Dear Skate Canada, a letter about Nam Nguyen

posted in: Figure Skating | 16

Dear Skate Canada,

I attended Skate Canada in Lethbridge this past weekend. It was my first live event in over two years and I couldn’t have been more excited. The skating those few days was fabulous, a lot of World-class talent that makes me incredibly excited for the season to come.

What bothered me most the entire weekend was looking at the start order for the Gala on Sunday morning and realizing that Nam Nguyen was not skating. I couldn’t understand why he was left out. But then I thought, perhaps he was off home already back to the Cricket Club. I however, have since realized this was not the case. One quick look at Nam’s twitter and instagram feed shows us that he was NOT IMPRESSED. You simply didn’t invite him, didn’t ask him to skate.

This frustrates me. Not only did Nam earn his place in the gala with two really good programs, and a strong 5th place finish in a difficult field, but he was passed over for the skater who finished right behind him and athlete ambassador Jeremy Ten who was never as high of a caliber skater as Nam. And if you had stricken a deal with Jeremy and could only have one other Canadian man skate, what would you have done if both Nam and Patrick had medalled, because all medalists were invited? And when you learned Daisuke Murakami was not going to skate, why didn’t you ask him then?

Have you forgotten the fact that Nam is the REIGNING Canadian Champion? Have you forgotten that Nam placed 5th at Worlds last year? Nam was the second highest ranked skater at this event, but that still wasn’t enough.

I think there’s one main reason why this is. Skate Canada marked the return of Patrick Chan, darling Patrick Chan. You’ve become Skate CHANada again and no one else matters.

I realized this week that I am over Patrick Chan. I can appreciate his brilliance. I can appreciate everything he does. I have been a fan for years. His performance at 2011 Nationals is still the best FS I have ever seen live but I’m over it. I’ve put my time in as a Patrick Chan fan, but I’ve moved on. Patrick Chan is my past. I have a lot more to say on this topic but I will save that for my future Skate Canada recap and a potential Hanyu vs Chan post.

Yes Patrick skated very well in his FS here. I won’t say he didn’t deserve to win, but I think he might have gotten a little help. I’ll be interested to see if a program with that technical content scores as well internationally when other competitors are landing multiple quads and multiple triple axels. But that’s all considering he can repeat that skate again. I still have little faith in his comeback. Also, does Patrick plan on sticking around till Korea in 2018? I think A LOT is going to change technically in that time.

What that all means is I don’t think Patrick is who you need to be pushing and promoting. This weekend, Patrick was the present. He was a rockstar. But I don’t think he will be in a few months. I still think Yuzu and Javi are the present. I think Nam is the future.

What kind of organization are you where you aren’t promoting your young talent? Don’t you want to develop young Nam and encourage him? Don’t you want to give him every opportunity to skate in front of a Canadian crowd? Nam is a showman and Patrick is not going to be around forever. Let the audience learn who Nam is. Let them learn to love him like they do so many of the other Canadian champions.

I don’t think Patrick is going to be winning Canada another Olympic medal but I do think Nam will. Nam has everything going for him. He is young and already has a consistent 4T and 4S and 3A. That’s already more technically than Patrick’s ever had. Where Nam is lacking is the second mark; yes Nam will probably never get the same scores as Patrick, but he’s with the coaching team that will get him as close as he can. We saw Brian Orser turn a raw and unrefined Yuzuru Hanyu into an Olympic Champion with the technical ability and programs that can and have rivaled Patrick. We saw Brian Orser turn a young Yu-Na Kim into an artist and technician who could not be rivaled when she won the Olympics. Don’t you want Brian Orser to coach a Canadian to that elusive Olympic Men’s title for Canada? Don’t you want Brian Orser on your side? Nam has everything going for him, at this point you just need to make it happen. Push him and give him every opportunity you have given Patrick. You don’t start winning medals without the support of your national organization. I think a coach can only get you so far.

Skate Canada, you missed a huge opportunity during the gala. It was a bit of a slap in the face to Nam. He became a star in Patrick’s absence and unfortunately I feel you’re now pushing him aside. It’s a real shame. I 100% think Nam is the future of Canadian skating. I just wish you could see it.

Love Justine Alyssa

16 Responses

  1. I agree with you, it was horrible/disgusting how the organizers left the Canadian National champion out of the gala! I will be rooting for Nam to defend and win another national title.

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thanks for the comment. I’m rooting for Nam too! I would love for him to keep his Canadian title come January.

  2. Christianne

    Deb Smith wrote that it’s an ISU decision. I’m still pissed.
    It’s such a slap in the face. Nam deserves respect.

    Hug from here. This is amazing.

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thanks for the comment. That’s interesting. I just found a tweet saying that. Either way, I completely disagree with whose-ever decision it was. Nam deserved to skate. I hate to think he’s just going to be pushed aside for the remainder of this season.

      • Christianne

        I have a feeling that now Patrick’s back, they’ll be all gaga over him. There’s this write up about him “vanquishing” Yuzu and I laughed. The way it was written, the words… pukeville. Too much.

        I really feel bad for Nam. He’s a sweetheart and works so hard.

        • Justine Alyssa

          Ugh. I hate all the articles gushing over Chan and making such a big deal about him beating Yuzu. It’s just too much.

          I’ll be rooting for both Nam and Yuzu all season!

    • An ISU decision? Seriously? That just confirms all of the suspicions about “Skate Chanada”. So so petty.

      • Justine Alyssa

        Completely agree! Thanks for the comment.

      • Christianne

        No one was answering (not even PJ Kwong), until Debbie Smith tweeted that “ISU decision” back. Nam was following the tweets because he retweeted and faved some of the questions.

  3. Completely agree with you (pretty much everything you wrote). I was shocked to see skaters who placed below 5th place invited to the gala, and they weren’t even Canadians. I often see at the NHK Trophy skaters who even placed in last place get to skate in the gala, but 100% of the time, they are Japanese skaters. I mean, that’s fine, all GP events do that. They favor their own nation’s skaters when choosing who to invite for the gala. However, inviting everyone else who placed 5th (non-Canadians at this year’s SC) but skipping Nam just doesn’t make sense!

    • Justine Alyssa

      Exactly! I completely understand why Kaetlyn Osmond was asked to skate after her poor placement, because she was Canadian. But skipping Nam, the reigning National Champion, is just nonsense. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Nam was so overlooked during this event 🙁 Him being on the Gala is really taking the cake. I don’t understand why a country, when it has multiple skaters at the top, ends up snobbing one as soon as the “favorited child” comes back :/ And Nam is very far from being a disaster. He’s quite consistent. And I know other countries who would die just to have a recently arrived on the senior field being placing already so high on the top 10

    • (I meant “him not being on the gala” of course ><)

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thank you for the comment! I really hope this doesn’t continue for the remainder of the season.

  5. I had to share this. The Chinese invited Misha Ge to their Gala + more: Misha Ge ‏@mishageofficial 9m9 minutes ago
    Midnight, after competition work keep going. They add me for Gala, and for help Choreographing #CoC15 GalaFinale, working. #NeverStop :p
    4 retweets 3 likes
    Reply Retweet 4
    Liked 3

    • Justine Alyssa

      Thanks for the comment. I’m not surprised Misha was invited. But it’s still funny as he finished 8th and isn’t from China.

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