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Thread: Victor Petrenko, a Good Man

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Victor Petrenko, a Good Man

    Here is the Ed Bradley/CBS piece about Victor Petrenko and the kindness he showed to injured American pairs skater Katie Wood.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CANNZ69sGLA

    Victor Petrenko, a true champion and a good man.

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    Well, I'm crying. I saw that feature the first time around, and I've never forgotten it, but I hadn't seen it since. It has always caused me to admire him--as if I didn't already from his efforts to persuade Galina to take in Baiul after she was orphaned.

    Most of us are rather self-absorbed when we're young. Either we're wrapped up in our emotional dramas in high school and college, or we're working on some skill, such as a sport or our grades, that completely consumes us in our own needs. Yet Petrenko looks up, sees a bad situation, and reacts immediately and generously. The word character is thrown around a lot, but this guy really has it.

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    He also raised money from his various shows to build a children's hospital in his hometown of Odessa in Ukraine. He is a very generous and kind man. I knew him at the beginning of his career and did one of the first American interviews with him in the 80s. It was interesting because it was at an early practice on a cold rink before one the the events in the US and no "Russian guards" were around which was unusual in that day and age. He spoke broken English but together we laughed and found a way to communicate. Don't see him so much any more but he always waves to me when we run across each other at various events.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments Olympia. Like you, I first saw this piece on Victor when it aired back in '94 and had never seen it again until this morning. You described my feelings about Victor perfectly.

    And thanks KKonas for your comments. I was not aware that Victor had helped build a hospital for children in his hometown of Odessa. But it is not surprising and it is always nice to hear of such good deeds from skaters.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-17-2010 at 10:22 AM.

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    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    I always admired Victor for his good-heartedness. A mensch if there ever was one.

    But then there was his skating.When this was broadcast ,I had gone to do something away from my TV and was just rushing back into the living room as his program began. halfway on my way to the couch, he hit his combination and I thought I was going to faint..It's one of those moments indelibly etched on my mind's eye.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOpOI...ext=1&index=46

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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    I always admired Victor for his good-heartedness. A mensch if there ever was one.

    But then there was his skating.When this was broadcast ,I had gone to do something away from my TV and was just rushing back into the living room as his program began. halfway on my way to the couch, he hit his combination and I thought I was going to faint..It's one of those moments indelibly etched on my mind's eye.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOpOI...ext=1&index=46
    Crikey! What a jump combination...Yet another time when the Olympic gold medal truly went to a deserving person. Of course I was rooting for Kurt that year, being such a huge fan. But Browning's back problems hampered his performance. If this is the guy who won instead, I certainly have no complaints. The great thing is that both Browning and Petrenko, and also Paul Wylie, the surprise silver medalist, had stellar pro careers as well, and we got to enjoy all of them for many more seasons.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    About the hospital Petrenko helped fund. He is very much involved with hospitals that deal with children who're born with genetic defects due to Chernobyl. Chernobyl has long ceased being sexy as far as charitable giving is concerned, so those hospital really don't get much. Petrenko is very much committed to this cause, organizing numerous benefit concerts for the benefit of such hospitals. In one interview I read, a doctor said they have never before been given such useful equipment as they were by Petrenko's charity; beneficiary hospitals have managed to reduce infant mortality by 30%.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    I always admired Victor for his good-heartedness. A mensch if there ever was one.

    A mensch, indeed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvtodd View Post
    A mensch, indeed!
    indeed, really really respect him

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka View Post
    About the hospital Petrenko helped fund. He is very much involved with hospitals that deal with children who're born with genetic defects due to Chernobyl. Chernobyl has long ceased being sexy as far as charitable giving is concerned, so those hospital really don't get much. Petrenko is very much committed to this cause, organizing numerous benefit concerts for the benefit of such hospitals. In one interview I read, a doctor said they have never before been given such useful equipment as they were by Petrenko's charity; beneficiary hospitals have managed to reduce infant mortality by 30%.
    Thanks for your post Ptichka. Helping innocent victims of a terrible industrial accident, and working for a cause that is not talked about as much these days is very admirable.

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    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    I always admired Victor for his good-heartedness. A mensch if there ever was one.

    But then there was his skating.When this was broadcast ,I had gone to do something away from my TV and was just rushing back into the living room as his program began. halfway on my way to the couch, he hit his combination and I thought I was going to faint..It's one of those moments indelibly etched on my mind's eye.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOpOI...ext=1&index=46
    Holy moly! The height seems almost superhuman. What a wonderful SP in general. It certainly holds your attention. He was such a crisp skater, no? I wish he had gotten a 6.0 for presentation. He was so in character!
    Thanks for bringing that to our attention. I love discovering great skates like that. I had never seen that program. As I've said, my first memory of watching skating was the 92 Olympics - although now that I think about it my mom rented the movie Carmen for my sister and when we were children and she played the music over and over again ... I'll have to ask her if it's because of Katarina Witt at the 1988 Olympics....
    Last edited by Layfan; 10-19-2010 at 10:13 PM.

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    Petrenko seems like a wonderful exemplar of the classical Russian style. Doesn't it garner respect for Smievskaya as a coach? I think she was Petrenko's coach since he was nine years old. She didn't let him develop any bad habits, and she brought out his innate talent perfectly. And she also coached Baiul. A pretty good record, yes?

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Here is Victor - only 18 years old - skating his way to an Olympic Bronze Medal back in '88.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKj0E4U4zrY

    With all the talk about Yags and Plushy we should not forget Victor came before them. He not only had a sensational amatuer career but was a great Pro skater too. And he won his first Olympic medal at a younger age than either Yags or Plushy.

    And along with G&G he helped take the "e" out of "evil" for many N. American fans

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    Great sense of self-deprecating humor too. His exhibition during his early pro years where he had that partial doll-manikin tied to his costume as his "partner" was always good for a smile and completely very charming for anyone of any age watching.

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binthere View Post
    Great sense of self-deprecating humor too. His exhibition during his early pro years where he had that partial doll-manikin tied to his costume as his "partner" was always good for a smile and completely very charming for anyone of any age watching.
    Oh, you mean his "Mambo #5" program! Love it!

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