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Thread: Team figure skating possible for Sochi 2014

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    Team figure skating possible for Sochi 2014

    The next Winter Olympics to be held in Russia's resort city of Sochi in 2014 may include new events, including team figure skating, mixed biathlon and slopestyle snowboard, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) official has said.

    IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams made the statement after a meeting in Acapulco but added that the final decision to include the new events would be made by IOC President Jacques Rogge in April 2011.

    Team figure skating is presumed to last one day and each country will send one male and one female single skater, followed by a couples skating, and finally and ice dancing couple. An overall score would then be totalled for the skaters from all four disciplines for each participating country.
    http://sify.com/news/2014-winter-oly...0fOkfhcib.html

    Team figure skating could definitely be interesting. At the moment, there's WTT, and JO also has a Japan vs. N. America vs. Europe format. The only countries that actually have a shot at medal are probably Japan, the US, Russia and Canada. I don't see how other counries could shape into formidable competitors (let alone actually meet the minimum requirement), but it would be nice to see dark horses. I guess China's one, but I don't recall having seen Chinese ice dancers.

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    Well, it will be like gymnastics. More skaters can call themselves "Olympic champions".
    Whether that's good or bad, I'm not sure.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    There are several Chinese dance teams:
    Yu & Wang were 18th at last year's worlds. and just competed at NHK.
    Huang & Zheng were 22nd at the previous year's worlds

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    There is not much "team" in this. Four skaters/couples skate separately, then add up the points.

    It would be cooler if they could come up with some kind of real team version of skating. Like add-on, or tag-team.

    Or better yet, how about a group number, like the opening acts of shows like SOI or All That?

    Or the dance teams have to split up and each one dance with a singles skater as partner.

    No, wait! Fours!!!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I imagine that there will be no more than 8 teams in a team event? I assume that will be determined either by standings over 3 years, performance at the previous worlds, or in the fall GP series (ISU always tries to pump up interest in the fall series).
    Russia
    US
    Canada
    Italy
    France
    China
    Japan

    8th place is tricky-maybe Germany, maybe Czech Republic

    Sochi is a long way away-with the enticement of an Olympic medal, federations may change how they do business. Japan may try to entice the Shibutanis away from the US, and may give citizenship to Marvin Tran. The US may stop deep sixing their pair teams. It will make the politics leading up to Sochi very interesting.

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    I hope they accept the discipline into the Olympics, as the teams seemed so happy and supportive to each other at WTT and Japan Open. And I'm not going to say no to more figure skating...

    Sure, not every country would have a chance at medalling, but that's really not the (biggest) point. I mean, there would probably be only few athletes/teams at the Olympics if only favorites were allowed to compete. And maybe this will encourage countries to develop depth across the disciplines.

    Oh, and China has ice dancers: there's Xiaoyang Yu/Chen Wang who just placed 9th at NHK Trophy, and Xintong Zuang/Xun Zheng who placed 4th at the 4CC 2010 and are scheduled for CoC and TEB. Sure, they're not the best, but perhaps in the future they will have som great ones. Look at what happened to pairs!

    Here's who I think the ten teams for Sochi 2014 could be (and my personal team members guesses as of now):
    1. USA (Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon, Denney/Barrett, Davis White)
    2. Canada (Cynthia Phaneuf, Patrick Chan, Dubé/Davison, Virtue/Moir)
    3. Russia (Artur Gachinski (or Plushenko?), Liza Tuktamysheva, Kavaguti/Smirnov, Ilinykh/Katsalapov)
    4. Japan (Yuzuru Hanyu, Mao Asada, Takahashi/Tran (but he's not Japanese citizen, so no?), Reed/Reed)
    5. China (Nan Song, Zijun Li, Xintong Zuang/Xun Zheng, Pang/Tong)
    6. Italy (Samuel Contesti (if he continues to 2014), Carolina Kostner, Berton/Hotarek (is he Italian citizen?), Cappellini/Lanotte)
    7. France (Florent Amodio, Lena Marocco, ? to pair as they seem to switch all the time, Pechalat/Bourzat)
    8. Germany (Peter Liebers, Sarah Hecken, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Zhiganshina/Gazsi (is she German citizen?))
    9. Czech Republic (Michal Brezina, Nella Simaova, Kadlecova/Bidar, Mysliveckova/Novak)
    10. Great Britain (Jenna McCorkell (if she continues), Matthew Parr, Kemp/King, Coomes/Buckland)

    It's easy to see which team who will most definitely not qualify for the long program, but I suppose that's the point. We don't want to see too many low level programs.

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    I've got to agree with Mathman. I'm not really excited about a team event, as described in the article. As already implied, it would be a lot easier for athletes of certain countries to become Olympic medalists. In a figure skating team environment, any extra athletes that get to participate in the Olympics due to the team event are probably not adding any value/contributing to their team - they'd likely only be bringing their team down.

    This type of competition would benefit skaters like Reed/Reed, Phaneuf, ...

    Gymnastics is so different in so many ways, and I think is better suited to team competition: routines are shorter (and thus you can compete a higher #), different disciplines aren't mixed, athletes train in more than 1 event,...

    Perhaps a team elements type competition could have some (and by some, I mean a tiny, tiny bit) potential. You could chose Alissa for her spins, Rachel for her consistent jumps, Mirai for a footwork sequence and Caroline for a spiral sequence (or whatever). Thus each contributes and can add value to a team, in a way they couldn't do individually.
    Last edited by Scout; 10-26-2010 at 05:56 PM.

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    More or less: more is more sequinsgalore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scout View Post
    I've got to agree with Mathman. I'm not really excited about a team event, as described in the article. As already implied, it would be a lot easier for athletes of certain countries to become Olympic medalists. In a figure skating team environment, any extra athletes that get to participate in the Olympics due to the team event are probably not adding any value/contributing to their team - they'd likely only be bringing their team down.

    This type of competition would benefit skaters like Reed/Reed, Phaneuf, ...
    I don't think that matters too much. Isn't it always that way with teams? Some do more than others and some do less, but without the less good ones, the team would have had no chance at winning at all.

    And I don't think people is going to confuse a team medal with a single medal. A team medal rewards the best country, whereas the best single medal rewards the best single/pair skater(s).

    Though we'll probably end up with focusing most on the individuel performances eg. like Adam Rippon winning the men's at Japan Open (but Japan overall won gold - which one is the most prestigious?), if the team competition is scheduled before the individuel events. But that will only add to the excitement, I think. Can the skater repeat (or hopefully not depending on the performance)?

    In the end, I just wanna have even more figure skating . Any objects to that?

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    Before you get too excited, some reality checks are in order:

    1) The IOC is going to call the shots on any new Olympic sports or disciplines within sports, not the ISU. The IOC's interest and agenda is not the same as Speedy's. The individual agendas of many of the IOC members are even further removed from caring about additional figure skating.

    2) Anything new has to fit within the current time frame of the Olympics' established schedule. Specifically, it has to fit with the venue's scheduling logistics. The Sochi Olympic Skating Center will host both figure skating and short-track. FS and ST are never mixed on the same day, due to logistics in resetting the rink and changing the ice temperature. (Vancouver schedule clearly shows this.) Depending on alternative practice ice surface availability, there may/may not be sessions scheduled on the competition ice.

    3) This means there is limited free ice time available (if any) to add a completely separate competitive discipline on its own schedule. Which tends to favor the format of just taking the top scores of each country's skaters in each discipline, and adding them together to make a "Team" score. Which seems pretty anticlimactic and well....unsporting. I don't put a lot of stock in trying to compare gymnastics with figure skating, and I don't think the IOC will buy those rationalizations, either.

    4) Synchro, while theoretically an interesting and worthy addition to the Olympics, is out because of the above logistics (lack of time), but especially due to the cost of fielding multiple large teams. The IOC is not keen on adding lots of additional athletes to the allotted roster (although team sports that have wide appeal and the potential to be monetized into big ca$$$$h might be considered--sadly, this isn't synchro). Also, with only a very few countries being able to field competitive teams, it's unlikely to fly with the IOC.

    5) The issue of only a few countries being able to field competitive teams that cover all disciplines...ON A REGULAR BASIS...will be a problem for the IOC. This is one reason (well, the publicly stated one) of tossing baseball and softball OUT of the Summer Games after 2008. On a regular basis, year after year, I think the only countries capable of fielding full Teams at high level would be Canada, Russia, and USA. In some years, you could add China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan to the list, as these countries usually have strong contenders in one or two disciplines but rarely in all 4 at the same time.

    So, I'd say from the IOC's point of view, there are more negatives than positives to adding a team discipline in figure skating. And there is a lot of pressure to add on the snow sports side instead, due to more visibility/wider audience/more money, and also some gender equalization issues. Don't get your hopes up too high for Sochi, though it is possible the IOC would agree to possibly adding a team event in 2018 or later, and give the ISU time to first develop the concept outside the Olympics. On the final point, I'm not under the impression the World Team Trophy is viewed by most in the skating world as a heavyweight.
    Last edited by bigsisjiejie; 10-26-2010 at 07:56 PM.

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    Here's another problem: Why would a potential Olympic gold medalist (or pair, or ice dance couple) take time away from training for the regular medals--and risk injury--to train for the team competition? So the best in any country would have to be forced to compete on the team, or might just decline from competing on the team. Maybe the third and fourth best would agree to be on the team in order to get to the Olympics. I can see all sorts of problems with this scenario.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Here are the scores for the 2010 Olympics (for purposes of awarding retroactive medals ) I took the free skates/free dances of the top scorers from each of the four disciplines. In the case of the U.S., we either get bronze or silver depending on whether we sent our national champions or whether we got to see how all the competitors skated first, then chose the best scores.

    Canada (Dube/Davison, Chan, Virtue/Moir, Rochette) – 523.75.

    USA highest scores (Evora/Ladwig, Lysacek, Davis/White, Nagasu) -- 515.01.

    Russia (Kavaguti/Smirnov, Plushenko, Makarova, Domnina/Shabalen) -- 499.93. Substitute Russian champion Leonova for Makarova -- 497.56.

    USA national champions (Denney/Barrett, Abbott, Davis/White, Flatt) -- 479.67.

    Japan (no pairs, Takahashi, Reed/Reed, Asada) -- 368.00. Assuming that they could have found a pairs team capable of scoring 50 points -- 418.00.

    Edited to add: Italy -- 405.67
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-26-2010 at 08:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Here's another problem: Why would a potential Olympic gold medalist (or pair, or ice dance couple) take time away from training for the regular medals--and risk injury--to train for the team competition? So the best in any country would have to be forced to compete on the team, or might just decline from competing on the team. Maybe the third and fourth best would agree to be on the team in order to get to the Olympics. I can see all sorts of problems with this scenario.
    This would be a second free skate. An athlete would train for the individual event and then do whatever is left over for the team event. The potential of phoning a performance in is very possible. Like say a skater did a quad and two triple axels. In the team even that would maybe be a a triple axel and two triple lutz's.

    ETA - I was incorrect-based on the Hersh article team would be first-like at US nationals lysacek and abbott really watered down their free skates in terms of triple axels. I am sure the team event at the OLympics you would see skaters water down their programs. I bet you would not see quads or that many triple axels. It would be a lesser skate. No one is going to do their individual jump layout for the team event. I bet all the team members would coordinate so that the people at the top would water down their programs but the people at the botton who probably wouldn't medal would go all out.
    Last edited by gmyers; 10-27-2010 at 12:21 AM.

  13. #13
    nefertiti..reincarnate
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    Well the IOC released this:
    http://www.olympic.org/en/content/Me...ticleId=105057
    "The Executive Board announced that it is looking favourably at the inclusion of Women's Ski Jumping, Ski Halfpipe, Ski Slopestyle, Snowboard Slopestyle, Biathlon Mixed Team Relay, Figure Skating Team Event and Luge Team Relay in the programme of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games."

    So I feel the tide towards the team comp in Olys is now very realistic.

    According to a Japanese news article,
    http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/10...0505001-n1.htm
    http://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/10...0505001-n2.htm
    each team will likely be consisted of one single lady, one single man, one pair, and one Ice Dance couple;
    and the participants can be both the ones participated in individual games and the ones selected only for this team competition;
    the final dicision by Chairman Rogge of the Executive Board on whether to adopt this will come in next April, but according to Director Heiberg it will probably automatically be adopted if the ISU can prove that the level and the number of participating countries of such competition is high enough.

    This article adds that the Winter Olys was much room for additional athletes compared to Summer Olys, and that the fact of Figure Skating bringing huge income to IOC will play a positive role in this.

    So the next World Team Trophy in Yokohama will have a critical significance on this matter, IMO.
    Last edited by sorcerer; 10-27-2010 at 01:06 AM.

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    It kinda puzzles me a bit. Why not synchronised skating? At least it's a team sport.. But I'm all for the team competition as well :D

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    Here's Hersh with some direct quotes from Cinquanta. Now that I think about it, I actually doubt the strongest skaters will willingly participate. If this event is held after every other skating discipline, the skaters will probably be steamed out. If it's held in between, skaters would be wary because it could somehow hinder their shot at the medal that counts. I'm also worried that feds might then put pressure on skaters to participate, esp. the heavy gold favorites. Cinquanta wants it to be the first event. If all the stars join, the actual individual disciplines would be anticlimactic.

    He should just keep it as a separate ISU event. I already don't really like WTT because its anticlimactic coming right after Worlds & skaters are tired and less motivated by then. I do like the opportunity to see more skates, though, and there are certain skaters who can meet the challenge of an additional competition.

    ``I am 99.9 percent sure this will happen,'' Cinquanta told me by telephone Tuesday. ``We are very pleased with the confidence the IOC has shown in us. If everything goes as well as we expect at the World Team Trophy in Japan (in April, 2011), the first three days of the figure skating program in Sochi will be the team event.''
    And here's Cinguanta on the rules:

    *Ten teams (one per country) will qualify, based on results from previous ISU events, with the qualifying system yet to be worked out.

    *Each team will have a men's and women's singles skater, a pair and a dance team. (At the 2009 World Trophy, the first such competition, each country had two men's and women's singles skaters. one pair and once dance team.)

    *Scoring will be cumulative.

    *Five countries will be eliminated after the short program.

    *Each country advancing to the long program can make two lineup substitutions from a pool including all the skaters qualified for the four individual Olympic events and the official substitutes. Making the subs eligible would be of special significance to countries with only one entry in an individual discipline, should that skater or couple become ill or injured. But the official substitutes would not be living in the Olympic Village, and Sochi is not easy to reach at the 11th hour, so countries thinking of using a sub would need to find the subs alternate housing in the Olympic city.

    *Skaters can do the same programs they use in the individual events.
    This could be interesting if skaters brought different programs, but I'd doubt skaters would opt to, if they already have Olympic berths. This could be a good option for skaters who have not been given the go for their own disciplines. This could be potentially interesting if we had something like the compulsory dances.

    The trick, of course, will be for a country's skating authorities to convince a skater with a strong shot at an individual Olympic medal -- especially gold -- to enter the team event as well. Some skaters might think of it as a good warmup. Some might think it is too physically and mentally taxing. Some might worry about ``wasting'' a great performance in the team competition.
    The team event will lead to some rejiggering -- but not compression -- of the rest of the figure skating program.

    Cinquanta actually envisions adding a second day of rest between the singles' short programs and free skates. That would be feasible by mixing the events: instead of each discipline running consecutively, you could have the pairs short followed by the men's short and then the pairs final, men's final, etc. And skating has gained one competition day with the elimination of compulsories in ice dancing.
    And as for synchronized skating,

    Some feel synchronized skating should be the team event added to figure skating, but it involves a substantial number of additional athletes and cost for the organizing committee.

    Yet the IOC is prepared to add 60-odd additional athletes should Rogge approve four of the other six new events: women's ski jumping; men's and women's ski halfpipe, ski slopestyle and snowboard slopestyle. The remaining two, biathlon mixed team relay and luge team relay, would use athletes already entered in individual events.
    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...medium=twitter

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