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

  1. #16
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    Say what?
    I already said I am not sure. Just remember that it's the axel.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    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.)
    Actually, Plushenko was grandfathered into senior eligibility by having competed at a senior event before the new age limits went into effect in 1996-97.

    In addition, he had a (gold) medal from 1997 Junior Worlds, which between 1997 and 2000 gave an exception to the age limits.

    I.e., he was eligible to compete at 1998 Olympics, was the first alternate on the Russian team, and did compete and medal at Europeans and Worlds that year.

  3. #18
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    It's really hard to say. Olympic-level is subjective as there are a lot of skaters from minor countries who make it to the Olympics, but aren't exactly the most competitive.

    Also, under the new judging system it is probably immensely more difficult for younger skaters to achieve Olympic level status, because there is a much greater focus outside of jumps. Overall refinement takes time, and I doubt many male skaters starting at 12 will become a Weir.

  4. #19
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    It's really hard to say. Olympic-level is subjective as there are a lot of skaters from minor countries who make it to the Olympics, but aren't exactly the most competitive.
    Also, under the new judging system it is probably immensely more difficult for younger skaters to achieve Olympic level status, because there is a much greater focus outside of jumps. Overall refinement takes time, and I doubt many male skaters starting at 12 will become a Weir.
    It's true, not to mention Weir was not really successful either. So I guess, 4-5 years is the ideal age. If not, at least 8 years old like Lysaeck. But Lysaeck is quadless and a quadless make skater these days is not that appreciated anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    It's true, not to mention Weir was not really successful either. So I guess, 4-5 years is the ideal age. If not, at least 8 years old like Lysaeck. But Lysaeck is quadless and a quadless make skater these days is not that appreciated anymore.
    To be fair, Lysacek had landed quads. He just opted not to do them in Vancouver.

  6. #21
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    To be fair, Lysacek had landed quads. He just opted not to do them in Vancouver.
    Because he was not good at it?

  7. #22
    Kisdom Title TMC's Avatar
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    IIRC there was a male skater at US nats who started at 17

  8. #23
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    He has landed quads, but his success rate was pretty meh. Anyway, doesn't matter. Evan and Johnny were Olympic level skaters even though they've got no chance to medal nowadays.

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    I'm not really sure what the original post is asking. How long does it take to get from beginner to the minimum skill level needed to qualify for an Olympic team? How long does the average Olympic medal contender (a very small sampling) take to reach that maximum skill level?

    Most skaters who start training at any age will never land triple jumps.

    Even fewer who start after puberty will ever land triple jumps.

    Ease of movement across the ice -- the actual skating between the tricks -- also tends to come more naturally those who start skating at a young age. Getting on the ice at a very young (preschool) age tends to help balance, but rigorous technical training may not be appropriate until school age.

    Natural physical talent and body type, quality of coaching, amount of coaching and practice time, temperament for hard work, etc., all affect how successful a skater will be at mastering advanced skills, and then other talents play into less technical areas such as connecting to music and audiences.

    The odds are against any skater making it to the elite level, even starting at the optimal age with optimal coaching and training conditions.

    Of the many thousands of kids worldwide who start skating lessons every year, probably less than 1% will ever become senior-level competitors. And maybe 1% of those would really have the skills to compete for world and Olympic medals.

    The people we see on TV competing for Olympic medals are all exceptional, even the ones who don't succeed in approaching the podium on Olympic ice.

    On average I'd estimate it takes about 10 years to go from beginner to senior competitor, sometimes a few years less especially for girls. Men tend to peak athletically at older ages (early 20s rather than mid teens). Pair and dance teams need to develop their partnerships as well as their individual skills. Presentation tends to improve with age as long as the athleticism doesn't fall off.

    Whether they actually get the opportunity to compete at an Olympics at all will depend a lot on the depth of competition within their home countries and other factors of luck, such as injuries, financial ability to continue competing, or when their athletic peak falls in the Olympic cycle.

    Sticking around longer can increase the number of Olympics a skater can try to qualify for.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    It's true, not to mention Weir was not really successful either. So I guess, 4-5 years is the ideal age. If not, at least 8 years old like Lysaeck. But Lysaeck is quadless and a quadless ma[l]e skater these days is not that appreciated anymore.
    Lysacek successfully landed quads in competition. From 2006-09, he regularly attempted quads in competition) He last landed a quad in international competition at 2009 4CC. (Which was held in Feb. 2009...about one year before his last competition) Shortly after 2009 4CC, Lysacek was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot. Therefore, he took the quad out for the 2009 WC and 2009 WTT. Lysacek was off ice for one month during the summer of 2009 while the stress fracture healed. Thus, he was later getting started preparing for the Olympic season. The initial plan was to gradually work the quad back in before Vancouver. He ended up not attempting the quad during the Grand Prix season. After winning the GP final without the quad, Lysacek changed his free skate before 2010 US Nationals and put the quad in the program. The result was not good. Realizing that he had waited too late to make major changes to the free skate, Lysacek wisely opted to use the original version of his free skate in Vancouver. At that time, a skater could win a major international competition without a quad.

    I may be in the minority; however, I appreciate skaters that deliver great performances... with or without a quad.

  11. #26
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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.
    You just made me But hey you can dream uhhh

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    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).

    Thanks!!! Sometimes it takes time to find this link

  13. #28
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    Awesome list on Wiki, very interesting! Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    It's true, not to mention Weir was not really successful either. So I guess, 4-5 years is the ideal age. If not, at least 8 years old like Lysaeck. But Lysaeck is quadless and a quadless make skater these days is not that appreciated anymore.
    Jr. WC, 3 x US National champion, Worlds bronze, multiple GP wins and GPF medals, two-time Olympian. That's pretty successful by my standards.

    Both Johnny and Evan did quads in practice and included it in some competitions. At the time the system punished much harder for double-footing or falling on the quad, so skaters were more likely to play safe than now. Johnny used to land pretty amazing quad combinations in practice: http://youtu.be/USs7ulzmiZI

    I don't think the starting age is a defining factor--what works for one skater does not work for another.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
    Jr. WC, 3 x US National champion, Worlds bronze, multiple GP wins and GPF medals, two-time Olympian. That's pretty successful by my standards.
    Compare to his talent, he could have archived much much more. He could have been the most successful skater in U.S. That's my point. But practically he did archive more than most skaters out there.

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