Figure Skating Coach Mark Mitchell blasted the US Olympic Committee following its announcement of the American lineup to the Winter Games in Pyeongyang, South Korea next month.
The final list did not include Ross Miner who was eased out in favor of Adam Rippon despite finishing second in the long program at the Skate America. In contrast, Rippon could only finish fourth in the long program.
The committee decided on Miner’s fate on a vote of 11-1.
Mitchell said that Miner did not deserve the treatment he got from the committee because they didn’t tell him in advance. “You let him spend all this money and time and energy to try and achieve his dream,” he said. “If you knew he couldn’t make it, why did we fly here, why did we pay for a hotel, why did we pay for training, if it was decided already?”
The former three-time American medalist said that the committee is ruining US figure skating because they are behaving exactly the opposite of what the coaches on the ground are teaching. He added, “How do I continue to teach kids day in and day out with hopes and dreams of making the Olympics?”
For his part, Rippon said that he deserved to be on the Olympic team that will be sent to the Winter Games because of his successes at the Gran Prix final, where he performed better than anybody not named Nathan Chen, and other national or global competitions.
“I had a bad US championship but I qualified for the Grand Prix Final, and I wasn’t at the world championships last year because I had a broken foot,” he said. “I actually broke my foot a year ago today. I skated a little bit like it was still broken.”
Miner also said that he deserved to be on the final US team to the Winter Games, but he said it’s still up to the selection committee to choose him or not.