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Thread: The ISU "season standings" prize, B events, and the University games

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    The ISU "season standings" prize, B events, and the University games

    Continuing our series…

    Figure skating is contested at the international University Games every two years. Here are some notable past winners:

    Gentlemen:

    1966. Nobuo Sato (father of Yuka Sato and current coach of Mao Asada and many others)

    1970 Ondrej Nepela (Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion)

    1987 Petr Barna (Paul Wiley was third)

    1990 Michael Chack (I wonder if he was chacked.)

    1995 Michael Weiss

    2005 Daisuke Takahashi

    2007 Daisuke Takahashi (Nobunari Oda was second)

    Ladies

    1995 Tonia Kwiatkowski (Maria Butryskaya was second)

    1999 Elena Sokolova (Irina Slutskaya was second)

    2003 Shizuka Arakawa

    2007 Akiko Shizuki

    2009 Yukari Nakano (Kira Korpi was third)

    Who should we nominate for 2011? Tufts University graduate student Michelle Kwan?. Recent Yale graduate Sarah Hughes?

    Pairs

    1997 Shen and Zhao

    2007 and 2009 Zhang and Zhang

    Dance

    1985 Usova and Shulin

    1987 Cathrin Beck and Christoff Beck of Australia : (Usova and Shulin were second)

    1995 Lobacheva and Averbukh

    2003 Grushina and Goncharov

    2005 & 2007 Khocklova and Novitsky

    To represent the U.S., a skater has to qualify by winning the U.S. Collegiate Championship. Some recent winners are

    1998 Sydney Vogel (University of Alaska)

    1999 Derrick Delmore (Stanford)

    2003 Jennifer Don (University of Delaware – once held the ISU record CoP score )

    2005, 2006, 2007 Ryan Bradley (University of Colorado)

    2004 and 2008 Alissa Czisny (Bowling Green University – two-time Skate Canada champion, 2009 U.S. champion and 2010-11 Grand Prix Champion!)

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this. To be honest i don't know a thing about this competition.......

    Quite a few good skaters have won it - although I see Oda has finished second again.

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    I've never heard of this. Why would we be nominating anyone, Kwan or Hughes or anyone? Is this a real figure skating competition or some sort of fantasy figure skating league?

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    I remember Brian Joubert being very upset that Daisuke Takahashi beat him in the ISU world rankings one year (possibly his annus mirabilis?), because Daisuke won the Universiade and got a lot of points for it. It was sort of funny that Joubert was so bent out of shape, although since I think bonus prize money was at stake, I could see why it he'd press the issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    I've never heard of this. Why would we be nominating anyone, Kwan or Hughes or anyone? Is this a real figure skating competition or some sort of fantasy figure skating league?
    Shall I put you down in the “who cares” column, then?

    The “Universiade” is a multi-sport gathering of college athletes organized by something called the International University Sports Federation. Like the Olympics, it features a Winter Universiade and a Summer Universiade. These are held in alternate years. There is also a thrid event, for teams, called the “University Championships.”

    The forerunners of this competition go back to 1923, in Paris. The modern Universiade dates from 1959, and the one coming up is number XXV. The 2011 Winter Universiade is scheduled for Erzurum, Turkey. (Erzurum outbid Maribor, Slovenia, for the honor of hosting this event.)

    As you can see from the partial list of former winners, some national figure skating federations take this competition seriously enough to send their top skaters.

    Here is the web site of the governing organization, FISU.

    http://www.fisu.net/en/Accueil-950.html

    Quote Originally Posted by doubleflutz View Post
    I remember Brian Joubert being very upset that Daisuke Takahashi beat him in the ISU world rankings one year (possibly his annus mirabilis?), because Daisuke won the Universiade and got a lot of points for it. It was sort of funny that Joubert was so bent out of shape, although since I think bonus prize money was at stake, I could see why it he'd press the issue.
    I think I read somewhere that the Universiade no longer counts toward the world ranking. The ISU decided it was unfair because not every skater is a university student.

    Is this true?

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    My issue is that many of these so-called "University Students" appeared on the registrars' list but never in class. This includes quite a number of the elite skating luminaries you posted above. In this respect, it was kind of a phony competition. When you have more or less full-time students trying to keep up their skating on the side, how are they going to compete head-to-head against "students" who are enrolled for window dressing purposes but essentially practice skating all day long, day after day. And different countries have markedly different rules and regs about class attendance, maintaining student status, etc. I think the ISU cutting out the competition as a vehicle for points-gathering was a good idea, as it pretty much took away incentive for the elite skaters masquerading as faux students to participate, sandbag the competition, and pick up some points like candy without having to work too hard.

    Now all of this is kind of moot if you don't put much stock in ISU World Standings in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think I read somewhere that the Universiade no longer counts toward the world ranking. The ISU decided it was unfair because not every skater is a university student.

    Is this true?
    Yep, I'm fairly sure this is the case, and that it was a direct result of Joubert's whining/legitimate greivances.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie
    Now all of this is kind of moot if you don't put much stock in ISU World Standings in the first place.
    Well, I believe they are used to calculate the end-of-year bonuses, which can be substantial, up to about $30K per skater for singles and I think around $50K for pairs/dance teams. That's not exactly small potatoes, considered against how much a year of skating on an elite international level costs.
    Last edited by doubleflutz; 12-11-2010 at 11:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    To represent the U.S., a skater has to qualify by winning the U.S. Collegiate Championship.
    That selection criterion was added for the 2007 Winter Universiade. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure no USA skaters will be competing at the 2011 Winter Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey, January 27-February 6 -- figure skating info link: http://www.universiadeerzurum.org/figure-skating

    These were the skaters that have represented the USA at the recent Winter Universiades (all were full-time university students):
    2009 in Harbin, China: Amy Nunn (after Czisny withdrew), Jason Wong, Andrea Best/Trevor Young in pairs, Snyder/Fischl in dance (withdrew before going), Miami University in synchro
    2007 in Torino, Italy: Stephanie Roth, Michael Peters, Miami University in synchro
    2005 in Innsbruck, Austria: no USA skaters were sent
    2003 in Tarvisio, Italy: Angie Lien (she won the silver medal behind Arakawa! ) and Sean Calvillo -- IIRC, they were selected based on their results at the US Sectional Championships in November 2002
    2001 in Zarkopane, Poland: no USA skaters were sent
    Last edited by Sylvia; 12-12-2010 at 12:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doubleflutz View Post
    Well, I believe they are used to calculate the end-of-year bonuses, which can be substantial, up to about $30K per skater for singles and I think around $50K for pairs/dance teams. That's not exactly small potatoes, considered against how much a year of skating on an elite international level costs.
    Really? This is the first I've ever heard of this. Tell me more. What ranking gets a bonus? Where is the money coming from--ISU payout? Does the money go to the skater or to the national federation? Or do some national federations use the ISU ranking as the guideline to pay out to their own skaters?

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    Lol, I'll bite, and say "who cares". zzzz

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    It's strange that the US dancers are not competing, at least one team.

    D&W are both UMich students
    S&B are students there too.
    Alex Shibutani is a student there too.
    Greg Zuerlein attends Schoolcraft College

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie View Post
    Really? This is the first I've ever heard of this. Tell me more. What ranking gets a bonus? Where is the money coming from--ISU payout? Does the money go to the skater or to the national federation? Or do some national federations use the ISU ranking as the guideline to pay out to their own skaters?
    On this page, you can click on Communication 1629 to see the details of which placements and which competitions earn points. If you click on ISU Season's World Rankings you can see how many points the leaders have so far.

    http://www.isu.org/vsie/vnavsite/pag...v-list,00.html

    As Doubleflutz posted, the winners in each discipline receive a big cash prize at the end of the season. A skater can essentially double his/her earnings by winning the World Championship and the Season Rankings prize in the same year.

    The money comes from the ISU's general funds. It is paid directly to the skaters. I believe that there is some sort of rule that limits the amount that the skaters' federation can take away from them (10%?) -- however, I don't know how or if this is enforced. I remember that Maria Butyrskaya lost all the money she earned in competitive skating because the Russian federation "invested" it for her, and the the bank went bankrupt.

    I don't think that national federations use these ranking for anything. But the ISU Worlds Rankings (a different list based on results over two seasins) plays a role in getting Grand Prix assignments.

    The purpose of the season's ranking prize was to encourage top skaters not to skip lesser events. It was especially designed to help bolster participation in Four Continents. IIRC the year Caroline Kostner won the world silver medal, she won this prize also because she had skated in some B events earlier in the season.

    Gachinski is still #5 on this year's list because he placed well in two early B events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    It's strange that the US dancers are not competing, at least one team.

    D&W are both UMich students
    S&B are students there too.
    Alex Shibutani is a student there too.
    Greg Zuerlein attends Schoolcraft College
    The dates conflict with U.S. Nationals. Nationals ends January 30th and the University Games begins January 27th.

    The other factor is that you have to qualify by winning the U.S. Collegiate Championship. This is held in the summer, and it is really for students involved in their school skating club. Not many elite competitive skaters are interested. Ryan Bradley the last three years was a ringer.

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    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    The what games?

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    Didn't Czisny win one year? She competed in something associated with collegiate skating. Anyway, to my mind any competition is a good thing, because it gives skaters a chance to try out their programs. This isn't a cheesefest or the Ice Capades. Besides, it's an international competition; that's always a good opportunity for skaters to broaden their horizons. Moreover, when it's held in countries like Turkey, it's a chance for first-time viewers to see skating live, thus creating new fans. That's never a bad thing!

    Besides...what's a small competition? Remember the long-gone days, five years ago maybe, when the words "South Korean National Championship" had about as much authority to them as "Jamaican bobsled team"?
    Last edited by Olympia; 12-12-2010 at 06:42 PM.

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