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Thread: "Waiting Your Turn"

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    "Waiting Your Turn"

    We all know that there's an unwritten rule that rookie eligible skaters usually do not show up at their first Worlds or Grand Prix event or national championship and win the title (or medal) in their first try. It just isn't done in the super-charged, political world of figure skating. A new skater usually has to pay his/her/their dues with one or more seasons of solid programs before the judges pull out the kind of marks those skaters really deserve.

    The late Carlo Fassi expressed his opinion on this subject a number of years ago. To paraphrase, he said, "If you're a young skater in your first year on the international circuit, you have to brace yourself for what's going to happen. You can skate a beautiful program, and you'll usually receive lousy marks because the judges don't know you and haven't seen you skate before.
    Then, the next year you may compete in front of the same judges,
    and you may skate a program that isn't as good as the program you skated last year, but you're an experienced skater now, so the judges will reward you. They'll remember the lousy marks they gave you last year and give you the marks you should have received last year this year."

    Huh????

  2. #2
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Skatefan........it's called a "pecking order". I'm guessing you would find it in all walks of life. The "newbie", listens, learns, absorbs, and waits his or her turn to shine. Is it fair? It's the age old question, is the performance based on a "body of work", or just that performance.

    Sometimes you see first "timers" in the movie industry get the Academy Award on the first try (Mira Sorvino), and then there are those who win not for the performance of a single movie, but for a "body of work"..........42

  3. #3
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    I think ever since taking out Figures part of the competition, "waitng for your turn" isn't as long any more.

    Tara Lipinski is an example of this when she went from 15th to 1st in the World in one year.

  4. #4
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    It doesn't say much for a THAT night competition.

    Do all judges center in on only the top 3-5 skaters? and think no one else can get those medals?

    hmm

    Joe

  5. #5
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Tara is a good example; another example is Oksana.

    Dance has always been considered the most rigid of all FS disciplines. However, Belbin & Agosto have definitely cut into the waiting line.

  6. #6
    Alexei he's my MAN Panther2000's Avatar
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    I agree with you guys here. However, The Examples of Tara & Oksana I don't belive were good choices. Tara Won Nationals & Worlds Because, of michelles Falls. Samething I belive with Oskana. However, Oksanan Always had the More artistic program between her & nancy. But, Nancy she too had a Meltdown during their worlds.

    Had Michelle Skated Clean. There was no way Tara's programs would have won over a Clean skated michelles. But, that is water under the bridge.

    I in some ways belive in waiting your turn. But, it depends on the subject matter. They too are helping the younger skaters. Too much too soon. We have all heard & read the stories before.

  7. #7
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Carlo Fossi not only thought that skaters had to wait their turn, but that coaches did, too. Having spent a good part of his life working at the interface between coaching and judging, he said many times that a top level skater needs the savy and the political pull that only a well established coach can bring to the table.

    For an example, I wonder if this will play a role in the rivalry between Sasha Cohen and Ann Patrice McDonough. If Michelle decides not to compete at Nationals, I would say that these are the top two contenders for the U.S. title. Sasha left a fairly influencial coach, John Nicks, for a super blockbuster, Tatiana Tarasova.

    Ann Patrice recently left coach Tom Zakrajsek to train with Christy Krall and Damon Allen. None of these three are remotely in the same ball park as Tarasova, in terms of international influence. Will this give Sasha an edge over AP in the coming season, especially in the Grand Prix events?

    Mathman

  8. #8
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    MM, TT defintely has great international influence. Does she have any with USFSA? And does coach need to (have influence with USFS)A?

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Mathman

    For an example, I wonder if this will play a role in the rivalry between Sasha Cohen and Ann Patrice McDonough. If Michelle decides not to compete at Nationals, I would say that these are the top two contenders for the U.S. title. Sasha left a fairly influencial coach, John Nicks, for a super blockbuster, Tatiana Tarasova.

    Mathman
    But, IMO, no matter with what coach, Sasha is the one had never paid the due. Remember the first time she came to Nats, win the SP. First time to Olympics -- without worlds experience -- placed at 4th. And earned presentation 5.8 and 5.9 at 2003 world LP with 2 falls. etc. All I can say it that the judges REALLY like her style, and I like her style too, all she needs are the clean SP and LP in the SAME competetion she'll medal at worlds or take the Gold. It has been 2-3 season now, she has never put together slean SP and LP in the one competetion (or had she?). It must be frustrated for judges too. I'm wondering how long before judges lost the patient for her.

  10. #10
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Yes Sasha has major politics on her side, and the USFSA has picked her out as "the next one" even without politics, each federation will have it's own favorites. As you can see at nationals AP was at a huge disadvatange, she should have beaten both Sasha and Sarah if the LP, but polotics were against her.

    With ice dance politicts and "waiting your turn" have a lot to do with it, but it takes a lot longer to "master" ice dance than it does singles that's why we tend to see older ice dancers. B&A are a good young team, but they also have a great coach in terms of "politiking", he's very powerful in the world of ice dance.

    Something that really surprised me was Gregory&Petukhov finishing 3rd place thier first time together at nationals. That almost never happens in ice dance. It's even more surprising, because they were ineligible for the olympics.

  11. #11
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    I guess I never really saw a true Nancy-Oksana rivalry, considering they never really competed against each other at 100% (Nancy's poor LP in '93, injured Oksana in '94).

    To me, the more interesting rivalry was between athletic Euro queen Surya and artistic Oksana from 93-94. Oksana placing 2nd at Euros in '93 (with some mistakes in her LP) probably did a lot for her visibility when she showed up at worlds. Surya won, but the only skater in '93 to have any 'buzz' going into worlds was Oksana. That buzz helped her, especially in the SP where she was put ahead of other more experienced competitors like Surya, Josee, and Lulu who had skated cleanly.

    I'm not sure how much buzz Tara had going into worlds. IIRC it was more about Michelle and if she could recover from her LP at nationals.

  12. #12
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    Michelle had to
    "wait her turn" in 95'.

    She jumped from 8th in 94'(her first worlds)
    to 4th in 95', though she should've either gotten silver or bronze
    at that championship, she clearly outskate Bonaly and Bobek.
    One judge(I think it was the Italian judge) even gave her a 1st place ordinal over lulu.

  13. #13
    Go NJ Devils
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    If Fassi was right, that eventually the judges would give a skater his/her due for past performances, then I would call that a step -- however small -- above the larceny that goes on at Nationals (not just in the US, either): that skater's too gay, that skater's too lazy, that skater's too inconsistent, that skater's lost us a place with his/her performance at Worlds' last year, the International judges like that skater better, that skater's not the Contender, so s/he can't be our #1 going into Worlds/Olympics, etc. etc.

    Many European countries insist that the skaters placements in the European Championships be included in the calculation for making the World and Olympic teams, which gives an international panel of judges a second voice. (Although I never quite understood why certain Federations would earn a place and send no one -- at least the skater would get experience, maybe work out some nerves.) But there are few times I've seen, barring injury or citizenship issues, when the a major Federation had the cojones to give the skater the scores and medals s/he deserved for the Nationals performance, but to choose a different team. It's got to be horribly demoralizing to be placed questionably low in the short program and deliver a confident, clean long program.

    The reason I wish CoP would be used for US Nationals is that I'm hoping that the strict rules for each score will alleviate the tendency to use presentation scores as a bludgeon and to cherry-pick which elements to credit and assign the relative weights between elements randomly.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by hockeyfan228

    The reason I wish CoP would be used for US Nationals is that I'm hoping that the strict rules for each score will alleviate the tendency to use presentation scores as a bludgeon and to cherry-pick which elements to credit and assign the relative weights between elements randomly.
    ITA, I would wich the CoP be used in every competetion. There are just too much rooms for judges to manuplate in current system. And too much emphasing in 3/3 and number of triples in LP not much quality emphazed on jump elements. Most fans, and some judges come up quick with how many 3/3, or triples completed by a skater when the first mark, and in most case only when both complete the same number of triples or 3/3 then the quality take into consideration. As for presentation, all comes down to what I 'Feel like', which could be used to justify whatever score the judge gave out.

  15. #15
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    Ann Patrice recently left coach Tom Zakrajsek to train with Christy Krall and Damon Allen. None of these three are remotely in the same ball park as Tarasova, in terms of international influence. Will this give Sasha an edge over AP in the coming season,

    Well, I think AP has EDGES over Sasha, LO, LI, RO, and RI. Sasha may be slightly more speed than AP

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