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Thread: How many years to make an Olympic level skater? And other questions

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    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    How many years to make an Olympic level skater? And other questions

    Should parents start them at 4 yrs of age? What is the median age of gold medalists in past 30 years in different disciplines? Ice dancers and pairs are older. What does this say about levels of difficulty. Pairs is most dangerous...what do skaters or fans feel is THE most challenging discipline? Should women start skating later than boys, or be a certain build to lessen injuries? I wonder if mens and ladies should have different rules? Please no quads for women, and return beautiful extensive spiral sequences. Also more variety of spins. Why do we not see anymore blurred scratch spins? They seem very difficult to center and do very fast. I miss them. Why are they gone? Why is evertyone doing fugly spins-all the same except a few ladies like Mirai who have a pearl? Thanks for enlightenment-off season questions....

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Weir didn't start until he was 13!! I started at 3 and I'm not going to make the Olympics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Weir didn't start until he was 13!! I started at 3 and I'm not going to make the Olympics.
    Instead, you wrote 1757posters

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Hey...I was on my couch for 1 month and a half with an immobilizing injury from hitting the boards with my knee. I read two books too. It was during Olympics and Worlds. A lot was going on. No need to judge me. I'm just finishing rehab and should be back on the ice in a few weeks but until then....

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    P/B Appreciation Squad fleeting's Avatar
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    I started at 3 but quit because of a huge growth spurt when I was 9 as well as chronic headaches worsened by a concussion in an unrelated accident, but was told straight-up as a kid it would be difficult for me to succeed in a discipline outside singles because I was destined to be tall - my father is 6'5'' and my mother is 5'11''.

    Ladies often have to conform to a smaller build, especially in dance and pairs, making it easier for their partners to lift them - totally acceptable, of course, but six-year-old me was devastated! And my height would be a major disadvantage now too - the coaches were right.

    I think spins are consistently underscored in the sport as a whole. Banning quads... Not many ladies seem to try them in the first place, so I'm wondering if a ban would really be necessary.

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    Love popcorn, hate horrendous costumes. Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Weir didn't start until he was 13!! I started at 3 and I'm not going to make the Olympics.
    Weir had talent but it seems he was not competitive enough, not to mention he was distracted from training. What a pity. But Weir is exceptional I think. Most elite skater start from 4 or 5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Hey...I was on my couch for 1 month and a half with an immobilizing injury from hitting the boards with my knee. I read two books too. It was during Olympics and Worlds. A lot was going on. No need to judge me. I'm just finishing rehab and should be back on the ice in a few weeks but until then....
    Sorry no offense..Don't take my word seriously.

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    All good. I actually laughed when I read your post. I can take a joke. It's funny but I was going stir crazy that whole time. Nothing but my leg up with ice on my knee over and over and over again. ..ugh. GS was a great release for me.

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    I found this, in case anyone's interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...skating_by_age

    Obviously, the list is terribly incomplete (especially for men). But judging by the list and general comments I've heard, I'd say ~20-21 is the peak for men and ~19 for women (assuming you survive puberty). Anytime in your twenties seem okay for pairs/ice dance, presumably because teams take time to gel. And of course, there's always exceptions (Yuzu and Tara on the young side, Plush and Caro on the old side).

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    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Weir didn't start until he was 13!! I started at 3 and I'm not going to make the Olympics.
    I think he was 12, but isn't too big difference, he started to skate very late!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Should parents start them at 4 yrs of age?
    Not always necessary, but ideal.

    To answer the question a bit more literally, let's look at a few:

    Plushenko: started age 4, first Olympics age 19 (fifteen years to become an Olympic skater. You could argue eleven if you considered him Olympic level for Nagano, which he was too young for.)

    Brown: started age 3, first Olympics age 19 (sixteen years to become an Olympic skater).

    These are just two examples; I'm too tired right now to think of more. But it seems that between 10-15 years is the ideal average to make an Olympian. And of course, athletic peaks and other factors must be considered.


    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I wonder if mens and ladies should have different rules? Please no quads for women, and return beautiful extensive spiral sequences. Also more variety of spins. Why do we not see anymore blurred scratch spins? They seem very difficult to center and do very fast. I miss them. Why are they gone? Why is evertyone doing fugly spins-all the same except a few ladies like Mirai who have a pearl? Thanks for enlightenment-off season questions....
    Actually, I disagree, and think men's and ladies' should be brought more into line with each other. If a woman wants to do a quad, go for it. Likewise, if a man wants to (and is able to) include a layback spin or a spiral sequence, he should be able to. And if a lady would rather do step sequences than spirals or spins other than laybacks they should be able to. It might actually even up the field a little if less flexible ladies have alternate options to pushing their bodies into bad positions, just to compete with young rubber bands.

    (And on a personal note, I loathe spirals and my back has all the flexibility of a brick. Therefore...I avoid putting spirals in programs where possible and I may never learn an actual layback.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Weir didn't start until he was 13!! I started at 3 and I'm not going to make the Olympics.
    Weir was 12, but I think all can agree he was a freakish talent. A talent that unfortunately went to waste and was tossed carelessly away...

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    Evan Lysacek started skating at age eight. He was 20 years old at his first Olympics.

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    Love popcorn, hate horrendous costumes. Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan66 View Post
    Evan Lysacek started skating at age eight. He was 20 years old at his first Olympics.
    Still 4 years earlier than Weir. Not to mention Weir was much more talented. He did his 1st 3A in the first day of his pratice, didn't he? I am not sure.

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    Thank God for Stephane Lambiel and Matt Savoie! shine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    He did his 1st 3A in the first day of his pratice,
    Say what?

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    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    1A....at his first practice right.

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