As I've said in other threads, I've been watching a lot of 1990s skating lately and one thing that has come up a few times is that Mark Mitchell thinks that he was robbed from being on the World/Olympic team many times. The background is:
- In 1990, Mark finished 3rd at US Nationals, when there were three spots. However, defending silver medallist Chris Bowman had withdrawn from nationals after the short program due to back issues. At the time, there was a "named skater" rule, where a federation could send the medallist from the previous year and two other skaters, but they could not just send three skaters that didn't include the medallist. So basically, USFSA could send Chris Bowman + two skaters or they could just send two other skaters. They could not have sent three skaters not named Chris Bowman. I don't remember if anyone made arguments that Mark should have finished in the top two (I haven't rewatched this event yet), but I'll throw that as an option too.
- In 1991, Mark finished 4th at US Nationals when there were three spots, so he did not get named to the team. Mark skated really well at US Nationals and there are arguments that he should have finished in the top three.
- In 1992, Mark finished 3rd at US Nationals when there were three spots. However, defending World bronze medallist Todd Eldredge had withdrawn from nationals due to back issues. There are also arguments that Mark skated better than Paul Wylie at US Nationals. USFSA chose to send Eldredge to both Olympics and Worlds, but split the Olympics/Worlds assignment between Wylie (Olympics) and Mitchell (Worlds). Mitchell still thinks he should have gone to the Olympics.
- Mark skated a great long program at 1992 Worlds. I haven't actually seen his short program, so I'm not sure if there is an argument that he should have medalled, but I'm throwing this as an option for fun.
- Mark was one of the favourites to win US Nationals in 1993. Bowman and Wylie had retired. Eldredge was probably one of the other favourites, but he had the flu. Scott Davis ended up skating great and was the surprise winner. I feel like this was pretty non-controversial, so I'm leaving this one out of the poll.
- Mark had a great short program at 1993 Worlds and even got a 6.0. His long program was not as good and he was fifth in the free, fourth overall. I also feel like this was pretty non-controversial and I'm leaving it out of the poll too.
- In 1994, Mark finished 5th at US Nationals, so I'm going to assume he had a bad enough performance that you couldn't make an argument for him to finish in the top two. I've never seen his short and ABC cut off half his long, so it's really hard to know for sure. But I do recall that he was pretty upset by the pros returning, so I'm putting that as the option for 1994.
- Mark became a coach. In 2008, his student Katrina Hacker finished 6th at US Nationals, behind three age-ineligible skaters (so third of age-eligible skaters) when there were three spots available. However, she was not selected for the World team. Instead, Kimmie Meissner (2006 World champion and fourth place finisher at 2007 Worlds) was selected, even though she finished behind Katrina in 7th place at US Nationals.
- In 2018, Mark's student Ross Miner had the skate of his life and finished 2nd at US Nationals when there were three spots. However, due to Body of Work criteria, he was not selected for the World or Olympic team. Vincent Zhou and Adam Rippon were selected ahead of Ross.