It seems a little extreme to me that parents would go out and buy a house in the Pacific Northwest just so their daughter might have a better chance of finishing third in novices.

As for the World Championships, the problem is that the event is the ISU World Championships. Each ISU member has the right to send its champion to worlds, however bad he or she may be. That is one of the perks you get when you sign up and pay your dues.

The idea of an open championship where the athletes are at center stage instead of the member federations -- that would require a complete re-thinking of what the ISU is all about.