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Thread: Canadian figure skating is on the "mend" says Kurt Browning

  1. #16
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    It isn't Joannie's fault that no lady has stepped up to the challenge to take her place, and it's a little unfair of Skate Canada to put pressure on her to return when she isn't entirely sure that's what she wants to do.

    Joannie will be 28 in 2014. She is the PAST of Canadian skating, and her returning for Sochi (IF she does) will do nothing to improve the level of Ladies skating in Canada. Skate Canada needs to look ahead to 2018 and search hard for talent to be developed. And spend the $$ necessary to ensure that development.
    Don't you think they'd spend it if they had it? Canada does not subsidize skating, nor should they tax people for an elite Olympic sport. They aren't China. The world is on the brink of financial collapse. Where do you suggest they find the money? Health care rationing worsens. Canada has all the problems we do. It's great to be a fan but not live in a skating bubble.

    They had to suspend their popular skater/hockey show, Blades of whatever for lack of money. It simply is not there. The money, and of course in bad times, extras get cut out. Hockey will survive as it generates money, but the WC Chan is losing money not making it.

    I agree Joannie should not be pressured, but she seems to be in excellent shape, free of injuries. Plushenko is lauded, and he is older and has had surgeries. Joannie has the talent and the motivation. They just don't have any really good Olympic caliber skaters right now and I support her if she returns. She is beautiful to watch.

  2. #17
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    Why should Canada be competitive in every discipline? Who cares anyway?
    It would be a tragety for FS if Canada were competitive in every event. It's better spread the fortune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Don't you think they'd spend it if they had it? Canada does not subsidize skating, nor should they tax people for an elite Olympic sport. They aren't China. The world is on the brink of financial collapse. Where do you suggest they find the money? Health care rationing worsens. Canada has all the problems we do. It's great to be a fan but not live in a skating bubble.

    They had to suspend their popular skater/hockey show, Blades of whatever for lack of money. It simply is not there. The money, and of course in bad times, extras get cut out. Hockey will survive as it generates money, but the WC Chan is losing money not making it.

    I agree Joannie should not be pressured, but she seems to be in excellent shape, free of injuries. Plushenko is lauded, and he is older and has had surgeries. Joannie has the talent and the motivation. They just don't have any really good Olympic caliber skaters right now and I support her if she returns. She is beautiful to watch.

    There are a number of things that Canada and Provinces can do to fix the funding model. Right now, all the funds are showered on the top few skaters in each discipline. There is nothing to help out families as skaters develop through the ranks for many years. Unless a skater has a lot of family money, there is a tremendous amount of sacrifice made by the skater and the entire family. In order for that sacrifice to be worthwhile, a skater and family need to have a strong reason to continue in the sport: either a solid chance of eventually reaching the top ranks, and/or a belief in all the other benefits that are gained through the sport. (For example, Michael Phelps swims because it is an antidote for ADD and behaviour/achievement concerns.) If you are a parent of a young lady in the sport in Canada, and you do not have a ton of money, you are going to look at the prospects of your daughter against hundreds across the country. There are probably 40 or 50 ladies competing at Pre-Novice and Novice at the Sectional level. Your daughter would need to qualify in the top 4 in order to go to Challenge, and then, at Novice, finish top 18 in order to even get the right to compete at Nationals. It's going to take a lot of years and money and development to get to top 5 in Canada at Novice, Junior or Senior. With so many other sports that don't cost this much money at the development level, it is not surprising that we in Canada would lose a ton of great lady skaters. They just don't stick around long enough to develop to their potential. They don't see their way through, or the cost for very uncertain benefits are just too great. I also think there are less and less parents willing to make Houdini-like sacrifices personally for their kids to compete at a high level. There are also many other sporting opportunities for girls: basketball, soccer, volleyball, cycling, speed skating, etc. Hockey for women is huge in Canada. It's a team sport, and therefore often a whole lot more fun than skating can be. When skating is a too often seen as corrupt, full of favouritism, and basically a glorified beauty contest (the Salt Lake scandal only reinforced those notions), then the cost/benefit is a lot harder to make.

    I think the new judging system is helping to bring credibility back. Good role models like Kurt Browning, Joannie, Scott and Tessa, Dylan and KMT, and Andrew and Kaitlyn are helping tremendously. But now we need to address funding, not just for the ladies, but all competitive athletes associated with national sporting associations, and competing at a Provincial or National level. Canada especially is in a much better financial position than many other countries. It's a fact. It will be impacted by global events, but the fundamentals mean that Canada is in a better position now and in the future. The reality is that there are people with lots of money in Canada. And they currently reduce their tax load by giving away their money to things that are important to them. This is money that already doesn't go to healthcare or the government coffers in general - or to the CBC which is government funded, and which produces Battle of the Blades. Corporations do this, as well as individuals. This is not about government funding. It's about spreading around and maybe increasing slightly money that already doesn't go to the government. It should be possible for these corporations and individuals to support local athletes at the development level as part of this yearly give away of money. That doesn't mean money will dry up completely for cancer research funding. That's silly. It means that some money can go to sports, especially where corporations and individuals see local talent deserving of support, as well as cancer research. And it's not a dollar for dollar benefit. It's a portion of a dollar, which is at least a small benefit to encourage more giving. We need to get into a mindset that supporting so called elite athletes benefits the broader society. (I will never understand the disdain for elite athletes in Canada. We are ok with supporting a local soccer team of little kids, but we somehow think it is wrong to support athletes who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to hopefully one day represent their country?? We want them to succeed on the world stage, but are unwilling to acknowledge them outside of competition, almost like they have a disease because they are "elite". The stereotypes around "elite" athletes is just odd to me.) Good role models and athletes encourage the over all activity level of kids and young people, and the other skills learned in the sport mean that many athletes become the next generation of leaders. All of us need healthy minds and bodies. Skating, along with other sports, help achieve that balance, even if a young athlete never makes it to the big leagues. That's good for society and the tax burden on many levels. Many skaters I know are also great students, and achieve good things beyond the world of skating. Skating should not be just for the financially rich. It should be for the athletes who have the dedication, desire, mindset, passion, work ethic - a big dream with a plan to get there - as well as talent. Greater community involvement and support will produce better results as more athletes stay in the sport and the best rise to the top, which will also result in a wider viewing audience and increasing popularity in the sport, which will result in greater participation, etc..

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    They had to suspend their popular skater/hockey show, Blades of whatever for lack of money. It simply is not there. The money, and of course in bad times, extras get cut out. Hockey will survive as it generates money, but the WC Chan is losing money not making it.
    Battle of the Blades was cancelled because funding for the CBC (the publically owned television network), has been slashed. This has NOTHING to do with funding for elite sports and everything to do with the Conservative government's disdain for publically owned television. Harper would sell off the CBC if he could get away with it, but he can't and so he settles for cutting its funding. This is something that every Conservative government has done for years because they think the CBC has a Liberal bias.

    And just for the record, Canada DOES not have the same kinds of problems as the US. Health care is NOT rationed. We never had a housing bubble because Paul Martin refused to de-regulate our banking industry while Clinton and W were dismantling regulations in the US, and we never particapted in the war on Iraq.

    We do have a deficit because of the US-caused recession, but our economy recovered well and it recovered quickly.

  5. #20
    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    Several days ago in a different thread, I had posted a brief quote from Skate Canada's Facebook page about the following funding, but it also seems relevant here:

    Per The Londoner, Wed May 23 (emphases added):
    Skate Canada got a $1.5 million boost from the Ontario government today to help organize the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships at the John Labatt Centre in London.
    “What an exiting event this is going to be,” said London West MPP, Chris Bentley at a press conference. “ I know how important it is to our community, I know how important it is to the province and I know how important it is to the skaters.”
    The funding will help Skate Canada organize the almost $12-million championships.
    While the exact use of the provincial funding remains undecided, Skate Canada head honcho William Thompson said it will be put towards organizing Worlds-related activities in the community as well as some legacy projects.
    “(The funding) allows us to do more things outside the arena and in the community,” he said. “We want to …have a festival outside the arena with activities for families and kids so they can come down and enjoy the event.”
    Thompson said most Skate Canada competitors come from the Windsor – Ottawa corridor. He hopes the event at the JLC next year will help inspire and attract more athletes to the sport. “Young people will watch this event and will be excited by it,” he said. “[It is the legacy] you can’t measure in Dollars.”

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden411 View Post
    Several days ago in a different thread, I had posted a brief quote from Skate Canada's Facebook page about the following funding, but it also seems relevant here:

    Per The Londoner, Wed May 23 (emphases added):
    Skate Canada got a $1.5 million boost from the Ontario government today to help organize the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships at the John Labatt Centre in London.
    “What an exiting event this is going to be,” said London West MPP, Chris Bentley at a press conference. “ I know how important it is to our community, I know how important it is to the province and I know how important it is to the skaters.”
    The funding will help Skate Canada organize the almost $12-million championships.
    While the exact use of the provincial funding remains undecided, Skate Canada head honcho William Thompson said it will be put towards organizing Worlds-related activities in the community as well as some legacy projects.
    “(The funding) allows us to do more things outside the arena and in the community,” he said. “We want to …have a festival outside the arena with activities for families and kids so they can come down and enjoy the event.”
    Thompson said most Skate Canada competitors come from the Windsor – Ottawa corridor. He hopes the event at the JLC next year will help inspire and attract more athletes to the sport. “Young people will watch this event and will be excited by it,” he said. “[It is the legacy] you can’t measure in Dollars.”
    Thanks for the info golden411 - Although Ontario's provincial government has put in funding for World's next year - Thompson and Company at Skate Canada have yet to attract a major corporate sponsor after BMO etc left. Presently, i am not thrilled with Skate Canada's management. If SOI Canada with Kurt Browning was able to have some corporate sponsors such as Westjet airlines, Investors group - Lindt chocolate why can't Skate Canada attract at least one major sponsor with skaters like Patrick Chan and Virtue/Moir. It's a little depressing and embarassing to see no advertising banners at Skate Canada events...

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlady View Post
    And just for the record, Canada DOES not have the same kinds of problems as the US. Health care is NOT rationed.
    Tell that to Canadian women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Yes, they get the surgery right away, but if their cancer requires radiation and/or chemo, they are put on a waiting list. Those who can afford it go to the US for followup treatment; the others can only hope their cancer won't spread as they wait.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckm View Post
    Tell that to Canadian women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Yes, they get the surgery right away, but if their cancer requires radiation and/or chemo, they are put on a waiting list. Those who can afford it go to the US for followup treatment; the others can only hope their cancer won't spread as they wait.
    Apologies in advance for the OT comment, but I can say with absolute certainty that women in my province are not waiting for chemotherapy or radiation. There is a set protocol for the treatment of breast cancer that is followed seamlessly.

    Back on topic, I was very sad to see BMO leave. Their sponsorship will be difficult to replace (obviously).

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagefigureskater View Post
    Apologies in advance for the OT comment, but I can say with absolute certainty that women in my province are not waiting for chemotherapy or radiation. There is a set protocol for the treatment of breast cancer that is followed seamlessly.

    Back on topic, I was very sad to see BMO leave. Their sponsorship will be difficult to replace (obviously).
    Sorry to be OT as well, but there are protocols here, at least in Ontario, where once diagnosed, there is a window of time where surgery, chemo and rads must be performed. Although you do have to be your own advocate, our system works, for BC anyway, and a lot of hospitals have programs to help patients out with the cost of extra medications that accompany chemo etc. and can add up.
    Sorry about that.

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