Tracking ISU and U.S. Figure Skating Events, Issues and Governance
(An Open Inquiry to All Candidates Seeking the Presidency of U.S. Figure Skating Association from Janet Lynn)
The sport and art of figure skating are dying, not because of a lack of marketing or lack of a “star,” but because the fundamentals of figure skating are dying. Often young skaters and young coaches, through no fault of their own, do not know the difference between one turn or edge and another. The next President of USFS has an opportunity to restore and rebuild the culture, language and integrity of figure skating. Audiences are drawn to joyful, refined, effortless, beautiful, free movement on ice using a figure skating language to music.
This Open Inquiry is submitted disregarding the present day climate that rewards legitimate, studied inquiry and truth with inexplicable retribution.
Please answer specifically and publicly what plans of action and policies you would lead USFS to take in order to rebuild a sound foundation with internal and public credibility for the sport and art of figure skating.
~How will you address these objectives for the sport and art of figure skating?
Any leaders of USFS must know and understand classic figure skating.
~How will you choose future leaders of the USFS?
Respect and Inclusion
Present policy of USFS and PSA
Any and all credentials earned within past figure skating history are no longer considered relevant as qualifications to officially teach figure skating, to officially attend tests, competitions and USFS/PSA sanctioned events. These include School Figure, Ice Dance and Pair tests passed after hundreds, even thousands, of hours on ice, as well as successful competitive records, including National, World and Olympic medal winners.
Present requirement for teaching and officially participating in USFS/PSA figure skating:
Pay for and pass tests online—every year.
~ How will you address the issue that USFS and PSA have eliminated past historical, sound credentials as qualifications for participation in the sport?
~ How will you address the issue that USFS and PSA Hall of Fame coaches are required to pay for and pass tests every year online in order to officially participate in the sport?
~How will you build up and promote the history of the sport?
~ How will you address that fees to pay for, and time to take and pass, tests online are becoming a heavy burden and disincentive for coach participation in the sport?
Figure skating fundamentals taught stability, a common language on ice, precise skills at all levels, and provided a developmental system that prepared the body for impact, therefore offering a high measure of safety.
The former developmental systems have been eliminated by official USFS decisions. Those now participating in the sport and art must go to coaches from the past system to gain understanding of this knowledge of skating. Knowledge of figure skating fundamentals is disappearing.
~What immediate practical steps will you lead USFS to take in order to reinstate and incentivize the historical sound developmental systems used to teach figure skating before this knowledge is lost?
~How will you begin immediately to offer historical training for judging of school figures, ice dance and pair tests to rebuild that knowledge of judging before it is lost?
Independence in Participation
Historically, a common language and sound developmental system gave a foundation for individuals to expand freely in the sport. Some developed independent and successful skating schools within the skating world. Efforts to refine and use a common language within a consistent developmental, testing and competitive system brought interest, individual innovation, community, longevity, success and joy to the sport.
~How will you lead USFS to remove top down control of the sport, and allow wholesome refinement of the sport and art in the spirit of American independence, entrepreneurial enterprise, and community?
~Will you begin your term by requesting an independent and publicly accountable audit of financial and all other books of the USFSA, beginning when the USFSA rules for pure amateur status were distorted and then abandoned, to the present time, in order to account for and evaluate the organization’s financial and contractual policies, decisions and practices and the effect they have had on the sport internally and publicly?
~Will you begin your term with a publicly accountable investigation into the decision made by “committee” to refuse advancement to the 2014 Olympic Games and World Championships to the U.S. Senior Lady who merited the third position, instead sending the fourth place U.S. Senior Lady who did not merit the third place position at the National qualifying event?
Any independent and accountable inquiry must include evaluation as to the effect of endorsements and monies on this decision and the impact on the credibility of U.S. Figure Skating and the credibility of its competitions.
~How will you lead to build influential strategies in order to create a judging system in which “free-skating” performances relieve stress of the audience when watching, instead of creating stress which causes former audiences to choose to no longer watch?
~How will you lead to develop a judging system that rewards knowledge of the full language of figure skating, fundamentals, and individual freedom and creativity on ice?
Note: The inception of the short program has not added any value to figure skating knowledge, skill, creativity, longevity, or audience interest.
~What is your definition of integrity?
~What would you do to hold high standards and inspire integrity in the participants of the sport and art?
~What is your definition of wholesomeness for the sport?
~What would you do to hold high standards and inspire wholesomeness in the sport and art?
A workable, dynamic figure skating system must answer these questions:
Ø Do figure skating clubs, practices, tests and competitions inspire anyone to go find a pair of skates and a place to skate?
Ø Do figure skating clubs, practices, tests and competitions make anyone want to look for skating on TV in anticipation?
Ø Do figure skating clubs, practices, tests and competitions make anyone want to attend a performance?
Ø Does the system welcome longevity of involvement for skaters, volunteers, judges, fans, officials?
Submitted by Janet Lynn
Five-time U.S. Ladies National Champion, Olympic and World Bronze medalist, World Silver medalist, U.S. and World Figure Skating Halls of Fame
April 28, 2014
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