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Thread: Olympics/World Championships Skating Requirements

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Olympics/World Championships Skating Requirements

    I recently read some comments from Bianchetti and to no surprsie she was quite critical of Speedy.
    One of Bianchetti's remarks reminded me of a recent discussion here. She stated that of the lady skaters at the last Worlds close to 20 in the field could not do an acceptable double axle, a requirement for a senior lady skater.
    Earlier I had said it didn't seem right to have a competition called the "World Championship" when 10 or more of the best skaters in the world were not eligible to participate soley because they were from bigger federations.
    I still feel this way and Bianchetti said the only reason for this was to reinsure speedy's support from the smaller federations.
    Politics seem to rule figure skating much to the detriment of the sport.
    It was poined out to me that ALL skaters taking part in Worlds have atleast met the senior level requirements. Several of you stated that here in support of having as many federations take part as possible.. Bianchetti says this is not even close to being true.
    We seem to accept this diversity as"good for the sport" but I fail to see how letting skaters who can't meet the senior ladies basic requirements into a "World Championship while leaving so many skaters who could finish in the top 25 at home can be good for the sport.
    It could also be a reason we see so little of the bottom half of the draw. Many are only there to insure speedy's power base will remain solid.
    Isn't it time for a change?

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    From a sporting point of view I couldn't agree more.

    I suppose the problem is related to the Olympics as a world sports fest that all countries are supposed to participate in.

    Why would any country bother (pay) to support competitive figure skaters when the only major event they can attend comes only every four years?

    To put it differently, would small countries continue to send skaters to the Olympics if they didn't also have Worlds to polish them up at?

    I would think it's not just a matter of politics but one of finances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I recently read some comments from Bianchetti and to no surprsie she was quite critical of Speedy.
    One of Bianchetti's remarks reminded me of a recent discussion here. She stated that of the lady skaters at the last Worlds close to 20 in the field could not do an acceptable double axle, a requirement for a senior lady skater.
    Earlier I had said it didn't seem right to have a competition called the "World Championship" when 10 or more of the best skaters in the world were not eligible to participate soley because they were from bigger federations.
    I still feel this way and Bianchetti said the only reason for this was to reinsure speedy's support from the smaller federations.
    Politics seem to rule figure skating much to the detriment of the sport.
    It was poined out to me that ALL skaters taking part in Worlds have atleast met the senior level requirements. Several of you stated that here in support of having as many federations take part as possible.. Bianchetti says this is not even close to being true.
    We seem to accept this diversity as"good for the sport" but I fail to see how letting skaters who can't meet the senior ladies basic requirements into a "World Championship while leaving so many skaters who could finish in the top 25 at home can be good for the sport.
    It could also be a reason we see so little of the bottom half of the draw. Many are only there to insure speedy's power base will remain solid.
    Isn't it time for a change?
    ITA with you both - and that it's been time for a change for quite a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    One of Bianchetti's remarks reminded me of a recent discussion here. She stated that of the lady skaters at the last Worlds close to 20 in the field could not do an acceptable double axle, a requirement for a senior lady skater.
    Protocol from ladies' short program at Worlds:
    http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc..._SP_Scores.pdf

    Of the 53 skaters, I count 17 ("close to 20" if you want to emphasize the point) who did not perform an acceptable double axel. Either single axel, downgraded double axel with negative GOE, or rotated double axel with GOE close to or below -1.

    Of those 17, however, I know I've seen Gedevanishvili, Czisny, and Karademir perform successful double axels on other occasions.

    Checking the Euros protocols, I see that Simaova, Lafuente, and Movchan (as well as Karademir) did them successfully in January.
    http://www.isuresults.com/results/ec..._SP_Scores.pdf

    At Four Continents, A. C. Cantu, C. Liu, and Ono (as well as Czisny) had proved they could land them successfully in February.
    http://www.isuresults.com/results/fc..._SP_Scores.pdf

    So that leaves at most 8 ladies at Worlds who did not prove themselves capable of landing that jump at a 2009 ISU championship.

    I'm not sure where to include Lejeanne Marais -- at Four Continents her GOEs on the double axel were equally split between 0s and -1s; at Worlds there were more -1s but still three judges found it acceptable. And it wasn't downgraded either time. So at worst her best double axel attempt is only slightly flawed.

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    Custom Title snowflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I recently read some comments from Bianchetti and to no surprsie she was quite critical of Speedy.
    Who is Bianchetti?

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    Worlds should definitely have the best skaters in the worlds. The weak skaters from some of the smaller federations should be allowed to compete in the gran prix events and let them work their way to the grand stage.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I am rooting for India. There are only five ice skating rinks in the whole country (one for every 200,000,000 people) All of them are outdoor rinks. They were left over from British officers' clubs during the Raj.

    Someone correct me if I have the details of this wrong, but the story goes something like this. The first Indian national figure skating championship was held in 2003. Aadnya Borkar won in senior ladies. She also won in junior ladies and in ladies speed skating. She won again in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

    In 2004, I believe, India petitioned for membership in the ISU and was accepted. The new Indian Ice Skating Association misread the rules and thought that by accepting membership they were required to send a skater to the World Championships. So the put Aadnya on a plane to Dortmund.

    Once she got there, however, she discoverd -- to her great relief -- that she didn't have to skate after all if she didn't want to, so she didn't. Instead she watched the festivities, got Michelle Kwan's autograph, and went back home to Oman (she was born in Mumbai, but lives in the Sultanate of Oman.)

    Over the next couple of years Aadnya got three junior grand prix assignments, finishing 38th, 23rd and 21st.

    India did send a skater to 2007 worlds, Ami Parekh (born in New Jersey, lives in Deleware). She got 44th.

    For some reason I don't think they sent anyone to 2008 worlds (?), but in 2009 they sent Yoniko Eva Washington (born in Oman, lives in Atlanta). Yoniko finished 53rd.

    Right now India has four ladies and two men listed on the ISI site. Borkar is retired. Besides Parekh they are Hounsh Munshi (born in Thailand, lives in California, coached by Tiffany Chin), and Candida Fernandez (Candida's brother Andrew is one of the two men.) All of these skaters have partcipated on the junior grand prix circuit.

    I don't know exactly what the moral of this story is. I don't see the harm in letting these eager young athletes sit at the table with the big girls.
    Last edited by Mathman; 07-06-2009 at 03:36 PM.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I am rooting for India. There are only five ice skating rinks in the whole country (one for every 200,000,000 people) All of them are outdoor rinks. They were left over from British officers' clubs during the Raj.
    I don't know exactly what the moral of this story is. I don't see the harm in letting these eager young athletes sit at the table with the big girls.
    I am not sure if I know what the moral of the story is either. I do see an injustice when girls who have practiced and worked so hard have to miss a competition full of so many skaters who are not close to being in their class. Japan is a good example. Should either Fumie or Yukari be watching a skater from "wherever" competing in Vancouver when this skater could not make the Jr team in Japan? It is ridiculous and I believe quite an injustice to leave skaters this good at home so a skater from India or wherever can skate at the Olympic festival. If India wants to have skaters at the Olympics they must do what China did. Build rinks and training facilities, bring in foreign coaches and work hard to get up to world standards. That is how figure skating gets better. Getting a free ticket because your federation paid it's dues is how you dilute a sport and punish some of it's best competitiors. Maybe the moral here is that life is not fair and Olympic Festivals are not about the best but about who paid for their spot in the competition. Sorry but I think it is wrong and I don't support it.
    Last edited by janetfan; 07-06-2009 at 03:56 PM.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I am not sure if I know what the moral of the story is either. I do see an injustice when girls who have practiced and worked so hard have to miss a competition full of so many skaters who are not close to being in their class. Japan is a good example. Should either Fumie or Yukari be watching a skater from "wherever" competing in Vancouver when this skater could not make the Jr team in Japan? It is ridiculous and I believe quite an injustice to leave skaters this good at home so a skater from India or wherever can skate at the Olympic festival. If India wants to have skaters at the Olympics they must do what China did. Build rinks and training facilities, bring in foreign coaches and work hard to get up to world standards. That is how figure skating gets better. Getting a free ticket because your federation paid it's dues is how you dilute a sport and punish some of it's best competitiors. Maybe the moral here is that life is not fair and Olympic Festivals are not about the best but about who paid for their spot in the competition. Sorry but I think it is wrong and I don't support it.
    Bravo!

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Who is Bianchetti?
    Sonia Bianchetti was a highly ranked official in the ISU for many years. She spearheaded the movement to get rid of figures and she preached tirelessly about fair judging. When the old ISU President was going to retire, she was an obvious candidate to succeed him.

    But the outgoing President (who himself was a mere tool of other sinister people in the organization, according to Mrs. B.) got together with the speed skating side of the sport and pulled a political fast one. They rushed through the nomination of Ottavio Cinquanta, on the speedskating side, for a seat on the council. Then Bianchetti was not eligible to serve because the council cannot have two people from the same country (Italy).

    Something like that. You can read all about it in Mrs. Bianchetti’s book.

    http://www.soniabianchetti.com/

    She was later kicked out of the ISU altogether for supporting the World Skating Federation after the Salt Lake City judging scandal.

    Needless to say Mrs. B. has little good to say about the Mr. C. and the ISU. She is an especially harsh critic of the new judging system.

    About the issue at hand (why should we let all these terrible skaters compete at Worlds), this is what she said after 2009 worlds.

    One piece of good news is that Cinquanta in Los Angeles announced that he plans to reduce the number of competitors at the Worlds by establishing tough new qualifying standards.

    There were 216 skaters from 52 countries at the World Figure Skating Championships.

    The women’s field alone had 54 skaters, and it took more than eight hours to complete all the short programs. And at least 30% of these skaters would not even make it to the novice event in the US.

    "If the standard of skating is so poor, the ISU should change. … This is a championship, not a festival," the ISU president said during his annual speech on the state of the sport.

    This was long overdue and, believe it or not, this time I fully agree with him. Almost every Olympic sport has a qualifying system to ensure that only the best competitors can be entered in a world championship. This not only to save money, but also to make the competitions manageable, interesting, and worth watching with dignified standards
    But she also said:

    What is most important is that two basic principles are considered:

    1) that no country can have more than three competitors in a championships, so that as many different countries as possible can be represented;

    2) that in no case should the system be based on Regional qualifying events so that the skaters will only compete within their small geographical region.
    http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/curre...9%20Worlds.htm

    So far so good. But when the ISU actually came out with its proposal, this was her reaction.

    I am shocked and appalled by the irresponsible actions taken by the ISU Council under the pretext of cost cutting measures, in view of the difficult economic situation which, while not meeting the purpose will only bring long term damage to the sport.

    Communication 1562 announces the reduction of the number of skaters who qualify for the final free, as follows:
    a) World Senior and Junior Championships: first 24 Men and Ladies, 16 pairs and 20 dance couples;

    b) European Championships : first 20 Men and Ladies,16 pairs and 16 dance couples;

    c) Four Continents: first 20 Men and Ladies, 12 pairs and 12 dance couples.
    http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/curre...20Savings.html

    I think this supports Spun Silver's point that the ISU, for better or for worse, views this issue as mainly a financial one.
    Last edited by Mathman; 07-06-2009 at 04:20 PM.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    I am not sure what to think about all the info you just posted. I did NOT read Sonia's remarks about limiting countries to only three skaters. I did read this remark from her that you included:

    " And at least 30% of these skaters would not even make it to the novice event in the US."

    Is that statement true? If it is then what what was said earlier by gkelly about only 6 or 7 skaters not meeting senior level requirements would not be true.
    I say that respectfully and don't know what to believe. I suspect the real figure is somewhere between what gkelly and Sonia have stated.

    I could agree to one set of rules/standards for Worlds and another for the Olympics because they only come every four years making a skaters age a more critical factor.

    Does anyone doubt that many of the top skaters in the world will NOT be at the Olympics? Of course not.
    That's the part I don't get. Listing the Rules doesn't solve this problem. Changing the Rules is what is needed.
    Last edited by janetfan; 07-06-2009 at 04:47 PM.

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    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    I just had a déjà vu, I think we had the same conversation a little while ago and I ve said my opinion why the participation from most countries counts to keep the interest of these countries funding skating cause if not for anything else( i think it is more than this), someday a Yuna might be born in somewhere else, or did I imagin all this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I am rooting for India...Whole post
    thank you for this text.
    Can you root also for greece that has not a single square meter of ice for its skaters?So far we artificially freeze our lakes

    So the solution is to send how many max from each country???Instead of 3? 4 , 5 10? We didnt say that either the other day. Because at some point maybe the best that should not stay home will be 10 from russia, 10 from usa and 10 from canada (just an example).
    And that would be boring Olympics.
    Last edited by seniorita; 07-06-2009 at 04:57 PM.

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    I think something was lost in translation from the Ancient Greeks. I'm not sure if the Olympics should be in the words of Esther Williams, "C'mon everybody into the pool" or on the Rankings of the International Skating Union.

    Those rankings are battered about much for qualifcation purposes. Seems to me the Rankings would be best and if 4 or more skaters from the same country show up, so be it. That should get those "B" comps rolling.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seniorita View Post
    I just had a déjà vu, I think we had the same conversation a little while ago and ]


    Can you root also for greece that has not a single square meter of ice for its skaters?So far we artificially freeze our lakes

    So the solution is to send how many max from each country???Instead of 3? 4 , 5 10? We didnt say that either the other day. Because at some point maybe the best that should not stay home will be 10 from russia, 10 from usa and 10 from canada (just an example).
    And that would be boring Olympics.
    Some think having class B skaters at the Olympics is boring. Many of the other sporting federations have set much higher standards for participation in the Olympics.
    We did have this converastion before but there was information posted that may not have been true. A few people said that every skater at Worlds passed the qualifying standards for entering the competiton. Sonia Bianchetti says that is not the truth. Maybe Sonia is wrong and only being as political as the ISU bigwigs she seems to be eternally disagreeing with.
    I think Greece and India should do what China did. Build a team if you want to have skaters at the Olympics. Just paying your dues is nonsense. That is the beginning - not the end of the game. It is the same as buying a spot for an unqualified and undeserving skater. I say undeserving because there are skaters good enough to be in the competition who are forced to stay home simply because they come from a federation that has spent time and money building a successful program.
    The plain truth is that it is about money and politics. If speedy went to Japan and USA and whispered "for a reasonable price how would you like to have 4-5 skaters in the ladies or men's events - it could probably be worked out. As far as dues go, they don't compare to the 22 million dollars that ESPN used to pay for broadcast rights. Want more broadcasting money - then put in a few more better and deserving skaters from the powerhouse federations. That, atleast makes sense and would help ISU through their money troubles. Their money trouble by no coincidence coincides with the loss of North American broadcasting revenues.
    Besides, Greece has Plushy - what more do they need?

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Some think having class B skaters at the Olympics is boring.
    I doubt if you have ever been to a Worlds or Olys LIVE. Most of what you call "B" skaters can show potential. Sometimes an "A" or two have a bad day. Sometimes there is a Grande Splat of "A" skaters.

    IMO, the judging gets murky but from the rules they are judged on what they do. yeah?.

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