In my opinion too much is made of trying to strategize your way into the finals, and not enough attention is paid to the events themselves.
The original five events (Canada, USA, France, Germany and Japan) were prestigious international invitational figure skating competitions long before the Grand Prix was so much as a gleam in $peedy's eye. Skate Canada is the oldest, dating to 1973.
It was an honor to be invited to any of them. (And yes, U.S. champions Alissa Czisny, Jeremy Abbott, and Davis and White have every reason to feel snubbed that they were not invited to Skate America this year. ) Medalling was a prestigious accomplishment in its own right, not just a means of gathering points for some other purpose. Winners of Skate America include Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano, Todd Eldredge (5 times) and Michelle Kwan (7). The winners of the first German event (1990) were Kurt Browning and Kristi Yamaguchi.
Before Alissa Czisny won U.S. Nationals last year, she was always introduced in exhibitions as, "the winner of the 2005 Skate Canada!"
In 1995 the five federations decided to get together for the purpose of sharing television revenue and pooling prize money. Up until then, they were just five separate events, each organized and produced by its own national federation.
But once that "pooled television money" idea arose, in swooped Speedy. In 1996 the ISU arrogated all television rights for these events to itself and came up with the "Championship Series," which two years later was renamed the Grand Prix of Figure Skating.
It's all about the Benjamins.
I agree about the U.S. Champions should be feeling snubbed for not being invited to SA. But at least it happened to three out of four disciplines, so nobody should feel especially slighted.
Gee, MATHMAN. Thanks for being around to explain and make things more understandable. I feel so frustrated. I used to only watch the figure skaters and see who will get into the podium, but gradually the curiosity of knowing more about the how, the who, the why, and the when makes me realize that the people involved/running figure skating is just like any system with so much politics. I really appreciate all your informative comments/discussions where at least my thoughts on skating is placed on the right perspective of infos
And may I add my thoughts on the competitors of the GP. Well, with the COMEBACKS, I sure wish they can compete. We all know how they were before and doing shows during their absence from competitions. Now they say that they will compete again and so much long discussions about their coming back and promotions for their image. Enough of the blah blahs and they should show that they are deserving. With the CURRENT SKATERS, kudos to them for still being around always improving to the very difficult/strict requirements of the current judging system.The judging system during the COMEBACKS' time is very different from the current judging system. All the minute/detailed deductions of the current system is so demanding. And one should not ignore the psyche/mental aspect of it all when they are on the ice. So, good luck to all the competitors and special mention to the COMEBACKS because they have to prove to themselves, the people and their fans that with all the years of absence and the change of the judging system, they are still competitive and that they still exist.
but i have to confess that while reading it, it honestly gave me some shiversThe comebacks sounded like androids of a philip dick novel ready to invade the human figure skating world
Last edited by seniorita; 06-02-2009 at 01:57 PM.
Oh I m not thinking of plushy everytime i speak about something (surprised ? ), i was thinking the whole packet, him, shen/zhao, cohen, kwan, as a new body of skaters to threaten earth, pretty much like Mathman's picture, but think of the trailer, The C O M E B A C K S...coming at a theater near you I have vivid imagination, what can i saySo, Plushy has been a master of the quads (I dissented, you'll recall), an X-man (I believe we chose Mystique) and is now an android? What's next, a cyborg?last time I checked yes! Le Zar is coming back!seniorita, are you sure you're a Plushenko fan ?
SENIORITA, you're really made me laugh when I read "...but think of the trailer. The COMEBACKS...coming at a theater near you"
This year we have a different schedule, right? It's the NA-events last and I think it was partly because they wanted to increase the quality of the competition (the first events of the season are never the best) and because they wanted to generate more excitement before the Olympics by having SC and SA about 2 months before the Olympics.
But then I have a question. Both SA and SC have relatively weak fields. The Men's and Ladies' event at SA is extremely weak compared to Japan or France. The Men's in Canada isn't much better, and Joannie Rochette can ask Skate Canada to send her the Gold by mail.
Is that the way to generate excitement, by inviting the weakest fields to the competitions? Or was it only about seeing the NA-skaters win before the Olympics and not about presenting the sport at it's best?
.................unless she gets mule-kicked off the top of the podium.