The Western figure skating establishment these days operates similar to a cult. The US figure skating federation and its media arm Ice Network which employs every Russophobe in the sport, the main ice skating “journalists” and bloggers, all form a very small group of people which controls the Western ice skating narrative.
These people are all major homers for US skating, they are all far left liberals, and are all extremely Russophobic. And if anyone would go against that grain they would quickly find their way out of this clique.
I notice that the more the talent gap with Russia grows the more radicalized these people get in their attacks on Russia. A lot of their hate also stems from being manipulated with propaganda to think Russia hates gays. That narrative plays well here where skating is basically just a gay niche sport. (Many of these people are the same individuals who whitewashed Brittney Griner playing in Russia.)
Even more disturbing, as this talent gap with Russia grows the dirty the political tricks US skating must use in order to try and keep pace. This is why I almost wish US skating was more healthy because then there wouldn’t be so many attempts to sabotage Russia.
The ISU is basically controlled by the US skating federation. If you look at this past season out 96 technical panel spots (grand prix events, grand prix final, worlds) by my count only 4 went to Russia. How is it that the top figure skating country in the world can only get a handful of technical panel spots out of nearly a hundred? Yet Canada and the United States get several spots. Countries that barely have a skating program like the UK, Poland, Australia(all very Russophobic countries) also get several spots.
So for people who laughably want to say Russia controls the judging, they get about 5% of the tech panel spots. It is also comical when these people try to say Russians are overscored when the most overscored people in skating are Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner, and Jason Brown.
All this cesspool of politics culminated in a World Championship hosted in Boston that ended up being more of a propaganda event than a figure skating event. The US federation and all the various minions used this as some sort of psy op to try and sell the notion that US skating is thriving and competitive. People in the US skating federation even put out videos talking desperately about the vital importance of getting a girl on the podium.
And through some of the most absurd overscoring and underscoring this was achieved by putting Ashley Wagner on the podium even though she had the 5th highest TES score.
So let me get this straight. Now people are supposed to think US skating is thriving because an aged skater was put on the podium because of ridiculous political scoring. Ok, sure.
The US skating fed and ISU manipulated scoring so that if Gracie Gold had somehow gone clean she would have been put above a clean Evgenia Medvedeva. That is absurd. But even more absurd is they almost put Ashley Wagner above her despite Medvedeva having a world record skate.
If Medvedeva had made one mistake she would have been screwed out of the gold medal to give it to Ashley Wagner and her 5th best TES. Medvedva having a perfect skate saved one of the most absurd robberies in the history of sports from taking place.
With all that being said. What really is the true state of US skating? Since nobody in the Western skating establishment will tell you I will.
The top US team by far Alexa Scimica and Chris Knierim finished 7th at Grand Prix Final and 9th at Worlds. They are simply not able to compete against the best pairs teams in the world.
There is basically no depth in US pairs skating and there is no real promising team in Juniors.
Ice Dance is the easiest genre to develop talent and the easiest genre to politically manipulate. This is why Western skating countries tend to get most of their medals in ice dance. Personally I find the US ice dance teams both in Seniors and Juniors to be very overrated but medals will come from this group. Obviously the US fed would like its medals to come from the other events as they are more popular. Western skating nations can’t build popularity of the sport if the best talents are ice dancers.
The man with the best skills, Jason Brown, isn’t able to develop a quad jump. This is quite problamatic when the top men from around the world do multiple quad jumps and are pushing that boundary more every year. Max Aaron has more ability than Jason Brown to do quad jumps but he is severely lacking in other aspects of skating and even at his best isn’t able to compete with the worlds best.
The best prospect is Nathan Chen but he is continually injured and the US fed has to be leary of politically backing someone hard that gets injured a lot. Theres a couple other decent mens prospects but nobody who looks like a difference maker.
This is where the real big problems are and where I will put most of my focus. So where is US womens skating at.. Gracie Gold is positioned as the top girl but always flounders no matter how much political backing she has. This then makes the US fed have to push and overrate the 25 year old Ashley Wagner who would be put out to pasture if US skating could develop girls. Ashley Wagner is limited technically and at her age has no real future, but what choice does the US fed have?
There was a hope Polina Edmunds could develop as a top skater. But the reality is she was never an uber top prospect and has settled into more of a secondary role of being decent but no threat to podiums at big events.
Then there was hype put on Karen Chen and she was marketed as the girl that could “compete with the Russians”. The reality is in Juniors the Russian and Japanese girls beat her pretty bad and since being moved up to Seniors shes been pretty much a bust.
The girl currently put into the top spot in Juniors is Vivian Li. She has less talent than Karen Chen and is known for her jump inconsistency. It does not look like she will make any sort of impact in Seniors.
People in the Western skating establishment have tried to hype Tessa Hong as a phenom. She was rushed into a Junior Grand Prix spot she probably wasn’t ready for and looked ordinary. Then in practice she broke her ankle which will be a big setback for her.
The reason people tried to hype Tessa Hong so hard is because after her the prospect pool is like a black hole. People will read this and say I am being a hater but its the reality. There is simply no viable prospects. Its girls who are like 15 already and can barely even score a 140. These girls are going to get destroyed by the Russian and Japanese girls.
Look at the various results at US nationals. There is no young girl in US skating that has the technical ability to compete successfully Internationally. Its really dire but nobody in the Western skating establishment will say this. Its like that cartoon of a man in a burning building saying “everything is fine”.
US skating development simply isn’t working. What are all the exact reasons for that is hard to say. Neoliberal upringings are failing the kids. Too much individual training instead of a group. Kids are being held down in lower levels to try to boost their self esteem. Whatever the case may be, as girls skating trends younger the more US skating is left behind.
Contrast that to Russian skating. They are loaded with so many good girls prospects its almost ridiculous. Polina Tsurskaya, Anastasia Gubanova, Elizaveta Nugumanova, Alisa Lozko, Alisa Fedichkina, Stanislava Konstaninova, Maria Sotskova, Anastasia Mukhortova, Anna Shcherbakova, Alena Kostornaya, and the list goes on and on. And I’m not even including girls under 12, a generation that looks like it will be great as well.
The people in the Western skating establishment like to play dumb and act like they don’t know about much of those girls but believe me they do. This is why they are acting so insecure. US skating has absolutely zero answer for these girls.
This is why these people in the Western skating establishment are becoming more Russophobic. Russian girls are going to win pretty much everything in the coming years and what they don’t win Japan will. And then these people have to somehow try to sell a narrative that US skating is the best.
As I said earlier, I sort of wish US skating would improve so it would tone down the dirty politics it uses to try to keep pace. Personally I don’t see that happening. There simply is not much talent in the pipeline so its not going to have much improvement in the next 5 years.
I really don’t even much like watching International skating events anymore because the politics just gives me a headache. I much prefer to watch the Russian domestic events. They are absolutely loaded with talent and super competitive, and theres no worries about judges and tech panels from Russophobic countries screwing over Russian skaters.
The people running US skating have frankly run it into the ground. And they seem more worried about pushing things like homosexuality than developing talent. Heres a newsflash. Endlessly bashing and propagandizing against Russia isn’t going to improve US skating. Its just making the sport toxic.
And this is happening across all International sports. These various sports feds and institutions are all controlled by the Western establishment that are waging hybrid war against Russia. And all these radicalized liberals who think they “hate” Russia who couldn’t name four Russian cities go along with it.