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Thread: Possible alternative nationalities in singles skating

  1. #46
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    My understanding is that USFS will "embargo" skaters from switching to a different federation for several years if the federation has already invested significant money etc. in their development -- which they will have done if the skater has already earned important international medals that qualified them for A and B funding envelopes. Other major federations probably have similar policies.

    From the skaters' point of view, the best time to think about switching countries is before they have any international assignments -- or at least before they win major international medals.

    For the young skaters, though, they probably still hold hope that they will become US stars, which would be more prestigious and generally more lucrative. Small start-up federations are not likely to be able to offer any funding, and just traveling to their nationals might be significant extra expense.

    Also, of course, fans are not likely to start speculating about skaters who haven't already earned at least some national success.

  2. #47
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I've always wished Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giuletti-Schmit could have found another country to compete for, other than the US.

    These days, Thailand is an ISU member!

  3. #48
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    I can kinda see the USFSA point about investing in skaters then having them leave for other countries, but it seems short sighted. Skating in the US benefits from skating doing well internationally too. NBC would like it too if they could cover multiple skaters in the mix with US connections

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    My understanding is that USFS will "embargo" skaters from switching to a different federation for several years if the federation has already invested significant money etc. in their development -- which they will have done if the skater has already earned important international medals that qualified them for A and B funding envelopes. Other major federations probably have similar policies.

    From the skaters' point of view, the best time to think about switching countries is before they have any international assignments -- or at least before they win major international medals.

    For the young skaters, though, they probably still hold hope that they will become US stars, which would be more prestigious and generally more lucrative. Small start-up federations are not likely to be able to offer any funding, and just traveling to their nationals might be significant extra expense.

    Also, of course, fans are not likely to start speculating about skaters who haven't already earned at least some national success.
    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    I can kinda see the USFSA point about investing in skaters then having them leave for other countries, but it seems short sighted. Skating in the US benefits from skating doing well internationally too. NBC would like it too if they could cover multiple skaters in the mix with US connections

    http://trueslant.com/jenniferkirk/20...-its-athletes/


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    Quote Originally Posted by MalloryArcher View Post
    This is actually the topic of my PHD thesis, so perhaps I can shed some light on it!
    ....
    It is kind of true that Finns don't travel much to St Petersburg, even though it's so close. The complicated visa process (and high cost of visas) puts a barrier up,
    When people will start bringing sources before to claim this or that I wonder .

    Here's the official portal of St-Petersburg government. Data on 2009 says: 2,300,000 foreing tourists (total number of tourists is 4.8mil, the population of the city is 4.5mil in 2009). By country: 1. Finland- 577k (i.e. around 24% of total foreign tourists in the city were from Finland), 2. Germany-173k, .. others: http://old.gov.spb.ru/day/cultur/tourizm . Data for 2010 (bilingual, the population of the city is 4.8mil): http://gov.spb.ru/helper/culture/tourizm/ . In 2012 about 1.4mil tourists from Finland visited Russia, mostly St-Petersburg followed by Moscow (on the second place- Polish tourists, 3rd- Germans). The population of Finland is 5.4mil, i.e. about 25% of the total population visited Russia: http://spb.itar-tass.com/c344/666543.html . If you compare the data for the last couple of years, the number of tourists is growing, not declining. Russian visa cost for Finnish citizens is 35 euros (70 euros fast track) http://www.rusembassy.fi/visas_information.htm Schengen visa cost for Russian citizens issued by the Finnish consulate is 35 euros (70 euros for fast track) http://www.finland.org.ru/public/def...&culture=ru-RU So?

  6. #51
    EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA CaroLiza_fan's Avatar
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    This is a reply to Benda's post on page 3.

    Brenda, myself and various other members have already mentioned this in passing in this thread, but perhaps I should just emphasise the following point.

    There are certain countries where it is so competitive to get into the team that, if they have the option, it would be better for a skater to switch away from, than to switch to:

    1. The USA
    2. Canada
    3. Russia
    4. China
    5. Japan


    If you are already skating for one of the countries on the list, and have the option of competing for another country on the list, there is no point contemplating switching. You may as well just stay where you are, as it is unlikely to improve your chances of getting selected anyway.

    So, there is no point in Christina Gao trying to swap the US for China; or Andrei Rogozine trying to swap Canada for Russia; or Mirai Nagasu trying to swap the US for Japan.

    Similarly, if you are skating for a country not on the list, and have the option of competing for another country not on the list, there is not much point contemplating switching.

    I know that I keep referring to Denis Ten as being “Korean” (because his whole family is Korean), but he may as well just stick with Kazakhstan. Like, no disrespect to the other male skaters in Kazakhstan, but Denis doesn’t exactly have a lot of strong competition for the Kazakh slot.

    But, if you are skating for one of the countries on the list, and have the option of competing for a country not on the list, by all means contemplate switching! It could be the making of your career! That is why I advised Agnes Zawadzki to switch to Poland.


    I was trying to avoid talking about Vanessa James, as I have mentioned the issue of her switching countries a few times in other threads, and I didn't want it to look like I was picking on her. But, the context in which Brenda has brought her into the conversation is actually quite interesting, and it allows me to ask something I have been wondering for quite a few years!

    Right, Vanessa and her twin sister Melyssa were born in Ontario, Canada, but they grew up in the ancestral homeland of Bermuda.

    As Bermuda is still a British dependency, they are British citizens. Since the Canadian championship is far more competitive than the British championship, they both opted to compete in Britain rather than in their birth country.

    Unfortunately for the James sisters, they came up against a girl from my home country (Jenna McCorkell). So, Melyssa stayed in Britain, but switched to Ice Dance. Vanessa, on the other hand, moved to France, and then switched to Pairs Skating.

    As Brenda has pointed out, Vanessa got French citizenship very quickly. I have often wondered whether the fact that she was born in Canada had anything to do with this. OK, so the James girls were born in Ontario (mainly English-speaking) rather than neighbouring Quebec (mainly French-speaking).

    With Canada being a former British Dominion, I know that there are some special arrangements between the 2 countries over various things. But, I don’t know if there are similar arrangements between France and its former colony of Quebec; or between France and Canada as a whole.

    So, would this have helped Vanessa get her French citizenship fast-tracked?


    Also, good point about Azerbaijan and Iran. I had never thought of that possibility.

    I suppose the same could be the case with Armenia and Turkey. But, there is so much bad feeling between these 2 countries that there would be outrage if somebody switched from one to the other.

    Although the last thing that I wanted was for this thread (or any other thread I have started) to stray into politics, the way it has crept into the conversation is actually quite interesting.

    CaroLiza_fan

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    This is a reply to Benda's post on page 3.

    Brenda, myself and various other members have already mentioned this in passing in this thread, but perhaps I should just emphasise the following point.

    There are certain countries where it is so competitive to get into the team that, if they have the option, it would be better for a skater to switch away from, than to switch to:

    1. The USA
    2. Canada
    3. Russia
    4. China
    5. Japan


    If you are already skating for one of the countries on the list, and have the option of competing for another country on the list, there is no point contemplating switching. You may as well just stay where you are, as it is unlikely to improve your chances of getting selected anyway.

    So, there is no point in Christina Gao trying to swap the US for China; or Andrei Rogozine trying to swap Canada for Russia; or Mirai Nagasu trying to swap the US for Japan.

    Similarly, if you are skating for a country not on the list, and have the option of competing for another country not on the list, there is not much point contemplating switching.

    I know that I keep referring to Denis Ten as being “Korean” (because his whole family is Korean), but he may as well just stick with Kazakhstan. Like, no disrespect to the other male skaters in Kazakhstan, but Denis doesn’t exactly have a lot of strong competition for the Kazakh slot.

    But, if you are skating for one of the countries on the list, and have the option of competing for a country not on the list, by all means contemplate switching! It could be the making of your career! That is why I advised Agnes Zawadzki to switch to Poland.
    I think the explanation about the countries on your list and off the list is mostly true, but not hundred percent true. I think it not only depends on from which country to which country you want to move, but what the level of competition is there at the moment (and the level of juniors coming through within the next few years).

    For example, if Mirai Nagasu who is skating for US had tinier figure and decided to do pairs, there would be no reason why she couldn't switch to Japan. As she would be eligible for Japanese citizenship, she wouldn't have any problems with being accepted by Japanese Federation. Considering that she hasn't had much success the last few years, the US Federation may not make it difficult for her (or she would have to just sit it out).

    Another example - Shibutanis. Japanese don't have that great pairs, so that would potentially be successful transfer. Unfortunately they are too successful at the moment and the US Federation may try to keep them/delay the transfer for far too long. But as they are young, if they saw that they are being overtaken by too many couples and that they won't have any future in the US, it would be a possibility.

    You are right, I don't think it is worth moving from any country (both on your list and not on your list) to USA or Canada, because the level of the competition is too high. The same about moving to Russia in ladies, dance and pairs; however I do think that Russians would get used to imported man if no one was better than him. That imported man would have to be really good, because if he was only as good as home born Russian man, the Russian man would be held up within Russia. (but then again, if the imported man was really so good, why would he want to move from his own country?)

    Until recently I thought that China would happily adopt any man or lady, but seeing the new young ones (e.g. Han Yan) coming through, I don't think they need any men or ladies to import now.

  8. #53
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    That's a big number of Finns going to Russia! It's so close especially to st petersberg that I would imagine any kind of retail sale at a store would make it attractive to go to! Lol!

    Julia li going to Korea wouldn't be bad but like zawadzki going to Poland the federation might not let them go. The willingness of federation to let skaters go is the biggest thing.

  9. #54
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    no to Nam Nguyen! I like that we Canadians have him plus he'll fully come into his own the next olympic cycle at least he has a better coach now

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    There are certain countries where it is so competitive to get into the team that, if they have the option, it would be better for a skater to switch away from, than to switch to:

    1. The USA
    2. Canada
    3. Russia
    4. China
    5. Japan


    If you are already skating for one of the countries on the list, and have the option of competing for another country on the list, there is no point contemplating switching. You may as well just stay where you are, as it is unlikely to improve your chances of getting selected anyway.
    I generally agree with one exception - are there so many good skaters in China? They have only Li in ladies, Song in men, yeah some good pairs and no great ice dancers actually, I guess. Correct me if I'm wrong. I think switching to China would give Gao rather easy access to worlds.
    Christina Gao would easily make the China team with Zijun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherryy View Post
    I generally agree with one exception - are there so many good skaters in China? They have only Li in ladies, Song in men, yeah some good pairs and no great ice dancers actually, I guess. Correct me if I'm wrong. I think switching to China would give Gao rather easy access to worlds.
    Christina Gao would easily make the China team with Zijun.
    How much (rather, how little) freedom do Chinese skaters have to choose their own coaches though? It seems like the national champs do travel to North America for at least a few weeks each season to get choreography (Nichol and Buttle), but they all have Chinese coaches. The Chinese fed is very nationalistic and I'm not sure how well they'd take to having a foreign-born skater with foreign choreographers AND foreign coaches. Christina was stagnating under Orser in Toronto, but this season we saw a much more confident, poised, and mature skater after starting Harvard and training under Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson. It seems to be working well for her right now, and I imagine the Chinese fed would demand to have a lot of input into her training situation. IIRC Lu Chen had a lot of conflicts with her fed back in the day, and of course Shen and Zhao's lives were not easy by any stretch.

    Another potential issue is the Chinese internal seniority/ranking issue. Over the past two seasons, we've seen Han Yan get shafted for international assignments in favor of Nan Song, decisions that many people online seem to attribute Chinese culture valuing seniority. Suppose Christina bombs at Chinese nationals and places behind Kexin Zhang (not very probable but still possible, Zhang does 3T3T in sp and tries 7 triples in FS, she was 23rd in London but did place 7th at 2012 Worlds). What then? If Christina's fate is to continually miss world championship spots, I think she'll still have a better career competing for the US as she is now. The US fed still has more politik power than China (who are probably putting all of the few horses they have behind Zijun Li for 2015 Shanghai, a competition that Christina would not be released in time for--July 1, 2014 is only 17 months after 4CC 2013, and she needs 18 months). If the earliest Worlds she can compete at for China is 2016, then a switch would mean she's giving up two very good opportunities to qualify in 2014 and 2015. USA has 3 spots for 2014, and even if Gao doesn't make the Olympic team, any one or more of those team members could choose to withdraw from the post-Oly worlds for various reasons (medal, tour, exhaustion, retirement, etc), and 4th or 5th place at nationals could get sent.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
    How much (rather, how little) freedom do Chinese skaters have to choose their own coaches though? It seems like the national champs do travel to North America for at least a few weeks each season to get choreography (Nichol and Buttle), but they all have Chinese coaches. The Chinese fed is very nationalistic and I'm not sure how well they'd take to having a foreign-born skater with foreign choreographers AND foreign coaches. Christina was stagnating under Orser in Toronto, but this season we saw a much more confident, poised, and mature skater after starting Harvard and training under Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson. It seems to be working well for her right now, and I imagine the Chinese fed would demand to have a lot of input into her training situation. IIRC Lu Chen had a lot of conflicts with her fed back in the day, and of course Shen and Zhao's lives were not easy by any stretch.
    Yeah, I agree. Christina may even retire after 2014 and concentrate on Harvard. I thought that maybe some novice skaters skating for US with chinese parents/grandparents should switch to China but after what you said I guess sometimes staying in the US may be a better choice. I didn't realise chinese may get so angry if you don't have chinese team working along with you.

  13. #58
    EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA CaroLiza_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    For example, if Mirai Nagasu who is skating for US had tinier figure and decided to do pairs, there would be no reason why she couldn't switch to Japan. As she would be eligible for Japanese citizenship, she wouldn't have any problems with being accepted by Japanese Federation. Considering that she hasn't had much success the last few years, the US Federation may not make it difficult for her (or she would have to just sit it out).

    Another example - Shibutanis. Japanese don't have that great pairs, so that would potentially be successful transfer. Unfortunately they are too successful at the moment and the US Federation may try to keep them/delay the transfer for far too long. But as they are young, if they saw that they are being overtaken by too many couples and that they won't have any future in the US, it would be a possibility.
    That's great in theory, but what about the Japanese rules over dual-nationality?

    You are allowed dual-nationality until you turn 21, and then you have to choose one country or the other.

    At the time of the Takahashi/Tran split, I was very scathing about the Japanese rules, and specifically the way the Japanese treat the descendants of their own people. (e.g. in my first comment in that thread: http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...l=1#post692307 )

    Of the skaters you mentioned, Mirai and Maia are still young enough to have dual-nationality. But Alex has already turned 21. So, presumably he has already renounced his Japanese nationality. I don't know if you can reverse your decision after it has been made, but it would mean Alex would have to renounce his American nationality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cherryy View Post
    I generally agree with one exception - are there so many good skaters in China? They have only Li in ladies, Song in men, yeah some good pairs and no great ice dancers actually, I guess. Correct me if I'm wrong. I think switching to China would give Gao rather easy access to worlds.
    Christina Gao would easily make the China team with Zijun.
    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    Until recently I thought that China would happily adopt any man or lady, but seeing the new young ones (e.g. Han Yan) coming through, I don't think they need any men or ladies to import now.
    Sorry Cherryy, but I have to disagree with you and instead agree with hanca on this matter.

    Just looking at the Men's medalists at this year's Chinese Nationals (1st Song Nan, 2nd Yan Han, 3rd Jin Boyang) shows that the future's VERY bright in the Men's category. And then we have the brilliant youngster Li Zijun joining Zhang Kexin in the Ladies.

    But, I think Cherryy is right that Gao and Li would be the dream team for China in terms of talent. But unfortunately, it is unlikely to happen for the reasons Brenda described. Even though she is ethnic Chinese, Gao will still be seen as a foreign blow-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda View Post
    Another potential issue is the Chinese internal seniority/ranking issue. Over the past two seasons, we've seen Han Yan get shafted for international assignments in favor of Nan Song, decisions that many people online seem to attribute Chinese culture valuing seniority.
    Although I do think Brenda is spot-on about China's attitudes about seniority, I think there is a simpler explanation about why Song Nan has got the international slot in preference to Yan Han: for the past 2 years, Song Nan has WON Chinese Nationals.

    In 2013, Yan was 2nd in Chinese Nationals, just 1.87 points behind Song.
    But, in 2012, Yan was 3rd in Chinese Nationals, a full 19.48 points(!) behind Song.

    Admittedly, Yan did win Chinese Nationals for the 2 years before that. But the Chinese are probably just looking at it with the view "Song is the guy that's winning Nationals at the moment, so we'll send him".

    Plus, the fact that Song has won 3 times (2009, 2012, 2013) to Yan's 2 times (2010, 2011) probably holds some weight as well.

    It's a shame because, of the two, Yan is clearly the bigger prospect for the future. But, hopefully whoever is selected next year can do enough to earn China a second slot in the Men's category. China badly need it, because it won't be long until Jin is old enough to join Song and Yan in the fight to be sent to Worlds!

    CaroLiza_fan

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan View Post
    That's great in theory, but what about the Japanese rules over dual-nationality?

    You are allowed dual-nationality until you turn 21, and then you have to choose one country or the other.

    Of the skaters you mentioned, Mirai and Maia are still young enough to have dual-nationality. But Alex has already turned 21. So, presumably he has already renounced his Japanese nationality. I don't know if you can reverse your decision after it has been made, but it would mean Alex would have to renounce his American nationality.
    I am aware that they would have to choose Japanese nationality and renounce the US nationality. But I was talking about an example that it would be possible to go and skate for Japan. If, for example, they had no chance to go to Olympics for USA because they wouldn't be good enough, the theoretical possibility is there to go and skate for Japan. The question is whether it would be worth it for them. But neither of us can decide that for them. We may think that it wouldn't be worth it, but we are not in their shoes. It was worth it for Kavaguti to give up her citizenship...

    By the way, how hard would it be to live in the USA while not having US citizenship?

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    Quote Originally Posted by let`s talk View Post
    When people will start bringing sources before to claim this or that I wonder .

    Here's the official portal of St-Petersburg government. Data on 2009 says: 2,300,000 foreing tourists (total number of tourists is 4.8mil, the population of the city is 4.5mil in 2009). By country: 1. Finland- 577k (i.e. around 24% of total foreign tourists in the city were from Finland), 2. Germany-173k, .. others: http://old.gov.spb.ru/day/cultur/tourizm . Data for 2010 (bilingual, the population of the city is 4.8mil): http://gov.spb.ru/helper/culture/tourizm/ . In 2012 about 1.4mil tourists from Finland visited Russia, mostly St-Petersburg followed by Moscow (on the second place- Polish tourists, 3rd- Germans). The population of Finland is 5.4mil, i.e. about 25% of the total population visited Russia: http://spb.itar-tass.com/c344/666543.html . If you compare the data for the last couple of years, the number of tourists is growing, not declining. Russian visa cost for Finnish citizens is 35 euros (70 euros fast track) http://www.rusembassy.fi/visas_information.htm Schengen visa cost for Russian citizens issued by the Finnish consulate is 35 euros (70 euros for fast track) http://www.finland.org.ru/public/def...&culture=ru-RU So?
    Wow, ok, you come across as a bit rude. I'm newish to this board, and just joined this month. I hope you're not typical of posters here otherwise I really can't be bothered posting anything here. Mods should take note of posters like you, I think. Way to turn off new members!

    We were actually talking about Finnish RESIDENTS of St Petersburg, not TOURISTS or VISITORS. I thought that was clear. I don't really know what debating the number of tourists in St Pete adds to this discussion, but since you seem to have misinterpreted what I said, I'll add this: I mentioned at the end that I think Finns are less likely to travel in St Petersburg, compared to other nearby cities (like Tallinn and Stockholm). Which statistics indicate is TRUE. 25% of Finns may have visited St Petersburg, but approx. 84% have visited Tallinn (source:statistics-finland website). I can speak from experience that traveling to St Pete was significantly more expensive and difficult than going to Stockholm although St Petersburg is much closer geographically to my home. I imagine the cost and difficulties would put at least some people off (ie. the 59% of Finns willing to go to Tallinn but not St Petersburg). Are you disputing this? Do you live Finland, and have visited Russia and at least one other neighbour country, so can give a good comparison to challenge mine? If not, why are you bothering to tell me that there indeed are some Finnish tourists in St Petersburg? I KNOW THAT, I was one myself! duh!

    ANYWAY, the core of what I was saying is that there are few Finnish RESIDENTS of St Petersburg. I thought this would be interesting to the poster who asked about Finns in St Petersburg who could apply for Finnish citizenship. As I mentioned, Russians of Finnish descent (Ingrian Finns) were a culturally significant minority in St Petersburg up until the 1990s, when Finnish immigration law allowed them to resettle in Finland. Most Ingrian Finns have left St Petersburg for Finland. The law was changed in 2010, so if any Russians now discover Finnish ancestry it won't help them gain Finnish citizenship. Despite this, Finnish citizenship law is more straight forward than some other European countries (eg Estonia or Latvia. I was surprised someone suggested Estonia as an alternative for Polina K, as Estonian citizenship is very strict). If skaters were to start training in Finland, as long as they could prove some proficiency in Finnish (or Swedish) they could apply for citizenship after 5 years. Some skaters have in fact done this. Alisa Drei of Russia moved to Finland with her mom when she got married to a Finn and got Finnish citizenship, represented Finland in the Olympics (1998 I think). I don't believe acquiring Finnish citizenship without residency is possible unless at least one parent is a Finnish citizen. So hopefully that is of some interest to the discussion on alternative nationalities.

    And with that, I'm done.

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