Rachael Flatt performed poorly at the world figure skating championships and later blamed her 12th-place finish on an injury. This upset many in the U.S. figure skating community, as Flatt's bad finish cost the U.S. a spot at next year's worlds.
Now, Flatt has to pay for not admitting her injury. She was reprimanded by U.S. Figure Skating and fined an undisclosed amount.
The problem with Flatt's lack of candor is that it didn't allow for the U.S.F.S. to call in alternates Mirai Nagasu or Agnes Zawadzki. Neither of those skaters would have likely won a medal over champion Miki Ando, silver medalist and Olympic champion Yu-Na Kim from Korea or bronze medalist, Italian Carolina Kostner. However, they could have finished at eighth place or higher, which, combined with Alissa Czisny's fifth place, could have earned the U.S. three spots at worlds for the first time since 2008.
This fact was not lost on Frank Carroll, Nagasu's coach. He was not pleased when he heard of Flatt skating through an injury.
Mirai is in great shape - better than she has been her whole life. She took the responsibility of being ready as the alternate very seriously. This cost us three spots.
The irony is that Flatt likely hurt herself by not admitting her injury and letting someone else try to win a third spot. If she continues to compete, she will have to face the challenge of Czisny, 2010 Olympian Mirai Nagasu, and fierce up-and-comers like Agnes Zawadzki and Christina Gao. With the injury and consistency problems that Flatt has dealt with, taking first or second at U.S. Nationals will be no easy feat.
Hopefully, the fine was enough to buy U.S. Figure Skating a DeLorean and enough plutonium to go back in time. That will allow them to call in Nagasu or Zawadzki to fill in and have the chance to win the U.S. a third spot for worlds.