UNSUNG ATHLETES (CONT.)
As a mother of a competitive skater, I was pleased to find at least someone honest and courageous enough to write the truth about skating (The Divine Right of Queens, Feb 18). It should be brought out into the open. I would complain myself, but it is impossible because 1) I do not know where to air my grievance; and 2) I have a fear of hurting my child's chances of competing again.
I wish you would publish my letter but withhold my name, because I feel I speak for the mothers of those children who are capable of being first but are not favored by the judges' rulings. These children go through the same rigorous, long training and the same expense but with no hope of reaching the top because of the injustice of the system.
My heart goes out to Jeannette Bruce. We need more forthright writers like her.
New York City
I was delighted to see that someone had enough honesty to report the facts and challenge the newspaper accounts of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Jeannette Bruce's article hit the skating world right where it needed to be hit most.
My first trip to this national competition produced feelings of amazement and anger. The skaters' performances, with few exceptions, were quite good: the judges, with fewer exceptions, outrageous. Congratulations to the woman who took the initiative to lay things on the line.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Jeannette Bruce's article on amateur figure skating indirectly points out the inadequacies in the competitive structure of this sport—or art. Judging at a national competition too often turns out to be a formality rather than a qualified analysis of the immediate performance. The hypocrisy of the situation, however, is too often attributed solely to the judges when the entire figure-skating world is at fault.
I suspect that skating would advance much farther if competitions were eliminated completely. Perhaps this would take it out of the realm of sport, but I think that figure skating would feel more at home alongside its more earthbound relative, the dance. Then we could just enjoy the performances of Roberta Loughland, Priscilla Hill and Dorothy Hamill and leave it to personal taste as to which talented girl is best.