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Thread: Sweet Revenge: Samuel Contesti

  1. #1
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    News Sweet Revenge: Samuel Contesti

    Samuel Contesti came out of nowhere to take the silver medal at the European Championships and to place 5th at Worlds. His story was one of the most intriguing comebacks of the year. [More]

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    representing Italy eleonora.d's Avatar
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    I enjoyed a lot reading it!

    I didn't know they named their son Ennio, just like Morricone He used his music from "Once Upon a Time in the West" for his long program this year so I guess it's kind of a tribute to a lucky music Well, his success has nothing to do with luck..

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Meanwhile, some French officials were following the success of their former athlete with rather grumpy faces.
    Here's a smiley face to make them feel better.

    No, wait, I mean this one.

    The whole Contesti/Dambier fiasco was one of the most intriguing in the sport.

    In 2006, Contesti finished second at French Nationals behind Joubert, however, he wasn't named for the European team in Lyon. At the same time, Frédéric Dambier, who was ranked fourth at Nationals, sued the French Federation in order to be nominated for the team and won his case as he had achieved more points in his Grand Prix event than Contesti. The French Federation originally had included the results from the Grand Prix into their selection criteria.
    Could this happen in the United States, under the new USFSA Olympic selection rules? If Caroline Zhang tears up the Grand Prix, but finishes off the podium at Nationals, could she sue somebody?

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    The reality is that Contesti had beaten Dambier consistently that season. But the selection rule voted in general assembly by the FFSG had a criteria (can't remember if it was a question of seasonal best or if that was a question of points accumulated for 2 years over various competitions) that designated Dambier over Contesti for the selection.

    Actually, that was one of the first if not the first time that the french fed had a written rule about selections, other than just a selection committee making the decision so it was kind of fresh.

    And nobody could make their mind over what should be done, follow the rule or go for the logic of the sport. That's what created this mess until the court ruled in favor of the rule.

    The french fed monitors every french athlete there at the begining of the season.Then as they usually do when something is not going fine at the Masters, they asked him to enter the Coupe de Nice a few weeks later to be monitored there (the Coupe de Nice is held 2 or 3 weeks before Skate America), telling him that his GP selection wouldn't be confirmed without monitoring. He grunted, said he was injured and didn't go to Nice. Then the fed had him withdrawn from Skate America.
    Then ... (because it cames afterwards)

    Therefore, the skater competed at French Nationals in 2007 where he placed third, and again, was not selected for the World team (although France had three spots).
    So that's Nats for 2006-2007, actually held in December 2006.
    The selection rules were saying that entering the GP final meant an automatic selection for the national team (that rule has been consistent over the years). That year, Joubert and Preaubert entered the final.
    At Nats, Preaubert was sick but had his selection granted. The final result was Joubert, Ponsero, Contesti so Yannick got the 3rd spot. So there is no mystery about Contesti's non-selection then. He perfectly knew he wouldn't get his selection if he wasn't at least 2nd.

    Contesti seemed perfectly fit there so the fed gave him an assignement for some international competition. He didn't go, invoking his injury at the Achille's heel.
    During summer 2007, he asked to skate for Italy and entered his first italian championship in winter 2007. As he had not skated internationally for France for a year *cough*, he just had another year to go before being able to represent Italy internationally.


    So actually, he was not selected for Euros 2006 and Olys ... in accordance with the french fed's rules, enforced by a court.
    He didn't go to Skate America ... because he wasn't monitored, injured / "unable to compete" 2 - 3 weeks before Skate America, so the french fed told the ISU he was injured.
    And he didn't got selected in for 2007 Euros ... because he didn't got the result he should have to get selected.
    Poor, poor Samuel (nothing against him, he is a nice guy and a fine competitor, but he's nor a saint nor a martyr).

    I know that for the sake of the story, a nice scenario is better. But this one is a bit overstretched, don't you think ?

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Nmsis, thanks for clarifying this. I remembered there was more to it, but wasn't sure exactly what had happened.

    I wish Contesti all the best, was happy to see him skate well this past season, and hope he enjoys his career and his family. But he made some bad decisions in his dealings with the FFSG, and also didn't help his own cause with mediocre results in international competition before that.
    Last edited by Buttercup; 07-26-2009 at 11:48 AM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Thank you Nmsis for that fascinating read. Oh how these Feds play the Game.

    When I think of Dambier, I thing of him landing on the tip of his toepick which stops a skater from landing and forcing the rest of the blade down for a no flow out .

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    Contesti' problems with the french fed did not last for long.
    It began in December 2005 after the selections for 2006 Euros were revealed and ended at the end of the 2006-2007 season.



    And I must correct one thing I said about the 2006-2007 season, the one that follows the Euros / Olys selection problem.

    - During summer, Contesti asks Monaco if he can skate for them. No answer.

    - At the very end of September/ begining of October, there are the Masters after which international assignements are confirmed. Contesti doesn't come. Injury at the Achille's heel. The fed cancels his assignement to Skate America (end of October). He complains to the press that the french fed is outcasting him, that there is no reason to suppress his assignement.

    - He's still scheduled for the TEB in November as one of the 3 frenchmen. The fed asks him to go to the Coupe de Nice (as he has not been monitored yet) to have his assignement to TEB confirmed.

    - He doesn't go to Nice "because of his injury at the Achille's heel". His assignement to TEB is canceled and Jeremy Colot gets the spot.

    - He goes to Nats, ends 3rd when he should have finished 2nd to get a spot at Euros.

    - The fed gives him an international assignement some time around March. He doesn't go "because of his injury at the Achille's heel".

    - During summer, he asks to skate for Italy and that will be granted to him in September. As he has not skated internationally for France the previous season, he has one season to wait before being able to compete internationally for Italy.

    (I've found a french article that reminded me the TEB thing too).

    I've discussed about this with Tatiana and I think she now gets what bothers me with the angle of attack of her article. You really need to remember all the details to get a proper view of what happened then. That's why the chronology is important, as well as the ping pong relationship between Samuel and the federation in 2006-2007.
    Last edited by Nmsis; 07-28-2009 at 07:14 AM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for supplying these details, Nmsis.

    As I recall, the way it was reported in the U.S. back then, the press was totally on the side of Contesti and tried to make the French Federation look as bad as possible.

    They also made it seem like a regional conflict -- Paris against the provinces, or something like that -- and the only reason Dambier won the dispute is that he found a local hometown judge that ruled in his favor.

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    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Thanks for supplying these details, Nmsis.

    As I recall, the way it was reported in the U.S. back then, the press was totally on the side of Contesti and tried to make the French Federation look as bad as possible.

    They also made it seem like a regional conflict -- Paris against the provinces, or something like that -- and the only reason Dambier won the dispute is that he found a local hometown judge that ruled in his favor.
    I am glad he did well, totally deserved! Hope he does well next year also - Luck to him for 2010!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Thanks for supplying these details, Nmsis.

    As I recall, the way it was reported in the U.S. back then, the press was totally on the side of Contesti and tried to make the French Federation look as bad as possible.

    They also made it seem like a regional conflict -- Paris against the provinces, or something like that -- and the only reason Dambier won the dispute is that he found a local hometown judge that ruled in his favor.
    There certainly was a conflict between Annick Gailhaguet and Didier Lucine with the french fed in between. And both Annick Dumont and Didier Lucine were prompt to point fingers at the federation for taking the other's side. Actually, the guy who was at the head of the french fed then, Norbert Tourne, had been elected against Didier Gailhaguet (Dumont's ex-husband). And to avoid any critic of being partisan, he scrupulously followed the rules of the french fed, followed the advice of the Olympic Committe, obeyed the court, while trying to get a truce by having Dumont and Lucine signing an agreement to share the international assignements and to spread their skaters over Euros, Olys and Worlds. In this article (january 2006), Annick reveals to the press that this has happened a few days ago (as Dambier has won the trial the day before, she is in a power position) and says "politikssss" when Tourne was just trying to handle things as quietly as he could.

    The local hometown judge thing is quite ridiculous. The french magistracy is very different from what you may know. They are not elected, they are public officers, then "movable" at the State's will. So there are judges originally from Marseille judging in Paris, parisian judges judging in Brittany, etc ... And they do not have the same powers than judges of the US or the UK. They can't take decisions out of their own imagination. Their only power is to make the law respected and their long standing position about sport is that they can't judge sport results That's not in their competence. They just verify if the rules of the federation have been followed. And that's what the judge did in this case. The judge was hometown simply because hometown court is the court anyone must go to file this kind of complaint. That's all.

    And I digged on internet to refresh my memory and get the details I was not remembering correctly. (the articles are in french)
    Right after the 2006 Skate America thing, Contesti was actually monitored and selected for the TEB. He withdrew the day before the competition citing injury.
    And the international competition he was selected for after Nats and that I couldn't remember, that's actually Worlds 2007. Ponsero didn't do well at Euros, so the french fed selected Contesti instead. And he withdrew just before the team's departure for Tokyo.
    During the next summer, he asked to switch country.

  11. #11
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Contesti has his moments but will he have one of his better ones at La hora de Verdad? We'll see without prediction.

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    Custom Title antmanb's Avatar
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    The whole Contesti court saga is a little bit like Elliot Hilton's trip to worlds earlier this year. While the skaters involved in the UK saga are not at the same level skate wise as the french team the UK High Court made a ruling based on the selection criteria NISA had in place and didnot follow.

    Here's a link to the UK situation: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...al/7951201.stm

    And another artilce with more about the legals: http://www.thearenagroup.co.uk/page/...3c6371c7eaa3ce

    Ant

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    He is better off skating for Italy anyway. He has Speedy pushing for him, which given his mediocre skill set as a skater was his only hope to get anywhere anyway. If he stays in after 2010 watch him supplant Butyrskaya as the oldest recent World winner in singles.

  14. #14
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delobelfan30 View Post
    He is better off skating for Italy anyway. He has Speedy pushing for him, which given his mediocre skill set as a skater was his only hope to get anywhere anyway.
    Because Préaubert is just so much more talented, with fantastic skating skills, smooth solid jumps, extraordinary spins... Contesti at the level he was last season would have been No.2 in France, without a question. Ponsero might be blessed with enormous talent, but is an even worse head-case than Verner and Kostner combined and has serious problems with some Triple jumps. Préaubert isn't superior to Contesti in any aspect of his skating, but inferior in some.

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    representing Italy eleonora.d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Because Préaubert is just so much more talented, with fantastic skating skills, smooth solid jumps, extraordinary spins... Contesti at the level he was last season would have been No.2 in France, without a question. Ponsero might be blessed with enormous talent, but is an even worse head-case than Verner and Kostner combined and has serious problems with some Triple jumps. Préaubert isn't superior to Contesti in any aspect of his skating, but inferior in some.


    Contesti could have beaten Joubert in Helsinki. His skating skills are great. Brian's LP was awfully coreographed, he even admitted it wasn't great yet. But, well, ever since Joubert's PCS were marked higher than Chan's both in the SP and the LP in Los Angeles 2009, I guess that I am wrong...

    Chan being marked lower in the pcs than Joubert is something that I will always be mad about...:banging:

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