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Thread: Questions about citizenship and skating clubs

  1. #1
    Medalist BravesSkateFan's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    Questions about citizenship and skating clubs

    Why does it seem that most pairs/dance teams that have one American partner (i.e. Lang/Tchernyshev, Belbin/Agosto, etc) chose to have the non-American change citizenship rather than the American. I looked up the requirements for Candian Citizenship vs. US Citizenship, and it takes ess time for a Canadian Citizenship. (you only need to be a Canadian resident for 4 years as oppossed to 5 in the US). If Belbin and Agosto had taken this route instead, I beleve that Ben would have had his Canadian citizenship in time for them to compete in the 2006 Olympics.

    My other question is about skating Clubs. Why is it that Skaters seldom change thier club even when they move? Sasha moved across the country and yet she still belongs to the Orange County FSC in California. Why doesn't she switch to a club nearer to her? What is the point in belonging to a club? I know the skaters pay dues and stuff but that is about it. Are all clubs attached to an ice rink? And if not why don't the skaters skate at the club they belong too? Is there just not enough ice time? Or what?

  2. #2
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Sadly, the competition in pairs and dance in the US is not as tough as in other countries. We have had plenty of ladies and a few men skate for other countries. They size up the competition and go where the best opportunities are for them.

  3. #3
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    Frasier changed her citizenship to Azerbajan to skate with Lukanin.

    Gait Chait could have skated for either Israel or US since she was born here. She chose to skate for Israel.

    And (I know this is a little different but still) Trifun Zhivanovich (sp?) is now skating for Serbia & Montenegro.

    I think one of the reasons pairs may choose to skate for the US is the clout of the federation (obviously this would NOT be a consideration when choosing between US and Canada). The common wisdom is that skating for smaller countries is a disadvantage. Finally, with the exception of Belbin & Agosto, most pairs have a Russian as a non-American partner. In Russia, of course, the competition for dance and pair skating is such that it would certainly make more sense to skate for the US.

  4. #4
    Bona Fide Member heyang's Avatar
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    Don't know about skating clubs.

    There have been some US ladies who have gone to compete for other nations. I believe Sydney Vogel was going to become a German citizen. Also, there was a Russian skater who switched back and forth between Russia and Belorusse. Also, the ice dancing Duschenays switched from Canada to France because they felt the Canadian federation didn't support them.

  5. #5
    Tripping on the Podium berthes ghost's Avatar
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    I don't think it's just about the competition. Mathew Gates certainly would have had less competition in the UK as well as belonging to a solid tradion of UK excellence in Dance thru history. However, the UK federation is not very strong in recent years and I believe that the benefits the skaters get, support and ice conditions, as well as promotion both with the public and with the judges is not as strong as it is in the US.

    Dianne De Leeuw is the only US skater I can think of who had success with another nation, although I suppose that skaters like Sylvia Fontana were fortunate (she probably never would have made a US world or Oly team, never mind be a multiple national champ). I suppose that Tugba Kadori (sp?) is doing well, living and training in Canada with a top notch Canadian coach, but I'm not sure that the Turkish federation is really doing much for her. Then again, she would run the risk of never making it out of Canadian nats, so perhaps it's a trade off and changes with each skaters idividual situation.

    As for clubs, I suspect that any skater at the elite level is probably not getting mush benefit out of club membership (private ice time, access to qualified coaches and rink mates, etc...), but may have to formally belong to one to compete at nats and other events. Changing clubs when one moves is probably not even worth the time it takes to do the paperwork, as it's probably just a formality left over from former days.

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