The French Skating Federation is proposing that in Olympic Years, Europeans and Four Continents Cup go bye-bye and World's be placed before the Olympics. The reasoning:
Olympics after Olympics, the statistics show very clearly that since 1994 the number of Olympic medalists present at the World ISU championships just after the Games is continuously decreasing. After both the 1998 Olympics in Nagano and the 2006 Olympics in Turin the four Olympic winners of the 4 gold medals did not compete in the ISU World Championships (in Minneapolis in 1998 and in Calgary in 2006). Out of the twelve Olympic medalists since 1998, at least half of them did not participate in the World Championships a month later. Therefore, revenge becomes impossible. The Olympic Winter Games should logically be the summit of the Olympic season and the ISU World Championships, if held just before the Games, would become the theater of a much greater enthusiasm due to the increase in top level participation.
My initial reaction without giving it much thought is...not a bad idea. But then I really started to think about it. Couldn't the reverse happen and top competitors not show up at World's to instead focus on the Olympics? And then it really hit me! This would be a terrible timeline for North American skaters. The U.S. and Canada in particular hold National Championships relatively close to the Olympics. This season both countries were right on top of the Four Continents Cup, with competitors flying directly from Spokane and London to Korea for the event. I'm envisioning a similar scenario for World's...the biggest annual event in skating, not cool. IF something like this were to pass, the U.S. and Canada would have to change their national championships schedules...and that's a big adjustment.
I say in Olympic years...move those events behind the Olympics and before World's. No matter how you slice it, you're going to have competitors not showing up at one event or another, there is so much at stake when it comes to the Olympics. Or...move the Olympics to mid-March as opposed to February. Forgiving Vancouver, most places still have snow in the mountains in March. A good portion of the events don't necessarily need real snow. And an even bigger portion of events are inside.
In the end I think this may be one of those 'unsolvables.' There really is no good solution. Any ideas?
Other urgent matters included Japan's desire to award bonus points for difficult original elements and the ISU's plan to make sure they have control of a possible (theoretical?) team figure skating event in the Olympics (hadn't heard about that).