Tracking ISU and U.S. Figure Skating Events, Issues and Governance
Recent events in Paris bring to the forefront the interface of today’s major world peril, terrorism and our sport of Figure Skating. In that there has been nothing written, heard, or viewed publicly on TV or the web on the rise of extreme violent terror as a potential danger to our sport, I am skeptical that adequate planning and protection measures have been addressed.
My concerns I now pose to our Sports Leaders; ISU, U.S. Figure Skating and all other member nations governing bodies…
The total silence has me skeptical that the ISU and all its member governing bodies are doing all it can by training, educating all its officials, coaches, skaters with the latest security information available on Terrorism.
I’m skeptical that the ISU actively has in place advisers with terrorism acumen and connections to anti-terror experts in order to be kept up-to-date on possible threat scenarios, including travel to and from events. Additionally, is the ISU prepared with contingency plans in case any area hosting ISU events requires temporary travel restrictions making competitions there impossible for a time; also alternate site possibilities identified on short notice so as to keep the skating season intact?
I am further skeptical that preparations are in place on how to handle a terrorist attack on any of the Grand Prix events, Europeans, Four Continents Championships, World Championships or any National Championships at any of the world’s figure skating venues.
What protocols are in place, if any, to protect the participants and fans in any of the international/national figure skating events from a natural disaster or terror attack?
How should competitions in nations that are in likely areas for such a possibility be appropriately guarded in the future?
Have these questions even been discussed at the last ISU Congress? Will they be addressed at the next Congress or anytime soon?
It is only prudent that attention be paid to the above thoughts and this article is offered to stimulate further thinking on the important issues raised. With each terror incident in Europe and with the prospect of future acts of violence likely, now is the time these issues be addressed and the skating community assured publicly that these security preparations are in place or are being discussed by all ISU membership.
Peter Murray – Editor, Blazing Blades