Actually, I think she DID reach her potential...many times. Quite frankly, she was unfortunate to come up in a time where there were several skaters at the top that were more talented than her. Perhaps in another era she would have gotten at least 1 or 2 world medals.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.
Agreed. That's really what it is all about. Last year I didn't really have any issues because Nagasu/Flatt WAS the best team we had. It's unfortunate that Nagasu tanked like she did, but Wagner (or Cohen, or any of the other alternates) wouldn't have done any better.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.
2009- I won't rehash that again, but I don't think it was our strongest team possible at the time.
This year, I think Czisny and HEALTHY Flatt had a good shot at 3 spots, so no issues with the actual team at 100%. No guarantee Nagasu would have done better, especially given her showing last year.
But when Flatt was injured, she was no longer our best shot. That's the underlying issue here that I hope USFS looks into
For those attempting to compare Rachel's attempt to compete at Worlds w/other more well known instances, allow me to *try* and bring a few facts into this...
1. A Toe stress fracture and a Fibula stress fracture are two very different things. The bone in Rachel's where the stress fracture is, is one of the most important ones in the Human Body. It's also the one that takes the most weight bearing stress. Knowing what Skaters put their bodies through, factor in that stress to the bone by a factor of 100.
2. I clearly remember w/Evan and w/Ryan last year that while the injury had been disclosed, they'd also disclosed that they had Medical Clearance to compete because it would not do further damage to the original injury. For those who think Rachel skating on a stress fracture to the fibula/major leg bone was a good thing, I'm just shaking my head over.
3. We and Rachel are incredably lucky that all that happened last week were those poor skates. Not only was this stress fracture in one of the worst bones a skater could ask for, it was also a stress fracture to the major leg bone in her Take off leg for Toe Jumps and Landing leg for all jumps. I don't know about the rest of you, but the idea of watching someone suddenly crumple to the ice screaming because her leg had snapped, is *not* on my list of things I most want to see. Ever.
4. I have to laugh at those calling Frank a bully. God forbid anyone is told the truth these days. I was glad he gave it to Mirai w/both barrels at Nationals. She needed a wake up call. Not someone sugarcoating what had happened and, in turn, inflating her ego. Frank's tough and no nonsense, but he also tends to bring out the best in his skaters in part because of that. It doesn't mean he's not caring. I don't blame him for calling out Tom Z and so he should!! I actually think Frank's ticked for two reasons.
The first not informing anyone who needed to know that Rachel's injury was *that* serious and that Mirai might have to head to Moscow. We all get that one. However, I also think part of it is Frank's disgust of a "fellow Coach's" treatment and total disregard for the Health and Well Being of one of their Students. As I've said above, this is a far more serious injury than any of the other instances mentioned in the past and the worst truly could have happened last week in Moscow. That goes against everything the Coaching Ranks are supposed to be and if my instincts are right on that one, I also don't blame Frank for saying what he did and glad someone did.
And on that note...I'm outta here.
Let's go back to Frank's remarks again:
He spends most of the conversation basically saying how Mirai would've gotten three spots. It's only at the end that he calls out Tom Z. And briefly.I asked Carroll Monday by telephone if Nagasu would have been ready to skate had she been told she was going April 22 -- the day Flatt said learned she had a stress fracture in the right leg. That was three days before Flatt left for Moscow and a week before the women's event began at worlds.
``Of course,'' Carroll said. ``Mirai is in great shape - better than she has been her whole life. She took the responsibility of being ready as the alternate very seriously.
``This cost us three spots.''
``She blew those other American girls (Flatt and Czisny) out of the water at Four Continents,'' he said.
``She has moved on from that,'' he said. ``She was doing triple axels and triple lutz - triple loop in practice. She was ready to go.''
Carroll, who coached Evan Lysacek to the 2010 Olympic title and Michelle Kwan to four of her five world titles, said he intended to ask U.S. Figure Skating for explanations about the situation. What upset him most was not getting a heads-up that Flatt's condition might mean Nagasu would go to Moscow.
``When Michelle was hurt before the (2006 Turin) Olympics, they called Emily Hughes and told her that Michelle was going to try but Emily should be ready to leave,'' Carroll said.
Nine days before the women's competition began, Kwan withdrew after one practice in Turin. Hughes, who flew in from the United States four days before the short program, wound up a more-than-respectable 7th.
Again, he could've have simply said. "Yes Mirai would have been ready for Worlds, she's done well at practices and has been doing triple-triple combination. I wish Tom would have been more prompt about Rachel's injury."
No, instead he obviously pontificated to Mr. Hirsch way more than he needed to.
That said, I respect Frank as a coach -- clearly he's a good coach otherwise he wouldn't have the awesome track record -- but that does not mean he has the right to be a jerk.
Last edited by Mrs. P; 05-05-2011 at 12:14 AM.
1) I think Rachael/Team Flatt should have told Mirai and Frank to be ready, just in case. This has nothing to do with "individual vs. team mentality" - it's just being responsible.
2) If Rachael Flatt still had reason to believe she could do decently (and I'm assuming that she did) - it's her right to claim her spot at Worlds since she earned it at Nationals, even if injured. I much prefer Mirai too, but it'd be wrong to simply boot her off because she's not in top form. Obviously there has to be a line (if Rachael couldn't skate or jump at all, then she should not skate) but it looked like she was still able to land some jumps. Maybe Rachael did better at practices than what we actually saw.
I'm wondering if we're going to hear anything else about this matter? Whether they do something or not, the USFSA look like a bunch of suckers.
If they admit that Rachael skated injured without informing them then that means they dropped the ball. People often frown at some of the micromanaging that goes on with other country's federations, but if the USFSA were on their job, they should have known that Rachael had a serious injury. They say she found out about it a week prior to the competition but that she'd been having problems even before then (not to mention the fact she's been chronically injured all season long). Whether or not their knowledge of that would have yielded a different result (ie. pulling Rachael and sending Mirai, or just having Mirai on standby or in Moscow just in case), the point is they should have known. So if they admit they had no idea she was injured, it looks bad for them.
OTOH, if they don't do anything about the situation, either (1) they knew she was seriously injured and gave her the okay to skate anyway (which, in hindsight, was a big, irresponsible mistake) or (2) they just don't care which, IMO, is way worse. People wonder why the US hasn't had a lady on the world podium in 5 years...the federation can shoulder some of the blame here.
This year, I agreed with the team they sent, though I thought Mirai had a strong case for that second slot as well. Both she and Rachael were sub par at nationals, but Rachael got the nod again. Still, Rachael aka Old Faithful plus a rejuvenated Alissa seemed like an almost sure bet. To see Alissa 5th and Rachael 12th was really a shock, and then she dropped the stress fracture bomb afterwards, everyone's wondering what the USFSA has to say about this.
If the federation doesn't care about the skaters (either by not monitoring (ignoring) them prior to worlds or sending them to compete with a debilitating injury), it's no wonder the US ladies are in such crappy shape...:sheesh:
Evan Lysacek skated with chronic injuries for much of his career... had the USFSA pulled him out of competitions we'd have been in the same - if not worse - shape the men are in now for nearly the last decade. You can't judge everything based on this one decision.
About blaming USFS in part for the predicament- maybe. I know in 2009 we did not send our best ladies team to worlds, and that was due in part to a controversial decision at Nationals. So I can agree there. However, in 2010 we DID send our strongest team. Nagasu was even in position to WIN Worlds but completely blew it in the long, as we all know. USFS is in the clear here. This year? Flatt/Czisny was a strong team, at least in theory. Some argue that Czisny/Nagasu would have been our best bet, and I suppose I can see that side of the argument, but Nagasu is her own worst enemy right now. Then we hear that Flatt was injured. Should USFS have known about it? Absolutely. But- is it the USFS' fault for not monitoring her more closely, or team Flatt's fault for failing to notify USFS on the situation?
2010 was unfortunate but not unexpected. Mirai was coming off of her very first major senior international competition (the Olympics) and found herself in 1st place ahead of both the Olympic gold and silver medalists. She freaked out. Being it was her first trip to worlds and only her second major competition, I was disappointed but not surprised by what happened. That was a lot to take in and she folded.
This year, I still say Czisny/Flatt was a good choice. However knowing that even at her worst, Mirai is still better than Rachael did leave me a bit skeptical as to whether we were sending our strongest team or just a strong team. Even with her implosion at worlds last year, Mirai still scored 175.48, which would have placed her 6th behind Alissa this year. :sheesh:
Blame in this situation goes to both sides: the USFSA should have known about Rachael's stress fracture and Team Flatt should have notified them. My guess is that had Team Flatt reported the injury, given the serious nature of the injury, the USFSA probably would have requested that she sit out and sent Mirai in. Mirai has a better international appeal and, most importantly, she was injury free and coming off of a record high at 4CC. She was ready. But being that this is possibly Rachael's last time going to worlds, they decided to take a shot in the dark. I'm thinking that may have been overconfidence on Team Flatt's part, either in her ability to skate through the pain or the leeway they'd get from the judges for skating less than great.
Some skaters can fall, pop jumps and still score decently...but they should have known that the international judges are very iffy when it comes to Rachael. Anytime they can help it, they don't put her in first. Case in point: both of her GP assignments this year. At NHK, Carolina, with all of those mistakes and that junior level jump layout, beat her out for gold. Skate America: she loses to a newby, Kanako Murakami, at a "home" event, by 2 points. Being that she's a national champ, Olympian and veteran senior, you'd think the judges would have spotted her those 2 points in PCS or GOEs...nope.
Either way, the USFSA should have known or been notified. Both sides are to blame...but something needs to be done.