Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Few Words About the Wait on Worlds 2011...

With the current batch of World Championship competitors in mind, I’m tempted to quote Tom Petty (as I often do in times of limbo) and say “The waiting is the hardest part”…

Except that, in light of all that’s happened since last Friday, it simply doesn’t apply this time.

Plenty of words have transpired since Monday’s initial announcement about the postponement of Worlds (and subsequent announcements about a "final decision" coming soon). Words about the difficult logistics of moving the event to a different country. Words about other countries inviting such a move anyway. Words (mostly Cinquanta’s) about postponing the event all the way to next October… words (mostly everyone else) about how much they dislike the October idea.

Words from
would-be competitors like Ryan Bradley (via…

Word from
Japanese competitors like Nobunari Oda (via Toronto’s Globe and Mail; the article also mentions other Japanese skaters who have been declared “safe” from harm)

Words from bloggers like Vlad over at
World Figure Skating, who raised the excellent question as to why the ISU doesn’t always have a “plan B” in times like these…

Words, words, and more words from
Philip Hersh , including his voting in favor of canceling the entire event… and most recently on his blog, a post from Alissa Czisny stating why she thinks moving the event is the best option.

I tend to agree with the words of Czisny, as well as those in this article posted by
CBC Sports … indicating Japan’s athletes could give the country a little boost if they got the chance to compete (and in 2 cases, defend their world titles) at some point this spring.

By now, I certainly hope it goes without saying that what’s happening in Japan far eclipses just about anything else in terms of What’s Important. And I don’t think anyone in the skating community is trying to suggest otherwise when they bring up the relocation option. It seems to me that if the Japanese world team is intact, and safe (I hear that they are, anyway), and still wants to compete, Worlds should still happen—logistics and profits be damned.

That’s my two cents, anyway. What do you think?


Vlad said...

Thank you, Kelli for so nice article!
I hope that ISU finally will hear the skaters! Waiting for Monday's final decision.

Anonymous said...

Yes, for what it is worth, I think moving it to another country - if it cannot be held in Japan in the near future - would be the best option, especially as many countries have offered. If that had not been the case, I could see why October or outright cancellation would be viable options. As it is, though... surely it is only common sense? At this point, surely, it is a matter of damage control?

I think eveyone agrees that these problems pale to utter insignificance to the tragedy in Japan. But cancelling the figure skating championships will not lessen that tragedy on iota. Instead, perhaps, if the Japanese skaters do well - which is certainly a reasonable expectation - that may be something for people in Japan to feel good about. And surely they could use something - anything - to feel good about at this point?

Still, it seems to me that just basic common sense seems in short supply at the ISU....


Sharon said...

I'm still finding it hard to believe this actually happened (and on the 50th anniv of the last time Worlds was canceled). I'm hoping and praying that we can end up having the competition for the athletes. We can all feel deeply for the Japanese people and I know they will rise from this but I think having Worlds would lift a lot of spirits. Hoping the ISU will do the right thing!