I was reading a thread in the Voting Booth about Kwan and the whole Olympic bye thing and it got me thinking.

As the rules are set out by the USFS only the National champion is guaranteed a spot and the rest of the spots are chosen by the USFS based on placement in past competions (current Nats, current season GP, and previous Worlds).
If this is the case then why did Michelle even have to petition for a spot? Couldn't the USFS have named her (or anyone else) to the team without the petition? I'm just not sure why a skater even has to petition if the USFS can name whoever they want based on the past results? I"m not up on all the USFS rules so perhaps there is something in the rule book I don't know about.

Along the same lines...Would it be possible for the USFS to name someone to the team who has "retired," provided they met the criteria? (the skater wouldn't necessarily accept, but I'm just curious)