There is also the image that the sport puts out to the world at large. They don't want another Tara or Oksana - kids who win it all before they're old enough to drive and then disappear because of injuries or burn out. It gives the sport a bad image. I remember people saying "That's not a WOMAN! She's a child" and many others who said they would never put their child in figure skating because they put too much pressure on children. Then there's the issue of hormones to supress puberty, eating disorders, and injuries which meant that by age 20, Tara couldn't run and had to walk her leg of the Olympic torch relay. All reflect very badly on the sport and make it appear that skating eats young girls and spits them out at the end with a poor education and no marketable skills, if they haven't become a champion (see Nicole Bobek).
Last edited by Dragonlady; 11-23-2011 at 01:09 PM.
The saddest part is that you see the Parents from Mars in all areas... My son plays soccer and those parents are crazy... screaming at coaches, their kids, the refs, other people's kids... its simply insane. I had a mom stop speaking to me because my son "stole their spot" at center mid. I had another mom yell at me because her kid fouled my kid. I doubt, however, she will make that mistake again... I have no patience. And the football, basketball, and baseball parents are even worse.
I don't have problem with the age limitations because I understand the spirit in which they've been designed. Sometimes you have to protect folks from themselves but at the same time, abusive, crazy parents are going to behave that way regardless of the level their child is competing at... and sometimes when that child is technically old enough to fend for themselves, the adults around them give bad advice for selfish reasons... just look at Rachel Flatt at worlds.
Oksana may have been only 16 but she skated as someone much older. She was mature as a skater at 15. Tara on the other hand did still look like a child even when she won the OGM. I don't think you can compare the two quite frankly.