> From: Fiona McQuarrie
> If you have to judge a skater that is so horrendously thin that you can't
> focus on the program and instead wonder if she will have the strength to
> finish.....does that factor into the marking at all?
> From: Janet Swan Hill
> You focus on the program (you'd be surprised how easy it is to ignore
> things like weight, height, hideous costumes, etc.).
> You judge the skating. It is *none of your business* and *not your job*
> to comment on a skater's personal life. You do NOT approach anybody
> afterward to make any kind of comment about the skater's physical
> From The PB:
> Sure. Sure. Sure.
> Let someone ELSE worry about this serious issue.
> And don't tell anyone about that youngster coming to school with
> all over his/her body. It isn't YOUR problem.
> And next time you see a kid sniffing glue, ignore it. After all, it
> someone ELSE's problem.
> And avoid telling anyone about that youngster getting pounded by those
> bullies. I mean, if he actually dies, well then it is for the police and
> justice system to worry about.
> And...since the judge is in an official capacity of a skating
> body, well just follow the example of the USFSA: it's not our
> to protect children from predators...even when they are under our
> This issue really frosts me...and I get EXTREMELY upset at anyone who
> counsels others to ignore obvious and observable serious problems with ALL
> our youth. Including...and especially...skaters who might be saved.
> It is an abomination for ***s to so abandon kids this way.
While, on the surface, I can understand and agree with PB's position on
this issue, other points come to mind. While I addressed the issue of
"assume responsibility, assume blame" in another post about Pairs, the other
simple issue is this: Judges see individual skaters so rarely compared to
parents, coaches, teachers, doctors, etc. I would sincerely hope that, long
before any eating disorder or other abuse could possibly come to the
attention of a skating judge, that one of the other parties would have
On a personal note, I have offended my fair share of people by bringing to
their attention what I considered to be symptoms of abuse. In some cases, my
fears were clearly misguided. But in other cases, I believe I've done the
right thing, even when others did not see things my way. Judges and other
skating volunteers have enough burdens as it is without mandating the role
of child advocate as well. But, I would like to think that any person who
dedicates so much of their lives to the education and training of children,
as skating officials do, would "do the right thing" if found in such a
To say that a child's well being "is none of your business" is flat out
wrong and a cop out; but placing official responsibility upon skating
officials is an unreasonable burden. IMO, of course. Sometimes, we need
only act as responsible ***s, and rest should take care of itself.