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Thread: Skaters changing citizenship and Feds

  1. #31
    I'm gonna Customize the CRAP out of this Title!!! Frenchie's Avatar
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    It seems strange to me that more skaters aren't already committing to another country within former Soviet Union, since back then at least it didn't seem too difficult to obtain that new citizenship.

    Julia Vorobieva, born and raised in Moscow, skated for Azerbaijan from 1993 to 2002, while still training and living in Moscow, without ever setting foot in Azerbaijan.
    Julia Soldatova was a promising junior (98'JWC, 2nd at 99'EC, 3rd at 99'WC) but she only decided to switch to Belarus in 2000, while still training and living in Moscow. Once she was allowed to compete for Belarus, she was already past her prime. She sat out her prime.

    Elena Sokolova was 7th at the 98'OG and 8th at the 98'WC, and then she had 5 years during which she didn't make it on the Russian Team despite being very consistently at the same level. When she did finally make it, she was immediately at the international very top: 2nd at EC'03 and WC'03.
    Julia Lebedeva, born and raised in Moscow, nowhere near Sokolova's level, made the call in 1999 to switch to Armenia, while still training and living in Moscow.
    The difference between the 2: Lebedeva represented Armenia at the SLC OG (27th). Sokolova sat at home and saw her on tv...

    Of course I understand you want to represent your country. And to be a successful athlete, it helps to be convinced that "you're the best and you'll make it". Also, having Russia supporting you is another level than Armenia... But given the risk of having to sit out an entire season, or several seasons, or all your career, why aren't these slots being used?
    Armenia
    Azerbaijan
    Belarus
    Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Moldova
    Tajikistan
    Uzbekistan

  2. #32
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Also, having Russia supporting you is another level than Armenia.
    This is interesting to me on many levels. On one hand the larger Feds can offer support unmatched by the smaller ones in terms of training,doctors, ice time, etc. On the other hand your career could easily be shorter where as skating for a smaller fed you would likely skate a longer career. When it comes to politicking of course a big fed will help you but I can't help but wonder how much skating for a big fed with a deep talent pool just sort of politics itself. Not to say people aren't trying to influence on behalf of their skaters but part of me thinks that judges and even fans can put 2 and 2 together without needing to be told to do so.

  3. #33
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    I think in the future you will be seeing someone like Nikol competing for Georgia or Evgenia Medvedeva for Armenia

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frenchie View Post
    Of course I understand you want to represent your country. And to be a successful athlete, it helps to be convinced that "you're the best and you'll make it". Also, having Russia supporting you is another level than Armenia... But given the risk of having to sit out an entire season, or several seasons, or all your career, why aren't these slots being used?
    Armenia
    Azerbaijan
    Belarus
    Kazakhstan
    Kyrgyzstan
    Moldova
    Tajikistan
    Uzbekistan
    I doubt the state of skating in Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Tajikistan can even support an international junior competitor at this point, let alone at the senior elite level.

    Misha Ge skated for Uzbekistan (he did compete in Russia as a very young skater but he actually switched to Uzbekistan after not making it out of Chinese nationals) and seems to run into visa issues for every other competition he enters. There is a lot of red tape in dealing with some of these FSU nations. I'm not sure what kind of funding, if any, exists either. Tatiana Malinina and her husband were coaching each other (and living in the USA) when they were competing for Uzbekistan.

    As for Kazakhstan, they already have Elizavet Turzynbaeva in juniors (11th at JW). She is of Kazakh descent but born and raised in Moscow. Previously she trained with Tutberidze and competed on the domestic Russian Cup circuit and at Russian junior nationals. Now she's with Orser.

    And not a FSU country, but Polina Shelepen did switch over to Israel after having a fairly good junior career for Russia. And Anna Ovcharova to Switzerland, although that switch seemed to be more the result of her family moving there rather than for better skating opportunities.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    This is interesting to me on many levels. On one hand the larger Feds can offer support unmatched by the smaller ones in terms of training,doctors, ice time, etc. On the other hand your career could easily be shorter where as skating for a smaller fed you would likely skate a longer career.
    In the case of prized international assignments, yes. But it also seems to me that in a bigger fed like Russia, one could be a perennial 4-6th place finisher at Nationals and still be able to skate and train full-time, get assigned to minor competitions, etc. (i.e. Katarina Gerboldt is 25 and still competing--well, looking for a new partner now...but she has had a very long very mediocre career for Russia...and that's with Vasiliev complaining about St. Petersburg funding being nowhere near what Moscow gives). On the other hand one could be a 7-time national champion for a smaller country and have to work a separate job in order to train part-time (i.e. Romanian Zoltan Kelemen).

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