Why Not Synchro?

Sharon Whitlock

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I believe you've entirely misinterpreted the post that mentioned rules. The post I'm referring to was most definitely not in the spirit of "that's the way things have always been done". It addressed the rules for the team competition, which was held exactly once, at the last Olympics. So most definitely not "always"; not even close. And it only mentioned the rules in passing during a discussion of the number of additional Olympic skaters involved in the team event, which turned out to be zero or one, a far cry from 150.

Your enthusiasm for synchronized skating is commendable, but you are going about it the wrong way if you want to convince people that it absolutely deserves to be in the Olympics, ahead of any other sport that is already included or seeking inclusion.

Athletes, coaches, fans, and sporting federations can present the case, but in the end, it is the sport itself that will convince those in the position to say yay or nay to Olympic status. The athletes, coaches, fans, and sporting federations will come and go. The job of the IOC is to look past the personalities, and examine the sport itself to make sure that they are selecting sports that will promote the Olympic Movement for years to come.

I'm curious about what the "right way" would be for me to persuade people that synchronized skating deserves Olympic status. It's my opinion that the only way people will become convinced of the sport's readiness is to actually SEE the sport at its highest levels at the most demanding competitions (e.g., Worlds). Watching the sport online is quite inadequate. And watching the hometown team at a local ice show is not likely to persuade anyone of Olympic readiness (unless your hometown team is one of the World champions!).

It seems to me that what some people on this thread are saying is that even if the sport IS "ready" for the Olympics, that it should still be denied entry into the Olympics because there isn't room for it and/or there isn't enough money to pay for it or not enough people are interested in watching it.

That viewpoint seems rather opposed to the Olympic Movement, which emphasizes inclusivity. Do some of you think that the Olympic Movement itself should be eliminated? Is it too esoteric for practical purposes?
 
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Sharon Whitlock

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Your sarcasm didn't "hurt" me, but it did show a lack of goodwill, IMO. I am willing to forgive, but you have weakened my interest in your particular thread about synchro. My outlook on the sport of synchro has not changed one way or the other.

Off topic, but I happen to strongly disagree with your opinion as to the importance of individuals in one's support for an activity .

karne actually is the perfect example of a single individual who has drawn me into cheering for a group of skaters about whom I otherwise would have known literally nothing.
Because of her infectious enthusiasm for Team Australia, their names and faces gradually are becoming familiar to me, and I always hope that the Aussie skaters will do well.

On a broader level, I am not the least bit embarrassed to say that a significant part of my interest in figure skating is based on the off-ice side of the sport -- the character, personalities, and backgrounds of the skaters and coaches, for example. In many cases, I find them to be worthy of my attention whether they are winning medals or not, or succeeding by any other objective measure or not.

That's interesting to know. Thank you.

Although I enjoy hearing and reading (and writing!) stories about skaters and other athletes, and I'm always willing to support (donate, volunteer, etc.) and cheer for skaters/teams from my hometown rink and other rinks where I know people, my primary interest in the sport of figure skating has always been the Sport Itself--"the beauty of the edge."

In my life, I have known many really great people in the sport of figure skating, and I have known some real pills, but it doesn't matter. The sport is the sport, and I love it. Its beauty and power is not diminished when someone yanks my chain the wrong way.
 

NanaPat

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I'm curious about what the "right way" would be for me to persuade people that synchronized skating deserves Olympic status.

I was referring to your posts on this board. You post at length and pose questions, but when people answer them, briefly and succinctly, you don't seem to actually read the answers, but misconstrue what they wrote and then attack them for what they didn't write. In my opinion, that's not a good way to persuade people.
 

sk8momto1

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Yes, how very nice, that in a big huge country with tons of ice rinks your synchro competitions would be held separately, and you have strictly-run practice sessions. Sadly, that's not the norm. In Australia Nationals is held once only each year, so all divisions are together - Synchro, Adult and Championship. And it's rare to have leveled practices, though Synchro is expected to have their own practice, I have heard many stories of synchro brats doing synchro moves on regular practices and getting in everyone's way.

And I was not impressed, at Nationals, to sit through the screaming and ludicrous carry-on - and we were not talking about small children here - with a headache, only to see the synchro skaters all flounce out of the rink after further delaying the Adults by mucking around on the ice post-medal ceremony, instead of doing them the common courtesy of watching. It would not have killed them. I've noticed Theatre on Ice tends to do this as well. It disgusts me.

You only have to look at the attitudes of people in synchro towards their inclusion in the Olympics to see the entitled brat attitude that pervades their discipline. "Oh, just build another few stories on the hotel!" "It's just another 150+ athletes, who cares?" "Kick Ice Dance out then!"

Wow! It's too bad skaters of any discipline are allowed to get in the way of other skaters on a practice session. Where my daughter skates, it's crowded, and usually there are skaters of various skill levels practicing different disciplines. But, they all understand that they need to watch our for each other. My daughter skates sycnhro but would never practice with her teammates during a regular practice session. And if they did, they would likely get scolded by someone...as they should. That's her time to practice footwork, moves, jumps, etc. Honestly, at our rink it's the ice dance couples that cause the most problems during practice sessions.

Yes, I think synchro competitions can be a bit louder than individual competitions, but often because there are simply more "fans" in the audience. And I think that's why some people enjoy synchro competitions. They like the high energy and enthusiasm. But, I can see it would not something everyone would like.

I recently attended Skate America. I stayed for some disciplines, but not others. Honestly, while I support and appreciate all aspects of skating, I simply enjoy watching some more than others. In some cases, it's my lack of education....I never enjoyed ice dance until I began to learn more about it and now can recognize the good from the bad and the difficult from the easy. But, I didn't realize my lack of interest in certain disciples or levels was disgusting to someone else.

I don't think that most synchro fans feel entitled to be included in the Olympics. I certainly don't think another discipline should be "kicked out" so synchro can be included. However, I think most of us feel that ALL disciplines of skating are important to the sport. My teenager LOVES synchro. She skates on the highest level team in our state. She spends many hours in a car commuting to practice and on the ice with her team. In addition, she does off ice strength and conditioning workouts on her own AND takes private lessons weekly with coaches to work on moves, dance, and freestyle. I think if it weren't for synchro she would have become bored with skating and quit a LONG time ago. She simply LOVES being part of a team. The team pushes her to improve and excel in all aspects of skating. I appreciate that their are different options within skating for those with different abilities and interests. So, for her sake, and others like her, I would love to see the sport she loves included in the Olympics. But I don't feel entitled, just hopeful.
 
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loopy

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Here synchro can practice on freeskate sessions but no more than 2 people and they cannot attach. It isn't any different from dance or pairs. Sometimes they over play their music before a big competition, but so do the skaters practicing for regionals, sectionals, and no one would be upset with a skater on their way to nationals playing more than normal.

Karne, maybe enough skaters can get your federation to put synchro last in the schedule or first so they don't disturb the other events. It just sounds easier. :)
 
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SoundtracksOnIce

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It seems to me that what some people on this thread are saying is that even if the sport IS "ready" for the Olympics, that it should still be denied entry into the Olympics because there isn't room for it and/or there isn't enough money to pay for it or not enough people are interested in watching it.

:palmf:Whether we think the sport should or should not be denied entry, is irrelevant. It's about what the IOC believes and right now, they don't want the Olympics to get any larger. All new sports and current sports are feeling those repercussions. If synchronized skating weren't considered figure skating, it might have a better chance, because at least the IOC might not expect spots to be taken from figure skating places, but since they won't consider trampoline separate from gymnastics (and those are far more different from each other than synchro and other figure skating events), I can't imagine them accepting that as an argument. A synchro team is around 16 athletes, even if you don't accredit the reserves. Even if you only have eight teams, that's still 128 athletes. Since the IOC also requires equal gender representation, you would have to double that. I would have to doublecheck the quota for figure skating in the Olympics, but that would take up a lot of places.

And the IOC is also really cracking down on widespread international participation. Athletes who are probably better and should qualify already get bumped so that athletes from African countries and other non-power nations have a shot at representation. That's a big part of why baseball and softball got bumped a few years ago - it was believed they weren't popular enough in other countries. Not only is synchro popular in less countries than other figure skating events, you have less countries that have a chance to be represented. Therefore the IOC is going to go towards sports with potential for more countries.

Again, nobody is saying this is right - we're just trying to explain what the IOC's mindset is.
 

Sharon Whitlock

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:palmf:Whether we think the sport should or should not be denied entry, is irrelevant. It's about what the IOC believes and right now, they don't want the Olympics to get any larger. All new sports and current sports are feeling those repercussions. If synchronized skating weren't considered figure skating, it might have a better chance, because at least the IOC might not expect spots to be taken from figure skating places, but since they won't consider trampoline separate from gymnastics (and those are far more different from each other than synchro and other figure skating events), I can't imagine them accepting that as an argument. A synchro team is around 16 athletes, even if you don't accredit the reserves. Even if you only have eight teams, that's still 128 athletes. Since the IOC also requires equal gender representation, you would have to double that. I would have to doublecheck the quota for figure skating in the Olympics, but that would take up a lot of places.

And the IOC is also really cracking down on widespread international participation. Athletes who are probably better and should qualify already get bumped so that athletes from African countries and other non-power nations have a shot at representation. That's a big part of why baseball and softball got bumped a few years ago - it was believed they weren't popular enough in other countries. Not only is synchro popular in less countries than other figure skating events, you have less countries that have a chance to be represented. Therefore the IOC is going to go towards sports with potential for more countries.

Again, nobody is saying this is right - we're just trying to explain what the IOC's mindset is.

How do people know the IOC's mindset? Is there an IOC publication or website that spells this out? Has there been an official announcement from IOC that no new sports will be added, or that the number of athletes will be limited to a certain number? How can I get hold of this information (link?)? Thanks so much!
 

NanaPat

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How do people know the IOC's mindset? Is there an IOC publication or website that spells this out? Has there been an official announcement from IOC that no new sports will be added, or that the number of athletes will be limited to a certain number? How can I get hold of this information (link?)? Thanks so much!

This article
http://www.sportsfeatures.com/olymp...nter-games-and-tokyo-2020-evaluation-criteria
talks about the IOCs desire to cap the number of participants and events.

This one
http://kids.britannica.com/olympics/reflections/article-277355
talks about the number of countries/continents/etc that must participate in a sport before it can be included.

I found them with a quick google search.
 

SoundtracksOnIce

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International Gymnast magazine brings up the issue of athlete quotas and what it's been doing do the sport of gymnastics quite often. You might be able to get some stuff on their website www.intlgymnast.com or on their message board.

You might also want to try David Wallachinsky's book "The Complete Book Of The Olympics" - he updates it every four years with what are new issues to do with the Olympics. I can't remember if he has a winter edition or not, but the library should have his latest summer edition if nothing else.

There was also a great 2008 book called Olympic Equestrian that talked about equestrian sports' future in the Summer Games and they talk about cutting athletes and wanting more countries being represented in there. I think it was in one of the last chapters.
 

Sel

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My opinion on this topic is that why shouldn't there be synchronised skating in the Winter Olympics when there is synchronised swimming in the Summer Olympics. There's normal swimming events and the synchronised so why not have the same thing for ice skating?
 

karne

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My opinion on this topic is that why shouldn't there be synchronised skating in the Winter Olympics when there is synchronised swimming in the Summer Olympics. There's normal swimming events and the synchronised so why not have the same thing for ice skating?

*heavy sigh*

Because what the synchro community is militantly demanding is that the IOC add at least 120 extra athletes to the Olympic Games - MORE THAN THE OTHER FOUR DISCIPLINES COMBINED - at a time when the IOC is trying to reduce the size of the Olympics, or at least not expand it any further. Once again: which sport are you proposing gets kicked out of the Olympics to make room for synchro?
 

TGee

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My opinion on this topic is that why shouldn't there be synchronised skating in the Winter Olympics when there is synchronised swimming in the Summer Olympics. There's normal swimming events and the synchronised so why not have the same thing for ice skating?

Wondering if you are aware of how the IOC keeps the numbers down for syncho swimming. Very few countries can send teams. Only one team per "continent", and there is stiff competition for the three remaining floater spots.

The entire hemisphere of the Americas is allocated one team. And this year, since the event was Rio, Brazil automatically got the sole hemispheric slot because it was host country....Not that Brazil shouldn't have been represented, but most Canadians feel strongly that our team should have been there too...

Here's a high profile documentary"Perfect" on the issue that will be rebroadcast on November 3rd...

http://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes/perfect

the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkT32XY8-q8

http://calgaryherald.com/entertainm...-and-demanding-world-of-synchronized-swimming


And a news story...

http://www.tsn.ca/canada-fails-to-qualify-for-rio-olympics-in-synchronized-swimming-1.449110


If this is what it would mean to bring synchro skating to the Olympics, in my view it could be worse than not having it...
 

NaVi

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The only way Synchro gets into the Olympics is if the Olympics is either held at the same place every year or it rotates between 3 cities(Asia, Europe, North America). It's much easier to plan for the extra athletes that way rather than every 4 years.
 

moonvine

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The only way Synchro gets into the Olympics is if the Olympics is either held at the same place every year or it rotates between 3 cities(Asia, Europe, North America). It's much easier to plan for the extra athletes that way rather than every 4 years.

I have heard that suggestion before and I don't really understand it. I guess if you already have the infrastructure built it would be easier? The problem would be to maintain that infrastructure for 4 years. Most Olympic venues have fallen into complete disrepair because the countries have already gone deeply into debt just hosting the Olympics and have no money to maintain the venues. Also, I think it would be boring. And not every sport can be in the Olympics. I can think of some I'd cut, but they're summer sports, and the participants surely wouldn't like it.

As for USFS not advertising synchro, the entire Skating magazine this year was pretty much devoted to synchro.
 

SarahSynchro

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Ahhh yes, this thread was my most hated discussion on GS back in 2015, and I still hate it to this day. Groan.

It’s not necessarily in regards to what some of you are saying, as many valid points have been made, just sprinkled with snarly comments about how synchro is just for skaters who can’t ever get beyond a double axel; skaters with no chance of competing at “regular” worlds, or just weak arguments about how they suck.

Rather, my anger is directed towards the massive kerosene loaded dumpster fire that is the IOC, AND the various tiers of corrupt government, spending billions of dollars to build brand new sporting venues in the chosen hosts cities, displacing the impoverished locals, who never asked for the Olympics in the first place.
 
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