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Thread: It must be hard for them to move on...

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    It must be hard for them to move on...

    The thread on the Plushter's possible comeback made me think of how difficult it must be to move on from skating once you've achieved your life's dream of an Olympic gold medal. Must be hard to leave your glory days behind, the applause, the adulation, being the topic of many a message board (kidding! ). I realize that many have gone on to make wonderful contributions to society (e.g. Tenley Albright, Debi Thomas as doctors; and those that became great skating coaches, as well as others that found joy in a new career.) Many have tried acting (e.g. Tara Lipinski) and not succeeded in parlaying their skating success into successful Tinsel Town careers.

    For that matter, it must be difficult to move on even if you haven't achieved it, because you think that your time just hasn't come yet despite the fact that your body is telling you to stop.

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    Rinkside
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    I concur.. especially seeing Fumie Suguri on the schedule of GP circuit next season. It seems she's really a strong girl! And Sasha Cohen's thinking of coming back, right? Excited but somewhat worrying..

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    The major problem I see is that there is no Professional skating world anymore. It would be nice to see skaters like Michelle, Sasha, Angela, Irinia skate at some nice pro events. But it seems to have become nonexistent. It would be nice if someone like Brian Boitano made his own pro event for skaters to attend.

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    I think that part of the problem is that the skaters, although chronologically young, have had their lives built around skating since they were very small. I don't see them as a normal kid of their age (just out of school, for example, with their first choice of career before them), as much as I seem as similar to the people who are forced out of their careers due to forced retirement (either by age or by economics) during their 50s or 60s, after years at the same place. In the second situation, you have the loss of structure and a big jolt to the self confidence -- which make it more difficult to "pick up the pieces" and rebuild a new life than it is to simply "start from scratch".

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    yeah. to these people not going to the rink 6 times a week must be strange and unwelcome. It is too me.... i don't know what to do with myself if i am not skating. thier frineds are skaters... or somhow connected to the skating world. most did not go to college or high school they don't have normal lives.

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    Just because Sasha and Tara didn't attend regular school doesn't mean all other skaters follow that pattern.

    Many HAVE gone to high school and college. Meissner and both Hugheses went to high school; Meissner is going to attend UDel, Emily is headed to Harvard, and Sarah is at Yale. Katy Taylor, Mira Nagasu and Caroline Zhang all attend school. Alissa Czisny is a dean's list junior at Bowling Green State U. Matt Savoie earned BS and MS degrees while competing.

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    I have great respect and admiration for the skaters who competed at such high level, yet accomplished so much in their studies in school. Such as Debbie Thomas, Paul Wylie, Matt Savoir, The Highes sisters. They are the real winners in their lives.

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    Always

    It's always hard to move on from high school or college to regular life. This would be regardless of whether or not a person is a skater.

    One place where a successful skater could have it all over other people: they may have stashed away a little $$$. Have some increases their options.

    Linny

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    One place where a successful skater could have it all over other people: they may have stashed away a little $$$. Have some increases their options.
    A very successful one, especially in a popular discipline from a country where touring or other money-making opportunities abound.

    Just being good enough to compete at Worlds, on the GP, etc., and maybe win some prize money sometimes, more likely they'd be in debt than have money stashed away.

    Which is why a lot of skaters retired/turned pro early on in the days of strict amateurism, even if they were successful. (Better pro opportunities available if they went out on top.)

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Thinking about that memorable Oly when so many skaters received the ok to make an eligible come-back. It was sad to see so many who probably wished they hadn't. "New eras in figure skating" bring on new competitors who have raised the technical bar upward.

    However, for those who were lucky to get into SOI, certainly showed the newbies what a performance is all about.

    Joe

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Thinking about that memorable Oly when so many skaters received the ok to make an eligible come-back. It was sad to see so many who probably wished they hadn't.
    I was thinking about that, too, Joe. It might be hard to walk away, but I think it can be equally hard to hang on after conditions in the sport and in your life have changed.

    Terry Gannon once asked Dick Button on the air what his biggest thrill in skating was, and Dick said, "Oh, absolutely, it was winning the Olympic gold medal."

    So Terry asked, "The first one or the second?"

    Dick's answer was something like, "Oh my goodness, the first one, in 1948 when I was 18 and figure skating was my life!"

    If I were writing a script for Michelle Kwan's life, she would have won the gold medal in 1998. Didn't work out that way.

    In 2002, I got the feeling that the months leading up to the Olympics were just a horrible ordeal for her in every way. In 2006, when she could hardly walk, much less skate -- IMHO the only reason she stuck it out is that she just didn't want to face the rest of her life wondering about what might have happened.

    (And when she comes back in 2010... )

    As for Plushenko, I think he has made a good start in his skating-related entreprenurial ambitions, organizing tours, etc. He could be the Scott Hamilton of Russia.

    OT -- After the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, let's all write in to the new president and tell him or her, "Fire everybody else, but keep Michelle!"

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    In Plush's case, he should feel his success has been achieved. I think returning to competition would be doing Piseev a favor more than an allocade for him. He doesn't need it. Besides, if his lungs are as poor as has been reported, this may not be the way to go to stay healthy.

    Joe

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    Maybe Plush feels he can do more or maybe he just wants to take this last chance to compete. He’ll have plenty of time for touring, TV shows, politics but he’ll not have another chance to feel the excitement of fighting for a medal. He might be afraid that he’ll regret later he didn’t take this chance.

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    I think it's hard for some to move on, but for none of the reasons expressed here thus far. Why did Michael Jordan keep comng out of retirement? Why did Lance Armstrong push through another Tour De France? Why do "x" skater still keep going?

    Answer: They are ATHLETES. I think the answer is that simple. Considering 1% of their pursuits are in competition, I have to believe they don't linger because of the possibility of a medal, the applause or perks that come with being recognized, when all of them spend 99% of their time skating in cold rinks alone for practice. They simply have that burning desire that all elite athletes share. I don't think Michelle Kwan was being facetious when she joked that she'd be 80 and still trying to get out on the ice.

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skate Sandee View Post
    Answer: They are ATHLETES. I think the answer is that simple. Considering 1% of their pursuits are in competition, I have to believe they don't linger because of the possibility of a medal, the applause or perks that come with being recognized, when all of them spend 99% of their time skating in cold rinks alone for practice. They simply have that burning desire that all elite athletes share.
    Skating alone in a cold rink just for the sake of skating is one thing, and I don't believe that an athlete on Plush's level would do that without the burning desire to not only compete but WIN again. The 99% of the time spent alone in the rink is done only because of the potential that the 1% may bring.

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