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Thread: Radio interview with Alexander Lakernik, posted on FSU

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Plushenko was not "joking" but was complaining to the media, unaware that he would be providing Inman with substantiating quote to back his observation and opinion.
    You seem very familiar with the Bratislava press conference; maybe you could provide some additional insight into Plushenko's comments? Titanilla Bod wasn't really clear about that in the AS article that Inman referred to, and she never really revisited the subject - so who knows what tone Plushenko used or what exactly he meant, right?

    What all this has to do with Lakernik's interview, I'm sure I don't know.

  2. #17
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    I think Plushenko didn't take COP seriously before the Olympics and his point was that both he and Joubert focused on the quads, thus excusably without transition. He has since changed his attitude, which cost him an OGM, and has focused much more on COP compliant and friendly skills and choreography in preparation for his new comeback.

    I agree the timing and the naming of skaters were not appropriate in both cases. However, in Inman's case, Plushenko provided him with the irresistibly and perfectly timed perfect quote to back up his points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    I agree the timing and the naming of skaters were not appropriate in both cases. However, in Inman's case, Plushenko provided him with the irresistibly and perfectly timed perfect quote to back up his points.
    Absolute Skating did, not Plushenko. I've read some interviews where he was talking about the transitions and in none on them appeared such a statement, that Joubert and him have no transitions at all. Plushenko did a huge mistake, though, he did not asked the AS journalist to provide the tape of the press conference. I believe the AS journalist wasn't alone at the press conference.

  4. #19
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    About the reference to Patrick Chan, the context was the difficulty in judging program components objectively.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lakernik
    And technical mark doesn't depend on reputation, it's objective, and neither do GOE, maybe minimally. But PCS are another thing, there is a lot of work to do, to explain, to teach, but it's not easy, it's psychological thing. Like with Chan...
    To me the important question is not "reputation" -- that will always be with us. Skaters who skate well will acquire a reputation for skating well.

    But besides the issue of subjectivity in scoring program components, there is also the matter of whether technical miscues on elements should rightly detract from whole program categories like skating skills and choreography. In Chan's three Grand Prix appearances, plus Four Continents, his TES ranged from 72.30 (Eric Bompard -- several major errors) to 95.83 (4CC -- virtually flawless). But there was only a 5 point swing in the PCSs, in four performancances of fairly wide overall quality.

    Is this the way we want the CoP to work?

    I think it can be argued both ways. We can say, yes, the technical elements are completely separate from the components. A skater might fall on every jump but still interpret the heck out of the music.

    Or, we can say the the elements are an integral part of the program. The program cannot be considered outstanding if it is flawed by faulty technique on the highlight elements.

    "A lot of work to do, to explain, to teach; it's not easy" to achieve a satisfactory consensus and get ell the judges on board.
    Last edited by Mathman; 03-24-2012 at 03:34 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    To me the important question is not "reputation" -- that will always be with us. Skaters who skate well will acquire a reputation for skating well.
    Yup.

    ut besides the issue of subjectivity in scoring program components, there is also the matter of whether technical miscues on elements should rightly detract from whole program categories like skating skills and choreography. In Chan's three Grand Prix appearances, plus Four Continents, his TES ranged from 72.30 (Eric Bompard -- several major errors) to 95.83 (4CC -- virtually flawless). But there was only a 5 point swing in the PCSs, in four performancances of fairly wide overall quality.

    Is this the way we want the CoP to work?

    I think it can be argued both ways. We can say, yes, the technical elements are completely separate from the components. A skater might fall on every jump but still interpret the heck out of the music.

    Or, we can say the the elements are an integral part of the program. The program cannot be considered outstanding if it is flawed by faulty technique on the highlight elements.
    I would argue on the side of the former approach -- that components should be judged independently from the elements.

    Actually, I don't think it's completely an either/or choice -- I think there is a middle ground within which the success of the elements can and should indeed affect the component scores to the degree that they actually affect the judges' perceptions of how well the skater performed on each of the criteria for each of the components on that particular occasion.

    I just don't think that there is a direct and inevitable correlation between the number of grossly visible errors and the quality of the overall performance, even for the same skater and the same program. Let the judges judge this performance, not the skater's reputation, and not some predetermined template for how much to reduce the score that the judge would otherwise give that performance on each component based on specific kinds of errors (and not other kinds of errors).

    For example (judged under 6.0, so the actual scores would be meaningless, but the principle is the same), I competed my program twice in the past couple months.

    The first time I landed all the jumps successfully, although some of the landings were not as strong as they should be (-1). There were some little problems with a spin and a step that would have been invisible to a casual observer. But a lot of the time I was just focused on skating clean and not presenting or interpreting the program as well as I could.

    The second time I had a disruptive (non-fall) error on my opening jump combination (-2 or -3), and a shakier landing that the last time on the second jump (-1 or -2). Casual observers would have noticed these errors. But after that I relaxed and performed the rest of the program better.

    So even though there were more obvious mistakes in the second performance, I think that performance also would have deserved higher component scores, especially interpretation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    I'm glad that at least someone on the tech committee is echoing the concerns some fans have regarding PCS (e.g. regarding Sui/Han, etc). Hopefully this will filter down to the judges sooner than later.
    Trying to influence judges' decision by 'voicing some fans' concern' is corrupt.

  7. #22
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    Trying to influence judges' opinions of specific skaters would be corrupt, especially from a position of power.

    Trying to influence judges to follow accepted rules and principles of the sport is appropriate leadership.

    The tricky thing is that once you use current skaters as examples, it's easy for the latter to be construed as the former. The line gets blurry even with the best intentions.

    And then the IJS is still new enough that there's still some process of everyone figuring out what the accepted principles of how to use PCS should be in the first place.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    He brought up Chan voluntarily in the context of reputation scoring
    Do you know what "radio interview" means? It means the questions are asked by listeners, usually via phone or website. The first question was about Chan. It's not like Lakernik volunterred to talk about your idol to deliberately upset you. Later, in the second part of the interview he again mentioned Chan and explained why- because he was the best example of what is wrong with this judging system- multiple falls, the PCS is still the highest.
    The implication, which Mr. Lakernik did not support with elaborations, seems to be that judges have wrong "idea" about Chan's skating/PCS.
    How do you know that he didn't elaborate? Elaborate your implication, please. I actually finally bothered to read the translation in the OP's link. The author of the translation that you used warned that he/she made some excerpts and not word by word. So, what is the ground of your conclusion? None. You have a language barrier, we all do, it's normal. What's wrong is to blame people without any evidence and even the possibility to obtain them. Lakernik gave quite full explanations why he thinks this and that, as full as the format of the radio interview could offer:

    "- Journalist: (a question via the site) Let's start. Patrin Chan, a lot of people are criticizing him. What do you think of him, do you like him?

    -Lakernik: I like Patrick. He is a skater whose skating meets the criterias of the modern FS. He jumps well, and not only. He always does something between jumps. The transitions between the elements make one whole picture. Therefore, with regard to like/dislike, the answer is simple- I like him. Another question is that, either through the efforts of the Canadian FS Federation, or somethinng else, but it happened that the opinion had been established- Chan is unbeaten. As the result he gets highest scores even when he skates not very well. And it seems to me that it doesn't make any good to FS and to Chan himself, because why he should bother to improve. He is a very good athlete. But. When he skates well, he deserves the highest scores he gets. Unfortunately, this season too there have been cases where he received almost the same score, skating with serious errors. It was a subject of discussions in FS.

    -Journalist: And what to do with PCS if a skater skates with serious errors?

    -Lakernik: Reduce them. Overscoring and giving points not for the skating but for the "name" is wrong. Of course we should do something about it, it must be fought.
    ....
    -Lakernik: Chan has both- good and bad skatings at events. Sport is a struggle, fight, it's a competition. Chan is technically good, but he is not "by a head taller" (*the Russian idiom, means- he is way much better than everyone else). His LP usually has two quadruple toe loops, and a triple axel, which he does a little bit worse. But there are other athletes who can do that or even more difficult programs. And, if he fails to skate well, but still will get the highest scores, then we will continue to raise this question."
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________

    I am not a professional translator either. Feel free to ask for a better service:

    The original script in Russian:

    "- (*вопрос с сайта) Давайте начнём. Патрин Чан, его многие критикуют. Как он Вам, нравится?

    -Мне он нравится. Он человек, катание которого удовлетворяет критериям современного катания. Он хорошо прыгает, и не только. У него между прыжками всё время что-то происходит. У него нет пустых разбегов. Переходы между элементами складывают всё в единую картину. Поэтому что касается нравится/не нравится, ответ однозначный- нравится. Другой вопрос, что то ли благодаря усилиям канадской федерации, то ли как, но сложилось как бы такое мнение, что Чан непобедим и ему начинают ставить высокие оценки даже в тех случаях, когда он катается несильно здорово. И этом мне кажется делают плохую службу и фигурному катанию и самому Патрику Чану, потому что зачем тогда совершенствоваться. Спортсмен он очень достойный. Но. Вот тогда, когда он катается здорово, он заслуживает тех высочайших баллов, которые ему ставят. К сожалению и в этом сезоне были примеры, когда он получал практически те же баллы, катаясь с грубыми ошибками. Это было предметом обсуждения в среде фигурного катания.

    -А что делать с компонентами в случае серьёзных технических ошибок?

    -Снижать. Эти завышения баллов, выставление баллов не за катание, а за имя, с эти конечно надо бороться.
    ....
    -У Чана бывают и хорошие, и плохие прокаты. Спорт- это борьба, соревнование. Чан технически хороший, но он же не на говолу выше других. У него в программе обычно два четверных тулупа и обычно один тройной аксель, который у него хуже немножко выходит. Но есть же и другие спортсмены, которые будут делать на ЧМ такий же набор или даже чуть сложнее. И если он будет кататься неудачно, а ему всё равно будут ставить высокие баллы, ну тогда будем дальше поднимать это вопросы."
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    Will this Lakernik interview have "Inman E-mail" effect?
    Inman sent his writings to judges directly. Lakernik was speaking on the Russian radio. Do ISU judges have a habit to listen to it? I doubt that. I actually have another thought. He sounded confident and sincere. But there is still a PR factor to be liked by the audience. I would be interested to know if he would actually say the same things at the congress as he said on the radio. But these things will remain unveiled.

  9. #24
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    ^^^ I can only react to what I have been presented.

    Whatever Lakernik has said, positive or negative about any skater, they are his personal opinions and are inappropriate at this time given his position both at the upcoming event and in the ISU.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    they are his personal opinions and are inappropriate at this time given his position both at the upcoming event and in the ISU.
    His position in the upcoming event is in Ladies'. Chan doesn't skate in Ladies. And judges don't listen to Russian radio. If he expresses his opinion at the ISU congress, meetings or any other official stuff, that's what they all do and are supposed to do. It's not like they are sitting in silence.

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    I too agree that his comments are generally inappropriate for a person in his position. Didnt he call someone else a headcase too!!

    Hi comments would be appropriate if he was unconnected and had no ISU position or if he was part of team Takahashi or team Gachinski.

  12. #27
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    So who are those lobbyists for the federations? Are they just good nudgers and winkers?
    I know, it all sounds silly, doesn't it? And yet, over the years, the iSU has managed to create an impression that cronyism and political gamesmanship is valued above all.

    In the Salt Lake City pairs controversy, first Mme Le Gougne was accused of following orders from her boss with regard to a deal that he had worked out for the benefit of French dancers, then later she said, no, she just couldn't bring herself to go against her best friend in international skating, a well-known Russian official, then later she said, no, no, it was the Canadians all along who were trying to butter me up by sending me birthdays presents a month earlier.

    And now Mr. Lakernik says, in answer to the question, what is the most important matter before the ISU congress:

    (Lakernik) thinks that the most discussed question will be when to hold next elections, they are scheduled to after Olympic but it was offered to postpone them until 2016. He thinks it will be most discussed because it's not technical but political question, and while not everyone may understand technique, everyone has an opinion on politics.
    (I believe the issue is whether to amend the ISU by-laws to allow Cinquanta to continue in office past the time that the current rules say he must retire.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by emdee View Post
    Hi comments would be appropriate if he was unconnected and had no ISU position or if he was part of team Takahashi or team Gachinski.
    Then he would still be lobbying/politicking, which he said Canada is good at. Interesting Chan won last year without a Canadian judge on the panel.

    If Lakernik thinks there is improper judging going on, he should protest formally with evidences or try to remedy the system officially. As it is, he is disrespecting the judges, as a tech official. Wonder how he would feel about a judge criticizing his tech calling in public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emdee View Post
    I too agree that his comments are generally inappropriate for a person in his position. Didnt he call someone else a headcase too!!
    You do realize that the world doesn't speak English entirely and that there are other languages. How could he possible say "headcase" if he was speaking Russian? He said about two youngs as "двух молодых необстрелянных спортсменок... проблемы с короткой программой, отсутствие опыта сказывается", which means "two young unexperienced skaters... who have problems with SP due to the lack of experience." Use the original sourse before to jump to the conclusion. If you can't- don't jump. You can always ask someone to clarify things that you don't understand because of the language barrier.
    if he was unconnected and had no ISU position
    Then he wouldn't be invited to the radio show before the worlds. That is how they do business in mass media.
    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    If Lakernik thinks there is improper judging going on, he should protest formally with evidences or try to remedy the system officially.
    So, basically you are saying he shouldn't go to the radio show in the first place. Would you be also angry if he came and said how good Chan is and blah-blah? I am sure you wouldn't. But praising Chan is inappropriate, unprofessional and unethitcal too, because it would be the same politicking. Still you wouldn't have any problems with that.

  15. #30
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    I agree with let's talk. By the way, the word "headcase" does not exist in Russian.

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