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Thread: New Team Event, Synchronized Skating, and the Olympics - Is this fair?

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Question New Team Event, Synchronized Skating, and the Olympics - Is this fair?

    At the world championships press conference, ISU president Ottavio Cinquanta provided some details for the new team event that will be added in Sochi. He said, "This is something very new, it means there will be five figure skating gold medals, instead of four."

    While this is very exciting, where does this leave synchronized skating, which has not always been respected but has evolved with the new system, requiring high levels of technical difficulty while maintaining the precision at the core of this discipline. Synchronized skating has been pushing the envelope with increasingly competitive world championships in recent years. Further, it allows phenomenal skaters who have difficulty jumping or for whatever reason cannot find an ice dance partner to continue skating at a highly competitive level. And don't forget the teamwork component.

    While I understand what Cinquanta said with there being more complications because of the sheer increase in numbers of competitors, do you think it was fair that this new team event was awarded Olympic status while synchro is left behind? Should the ISU be pushing the IOC harder to make synchronized skating a sport? In my opinion, this is an entire figure skating discipline being left out with little recognition and support, both of which it has earned in recent years.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Rinkside
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    I'm with you!!!

    But sadly I don't think we are close to seeing synchro at olympics

    We came down to 16 for that reason but this lovely sport isn t popular enough out of the skating world... and even the skating world doesn't really appreciate it as it should i feel!
    it is a different discipline but was always seen as the "garage route" for not so good skaters!

    Robyn Solkovy skated synchro before he teamed up with Aljona!!!!
    that should be enough

  3. #3
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Still, I think the argument about how many skaters are involved is not to be dismissed. If there are, say, fifteen countries that want to send synchro tyeams, and each hteam has 20 members or so, that is a lot of extra organizational work.

    Plus, only one team can be on the practice ice at the same time, so that is a logistical problem, too.

    But then again, I do not see anything different that the team event will bring to the Olympics. It is still just some individual performances, then you pool the points at the end.

    I wonder if it would be possible to have an elite synchro sport with fewer skaters on a team, like eight. Or would that defeat the whole purpose of synchro?

  4. #4
    leave no stone unturned seniorita's Avatar
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    ^I dont know if they could be only eight, but arent they spectacular when they skate? I love synchro teams, it would be a fresh participation in OLys. The team event I find not an excitement about it, it would be like Japan Open.

  5. #5
    Rinkside
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    Eight skaters would be too little to successfully complete many of the wheels, lifts, intersections, and blocks that synchro now demands. I really believe 16 is a good number. It allows for 4 groups of 4, two groups of 8, etc. It is an even number that allows for beautiful lines that, well, line-up perfectly.

    Maybe the number of teams could be limited using regular season international events as qualifiers. I guess what I don't understand is why they can't just make Olympic villages a little bit bigger. And the rinks aren't used for the duration of the games so why not give synchro competition/practice ice that will not interfere with the four other events? Even at nationals, synchro teams get very little practice time, so scarce practice time is nothing new for many of them, and yet they still perform beautifully. Besides, there must be nearby practice rinks at most Olympic venues... Synchro doesn't need to be primetime, but a little Olympic exposure could do a world of good for this discipline.

    I had no idea Robyn is a former synchro skater! Good for him! That does say a lot.

  6. #6
    From what I have heard the reason is also that there are too few countries competing for the medals. But I don't know if this is really a good argument. Fine, Finland is dominating, but Sweden, Canada, United States have always been there, and we cannot exclude Russia.

    If synchro were allowed as part of the Olympics, I think there should be qualifiers, like top 10 from last years worlds or something like that. I do believe synchro is much more deserving than this new team event.

  7. #7
    I know it would be extra organizational work, but I think they should incorporate the team competition into all major ISU championships (Europeans, 4CC, Worlds) from now on. The only way it will work is if skaters practice the format and get used to working with their home rivals as a team, otherwise there will be no team spirit. Gymnastics has this format down pat. The Olympics open with the team event and they are taught by their coaches and coordinators that the team event is the most important and that their individual performances are secondary.

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