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Everything posted by Karenina

  1. I agree about Synchro needing approximately 120 spaces in the OV, minimum, presuming they intro with just 6 teams (which seems reasonable). As far as the Team Event is concerned, countries can't qualify unless they have entries qualified in at least 2 individual disciplines and they can only add an extra skater/team in one discipline for the TE, with a max of 5 additional TE and/or host quota spots for figure skating total - so the max # of figure skaters is capped at 30 men, 30 women, 24 dance teams, and 19 pairs teams = 151 athletes+support personnel. It's hard to say how many support personnel wind up at the Olympics in total because so many elite skaters share coaches/training centers. With all due respect (and that's not much for someone who calls the Team Event "silly")... There are 16 countries with entrants in at least 3 disciplines at Worlds this year - Canada, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, & USA. Korea should have entrants in 3, maybe all 4 disciplines next season (their jr dance team just won the silver at Jr Worlds and will be moving up to seniors next season, and they have a new pairs team that hasn't competed internationally yet). There are some other countries that could wind up fielding entrants in 3 or 4 disciplines by next year's Worlds (Sweden, Finland, Israel, Austria, Switzerland, Australia & Spain). Korea is so strong, by the way, in the singles disciplines, along with the success of their junior dance team, that they're looking pretty solid to qualify for World Team Trophy this year (6 teams, held in odd-numbered years, points earned the same way the Olympic TE are earned) without any pairs points. The sport, overall, is showing a remarkable level of depth, across all disciplines, even without the presence of Russia. If I had to guess who would qualify for the 2026 TE almost 3 years out... Canada, France, Georgia, Italy, Korea, Japan, USA and then three of China, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, & Ukraine. And, right now, Japan would be the betting favorite to win the gold, with Italy and Korea coming on strong as potential medal spoilers, along with the USA. But, take all that with a grain of salt, because if you'd asked skating fans in 2019 who were potential medal spoilers for Beijing, China and Italy would have been high on that list and China barely made the FS round, while Italy couldn't even qualify a woman for the individual event and had to use a quota spot for their TE woman, and Georgia was on the radar of NO ONE and barely missed out on the FS round to China. China can only send one entrant to Worlds in every discipline this year because they didn't send anyone to compete at Worlds last year. Their pairs program is definitely in a rebuilding phase with Sui/Han taking some time off and Peng/Jin recovering from injury. There's potential in the three teams they've sent out to compete internationally this season, but they're not on the same level as their predecessors yet. As it is, the pairs discipline has been interesting enough without the Russians. Italy is building a VERY healthy pairs program and the US and Canada have some promising newer and/or younger teams. The Netherlands has two pairs teams that have started to gel this season and will both be at Worlds. I don't think anyone would make an argument that the discipline is technically better without the Russians, but I actually think it is, long-term, healthier for the discipline, to have them out of international competition right now. There are competitive opportunities that have been opened up to these other teams and they are improving, tremendously, by having these experiences. The Russians just sort of sucked all the air out of the room, same with the women's discipline, and while it's not always easy to watch skaters struggle to find their competitive nerve, it certainly does make for more unpredictable and exciting competitions when it's sort of anyone's competition to win.
  2. If I were to hazard a guess, it would be easiest to move all of the short-track events over to Riga and leave the figure skating events in Stockholm, especially if synchro skating gets added with the new Elite 12 division the ISU has added to make it more viable as an Olympic sport. Figure skating already starts before the opening ceremonies because of the team event and the fact that the arena is shared with short-track. And short-track would like to add more Olympic medal events, especially the mixed team relays, etc. Synchro is very popular in Sweden, so it would make sense to add it to the Olympic program and have that event held in Stockholm.
  3. Truth. I can at least say, without hesitation, that the chances of the ISU letting Russia compete in their Four Continents Championships in the skating sports is non-existent. There's no way that Japan, Korea, Canada or the USA want to face Russian skaters in those continental championships. Also, I suspect this is being driven by summer sports feds that have been bought and paid for with Russian & Chinese money/influence. The winter sports feds are dominated by European nations who have no use for Russia these days.
  4. Not even close to settled. WADA will likely take it to CAS once they get the full, reasoned decision from RUSADA. Pretty ballsy of RUSADA, to be honest - they only nullified her Russian Nationals title from last season and didn't even have the decency to at least suspend her for 30 days and also nullify her Europeans title.
  5. How is the bid not dead yet if the BC gov't isn't willing to foot the bill? Is there some other funding source you've read about that hasn't been reported in the press? Is Trudeau going to have the federal gov't pay for this? Doubtful.
  6. It certainly seems like they don't have a lot of confidence in Sapporo at the moment. So, let's see what our potential 5-nation rotation looks like... Munich, SLC, Sapporo, Vancouver, and ??? Almaty? Oslo? Milan?
  7. Jr World Figure Skating Championships will be hosted by Calgary in February.
  8. I saw this headline and honestly thought someone was confused about the date of April Fool's Day... I guess we know where all the money we're paying for oil is going these days. Where's the :shrug: emoji around here?
  9. Well, there's this... https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1128694/ioc-bach-russian-athletes-return-hint
  10. I'm fairly confident, recalling both the LA 84 ceremonies and the SLC 02 ceremonies, plus knowing how very different in character and history those two cities are that LA 28 and SLC 30/34 will also have very different ceremonies. Sort of how Calgary 88 and Vancouver 10 were really different from each other.
  11. Not really. Atlanta does not equal LA, and citizens of both cities would make that clear to anyone asking. And I suspect that you'd hear the same from the citizens of Sydney and Brisbane. The only city/region that's the same in this equation is SLC. Even Nagano and Sapporo are very different parts of Japan (two different islands, for starters).
  12. I don't think so. In most of my social circles, China's got a terrible reputation. Hosting the OWG did nothing to improve their reputation in the USA and it certainly didn't in figure skating circles. My concern with this new law is how it would apply to any athlete who criticizes China and, later down the line, earns a berth at an international competition being hosted in China. For instance, China has been provisionally allocated to host the ISU's 2024 Four Continents Championships - what if some skater from Canada or the US re-tweeted a political comment that was critical of China and later earned one of their country's berths to the event? How could this law be applied to them? Would they, potentially, have to decline the event assignment out of fear of reprisal?
  13. Well, I don't think that hurt, but it didn't give the Sapporo 2030 effort as big of a boost as they were probably hoping to get. As it is, I suspect that we're going to see the IOC let this ride out until December. If the Sapporo No Olympics group gains some momentum, then SLC will get 2030 and the IOC will go back to the drawing board for 2034.
  14. The ISU Congress finished up yesterday with elections for the Council and Technical Committees. Shamefully, the full Congress elected Alexander Kibalko of Russia to the ISU Council on the Speed Skating side. He was elected on the 2nd vote, in a run-off against Serbia's Slobodan Delic, so I suppose it was a matter of picking either the puppet or the puppet master. The Speed Skating Branch then elected to the Speed Skating Technical Committee Belarusian Alexei Khatylev, again on 2nd ballot run-off. Thankfully, the Figure Skating Branch chose to NOT elect the Russians running for both the Synchro and Single/Pairs Technical Committees. Alexander Kogan of the Russian Figure Skating Federation called this week's Congress "Unfortunately... very politicized." Yeah, well... go talk to Putin about that. In other news, the new ISU President, Jae Youl Kim of Korea, had this to say about the current ISU ban: And given that the new ISU Council is made up of members from KOR, CAN (2 - Figure Skating VP and Athletes Commission representative), USA, JPN, FIN, HUN, ESP, NOR, THA, ITA, BUL, NED, and RUS, I don't see the Council revisiting that decision in the foreseeable future.
  15. Well, the Extraordinary Event clause failed (by 6 votes) yesterday at the ISU Congress, however the ISU Council's decision to ban RUS/BLR skaters, judges, etc does remain in effect as the Congress approved all of the ISU Council's Communications issued since the last Congress in 2018. In other news, the age minimum increase was passed, overwhelmingly. I'm convinced that the Valieva doping scandal led to the passage of the proposal, though it was in the works for quite some time prior to the Olympics. On tap for 6/8 and 6/9 are separate sessions for the Figure Skating (includes Synchro) and Speed Skating (includes Short-Track) branches, with lots of technical rule proposals, especially on the FS side. Elections for the Technical Committees in each branch will be 6/9; then on Friday, the entire Congress comes back together to vote on a few tabled motions as well as hold elections. Notably, Alexander Lakernik of Russia will not be able to stand for re-election as FS VP since the Congress rejected the motion to allow ISU Officials to serve past the age of 80.
  16. The ISU just issued a notice that their legal advisers have concluded that Russia & Belarus will be allowed to participate in the Congress. Because Russia has filed a CAS appeal of the ISU Council's decision to ban skaters upon the IOC's recommendation, there is a possibility that disallowing the Russian & Belarusian federations participation in the Congress it could nullify any of the decisions taken this week as well as the election of new officers, etc. The Urgent Matter to add the "Extraordinary Event" clause will still be voted upon and if it passes then it will come into effect at the conclusion of this week's Congress. No one is happy about this, but it makes sense. Ought to make for some interesting debates, especially over the age minimum & maximum proposals - not just for athletes, but also for ISU Officials - one would raise the age max for ISU Officials, which would allow Russia's Alexander Lakernik to stand for re-election as Figure Skating VP. Russia also has members standing for election to the ISU Council (Speed Skating Member), Technical Committees for Synchro, Single/Pairs Skating, Short Track (Chair), & Speed Skating (Chair).
  17. Heads up that the ISU Congress begins tomorrow (June 6th) in Phuket, Thailand. One of the items on the agenda will be an Urgent Matter amendment to their General Regulations allowing for the ISU Council to take "protective measures" against ISU Members and participation in their events in the case of an Extraordinary Event (terrorism, riot, civil unrest, war (regardless of whether declared or not), strike, nuclear or chemical contamination, epidemic, etc. I'm not sure, precisely, when this will be voted on per the agenda published by the ISU - There were some published reports in Russian media that the delegates from their federations (they have separate feds for Figure/Synchro and Speed) wouldn't know until the first day of the Congress and that a vote would be taken on whether or not they would be allowed to participate. It could be that this discussion occurs during the Verification of Credentials, or it could be during the Approval of ISU Council Communications, since they were the ones who made the decision to temporarily suspend Russia & Belarus' participation in via an ISU Communication. Another major item on the agenda is an age minimum increase for senior (Olympic) level competitions. This was in the works prior to the Valieva doping scandal, but if there was any doubt that it will pass, that went down the drain with grandpa's backwash. There are a couple of proposals - one is a gradual increase, the other is an immediate one. Those probably won't be debated on until the 7th since there are quite a few items ahead of them on the agenda. My expectation is that the gradual increase to 17 for ALL of skating (figure, synchro, speed and short-track) will be adopted - but it might be amended. The immediate increase proposal also only raises the minimum age for pairs & ice dancing to 16, while it raises it to 17 for the rest of the sport (singles, synchro, speed & short-track). I don't think there will be any difference in the minimum age based upon discipline - and especially not for ice dancing since most senior ice dance teams don't really come into their own competitively until their mid-late 20s. If you're interested, bored or both, you can also watch the ISU Congress proceedings via their YT channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/SkatingISU - it could be fascinating to watch what unfolds without the presence of the Russian delegates politicking their way to dominance. You can find more information about the ISU Congress and all of the agenda items here - https://www.isu.org/inside-isu/rules-regulations/isu-congresses
  18. Particularly problematic for Sapporo 2030, though, in not holding a public referendum is the fact that, demographically, Sapporo and the Hokkaido region ARE older. It's all well and good that the younger folks support the bid in higher percentages, but it should be worrisome that the support is so soft among the older people because that IS the majority of the voting-age population by a wider margin, especially compared to other cities where a failed public referendum has killed an Olympic bid. Basically, what it boils down to is the Sapporo 2030 organizers need to do more to demonstrate greater support among older demographics - how they accomplish that in the next six months before any cities are named for "targeted dialogue" is anyone's guess.
  19. Has the former Delta Center been renovated since 2002 to improve the sight lines? Figure skating fans still gripe about that venue 20 years later - I seem to recall some large concrete pillars blocking views of the ice from some seats. If the Maverick Center has better overall sight lines, then figure skating fans would be perfectly fine with a smaller venue.
  20. I disagree. NBC's ratings for the Beijing Games were dismal. I'm not sure how good the ratings were for Tokyo either, but the shine is off the Olympics with the US viewing public right now. I could be wrong, but I'm not seeing a bidding war for future media rights with the other networks. ABC/ESPN certainly don't need the Olympics to fill their channels and streaming platforms, and neither Fox nor CBS have as many additional cable channels to support the same number of hours NBC provides.
  21. No, it won't be an issue. These are two previous hosts from two major NOCs. I'd bet a double of Sapporo and SLC all but guarantees that Toyota renews as a TOP and NBC pays a pretty penny for the new broadcast contract. It's nothing but a win-win and, if the poll results are accurate, I fully expect for both Sapporo and SLC to move to the "targeted dialogue" phase and a 2030-2034 double award at the next IOC session (Summer 2023, right?) or possibly even earlier.
  22. That article was about NBC's ratings... But, overall verdict on these Olympics... Thank God they're over. Venues were bland and unimpressive. The brown hills during the first week and the industrial site re-vamp for the Big Air venue were depressing. There was nothing charming or intriguing about these Olympics. The ceremonies were underwhelming - the only exciting thing was the Milano-Cortina handover segment. Bach and Xi got exactly what they deserved with this and the sooner that blowhard Bach is tossed out by the rest of the IOC the better. Won't happen, I know, because we've got three really good hosts coming up in the next 6 years, but a gal can dream.
  23. Last event of the Olympics starts in just over 30 minutes. Really hoping that Sui/Han can pull off a home gold in pairs.
  24. TSL is almost always better when they have guests like Edmunds or Meagan Duhamel (2018 team gold, 2018 pairs bronze) than when they're on their own (those are the sessions to take with a hearty grain of salt).
  25. Yes, the gala is happening. Invited to skate so far: Men - Nathan Chen USA, Yuma Kagiyama JPN, Shoma Uno JPN, Yuzuru Hanyu JPN, Boyang Jin CHN, Morisi Kvitelashvili GEO, Keegan Messing CAN, Vincent Zhou USA Dance - Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron FRA, Victoria Sinitsina/Nikita Katsalapov ROC, Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue USA, Madison Chock/Evan Bates USA, Charlene Guignard/Marco Fabbri ITA, Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier CAN, Olivia Smart/Adrian Diaz ESP, Shiyue Wang/Xinyu Liu CHN Women - Anna Shcherbakova ROC, Alexandra Trusova ROC, Kaori Sakamoto, JPN, Young You KOR, Alysa Liu USA, Loena Hendrickx BEL Pairs - TBA after the FS (but I'd bet hard cash on Wenjing Sui/Cong Han CHN and Cheng Peng/Yang Jin CHN being invited)
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