One Flew Over the Officials’ Nest

By Vladislav Luchianov

I specially picked the title of this article which is consonant with the famous novel by Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His book continues to be relevant in our time too. I think it will remain so for a very long time. The Combine continues its work in all sectors and all countries, including such a beautiful sport like figure skating.

The work of the system can be perfectly seen in the Rachael Flatt’s example. Recently, she was fined and reprimanded because she did not report in time about her injury. At the same time officials, as usually, refer to the rules. Of course! After all, they created them! And set up just for their machine and its mechanisms which must work properly!

Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Quote:

“I’ve watched her get more and more skilful over the years. Practice has steadied and strengthened her until now she wields a sure power that extends in all directions on hairlike wires so small for anybody’s eye but mine, I see her sit in the centre of this web of wires like a watchful robot, tend her network with mechanical insect skill, know every second which wire runs where and just what current to send up to get the results she wants.
Chief Bromden describes the Nurse.”

The Combine thus made an unprecedented gesture to all athletes – we are your guides, do not forget about it. Well, of course. After all, the Combine could theoretically replace a broken item and the production process could go on and bring the desired result at Worlds. Officials are interested only in result. They are not interested in the beauty of sports, skaters’ opinions, and fans. No, just results!

I have a professional experience in physical therapy and I know very well that Rachael’s injury is very tricky. It can stop producing their symptoms during the general treatment and it seems that everything is practically OK. But it could get worse at any moment, especially in stressful situations. World championships are stressful for any athlete, even the most titled. The most interesting is that a lot of skaters have injuries. But officials decided to show their new activity in this case and with this skater. They have found a new way to remind all athletes that their opinion is secondary, and the most importantly – a common result of the Combine.

After the decision of officials instantly were engaged in the work smaller cogs of the machine – some related with this Combine journalists. And they could not be disconnected because they are the part of the Combine and they must be clearly understood that they are totally dependent on the host machine. They gave these news as a sensation and explained in details why skaters should follow the rules.

Of course, not all officials are the same. There are lots of people in the history of sports who did many things for changing it in a better part. Such people had a great idea that the system must serve the athletes, but not vice versa.

Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Quote:

“What she dreams of there in the centre of those wires is a world of precision efficiency and tidiness like a pocket watch with a glass back, a place where the schedule is unbreakable . . . Year by year she accumulates her ideal staff: doctors, all ages and types, come and rise up in front of her with ideas of their own about the way a ward should be run, some with backbone enough to stand behind their ideas, and she fixes these doctors with dry-ice eyes day in, day out, until they retreat with unnatural chills.
Chief Bromden describes the Nurse.”

I am very pleased with the fact that Rachael showed absolutely no reaction to these punitive actions. She didn’t react because she is the honest person who respects herself. She continued her involvement in various charitable performances which bring a real help to people.

I think the System decided to demonstrate on Rachael’s example that everyone, even one of the honest, honorable and respected person must be under their control. It is a sign directed to others. But I’m not sure that the Combine has won in this case. Athletes will now know one thing – telling the truth sometimes can be misinterpreted to the detriment to them.

Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Quote:

“The Big Nurse tends to get real put out if something keeps her outfit from running like a smooth, accurate, precision-made machine. The slightest thing messy or out of kilter or in the way ties her into a little white knot of tight-smiled fury. She walks around with that same doll smile crimpled between her chin and her nose and that same calm whir coming from her eyes, but down inside of her she’s tense as steel. I know, I can feel it. And she don’t relax a hair until she gets the nuisance attended to – what she calls “adjusted to surroundings.”
Chief Bromden describes the Nurse.”

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