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Thread: Thoughts on Sonia BG's latest article?

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    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    Thoughts on Sonia BG's latest article?

    Here's what Sonia had to say after the world championships:

    http://soniabianchetti.com/writings_2009apr.html

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Well, when it comes to the skating, it's mostly the same thing she always writes, with opinions stated as facts and claims about scandalous judging. Of course there were some iffy judging decisions, but not marking her favorites highest is not, IMO, a scandal. But at least she had some nice things to say about certain skaters, and like Sonia I was very sad for Carolina. There! We agree on something!

    Actually, I mostly agree with her take on the qualifying, and she's right, the problem is mostly political.

    OT, Nathacha, when and where did you meet Brian?
    Last edited by Buttercup; 04-20-2009 at 11:00 AM.

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    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    OT, Nathacha, when and where did you meet Brian?
    A few weeks ago, after the "Stars sur glace" exhibition in Paris.
    It was Christmas for me!!!


    Coming back to Sonia's article, most of it is as usual, about how scandalous she thinks the judging is, although I do agree with most of what she says. I think it just goes to show that it's not because the 6.0. system is gone that the scandal is too.

    She has a point when she says that Patrick and Yu-Na are the exceptions not the rule; figure skating is losing it's magic.

    What I find interesting is what she says on Cinquanta'q support from small countries. I'm curious to know what the more important federations think of him.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatachaHatawa View Post
    A few weeks ago, after the "Stars sur glace" exhibition in Paris.
    It was Christmas for me!!!
    Very cool! And I'm glad he lived up to your expectations .

    She has a point when she says that Patrick and Yu-Na are the exceptions not the rule; figure skating is losing it's magic.
    That's one of the places where I thought her argument didn't work, because which skaters we like, or find magical, is totally subjective. I think Yu-Na Kim is marvelous, and I believe she would have succeeded regardless of the system. Patrick Chan, on the other hand, does nothing for me. Of course he skates well, but it's all so designed to maximize points that to me it's more a checklist than an interesting whole, and there's no wow factor - it just leaves me cold. But someone like Tomas Verner, who wasn't even mentioned by her, is amazing when he's on, IMO (admittedly this doesn't happen very often ). Of course, some people will say that Chan is fabulous and deserves every mark he gets, while Yu-Na and Tomas are overrated.

    So obviously this is not objective, and that's the problem with using specific skaters for an argument that's very broad. Also, were there that many skaters blending grace and passion under any system skating has been judged under? I don't think there were - it's just that looking back, we tend to remember the good and the bad but not the mediocre.

    She didn't mention the pairs event at all. I wonder if she watched any of it; there were some lovely programs skated in LA.

    What I find interesting is what she says on Cinquanta'q support from small countries. I'm curious to know what the more important federations think of him.
    I've actually heard that before - that Speedy gets his support from the smaller players. So he must be really fed up with the huge fields at Worlds to even bring it up.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Always thoughtful opinions some of which I agree with. Those i do not agree with, keep me attentive for the next bout of competitions.

    When exactly is a new President of the ISU to be voted on? Small countries do have a voice here, and Bebe Liang, Alyssa Cizney, Yukari Nankano, Akiko Suzuki, do not have a voice. Those Ladies must earn their place in their Federations. Not easy.

    Too much has been said about the palsy walsy twosome of Cinquanta and Piseev. It's more like the Asian 'stans' look to Moscow on how to vote. JMO.

    A better question would be: Why not hold a Round Robin type of Competition like Tennis? Not feasible? Why not?

    I think a Round Robin types of Comp would get more media attention and the quarters, semis and the two for the win would sell more tickets.

    Can you imagine Kim v. Asada in one semi, the winner of which would face Caroline Zhang who won the other semi. This would not sell???

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    When exactly is a new President of the ISU to be voted on?
    I think the term of office is four years. He was last re-elected in 2006, so the next election will come at the ISU congress some time in the spring or summer of 2010.

    The last few times, Cinquanta was elected by acclaimation without opposition. I doubt if anyone will be running against him this time round either.

    Too much has been said about the palsy walsy twosome of Cinquanta and Piseev.
    Actually, I would say that David Dore -- the long time president of the Canadian federation -- is Cinquanta's right-hnad man. Dore is the ISU vice president for figure skating and was the primary architect of the CoP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup
    I've actually heard that before - that Speedy gets his support from the smaller players. So he must be really fed up with the huge fields at Worlds to even bring it up.
    I think it's a money issue. As Mrs. Bianchetti says, with so many competitors at Worlds they are having trouble finding any country that can afford to host it.

    Cinquanta's background -- before he became president of the ISU -- was in accounting. His major claims to fame are in the financial arena. Back in the day he negotiated twenty million dollar television contracts, began offering substantial cash prizes to skaters, and initiated money-makers like the pro-am competitions that knocked out professional skating.

    Now that the money is gone (except for Japan), Cinquanta's business suit is starting to show a little wear.

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    I did attend Worlds, but skipped the first half of both men's and ladies' short program. I came to Worlds to see the best skaters in the world, which did not happen. We got instead the "best" from each country, many skating at a very low level. So I very much hope the field is reduced with qualifying of some sort.

    The limitations on the number of skaters from each country is so silly. The top ranked skaters should be there. Nationalities are less important in the global internet-connected world, with skaters training outside their own countries with coaches who don't even speak their language, and changing citizenships willy-nilly to accommodate their skating ambitions.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Actually, I would say that David Dore -- the long time president of the Canadian federation -- is Cinquanta's right-hand man. Dore is the ISU vice president for figure skating and was the primary architect of the CoP.
    Conspiracy! Conspiracy! Which country is doing best under CoP? Just follow the PCS and GOE trail .

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    Custom Title NatachaHatawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny View Post
    I did attend Worlds, but skipped the first half of both men's and ladies' short program. I came to Worlds to see the best skaters in the world, which did not happen. We got instead the "best" from each country, many skating at a very low level. So I very much hope the field is reduced with qualifying of some sort.

    The limitations on the number of skaters from each country is so silly. The top ranked skaters should be there. Nationalities are less important in the global internet-connected world, with skaters training outside their own countries with coaches who don't even speak their language, and changing citizenships willy-nilly to accommodate their skating ambitions.
    That is true. Limiting the number of skaters a country can send falses results. The question is, how does one avoid certain countries from monopolising events and yet allow a maximum of world class skaters compete? I see the problem for example with the USA's men's team. How does one pick just three skaters from so many world-class skaters? Then I also see my own French team. For example in ice-dancing, because our no1 couple was injured we only have two spots for the Olys, even though our third couple (Carron and Jost) would definitely deserve to go. Then one sees skaters who have novice level skating attend these competitions! Something must be done!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    That's one of the places where I thought her argument didn't work, because which skaters we like, or find magical, is totally subjective. I think Yu-Na Kim is marvelous, and I believe she would have succeeded regardless of the system. Patrick Chan, on the other hand, does nothing for me. Of course he skates well, but it's all so designed to maximize points that to me it's more a checklist than an interesting whole, and there's no wow factor - it just leaves me cold. But someone like Tomas Verner, who wasn't even mentioned by her, is amazing when he's on, IMO (admittedly this doesn't happen very often ). Of course, some people will say that Chan is fabulous and deserves every mark he gets, while Yu-Na and Tomas are overrated.

    So obviously this is not objective, and that's the problem with using specific skaters for an argument that's very broad. Also, were there that many skaters blending grace and passion under any system skating has been judged under? I don't think there were - it's just that looking back, we tend to remember the good and the bad but not the mediocre.
    I completely agree with you about Tomas, he is amazing! What I think Sonia was trying to say, or at least how I see the issue, is that skaters like Tomas, Brian, Johnny etc all started their senior career under the old system. These new skaters have all skated during the whole of their senior, and most of their junior career under the current system. Their skating is hence different from what the older guys do. They are used to skating in accordance with the system, they know how to get he maximum amount of points, which generally doesn't include "magic". Their skating culture is different to the older guys' one.

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    I used to like her writing. Now I am a bit of tired of it. To search for the reason why I am a little tired of her arguement about the actual competitions, I found that it's because I don't agree with her. I realized that she is just one of the opinions that have a large amount of reader bases, like Hersh. The difference is that more people do not agree with Hersh. Well, I am actually frustrated with all those Chan hypes.

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