And here I thought Canada was such a fabulous figure skating country, much better than say, the United States.
I'll say up front I think everything Patrick said is part of Skate Canada's own internal spin. I.e.: It's the public's fault the sponsorship situation is bleak. Patrick just parroted it in his own comments. William Thompson rushed to blame the Globe & Mail and demand an apology, but I believe this "the public doesn't support our skaters even as good as CHINA" bullshit is Skate Canada's attempt to spin the fact that its business development "department" is a house of cards. I think even the sleepiest of SC members must be wondering WTF at this point (where's the title sponsor on the horizon), so cue the excuses.
|This is their Director of Business Development on the job today.|
Business Development isn't a a job that leaves room for being Team Leader of the skating team during an OLYMPICS while serving as the talking head on Skatebuzz for every high profile skating event during the season. Debbi's not doing that job.
Well - she is doing her real job. Being Director of Business Development is her fake job.
The reason she has time for all the other crap is she doesn't know how to do the job she supposedly has, isn't expected to do it, nor qualified. She doesn't do it, and hasn't done it.
Just blame the Canadian public for any economic failures. We already know what they think of the Canadian public every time we look at photos or wall posts from Jessica Dube's first facebook page, every time we see video from Canadian competitions at 2009-2010 - or look at Ryan Semple sitting next to Tessa at this season's SC.
I think SC wasn't at all surprised by what Patrick said because I believe they've been saying it to any skating parents or media that question them, to the skaters themselves, to the entire infrastructure. NOT OUR FAULT.
Another flag - Skate Canada's swift response to "manage" what Patrick said. Including Rosie DiManno out today with a kiss-ass piece on the apparent "controversy" that the Big Bad Globe & Mail so unfairly created by taking Patrick out of context. And then Barb MacDonald kissing Rosie's ass. It's very over the top - so very like Skate Canada when they're running bullshit.
Patrick's words blaming the public got tons of play at one of the few time periods when figure skating gets widespread coverage. It's the public's fault. Got that?
Skate Canada makes a show of horror and Yay Canada. Still, Patrick's comments are everywhere. Even in the demands for retractions, the message is repeated.
This is Skate Canada's actual attitude. There's them, and there's the homophobic, sheeplike, needy, dumb-ass Canadian public. They have to run all kinds of bullshit just to get these people into the arena. It's not the fault of the skaters, Debbi, Bill, Mike, etc. that the folks are this simple.
At the same time, when they reach out to this unappealing public, the public thinks they want to be friends. Well - ew. No, we just want your money!
So let's feed them crap.
This strategy, though, hasn't been working, and there's noise from skaters about $$ problems. Skate Canada is running around naked, no title sponsor. They need to account for what's going on and they're not going to say it's them.
They now piously declare Patrick's remarks were out of context. It's self-righteous, and William Thompson postured his head off. Nobody at Skate Canada would EVER use the Canadian people as an excuse. Never ever.
This is classic spin. The key is get the message got out there. Then deny it. But the message got out.
I know from the 4CCs that the louder SC gets about something, the more likely it is something else is going on. In this case, Patrick's remarks, in exactly the context presented, represent precisely what Skate Canada believes. So of course, Skate Canada is going to make noise in the opposite direction.
It's the public's fault. It's the culture's fault. It's not Skate Canada's fault. They're making a big show of oh-the-horror - neither we nor Patrick would ever blame Canada. But that's exactly what they do. They've been setting up the public, treating them like the "other", lying to them and hoaxing them from the day these officials got their jobs. How do you manage a strategy like that? Pander and kiss ass. Go overboard with Canadian patriotism in public.
Whose fault is it the sponsorship situation is a wasteland and the til is running empty? NOT THEIRS. It's their job to oversee things like that, but the sad truth is, the economy sucks, and if you don't buy that as an excuse, how about Canadian culture is not as supportive of figure skating as China?
Love the comparison to China too - that's convenient. Probably less convenient to point out the USFSA fortunes aren't nearly as dire despite the same crappy economy and a public not in love with figure skating either. It's not like Skate America was packed.
What's the difference? Sponsors, and qualified people at the USFSA doing their job. They understand what they're doing. But it would be extremely discomfiting for someone like Chan to point out how much better the USFSA manages things on the $$$ end in similar circumstances. Then you might get answers that put SC in a bad light. Unflattering comparisons might emerge.
Nah - it's a cultural thing! China's people are more patriotic, they're proud of their champions, unlike Canada!
Culture. That shit can serve our purpose. Cause who knows anything about China?
Not Patrick, it looks like. ("Human rights violations? I was never told!")
It's not difficult to suspect that in 2007, when Debbi was hired, she was hired to do what she does - pander to the rank and file, suck up to Canadian patriotism, play Everywoman on camera smiling in wonder at the lens, and do all she can to cover up for Scott and Tessa's relationship and do the necessary for any other celebrity figure skater SC hoped would emerge from the Olympics. But how do you give a title to "Director of Manipulating the Public"? That kind of gives a negative impression.
Debbi's Director of Business Development title is just a title, like a secretary who can't type or a mobster who shows up in the back office and is on the phone with his bookie and his crew all day while his payroll "job" is operations manager - a job he never does.
In 2007, Skate Canada's long term title sponsors had stayed sponsors through different SC personnel changes; the Olympics would only solidify these sponsor commitments to SC for years to come and lead to other sponsors competing to join them. So a real person in the Business Development spot wasn't necessary. William Thompson can do all the business stuff and Debbi can skater-wrangle. Get it done by giving her an impressive title and bleat on about her glorious non-qualifications. Just look at Debbi's title and then at what she really does, and understand how much prep time goes into what we see her doing. The two - the job responsibilities implicit in her title, and her on-camera activities and other tasks are not compatible.
Skate Canada CEO William Thompson has called upon the Globe & Mail to retract, claiming it misrepresented Chan's original remarks. I don't know why the Director of Corporate Communications - Barb MacDonald - isn't the voice of Skate Canada for this matter - isn't that her job? What is she paid to do - tweet under SC and Skatebuzz and write a newsletter?
This is the second time William Thompson has stepped in to personally address a matter that falls under the responsibility of one of his other Directors.
He talked about finding sponsors when that's the job of Debbi Wilkes. Debbi's never been camera or quote-shy.
I believe it was Mike Slipchuk who post-Olympics said their pre-Olympic athlete development was smoke and mirrors because there was such a short run-up to the Olympics, but now they'd get serious. I don't know if he meant "serious, serious" or serious as in "We've put our athlete development ideas and conclusions into colorful-celeb-skater-photo-illustrated coffee table book form and why don't you take a look!"
Smoke and mirrors is how SC does business and how it does a lot of things, even though it's more like smog.
ETA - in re-watching Virtue Moir interviews, I was struck by how often they used the word "unique" to describe their relationship. I imagine in their eyes, their relationship, combined with what they believe to be their prominance in Canadian figure skating, coupled with their attitudes towards Canadian fans and the figure skating world, paired with the fact that they apparently were always intended to be Skate Canada's flagship couple and would have to get out there and whore themselves out for revenue purposes, puts them in a unique situation that justifies their lies. Then you factor in Tessa's comfortable-seeming assertion that the reality of their sport requires them to lie about things like her shins, lest the judges' perception be influenced, or lest the judges have an excuse to undermark.
I believe they have taken their so-called unique circumstances, and Tessa's history with compartment syndrome, and complacently used this as an umbrella justification to lie about everything. They lie as they breathe. Lying is their policy - all swept under "this is our sport." It's another entitlement. They've cooked up enough excuses to justify not ever telling the truth, to go out of their way to lie, to outright market lies. They've also determined that the lies go over well if they really push the disingenuous, un-worldly "kids" angle - this is how they'll be embraced by the older figure skating demographic, and also how they'll get over. Their reality is they are actually more advanced off the ice as well, in many ways, than their peers.
It really is toxic, a certain insularity and complacency coupled with a sense of their own uniqueness and superiority - and entitlement. For "their sport" - everything is on the table. Everything is justified. Even making dupes out of their public.
The reality is, lying is their default inclination, not their training. They are naturally private, and as "stars" are enabled - provided every rationale on the planet to lie lie lie, rationales they embrace because they're not comfortable in the spotlight off the ice. They've got it backwards, actually. They want to hide, and look for reasons to do so. They don't have reasons that make hiding necessary to this degree.