Comments: Short track in Seattle?

I really hope this happens. That would be great for Apolo and his family.

Posted by sue at April 13, 2008 1:06 PM

"... where only the top point-getters earn Olympic team berths to one where the best racers can still make the team..."

I'm uncertain about this new format that will be looked into and possibly even be implemented. What level of criteria will be taken into consideration for these 'misfortunes'? Is it fair for up and coming skaters who have earned top points without any of the listed misfortunes to step aside for the 'best racers' so they are secured a spot for Olympic team competitions? And just what defines a best racer (criteria i.e.)? Also, there are no guarantees in life that one can say with confidence an injured or ill skater will be in top form for the ensuing Olympic team training - which I imagine will demand a greater physical fitness regiment than before.
It sounds to me like there will be quite a few exceptions made in favor of historically top performers if this new format prevails.

Posted by An Apolo Fan at April 13, 2008 1:09 PM

The ending is my favorite part:

"This is not about Apolo," Crowley said of the site selection, adding other factors, such as Vancouver-like altitude and humidity as well as proximity to the Olympic site, make Seattle a good candidate. "This is about selecting the best Olympic team we can have."

Of course, a packed house of screaming Ohno fans wouldn't hurt.

"That's always a plus," Crowley conceded. "It gives us instant credibility if Apolo is competing in front of his hometown."

Those screaming fans? That would be us!

Posted by janet at April 13, 2008 3:11 PM

Very Interesting:)

Posted by Bella at April 13, 2008 4:50 PM

JMO - but aside from Seattle being Apolo's hometown, should we not consider Beth Bedford's points. Seattle has no ice rink, no skating clubs, no seasoned volunteer corps, no prior short track event experience. Should the present National team - developing and succeeding beyond expectation - and other hopefuls not be given the best and most experienced venue for Trials. With Apolo's characteristic need for focus and concentration, would this not be added distraction with additional media demands at a time when he needs to be in optimal performance level and allowed maximal rest?

Perhaps Apolo and the other athletes are fine with this, but I cannot help thinking that once again USS does not consider the best interest of their athletes.

Posted by JL at April 13, 2008 5:40 PM

I have to agree with you, JL. As much as I would love for Apolo to have a competition in his beloved hometown Seattle under his belt, this is not the time to experiment with a new city/venue. It is too important. I really hope that they vote against this and hold trials in Midland. Beth Bedford has worked so hard to get legitimate and well-attended events to Midland and I think they have proven their worth with a great track record so far. I would think Salt Lake City would be the obvious choice... but who am I?

I will be attending if it is to be held in Midland, well worth the 4-state distance.

Posted by Katie (Onion) at April 13, 2008 8:10 PM

I would much rather go to Vancouver, but agree with Katie and JL for all the reasons above. Northern California SS hosted the age group national championships in 1999 and that didn't include the Category I "elite" skaters. It was great fun but very difficult. Hosting a major event really does require a coordinated effort by a lot of people who know what they are doing. And frankly I'm also am a bit skeptical about proposed changes at Olympic trials. Sounds like a way to ensure that the "best" (??) skaters make the team regardless of results at trials. That just puts USS right back in the position that people have criticized for years: insiders making decisions for insiders. Frankly, I'm all in favor of objective criteria. In this case, "Show me the meat."

Posted by SusanG at April 14, 2008 9:55 AM

As much as I like the notion of holding the Olympic trials (or a World Cup) in Seattle, I am also going to cosign with JL, Katie, and Susan G. There are a number of venues in the area where they could lay down ice, but where would they get appropriate padding? Would they have to truck it in from California? The lack of organizers who are experienced in putting on an elite-level ST meet is also worrisome.

I don't think that the barriers to putting on a meet there are entirely insurmountable, but with the frenzied atmosphere we can expect leading up to Vancouver, I would imagine that USS officials will want to minimize their headaches.

But Apolo competing in front of a hometown crowd...yeah, it's a sweet thought. :-)

As for the proposed changes for Olympic team selection, perhaps the results from the Fall '09 World Cups could count for part of the selection process. It would be interesting to hear the athletes' thoughts on this. We all want to send the strongest possible team to Vancouver.

Posted by Susie at April 14, 2008 6:13 PM

Forget having trials in Seattle - Chicago's the place to be! We have pizza!

Posted by Yano at April 17, 2008 2:50 PM

I wander if USS will step or step out to this challenge. Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, Bellingham all have the ability to put on something like this, and it really doesn't have to just go to a city that's done it before. There's quite a few people who would really like to see it happen (incl. me) and would support it as best as possible.

Posted by Bri at April 17, 2008 3:14 PM

Nah, Bay Area. We have pizza and sushi.


Posted by Yvonne at April 17, 2008 6:44 PM

And Bri--don't forget Everett which would take some tweaking but I think this has been part of the plan anyway to make it a practice site for the Olympics.

I, too, would love to have this event in the Seattle area.

We may not have the best pizza but we do have the best salmon and it is better for you anyway.

Posted by janet at April 18, 2008 10:46 AM

Hi, Bri, how ya' doin'? *waves*

Well, since everyone's putting their two-cents, if Seattle's able to pull this off, I'm gonna be leading the charge for SoCal next time. If they can do it, why not us?

Sure, Chicago has pizza, NorCal has sushi, Seattle has salmon, but we have...

...ummm, tacos? With a little Britney on the side? :-/

Posted by Lori (Girl Next Door) at April 18, 2008 4:42 PM

It would be cool if Seattle could pull it off. Got to make sure the venue (especially the ice) is adequate.

One benefit, in addition to Apolo getting to perform in front of a home crowd and closeness to Vancouver, is that it will give a new audience a chance to see a live short track competition.

Everyone who has been to one gets a new appreciation of the sport. One of the problems, as I see it, is that too few Americans have seen it other than on TV and it is so much more exciting as a live event. After seeing it live, one appreciates what you see on TV much more because then you know what the sport actually looks like.

Posted by Deb at April 19, 2008 12:20 PM

The trials should be in Grand Rapids, MI. We're the childhood home a former president and umm... we're nothing else, but that has it's advantages, like no distractions for the skaters. They certainly won't overeat here.

Definitely Grand Rapids.

Posted by Trisha at April 19, 2008 6:56 PM

What about Champaign, IL?
Not sure exactly where I heard this, but isn't it the home of Bonnie Blair?

Posted by Mars at April 21, 2008 8:36 AM

one fact correction: Seattle does have skating clubs - though they are actually in Everett (Cascade Speedskating Club) and Tacoma (Puget Sound Speedskating Club). JR Celski is from the Seattle area as well.

Posted by LInda at April 21, 2008 7:45 PM

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