U. S. Nationals Wrapup

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

You've watched the skating, read the coverage, and seen the results. Now a final look at the good, the bad, and the ugly (the things that really had people steamed) - as complied by talking to skaters, coaches, officials, spectators, and media wonks.

The Good

Some great skating with some surprising results.

Rudy's short program.

Rudy's long program.

The judges giving Rudy his due.

A breakthrough long program by Dan Hollander.

Two mature programs from Michelle Kwan, giving her a good shot for a medal at Worlds.

Two good programs from Tonia Kwiatkowski, giving her a chance to "redeem" herself at Worlds.

Kwiatkowski teasing the media about being refered to as an old timer by showing up at a press conference using a walker.

The impressive technical content of Ina and Dungjon's long program.

Peter Oppegard's pairs choreography.

Punsalen and Swallow's free dance.

Chalom and Gates placing third their first year in senior dance.

An arena with good ice and nice seats.

Effective use of the arena scoreboard to list results during the events.

Enthusiastic spectators.

The Bad

More access and traffic flow rules than a Nazi prison camp.

Limiting the figure medalists to a superficial role in the exhibition.

Placing the skaters, chaperones, and coaches seats in the nosebleed sections.

USFSA sending the message to competitors that skaters who tour at the expense of training may pay a heavy price for it, and then denying that sending that message was even discussed.

Overpriced souveniers and a vacuous program.

An exhibition run at breakneck speed, dominated by lame, hokey announcer chatter.

Inane introductions of exhibition numbers by the skaters for TV.

A competition highlight video shown during the exhibition about as interesting as watching skates dry.

Dirty arena bathrooms and broken water fountains.

A scary neighberhood around the arena.

The Ugly

Not giving Nicole Bobek the same opportunity to rehabilitate her injury and skate at Worlds, as was given three National Champions in previous cases.

Stonewalling by the International Committee.

Denying novice competitors backstage access in the main arena, preventing their access to skater services and to backstage coaches.

An excessively restrictive credential policy for coaches that resulted in some novice competitors going coachless at some times.

Threatening some media with expulsion from the event if they publicized a nasty conflict between the coaches and the USFSA.

The entire nasty USFSA/coaches conflict.

Pricing most of the skating industry vendors out of the "trade show" and then declining to sell space to the few willing to pay, dissappointing numerous event attendees.

Locking roughly 1000 spectators out of the arena for the first routine in the second half of the exhibition, by starting it without adequately warning the audience to take their seats.

Too many offensive, uncooperative arena ushers and supervisors who behaved like they were dealing with their usual drunken, rowdy hockey crowd instead af a family skating audience.

Fostering an evironment in which the major groups within the skating community become adversaries.

Forgetting that skating is primarily a sport of 14 year old boys and girls (and younger) that needs to be nurtured at the grassroots.

Return to Title Page