I think we agree on everything. Amazing!! Let me know if we don't...
Originally Posted by Joesitz
1) The mainstream USA Government Support System does not support FS.
2) The mainstream USA Government Support System does support other sports.
I'm not saying I personally agree or disagree with what is/not supported. Only that the system is what it is. And it appears you agree?
Yup - and it's just to point out the difference in government supported figure skating.
Changing nationality in order to skate is something that bothers me. I can't understand trading your country for a medal on a ribbon. My love for my country is far, far more important to me than careers or figure skating. Naturally, people have the right to make that choice. It just strikes me as taking the low road.
It just doesn't mean the same thing to everybody. Many Russians would say that those who immigrated to the US took the low road by abandoning their country. Also, skating for another country does not mean forsaking your own. I doubt, for example, that Kristain Fraser who skates for Azerbaijan ever considered herself anything other than American.
Originally Posted by SusanBeth
I'll weigh in on the government sponsorship issue. While it certainly helps, it's not the only reason USSR has been so successful in sports. The sport attracted far more people because there were so few opportunities. Here, a person can srive for greatness in far more fields than was possible in the Soviet Union. Remember the documentary a few years ago "Hoop Dreams"? Now imagine the same philosophy applied to a whole country.
I'm not one of those flag waving Americans, yet somehow the thought of standing under another flag is kind of disturbing. I think it's more of a matter of that I was born and raised in the US, therefore I am American. It's hypocritical to stand under another nation's flag and represent yourself as a member of that nation when you never even grew up there.
Originally Posted by SusanBeth
I probably got that mentality from my parents. Both of my parents are foreigners who have green cards but no intention of getting American citizenship because in my mother's words, "We aren't Americans."
About government sponsorship, I think figure skating is just too expensive to be underwritten as part of school budgets in the U.S. With gasoline at $2.40 a gallon, you can't even keep the Zamboni going.
A sport like basketball, all you need is a gym, which can also double as your general physical education facility and school assembly hall. Even so, at budget crunch time many school districts are making the students pay to participate in school sports.
I think immigrants to the USA come for what they perceive as a better life than living in some sort of ghetto back home. A sneak crossing of the Rio Grande would be an example, and there are other examples.
Others, who studied in America do not want to go back from whence they came because there are more opportunities in the USA - The Brain Drain.
Still others, will use America for business purposes both legal and illegal. The illegal ones have homes all over the world for safe haven.
Of course there are the those who seek Political assylum also.
Lastly, there are those who saved up the necessary money to immigrate because they perceive there is a better life in America.
How many of the above actually want to be absorbed in the American life, I think can only be anwered by the individuals concerned. How many want to retain their previous culture as the dominant culture in their lives is their personal preferences. Some Americans will react to that but the immigrant has that right.
As for figure skaters skating for another country, I just think that is because they want to be an Olympian. If you can't win a medal, you still want to be part of the game. It's something to tell the grandchildren.
Last edited by Joesitz; 08-06-2005 at 12:49 PM.
Ahem. Do you have the faintest idea how much we pay in other countries for gas?? Other things are not cheap either. And most countries don't even have a school system that supports sports in any way.
Originally Posted by Mathman
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
I agree, Joe. I always had the idea that since there are other countries they
could skate for, why not. It's only to be in it and get a chance to medal. I sure don't think they're disowning their country, just wanting be in the Olympics.
As I wrote previously, I would never represent any other country but the United States, since that is my country by birth, in any sort of athletic competition.
I would never want to see the flag of any other nation raised for anything I did but the flag of my own country, the USA.
That having been said, some of the lesser ranked American figure skaters with dual citizenship have a choice to make. If they believe they can skate at Worlds or the Olympics by skating for their native land - or their parent's native land - that's a choice they have to make. And I will not judge them for it.
That being said, I did find it a bit difficult to understand why Diane de Leeuw represented the Netherlands in the 1970s. She was obviously a top-ranked figure skater, and she won the 1975 World title and the 1976 Olympic silver medal. Perhaps she had tried to compete within the USFSA system and felt she could not reach the top.
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
I sure understand your feelings. That would be a disappointment, having someone elses flag and music, if you won. Luckily, I don't have to worry about that.
Touche! I, too, will never have that experience. Maybe, however, if I really applied myself to adult competitive skating. Dream on!
Originally Posted by Grgranny
Correct. The Dushesnays felt they were stifled and held back by the Canadian Figure Skating Association (Skate Canada), so they moved to France and represented the French Republic.
Originally Posted by Antilles
David Liu was a marvelously artistic skater who, as an American citizen, represented Chinese Taipei at Worlds. Liu's jumping was nowhere in the same league as the top American men, and he would never have qualified for the US team, so his decision to skate for Taipei seemed absolutely logical.
Last edited by Joesitz; 08-09-2005 at 08:00 PM.