http://ptichkafs.livejournal.com/48508.html - translated with permission of Ms. Vaitsekhovskaya. BTW, she posted this on her blog AFTER Piseev's announcement that he won't run for the post again.
What I particular like about Russian figure skating is its creativity. The Worlds are over – pretty much a bust. An Olympic cycle is over – pretty much a bust. In late April, Russian Figure Skating Association will get together to urgently look for scapegoats (SG). According to my info, the candidates have been selected and the assignment is to “prepare an argument base” to make sure the designated SGs are really and truly put down.
Perhaps, that’s not so (we still have time, allowing us to think of some people better than they deserve). Therefore, this is for now just musings out loud.
Pair skating. Was it a bust? No way! It’s just a normal downturn. Over three years, Tamara Moskvina has gotten out of Kavaguti and Sminov the maximum they were capable of. Oleg Vasiliev did the same with Mukhortova and Trankov. The breakup of the latter team is regrettable but predictable. It just didn’t work out. Do we have the young ones? Yes. Do they have potential? Absolutely. That doesn’t only go for Bazarova and Larionov.
Single. In men, we do have a catastrophe, in my opinion. According to that same opinion, this is the direct fault of the federation in that all selection criteria are complete b.s. I, for example, prefer Borodulin to Voronov. That, however, doesn’t alter the fact that it was Voronov who was selected for the team back in December. He appeared to have every right to finish out the season. The officials, though, dumped him from the Games, and then suddenly demanded he get back into shape quick to replace Plushenko. It didn’t work. It couldn’t. No matter who else will appear, the template never changes – first, dump on the athlete and the coach as much as possible, and then blame both for the lack of fighting spirit.
Plushenko himself. It’s no secret he never planned to attend any Worlds! It never fit into his business plans to begin with. Talk about “injuries” is laughable. Any skater of that level has so many injuries that any doctor won’t think twice about relieving him of competition or even recommending full disability. Should the federation have given the skater the money just like that, without any contract stipulating he’d finish out the season to ensure Russia has more than one spot next year? Perhaps. They are idiots for giving in to his every demand. Should Plushenko have those goals anyway? No way! It’s his knees, his life and his plans. It’s not his problem that there is no one else behind him.
Ladies. Nothing to talk about here. Thank god, we’ve got this sudden “American gift” of Ksusha Makarova. Any credit to the federation. NOT EVEN A LITTLE. Even her coaches aren’t Russian, they’re Ukrainian. All the talk about Sotnikova and Uktamysheva are at this point groundless. Perhaps they will develop. Or perhaps they will develop the body parts that will hinder their jumps. That is not to be predicted. However, those girls provide convenient cover for the time being. They’ll grow up – and that’s that! They’ll conquer everyone! Hurray!
Ice dance. That’s were all the SGs hide. Kokhlova/Novitski and Rubleva/Shefer – meaning Irina Zhuk and Alexander Svinin. A bust? Yes, without a doubt. However, the former are the very people who didn’t waiver a year ago when they suddenly found themselves the nation’s first team at Europeans. With a not-to-healthy Sergei to boot. And then there was the 2009 Worlds, where, as I’ve been told, one high official was convincing the athletes that they were the country’s top team with everything that entails while they knew this to be a lie. That was confirmed in the first segment. Their skating wasn’t convincing enough? Yes, that’s true. The main thing, though, is that they first got his with a boulder over their heads, and then asked sympathetically, “Where is that fire in your eyes?”
The latter team are a different story altogether. Rubleva/Shefer are the only team that did all clean skates all season, even while realizing they had no chance for a good result. The bets weren’t on them.
Domnina/ Shabalin are real heroes, especially Maxim. But! Was it really that everyone only found out at the Games that they’re not competitive to put it mildly? Or, perhaps, it did after all happen back at the start of the season during a test skate in America after which the results were just hushed up? So, who’s at fault? Seems like the federation to me.
Should Piseev go? An accompanying question is – what’s the alternative? It’s a Catch-22. There is no alternative. It’s never been nurtured. That’s the saddest part of all. He was scared so much after the Games – that punched all the way from Kremlin certainly wasn’t pulled. So, he should’ve drawn some conclusions. Yet the president himself is not a SG candidate. So, instead of building an at least somewhat working system, it will continue as before. With big sticks for everyone and old carrots for the chosen.
I know it’s stream of consciousness type post. I just can’t hide this total feeling of hopelessness. And it’s just too bad for coaches and athletes. They’ve been honestly doing their jobs.