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Thread: If you're a fan of Swedish men's figure skating...

  1. #16
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    Remember everybody, send him something, show him that you care. I know when I'm down or have been at my very worst, I recall those loved ones of mine that have showed that they care, be it a phone call, a hug, a smile, a card, anything. I know it's cliche, but honest to God it is the thought that counts.

    I think it was siberia82 that posted the address a while ago, but I'm going to post it again for those that care:


    SWEDISH FIGURE SKATING ASSOCIATION
    Idrottens Hus
    Fiskartorpsvagen 15A
    114 73 Stockholm
    Sweden


    ***Note: oops, I'm talking about Adrian Schultheiss***

  2. #17
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Does he have a twitter account? or facebook? If so, encouraging notes there mighyt help.

    At US Nationals, Ryan Bradley said that it was the sheer volume of social networking (facebook and twitter) encouragement by fans that caused him to come out of retirement to win in Greensboro.

    And just yesterday, Jeff Gordon, who hadn't won in 66 races in NASCAR, and won in Phoenix, cited how much the twitter and facebook encouragements of fans in the dark times meant to him.

    So if Adrian has twitter, or facebook, I hope someone will post the link here, so we can post.

  3. #18
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    Good idea, dorispulaski!

    I completely forgot the internet, I'm sure if Adrian has a twitter or facebook account siberia82 will know.

    Myself, I'm old-fashioned, I prefer snail mail, but the internet is quicker when it comes to email, there's no denying that.

    Any way to show Adrian we care I'm sure will be appreciated mucho!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
    I'm sure if Adrian has a twitter or facebook account siberia82 will know.
    Ha ha ha, since when did I become the "expert" on Sweden's top male skaters? Honestly, I don't think I know that much about them; I just happen to keep an eye out for articles and interviews (and I don't necessarily find all of them).

    To answer your question, I've been told by other fans that Adrian does have a Facebook account. I've never tried to find him on that site, though, since I'm "old-fashioned" like Nadine and prefer to send snail mail.


    I will be posting the paragraphs I've been working on later tonight, in case anyone was curious.

  5. #20
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    Write Adrian via his official web site:

    http://adrianschultheiss.t35.com/

  6. #21
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    I've been informed by one of my Swedish-speaking pals that the journalist uses a lot of idiomatic expressions, which is why I got stuck in a few places. No doubt the language in the article is beautiful for those can read it, but it's hell for a beginner to translate!



    Page 42 (continued):

    Kristoffer, who participated in international competitions, knew he was moving hopelessly against the wind. The Russians had been drilled since they were old enough to stand in a pair of skates. Similarly, the Americans and the Japanese had access to their own rinks which were fully customized for figure skating. Kristoffer had to settle for ice sessions that the Landvetter hockey club did not use.

    Another problem was that he was so lonely. When he began competing at the senior Swedish Championships, he only had one opponent, which meant that the results never became official and no medals were awarded. At the Swedish Nationals, there were only two possible placements: first or last.

    Kristoffer used to come first.

    - I could miss the community one might get in other sports. But I travel to the USA or Moscow for training camps sometimes, and then of course you get to meet other figure skaters. I'm probably the kind of person who doesn't suffer much from being alone.

    Although he was the best in Sweden, he had poor awareness of the best skaters, those who competed at the World Championships, Olympics and the major Grand Prix events. Since he started figure skating, he had deliberately made sure to keep a distance from the sport.

    - When the last of the other guys left, I was shocked. We had trained together for so many years, and suddenly he was no longer there. I knew of course that it was odd to get involved with figure skating. I skated a lot, but I was determined not to be identified too much as a figure skater. I skated on hockey blades for a long time. Maybe I distanced myself from it to avoid being bullied, I don't know. It's strange that I began doing a sport where you compete and show off because I was really shy. I understood that others thought it was ridiculous and geeky. I thought so, too. Sometimes we had exercises where we could express ourselves, play theatre. I felt so deeply ashamed that it physically hurt. But hockey could not measure up to figure skating, where everything was free and one can skate with such speed.




    Oh, poor Koffe. :( He seems to have a love/hate relationship with the sport. It's heartbreaking for me to read that he agreed with the general public's perception that figure skating is "ridiculous and geeky", though strangely enough this didn't discourage him from continuing. He could've very easily quit when he had no other friend to practice with, yet he still stuck to it. Considering that there were no role models in the sport he could look up to, the fact that he was able to get this far is truly amazing!

  7. #22
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    Page 42 (continued):

    Kristoffer's sole competitor in Sweden, Filip Stiller, was a real figure skating nerd who fully embraced the sport, and his childhood room is filled with videotapes of the best skaters. The first time Kristoffer and Filip had met, at the 2000 Swedish Championships*, Filip went first. He did a flawless skate and was so delighted afterwards that he fell down to his knees and kissed the ice. When Kristoffer saw this, he intensified his focus. He then went out and opened with a perfect triple Axel. No one had performed that jump in Sweden before. He became so excited that his body shook for the rest of the program, but he still managed to land a few more triples.

    The time spent together at camps and competitions meant that Kristoffer's and Filip's rivalry eventually turned into friendship.

    Filip Stiller: - I had severe anxiety for two weeks prior to each Swedish Championships. I was completely paralyzed. Outsiders cannot understand how much pressure it is to compete in figure skating. You are totally alone on the ice. You have no team to hide behind. You can miss a jump that you've nailed every time in training – knowing that a wrong edge can destroy everything is so psychologically stressful. If you fall, it defines your entire performance. When I competed, there was only one who could understand. Kristoffer was very shy, but at international competitions, we often shared a room, and naturally we began to chat. We became very close friends.

    Despite his dominance at home, Kristoffer had difficulty asserting himself internationally. He was respected for his fine skating, but what separated him from the world's elite was that he, despite countless attempts and training hours, had never successfully landed a quadruple, a jump where one rotates four turns in the air. Kristoffer could do the four revolutions, but he always stumbled on the landing. He therefore never included a quad in his competitive programs – and was thus well behind the best skaters before the competition had even started.

    To compensate for his technical shortcomings, he began to refine other parts of his skating instead. At a figure skating competition, the judges evaluate the technical elements – jumps, spins and footwork – but they also rated the "artistic" – choreography, costumes and interpretation of the theme. Kristoffer hired a professional dancer as a choreographer, worked on improving his facial expressions on the ice, and tried to find different themes and music selections.




    * The author may have been referring to the 1999 Swedish Championships (as in the 1999/2000 season) because that was the first time Koffe had competed at the senior level. It should be noted that the official website for the 2010 Swedish Nationals (which took place in mid-December of last year) does list the event as SM 2010, but Berntsson is considered to be the 2011 Swedish national champion.

  8. #23
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    Whoa, I didn't realize that Adrian had such a violent temper... I don't know much about his background, but was he always a troubled kid? That aggressive behaviour must come from somewhere...



    Page 43 (no picture):

    At the same time, he continued to be spurred on by Filip Stiller. Both saw that they inspired many young guys to start figure skating. At Filip's club, a promising lad arrived who was different from the others: he had been doing martial arts and played hockey, but stopped because he started fights too often on the ice. As a figure skater, Adrian Schultheiss impressed others with his explosive jumping, but he was still easily drawn into conflict. Like the other teenage boys who figure skated, he was occasionally mocked by the hockey guys at the rink, but he refused to accept any insult.

    Filip Stiller: - It didn't matter how big they were. He would take on anyone. One day a guy called Adrian Schultheiss a "gay f***er". Adrian confronted him and didn't stop even when a friend tried to pull him away, or when one of the hockey players kicked Adrian in the head. "I don't take crap from anyone. S*** be s*** have," Adrian declared. He wasn't that disciplined, so one was surprised every time it went well for him at a competition. He did whatever he felt like doing, said what he wanted to say, and ate whatever he craved for.

    After winning three junior gold medals, the 17-year-old Schultheiss competed against Filip and Kristoffer at the Swedish Championships in Karlskrona. The music abruptly ended in the middle of Adrian's long program. He faltered on a spin, became furious and began to quarrel with the organizers. After a few minutes, the music played where it had stopped, and Adrian completed his skate flawlessly.

    On the podium, Kristoffer Berntsson had difficulty hiding his disappointment at being defeated by a cocky 17-year-old with a pierced lower lip. For five years*, the Swedish Nationals had been his tournament. Because these results determined who would be sent to the major international competitions, he was furthermore saddened for Filip Stiller, who finished third, and would not be joining him at the European Championships.

    Filip decided to retire. While Kristoffer grew even more lonely, Filip encouraged him to try to become Sweden's best again.




    * The journalist made a mistake when he wrote "Under fem år" (translation: For five years); Koffe didn't compete at the 2001 Swedish Nationals, and he was forced to withdraw after the SP in 2002 even though he did win that segment.
    Last edited by siberia82; 04-07-2011 at 11:35 AM.

  9. #24
    Custom Title snowflake's Avatar
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    Oh, Siberia, big project You are doing fine so far. The Filter journalist should have used you as his main research source

    I have read the article and find it odd in many ways I think much of what the author writes is in his own mind. E.g. I don't think Kristoffer ever gave a damn about Adrian being pierced.

    I admire Kristoffer and all the obstacles he had to overcome. If this is his last season I really hope there will be a big thank you-and-farewell ceremony for him at StockholmIce, April 2nd.

    Just nine more pages…........... Shout if you need help

  10. #25
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    Page 43 (continued):

    The following year, Kristoffer set a new personal record at the Swedish Nationals and qualified for the 2007 World Championships in Tokyo. There he was followed throughout the week by a camera crew from the PR agency Göteborg & Co. The next Worlds would be held in Gothenburg, and the city wanted to promote the event by highlighting the country's greatest figure skaters.

    While Kristoffer took off his skate guards and walked out on the ice in a shiny silk shirt and imitation leather black pants, he had a stomach ache due to nervousness. But as soon as he began the Travolta-dance to the first notes of "Stayin' Alive", he heard cheering from the stands. When he nailed a perfect triple toe loop, he felt that he had something big going on. Television commentators Katarina Hultling and Lotta Falkenbäck reported home to the Swedish people, "What a skate!" "Fun and groovy!" "Oh so lovely!"

    After he had completed his final spin, Kristoffer Berntsson stood with his left hand on his hip and the other stretched towards the ceiling. The audience in the packed arena gave him a standing ovation; flowers and teddy bears flew through the air and landed on to the ice. Kristoffer could not help but smile and applauded himself. He had never skated this well before. He smashed his personal record by 20 points and finished in ninth place – the best result for a Swedish man since Gillis Grafström's gold in 1929.

    The 24-year-old Kristoffer Berntsson came home to Gothenburg as a star. People stopped him on the street to offer their congratulations. Moreover, his achievement meant that Sweden had two spots for the home World Championships.

    Kristoffer then followed up this result with a seventh place finish at the European Championships in Zagreb – his best placement ever at an international competition. Naturally, everything should have felt fantastic – if it were not for the 18-year-old Adrian Schultheiss who finished sixth.

    For figure skating fans all over the world, it seemed as if Sweden had something big happening. The country had no major presence on the international scene for nearly a century, and now it had two skaters among the top seven in Europe.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Oh, Siberia, big project. You are doing fine so far.
    Thanks for saying so. Fortunately, there are two people on another FS forum who assist me with slang and idioms (Erik Almqvist seems to be fond of the latter), so I couldn't have gotten this far without their help. Still, I must be out of my mind to want to translate a fairly large body of text which is written in a language that I can't really "read". I'm beginning to pick up some common words, though!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    The Filter journalist should have used you as his main research source
    Mr. Almqvist should've used Wikipedia!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    I have read the article and find it odd in many ways. I think much of what the author writes is in his own mind. E.g. I don't think Kristoffer ever gave a damn about Adrian being pierced.
    I have noticed that the author likes to describe Adrian as being "pierced"; it's as if he couldn't be bothered to inform us of Schultheiss' other traits. Adrian is obviously a lot more than just an "angry punk", but it looks like the journalist wanted to emphasize his antagonistic side. I'm sure it has nothing to do with Koffe's perception of his rival; it's just Mr. Almqvist's way of adding drama to the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    I admire Kristoffer and all the obstacles he had to overcome. If this is his last season I really hope there will be a big thank you-and-farewell ceremony for him at StockholmIce, April 2nd.
    I expect that he will retire (although the selfish fan in me hopes that he doesn't ). If that is the case, your suggestion would be an incredibly sweet gesture.

  12. #27
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    Page 43 (continued):

    For the first time, Kristoffer and Adrian experienced the true scent of the fine figure skating world, where the best athletes sign fat endorsement contracts and draw in millions of kronor in prize money. The most successful Russians were offered roles in television series, pen best-selling autobiographies, and have both groupies and stalkers.



    Photo, page 44 (http://i52.tinypic.com/20koef4.jpg):

    PREVENTION. After ice practice, Kristoffer rides the bus to the Athletics building for fitness training. "My body is not built for skating. I have almost no curvature in my lower back, so there is too much strain on the vertebra."



    Page 45 (http://i52.tinypic.com/20koef4.jpg):

    Kristoffer Berntsson: - It was hysteria in Tokyo. Ten thousand Japanese stood up and applauded me for my free skate. It was... a special feeling. There was a mass of fans outside the stadium, and they would take pictures, give me presents and ask for autographs. When I came back to the hotel, people were waiting for me there, too. I still receive stuffed animals and letters from Japan.

    What the foreign fans didn’t know was that Kristoffer Berntsson and Adrian Schultheiss were as different as night and day. They lived and trained in the same city, but never socialized and did not talk to each other more than necessary. When Kristoffer wasn't training, he spent time with his girlfriend and was studying for a Master of Engineering degree at the Chalmers University of Technology. The pierced Adrian led a less orderly life. In an interview, he summarized his hobbies: "Reptiles, death metal and hip hop."

    Days before the World Championships in Gothenburg, the newspapers' sports pages were filled with interviews of the hometown hopefuls. Aftonbladet visited their practices and described how they both trained to learn the quadruple jump – and thus break into the international elite. In an interview with Svenska Dagbladet, Adrian Schultheiss criticized the marketing of the World Championships, where posters of Kristoffer Berntsson were displayed on bus shelters and trams around Gothenburg. "As for the marketing department, they didn't use their whole heads," he opined. "Kristoffer has received a lot of undeserved attention. I still have beaten him several times." Shortly thereafter, he made an unsuccessful attempt to play down the rivalry with the comment: "We don't burn down each other's hotel rooms, of course."



    Adrian's last statement is just ! I love his sense of humour!
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-06-2011 at 12:40 PM.

  13. #28
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    Completely off-topic, but just wanted to thank siberia for sharing the link to the "Scandinavia and the World" comics in the Junior Worlds forum (I think that's where I saw it.) I had a blast reading a lot of them yesterday.

  14. #29
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    Page 45 (continued):

    It was high time to wipe out Kristoffer's and the audience's expectations. While Adrian Schultheiss breezed through his long program, fans in the Scandinavium did the wave and chanted: "Adrian! Adrian! Adrian!" He closed the best skate of his life by moving down into a limbo position with his hands shaped like guns and fired at the judges. The gesture was not appreciated by all; Adrian finished at number 13 in the world, but he showed the audience that he had the potential to go further. Afterwards, he declared that he "will someday stand on the podium."

    As for Kristoffer Berntsson, he could see that the future wasn't nearly as bright. His coach summed up his World Championships effort with the sentence: "It's about doing the best you can, and he didn't do that." The rest of the season was destroyed by a hip injury, and he was finally obligated to undergo surgery. When Kristoffer returned, he developed back problems. If he stood up for five minutes, he was forced to spend the rest of the day on the couch. He started to question whether figure skating was worth all the hard work and all the pain. It was the same steps, the same jumps, the same spins... 20 hours a week. He knew he had reached the age when a skater's body began to deteriorate. Backs worn down due to the extreme torsion caused by the rotations, battered groins, deformed ankles. Many suffer from asthma due to the cold, dry air at the ice rink, while others feel so horrible from the loneliness and the psychological stress that they develop alcohol problems.

    After one and a half years of rehabilitation training, Kristoffer successfully came back to the 2009 Swedish Nationals. Since he had been away for so long, he knew that he not only had to win the event, but he also needed an impressive performance at the subsequent European Championships to convince the Swedish Olympic Committee to select him for the Olympics instead of Adrian.

    The result was that Kristoffer decided to jump a little higher and go a bit faster instead of focusing on security in skating. At the Swedish Championships, it went well, and he was awarded victory over Adrian. In a Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå interview, Adrian argued that Kristoffer did not deserve the title: "I don't give a crap that he won Nationals. The judges in Sweden are biased, and it has been really corny lately. They give him high marks just for being him. When we have competed internationally, I have beaten him three times out of four."




    I was aware of Koffe's hip surgery after the 2008 Worlds (and I even remember seeing a photo of him using crutches), but I didn't know that he also suffered from a painful back injury. That explains why he struggled so much with his "Dancing Robot" routine. I find it odd that the journalist seemed to suggest that Kris didn't compete during the 2008/2009 season and the fall of 2009. I suppose that his way of skipping over 1.5 years, but it's still misleading.
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-07-2011 at 09:56 AM.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    Completely off-topic, but just wanted to thank siberia for sharing the link to the "Scandinavia and the World" comics in the Junior Worlds forum (I think that's where I saw it.) I had a blast reading a lot of them yesterday.
    You're very welcome, prettykeys! (Sorry for the late reply, but I was so focused on translating the article that I somehow I missed your post. ) Not only is SATW funny and cute, but I also find it educational. I learned more about Northern Europe through this comic strip than I did during 18 years of schooling. (The Canadian education system obviously doesn't place much emphasis on Nordic countries.)
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-07-2011 at 09:06 PM.

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