too bad the usfsa, don't doesn't with the favoritism of their skaters.
they behind the scences done it for years. public found out. now we back away, they are upset.
they cheat for who usfsa wants not public, and usfsa & isu wonders what happend to the u.s. public,
1) they never had the public, public was interested due to the skaters, but didn't keep due to lack of pushing and too much cheating in sport. Didn't push sport as a whole, too much cheating as whole,
2) new system-different scores, but cheating still very much goes on.
3) doesn't do what public wants (perceived) only what usfsa and sponsors, few ogm medalist want. to keep name out there.
sorry, can't push the sport /favor it anylonger.
public realizes will change scoring system, not way you cheat to keep skaters you want up on top and for ogm. not who we want.
should have cheated for michelle in 1998 like you did tara. overlooked the mistakes and 2002 like you did sasha in 2006,
it was a trip not a fall, isn't that what you called sasha "fall" in 2006. a trip.
There is obviously much passion in what you say, but the way you hint without specifics, no one will have a clue as to what you are upset about or who you think is getting all the (undeserved?) attention.
As to your belief about Tara/Michelle... both skaters have many, many fans and they both skated unbelieveably great in the Olympics considering what was at stake and the pressure of the event. Unknowledgeable (about skating) Michelle fans will go to the grave thinking that Michelle was robbed. It is doubtful that anyone can change their minds regardless of the facts presented, so agreeing to disagree is where those discussions usually ended.
Being a fan of skating, and being knowledgeable about the content items performed by both, AND a big fan of both skaters, I think the judges got it right that night.
its such a shame because on the regional level a lot of really good skaters will never be seen and they're young kids that all work hard it's very unjust. On the National and Olympic level it's disapointing and obvious the favoritism game. It's tiresome to watch. Why bother watching when you know what's going to happen? I've been told the judges have their minds made up before it even happens. Kids dop out like flies because they get tired of the favoritism, they need to judge it fairly by their skating talents not who they prefer because this ones parents are on the board or volunteer more.
Coaches should help young skaters (and their parents--especially their parents) to set realistic goals for themselves in the sport of figure skating in their chosen discipline(s).
So many children (and their parents--especially their parents) have Olympic rings on their brains, and this is completely unrealistic for most skaters. The coaches should make sure that all their students understand this from the very beginning, and help them to set goals that ARE realistic and fun to work on.
E.g., it is realistic for a skater to pass all their MIF tests by the time they are 18 years old. Many skaters pass these tests before they are 14 years old.
E.g., it is realistic for a skater to pass all their Freestyle tests, or at least up through the Juvenile test (axel is the biggest jump) by the time they are 18 years old.
Both of these goals are very achievable by an average-ability skater who has the time and money to skate at least 5 days a week for at least 2 hours a day, and take at least 2 private lessons a week. In our area of the country, this would cost about $130-$170 a week. If the skater takes advantage of club ice, the cost will go down a little. (Our regular ice is around $7.00/hour, while club ice is less.) Also, if the skater selects a younger, less-experienced coach, the private lessons will cost less. (Our experienced professionals charge around $60/hour, but the younger coaches are around $40/hour).
The coaches should be realistic with parents and skaters from the very beginning, and break the costs down just like I have, and tell the skaters exactly what they need to do to achieve these realistic goals.
Other goals could include joining the local synchro team, or trying out for an "elite" team and commuting, skating in all the ice shows, qualifying for a National Showcase event, skating outside in one of the big cities in our country (e.g., Millenium Park in Chicago is gorgeous and lots of fun in the winter), becoming a teen assistant in Learn To skate classes, passing the ISI (recreational) tests and entering ISI competitions, etc.
These are all very realistic goals for any skater, and again, coaches should break down the cost and time for their families.
Someone asks how a skater gets to be a "favorite." I think more than anything, it depends on landing the jumps from an early age, and landing them WELL, with good form, speed, strength, and style. The guideline that we were given waaaay back when our daughters were little was that a skater who wanted to go to the Olympics in Singles skating should have a reliable double axel and three reliable triple jumps by the time they are 12 years old.
I think that's still a fairly-accurate guideline. Skaters who do this WILL be talked about by coaches (not just the "big" coaches, but ALL the coaches) and many of the fans,and of course, by the judges. The skating world is very small, and even if the skater is not "famous" yet, word gets around, and judges watch for these skaters when they go to competitions.
That means that a young skater who is 7-11 years old and wants to be a "favorite" will probably be landing ALL their double jumps (except the double axel) with ease and good form, which means that they will probably be winning or medaling at most competitions.
Ease and good form means just that--GOOD FORM. A lot of skaters land all their doubles--yeah, sure. They pre-rotate, they get about one inch off the ice, they cheat the landing, and more often than not, they pop out of the jump. These skaters will NOT become "favorites."
At this time in the history of the sport, I would add something else to that "double axel and three triples before age 12" guideline. I would add that the skater who hopes to become a "favorite" will be on track to pass all their MIF tests by the time they are 12 years old. It's difficult for many young skaters to pass the Junior and Senior MIF tests because they just don't have the "look" of a Junior or Senior skater, but they should still be correctly doing all the elements of those levels, even if they can't pass the tests because they don't yet have the body type and "line".
The "favorites" who land all their doubles well and are on track for passing high-level MIF are probably competing at the Juvenile level, which means that the system is 6.0, which gives the judges a little more freedom to "boost" a promising skater. Yes, the "favorite" might take a fall during competition, but in 6.0, it doesn't matter--the BEST skater will win.
A lot of parents don't get this--they see another skater take a couple of falls in their program, but that skater wins, while their child does a fall-free program and doesn't even place in the top half of the flight. They complain about judge favoritism. Well of course the judges will reward GOOD skating from children--they would rather see a few falls, but all the jumps, spins, and turns correctly executed, than see a fall-free program filled with poor-to-mediocre elements.
So to become a "favorite," a child has to be landing the jumps and landing them well, and passing high-level MIF tests. A Preliminary-level skater with a GOOD big axel will get talked about, although I think most judges have seen a lot of Preliminaries landing good axels, and they know better than to get too excited. But when the Preliminary-level skater is consistently landing strong, correct doubles, and when the Preliminary-level skater is going for higher-level MIF tests and coming close to passing, THAT skater will definitely be "watched" by the judges.
Some people think that a skater has to have a "big name coach" to become a "favorite." I really don't think so. I don't think it hurts to have a big-name coach, but honestly, what judges look for is good skating, not a good coach. If a child or teenager correctly executes the elements, and does these elements with strength, speed, and style, it doesn't really matter who the coach is. It might ????? matter just a little in 6.0 levels (e.g., Preliminary, Juvenile), where if two skaters are very close, the judges will bump up the skater who has the big-name coach. But I'm really skeptical about that, since the judges could also bump DOWN the skater with the big-name coach because they expect much of a big-name coach.
I hope this is helpful. It's my opinion, but I think it's fairly accurate.
You said "I've been told the judges have their minds made up before it even happens."
Consider that 'you have been told' complete garbage. There are no 'secret memos' that are circulated amongst the judges with a bunch of names/events on them.
Think about your accusation for a moment... this would require some mystery-man/woman to be at every club practice, monitoring every new skater all the time. They would also have to be at every competition to put 'the fix' in for the 'new favorites'. Strictly from a logistics point of view, there are too many new skaters coming up all the time to try to keep up with.
Claiming favoritism is taking the easy road out. The harder, more accurate road, is to be objective about the performance(s) of those who keep losing and encourage them to fix their skating problems. The necessary corrections may not ever happen, but it is better to be honest with the skaters, particularly if they are your own children, then to have them believe your own jilted view of reality.
I would love to see some video evidence of the New England junior ladies example you have cited.
Okay, you CAN view the videos on ice network. It is basically the same skaters in same levels for years. They know who they are. And the more parents are involved volunteering, and on particular board at various rinks, they are favored. It's obvious when they take a skater who has skating skills all summer and for years in 4's and 5's and suddenly they are knocked down into the 3's. Also they gave a skater who has two cheated down graded jumps and lower lever step sequence higher skating skills than a kid who had all clean jumps and higher level step sequence?
Forth place is always just a flip of coin who they want. It happens in all levels and according to the poll at 88% yes compared to 11% I would say most people agree. Also one year a kid did two double axels consistantly in novice every time at NE's and placed 4th for short, long and on last day gave it to the girl in 5th place by less than a point in component scores who had only single axels. Why would you send someone to sectionals by less than a point who's highest jump was a single axel over a kid who has consistant double axels?
Also, I don't agree with it matters who the coach is. The better coaches will usually take a lot of good skater with potential in the higher levels and don't always coach kids who aren't as strong of skaters so it appears that they are favored but, I don't believe that is the reason. We were also told bielman's only count if the foot is OVER the head NOT behind. That wasn't the case at NE's Jr ladies this year. I can tell you there were only two girls that had a perfect bielman but yet, some with bent knees, foot in back got level 4. WHAT? If you look at pictures freeze framed from the event. Clearly some have better expression, air position, no WRAPS and overall better lines than one who got huge components scores. It's obvious. I don't know, I suspected it before but after three solid years of seeing this and an 11 year skating career with out a shadow of a doubt they play with that second score when they want to. Everyone works sooooo hard, it just needs to be judged fairly. Not by who they know, who they are friends with, who volunteers the most, who's on the board of Neicc or various clubs or involved but by the skaters talents and abilities period. U can look at the videos and pics, put the pics side by side, it's obvious. Ive seen it in other regions as well. I have been watching for years, I can skate myself and this is my opinion. The pics and videos speak for themselves and they don't match the component scores.