"Misogynistic leaning", sure Everybody is hyping these little girls and their "quads" to the point that people are doing arrogant remarks and putting down and insulting other skaters ( ahem men ahem), but ofc, nobody will call out sexism toward boys/men here which is why i, as a woman, won't support these little girls and their cheating. I'm not supporting victimisation of girls, if you want to be equal, don't hide behind big words that forces other people to take you serious.I have yet to read the article. Thanks for sharing it @lappo.
In general, I slightly disagree with your views. I think what's going on in figure skating is multi-layered and complicated, as it has always been. There are, as usual, a ton of issues and complexities that the people running the sport never adequately pay attention to. They tend to put bandaids on stuff, or stick their heads in the sand until some scandal or controversy forces attention and action, which is always woefully behind-the-curve, and never ahead of the game.
Visionary, creative and responsible leadership is simply lacking. There are so many things that need to be studied and addressed, and the political conflicts are many, which further complicates anything being adequately or beneficially addressed, much less effectively resolved. The mainstream media understand very little about figure skating and nothing about its history. It is nice to see some articles being written here and there that try to go beyond the usual hype and simplistic views surrounding skating. Again, I still have to take a look at this particular article to see exactly what their take is. It sounds like a genuine effort to discuss the age-old problem the sport has faced regarding technical evolution vs the artistic soul of the sport.
I disagree that all these very young ladies landing quads and triples is such a fantastic or necessary thing. In my view, there are still some very problematic issues surrounding the enormous technical and physical demands of the sport not keeping up with equipment innovation. There have been advances in physical therapy management, training strategies, and dietary approaches, but even in those areas, there's a lot of work to be done. Other neglected aspects (including mental and emotional health, the problematic sports culture, plus abuse and diversity issues) are only recently being looked at more, tackled and addressed in many cases by current and former skaters themselves, including Rachael Flatt, Kira Korpii, Jenny Kirk, Asher Hill & colleagues, and to a degree on a personal basis by Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner, Amber Glenn, Karina Manta, Rachel Parsons, et al.
The jury is still out regarding the current trend toward over-rewarding young teenyboppers with technically demanding jumps. Yes, a few of the young Russian ladies combine graceful sensibilities with difficult jumps, but the problems are many, including the tendency to have a very short career while being over-rewarded before gaining sufficient competitive experience and maturity.
I will start by acknowledging the fact that the rest of the world simply caught up with the talent and dominance of U.S. ladies. Without question, it's also true that U.S. fed and U.S. fans were completely spoiled by the dominance of the Michelle Kwan era. I suppose the expectation was that U.S. ladies' podium presence would continue on after MK's retirement, just as there had always traditionally been a U.S. lady or ladies battling and winning against the rest of the world, since the 1950s. It is interesting that it will still take years before either Russia or Japan, much less South Korea can begin to amass the record-breaking total number of World and Olympics medals that are still held by the U.S. in their ladies storied division (historically). The problems faced by the U.S. ladies discipline are to a large degree politically-based (i.e., the U.S. lacks substantial political clout), in addition to the lack of leadership and sound decision-making by those running U.S. fed. They have just seemed to be caught betwixt and between. I don't think U.S. fed officials were sure how to address the changing landscape (regarding IJS/CoP and the gains by other countries in ladies competition), so most definitely they have been slow off the mark. But the direction the sport was/ is going in is not necessarily the best direction. So U.S. fed seemed to be hedging their bets in recent years with the thinking that perhaps the new system would resolve on its own and maybe eventually get back to what they were used to seeing with U.S. skaters making their way to the top.
That's similar to how the entire sport seemed to view quads. They seemed to think: Oh, it will all resolve by itself without any need to update the rules, or to listen to the voices of skaters and coaches regarding the need to figure out how to reward quads, and how to simply study what kind of impact quads might have long term. And so, the problems in scoring quads (especially with falls) in the men's field ensued, and then culminated in the rise of Nathan Chen post the phenomenon of Boyang Jin and his quad lutz triple combo. With strong and rare jumps, Jin landed on the World podium in his first year as a senior, without adequate presentation skills, and with some questionable skating skills, which to be fair were addressed later by Jin, and he's come far because he learns well, though artistry is still not his strong suit. ISU and fed officials also seemed to think that Hanyu and Javi would battle on forever at the top, as Patrick Chan's dominance began to wane. But no, Denis Ten made a run with his exquisite brand of artistry and technical brilliance, and then inspired by Jin, et al, Nathan Chen changed the game. And the sport's honchos quickly implemented additional bandaid-measure scoring changes. LOL
Meanwhile, with our entire culture's misogynistic leanings, no one in figure skating fully contemplated that very young ladies would begin to challenge at the Game of Quads. This despite the fact that 3-axels were already being trained more among ladies, and that historically 3-axels and quads had already been landed by a few amazing former ladies competitors. It's about paying attention and taking the time to develop studies and to include voices and viewpoints from everyone in the sport's global community. Also, being brave and forward-thinking enough to bring in outside opinions and expertise that might benefit the sport's overall necessary decision-making for the future.
Of course, now an entirely new wrench has been thrown into this challenging mishmash in the aftermath of COVID reality 2020 and beyond.
We all know that many of these tiny girls won't be able to jump the big jumps a few years laters, since a tiny body gives you a huge advantage, and as equality goes, if they UR the "quads" ( which they do), it should be criticized as much as in the men's discipline. But it's much easier to hide behind lame accusations like "mysoginy" and other stuff than to see the reality. Show the world a grown woman with a fully rotated quad, and the story is gonna be different