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Lamenting the American Ladies

This Washington Post piece is one of the myriad articles being written right about now about the lack of medal potential in America's female skaters, so here you go. Nothing really new or particularly insightful unfortunately. But I do have to say something (of course):

Some figure skating insiders say the new judging system, which was adopted just before the decline, might be contributing. Because the system emphasizes technique over pure artistry, they say, the United States has lost one of its historically greatest assets in the sport. Also, they say, pre-pubescent skaters who can best execute difficult spins and jumps with their small, lean bodies are best suited to accruing high technical marks.

I just want to point out that, while little girls are obviously at an advantage in jumping and such, Yu-Na Kim, Carolina Kostner, Miki Ando, Joannie Rochette, Mao Asada, etc., have all hit puberty (or I'm guessing they have), and have been excelling on the international stage. I also want someone to look at Miki Ando's results this season and tell me that artistry doesn't matter. It definitely gives Kim a bit of an edge (in addition to her great technique). Another response to that graf is that America is just as likely to have young teen stars (Tara Lipinksi, Sarah Hughes) as any other country.