A Case for an International Skaters' Union
In the Bulanhagui thread, a recent post says that she should have focused on the issue, not on the other compatriot skater. I agree on that, but can't help pondering on what caused her frustration in the first place and her subsequent wild rants on SNS.
No doubt that she should have been more mature, more focused on the source of her frustration. But, as a skating fan who realize at the bottom line it's the skaters who keep me interested in the sport, not the politics of the administrators of the governing bodies, I want to sympathize with her frustration, while I by no means condone her having gone uncontrolled on SNS.
The talks for an international skaters' union have been missing for a while, but I think if the skaters had a union, a case like Bulanhagui would have a better channel of audience to a fair solution, or at least a better, effective feedback. Outside of the contractual or acknowledged obligation to the governing bodies, each athlete should be free in selecting what competitions he/she would enter to fit his/her needs and schedule, and entitled to fair, transparent and predictable standards and procedures in having their skills judged.
The athletes deserve to have a channel for their grievances and suggestions be heard, mediated and solved, regarding the selection procedure, rule making, judging/scoring, etc. The collective opinion of the fans heard in the process could be incorporated into the procedure as the mediating factor. The journalists who cover the sport would have more juicy in-depth coverage of the conflicts and topics to sell to the public. And it would translate into less relevance as to who would be in charge of the governing bodies, and less stress and frustration on the part of the fans regarding what's happening behind the doors.
Less arbitrary power to the heads and governing bodies, more interest to the fans and the media, and better rules, fairness and transparency for the athletes and the fans.