North American competitive system lacking

samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
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Mar 26, 2014
Now that makes me wonder if the same is true in Russia, too. Figure skating is big in Russia. But my impression is that ballet is even bigger, just like in North America. (?)
Ballet is not sports. If we are talking about Bolshoi and some other big names like Mariinka there are elite programs that are hard to get into. A daughter of my friend went to a ballet school in Perm - one of the best in Russia. Luckily for us there was no Kiira Korpi around. I understand that the coaching practices there may be even tougher than those in Russian figure skating.

Unless we are talking state ballet schools there is a variety of small private schools with price tags of $50-100 per month.
 

Veronica245

Spectator
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
It’s about the money. Figure skating is a sport only accessible to the people who can afford to pay for it. It Russia it’s state sponsored yes you would have to spend some money at some point. But it’s not as huge of an investment as it is in USA. Especially in the beginning.
 

samkrut@mail.ru

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Mar 26, 2014
It’s about the money. Figure skating is a sport only accessible to the people who can afford to pay for it. It Russia it’s state sponsored yes you would have to spend some money at some point. But it’s not as huge of an investment as it is in USA. Especially in the beginning.
Average income in Russia is 5 times smaller than in the U.S.A. while skates and dresses cost the same (if not more). State-sponsored or not, the sacrifices families have to make here are comparable if not bigger. It is about the popularity of figure skating - not about state support. Just compare the stands in Russia (and Japan) with those in North America (and Europe). Today's CoR is not an example as officials limited the occupancy to 25%
 

moonvine

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Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Yeah but isn't it more fun if every year some underdog rises up to challenge and upset the reigning champion? I mean, I love Bradie and Mariah but in a couple more years they're gonna be Sleepy Bradie and Sleepy Mariah LOL
No. I like more “mature” (as “mature” as one can be at 19 or 20, Goddess). Typically young girls (or boys) lack skating skills, musical interpretation, etc. I don’t want to see ladies washed up by 18. Why is this not an issue for the men? I never hear people complaining about, say, how elderly Nathan Chen is.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
This is an excellent analogy, which I had not thought of before.

I could watch the Eagles win all the time (3-4-1 baby and NFC East leaders:laugh: ). It would never get boring. I could watch my favorite skaters all day. Again, never boring.

And for anyone to reach the top of US skating, considering the lack of support for skating in the general athletic culture, is an amazing testament to their will and to competitiveness. They are basically doing it on their own, and I am in awe of them. <in need of nodding yes icon>
And the Eagles are blessed with my future husband Jalen Hurts!😍

I most likely would not spend money on tickets, FOFS, etc if we had interchangeable ever changing little girls winning Nationals. Or maybe I just wouldn’t follow ladies.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Longetivity should only be to describe skaters who win (Gold Medal) at international events and continuing to perform at that level. Nathan Chen? Sure. Tessa and Scott? Sure. But winning Nationals for the tenth time doesn't say anything about that skater. Only tells me that that country is really bad with developing talents. Ashley Wagner winning or being near at the top for a decade and then only managing to be 3rd place at Worlda is disappointing. Who remembers the 2nd plave finishers anyway?
I remember them.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Really? You remember athletes who make it to the highest stage and then fall short of winning? Regardless of the sport, if you're not the gold medallist, you don't deserve to go down in history.

If your biggest accomplishment is a bronze/silver it's just a legacy of falling short of winning.
Wow. Winning truly is not everything. Otherwise so many of us wouldn’t be sad Sean Rabbit is retiring. For me, Mariah’s performance at 2019 Nationals (and for that matter Gracie’s) was more enjoyable than Alysa’s. And in my opinion everyone who makes the Olympics in any sport deserves to be celebrated. Not just the medalists.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
The

Simone Biles won the genetic lottery and is probably the greatest of all time. She's under 5ft tall even at 23yrs old. Rio was one Olympics, and that was probably an outlier with Raisman and Douglas making 2 Olympics. If the Tokyo games would have happened, I'm assuming only Biles would have returned. Yes, the age is trending upwards but not by much. Whether that continues, I highly doubt it.

You also have to keep in mind that artistic gymnastics have raised the minimum age twice. To 15yrs old in the 80's and to 16yrs old in the 90's.
I would argue that without these age limits that age trend would have stayed down. There's always going to be some talented athlete who defies the current age trend. There will always be some years whether because of the lack new talent or exceptional existing talent that the average age will bounce around.

I have no problem with exceptional young teenage athletes. I have a problem with athletes being exceptional only because they're young teenagers. If Tokyo Olympics would have happened, in most of the events you have seen exceptional women athletes in much larger age range than you see in figure skating.
Aly blew up her career by speaking out against USA Gymnastics. For that matter, so did Maggie Nichols, but unfortunately she did so before she made an Olympic team. Poor Gabby became hated because some people decided she wasn’t showing adequate deference to the flag. Chellsie Memmel is training in hopes of making the Olympic team. She’s 32. Do I think she will make it, probably not. There are only 4 slots this year and we have so much talent in this country we could send 2 teams and have them come in 1st and 2nd and maybe even 3 teams and sweep the podium. I do hope she makes Trials though. MyKayla Skinner is 24, took a break from competing for Utah and is currently on the National team. Last I heard Laurie Hernandez was training, how seriously I don’t know, but she would be 21. If gymnastics can have this wide an age range I’m not sure why figure skating couldn’t.
 

moonvine

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Could the US government ever be persuaded to fund figure skating on a level comparable to Russia? We shouldn't get into politics, so I'll just say that Americans care enormously about winning Olympic medals, but this hasn't produced a demand to invest public money in Olympic sport. (The US is one of the very few countries that gives no money to its Olympic committee.) Americans love watching gymnastics, and many little girls here want to be gymnasts, but again, this hasn't produced a demand to invest public money in gymnastics. What those interests do produce (or did, until the terrible Larry Nasser revelations) is a lot of corporate sponsorship. It seems to be a fundamental attitude in much American culture, and not limited to sport: Americans are often happy to choose to buy products from companies that support their favorite sports and athletes (or causes, or charities), but they're not always so happy to have the government make choices--even choices with the same end result--about how their money is spent. (Mods, I hope this isn't too political! Please edit as necessary.)

But maybe we could learn from our northern neighbors. My impression is that Canada has many more publicly funded ice rinks; I visited a mid-sized city there a couple of winters ago and was happily shocked that it had something like eight public indoor rinks and an outdoor rink in a park. I'd be curious to hear from Canadian posters about how that support works and is perceived--is skating just so much a part of Canadian culture that it's taken for granted?
Gymnastics is also cheaper and one can get a college scholarship without being on the elite level. I even saw one young lady on a college team who did her training at the Y, which is very unusual. In fact that’s the only time I’ve seen it happen. No such thing exists with figure skating. I mean there is Collegiates but I think the prize money for first place is like $5,000.
 

Veronica245

Spectator
Joined
Feb 27, 2013
Average income in Russia is 5 times smaller than in the U.S.A. while skates and dresses cost the same (if not more). State-sponsored or not, the sacrifices families have to make here are comparable if not bigger. It is about the popularity of figure skating - not about state support. Just compare the stands in Russia (and Japan) with those in North America (and Europe). Today's CoR is not an example as officials limited the occupancy to 25%
Kids can go into the any local rink in Russia and start skating for free. Yes once you get to a certain lvl you have to spend. But I have to pay the minute my kid puts on her skates.
 

samkrut@mail.ru

Medalist
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Kids can go into the any local rink in Russia and start skating for free. Yes once you get to a certain lvl you have to spend. But I have to pay the minute my kid puts on her skates.
I am not sure that you understand how it works in Russia and I don't want to go into long explanation. A lot of info about the topic is in the attached article and comments from actual parents of Russian figure skaters.


If one can get into a state sports school not in Moscow and if one does not have ambitions, yes it may cost just $200-250 a month - about a quarter of an average monthly household income. But once you want to become competitive personal costs skyrocket. The article estimates them as $30,000 a year - that's 2.5 average annual household incomes. We can recollect Tarakanova's example when she claimed that her family spent $400,000 on her training over 12 years and she needed about $50,000 for a new season that she cannot get.


So much for Russian state support argument.

Well, if you meant skating for fun in shopping mall rinks, they are not free of course. But I would assume it costs less than in the U.S.A. 50 minutes in the shopping mall that we go cost $5. But what does that have to do with figure skating?
 

anonymoose_au

Making sequined tie and vest combos cool
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Feb 22, 2014
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Australia
50 minutes in the shopping mall that we go cost $5.
Off topic, but $5 wow! At my rink Down Under it's $24 for two hours and that doesn't include skate hire.

There is a $20 all day flat rate on Saturday and Sunday, but you can't leave the actual area the rink is in (and they don't really have a cafe), talk about chilling out for the day :laugh2:
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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Mar 3, 2014
And the Eagles are blessed with my future husband Jalen Hurts!😍

I most likely would not spend money on tickets, FOFS, etc if we had interchangeable ever changing little girls winning Nationals. Or maybe I just wouldn’t follow ladies.

Completely off topic, but I swear to God if the Eagles don't bench Carson and start your future husband in the next game....:bang:

And whenever anyone in skating world starts talking about "real sports" and how we measure "real sports" I wonder to myself, have you seen the NFC East? And one of those teams, even if it's my beloved Birds, will make the playoffs. Real sports, I don't think so:laugh:

And I agree with you that I find nothing exciting about a revolving cast of characters, in football or skating. But that's my preference:)
 
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