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Thread: Should Flatt have skated at the World Championships on an injury?

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    It's not clear to me that Rachael violated any rules. If she didn't, then that is probably what the USFS will say.
    Rachel didn't violate any rules.

    But then again, her coach/team probably didn't, either. (Doesn't mean it was the right thing to do, of course.) The real issue, to me anyway, is whether "rules" should be put in place to prevent or minimize the possibility of this happening again in the future. That issue can be debated on the forums for practically the entire off-season period

  2. #152
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Rachel didn't violate any rules.

    But then again, her coach/team probably didn't, either. (Doesn't mean it was the right thing to do, of course.) The real issue, to me anyway, is whether "rules" should be put in place to prevent or minimize the possibility of this happening again in the future. That issue can be debated on the forums for practically the entire off-season period
    I meant Team Rachael.

    I'm thinking that since figure skating isn't really a team sport there probably aren't any rules like that.

    Sorry, but it just isn't a team sport.

    Even in other individual sports like swimming and track there are things like the relay but not in figure skating. (I guess there are certain events like the world team trophy but I'm talking worlds, Olympics, etc). Even gymnastics has a team medal that is hugely important. Figure skaters simply go to compete against each other no matter what country they're from. A victory for Michelle Kwan was not in any way shape or form a victory for Sasha Cohen, or vice versa. It's not like a soccer player who has a bad game personally but the team wins anyway.

    In a sport set up in this way I imagine that skaters are injured they always think of themselves and what they themselves can do and attempt. I can't blame them. I suppose sometimes the "team" factor comes in like when spots are on the line but I doubt elite competitive skaters are generally programmed to think as a team.

    Fans might be different. It's nice to see a skater from your own country make the podium. Although personally, if I truly dislike a skater's style I can't say I root for them just for being American. Other fans might be different, and that's fine.

    Another aspect is whether it was wise of Tom Z to advise Rachael to skate regardless of the third spot. It is the second time this season that she skated injured and bombed, damaging her reputation in a sport in which reputation is so key. That's sort of a different issue from the third spot. apart from whether it was good or bad for "team USA" was it good for Rachael herself? I'm not taking a stance since there is absolutely no way to for me to know at this point what went on inside Team Rachael.

  3. #153
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    ^ Layfan, are you forgetting the team trophy competitions and the new Olympic team event in FS? ETA: OK, I see you mention them but don't take them seriously. Why not? And do you see no national (v. individual) dimension to the Olympics? What about the national medal counts that you find on any media pages covering the Olys?

    Also, I don't know if sports like swimming and tennis have mandatory "champs camps," heavy-handed federations, and issues like the 3 slots of skating where the individual athlete is competing not only for herself but her country's chances at a medal.

    I hear you guys who see FS as purely an individual sport but to me that view doesn't take account of all the facts. Here again (as in the old sport v. art debate) I see it as both/and.

  4. #154
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    ^ Layfan, are you forgetting the team trophy competitions and the new Olympic team event in FS? ETA: OK, I see you mention them but don't take them seriously. Why not? And do you see no national (v. individual) dimension to the Olympics? What about the national medal counts that you find on any media pages covering the Olys?

    Also, I don't know if sports like swimming and tennis have mandatory "champs camps," heavy-handed federations, and issues like the 3 slots of skating where the individual athlete is competing not only for herself but her country's chances at a medal.

    I hear you guys who see FS as purely an individual sport but to me that view doesn't take account of all the facts. Here again (as in the old sport v. art debate) I see it as both/and.

    I guess had forgotten about the possibility of the team event at the Olympics, which if it works could be really great. It certainly is in gymnastics and I think would bring more fans to the sport at least in Olympic years. For a skater to potentially walk away with an Olympic team medal - even if no individual medal - would certainly help build the team mentality. But that is not something that exists yet.

    I do think of the world team trophy as a lesser event than the Olympics or world championships. It certainly doesn't seem to me that the skaters stress out nearly as much about it and it seems like it's more a fun event than a career maker or breaker. Perhaps it will gain importance as the years go by.

    My more general point is that I find it hard to imagine that skaters are brought up to think of themselves as part of a team sport. For now, it's about the most individualistic sport I can think of.
    You are right that there are some team aspects like contributing to the country medal count at the Olympics ... I can't completely dismiss the team aspect ... but I just can't help but think of it as mostly a non-team sport.

  5. #155
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    Yeah, I know what you mean about "most individualistic sport," I've described it that way to friends before. And yet...

    I'm wondering if perhaps in the Michelle-Sasha era, which seemed so intensely individual-oriented, it was because this issue never came up. I haven't examined the history but from their respective records it would seem that both always did their part to assure the 3rd spot and it was never iffy or non-existent the way it is now. They wouldn't have needed to think about the team because they took care of the team without thinking about it. Just a guess.

    About skaters not being brought up to think of the team - I suspect that's an American perspective and doubt it would be seen that way in S. Korea, Japan, China, or Russia.

  6. #156
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    Yeah, I know what you mean about "most individualistic sport," I've described it that way to friends before. And yet...

    I'm wondering if perhaps in the Michelle-Sasha era, which seemed so intensely individual-oriented, it was because this issue never came up. I haven't examined the history but from their respective records it would seem that both always did their part to assure the 3rd spot and it was never iffy or non-existent the way it is now. They wouldn't have needed to think about the team because they took care of the team without thinking about it. Just a guess.

    About skaters not being brought up to think of the team - I suspect that's an American perspective and doubt it would be seen that way in S. Korea, Japan, China, or Russia.
    You could be right about the different emphasis depending the country, I dunno. In America, the third spot was an issue for the ladies during the Nancy-Tonya era but erm, team spirit didn't exactly prevail.

  7. #157
    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    You got me there.

  8. #158
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    This really needs to be pointed out: Winning that third spot isn't just for the team, it's for yourself, too. If Rachael wins bronze at next year's US Championships, and the team selection rules remain unchanged, she'd lose out on the chance to go to worlds because her suboptimal results at this worlds didn't get that last spot. And this has come up before. In 2006, Johnny Weir helped secure 3 spots for the US mens by coming in at 7th (which together with Lysacek's 3rd place got the US 3 spots in mens). In 2007, Weir came in third at the US championships and got to go to worlds, partly thanks to himself! Or in another case, if Mirai had finished third or higher at 2010 Worlds, the US would have 3 spots and she'd have been in Moscow.

    Rachael is a smart person by all accounts. She knows that the US having 3 spots sets up a much wider target for her to hit if she wants to go to worlds again. For all the people who thinks Rachael threw this competition or didn't take its results seriously enough, this is yet another reason they're wrong. Even if we are to assume Rachael is a purely selfish person with no regard for what chances her fellow US skaters have (which I find very unlikely), there is still great incentive for her to ensure that the US gets 3 spots at this worlds. If Rachael was truly injured to the point where she was unable to skate and she knew it, she had very good reason to relinquish her spot and let the alternate go!

  9. #159
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    What if Rachel knew this was her last Worlds, before fully concentrating on school? Then whatever happens next year would have nothing to do with her. So might as well give it one last shot at competition.

    Or maybe her team believed she was in good enough condition going into the competition. However after the short program something had changed, the condition became really strained to skate with, or the injury had been aggravated. At which point withdrawing would mean no chance at 3 spots, so she had to stuck it out.
    Last edited by bibi24; 05-04-2011 at 01:25 AM.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    I hope that Rachael, little more than the pet of Natls judges retires.

    It is sad she will be remembered as a selfish and inconsiderate skater who put herself ahead of our federation.
    No, this is not how she will be remembered by most. Maybe only bitter, prejudiced fans will remember her like that, but these are very few, I believe.
    If she retires, most fans will remember her as a very hard working, determined competitor, who sadly probably did not live up to her potential. I will definitely remember her outstanding skates when she was a junior and how promising she looked out there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Symmetry View Post
    This is a clear example of double-standard. Sure, Rachael is no Michelle, but this girl also deserves to have a fair opportunity that she earned from the National. There is nothing wrong with Rachael aiming to have a mini Yu-Na moment at Worlds. Too bad it didn't work out as she hoped for.
    Exactly! People here are fed up with comparisons Rachael vs injured Yuna, Yagudin, etc. But why are these medalists justified for competing when injured, and Rachael is not? Just because they succeeded? What if they did not? Would they be justified too? Probably, if those lukewarm Rachael posters happened to liked that particular skater. Racheal thought she had a shot for a good performance, just like injured Yuna, Yagudin, Kwan etc (who by the way were not granted these medals at all, just because of who they are).

    In general I am a bit frustrated that US did not get 3 spots - just because the up coming off-season and next season will be full of threads: 'if only we had 3 spots' 'we had chance for 3 spots and Racheal blew it'. 'Who can secure 3 spots this year'. 'X and Y should be going to Worlds, Z stands no chance and does not deserve that'. 'Skater X or Y was robbed at Nationals, why the hell is Z assigned to go to Worlds'. It would be so much less of this if US had these darn 3 spots. Otherwise half threads on GS forum will be about trashing and bashing. I can see that coming.

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinga View Post
    No, this is not how she will be remembered by most. Maybe only bitter, prejudiced fans will remember her like that, but these are very few, I believe.
    If she retires, most fans will remember her as a very hard working, determined competitor, who sadly probably did not live up to her potential. I will definitely remember her outstanding skates when she was a junior and how promising she looked out there.


    In general I am a bit frustrated that US did not get 3 spots - just because the up coming off-season and next season will be full of threads: 'if only we had 3 spots' 'we had chance for 3 spots and Racheal blew it'. 'Who can secure 3 spots this year'. 'X and Y should be going to Worlds, Z stands no chance and does not deserve that'. 'Skater X or Y was robbed at Nationals, why the hell is Z assigned to go to Worlds'. It would be so much less of this if US had these darn 3 spots. Otherwise half threads on GS forum will be about trashing and bashing. I can see that coming.
    Tell you what, your post is more than fair and my words were too strong.

    I don't think Rachael will retire but if she did I would rememeber her as you described her which is a far better assessment than what I wrote yesterday.

    I am glad US Skating is looking into this. I hope in the future a US coach will HAVE TO INFORM the federation if one of his skaters comes down with a serious injury.
    And I hope US Skating will make the call. Afterall, that is why there is an alternate.

    I seriously doubt that Rachael would have been sent to Worlds if US Skating was told the truth which is that Rachael had a stress fracture in her leg.

    At the very LEAST Tom Z should have informed Frank that there was a chance and that Mirai should be ready just in case.

    Rachael is just a kid and a noted strong competitor. She did her best and I don't fault her for that.

    I don't mind the three spots and there is NO guarantee Mirai or anyone else would have skated well enough to get them.

    But I do mind NOT giving it our best shot. A skater with a broken leg had no chance.
    There was a viable alternative and it feels wrong that it wasn't even considered.

    It feels wrong that the alternate wasn't even given the coutesy to be ready just in case.

    Tom Z has to be held accountable for this particularly since it isn't the first time.
    I hope he doesn't try and pull something like this again.

    As Rachael said after the LP, "this was no fun at all and I was in alot of pain."

    Sorry, but I think there was a better way.

  12. #162
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    Skating fans must be the biggest drama queens of universe, in Greece to express this we say we take a hair and try to split it (i think in english they say sth like this also?)

    i thought it was gymnastics fans the biggest drama fans, seeing shadows, conspirancies and ghosts everywhere, but I changed my mind quickly.

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by bibi24 View Post
    What if Rachel knew this was her last Worlds, before fully concentrating on school? Then whatever happens next year would have nothing to do with her. So might as well give it one last shot at competition.
    If she was injured beyond the ability to compete and knew it (which is what people are accusing her of, but again, she clearly could compete), why would she choose that to be her last competition? Unless she enjoys enduring horrible pain while knowing the results would be a horrible letdown, all for her last competition! If she had planned to retire, she already has quitting on the mind and a debilitating injury would be ample reason for her to speed up retirement and let someone else take the spot. This has happened time and again in skating, where a skater/team already planned to retire, but an injury spurred them to relinquish the spot on their last competition (think of the Kerrs from this recent season).

  14. #164
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    I read a few posts that said Hersh is against Rachael but here is a pretty nice article he wrote about her just before Worlds.

    From the article it does not sound like Rachael will be retiring, atleast not next season.

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...pionships.html

    Some interesting comments from Debi Thomas and Paul Wylie about balancing skating with school.
    Last edited by janetfan; 05-04-2011 at 10:12 AM.

  15. #165
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    I was inexcusable what Rachael and Tom Z did. Rachael skated injured earlier in the season at the GP final and bombed. What made them think this was going to be any different?

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