Zagitova announces a temporary suspension of her competitive career; will perform in shows, incl. 'Art on Ice 2020'

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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61,160
Yes - very harsh. She achieved a lot in a very short period of time with some memorable performances.

Figure skating seems to be very good at producing shooting stars that burn brightly for a brief period, but then burn out and disappear after only a few years. The ISU need to do a lot more to keep its top performers in the sport for longer. Every sport needs name recognition to build up a following. It’s no good having too much of a here today gone tomorrow situation.

But as for shooting stars, Jim Morrison probably said it best: “I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then - whoosh, and I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me - ever.”

Zagitova’s career may have been short, but she left her mark and she will be remembered
The problem is $$$$ Skaters in Russia and Japan can make more money doing shows assuming they wish to stay in skating. This was a primary reason Sotnikova didn't return. Even with federation support, it costs a lot to train and the prize money is split among federations, coaches etc. And, no doubt they burn out. They grow up, get married, have children, go to school, start professional lives. Normally, a 17 year old is just finishing high school and getting ready to go to university. Very few have already achieved the pinnacle of a sport at that age. And, there is no doubt she's looking behind her just as Rad, Pogo, and even Med were looking back at her. That's just the way of the current state of ladies skating in Russia. I hope she enjoys skating in the shows and if circumstances are such next year or the year after and she wants to return to competitive skating, good for her. If she opts not to, than good for her.
 

BittyBug

Wishing it weren't so
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22,194
@rfisher I am not convinced that money is a factor for Zagitova. I have to imagine that as an Olympic champion her training is fully paid by the Russian fed. She also has many endorsements that generate income. And eligible athletes can and do earn money in shows and on tours during the off season.

Rather, I think it's lack of motivation to put your body through the grueling training required to remain an elite contender, combined with a maturing ody that makes it even more difficult to excel. As someone upthread noted, she has won everything there is to win - what incentive is there to continue?

I'd say the same for other past young champions. Several tried to stay in it, but the grind and injury did them in.
 

Tavi

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I was just about to post on a variant of this statement.

Zagitova and Kim are the only two skaters (male or female) to have won Junior Worlds, Junior Grand Prix Final, Europeans/4 Continents, Grand Prix Final, Worlds and the Olympics. Not even Hanyu can claim that (he won silver at 4 Continents multiple times).

In addition, Zagitova won a Russian National Championship. Undoubtedly Kim won her national championship as well, but the competition probably wasn't as fierce. To appreciate winning a Russian National Championship, one has to realize that Yagudin never won one.

In baseball parlance, Zagitova's is a first ballot Hall Of Fame career. She has won gold in every major event she has entered.
Not sure I agree. Most first ballot hall of famers in baseball had long careers:


And while Alina has won gold at least once at major senior FS events, in the past two years she has also placed between 2-6 at Euros, Worlds, Russian Nationals, and the GPF.
 

gkelly

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If the ISU wants to encourage long careers, they would need 1) to offer enough prize money or other earning opportunities for enough skaters to make high-level competition a real professional sport in which competitors can expect to earn more than enough for training and living expenses, and 2) allow plenty of high-level opportunities for top competitors regardless of nationality.

1) especially is easier said than done.

Also, especially for ladies' singles, it might be useful to 3) offer separate events, one of which emphasizes the aerial athleticism more common among girls in their early to mid-teens, and another that includes jumps but puts more emphasis on all-around skating and performance skills.
 

lily

Active Member
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485
I would not rush with conclusions that it is a total retirement. Why she didn't retire at the beginning of the season or at the end of last season if she wanted to retire so much? Why then new programs, costumes, test skates, competitions when only thought in her head was to retire?? In TV speaking she didn't look like totally happy and convinced about that she leaves now all the competing behind.
Even with 3 A Zagitova's state would not have been totally hopeless. Figure skating is unpredictable. Who might have guessed that after Russian nationals Medvedeva gets a spot to Worlds and even wins a bronze medal? Who might have guessed at the beginning of this season that it is Kostornaya who is now the invincible leader and Trusova with her quads don't even come close? No one knows how puberty hits even 3 A. There might always be some hope.
Maybe at the beginning of the season, Tutberidze wanted to keep her for all the cases before she sees how things will go with 3 A. Now she has seen enough and...

Also, I don't know how to wish her well. I don't know what she should do or what is good for her. I don't think she is happy now.
 

Frau Muller

Everything is beautiful at the ballet!
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11,700
This “champion at 15, washed up at 17” scenario every year is making ladies skating so boring.
We old-timers sort of went through this in the early 1980s with Tracy Wainmann and Elaine Zayak but not to the degree of craziness now.
 

Tahuu

Well-Known Member
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230
Alina, come live and skate in the US (because of the relative strength of skating and living std and other opportunities). RusF should have no problem releasing her and she could represent the US after a year in competitions and get her citizenship before 2026 for the Olympics. She's too young at 17 to leave competition. Competitions could help maintain and enhance her sponsorships. After 2026, she's only 24 and if she wants she could be a coach in the US. If she indeed is leaving skating competitions for good, I hope she could work to become a model.
 

Louis

Well-Known Member
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13,492
I don't find the "here at 15, gone at 17" any less boring than the same old skaters winning for 5-10 years.

We've had it to some extent all along - Oksana Baiul, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes, Adelina Sotnikova.... Only now it's coming with quads, and skaters who never up their technical content (cough*MichelleKwan*cough) are being smoked out of contention right away v. remaining in medal contention while slowly drifting down the standings.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
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18,625
If the ISU wants to encourage long careers...
But not all skaters may want long careers in skating.... :D

- There are skaters/families who have plans from the start, skate until college age, win all you can while you're skating, and move on (or keep skating but not as a priority over education/profession). It is great that a skater has a chance to win before moving on to other activities.

- There are skaters/athletes who after puberty lose interest in sports and move on to other activities, develop new interests, get involved in relationships.

- If "puberty" is so important about the "body changes", let's not forget that at the same time that person is maturing and developing emotionally and intellectually, and "sports" may not be enough, or he/she outgrew it or it no longer satisfies the emotional needs.

- There are skaters/athletes who participate in sports with a specific goal in mind, like "a dream to make it to the olympics", or "to become national/world/olympic champion or medalist", etc.. and once they attain their goal, they either lose interest, or move on to other goals on their own free choice... Why should we pigeonhole them?

- There are skaters/families who see financial benefits in sports, and once they reach the point where their "athletic activities" can earn money, they become professionals, or engage in a career that is an off-spring of their sport.

and about the audience and fans... they are too - DIFFERENT!

  • skaters who don't "stay long enough" get critiqued...
  • and the skaters who stay "too long", through 2-3-4 Olympics, also get critiqued, for "hogging the spot", not letting younger ones an opportunity, even comments like "hindering the progress/blocking the new generation"..
  • some want to see "the same skater for years"...
  • some want to see "new challengers", the next generation, what they can show..

It is not liberal to set "time frames"! Skaters should not be "held in sports" artificially.... and everybody should have a choice, to stay or go... as long as they want to stay, or if they want to go.

Different athletes have DIFFERENT GOALS AND PLANS. People should just let them be.....
 

manhn

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12,649
Kwan did not win all the time. Kwan had an intense rivalry with Slutskaya, another skater with a long and distinguished career. That is what makes for long-standing interest, see men’s tennis.
 

Tinami Amori

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18,625
Kwan did not win all the time. Kwan had an intense rivalry with Slutskaya, another skater with a long and distinguished career. That is what makes for long-standing interest, see men’s tennis.
and then there are sports fans who just want to see "top 10 best".... regardless of how long they are/stay in sports.

I am that person. I only watch last two flights of skaters after the SP, and in some cases only the last flight (unless a top 10 skaters, had an unusual mishap in SP, like Chen at the Olys).

Why do people assume that "everybody wants to see the same skater year after year" just because they want want to?

Don't impose your wishes and stereo-types of "the perfect athlete one wants to see" on others.....
 

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
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Not sure I agree. Most first ballot hall of famers in baseball had long careers:

Well then, it's a darn good thing Zagitova hasn't bought a ticket to Cooperstown. But I'm willing to guess she will make it to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame at some point.

The comparison of shelf life between figure skaters and tennis players is an interesting one. The Tennis Channel, which has a lot of time to kill in the off season, has been replaying a fair number of Coco Gauff matches. Gauff is fifteen, a fact repeated by commentators as often as Nathan Chen goes to Yale is on US TV skating commentary.

Tennis was concerned a while back that its young teen stars (Tracy Austin, Jennifer Capriati, etc.) were winning too young and burning out too fast. So it changed its eligibility rules (a fact much mentioned in Coco Gauff matches), limiting the number of tournaments younger players could compete at.

Figure skating has sort of done that but while it works for tennis to have its women stars older, bigger and stronger, that's not the ideal situation for skating. It's a sport that has for a very long time favored small slender body types. Not all its stars look that way, but the ones who don't are more noticeable and tend not to be as successful.

Fifteen year old Coco Gauff may well grow bigger and stronger, and more likely to win major titles by the time she's sixteen or older (and have a longer career while doing so). Skaters such as Oksana Baiul, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes and Alina Zagivova were and are less likely to benefit from becoming older, bigger and stronger.
 

Spun Silver

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11,547
Zagitova's departure makes me a bit sad. It's sad to think of a 17-year-old not just peaking but dealing with all the emotions of retirement that we know from other skaters are so difficult -- while still reaping the rewards of being the reigning OGM. That is a lot to process! From her interviews and actions, I thought she was a born competitor and someone whose love of skating would keep her in the sport for years. I was so looking forward to seeing how she developed. But the realities of skating as a Russian lady have made that so difficult.

One thing I do wonder about. People talk as though quads and the 3A would be especially hard for her to learn because she'd be starting late. But even in the US, which hasn't been known for ladies doing the "Ultra-C" jumps (I have no idea where that term came from), Mirai Nagasu had practiced the 3A for years before deciding to conquer it and compete with it in her early 20s. Alina came along 7 or 8 years after Mirai and a few years after Medvedeva - how in such a competitive atmosphere as Eteri's school would she not have been learning quads and 3As to at least some extent? In her "exit interview" she talks about learning new elements - perhaps there really is some foundation for them.

Anyway, I hope she gets to be in loads of shows and has a blast and is able to take charge of her career, whether she wants to return to competition or go in other directions. She is really having to grow up fast. Good luck to her and God bless!
 

Tinami Amori

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Zagitova's departure makes me a bit sad. It's sad to think of a 17-year-old not just peaking but dealing with all the emotions of retirement that we know from other skaters are so difficult...
No departures, no retirement... :lol:
Statement from President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, Alexandre Gorshkov (re Zagitova)
https://tass.ru/sport/7347403
- Russian Federation of Figure Skating with respect and understanding accepted the decision of the athlete (Alina Zagitova) and her coach (Eteri Tutberidze). Alina remains active member of the Russia Team.
--

daniil_gleikhengauz
"We are together and staying together! (team and Alina. my comment) We have many unrealized/unfinished creative ideas, which we will implement/design on ice together!
P.S. Regarding all inadequate comments/reactions - read TeamTuberidze message."

https://i.imgur.com/Vskabcb.jpg

daniil_gleikhengauz
Verified

Мы были вместе и остаёмся вместе! У нас ещё много нереализованных творческих идей, которые мы будем воплощать на льду вместе!
P.S. А по поводу неадекватных комментариев читайте
 
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Tinami Amori

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18,625
Hope you're right!
it is not "me who is right". it is how it is "today and until the end of the season". When next season comes, then we'll know what Alina's plans are, to compete or to do shows and commercial activities.

At present she is booked up with events through April, 2020. (and her net worth is in 7-figures now and climbing). :lol:

She is practicing today and doing a promo for "Sleeping Beauty" and if people don't bother her on her IG, and arranged/paid reporters to stand over her to find something wrong and write about it, she might even enjoy the day for a change... :lol:
 

kittyjake5

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4,908
Whatever path Alina chooses for herself I wish her the best. She has had a very
accomplished and successful career. She will hone her craft skating in shows
and she has plenty of endorsements to keep her busy. Heck if I was her
I do the same.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,267
Zagitova's departure makes me a bit sad. It's sad to think of a 17-year-old not just peaking but dealing with all the emotions of retirement that we know from other skaters are so difficult -- while still reaping the rewards of being the reigning OGM. That is a lot to process! From her interviews and actions, I thought she was a born competitor and someone whose love of skating would keep her in the sport for years. I was so looking forward to seeing how she developed. But the realities of skating as a Russian lady have made that so difficult.

One thing I do wonder about. People talk as though quads and the 3A would be especially hard for her to learn because she'd be starting late. But even in the US, which hasn't been known for ladies doing the "Ultra-C" jumps (I have no idea where that term came from), Mirai Nagasu had practiced the 3A for years before deciding to conquer it and compete with it in her early 20s. Alina came along 7 or 8 years after Mirai and a few years after Medvedeva - how in such a competitive atmosphere as Eteri's school would she not have been learning quads and 3As to at least some extent? In her "exit interview" she talks about learning new elements - perhaps there really is some foundation for them.

Anyway, I hope she gets to be in loads of shows and has a blast and is able to take charge of her career, whether she wants to return to competition or go in other directions. She is really having to grow up fast. Good luck to her and God bless!
Seeing ladies perform triple axels well into their twenties, I wonder how long Tuktamysheva has been working on her quadruple toe loop. If she hadn't become ill prior to last season's national championships, Elizaveta may have been the 2019 World Champion instead of Zagitova. I wonder what her plans will be after this season, and whether she plans to tough it out for the long haul. With two years until Beijing, future stars like Alyssa Liu and Kamila Valieva will be eligible to skate at the senior level by then.

Anyway, as exciting as it is to see the technical level of ladies skating rise this season, I really can't connect with Trusova and Shcherbakova at all. To me, it's kiddie gymnastics on ice, and reminds me of how US stars like Shannon Miller and Kim Zmeskal found it difficult to secure endorsements. They are not grown women out there, but little children.

I miss the likes of Hamill, Kostner, and Witt.
 

IceAlisa

discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado
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37,279
No official retirement means RusFed and Team Tutberidze continue to take cuts from her show and other contract earnings
 

feraina

Well-Known Member
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2,258
But Zagitova also continues to receive team funding — so it doesn’t only benefit the fed and her coaches. She can always choose to retire officially if she wanted to.

So what did Tat and Plushenko say? Did I miss something?
 

skatfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,333
No official retirement means RusFed and Team Tutberidze continue to take cuts from her show and other contract earnings
There are rumors that her compensation would be reduced if she officially retired too - so the “pause” benefits everyone.
 

floridaice

Well-Known Member
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3,444
I hope Alina has a great time skating in shows. IMO she has never had choreography that really allowed her to show/develop her artistry -- hopefully show skating will allow that and will make her happy.
 

Tavi

Well-Known Member
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1,938
Well then, it's a darn good thing Zagitova hasn't bought a ticket to Cooperstown. But I'm willing to guess she will make it to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame at some point.

The comparison of shelf life between figure skaters and tennis players is an interesting one. The Tennis Channel, which has a lot of time to kill in the off season, has been replaying a fair number of Coco Gauff matches. Gauff is fifteen, a fact repeated by commentators as often as Nathan Chen goes to Yale is on US TV skating commentary.

Tennis was concerned a while back that its young teen stars (Tracy Austin, Jennifer Capriati, etc.) were winning too young and burning out too fast. So it changed its eligibility rules (a fact much mentioned in Coco Gauff matches), limiting the number of tournaments younger players could compete at.

Figure skating has sort of done that but while it works for tennis to have its women stars older, bigger and stronger, that's not the ideal situation for skating. It's a sport that has for a very long time favored small slender body types. Not all its stars look that way, but the ones who don't are more noticeable and tend not to be as successful.

Fifteen year old Coco Gauff may well grow bigger and stronger, and more likely to win major titles by the time she's sixteen or older (and have a longer career while doing so). Skaters such as Oksana Baiul, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes and Alina Zagivova were and are less likely to benefit from becoming older, bigger and stronger.
I don’t know much about tennis, but Alina strikes me as sweet, modest, intelligent, hardworking, and talented. I wish her all the best in the future, whatever it holds for her.
 

TAHbKA

Cats and garlic lover
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16,709
So what did Tat and Plushenko say? Did I miss something?
Pluschenko: `I think the pause in Alina's career is among other things for deciding on the coaches. Who knows, perhaps she'll switch a group? I wouldn't write that option off- Alina needs an attention that the Olympic champion deserves, she needs more coaching time. She has to go on - there is plenty of time ahead and she is a great athlete.
Yes, she had a bad GPF in Turino. I had the same - my GPF was rubbish and then I won the Worlds'

According to Tutberidze Pluschenko tried getting Zagitova into his group before. So there.

Am not sure what did TAT say, but I will guess her usual verbal diarrhea was quoted somewhere...
 

Frau Muller

Everything is beautiful at the ballet!
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11,700
and then there are sports fans who just want to see "top 10 best".... regardless of how long they are/stay in sports.

I am that person. I only watch last two flights of skaters after the SP, and in some cases only the last flight (unless a top 10 skaters, had an unusual mishap in SP, like Chen at the Olys).

Why do people assume that "everybody wants to see the same skater year after year" just because they want want to?

Don't impose your wishes and stereo-types of "the perfect athlete one wants to see" on others.....
Bravo! Let’s not forget that it’s the MEDIA that craves & pontificates the long-standing stars well beyond their prime, to keep audiences hooked (to crank up commercial fees). Skier Lindsey Vaughan was trumpeted on, for years, after multiple injuries. She’s finally off the Olympic Channel promo openings. Good riddance.
 

rfisher

Let the skating begin
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61,160
No official retirement means RusFed and Team Tutberidze continue to take cuts from her show and other contract earnings
40% no less. Which is why Plushenko wants her. He "coached" Sotnikova for a year and promptly put her in all his shows which compete against Navka's. All these top skaters really need their own sports agents to help negotiate their contracts.
 

euterpe

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12,387
While it is true that Mirai Nagasu was able to train a quad in her 20s, let's not forget that she blew out her hip in the process and had to have surgery after the Olympics.
 

UGG

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2,372
I don't find the "here at 15, gone at 17" any less boring than the same old skaters winning for 5-10 years.

We've had it to some extent all along - Oksana Baiul, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes, Adelina Sotnikova.... Only now it's coming with quads, and skaters who never up their technical content (cough*MichelleKwan*cough) are being smoked out of contention right away v. remaining in medal contention while slowly drifting down the standings.
why would you single out Kwan whenthere are others like Cohen and Slute who stayed just as stagnent? Irina lost 2 world championships because of Michelle’s 3/3. Sasha lost multiple world championships because of less difficult content between 2004-2006. She lost to Kimmie Meissner of all people. Sarah has a great skate at the Olympic but I would say she is the queen of being smoked out of contention after the 2002 Olympics.

Michelle was a world and Olympic medalist for 9 years straight between 1996-2004. Winning a world championship in 1996 and winning one in 2003 isn’t really “drifting down the standings” IMO
 
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essence_of_soy

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For the record, Tuktamysheva earned 80.54 in the short program and 153.89 in the free skate at the 2019 World Team Championships. Had she skated in Saitama, the combined total would have given her 234.43 points, and the silver medal at the 2019 World Championships.
 

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