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Thread: The state of U.S. Figure Skating

  1. #181
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    I feel terrible for Alissa, as I did for Rachael last year.

    I'm not entirely sure what some of you expected the U.S. federation to do. Should they have yanked Alissa from the world team when they saw her results at the Hague? On what grounds: on suspicion of harboring excessive nerves? Did they even have the power to do so? I'm not arguing; I'm just asking. Who was obligated to do what before Worlds began? Should Alissa have turned herself in? I guess I'm not sure what the real-world possibilities were. (In fact, I'm almost convinced that Alissa would have been relieved if some Federation bigwig had shown up and kept her from boarding the plane, with Agnes Z. hovering nearby carrying a suitcase.)

    After all, Alissa didn't always make a mess of things. It would almost be easier to evaluate her if she did. But last year she came in fifth, I think, at Worlds. If Rachael hadn't done so badly in 2011 at Worlds, we would have had our three spots back for this year.

    That being said, there's no need to dump on Rachael either for the overall quality of her skating. Her style isn't my favorite (though I like her personality immensely). But for several years she was the best we had, and she deserved her spots on the world team. She was also a hardworking skater with a lot of drive, and that alone made her an asset to the U.S. team. We haven't had another one like that until this season, when Ashley (thank goodness) showed up with a furnace inside her.

    I'm sure that the federation will want to have a talk with Alissa and her coaches in a short time, but there's no need for Alissa to have stood up in a brightly lit room and made some kind of confession right there at Nice this weekend. It's not coddling to give the lady a few days' breathing room.
    Last edited by Olympia; 04-02-2012 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    The nastiness being levelled at Alissa is being rationized/justified in this thread with the argument that Alissa is a tough athlete who should be able to take it, and that fans do this to big time athletes all the time. I would respond by saying that I've always considered people who boo athletes at sporting contests as jerks. No athlete sets out to screw up. Bill Buckner had to leave his home and move away from Boston, because of abusive fans. This shouldn't happen.


    So those of you who feel it necessary to heap abuse on Alissa, just be aware that some of us are going to think you're jerks. It's our perogative to do so because you put those words out here so we feel justified in judging you.

    nastiness. right. you're welcome to think whatever you want. i don't mind one bit.


    to me it's equally nasty of czisny fans to treat worlds spots like they're nothing. how dare we criticize her. nobody died.


    well, maybe if you use them the way she did, they're nothing, but to then say the other u.s. girls don't need them, don't deserve them, just to minimize the impact of czisny's work. pot, meet kettle. apparently world spot is only valuable when czisny is the one using it.


    ETA also, excellent example of sportsmanship you are setting, blaming her failure squarely on the usfsa. apparently not being nasty involves absolving czisny of any responsibility. she can take the money from the superbowl commercial, public attention is good when it profits her, but don't you dare act like she has some responsibility to anybody, not even the audience that flinched every time she fell. she's entitled to receive adulation, world spots, show invitations, money, inflated scoring, but no one can expect anything from her.
    Last edited by skfan; 04-02-2012 at 12:04 PM.

  3. #183
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    Oh come on- it's not like folks are making death threats or anything...

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    ...blaming her failure squarely on the usfsa.
    I think only Phil Hersh blamed the USFSA for anything. All Alissa said was that she expected to be invited to Four Continents.

    But here's something I can't help wondering about. Last year the USFSA did send Alissa to Four Continents. She did not perform as well as she hoped and afterward said that her training was off because 4C's was too close to Nationals.

    So maybe this year the USFSA said to themselves, well, if that's the way she feels about it, we won't invite her this year.

    Anyway, the reason i don't like to beat Alissa up (or Rachael last year) is that they came, they skated, they tried their best. Whenever someone flubs a competition we can always speculate that someone else might have done better. Maybe Ross Minor would have done better than Adam Rippon. Entirely possible, but no reason to throw tomatoes at Adam.

  5. #185
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    I'm another who thinks it's unfair to try to insulate Alissa from criticism. This wasn't just another bad skate, it was probably the worst-ever performance by a US lady (not counting years when they didn't make it out of qualifying), an embarrassment for the whole country as far as skating is concerned, and a big letdown for fans who have every right to voice their disappointment (or are we just cash cows?). Again I think of Sasha - when I remember the ridicule that was heaped on her for her 1.5 falls in the FP in Torino and her silver medal, it makes me sick to hear people say Alissa shouldn't be "abused" for her historic meltdown. It seems like every paper in the country had a front-page photo of Sasha splatting and the "abuse" still follows her around.

    What sticks in my throat is the International Challenge where the writing was on the wall for all to see. I do blame the USFSA for sending her and Jeremy there in the first place - a pointless and exhausting distraction - but Alissa and her team have to take responsibility for that as well. Alissa is no child. US skaters are not forced to compete. When her results at the Challenge were so bad, why didn't they pull her out of Worlds? Did they even talk to her team about what was wrong? This is what we have alternates for, after all.

    I've rarely been very excited about Alissa apart from her spins but I do admire the strength and determination she's shown, like Carolina, to overcome some very bad results. But I'm not sure how she overcomes this, which wasn't just a nightmare of a skate, but a sad mistake in judgment to compete at all in an obviously poor condition, one that impacted on other US skaters, in both morale and competitive spots. Agnes should have gone. At best, with a 9th place finish (she did 6th at 4 C's), she would have gotten the third spot, and at worst she would have gotten some very useful experience. And Alissa wouldn't have this horrible scar on her reputation.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    ...not even the audience that flinched every time she fell.
    Being an Alissa fan is like Charlie Brown kicking the football. No matter how many times Lucy pulls it away, we still have faith, hope and charity that next time, next time... Sort of a metaphor for life.

    http://www.sportsposterwarehouse.com...utsnever-1.jpg

  7. #187
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    Nope. Time for beautiful, smart Alissa to move on to something that doesn't make her cry. She has a lot to be proud of, but there are other ladies in the US who deserve their moment in the frozen sun. JMO, of course!

  8. #188
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    I was appalled when the USFSA reprimanded Rachael last year and said so more than once in this forum. Athletes are encouraged to perform injured all of the time, and often skate through injuries and pain. They're told to "suck it up" and keep going so thinking that she'll be fine and can get through this is pretty much par for the course.

    I'm not saying "poor Alissa" here either. She had a really bad day, and something has been off for a while now and she needs to deal with that. But suggesting that the USFSA should have picked someone else or should have pulled her ticket, on what basis. Their own rules preclude them from sending anyone else. Not only did she win siilver at Nationals, but she made the Grand Prix Final too, and by every measure, has been the best US woman over the past two seasons.

    But as for all this angst over three spots, the US doesn't need three spots until it has three skaters, two of whom are basically contending for top 6 and right now they don't have that. Nor have they had that for some years. The US has had a powerhouse women's team for generations but they don't have that now.

    I don't remember this much venom being directed at Mirai Nagasu who blew the opportunity for your precvious three spots in 2010 by finishing 11th in the LP after winning the SP at Worlds. That to me is a bigger melt down than Alissa who didn't skate well throughout and who many predicted would not do well at Worlds this year.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think only Phil Hersh blamed the USFSA for anything. All Alissa said was that she expected to be invited to Four Continents.

    But here's something I can't help wondering about. Last year the USFSA did send Alissa to Four Continents. She did not perform as well as she hoped and afterward said that her training was off because 4C's was too close to Nationals.

    So maybe this year the USFSA said to themselves, well, if that's the way she feels about it, we won't invite her this year.

    Anyway, the reason i don't like to beat Alissa up (or Rachael last year) is that they came, they skated, they tried their best. Whenever someone flubs a competition we can always speculate that someone else might have done better. Maybe Ross Minor would have done better than Adam Rippon. Entirely possible, but no reason to throw tomatoes at Adam.

    only phil hersh blamed everything squarely on the USFSA? actually dragonlady did as well. maybe if i had quoted that post, you would understand where my statement was coming from.

    even if the usfsa did a token investigation, what likely would come out is an announcement of the USFSA's admiration for czisny's persevering under difficult circumstances and exoneration of her and her coaches, becuz that's the only way everybody's rear end is going to be covered.

    in my eyes, her fans belittle her also, every time they insist she be treated like a porcelain doll that might shatter. if she were truly that, she would be in pieces after the short program alone. if she truly is that then she needs to be protected from things like anonymous message boards and under-rotation calls and slippery ice. especially the ice at worlds.
    Last edited by skfan; 04-02-2012 at 12:05 PM.

  10. #190
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    Au contraire, Dragonlady. Mirai has received very little praise on this forum in the past year or two and loads of criticism. Even the hopes are waning, although much affection remains. She lost rep bigtime with that performance. I really hope she does not read this forum. And Alissa surely has the sense not to be reliving her Worlds on skating forums.

    As for the US not having the powerhouse women's contingent, it's impossible for me to believe a country this size doesn't have the talent. If it's not obvious, then the USFSA needs to cast a wider net and figure out how to find and support the young talent and not put all its eggs in a fragile, wildly inconsistent (not Sasha-inconsistent) 24-year-old basket.
    Last edited by Spun Silver; 04-02-2012 at 11:55 AM.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    I was appalled when the USFSA reprimanded Rachael last year and said so more than once in this forum. Athletes are encouraged to perform injured all of the time, and often skate through injuries and pain. They're told to "suck it up" and keep going so thinking that she'll be fine and can get through this is pretty much par for the course.

    I'm not saying "poor Alissa" here either. She had a really bad day, and something has been off for a while now and she needs to deal with that. But suggesting that the USFSA should have picked someone else or should have pulled her ticket, on what basis. Their own rules preclude them from sending anyone else. Not only did she win siilver at Nationals, but she made the Grand Prix Final too, and by every measure, has been the best US woman over the past two seasons.

    But as for all this angst over three spots, the US doesn't need three spots until it has three skaters, two of whom are basically contending for top 6 and right now they don't have that. Nor have they had that for some years. The US has had a powerhouse women's team for generations but they don't have that now.

    I don't remember this much venom being directed at Mirai Nagasu who blew the opportunity for your precvious three spots in 2010 by finishing 11th in the LP after winning the SP at Worlds. That to me is a bigger melt down than Alissa who didn't skate well throughout and who many predicted would not do well at Worlds this year.




    would you be saying that if czisny had placed 8th?

    thanks for deeming the entire U.S. ladies pool unworthy of having 3 spots at worlds, just to diminish czisny's impact. so predictable.
    Last edited by skfan; 04-02-2012 at 12:06 PM.

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    I'm another who thinks it's unfair to try to insulate Alissa from criticism.
    Um...do you think that no one is criticizing Alissa? Have you read the threads on this very forum?

    This wasn't just another bad skate, it was probably the worst-ever performance by a US lady (not counting years when they didn't make it out of qualifying), an embarrassment for the whole country as far as skating is concerned, and a big letdown for fans who have every right to voice their disappointment.
    A bad performance by an athlete is not an embarrassment for the whole country. Yes, fans have a right to be disappointed. I am a fan. I am disappointed.

    It seems like every paper in the country had a front-page photo of Sasha splatting and the "abuse" still follows her around.
    The Detroit newspaper had a big picture in the sports section of Alissa falling, under the headline, World skating championship disaster for Czisny, U.S. skaters."

    It wasn't front page news because it was not the Olympics and because figure skating is not as popular now as it still was even then.

    But yeah, people picked on Sasha unmercifully. That was wrong and bad. I am not completely in the clear on that point. Come back, Sasha; all is forgiven.

    And Alissa wouldn't have this horrible scar on her reputation.
    Personally, I don't think her reputation was scarred. She gave the all-time worst performance in skating history, but the jury is out about how she will rebound from such a set-back.

    In any case, you and I do not bear any scars. It is Alissa who is on the hot seat alone, not the fans, not the newspapers, not the United States of America. As Teddy Roosevelt famously said,

    It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ...who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming...
    And so on. (I think Roosevelt also said, "I like Plushenko. He skates like a Bull Moose.")

    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    only phil hersh blamed everything squarely on the USFSA? actually dragonlady did as well, before she deleted her post. maybe if i had quoted that post, you would understand where my statement was coming from.
    OK, then it's Phil Hersh's and Dragonlady's fault. The point is, Alissa did not make excuses and accusations.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Um...do you think that no one is criticizing Alissa? Have you read the threads on this very forum?
    I was responding to Dragonlady who was appalled at the idea of criticizing Alissa.



    A bad performance by an athlete is not an embarrassment for the whole country.
    Really? I would appreciate the help of GS members in other countries here. Can anyone provide comments on the state of US skating from international media? Once again, this is not a "bad performance" or a "bad day," it is a nightmare performance of historic proportions, the nadir of US skating. Phil Hersh has certainly made that case to the readers of the Chicago Tribune.

    But yeah, people picked on Sasha unmercifully. That was wrong and bad. I am not completely in the clear on that point. Come back, Sasha; all is forgiven.
    That's very nice, Mathman, and I'm sure you were among her kinder critics. But the mea culpa comes a little late, doesn't it?

    Personally, I don't think her reputation was scarred. She gave the all-time worst performance in skating history, but the jury is out about how she will rebound from such a set-back.
    ITD (I totally disagree) but we'll see! If she does return and rebound, I will try to eat crow as publicly and humbly as Imaginary Pogue did regarding Hanyu's bronze medal!

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    I admit that I felt a lot more sympathy to Alissa than to Rachael, unrational, I know. Rachael somehow looked strong but Alissa is too fragile in every way.

    I hope Alissa could shake off this embarrassment and wake up one day and realize that it was only a horrible nightmare, and it'll be gone as soon as she woke up. I don't know how. Continue skating and redeem herself? Or retire and put all these behind and start a new life somewhere? I don't know.

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    I was responding to Dragonlady who was appalled at the idea of criticizing Alissa.



    Really? I would appreciate the help of GS members in other countries here. Can anyone provide comments on the state of US skating from international media? Once again, this is not a "bad performance" or a "bad day," it is a nightmare performance of historic proportions, the nadir of US skating. Phil Hersh has certainly made that case to the readers of the Chicago Tribune.


    That's very nice, Mathman, and I'm sure you were among her kinder critics. But the mea culpa comes a little late, doesn't it?

    ITD (I totally disagree) but we'll see! If she does return and rebound, I will try to eat crow as publicly and humbly as Imaginary Pogue did regarding Hanyu's bronze medal!


    to spun silver, if she wins oly gold, this year's worlds will be part of the first 20 minutes of her (tear-jerking) biography to be aired on national tv by NBC after the olympics. it'll just be the ultimate rags to riches story.


    to mathman, i was wrong. dragonlady didn't delete her post. my eyes missed it. it's still there, proclaiming in all its glory.
    Last edited by skfan; 04-02-2012 at 12:12 PM.

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