Figure Skating Hockey
By Vladislav Luchianov
As everyone already knows, today the ISU together with the International Olympic Committee officially announced the creation of a new Olympic discipline in figure skating – team event. According to the IOC, the figure skating team event will feature teams made up of six skaters: one male skater, one female skater, one skating pair and one ice dance couple. Points are awarded to each skater or couple. The team with the highest number of aggregate points is declared the winner.
Frankly, despite the increasing transformation of sport in the show, I don’t cease to be surprised of skating officials’ inventions. This event is one of the most absurd of their creations.
We can start with the fact that there isn’t country in the world which has the strongest skaters in all disciplines: some country is good in singles skating, other in pairs or ice dancing. This casts a great doubt on the value of this Olympic gold. The team which wins will do so at the expense of one or two of the strongest skaters. While others, less powerful, will also be Olympic champions. This is a frank nonsense.
ISU officials say it will stimulate the development of figure skating in all disciplines. Really? Why countries will develop other kinds of figure skating, if they can get the gold only by their leaders?
The Olympic gold medal in figure skating always has been considered as especially valuable. Athletes went to it for many years and made tremendous efforts to become the best and to be named as the Olympic champion. New competition discredits the value of this title.
How will feel the skaters who truly won the Olympic medals in single skating, pair skating and ice dancing? There is no doubt that the title of team’s Olympic champion will be purely formal in tone. In an attempt to attract more attention to figure skating, officials are on the path to becoming an Olympic kind of sport to a banal ice show.
By the way, the team event already exists. It’s synchronized skating. This sport also has athletes and their championships. But officials don’t need this sport. They just want to advertise their new invention using well-known figure skaters.
For the development of figure skating throughout the world need to allow more countries to participate in the Olympics, even if will be needed additional qualifying events. In such a case would be observed the one of the main principles of the Olympic movement – internationalism.
Officials are almost screaming that other sports also have team events. So what? Figure skating is a special sport with its own traditions. Then better give skaters hockey sticks, throw the puck and put goals on the ice rink. That would be the more logical form of this event – figure skating hockey.