Last edited by taylorfax; 01-27-2009 at 04:17 PM. Reason: to clarify
It's a little late for them to take a break... Evan's considering this season as part of the Olympic season (which could explain why his programs still seem so rough, maybe they'll be his oly programs? it's been a while since he's repeated programs lol) and for now Johnny does get a break... we'll see.
Johnny chose to skate and therefore laid himself open to USFSA selection based on that performance. He was stupid not to withdraw and ask for a bye which IMO he would certainly have been given.
I have loved Johnny's skating for so long and wanted to see him pull out all the stops at Nationals, but this year just wasn't his year. Maybe it is good for him to sit out of this worlds, rest & get healthy, and then make a run for it when it really counts: the Olympic year next year, 2010!!!
He admitted himself that it was maybe, what, 4 weeks ago that he had to get an IV put in his arm for some strange viral illness?? 8 lbs lost on his tiny frame?? That's a lot....and can really sap your energy if you are training on the Senior level. Even as an adult skater, if I am 5 lbs underweight, I can feel the difference when I am training a competitive program, and I am not even training to johnny's level (!).
Johnny is a beautiful skater. I have seen so many people on some online skating boards talk badly about USFSA & how they should permit him to go to Worlds on a bye. Personally, unless we actually work at USFSA headquarters or were on the judging panel at Nationals, we don't know the complete story (we only know the "publicity" that is shown on TV). Let's let the USFSA & judges do their job and not bash them based on hearsay or what we "think" the truth is.
The U.S. system does have the advantage that everyone knows and plays by the same rules. A coach can't get a plum for his skater by slipping someone a bottle of vodka.
A little off topic, but speaking of Russia, Alexei Yagudin never won the Russian championship. But he won four world championships and an Olympic gold medal. I think that shows the relative importanbce of the national championship competition in Russia (none) compared to the U.S. (everything).
They used to take the last 2 seasons into consideration - right until it blew in their face when they sent Miki to Olympics. According to the selection criteria that they established - the number of "points" that skaters collected for good placements - Miki was the one who deserved a place on the team. She placed a respectable 5th at last Worlds, she had a good start of the season, and made the GPF over the likes of Shizuka or Fumie. Of course, her condition kept dropping and she had a very bad showing at Nationals, but there had been hope that she'll pull herself together and skate up to her potential at Olympics.
Of course, that didn't happen and the media nearly have eaten Miki and the JSF alive. Since then the rules have been changed and the Worlds Team is named immediately after Nationals based on the Nationals result.
I think it worked very well so far. Had the old rules were in place, Yukari wouldn't have been on the 2007 Worlds team. Fumie would take her spot based on her Worlds 2006 silver and making the GPF.- which probably wouldn't work very well considering that Fumie's condition started dropping after the GPF and she started struggling with injuries.
The current Worlds team would probably have looked different as well - this time with Yukari bumping Fumie off the team. I love Yukari, and I know many people here would have liked her to go to Worlds instead of either Fumie or Miki, but she seems to be struggling with some physical problems. She lost to Fumie twice this season and twice to Akiko, and she lost the LP to Miki at GPF. At Nationals she said she could not feel her legs and landed her jumps nearly forward. And in the post-Nationals shows she struggled a bit as well, falling during the footwork sequence and attempting only the easiest triples.
Sorry for such a long post. I just wanted to shortly exemplify why sending the skaters based on past results is not always a good idea... and it turned into this.
Anyway, I think its wise to recognize when the skater's condition begins to drop. What's more, the judges don't seem to be enamored with Johnny's programs this season. Even with quite decent skates he got the lowest PCS at GPF (and that without Brian and Nobunari competing there). I think it's wiser for Johnny to go home, rest, regroup and think of a new strategy for the Olympic season.
Should Verner have petitioned to be considered for a medal after worlds last year because, well, he skated so much better in the season leading up to it, and he really can pull off those elements in practice? I know i'm being facetious for the sake of it, but people are asking for a poor performance to be ignored. This is a sport - you can't ignore it when someone fails to deliver. To ignore the national championships ni picking the team that goes to worlds is to belittle the competition itself.
There have been far more controversial teams named under the Russian (remember reigning silver world medalist Slutskaya being denied a trip to worlds) and Japanese teams. Also the British federation has come under all manner of attack for not using the nationals as the qualifier for Europeans and worlds.
Going back and forth between Asia and the US for GPs and Yuna's show would have affected him a lot. That's too much traveling.
Perhaps because I myself tend to get really really exhausted by international travels, I just couldn't believe to hear that he was going to Korea again for Yuna's show right after going back to the US from the GPF. Jet-lag between Asia and the US could be really hard and it is also a long, exhausting travel. Well, a person like the tiny iron young lady Mao Asada might be okay with it; but perhaps not a person like Johnny. Even the young Patrick was really affected by jet-lag when he first traveled to Korea for GPF.
I understand that Christmas was like a little break and Yuna and Johnny enjoy a great friendship. But it was also just a month before the Nationals. I'm really sorry that he missed the most important one, which could have been prevented with a better resting and preparation, perhaps by skipping the show and spending a good peaceful time back home.
I hope that he and his coaches would work better with his physical training, diet, and schedule next year so that it won't happen again in the most important year.
no, they did not fail to deliver. They weren't there. yes - their rest of the season and past seasons were taken into consideration. Just as Johnny's would have had he done the same thing... but he took that chance.
Why are people finding it so hard to understand the difference??
EDIT - yeah what Toni said!