major networks.
 

DimaToe

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I think I did clarify that point in my first post, but if it wasn't clear, I said it again in the second one, and now here again.

I would never blame the skaters or take anything away from what they have done.

I simply do not agree with the judging system or the direction of the sport.



U.S. Nationals were the lowest rated TV program in its time slot that night, for the major networks.

So most people were not watching :shuffle:
 
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When Capitals won the Cup last season I was a little sour. Then a young friend who's in college told me "when I saw the pure joy of Ovechkin when he won, on a human level it spoke to me and made me happy". Sometimes we need young people to open our eyes because I realized he was so right.

I felt the same thing last night, when watching the proud father and the little girl crying. As a human being, it just felt like a wonderful thing to witness the joy from all that hard work and immense talent.
 
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ToFarAwayTimes

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Sonja Henie won her first world championship at the age of 14 and her first Olympics the year after. So this trend is hardly new.

I would call her an outlier, since for many decades before and after her, the top skaters were several years older.

Her win at 14 was also the result of rigged judging, since most of the judges were from her own country, and the ISU had to change the judging system the following year. Of her three Olympic Gold medals, one was at 15, but the other two were at 19 and 23. For the next 60 years, the winners were all roughly aged 18-23.

The trend I'm referring to is much more recent, dating back to Baiul and Lipinski and the 1990s.
 

DimaToe

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So as long as you’re are least 18 you’re a woman? Age isn’t relevant to mental maturity, and sometimes physical, so as long as you have “developed” you are a woman? Ok then...
 

Sylvia

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IIRC, Nathan was interviewed by Andrea Joyce before the 2010 Nationals Gala after he won his first Novice title... no hyping was involved by NBC until they dug out that clip to use for their Olympic season promotion.

I'm happy for Alysa and her amazing accomplishments to date. I am hopeful that the team around her, particularly her father and longtime coach Laura Lipetsky, will continue to keep her best interests at heart.
 

ToFarAwayTimes

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So as long as you’re are least 18 you’re a woman? Age isn’t relevant to mental maturity, and sometimes physical, so as long as you have “developed” you are a woman? Ok then...

No, I would not put an age on it, but like someone recently pointed out to me the Chinese generally do-- I would look at directions and trends. You are not getting an outlier phenom who is revolutionizing the sport. You are seeing an army of underage kids dominate because the process is producing them.

For a long time, "the process" was that a girl trained and developed her skills and matured until her skating was the entire package, which generally happened from mid-late teens to early 20s.

Now you have a sport that is only about 1 thing: jumps and revolutions. Apparently, by the sheer numbers of their successes in the current judging system, you are seeing the prime age of competitors becoming optimized not at 16-21 or 18-23 give or take but instead you are seeing the system produce an optimized, pre-pubescent body type of 13-14 years olds who, given training and full state resources at their disposal, will produce the highest scores as the sport currently judges "skating". Anyone older than about 15 will be subject to life-threatening malnutrition and chemicals in futile attempts to make their body more like a child in order to compete.

Then, these army of kids will be banned from competing against the seniors, because they have an unfair advantage.

And furthermore, you have a system where most people think the junior champion is actually better than the senior champion. Huh?

Why not change the incentives and reward the other parts of skating more and more, and reign in the jumping a little bit. That's what I am suggesting.
 

Tinami Amori

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U.S. Nationals were the lowest rated TV program in its time slot that night, for the major networks.
You don't compare sports events ratings on sports networks with other national regular TV shows.
You compare the ratings by year and from event to event. 2019 event has not yet been rated (it's not over). But there is a stead rating increase in figure skating since 2015.

http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2018/01/figure-skating-ratings-nbc/

Why not change the incentives and reward the other parts of skating more and more, and reign in the jumping a little bit. That's what I am suggesting.
Yeah.. and let's move giant slalom to 10-degree hill slopes, and add a third wheel to the bicycles in Tour de France..
 
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ToFarAwayTimes

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One last point--following the current trend of the sport, I can imagine the absurd premise that, once coaches and national teams fully optimize their strategies, you could have girls ruled out simply because of the year they were born. If things continue this way, a national team may give the cold shoulder and not invest in its best skaters, only the ones will be 15 (or whatever the minimum age is for senior competition) the year of the Olympics. An ideal strategy would be to produce someone who is winning multiple junior world championships at 13 and 14 years old, turning senior, and winning the gold medal in one season and then goodbye.

Now what kind of world is that?
 

NAOTMAA

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^^^^
I seriously doubt any of that will happen. I mean who won the Olympics in 2006 after the following three Olympics had champions age 15-15-16? ..........a 24 year old!!!! In fact that whole podium was over 20

It just so happens that some skaters get lucky with their age in the Olympic year and others not so much
 

natsulian

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Congrats to her, but last time I checked 13 is not a woman. She does not look like a woman, does not skate like a woman, neither do any of the other children her age. This is nothing personal against Alysa or any of them, just a criticism of the direction of the sport in general. I can't help but make the observation that most people are not interested in watching little kids do gymnastics on ice.

Sorry to say that figure skating has lost yet another fan and interested party, at least for the time being.

If you want to see ballet on ice, there are tons of figure skaters out there who meet that criteria. I’m honestly amazed at how much criticism U.S. ladies get for not attempting harder triples or pushing the envelope technically, then along come three U.S. ladies attempting 3A’s, rippons in every jump, and 3Lz-3T and suddenly they’re “gymnasts on ice”. So now people won’t watch figure skating because of ONE SKATER? That kind of logic is what kept the U.S. in the dark and starved of medals. They wanted to replicate Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen, but the reality is, if we look to the past and yearn for our golden years, how are we to move forward? Times have changed, it’s time we change with it. The U.S. realized this too late and now we have Seniors whose technical abilities are not up to par with the Russians and Japanese. Sports is about athleticism first and foremost and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the human body, that’s what makes it so exciting. Alysa is going to become an artist later on. Mind you, skaters such as Michelle developed their artistry later on and were also critiqued for being “jumping beans” when they were 13. We don’t know what the future holds and instead of killing them off, why not wish them well and goodwill? Why not actually hope for something good to happen to them instead of saying that they’ll falter and faze out? Times are changing, get used to it.
 

NAOTMAA

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^^^^
I don't the the USFSA was trying to replicate Michelle or Sasha. I think that was more NBC using their names for ratings because they were, in the case of Michelle super popular and for Sasha the last real star, and the USFSA didn't object. I just think with the rise of the Russians and Japanese and with the slow taking of COP as well as some unlucky moments the US just ran out of steam when it camp to champs. It's certainly not dead (many girls have the individual parts but they just need to put it together running all at once) but it looks like they are finally starting at the lower levels adjusting to the new order of things.
 

Tinami Amori

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An ideal strategy would be to produce someone who is winning multiple junior world championships at 13 and 14 years old, turning senior, and winning the gold medal in one season and then goodbye.

Now what kind of world is that?
a world where an athlete has a choice of priorities and plans for life and athletic career, short, long, 1 year, 10 year... If all one wants is to win a particular medal in a particular event, and then move on to other activities in life, one should be able to...

Sport is not a "stalinist gulag" where participation for x-years is mandatory... :D
 

ToFarAwayTimes

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Alysa is going to become an artist later on.

I don't doubt that she will. I'm sure Alysa will continue to grow and mature as a skater if that's what she wants to do and works hard at it, and if she does then I hope she succeeds in those goals.

But I'm afraid I don't think she will have success after 15 years old, because that is the current direction of the sport and what it is producing. The judging will not reward those greater artistic abilities she develops, and her body will develop until she can no longer spin with the middle school girls, or she will be subject to the Lipnitskaia abuse until her body breaks down and her very life is at risk.

I don't think it has to be this way. That is all.
 
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NAOTMAA

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I don't doubt that she will. I'm sure Alysa will continue to grow and mature as a skater if that's what she wants to do and works hard at it, and if she does then I hope she succeeds in those goals.

But I'm afraid I don't think she will have success after 15 years old, because that is the current direction of the sport and what it is producing. Her body will develop until she can no longer spin with the middle school girls, or she will be subject to the Lipnitskaia abuse until her body breaks down and her very life is at risk.

I don't think it has to be this way. That is all.

I'm not sure why my name comes up in your quote but I never mentioned anything about Alysa's artistry. That was from natsulian

But since I'm not the topic now :D I will say I didn't see anything from Alyssa that indicates anything artistically. I found her SP extremely frantic and her LP I can't remember anything beyond the two 3As. She looks like a complete blank slate so who knows what will happen later on.

I think after seeing the three younger ones in the SP and LP Ting seems to have a natural grace and elegance, Hanna's artistry seems kind of shallow and superficial now but she's clearly a performer and Alysa I don't know :shuffle:
 

natsulian

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Hopefully Alysa can clean up her technique and have the career that she wants to have. It’s quite interesting that people were complaining about how the U.S. no longer have technical depth and that we’re in a rut... and now that we have seen a glimpse of the future, people are not even giving these girls, especially Alysa, a chance and writing them off. Nothing will ever please U.S. Figure Skating fans, there’s always something to complain about instead of praise. Simple critiques are fine, but when people talk about a young girl destroying her body and predicting her future for her... that’s kind of odd and a little uncomfortable.
 

ToFarAwayTimes

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Hypothetical here for all of you:

I realize Michelle Kwan was 16 and 20 her Olympic years, but let's imagine someone with her talents came to the attention of USFS but she would be 14 and 18 years old during the next upcoming Olympics. She would not be eligible to compete for the first one, and so her first Olympics would be 18 years old.

You do realize that-- regardless of how talented this hypothetical girl is --- it would be a massive strategic blunder for anyone at USFS to invest a single ounce of energy towards her development, don't you? She could be the greatest thing that never was and she would have zero chance of winning anything based solely on the year she was born.
 

ToFarAwayTimes

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It’s quite interesting that people were complaining about how the U.S. no longer have technical depth and that we’re in a rut... and now that we have seen a glimpse of the future, people are not even giving these girls, especially Alysa, a chance and writing them off.

I have never advocated for "catching up with the Russians". --- system that strives to produce 13 year old robots who do awful and dangerous things to their bodies as they get older.

I have persistently clamored for an emphasis on more well-rounded and mature, yet technically challenging skating.
 

Tinami Amori

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You do realize that-- regardless of how talented this hypothetical girl is --- it would be a massive strategic blunder for anyone at USFS to invest a single ounce of energy towards her development, don't you? She could be the greatest thing that never was and she would have zero chance of winning anything based solely on the year she was born.
Do you realize that instead you are proposing to stifle skaters in another age group?

If there is a girl with high difficulty abilities, born in a year that would allow her to compete in the Olympics at 14/15 years of age, and all she wants is to win, or to compete in the Olympics, and the GO TO COLLEGE at 17? or do something else that requires full dedication away from sports? should she lose her dreams, given she is very capable, because "some people" have personal preferences to see their version of "maturity" on ice and/or think that "skating should be a career"?
 

natsulian

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I have never advocated for "catching up with the Russians". --- system that strives to produce 13 year old robots who do awful and dangerous things to their bodies as they get older.

I have persistently clamored for an emphasis on more well-rounded and mature, yet technically challenging skating.
I was not directing it at you, but the general U.S. Figure Skating fandom in general. I understand that we all have different opinions and perspectives, but I just hope that people understand that the things they put about a person, especially on social media, affects a human being behind that screen. Talent is a funny thing, it makes others feel a certain way. ;)
 

NAOTMAA

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Do you realize that instead you are proposing to stifle skaters in another age group?

I've always been under the impression that the age rule was put in place to discourage young kids from pushing too hard and so they wouldn't get hurt and flame out. Not so the champions would be actual ladies and not little girls like many people seem to say these days. Am I mistaken :confused:

Either way the age rule has not discouraged little kids from pushing harder since it actually seems more little kids then ever are pushing the envelope (not just girls but the boys and quads too). So I wonder how the ISU might respond if they choose to.
 

becca

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Hypothetical here for all of you:

I realize Michelle Kwan was 16 and 20 her Olympic years, but let's imagine someone with her talents came to the attention of USFS but she would be 14 and 18 years old during the next upcoming Olympics. She would not be eligible to compete for the first one, and so her first Olympics would be 18 years old.

You do realize that-- regardless of how talented this hypothetical girl is --- it would be a massive strategic blunder for anyone at USFS to invest a single ounce of energy towards her development, don't you? She could be the greatest thing that never was and she would have zero chance of winning anything based solely on the year she was born.

I seem to recall Mao and Yu-na being extremely dominating in 2006 as Juniors Mao beat the entire Olympic podium. S.Korea and and Japan still invested in them and they managed to win multiple world titles between them go 1-2 in the next Olympics. Kim nearly won a second OGM.
The reigning World Champ is not a teenager.
You invest in talent. The investment paid off.

Mao was attempting a quad at that junior worlds...
 

dee342

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I'm not sure why my name comes up in your quote but I never mentioned anything about Alysa's artistry. That was from natsulian

But since I'm not the topic now :D I will say I didn't see anything from Alyssa that indicates anything artistically. I found her SP extremely frantic and her LP I can't remember anything beyond the two 3As. She looks like a complete blank slate so who knows what will happen later on.

I think after seeing the three younger ones in the SP and LP Ting seems to have a natural grace and elegance, Hanna's artistry seems kind of shallow and superficial now but she's clearly a performer and Alysa I don't know :shuffle:


Isn't it wonderful that we have these three up and comers? While Alysa really moves me Ting and Hannah are really talented and I'm happy they had good skates. See? It's not necesssary to tear one down to build up the others. Try it sometime. ::rolling eyes::
 

Carolla5501

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I have never advocated for "catching up with the Russians". --- system that strives to produce 13 year old robots who do awful and dangerous things to their bodies as they get older.

I have persistently clamored for an emphasis on more well-rounded and mature, yet technically challenging skating.



We get it. You don’t like skating any more. You have made your point, you are not attracting any followers here. Time to Move along.
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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Congrats to her, but last time I checked 13 is not a woman. She does not look like a woman, does not skate like a woman, neither do any of the other children her age.

I have mixed feelings.

Most people know I GREATLY prefer a Carolina, a Mao or an Ashley to any of the 13/14 yr olds.. I just love mature skating more than I like seeing whippersnappers fly about the ice with not much meaning. I got into figure skating because of the artistry, not the jumps.

Also I can say that at 13 I in no way felt like a man, and I was the more mature one of my peers...most other 13 yr olds I was around were boys, not men. (and girls not ladies)

At the same time the body can only stay in this sport for so much time so maybe seniors should be opened up like it is? I dunno...

I also remember I didnt have a problem with Tara at 14... so maybe I am cool with it. LOL, I dunno.

Alysa also skated to age appropriate music like Tara did (Once Upon A December, Little Women, The Rainbow, etc). I dont like it when say a 14 yr old (Julia Lip) skated to "No One Gives Up On Love." You definitely need to have life experiences under your belt to interpret that.... The song "No One Gives Up On Love" is special to me and I know the story behind that song so was awkward that a 14 yr old was doing it.
 
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gkelly

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I would call her an outlier, since for many decades before and after her, the top skaters were several years older.
Before, jumps were not a big part of women's skating, in part because they competed wearing long skirts. As the skirts got shorter in the 1920s and 30s, the jumps became more important and the skaters got younger.

Cecilia Colledge
became the first female skater to land a two rotation jump in competition when she landed a double salchow
at 1936 Europeans. She was 15, right behind Henie at the big events that year, and fairly dominant for the next three years, along with Megan Taylor.

Together they
participated in the 1932 Winter Olympics. They were virtually the same age—Colledge was 11 years and 68 days old, and Taylor was 11 years and 102 days. They are the youngest ever female competitors in any Olympic sport and the youngest ever competitors at the Winter Olympics.
Taylor finished second behind Henie at the World Championships in 1934 and 1936. After Henie retired in 1936, Taylor and Colledge competed for prominence.

Taylor would have been 13 when she medaled at 1934 Worlds.

Daphne Walker, another British skater, followed in their footsteps winning 1939 European and World bronze around age 14.

Carol Heiss
first came to national prominence in 1951, when she won the U.S. novice ladies' title, at age 11. She won the U.S. junior ladies' title in 1952, and then moved up to the senior level in 1953. From 1953 to 1956, she finished second to Tenley Albright at the national championships.

Heiss was 4th at 1953 Worlds, age 13, and 2nd in 1955 at 15.

In 1953, Heiss became the first female skater to land a double Axel jump.

Elaine Zayak won silver as a 14-year-old at 1981 Worlds and gold a year later at 15.

So young teenagers at or near the top ranks even when figures were the majority of the score (or a significant minority by Zayak's time) were not unknown. And indeed these youngsters tended to make their mark by outjumping the older ladies.

The trend I'm referring to is much more recent, dating back to Baiul and Lipinski and the 1990s.

Not coincidentally, this was the first generation of skaters who didn't have to compete school figures.

School figures in their original form are not going to come back to ISU singles skating. But I agree I would like to see more emphasis on specific blade-to-ice skills, and other kinds of jumping skills, and less emphasis on rotations in the air.

Nevertheless, the jump fireworks of the best young teen jumpers are also exciting, so maybe there need to be different disciplines with different emphases. Let the rules of one favor younger girls and the other favor more maturity, but let the competition decide who qualifies to compete more than birthdates. And let each fan decide which they prefer to watch or be free to watch both.

(There might be other reasons to keep children from competing at high-pressure events for their own long-term mental health. But then give them lower stakes events where they can showcase the skills they can do best now and might lose later when their bodies change.)
 
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Finsta

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Teenagers really are not new at all to skating. I remember the American baby ballerinas. Not all materialized to full potential. Am happy Alysa won and she absolutely deserved it. Doesn’t mean I can’t think she might not have that spectacular jump at 15. She’s tiny. Just like the Russian babies are tiny and will grow. Will they keep the jumps that get them scoring high? Time will tell.
 
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