(To note first: basically only middle-aged and older skaters would really know what I'm talking about enough to understand where I'm coming from.... I'm not sure how many people in that age group are here.)
Call me crazy if you wish, but I have always been disappointed that figures were eliminated from requirements. Figures are a true demonstration of precision skating, and gave the perfectionists among skaters an outlet for demonstrating their skills. I can understand eliminating it from competition, but I wish it hadn't been eliminated from the sport entirely. Rinks don't have patch sessions anymore, so there is very little in the way of opportunity to practice figures without being constantly interrupted or in other people's ways (each skater got assigned a personal patch of ice to practice without interruptions).
People try to say that MITF is just as good because it incorporates figures, but people can get away with being much less precise and there is nowhere near the level of challenge involved. Testing judges got on the ice to check for "flats" on figures circles, not just watch from a seat - it was scary, but a fantastic skills challenge that MITF doesn't present.
So can any older skaters relate to what I'm saying? Or are there any younger skaters who would have any interest in figures at all, in spite of figures being eliminated from requirements?