FIG specifically stated that there needs to be some family tie to the country. You cannot just claim a citizenship, even without previous license.
Belarus gave Dickson and Kwan citizenship just like that. Neither had a FIG license for the US and never competed internationally for the US. The FIG specifically will not allow this any longer.
You CAN move to a country and then claim citizenship, like Karbenenko did.
FIG made specifications to this because of Belarus and Azerbaijan.
Either way, the example mentioned was Trinity Thomas. Which isn’t possible since Thomas already competed for the US. The only way she could even have any attempt to make Paris for another country would be for a top 12 team and even then it would be cutting it close. She would need to establish residency in that country before June 2023. She would not be eligible to file for a license until June 2024.
In practice, the FIG has no way of verifying what link someone has to a country. If X country makes athlete Y a citizen and athlete Y is claiming they have a family link to that country, or are now resident there, the FIG are extremely unlike to be able to disprove that. As I said, they have always decided things on a case by case basis anyway. This isn’t really news, nor will it have any real impact on athletes
Reading this thread and thinking about the recent nationality change of Dorien Motten from Belgium to Georgia prompted me to look up the FIG statutes on this.
I haven’t seen it discussed anywhere but there was a change to the wording of the nationality rules in the statutes for 2022 - marked up version here: (page 40, Art 36.2)
Gymnasts and judges may request a nationality change through their federation, provided they received the nationality (citizenship) ((this part struck out) and they are residents in this country).
So residency may no longer be a requirement.
36.2.1 does say “moves to another country”, but does that require physically moving there? 36.2.2 says that dual citizens who have represented one and want to switch to the other (e.g. Aleah Finnegan) can only move in accordance with 36.2.1. Finnegan did not become resident in the Phillipines, so I would say 36.2.1 doesn’t require residency.
Dorien Motten as far as I can tell has no previous connection to Georgia, isn’t resident there and has pretty transparently only switched to enable her to compete internationally again. The FIG have allowed this change of nationality, so it looks like this is OK now.
In figure skating, nationality hopping makes sense for the pairs/dancers since finding someone who you can skate with is hard enough that there isn’t reason to make it harder by limiting it to only your country. I can see that it is upsetting if a country brings in a “ringer” and gymnast Y now won’t make the team but if gymnast Y was better, a ringer wouldn’t be needed.
Eh, it was just a random thought. I was just wishing there was a way for Trinity’s beautiful gymnastics to be shared with the world. And some of the major teams have a star and understudy but not much depth after that – a steady gymnast who brings perfect (if not top difficulty) routines would be a nice addition to some of the second and third tier teams. Especially since teams are back up to 5 and have a bit of breathing room to bring in a specialist if they have solid AAers.
Finnegan already fulfills the requirement because her mother is from Philippines and Aleah holds a dual citizenship with Philippines, despite being born in the US as a result of their bylaws regarding citizenship. She does not have to reside there.
Gymnasts that are eligible for dual citizenship do not need to reside in the country they are competing for. Hence Tyesha Mattis and her sister China are competing for Jamaica. Their parents are Jamaican citizens. Both Tyesha and China qualified for dual citizenship and the Jamaican government moved forward with naturalizing them as citizens, despite not residing there.
Dorien Motten changed her nationality to Georgia and also moved there and training with the program, so she has established residence in Georgia. Her situation is the same situation Chusovitina went through, she relocated to Germany and was living there. She specifically picked Georgia because she liked the country and since it was a very small program, she wouldn’t be replacing another gymnast like they Bel-mericans did.
What I’ve read of Motten (via Google translate) says she attends training camps in Georgia but does not live there.
The explicit statement about residency in Article 36.2 is no longer on the books, so any requirement for it is based on how you interpret 36.2.1, and that is not at all specific if the FIG intends it to mean that gymnasts excluding those with pre-existing dual nationality must be resident in the country they wish to represent.
Again, citizenship is determined by countries and their own laws. There is no differentiation between someone who is an automatic dual citizen, usually due to their parent’s citizenship at time of birth, those who marry a citizen of another country, and those who become citizens without any family links to the country.
Again, no one is disputing what you say.
The difference is in the criteria that the FIG had put forward to prevent Belamericans and Azerbaijan from happening again.
Country X can say that Gymnast Y from NCAA is a citizen and wants that athlete to compete for them. FIG will determine if that is the case by also looking at residency.
Dotten “lives” in Georgia.
While she might travel back and forth to Belgium, she stays in Georgia for periods of time and from what I understand, has her own apartment/studio. That would be considered residency. She doesn’t have to own a home, have her children enrolled in the local school system, or vote.
This isn’t a situation where she can drive back and forth in daily commute. She must take a flight out.
Um tasteless brag here, i totally had a conversation with Kyla Ross this weekend! She was recruiting at the meet i was coaching. We didnt talk about anything exciting, but i was honored to converse with her. Huge fan!