If you agree that no one can get in someone else's head, then the notion that it is okay for Jenny to try because a) she has had similar experiences and b) other journalists try without having had similar experiences...that doesn't make sense.
The argument could also be made that she has not had similar experiences to Kwan's or Browning's respective Olympic experiences. Both failed under the pressure of being favored to win. Kirk was never in that position even at Nationals let alone on the huge stage of the Olympics. She writes about internal pressure that she put on herself while Kwan and Browning were both also dealing with immense external pressure. Those are two very different things.
It is clear that, because of scientific limitations, we cannot currently enter someone's head. Just because you learned about logical fallacies in your college philosophy class doesn't mean they apply when you don't like someone's opinion.
Psychoanalyzing skaters from afar -- isn't that our job?
I am a non-traditional graduate student who spent eight years teaching communications during the 16 that I taught a billion different subject areas.
Basically, you said "yes, A is impossible. But since person 2 has attempted A, person 1 should therefore attempt A because I perceive person 1 more qualified than person 2." If A is actually impossible, qualifications for the attempt are irrelevant.
There's no need to rehash your resume to make your point. You sound like the very well educated woman from the subway.
My original point was: "No one knows what was inside Kwan's head, but Jenny at least understands the various pressures associated with athletes at the elite levels of skating."
My conclusion: "Whether she's right or wrong, I find her perspective more credible than the biased journalists who have no experience as a competitive skater."
And you somehow construed these statements as: "yes, A is impossible. But since person 2 has attempted A, person 1 should therefore attempt A because I perceive person 1 more qualified than person 2."
What is wrong with Jenny expressing an opinion based on her unique experience as an elite skater? Did I offend you by saying nonskaters may not be as equally qualified as Jenny to offer insight? What's the point of your rant?
Sports journalists have a bad tendency to think that they can psychoanalyze their subjects. Most of them (and I know several people in the field) will justify that in the exact same way you justified Jenny doing it--that they have experience that makes them qualified to do so. "I played basketball in high school" is turned into mind reading ability and an advanced degree in sports psychology. Most of it becomes something that is not journalism. If Jenny intends a career in non-sports journalism, she would do well to end the habit now.
You ignored the major part of my disagreement with Jenny and yourself. I don't believe that Kwan or Browning's Olympic experiences were the same as Jenny's competitive experiences at all. With nine world championships between them, it is safe to assume that both had learned to handle the internal pressures of skating that Jenny wrote about. So then the question has to be what was different in their Olympic experiences? I noted that the big difference was the massive external pressure of being the favorite to win and of carrying their country's hopes. This is an experience that Jenny never came close to having. She was never even a favorite to win U.S. Nationals.
Well, Kirk's piece was a personal unburdening, not so much a journalistic exercise. IMO it would have been stronger without the speculations about other skaters.
^ Still, the actual article that Kirk reacted so strongly to is pretty mild on Scotvold's part. It sounded more like he was saying, Jenny's growing up, has a car, probably has a boyfriend, she's off to make her own way in the world -- that sort of thing.
Scotvold did say he was hurt that Jenny never informed him personally of her plans, which I can understand from both sides. She (being 17) didn't know what to say to her coach and she let her father take the lead on her behalf.
Last edited by Mathman; 04-30-2012 at 07:43 PM.
Lovely post from Jennifer. I wish they could find closure.
I also didn't see anything particularly damaging- perhaps it was the speculation that hit home for her- but again, reading that article and then reading Kirk's personal story brought home something really profound. That is, how little we know of the actual goings on behind the scenes. The part about the weighing of the students did bother me a little- wonder if that helped drive her towards the ED she spoke of earlier.^ Still, the actual article that Kirk reacted so strongly to is pretty mild on Scotvold's part. It sounded more like he was saying, Jenny's growing up, has a car, probably has a boyfriend, she's off to make her own way in the world -- that sort of thing.
I'd be curious to see if other skaters take the skater-coach relationship as seriously and as personally as Kirk seems/seemed to. I can understand such a close tie developing for long-term relationships, but some skaters seem to jump from coach to coach looking for the right fit. How do THEY see the relationship? Also, I'd be interested in hearing the coach's perspective as well.
A lot of the coaches just seem downright cruel when I read skater accounts