Dornbush is boring, Armin is exciting, thats my criteria.
If USFS really believed their new published criteria, Rachael would be skating at 4CC's and not Caroline. (Plus they have a 45 foot mural of Rachael in Colorado Springs already.) Clearly their policy is just a "We get to send to 4CC's who & what we want to send, who cares about how they skated at Nationals" snub at Armin, and all who skated better than Ricky. Not to mention Rachael Flatt, if they really are going by multi-year criteria.
And Rach was 6th and not 13th, the 5th place skater is going to Jr Worlds, so it's down to Caroline & Rachael for first alternate (and then Alissa replacement).
Not that I wanted Caroline yanked-her come-back and story are truly inspirational, but just doing a smell test on USFS's policies.
Both of Rachael's programs at Nationals were skated quite well, and she has only had her jumps back for two weeks, having had a difficult recovery from the fractured leg and a problem with boots that only was fixed over Christmas. The only things she missed were popping a double axel to a single in the short, and doubling a triple in the long. Pretty good!
Like Dornbush, she had a bad GP season.
She was 4th at 4CC's last year ahead of Alissa, 2nd at US Nationals (like Dornbush), However, skating on a broken leg at last year's worlds, she still finished 12th (In The World) (one spot higher than Dornbush managed at Nationals). Granted, the USFS punished her for not alerting them to her leg problem, but she paid her fine already. If Czisny had won instead of finishing 5th, Rachael's finish would still have been enough to get 3 spots back. As it was, the 2 skaters at Worlds this year will not have to qualify.
Dornbush's highly touted (by USFS) finish was 9th, not a lot better than Rach, and only 2 spots better than Ross Miner's finish.
So no, it doesn't pass the smell test. They just like Ricky & Caroline and don't like Rachael & Armin.
Which leaves the decision open to conspiracy theories about what their likes and dislikes are based on.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-05-2012 at 08:49 AM.
Good morning, I am so excited about this forum! I love figure skating and have no one to talk about it.
I can totally understand why some feel that not sending Armin to FCC seems fishy. However, I feel, that Ricky has an untapped amount of potential. He has the complete package (minus the quad). Armin has a very unique quality, a magic about him better exposed during his FS last year. But, Ricky has the complete package and a great look on the ice. He is refreshing, young, cool, different, spunky and "tougher" then say Armin, Jeremy or Adam. This "toughness" makes him stand out and this definitely helps him.
Ultimately, I believe that the USFSA has the responsibility to choose the best representatives above all. Ricky, at this point, despite his poor SP is still a great rep. and someone that we could start getting our hopes up in the nearby future.
Rachael, in all honesty, is just my least favorite American girl on the scene. She belongs in a lab at her university, her brain should be put to great use there. She has the work ethic, time-management skills and sheer academic intelligence to become a great engineer. I look her as someone that works hard not as someone that has the star quality and grace of a figure skating siren. She does nothing for me and as far as I am concerned will never be the girl we dream about being on top of international podiums.
Welcome to Golden Skate, sweetskates1. Thanks for joining us. Post often, post long!
Rachael's LP was the crowd favorite at Nationals. So she certainly did something for somebody. And I like her. So does Flattfan
But all our liking should be no reason to send or not send her to any competitions. It should be done, IMO, based on scores. At Nationals. At Nationals, Caroline beat her, so Caroline is going to 4CC's, now that Alissa is not.
Say I disliked Alissa Czisny's skating, because of her jump inconsistency. Say I was on the committee (which I'm not). Should my likes or dislikes matter one bit who goes or doesn't go to 4CC's? I certainly don't think so! If I were on that committee, I'd send Ashley (because winning really matters), and then Caroline & Rachael, because they are the skaters I really want to see again, especially because both have overcome adversity to skate well, qualities I value.
But that's not who should go. It should be Ashley, Alissa & Agnes (triple A there). They should each be asked whether they want to go. If any decline, the vacancies should be filled by Caroline, Christina, and Rachael. I would give some leeway because Christina is going to Jr. Worlds, and give Rachael the spot. Maybe. Maybe give Christina the straight up choice: jr worlds or 4CCs? That's as far as I would go with tampering with spots that weren't earned at Nationals.
What I wouldn't do is not ask Alissa whether she wants to go, and then send Caroline instead.
Last year, I would not have sent Jeremy, Armin, and Adam, never asking Ricky & Ross & Ryan (three R's-we seem to be into alliteration in the US).
The same is true for Ricky, who was only 5th in the LP, BTW. He's cute and all that, but frankly, he's always had a bit of trouble in the SP, including at last year's nationals, and he was even rather scratchy on all his SP landings at Worlds. Recovering from a disastrous short is considerably harder at 4CCs and Worlds, just because you are so buried in the standings, and have to skate in lower groups. I see no reason to favor him more than Johnny Weir in 2009(who was not sent to 4CC, after finishing 5th at US Nationals where he had weak skates (7th in the SP and 5th in the LP) due to his recovery from an illness). Johnny was the reigning World bronze medallist, and a 3 time past US Champion at the time.
I think that Ricky has yet to prove he is the future of US men's skating.
Thanks so much Mathman!
Also I do think it's too bad that figure skating hasn't embraced it gay skaters and fans more openly - certainly they're a big part of skating. I would love skaters to be able to be 'out' while skating as an eligible skater. To have the tv show their same sex partner cheering rinkside, mentioned in a fluff piece or shouted out to by a skater in the K&C. In the same way that I think it should be celebrated that Armin has an Iranian heritage - that's cool. Acknowledging and celebrating diversity, creating a sport where all feel welcome, can only be good for the sport in the long run and bring in more fans and skaters. Of course it goes with out saying that someone's ethnicity, creed, or sexual orientation should have no impact on how they are judged - only their skating
Have a competition. Let everyone come who qualifies. Winner wins, whether it is last year's World Champion or Joe Doakes from Cedar Rapids that no one has ever heard of before. Joe goes to Worlds. Go Joe!
In this case, Rachael's other performances in the past aren't enough to leapfrog her ahead of Caroline and nationals placements. They were enough, in the eyes of the USFSA, to leapfrog her in front of Christina Gao.
Whereas with Richard and Armin, USFSA felt Richard's other accomplishments were enough, and the list is quite respectable.
I just don't understand why you're comparing placements in the ladies to placements in the men's, and why you're comparing a placement at 2011 Worlds in the ladies to a man's placement at 2012 Nationals. The fields are not the same, the competitions are not the same...it's worse logic than others using Gracie Gold's performances at Junior Nationals to say she should go to 4CCs or Worlds.She was 4th at 4CC's last year ahead of Alissa, 2nd at US Nationals (like Dornbush), However, skating on a broken leg at last year's worlds, she still finished 12th (In The World) (one spot higher than Dornbush managed at Nationals).
"Not a lot better than Rach"? Again, see above. "only 2 spots better"? Yeah, like a gold is only two spots better than a bronze. Richard's debut in the top 10 at Worlds was quite respectable considering it was his senior debut. He was the top US man. That season, he had an excellent season on the junior grand prix, winning the JGPF, but he hadn't competed on the senior level. All in all, it was quite good.Dornbush's highly touted (by USFS) finish was 9th, not a lot better than Rach, and only 2 spots better than Ross Miner's finish.
If they didn't like Rachael at all, they wouldn't have given her first alternate for 4CCs over Christina Gao (going to junior worlds again is a lose-lose situation for her, btw).So no, it doesn't pass the smell test. They just like Ricky & Caroline and don't like Rachael & Armin.
And if they didn't like Armin, why have they invited him to Skate America two years in a row? Skating on home ice is a privilege and Armin has benefited (he only got one GP slot in 2010). Jeremy Abbott has never been invited to Skate America. And, by the way, Armin got to go to 4CCs last year at the expense of Ryan Bradley, Richard Dornbush, and Ross Miner. I don't recall that he ever said, "Hey, guys? Did the USFSA ask you if you wanted to go? If they didn't, I'll totally give up my spot to you."
Armin benefited at Richard's expense last year (or Ross Miner's). This year, Richard benefited at Armin's expense (and a few other skaters). Though I understand why some think Armin should've gone, I can't say this decision was entirely unfair when Armin was able to benefit from the USFSA not going by nationals placements last year.
The selection of the team and alternates for 4CCs is obviously more open-ended, a bit like how they distribute JGP slots, which is hotly debated season after season (go strictly by nationals placements? how about club competitions? how the skater does at their first JGP? etc.). I don't agree with all that they're doing, but I also don't think it's just a matter of "we like these skaters, we don't like others."Which leaves the decision open to conspiracy theories about what their likes and dislikes are based on.
I think that Rachael had "a moment" at nationals. As a figure skating fan that is constantly watching, dissecting, with an untrained eye of course, every program, forum and interview, even that program just proved that her style is just blah for me. She deserved the crowd's reception and support. She deserved that moment but she will never have me youtubing her programs for hours.
True, teams should not be chosen to please the fans. Regardless of placements, I see more potential, grace and marketability in Caroline than I do in Rachael. Teams should be built based on potential, overall look, and perceived ability. For example, I really have nothing nice to say about the Denney/Coughlin pair but not sending them to Worlds after their showings at the Nebelhorn Trophy and recent Nationals would be illogical. Do they have a "pretty/artistic" look on the ice? Arguably, no. Are they a new team that is more undeserving than Evora/Ladwig? Yes. Do they have the potential and perceived technical ability to place higher than donlan/speroff, evora/ladwig and the rest of the field, probably yes.
I would have sent Jeremy Abbott to Worlds with my eyes closed last year. He has the experience, potential and technical ability to place higher even with the problems.
Richard Dornbush is only 20. Evan Lysacek won OGM at 24. Plushenko silver at 27 and who knows what else after his knee surgery. Richard proved last year with his surprise placement at US nationals, and with his recovery this year's nationals, that he is in it to win it. I see great skating skills, uniqueness and daring in this young man. He can do well in short programs please watch Richard DORNBUSH 2010 JGPF SP on youtube. He definitely needs to compete and skate short programs that are much more technically difficult and do so cleanly. Mentally, he is capable of scoring high marks in the short portion of competition. Success will come with experience and time for him.
Johnny Weir has always played by his own rules and his flamboyance never helped him with judges. And, I say this despite loving him and crying when he imploded after Torino. His career, was never the same after that FS showing. Never. Whether that is due to his lack of discipline, programs and/or bias against him is a moot point. I understood why Mroz (technical skater with potential), Evan (best at that time), and Jeremy (in a class of his own) were better choices.
Undoubtedly, Richard has a lot left to prove but he has the skills and the persona to be a modern day Philippe Candeloro. A lot has to do with the fact that the current field of top American male skaters is made up of mainly artistic and quadless men. The USFSA is probably desperate for a Dornbush that has realized his potential: technically proficient programs that include 2-3 quads + the strong skating skills he already possesses. He will never reach this potential unless he is pitted against those mighty quad kings that are rewarded in international competitions. Dornbush has a distinct on-ice persona that is not easily overshadowed by the Armins, Adams, Rosses, returning Weirs, lackluster Chans and Plushenkos of the figure skating world, IF his clean technical components are there.
USFSA needs to look ahead. If Rippon, Weir, and Mahbanoozadeh return with clean programs that include quads what will distinguish them in the eyes of the judges? Add a clean, quad-containing Dornbush program to the mix and who comes out on top?
The Olympics require a two-year campaign. The USFSA will need one of the things listed below to happen for any of its male skaters to be named OGM in Sochi 2014:
1)Evan retires or produces a quad combo in his sp, two quads in his fs plus continued endurance, hard transitions and excellent jumps past the 2 minute mark starting next fall season continuing right into the Olympic season.
2)Jeremy Abbott adds a quad to his sp for Worlds and wins a medal convincing fans to throw their hands in the air when he does not at least come close to beating Chan. He needs to WIN Worlds next season and compete including a 4t3t in his short, 2 quads in his Long without losing steam or neglecting all of the skating aspects that make him stand above all of the other male competitors. He should choose uplifting and rousing music in the next years that clearly highlight his expression and intensity which are only matched by Daisuke. Weir was NEVER as good Jeremy is. NEVER.
3)Weir needs to come back with convincing programs that rely more on his spins, footwork, newly included quads and less on his unique flamboyance. Lay off the glitter and theatrics bring the quads and axels..
4)Rippon needs to add the quad lutz and salchow. Skate faster and win medals; silver (at least) preferably. Rippon is the best skater after Jeremy Abbott. His skating is the most beautiful in a long time.
5)Richard Dornbush, Ross Miner, Jason Brown, and Armin will have to stay injury free, add quads and earn experience to surprise and medal at upcoming Olympics and take over immediately after. Keegan Messing needs to add finesse to his sick technical skills. That young man is a fire ball that threatens international podiums.
Of course, these are just my opinions. OGM does not equal figure skating but it is all that matters in the end to the USFSA or any other national federation for that matter. It makes sense that they do everything within their means to ensure that the right candidates are exposed, pushed, polished and prepared to earn this distinction and in turn cement the US as a leading national breeder of champions.
Sorry about the long post. I hope some of it makes some sense.
Last edited by sweetskates1; 02-05-2012 at 01:31 PM.
Thanks Jaylee, your points are right on. If anything, Rachael has had a lot of support across the board. She works hard and juggles a lot and it shows.
It's so easy for us fans to sit around and type out that which, indeed all, skaters need to add quads, high level spins and footwork, etc. and to perform flawlessly at competitions. I bet they all know what they lack and what they need to beat the blah World Champion, who is adding stuffs of his own, seemingly more easily than the also runs.
Doing it is another story. These are devoted athletes with high level of success already, pushing their personal limits as best they can, and are admirable for what they are already capable of. Going beyond is superhuman, to be supported and celebrated but not as a matter-of-fact expectation by those with no similar training experience whatsoever.