ETA: just wanted to add that I find the overall sarcastic tone of your post very inappropriate
ETA: just wanted to add that I find the overall sarcastic tone of your post very inappropriate
Last edited by babayaga; 03-14-2011 at 08:14 PM.
We all deal with personal griefs and extrinsic sad events differently, even as one ages, experiences life, and changes perspectives or philosophies. Many sensitive people actually absorb pains and sufferings of others. For some, such empathy can become overwhelming, even inducing feeling of helplessness, survival guilt, and even paralysis in one's own life. There are feelings each person has to deal with.
There is no denyng the scale of the disaster and human suffering going on in Japan while still facing extremely worrisome uncertainties. However, every single day throughout history is heaven or hell in many individuals' lives. The more closely related to the happy or hellish experiences, the more we are emotionally affected. This most recent catastrophy is the most vivid ever because of great amount of images as there are probably more recording devices in Japan than anywhere else in the world and there are more media to present these images today than ever before. Consequently we see and experience it much more personally then something we don't "see" or even have awareness of, e.g. major and minor wars constantly going on we don't see because we and the media don't care enough or because such information and images are suppressed.
I'm not minimizing the horrific losses and suffering in Japan. Just trying to put things inperspective that 1)there is nothing wrong with people feeling intensely about and empathizing with the victims and the recovery effort; and 2) however horrific these events are, lives do go on just as they have through every disaster of every scale, whether or not they are in our consciousness. However, it is not necessary to project one's own feelings onto others - victims, their families and friends, the population of Japan, as well as skaters for Worlds, Japanese and others. They speak for themselves. We listen and accept their feelings. Sadness, worries, and fears do nothing for the situation. Take appropriate positive actions according to one's means but daily lives cannot and should not be stopped. There are heroic and life saving sacrifices (e.g. many working to contain the radiation may die as a consequence) and there are needless and useless sacrifices. I believe in positive outlets for our energy instead of wasting it on negative feelings contributing nothing.
Yes, I think the Figure Skating World Championships 2011 should take place if at all possible. Almost all skaters, including the Japanese, want it. Most fans, including the Japanese, want it. Much of the world, including the Japanese, could use some distraction, respite, inspiration, and even fun and entertainment. It doesn't get in the way of any necessary effort for the disaster and can be uplifting. Human spirits always thrive and it's always good to see that.
Moreover, the Championships, if they happen, can be a respectful tribute to and even a fund raising event for the recovery effort.
Last edited by Violet Bliss; 03-14-2011 at 09:41 PM.
ESPN interviewed a lot of the US skaters. There are comments from Ross Miner (whose biggest worry was the status of his friend Yuzuru Hanyu and his family) from Ryan Bradley, Igor & Marina, and Meryl Davis, AFAIR>
As I said on another thread, the ISU is the main body to decide to cancel or consider another venue of the World Championship. Of couse, the ISU will get advice from the Japanese Federation as well as other Officials in the ISU.
Reports of Tokyo as being safe could have been and probably were misleading. No one can sue Japan for a natural disaster. but it is possible that the ISU could be sued for not taking care of its members during this time. BTW, as I write this a fourth reactor has just broken down and is leaking radiation. To hold skating venue in a 'safer' part of Japan may not be welcomed by the ISU.
Let the ISU make its decision on where to hold the championship or to cancel the championship all together. Meanwhile, let's hope that the people of Japan rise above this calamity in due course.
According to the following article, the U.S. Figure Skating Association has actually offered the ISU an alternative site in the United States (possibly Los Angeles), but that the ISU has not yet responded. My view is that if the USFSA believe they can pull it off, then go for it:-
Here's my defense of going forward with sporting events despite tragedies (if logistics and safety concerns permit, of course):
Why do we cheer for athletes at competitions? Is it because we're free of challenges and hardship? Is it because the athletes are free of challenges and hardship? No, of course not. Quite the opposite, in fact. We cheer on athletes because we know, even in the best of times, they have many obstacles to overcome to succeed. They have to overcome gravity, their competition, their previous records, the normal limits of the human body to truly shine. And very often, there are much greater challenges and heartache being faced. When Joannie Rochette skated her SP at the Vancouver Olympics so soon after her mother died, the crowd gave its loudest cheers and ovation for her. Was it because the crowd was being callous? No one in their right mind would think that. The crowd was cheering her louder because her hardship was greater, and they were sharing the energy to overcome obstacles with her and each other. I would bet that people cheered louder at every baseball game in NYC after 9/11, and louder at every football game in New Orleans after Katrina. In my opinion the very act of cheering is a recognition that humans face many challenges and hardship, that a great effort has to be made to overcome them, and that effort should be encouraged and rewarded.
Sporting events are also a very specific human endeavor to cheer for: they can be great physical challenges and relentless competition, but they also take place within stringent rules and are enabled by cooperation and considerations of fairness. Athletes are human beings who endeavor to succeed within the bounds of something that is very much man-made and orderly. When we enjoy athletic competitions, we're also admiring the ability of humans to create order and rules unlike anything found in the wilds. And when athletes compete against each other, they do so on a more level ground than almost any other kind of clash. Every day we see humans race nature, time, each other for resources, and rarely does it ever happen with so many rules geared towards fairness. So when we enjoy and cheer on athletic competitions, we're also sharing the value that fairness and equality is desirable. We're cheering on the fact that the human drive to outdo each other, to conquer and to win can be done outside of war and killing, in such a way that ultimately respects everybody involved.
Athletic competitions, when done right, are a celebration of humanity's ability to overcome pain, sadness, nature, disorder and instead show strength, discipline, order and fairness. Sporting events don't ignore or distract from tragedy and hardship, they are one of the ways humanity demonstrates its ability to overcome those obstacles.
Regardless of the World Championships, I certainly hope the situation in Fukushima stabilizes and gets contained and I hope Japanese infrastructure recovers so that people in the affected areas have an easier time. But I do also hope that Japan can recover in time to host the World Championships for all the reasons I listed above, and further because:
It's not just the pride of seeing their own athletes do well and stand proud among the rest of the world, but also the pride of hosting people from around the world, the joy and comfort of showing hospitality and sportsmanship to athletes from other countries. To be needed is as basic a need as any other.
Figure skating is also unique among most sports as being one of the few that requires performance and entertainment (indeed they're part of the score). The Japanese people deserve to be entertained. It's also very much a showcase of art. Not that most sports aren't beautiful in one way or another, but figure skating is one of the few that directly rewards grace and artistic movement. And I think aesthetics is another basic need, that humans need to have some beauty to function. And after so much destruction of it, the event would do the opposite and create new beauty.
So if it would be possible to host the World Championships in Japan, I think they should and the country will benefit from it. While it won't directly help Japan's material problems, I think spiritually, mentally and aesthetically, it would tip the scale in the right direction.
Serious Business, I agree with everything you said.
But as you mentioned, WC should be held in Japan only when the safety issues are resolved. Right now it's not likely to be the case within anytime soon, esp. because of the radiation leak. CNN heavily criticized Japanese government for not being transparent about the situation, which will only make people more concerned and confused. I saw a press conference with electricity company engineers on NHK, and the way they were avoiding direct answers made me (living in midwest US) worried.
Health and safety of skaters and coaches, as well as fans, must be considered the most important. Skaters shouldn't be traveling scared and worried only because they (naturally) want to compete and show their effort.
I think Japan is (sadly) completely out of the question,now..what with the radiation leak, which situation it's feared still could worsen. Other sports federations can't play fast and loose with the safety of their athletes.
If it can take place elsewhere , Japan will still see their athletes as heroes ,and have the boost of seeing them do well on TV. There can't be many countries ( I'd think the US would be one ) that could pull such an event off on short notice, so we should know soon.
It's Tuesday afternoon here and I'm watching on TV and internet the situation in Japan, and reading between the lines...those reactors are nowhere close to being under control. I'm not sure the ISU can get enough clarity within the next few days to make any decision that keeps the W.C. in Tokyo. Theoretically, if a suitable venue was available, it might be possible to hold Worlds at Osaka or points west within Japan which might keep existing sponsors/TV happy, but I suspect there is now a lot of psychological resistance among the non-Japanese participants (incl national federation officials, judges, some skaters etc.) to going anywhere in Japan. In short--I don't see the ISU holding this event in Japan this year.
I think the US is likely a non-starter for emergency hosting due to arduous visa requirements...and unfortunately the US State Dept consular employees out in the field are unlikely to make special expedited dispensation for affected athletes/coaches/officials. They theoretically could, but in practice, they won't. Based on what other posters have said, Canada is not likely to want to be an emergency host. I think Korea could physically pull off an emergency hosting, and I'm sure China (Beijing) could also, as long as the will and the support is there from the government and from the top of the relevant sports authorities. I think there would be plenty of fans in the seats in either country--though that probably ought to be the least of the ISU's worries right now. I don't see security being too much of an issue in either of these countries, and knowing China, they could have several hundred volunteers ready to rock and roll in a week. I don't know about hotel space in the Korean cities, but Beijing has a ton of available rooms within reasonable distance of the likely venue. I'm not aware of much of anything going on at that (18,000 seat) venue until May 1. South Korea has a large number of visa-free entrants allowed and deals with visas where needed decently. China requires visas but can process them very fast and mostly painlessly. I don't know enough about the European options to have an opinion.
I guess I'm leaning towards the school of thought that says the ISU should try to hold the WCs somewhere if humanly possible, even if it is a stripped-down version focused only on the most critical elements necessary for competition, and jettison the frills. I'm also taking some cues from quotes by the Japanese contingent of skaters, who (except for Murakami) seem to be OK with the event going forward.
Last edited by bigsisjiejie; 03-15-2011 at 02:24 AM.
higher radiation already measured in the tokyo area.
I really feel for Japan and its people and after the Earthquake and the following Tsunami they have to contend with their nuclear plant and its problems.
1) I really feel the ISU should move the venue, I am very surprised a federation has not stepped in for them to host the event, surely it is feasible if they can hold the Worlds say end of April, that gives them enough time, that way it gives skaters time to prepare.
2) If not then I feel (although I am for a Worlds this year) that is is just fair to cancel the whole thing and give time for the skaters to have a break and prepare for next season. I don't want this but it seems THERE IS NO WAY for JAPAN to hold the championships and feasibly yes not enough time for another venue to hold the championships.
3) Its a time for the world to unite and get Japan through this. I am so annoyed with those middle eastern countries still fighting with all this going on, they have NO RESPECT.
From the gist of the threads, it doesn't seem we have any compassion for the Japanese Government and its People? It seems the only concern at this time, is what is going to happen to the 2011 World Championship competition.
There are no new Reports from Lauserne today so far. If anyone knows of any decisions of the ISU, please announce them soon. It still remains the decision of the ISU to cancel the Championship or to organize a new venue very quickly or even later this year. They should do it soon, and that will become official. Hopefully, we do not get pages and pages of 'it should have been held in whatever city'.
Personally, I think it should be cancelled.