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Thread: Solomon's Decision: jumping beans -vs- silver foxes

  1. #21
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    I don't like the idea and I don't think that it would make the sport more popular, quite the opposite would happen imho.
    When I have enough time, I love to watch all the skating I can but when I don't have the time I only watch the top five or even only the top three ... and I'm a figure skating fan.
    The casual viewer would be bored and overwhelmed by too many competitons.
    If certain age groups have an advantage, there has to be another way to cope with the problem. I have an idea, but I'm not going to repeat it again, it was very unpopular in this forum and it's offtopic in any case. I'm not going to hijack this thread.

    Reading the Ski Jumping thread in the Le Café forum I remembered that, about 20 years ago, ski jumping experts thought that women could compete with the men, because a few girls were exceptionally talented. One even compared it to showjumping. The coach Innauer thought that women would to well. It didn't turn out that way. Once they hit puberty they just could compete with the boys any longer. Now the women have their own ski jumping events. Those events are very slowly becoming more popular, mostly because of the mixed team event, which is going to be an Olympic event in 2022. But a ski jump is over in a couple of seconds, you don't need hour long attention span in order to watch a whole competition.
    But this ski jumping thread made me realize that it's really very very unlikely, that those quad jumping girls are going to be able to do those tricks in, let's say, 3 years. Fleeting stars ... and that's the way it's supposed to be in Russia anyway, so many young talents until parents will realize that this really isn't a career option any longer, because there is too much competition and then the problem will dissolve on it's own.

  2. #22
    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solani View Post
    Fleeting stars ... and that's the way it's supposed to be in Russia anyway, so many young talents until parents will realize that this really isn't a career option any longer, because there is too much competition and then the problem will dissolve on it's own.
    Well that’s because the way the system is set up. It grants opportunity to compete based on nationality and not talent. We’re going to see lots of girls retire who could maintain a standard triple jump layout because they are from Russia or Japan. No one is ever going to take longevity discussions seriously as long as the sport is set up in a way that actually works to discourage it. One only needs to follow the career of someone like Gubanova or Sakhanovich to see that talent doesn’t equal opportunity. Why would anyone plan for a long career in a sport where you can surpass the standard and not have any hope of getting to the international championships or worse yet not even get a single GP.

    Im a little tired of seeing the girls get picked on for doing what they have to do to stand out.

  3. #23
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    Midori Ito was attempting 3A in competition by age 15, but the first one she landed successfully was at 19, and the last one at 26 (1996 Japanese Nationals).

    All of Tonya Harding's successful 3A in competition were at ages 20-21.

    Mao Asada started attempting the jump at age 12 I believe, but she continued to include it in her repertoire with some success well into her 20s.

    Mirai Nagasu mastered the jump in her 20s, with a couple of successful attempts.

    Yukari Nakano landed several successful 3A in her 20s. So has Elizaveta Tuktamysheva.


    Miki Ando's only ratified quad was at age 14, but she did attempt a few later in her career. Surya Bonaly's 4T attempts (none ratified) were mostly at ages 17-18, but she did attempt 4S at 22 (at a time when no man had yet landed that jump).

    If difficult jumps are to be part of women's figure skating, they will be part of the repertoire of top jumpers who are not junior age eligible.

  4. #24
    Bona Fide Member andromache's Avatar
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    What we need is a serious pro-circuit like we had in the 90s. Sure, Boitano and Katarina and Kristi (and others) weren't breaking any technical barriers at that point, but they were developing artistically while maintaining decent arsenals of jumps in competitions that they wanted to win.

    I will admit that I was born in '91 so I don't really have much firsthand memory of the 90s pro-circuit, but this is the impression I get .

    Obviously the popularity of skating in the US could not support a pro-circuit nowadays, but surely Japan could?

  5. #25
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    I think that there are on a local level solo ice dance competitions.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Well that’s because the way the system is set up. It grants opportunity to compete based on nationality and not talent. We’re going to see lots of girls retire who could maintain a standard triple jump layout because they are from Russia or Japan. No one is ever going to take longevity discussions seriously as long as the sport is set up in a way that actually works to discourage it. One only needs to follow the career of someone like Gubanova or Sakhanovich to see that talent doesn’t equal opportunity. Why would anyone plan for a long career in a sport where you can surpass the standard and not have any hope of getting to the international championships or worse yet not even get a single GP.

    Im a little tired of seeing the girls get picked on for doing what they have to do to stand out.
    That's very true. But athletes need funding (available in Russia, as we all know), but they need sponsors as well, they want to live well. What's all that hard work worth, what are all the victorys and medals if it doesn't pay off? So the question really is - how many top female figure skaters does Russia need? I don't think the rest of the World would be all that interested in 20 female Russian skaters. So if figure skating would be ruled by an armada of Russian skaters, the rest of the World would be less interested. That wouldn't make the sport more popular, quite the opposite. And that's why athletes are allowed to compete based on nationality.
    Is it fair? Of course not! But it's also not fair that skaters from smaller federations have to fight on their own, fight for a good training environment, good coaches etc. . And that's the reason why we don't see many Russian skaters switch countries ... if they make it in Russia, they are world class and have the potential to win anything.

  7. #27
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    What are the Russian novices like with regard to jumping ability? Could Eteri's "jumping bean" squad be a fluke? Is there any evidence that the latest batch of novices are going to be unbeatable by Trusova, Shcherbakova, etc. and this phenomenon of unbeatable teenagers won't fade in a few years? (These are serious questions, not meant as sarcasm/rhetorical. I really don't know.)

    We still don't know if Trusova and Shcherbakova's quads will last, nor do we know if older ladies will get quads/3As. All these discussions about the Russian "super-juniors" and ladies jumping quads and splitting by age seem terribly premature to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz View Post
    (because lets face it young viewers wants to see ladies of approximately their own age competing like Yulia, Zhenya, Alina, Alysa, 3A squad, but us - 30+ folks - want to see someone like Asley-Wagners and Carolina-Kostners and similar current generation of 20+ girls)
    Is this really a common pattern? I've been a fan of skating my entire life, and I never cared about age. Yeah, it was cool when I was a kid and a young skater won something, and it's cool now that I'm older when an older skater wins something, but that's just little extra icing on the cake. It always has been and always will be about who has the best blend of athleticism and artistry to me.

    As for the older=artistry/younger=jumps, I don't see how Anna Shcherbakova and Rika Kihira are anywhere near lacking in artistry, nor how Mao Asada or Elizaveta Tuktamysheva are remotely weak jumpers.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by solani View Post
    I don't think the rest of the World would be all that interested in 20 female Russian skaters. So if figure skating would be ruled by an armada of Russian skaters, the rest of the World would be less interested. That wouldn't make the sport more popular, quite the opposite.
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see why this would make the sport less popular, especially in a post-Cold War era. I think people from all over the world watch figure skating because they are interested in it (and probably either do it themselves, or have similar endeavors in dance or music), not out of staunch patriotism. The Olympics is a different matter, of course—I think we should aim for national diversity there. But in all honestly, I believe the inaccessibility of competitions/videos and lack of facilities is hurting viewership in non-Olympic years more than national hegemony.

    And tbh......I do like seeing small feds represented, but the prospect of 20 Russian and Japanese skaters competing at Worlds is exciting to me, personally. I would like to hear the opinions of people who come from small skating countries, though, so I don’t speak for them.

  9. #29
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    Casual audiences who watch figure skating only in Olympic years, or only a couple of times per year, are generally most interested in watching skaters from their own countries: to root for their compatriots at international events, and in places with deeper fields to follow national championships for their own sakes and out of interest in who will be chosen to represent their country internationally.

    Few casual skating fans, let alone casual viewers who wouldn't even call themselves skating fans, would have much interest in watching national-level events outside their own nations.

    At Olympics or other international events they tune in to watch, they would want to see the best in the world and also their own skaters, assuming those are not the same. But if they're not Russian or Japanese themselves, they're likely to perceive the top ladies as "the Russian girl" and "the Japanese girl" rather than having a good grasp on each skater as an individual.

    It takes a lot more commitment to following the sport even to keep track of who's who let alone to understand the subtleties. And watching a couple of international competitions where they only see skaters from one or two other countries with a chance to medal is not likely to attract casual fans to put in the effort to follow the sport closely and become less than casual.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachno2 View Post
    Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see why this would make the sport less popular, especially in a post-Cold War era. I think people from all over the world watch figure skating because they are interested in it (and probably either do it themselves, or have similar endeavors in dance or music), not out of staunch patriotism. The Olympics is a different matter, of course—I think we should aim for national diversity there. But in all honestly, I believe the inaccessibility of competitions/videos and lack of facilities is hurting viewership in non-Olympic years more than national hegemony.

    And tbh......I do like seeing small feds represented, but the prospect of 20 Russian and Japanese skaters competing at Worlds is exciting to me, personally. I would like to hear the opinions of people who come from small skating countries, though, so I don’t speak for them.
    You write it yourself - the Olympics is a different matter. Who would remember Sotnikova in 15 years, if not for her Olympic title? For her Junior Worlds title or her two silvers at Europeans? Who would book her? She wouldn't be able to make a living out of her athletic career and that seems to be the ultimate goal for any athlete nowadays. Or am I wrong?

    I'm from Austria, there was a time when "we" ruled Alpine skiing, there was a time when "we" ruled Ski Jumping, when we had the discussion - why are we not allowed to send 8 skiers to the World Championships downhill competition, or 6 skiers to the Olympic ski jumping events etc.. It's hard to see top athletes beeing left behind, all potential winners.
    And I honestly enjoy watching Austria's pair team. They put in an effort and they had really poor training conditions when they where kids.
    Russia and Japan can hold as many national skating events as they like anyway. The question still is - who's going to watch?

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by solani View Post
    Russia and Japan can hold as many national skating events as they like anyway. The question still is - who's going to watch?
    This person from the US sure is

    Btw I do love Z/K! But they’re good enough where I think they would make Euros/Worlds even if Russia had more pairs spots, no? I’d be in favor of adding more flights to the major competitions if it means we get a good mix of the best competitors (regardless of nationality) and some great representatives from small federations

  12. #32
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    In some ways being primarily an Olympic sport is holding figure skating back. If it could become a legitimate professional sport like tennis then nationality would matter less. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, etc. are international superstars and popular everywhere.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachno2 View Post
    This person from the US sure is

    Btw I do love Z/K! But they’re good enough where I think they would make Euros/Worlds even if Russia had more pairs spots, no? I’d be in favor of adding more flights to the major competitions if it means we get a good mix of the best competitors (regardless of nationality) and some great representatives from small federations
    My guess is that Z/K would have quit the sport (or not even approached it seriously) if they hadn't had the chance to compete internationally on a high level almost immediatly after they teamed up.
    And I would want to watch as well! But I know a couple of more casual figure skating fans and they are not so interested in the 2nd tier skaters. They only want to watch the best.

  14. #34
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    Figure skating is not remotely big enough to split the ladies' (and men's too, I guess?) discipline into two and still keep the same level of effort/interest/munny. Sitting down/watching all 4 disciplines is already exhausting, 6 kinda sounds like a nightmare. The current system works fine imo. My own idea on how to keep older, artistic skaters thriving is to introduce the solo ice dance category. No jumps! The nice thing too is that it can be mixed-gender, which certainly makes a nice change from the other disciplines (PS get rid of the sexist male-female partner requirements in pairs/ice dance and also the stupid costume rules too. Who the **** cares if a female skater wears PANTS during her programs?! ) Tbh I'd also love if we could increase Worlds slots to 4-5 for those few, few countries with an army of superlative skaters, though I have no idea how you'd establish qualifiers for it.

  15. #35
    Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps el henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rachno2 View Post
    This person from the US sure is

    Btw I do love Z/K! But they’re good enough where I think they would make Euros/Worlds even if Russia had more pairs spots, no? I’d be in favor of adding more flights to the major competitions if it means we get a good mix of the best competitors (regardless of nationality) and some great representatives from small federations
    What or who are you talking about “from the US”?

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    What or who are you talking about “from the US”?
    I think the poster meant themselves

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noxchild View Post
    Tbh I'd also love if we could increase Worlds slots to 4-5 for those few, few countries with an army of superlative skaters, though I have no idea how you'd establish qualifiers for it.
    Maybe something like:
    Each country earns up to 3 slots according to the current standards.

    If a skater wins gold at GPF or Euros/4Cs, or if they medal at GPF and their continental championship, they personally get a free entry to Worlds/Olympics, up to a maximum of 3 extra slots. That would then open up the slot(s) earned at the previous year's event to be taken by any other skater from that federation who has earned the minimum technical scores.

    Something like that would likely prompt federations to be more strategic in naming their Euros/4Cs and world teams, and skaters to be more strategic in deciding whether to compete at their nationals if they'd already won the GPF and earned a Worlds spot that couldn't be given to anyone else. Which might have both good and bad effects on the popularity of those events.

  18. #38
    Bona Fide Member andromache's Avatar
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    Skaters who are unhappy with the level of depth in their countries can change countries. It isn't easy, but it isn't impossible either.

    But most skaters will choose not to because they would lose the resources and/or big-name federation that supports them.

    The benefit of being from a federation with a lot of resources and political clout means that there will probably be a lot more internal competition. The benefit of being from a federation with minimal resources and minimal political clout is that there will be a lot less internal competition. It balances out in most cases, other than in exceptional circumstances where a big federation might just have a lack of depth in a certain discipline, in which case a fantastic skater/team might get the advantage of both resources/good politics AND very little internal competition.

    Anyway, I do think GP event could/should add an additional flight for each discipline in each event, with maybe 8-10 spots total at the GPF. I do not think that Worlds needs to give extra spots to skaters from certain countries.

  19. #39
    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solani View Post
    That's very true. But athletes need funding (available in Russia, as we all know), but they need sponsors as well, they want to live well. What's all that hard work worth, what are all the victorys and medals if it doesn't pay off? So the question really is - how many top female figure skaters does Russia need? I don't think the rest of the World would be all that interested in 20 female Russian skaters. So if figure skating would be ruled by an armada of Russian skaters, the rest of the World would be less interested. That wouldn't make the sport more popular, quite the opposite. And that's why athletes are allowed to compete based on nationality.
    Is it fair? Of course not! But it's also not fair that skaters from smaller federations have to fight on their own, fight for a good training environment, good coaches etc. . And that's the reason why we don't see many Russian skaters switch countries ... if they make it in Russia, they are world class and have the potential to win anything.
    The thing is that I’m not even disputing the reasons for the system but rather to point out that it’s really the same system that is what is shortening the careers of skaters. At least in this instance re: Russian Ladies (Maybe japan too). When a skater begins to struggle and fall behind it’s hard for them to stay motivated. I give Sima tremendous credit for sticking with it!! If people want to keep a limit on the amount of athletes per country then it seems rather silly for those same people to come into threads saying they want longevity and for skaters to develop long lasting careers. As it stands the sport isn’t designed for that when the level of competition is this high. There are 10 and 11 yr olds throwing out 3-3 combos in Russia. Here in the US some of our seniors at Nationals will struggle to get one. Shall we count how many were landed at RusNats this year?

    I doubt many have ever heard of this Skater? Valerie Emelyanova....and yet.

    3z-3lo

    If we want the goal to be longevity then the sport needs to offer more opportunity to skaters capable of staying at the forefront of competition. As it stands...these kids have to strike while they can or get passed by. People aren’t looking to spend hours and money training when their best score is top 20 in the world and they can’t even get a GP invite. I don’t think it’s fair to ask that of them either. They can’t rest either by taking GP off and then cruising to international assignments. That is an advantage for skaters for smaller federations. It’s easier to train slowly and make Long term strategy when you know your spot is secure and you’ll have several chances at the ISU Championships.

  20. #40
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    I wish they would do a competition at the end of the season to include all skaters in the top 24 SB regardless of country or age. A sort of “open championships” that really includes the best of the best in the sport.

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