About 80% of my affectionate readers (4 in total) have been asking me how come I’m publishing anything as of late, not even one of my kinky interviews. Well, I can think of a number of good reasons, but none of them are good enough, so I decided to start this periodic short column… mostly because I need more income traffic towards my website, but also because I feel that in spite of the large amount of specialized websites and forums, there is too little debate as to were our sport is heading to.
Or, most probably, because I just have time on my hands.
A much larger amount of people might be asking themselves: “this guy really thinks we care?” My answer would be “I don’t, either”. The idea is to offer a different angle from the various blogs and -more or less- informative websites out there, with an editorial edge that will try to comply with two main rules: to be objective and to be slightly fun. Furthermore, if some controversy arises from this, I’ll be happier. The name of the column has a pun intended, granted: I’m going to address regularly the crap I see in the sport. Polemics is my middle name, you know?
As for the rest of my curriculum… if you don’t know me yet, ask Mr Aracu or Mr Marotta for references.
Crisis? What crisis?
The season started with a grim mood, a mixture of uncertainty and fear like most of us never felt before. Worlds assigned nowhere, a feeble WIC, teams closing down... But by March things were looking much brighter: in particular, the World Cup seems pointing to a lager than ever calendar, although it remains to be seen if every one of those new stages actually materialize. Manufacturers are experiencing a sales volume that in the worst case scenario is going to be about the same as last year, but it must be pointed out that costs have been cut, extensively in certain brands. On a different note, a few new WIC teams are emerging, like the Portuguese one >>. What’s more, World Games are on the agenda, and the impressive Arena 2009 is about to open its doors in Germany (see here >>)
Finally, I’ve been checking with several individual skaters and organizers as well: although times are definitely hard, players are not going to give up in spite of this global economic crisis. It’s a good sign our sport is thriving while other disciplines are visibly suffering from the sub-prime frenzy.
So quit complaining and go sign up for as much races as you can this season.
Worlds, a Chinese tale
So much so for the continental rotation of Worlds organization claimed by Mr Marotta time and again, with Asia hosting the event thrice in five years. While many would consider it a bad idea, (especially because it overlaps Berlin’s Marathon), for once I have to give points to the FIRS/CIC posse. Of course it’s a political choice, but not a bad one because the Chinese have the means and the willing to produce a great event, just what we need prior to the 121st IOC Session and XIII Olympic Congress in Copenhagen >> next October. I’m a terminal optimist, but while nurturing hopes that we will succeed in being admitted to the summer games, I realize it all comes down to oiling the right screws (i.e. screwing the right oilers). If Aracu & Co manage to pull this trick over, I hereby publicly swear I’ll be their most devoted fan from then on, and I’ll never ever punch a negative critic towards them again.
At the very least, let’s hope the Chinese bring out a decent website this time (anything would be better than the ignominy they had published for Suzhou), and that they comply with the formal requisite of TV/video live transmissions… that the Spaniards ostensibly forgot last year.
See ya next time!