Russia is bad, Olympics Edition

“Success of Russia’s Female Figure Skaters Takes a Toll in Injuries and Stress” (nytimes) raises some questions.

First, is it any more punishing on the body to train to a world-class level in Russia compared to in the U.S. or anywhere else? The answer within the article seems to be “no”:

Johnny Weir, a retired, two-time Olympian from the United States who trained with Russians during his career, said that while there was always danger in overtraining or attempting jumps a skater was not ready for, Russian coaches and officials were systematic and careful in their approach.

“There are far more injuries to the Americans, I find,” he said.

Second, is it so bad to take the risk of injury given that most Americans are essentially crippled by middle age? We don’t need to skate to fall apart. We just need to eat and sit and then eat some more. If we’re going to be decrepit by middle age, why not strive to be in great shape for at least a few years in our youth?

5 thoughts on “Russia is bad, Olympics Edition

  1. Figure skating is one of the toughest sports around. Even worse than gymnastics. Kids start getting hurt badly at 12-13 with deep bruises, broken ankles and torn ligaments and then later at 18 or so they start getting over use stress injuries. Plus many have bad falls and get concussions and bad cuts all thru their careers. Tara Lipinski (Johnny Wier broadcast partner) won a gold medal at 15 but retired at 19 due to a bad hip and bad back. See below.

    And no one talks about the eating disorder issues that arise in this sport. All the competitors are driven to stay small so they can do the hard jumps. Then they hit puberty at 12-14 and all h*** breaks lose and they start growing. Then the tricks get harder. So they stop eating to try to stay small. Then they get sick from little food or poor nutrition. Psych issues also come along driving them. Even the ones that succeed have troubles. Plus there are tons that you never hear about.

    Skating is just a tough sport.

  2. Johnny Weir via New York Times: Jumping a Russian skater who is not ready may lead to bruises.
    Thank you and God bless!

Comments are closed.