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Thread: The state of U.S. Figure Skating

  1. #226
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    Some of the comments here are just way too harsh and just sooooo..... not helping! Blame blame blame won't get anyone anywhere. I for one doubt Alissa right now is going "Gosh that was bad weekend but never mind, phewww....I feel much better now."

    Is it just possible however hard you try, however ready you are prepared, on the day, it can just goes all horribly wrong? Particularly when there are something clearly bothering you that should not be there in the first place? Has anyone ever had one of those episodes in life? Be it in your school / professional exams, personal or professional life? If so, maybe then, it is not that hard to imagine that it too can happen to the best at the world championships?

    I just hope Gracie Gold is not reading this thread. It sure could mess with her head too and be a motivation damper. Be ready to be berated by your own countryman the moment you did not live up to your billing. There's should be zero tolerance for error and you must deliver. For honour, for glory, for your country. Right... that is so very 1940s.

    As for the USFSA 4CC issue, it comes down to good talent management. A good talent manager will always be mindful of the personality and characteristics of its pool of talents that made up individuals, each with unique needs, motivations, sensitivity to do their best. It is not about treating individual with kiddie gloves but about showing respect and paying attention to recognize the individuals. It is basic BIZ school 101, Human resourcing 101, why can't USFSA do the same? Unless wait... who manages the organisation? Is it by jocks? If so, it sure would have explained a lot. When an artist / singer / actor messed up badly, he or she should not be the sole one to blame. They are hired because they are competent at what they do through rounds of interview which they became qualified. However if their management did not provide the best condition where they can do their job, they should shed the most responsibility. Clearly there is communication failure between the managers and the talent in this case. Last year was Rachel, this year is Alissa, will they make it a third?

  2. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    But they also coach Valentina Marchei from Italy, who actually did quite well, relatively speaking. She had her highest placement at Worlds ever and helped Italy get 3 spots. (Of course Carolina winning made it much easier, but still she easily could have ended up below 12th.)
    Hmm. They managed to not completely screw up one skater. I still wouldn't trust Valentina to be with Y&J for too much longer.

  3. #228
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    I just hope Gracie Gold is not reading this thread. It sure could mess with her head too and be a motivation damper. Be ready to be berated by your own countryman the moment you did not live up to your billing. There's should be zero tolerance for error and you must deliver. For honour, for glory, for your country.
    Oh God...as for her, she just needs to stay off the boards and try not to read the sport papers...

    It's going to get even worse for her now since the moment we thought US ladies' skating couldn't sink any lower, it just did. I mean, I've seen her skate and I don't even think she's the second coming everyone seems to think she is. For example, is she REALLY any better than, say, Ashley Wagner is right now?
    ______________

    You know, it's funny- many of the same people crying foul at the Czisny criticism didn't hesitate to lay the hammer down on Rachel Flatt last year...I criticized Flatt last year for her (and her team's) poor decision making and I'm doing the same for Team Czisny this year.

  4. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by os168 View Post
    I just hope Gracie Gold is not reading this thread. It sure could mess with her head too and be a motivation damper. Be ready to be berated by your own countryman the moment you did not live up to your billing. There's should be zero tolerance for error and you must deliver. For honour, for glory, for your country. Right... that is so very 1940s.
    I doubt Gracie Gold is reading anything. It sounds like she's too busy with school and trying to upgrade her tech content and improve her artistry. As mskater93 noted, she is pretty much in her own world..

    Her only tweet about worlds:
    Takahashi was amazing! The whole men's event was awesome #Nice12 #bringit
    Not a single word about the ladies. Speaks to where she's looking up to these days...

  5. #230
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    I don't understand this need to apportion blame and ensure that someone is punished, publically castigated, or made to suffer for this.

    I live in a country where our women's program is a public embarassment, and a skater who can make the podium at Worlds comes along every 30 years or so. I'm not sittiing here thinking "Curse that Amelie LaCoste. They should have sent Phaneuf/Osmond". Our women's program is a disaster. I blame the coaches and the federation and the giving of medals to every flight of girls instead of holding a final event for the girls. The skaters are doing the best that they can given the way they were trained.

    I was a fan of one of the notorious headcases in figure skating: Emmanuel Sandhu. It was a painful experience. Brilliant at one competition, and melt-downs not unlike Alissa's at the next. Dr. Sandhu and Emmanuel Hyde. It's frustrating to be a fan of inconsistent skaters but I knew what he was like and continued to be a fan and to hope. At no point did I think Sandhu owed anybody anything, certainly not an explanation for his erratic skates. He didn't ask me to be a fan. His disappointments and failures did not reflect on me personally, other than maybe I made a bad choice in being a fan. Every time I gave up on him, he'd skate a brilliant competition and I'd be back for more.

    I rolled my eyes at his diva behaviour (demanding a private dressing room at Canadians) and made sarcastic comments over some of his excuses (he skated badly at one event because he saw a ghost in his hotel room), but I don't feel he let anyone down but himself. And I don't feel he owed me anything. And I didn't trash him because he let down the team.

  6. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    It's been over two months since I lost someone very close and very dear to me in a horrible accident. I still think of her and the accident and my mom's voice on the phone telling me every single day. I am fairly certain that I will not be thinking of Alissa's bad skate at Worlds or anyone else's bad skate anywhere every day in two months.
    I am heartily sorry for your loss.

  7. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post

    It's been over two months since I lost someone very close and very dear to me in a horrible accident. I still think of her and the accident and my mom's voice on the phone telling me every single day. I am fairly certain that I will not be thinking of Alissa's bad skate at Worlds or anyone else's bad skate anywhere every day in two months.

    Sometimes sports fans, of any sport, lose perspective on the importance of such things. I pray that no heart ache comes to remind those of you who are so upset and angry and ashamed over this of what really matters, but it surely will. Because the world often brings heart aches.
    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Louisa. You're absolutely right about the perspective.

  8. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    I don't understand this need to apportion blame and ensure that someone is punished, publically castigated, or made to suffer for this.

    I live in a country where our women's program is a public embarassment, and a skater who can make the podium at Worlds comes along every 30 years or so. I'm not sittiing here thinking "Curse that Amelie LaCoste. They should have sent Phaneuf/Osmond". Our women's program is a disaster. I blame the coaches and the federation and the giving of medals to every flight of girls instead of holding a final event for the girls. The skaters are doing the best that they can given the way they were trained.
    But YOU are apportioning blame, aren't you?

    I was a fan of one of the notorious headcases in figure skating: Emmanuel Sandhu. It was a painful experience. Brilliant at one competition, and melt-downs not unlike Alissa's at the next. Dr. Sandhu and Emmanuel Hyde. It's frustrating to be a fan of inconsistent skaters but I knew what he was like and continued to be a fan and to hope. At no point did I think Sandhu owed anybody anything, certainly not an explanation for his erratic skates. He didn't ask me to be a fan. His disappointments and failures did not reflect on me personally, other than maybe I made a bad choice in being a fan. Every time I gave up on him, he'd skate a brilliant competition and I'd be back for more.

    I rolled my eyes at his diva behaviour (demanding a private dressing room at Canadians) and made sarcastic comments over some of his excuses (he skated badly at one event because he saw a ghost in his hotel room), but I don't feel he let anyone down but himself. And I don't feel he owed me anything. And I didn't trash him because he let down the team.
    Sandhu was a diva par excellence, yes and maybe a bit of a headcase as well. But in the days when he and Buttle were competing, there really weren't any other talented men who were deprived of a chance to shine on the World stage.

    In the US, there are other ladies who could have done a better job at Worlds than 22nd. Heck, Flatt took lots of flak last year when she competed with an injury. She was reprimanded and fined for not disclosing the injury. But even though she was injured, Flatt managed to finish 12th overall and actually landed 4 triple jumps to Czisny's 0.

    Czisny's horrible FS at the Challenge Cup foretold what was coming at Worlds. There was time then to replace her with Zawadzki, who may not be a worldbeater, but probably would have finished a lot higher than 22nd. The question is why this was not done.

  9. #234
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    Thanks, mathman and Olympia.

  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Czisny's horrible FS at the Challenge Cup foretold what was coming at Worlds. There was time then to replace her with Zawadzki, who may not be a worldbeater, but probably would have finished a lot higher than 22nd. The question is why this was not done.
    Because there was no precedent OR rules that would make it OK to do so unless she was injured. Look at the lawsuit that would be headed that way if they had...THEN where would the state of US Figure Skating sink?

  11. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Because there was no precedent OR rules that would make it OK to do so unless she was injured. Look at the lawsuit that would be headed that way if they had...THEN where would the state of US Figure Skating sink?
    And that's what I was saying.

  12. #237
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    Did Alissa sue because she didn't get sent to 4CC? If she were US Champion, she would perhaps have grounds on which to sue. The US Champion does have a guarantee of being sent to Worlds.

    But as silver medalist, Alissa is entitled to no guarantees. Based on her last performance at Challenge Cup, Alissa could have been replaced whether she agreed with it or not. And it would have been in her own best interest.

    After her mediocre performance at Nationals, Alissa should have been concentrating on training for Worlds and regaining focus. Instead, she went to 4CC and sat in the stands. In an interview after the Worlds SP (where she fell twice), she alluded to being not as well prepared as she needed to be. Taking a week off from training to sulk at 4CC couldn't have helped.
    Last edited by chuckm; 04-02-2012 at 03:54 PM.

  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    But YOU are apportioning blame, aren't you?
    I apportion blame in the Canadian situation because it goes on and on and there really isn't much on the horizon to get excited about. Given the there are at least five times as many girls skating singles as Men, Dance or Pairs, it doesn't seem reasonable to think the girls are less talented than the boys, the dancer girls or the pairs girls, all discriplines where we do well. This is a systemic failure of our program to produce top elite Ladies. There is no one else to blame.

    I honestly don't know what anyone should have done differently in terms of Alissa at Worlds. Is there a process to strip a skater of an assignment if they aren't injured? Under any criteria you can name, the spot was Czisny's. She won Skate America and went to the Grand Prix Final, as the defending champion no less. She won the silver medal at Nationals, and even at the Challenge Cup, she won the bronze regardless of how poorly she skated. No matter what the USFSA set as a selection criteria, Alissa would have been awarded the spot because she's been the most successful US skater over the past two seasons, including the GPF win.

    I thought punishing Flatt last season was a bad idea. So now we have calls for Alissa to be similarly censured. I don't think that does any good whatsoever.

    I think the USFSA has reasonable grounds to ask "What happened", to try to avoid something similar in future, but beyond that, stuff happens in athletic competitions.

    As for the "spot could have gone to someone else", please spare me. As with Frank Carroll's assurances that things would have been different if Mirai had gone last year, he has no way of knowing that and the larger body of evidence is that, such assurances are meaningless.

    Ashley is looking like the real deal right now. But until others can demonstrate an ability to skate well consistently, that would give the US one contending skater and two spots is the correct number.

  14. #239
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    So it's OK for YOU to apportion blame, but not for other posters?

    As for Alissa winning the bronze at Challenge Cup, she won that in a very weak field, due to some very generous marking in the SP, where she fell on her opening 3Z. She was 5th, 21 points behind Marchei in a FS where she fell twice and completed no triple jump and no double axel. Her TES in the FS at Challenge Cup was about the same as the TES in the Worlds FS. The difference between the two is that she got very generous 7s in PCS at Challenge Cup, whereas ISU judges at Worlds gave her 5s and 6s.
    Last edited by chuckm; 04-02-2012 at 04:07 PM.

  15. #240
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    But as silver medalist, Alissa is entitled to no guarantees. Based on her last performance at Challenge Cup, Alissa could have been replaced whether she agreed with it or not. And it would have been in her own best interest.
    My point is, there is precedent that the silver medalist is chosen for Worlds (which she was at Nationals) and she had had a pretty good fall season and unless there is a known injury, once named, that skater is not replaced. There is no precedence nor rules that say a skater who competes between Nationals and Worlds who has a craptastic skate is going to get replaced for Worlds. If US Figure Skating had attempted to do it based on the results from CC, they would have likely faced a lawsuit at worst, an injunction to keep her on the team at best (think Tonya Harding in 94) and looked incredibly foolish, even moreso than they do with her placing 22nd. Then what little money USFS can share with its elite skaters would be dried up defending the above.

    As it is, they can say "she had a meltdown. Can't say we're TOTALLY surprised, but we chose the team based on results of Nationals, so we did the best we could with what we had to work with" which in a lot of ways is true. Looking at the protocols from Nationals, I can't really say the results were unfair (perhaps some scores were higher than they would have been internationally but that's totally normal at any National event) - you can make a case for 3 different ladies in that silver medal position, but each had glaring weaknesses in at least one segment of the event or one segment of scoring with Alissa's weakness looking like the least weak of the three at that time. Unfortunately, Alissa's weakness got worse between Nationals and Worlds exponentially. She went from questionable jumps that she fought for to absolutely horrible jumps with no regard for technique in 2 months...any mental fortitude and fight she had at Nationals to stand up on her jumps completely crumbled between San Jose and Nice.

    I am not blaming, I am questioning HOW this could happen and how her coaches were unable to stop the avalanche when it was a small snowball. This turned into a complete debacle when her normal program (miss on 1 or 2 jumps) would have likely kept her in the low-middle of the top 10. It's unfathomable to me...

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