Friday, May 25, 2012

Mahbanoozadeh M.I.A. for the 2012 GP?

I’ve been studying the GP assignments since they came out on Monday. Made some highlight marks, some stars in the margins, and felt some pity that Alexander Marjorov (of Sweden) is apparently now known to the ISU as “Alexandra.” But oh, if only that was the sole oversight...

Yes, I heard about Alissa Czisny’s hip injury and looming surgery, but I’ll save that focus for an upcoming day... except to say that at least we all know now why she’s been given a lone GP assignment, at the very end of the season.

So the following question looms in my noggin instead: What on earth has Armin Mahbanoozadeh done to tick off The Skating Powers That Be??

Probably nothing, I know... and that’s my point. First, U.S. Figure Skating passes him by in favor of Richard Dornbush for a 4CC assignment, just a mere 2 weeks after Mahbanoozadeh earned 4th place (his highest to date) at U.S. Nationals. Now we have the ISU snubbing Armin M. in similar fashion, giving two assignments apiece to Dornbush and the returning Johnny Weir while leaving Armin M. with zippo.

Granted, his appearances in last year’s GP weren’t much to write home about—10th at Skate America (after winning bronze there a year earlier), and 8th at NHK. Dornbush was 4th at SKAM and 6th at Cup of China, both of which say a lot more about his return to the circuit than his paltry 13th place at Nationals. And Weir, I’m sure, is nearly as appealing to have back in the race as Plushenko (to some, at least).

But one, if not two, of those coveted U.S. spots could have—and should have—gone to Armin M. There IS a TBA spot at Skate America, and IF Evan Lysacek’s name isn’t already penciled in (assuming his management and U.S. Figure Skating are still trying to work a deal), Armin M. should be a shoo-in. He could also be brought in at any GP event to replace another U.S. man sidelined with illness or injury. But as one of several up-and-comers with a shot at making the 2014 Olympic team... and one who has steadily improved his placement to boot, first finishing 8th, then 6th at Nationals before moving all the way up to 4th this time...

C’mon, folks. This guy deserves better. Or does he need to drop back down to 7th for Ths Skating Powers That Be to realize it?

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