I hope you will both go, have a great time, and tell us all about it!
It's so nice to see figure skating world expands! Since the number of participating skaters for Grand Prixs was decreased to 10(singles)/8(dance&pairs) from previous 12/10, I hope as many as possible top senior skaters, including our Japanese skaters, will be competing at this competition. Surely wil help the popularity of this sport in Australia!
GOoooo Australia! Aaaaand Wallabies!
My post was meant to raise the question, "When are people, regardless of where they are born, and what racial classification they are born into, going to have the same opportunity as (gosh, I don't know; let's say...) Gracie Gold?"
Let's put it another way. What is the ISU doing about (or does it care -- probably the more important question) the potentially amazing figure skaters in Namibia or Bolivia? How can we seriously talk about World Records and how amazing Yuna Kim and Evgeny Plushenko are when only some white and and Asian people are given the opportunity to compete???
I didn't mean to turn this all political. Sorry. What made me think about these questions is the question, how ironic is it that we might get excited that the ISU has decided to start a competition in the NEW WORLD??!! AUSTRALIA!!
And dorispulaski I certainly shall
deedee1 ahaha... oh, the Wallabies. (I hate to draw the comparison but being a Wallabies supporter feels akin to being a Mirai supporter... *slinks away*)
The externals develop by people who are actually doing the sport, according to their interests. And, yes, the external styles are sometimes a generation or two behind the trends in the wider world because today's skaters want to appeal to yesterday's skaters who are now judges. There's a long way up the competitive ladder before appealing to paying audiences is a consideration, and by that time the skaters themselves are used to the trends within the sport.
or something slightly more subtle like "we're just not going to put a rink anywhere near where someone we don't want to compete could get to," figure skating has sabotaged itself.
I'm reminded of a moment from my childhood. A skating parent asked the owner of the ice rink where we skated, who was also a coach, "What does it take to become a successful figure skater? Talent? Hard work?"
His response: "Money and access to an ice rink."
Figure skating started in northern Europe and North America because it could only be practiced on natural ice in cold weather. In places where there was no ice, there was no ice skating.
Artificial rinks were invented in the late 19th century.
They're expensive to build and maintain.
It wasn't until the mid-20th century that indoor competition became the norm.
To develop figure skating skills to the level that general audiences find entertaining takes many years, skating many hours per week, preferably starting at a very early age, on ice with comparatively few other figure skaters and not having to dodge the general public. This was even more true when school figures were central to competition, because they needed to be practiced on clean ice so the skaters could see the tracings.
Hence, the sport was started and developed by people who had access to relatively empty ice on a regular basis. That cost money and requires much leisure time for practice, so the sport was developed by rich people in the areas (northern Europe, Canada, northern US) that already had traditions of ice skating on natural ice.
They, along with speedskaters who came from similar areas with access to ice, created an organization (ISU) to regulate international competition in the sport.
The ISU does not build or maintain rinks or teach people how to skate. Nor, for the most part, do national federations.
That happens at a local level. A rink comes into existence because entrepreneurs think they can make money by providing ice for recreational purposes to the general public in their area and to hockey players and figure skaters or others with specialized sport goals. Or because a local government chooses to provide an ice rink as part of a program to provide recreational facilities to the community.
Figure skating practice is not a cost-effective use of ice time, from a rink's point of view. A session open to the general public may hold a couple hundred paying customers. That's where they make their money.
Hockey practices and figure skating practices may serve a couple dozen skaters at a time, which means that ice time costs more per individual.
In order for an ice rink to be built in a part of the world that does not already have a history of interest in the sport, some entrepreneur needs to be willing to take the risk of introducing the general idea of ice skating to that local population and be willing to lose money at first while developing that local interest.
Once the ice exists, some locals can start to learn and practice beginning figure skating skills. A local figure skating club can be organized. This will probably be necessary to negotiate ice time dedicated to figure skating, since the rink owners can make more money by keeping the ice open to everybody.
As the years go by, especially if there's at least one good coach available, some of the figure skaters will go on to develop more advanced skills. They may be interested in competing.
Local skaters have to put in the time practicing many hours a week for years. Someone has to pay for that ice time.
If there is no history of advanced figure skating within this country, then foreign coaches will need to be brought in and/or the more ambitious local figure skaters will need to travel abroad to places they can get better instruction than is available locally. All this takes time and money.
It may be time to join the national figure skating federation if one already exists, or organize one if it doesn't. A national federation can join the ISU and send skaters to international events at appropriate skill levels. Again, this takes money from within the federation.
So when a new federation is formed in a new part of the world, it's usually because one or more rich families in that area have kids who are becoming serious enough skaters to go beyond the local level and are willing to invest many hours of volunteer time in addition to the money for training and travel necessary to get the kids to that level.
In most cases, most of the money comes from the skaters' families.
The only situations where national federations pay for the ice time and coaching, and travel when relevant, and choose talented poor kids to support in this way, tend to be communist countries that place high value on success in international sport. Which right now is primarily China.
Otherwise, skating is a hobby, and one that becomes more and more expensive for participants the higher the level at which it's practiced.
Figure skating is a time-intensive and money-intensive sport. Poor kids -- even poor white kids living in cold climates with several ice rinks in commuting distance -- are not going to become world-class figure skaters. Race isn't the issue -- access to practice ice, and good coaching, is the issue.
I live in a part of the US that has a lot of immigrants and foreign nationals living here for stretches of several years. Some of their kids skate. Some of them get to levels they could never have dreamed of reaching back home someplace with no rinks or one rink with only a few hours of figure skating ice time per week. If they get to junior or senior level and if their family comes from a country that has a figure skating federation and if they can afford to take several overseas trips at their own expense, they may compete for that country.
Getting to junior or senior skill level living in a place with one ice rink and four or five hours of figure skating ice time a week is a lot less likely.
....I have checked official site, only to find out their 2012 season was not so impressive result-wise; 2 losses against All Blacks: 19-27 and a bit embarrassing 0-22 , went even against Springboks, and barely won 2 games against Argentina. As for roster, I am happy to see Ashley-Cooper still a Wallaby , but where is James O'Conor, or Will Genia who played birilliantly and looked so promising at 2011 World Cup???
oh, sorry for such Off-topic, everyone!
I hope there soon will be someone with great bravery captaincy; such as Nick Farr-Jones George Gregan or Sterling Mortlock, once again to head the national team. I still remember Mortlock's flashbulb-ish intersept then 80m run & try at 2007 WC semi-final agaist All Blacks!
ISU.org calendar listing now officially indicates Sydney as the "New Venue" for Skate DownUnder.
(But no link to any website for the event.)
I am so happy it's finally in Sydney! Will be there! I thought it would be Macquarie Centre Ice rink.
Yeah. It will be at Canterbury Ice Rink