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Thread: Abuse of Young People in Figure Skating

  1. #16
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    He moved to FL and is still coaching AFAIK.

  2. #17
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    But was the outcome after this students came forward? Was he convicted of anything, or was there an out of court settlement?

  3. #18
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    BTW, for anyone not recognizing Karel Fajfr

    http://www.zeit.de/1995/40/Im_Griff_des_Trainers

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_Fajfr

    He was convicted. He is still coaching.
    Thanks for that, Doris. It's absolutely disgusting.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    But was the outcome after this students came forward? Was he convicted of anything, or was there an out of court settlement?
    As I recall he was not convicted. Don't remember if it was dismissed or settled out of court.

    The only other coach I can think of that was convicted and jailed was Mr. Lowry (Scott Hamilton's first real coach). I don't think he's coaching these days.

    I would think that if Callahan had been convicted he wouldn't be able to coach due to the sex offender laws in the US. But I could be wrong. Sex Offenders by and large seem to be more protected than their victims (or potential victims).

  5. #20
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Toni, Like everything else in the US, it depends a lot which state you live in.

  6. #21
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    I could see upping age to 16 I guess.

    I also think if CoP was juggled a bit it could help. In Novice and Juniors, even more limits on the number of triples performed, while keeping total number of jumping elements the same. That would force competitors to compete with doubles and concentrate on gaining positive GOE through correct execution. Also doubling the value of SS (maybe for all levels) of the PCS, that would reward strong basic technique.

    At that age I was galloping horseback over 4' jumps and almost living at the barn. Wouldn't change it for anything. Kids learn a lot from sports, despite the inherent risks. I know I am enriched, despite a few broken bones along the way.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghislaine View Post
    USFSA did a great disservice to the sport when they fined Rachael Flatt for hiding an injury - now no one will report injuries, and they publicly absolved her irresponsible coach of any wrongdoing.
    Yes, this was especially wrong when in the same season the same coach pressured a sixteen year old into skating at Nationals while injured, resulting in a broken leg...that that coach had two skaters within such a short time being forced to skate injured and somehow got away with it is disgusting.

  8. #23
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    This is a very important topic that should be discussed widely and openly in every sport and society. However there is no easy answer for it.

    It is vital for people to exercise in order to stay healthy but at same time too much exercise can be equally bad: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...oo-little.html

    How much exercise is too much in various age groups?
    How to control better what the coaches are doing?
    In some countries, why are so many kids home schooled and only because of sports?
    How to make sure the exercise is varied and balanced enough?
    What kind of atmosphere there is around the sport or at a particular club, is it open enough to speak up when something is wrong?
    How to protect the children from the not so pretty side of professional sports?
    At what age the children are mature enough to make their own decisions on the training amount etc?
    How important the winning really is?
    Is the competitive part of the sport emphasized too much, especially in figure skating and other "child sports"?
    In figure skating, what kind of behavior is being taught to children? (This sport can be very old fashioned in many ways)
    etc.
    etc.

  9. #24
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    How is it abused when most skaters dress like trollups anyways, what a bunch of nonsense this is, no offence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karlowens2 View Post
    Just seeing results of Rostelecom Cup and another win by Julia L. Watching this waif bounce around on the ice is so ridiculous. She should be splashing around in a wading pool somewhere not representing women´s figure skating. She´s 15 but not a woman. Julia like Tara and others are in an unusual state of arrested development. Ordinarily, women mature quicker than men. This is not true in these girls and is an anomaly. Is this something to base a sport on? Figure skating is beginning to look like a juvenile beauty pageant. It´s creepy and bad for the sport.

    Has anyone done a study on the long-term effects of training 6-8 hours a day on the juvenile body frame? There have been anecdotal reportings of post-competition permanent damage. I recall Tara had major hip problems at 16 based on that 3Lo3Lo trick. Yuna seems to experience chronic pain and frequently is unable to compete because of injury. If these girls experinced these problems from a job we would call the Department of Social Work. Why do we condone it in sport?

    We can not ask children to decide for themselves. Children at this age do not understand long-term implications. Many get involved in illegal activities, child-soldering, etc. precisely for this reason. It´s time for the ISU to address this issue and return women´s figure skating to a competition of women doing remarkable things in a beautiful way.
    Sorry, but the skaters don't train for that many hours a day. It's not even effective.

    Which SPORT doesn't have injuries? In ice hockey, for example, there's constantly tons of people injured. It happens all the time.

    Also, you're basically asking for the skaters to only BEGIN practicing at the age of what, 16+? In that case, they will all be terrible. You might not realize this, but the skaters have been training a lot since they were like 4-7 years old. What difference does it make if the age limit is changed to 16? The 12-year-olds will be training all the same.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayuki View Post
    What difference does it make if the age limit is changed to 16? The 12-year-olds will be training all the same.
    This,

    Lifting age eligibility to 16 or limiting the amount of triple jumps they can do in competition is not going to reduce the amount of their training. Most of those children are athletes. They train to win and they will still train the jumps because they will need to learn them before they go through puberty. Getting a new jump after puberty is much harder.

  12. #27
    One does not simply skate into Sochi MaiKatze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    BTW, for anyone not recognizing Karel Fajfr

    http://www.zeit.de/1995/40/Im_Griff_des_Trainers

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karel_Fajfr

    He was convicted. He is still coaching.
    Thank you for these links. I had no idea about Fajfr. I just read that Zeit article and I don't even know what to say! I cannot believe that guy is still coaching and there are skaters that are willing to go to him/ or send their children to get coached by scum like this. I'm shocked.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanca View Post
    That's ridiculous because it is impossible to reinforce it. It will only ensure that skaters from certain countries will be constantly winning because if some countries manage to falsificate documents to make their athletes older or younger, they will surely manage to falsificate the number of hours the athletes train. What do you suggest to do? Place an ISU official at every ice skating rink in every country and ask him/her to keep records of training hours of every elite athlete?
    Skaters already seem to keep a record of their training hours (yes, the reliability can be questioned). It is a part of their ISU biography. While there are always those who will find a way around any checking system in force, the penalties for that can be made severe enough that many would not won't to risk it. Don't many coaches charge by the hour? So that record exist and the exchange of funds between skater and coach would exist. There could be random checks as there are in drug testing. The link below shows what Kostner reports as her training hours per week.

    http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00004864.htm

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    Skaters already seem to keep a record of their training hours (yes, the reliability can be questioned). It is a part of their ISU biography. While there are always those who will find a way around any checking system in force, the penalties for that can be made severe enough that many would not won't to risk it. Don't many coaches charge by the hour? So that record exist and the exchange of funds between skater and coach would exist. There could be random checks as there are in drug testing. The link below shows what Kostner reports as her training hours per week.

    http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00004864.htm
    Skaters do keep the record of their skating, but the majority of skaters wants to win. If the way to win is to train more than your competitors, they will do it. If they are forced to report less hours than they are actually training, they will report less hours. Coaches do charge per hour, but skaters are also putting a lot of hours outside their lessons, so the coaches records of how many hours of lessons a skater has don't really prove anything. What does random check prove? It doesn't prove what time the skater came and what time he/she left the rink. Some of the elite skaters are also coaching other (basic level) skaters in their free time to earn some money, so you can't measure how many hours someone spends at the ice skating rink... If someone was during the random check on the ice too long, they can say that they are making the time for another time (previous day, or a week ago) when they couldn't go skating. Random checks for drugs have sense because the proof is in the urine or blood. Random checks to check how much a skater trains are useless because you can't prove it if a skater trained more or not. And in countries like China, the coaches or other employees of the rink would not be grassing up on the skaters that they skated more than they are supposed to. So all these restrictions would achieve would be that there would be suddenly a lot of Olympics and world champions from China ( and a few other countries who couldn't be made to limit their skaters' ice time).

  15. #30
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    Is it the balance in what we judge that´s the problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    This is why I think the age limits are a good thing and should perhaps be raised to at least 16.

    At the same time, it is not just skating, just girls, or just elite sports. All over the country, kids are over training and abusing their bodies for sports. As a secondary teacher, I had students who trained just an intensely and started just as young for more traditional school sports like wrestling, volleyball, and basketball. One girl went directly from school to an elite volleyball training center every day of the school team's off season where she trained for 5-6 hours a day. In the summer, she played on elite traveling teams where they trained all day every day and sometimes played as many as four matches in a day. She started that regimen at nine. It "paid off" with a division I scholarship. That school ran a wrestling program that started formal training for four year old boys. By age six, they are fasting to "make weight" for tournaments. And don't get me started on the fact that in most regions today, tackle football leagues, concussions and all, starts around age eight. My nephew played pee wee football in the south where the season for 8 year olds began with two a days in July and ended with "play offs" in November. And at both high schools I taught full time at "supplements" were encouraged for high school football players to build muscle mass.

    Over training children in pursuit of athletic glory is not just a skating problem.
    Thanks for your well-informed comments.

    Let´s say at an early age skaters can get up into the air and turn around three times better than those in their 20´s. It´s a good thing but is it getting too much emphasis? Body alignment, holding out positions, extension, transitions and edges - don´t they show important athletic ability? A few less triples in a more complete skater is more impressive to me than a partially formed skater in that window where the jumping is easier. Restricting the amount of jumping in early adolescents and raising the age limit are good ides. Maybe rebalancing the scoring is also needed.

    BTW - there is a similar problem in music. Young singers push the voice and pianists take on heavy literature to their later regret. The singers end up with short careers. Pianists develop tunnel syndrome, bursitis and other nerve/motor ailments.

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