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Old 01-17-2014, 05:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Figure Skating Question

I was just watching the European Championships, where a 15 year old girl, Julia Lipnitskaia, came and won first place (15 is the lower age limit for these championships). Second place was awarded to a 17 year old, and 3rd place to a 26 year old woman.

How is it possible that participants with 5-10 more years of training are not be able to win? Does this happen in any other sport?

Winner:


For comparison, this rather muscular athlete came 5th (she's 19 years old)
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Walter View Post
How is it possible that participants with 5-10 more years of training are not be able to win? Does this happen in any other sport?
Aye, it happens in MMA a lot.

Brock smashing Couture for example.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Take a look at Gymnastics and the age of it's competitors. I know the US had multiple girls under 20 and I think the girl that won the all around gold was 16.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Aye, it happens in MMA a lot.

Brock smashing Couture for example.
At the time of the fight, Brock was 31 and Randy 45. The result may be explained by the difference in athleticism. Also there may be diminishing returns to learning technique.

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Take a look at Gymnastics and the age of it's competitors. I know the US had multiple girls under 20 and I think the girl that won the all around gold was 16.
Both in figure skating and gymnastics athletes are old by 28, so there must be some physical traits that peak at a younger age, like flexibility, which are very important to these disciplines.

But it's still strange that a 15 year old kid has all the technique required to beat a way more experienced practitioner. I'm thinking it may have something to do with the indirect nature of the competition ie. they are competing individually for a score, not head-to-head.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)

 
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I am guessing you have factors like recovery time being faster for a kid as well as financial issues. Kids don't have bills and I doubt figure skating for all but the upper echelon pays that well meaning it becomes more of a hobby were they can not dedicate the time that a kid can. Gymnastics has a Simiiar trend which can be attributed to most likey the effects of puberty


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Old 01-17-2014, 09:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The winner at age 15 probably has 12 years experience as a figure skater and less injuries. In gymnastics a lot of athletes retire(!) before they're 20. Whether you have 12 years experience or 16 doesn't make that much of a difference.
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