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Thread: How do Elite Skaters pay their bills?

  1. #31
    Custom Title Minze2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexRus View Post
    Elite skaters have not real problems to pay their bills - sponsors, advertising, ice shows, prize money give them enough.
    Yuna Kim was at 2010 in Top Ten most payed atletes, as "Forbes" wrote.

    Starting level is not so expensive - non-top coaches, many skaters at the ice (so not so expensive ice) and so.
    In many European countries "kid and junior" sports is free for children-athletes - government pays. Some money of course is needed for skates and shoes, costumes and so - but at this level it is not expensive.

    Most serios financial problems have "pre-elite" skaters - they need about the same as elite, but have not elite's incomes.
    Yes. But Yuna Kim and Mao asada are unique in that regard, they have more endorsments than Tiger woods. According to reports in Japan is impossible to go one day wothout seen Mao in TV, billboards and magazines. Yuna Kim is so wealthy she donates her prizes to charity. But you have other elite skaters: ashley wagner, she has two important sponsors, but I am sure paying coaches, coreographers, dressess add up.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexRus View Post
    Elite skaters have not real problems to pay their bills - sponsors, advertising, ice shows, prize money give them enough. Yuna Kim was at 2010 in Top Ten most payed atletes, as "Forbes" wrote.

    Starting level is not so expensive - non-top coaches, many skaters at the ice (so not so expensive ice) and so.
    In many European countries "kid and junior" sports is free for children-athletes - government pays. Some money of course is needed for skates and shoes, costumes and so - but at this level it is not expensive.

    Most serios financial problems have "pre-elite" skaters - they need about the same as elite, but have not elite's incomes.
    The question is where to draw the line at "elite". Your "elite" is ones with ISU medals, but that should rather be called SUPER-elites. All ISU entrants are basically elites, since they are the selected few from each country - doesn't matter if it's the US or pre-Yuna Korea. (Now, US, has a broader funding base, because it's a GINOURMOUS country with dollars and population, and each state is basically... a state.)

    It's also not always true that elites have no issues either. Mirai? I believe part reason of her breakup with Carrol was money. Otherwise, she would've moved to somewhere that makes training easier, since she's not going to school; her family did have to sort out every penny for her. This is an American girl who basically won an Olympic, had it not been for Yuna, Mao, and peaked Rochette, the trio that made the '10 Olympics one of the strongest ladies fs fields.

    Yuna is another. She began getting some sponsorship only after her 07 GPF win; that's pretty late considering her tremendous achievements prior to that point. Also, her Forbes-worthy income came after her 09 Worlds win, which of course counts into her reputation of the legendary records, favourite to win at Vancouver, history maker, modelesque-look, etc. etc., and '10 was the Olympics year! (and guess how much it would've risen had she been an American) Before 08, she basically couldn't properly afford little things like skate boots. (BTW, she made charities as soon as she was out of red books, before all the fortune.)

    The reason why so many quit in Juniors is because unless they are SURE they'll be in elite squad or kinda reach for beyond, it's not worth the money to try. Hence, in most countries, only the elites and elite hopefuls persist, although we disregard most of them as lacklustres by comparing between the elites.

  3. #33
    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    Going back to Peggy Fleming for a moment ...
    Tonto, look what USFS posted on YouTube today :

    Peggy Fleming 1964 U.S. Championships
    USFSVideo
    Published on Aug 1, 2013
    Peggy Fleming won her first of five U.S. titles in 1964 before finishing sixth at the Olympics that year. Four years later, Fleming went back to the Olympics and claimed gold.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGxPqKbr5q0

    4:17 in length.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexRus View Post
    Yuna Kim was at 2010 in Top Ten most payed atletes, as "Forbes" wrote.
    And Yuna Kim is #6 on the 2013 list of World's Highest-Paid Female Athletes, which Forbes published yesterday.

    The excerpt about Kim:
    South Korean figure skating champion Kim Yuna ranks No. 6 with estimated earnings of $14 million. Kim took a year off from competing before returning in December, and she captured her second World Championship in February. Kim is the headline act in the All That Skate figure skating show and she is a staple on TV in South Korea thanks to commercials for her dozen sponsors including Samsung, Korean Air and KB Financial. Kim is expected to be one of the leading stars at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

    The top four all play tennis.
    • 1. Sharapova (earnings of $29 million between June 2012 and June 2013)
    • 2. Serena Williams ($20.5 million)
    • 3. Li Na ($18.2 million)
    • 4. Victoria Azarenka ($15.7 million)
    • 5. Danica Patrick ($15 million)
    • 6. Kim ($14 million)

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bebevia View Post

    The reason why so many quit in Juniors is because unless they are SURE they'll be in elite squad or kinda reach for beyond, it's not worth the money to try. Hence, in most countries, only the elites and elite hopefuls persist, although we disregard most of them as lacklustres by comparing between the elites.

    Most of figure skaters only quit at Junior level? Considering with the tremendous hours and cost people paying starting from pre-preliminary level nowadays, I am quite surprised that most people don't quite at earlier phase.

    I personally know the parents who paying $100/hour for their kids with at least two sessions each day. Adding up, that is around $4000 each month, and this is just for the private classes, not counting the competition, ice time, off-ice, ballet class, and other stuffs yet. Many of these family are doing it when their kids started from pre-preliminary for last 3 or 4 years already. Simple math, at the end of Junior level, with this level of expense continuing, I think many of them may pay about half of million.

    The worse part is: the US figure skating system doesn't support such investment. As far as I know, there is almost zero scholarship from colleges/universities to recruit young high school skaters, no matter how good they are. Compared to other sport players in college (basketball/volleyball/swimming/more..), you would have to consider it as a a punishment for the kids in skating, after they spent so much time/money on the ice.

  6. #36
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Do any of the college synchro teams come with scholarships?

  7. #37
    Custom Title Minze2001's Avatar
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    Figure Skating is the only sport where women earn more than men. Kim Yuna and Evan were both Olympic Champions and although I am not Evan's accountant I am willing to bet Yuna Kim made more money than him. Daisuke Takahashi has brought a lot of medals to Japan but Mao Asada has more endorsements than he does.
    If Kiira Korpie had the amount of success in the sport that Mao, Kim and Carolina have, she will be an advertisers dream. I know she has endorsements in her country, but if she had the important titles she will be marketable in North America also

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minze2001 View Post
    Figure Skating is the only sport where women earn more than men. Kim Yuna and Evan were both Olympic Champions and although I am not Evan's accountant I am willing to bet Yuna Kim made more money than him. Daisuke Takahashi has brought a lot of medals to Japan but Mao Asada has more endorsements than he does.
    If Kiira Korpie had the amount of success in the sport that Mao, Kim and Carolina have, she will be an advertisers dream. I know she has endorsements in her country, but if she had the important titles she will be marketable in North America also
    My guess is that that would be because of the inherent homophobia that figure skating attracts, both from outsiders and within itself as a sport. Far too many people don't consider it a sport or aren't prepared to acknowledge what incredible athletes these guys are. It's much safer (from their point of view) to just stand there and call them gay.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Do any of the college synchro teams come with scholarships?
    I was told that there are only few college offering it... but my source of information is not up to date, so you might want to check it up again.

  10. #40
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    I recall another report in January on the decline popularity of Figure Skating in US. The sport is gaining ground in Asia, even in Europe. But in US, I would like to say that the current system and business environment actually discourage the family/kids to invest their time and money, regardless how good they are.

    Unless their parents are millionaires, without foreseeable positive financial outcome justified for the family enormous spending, I think less and less people would become interested in figure skating in the long run. It is the trend I don't like to see, and I hope I am not the only one seeing it coming....

  11. #41
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Yes, sad to say, I think you are right. My town used to have a town skating pond that they maintained, and now they don't, from insurance concerns, I'm told. However, a neighboring town opened an outdoor rink two years ago

    http://www.newlondonmainstreet.org/p...t+Parade+Plaza

    Synchro gives the option to cut costs per family, since so many kids share the same ice and coach; it's no surprise that Synchro Worlds sold out in Boston since interest may be growing. Although most colleges don't seem to be offering scholarships, it looks like the number of club team competing intercollegiately is increasing, and schools are giving some funding to the clubs, & often free ice time.

    I have hopes! I wish synchro would be added to the Olympics.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfid9968 View Post
    Most of figure skaters only quit at Junior level? Considering with the tremendous hours and cost people paying starting from pre-preliminary level nowadays, I am quite surprised that most people don't quite at earlier phase.
    I guess I unconsciously drew my line of "skaters" there

  13. #43
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    i think its far more difficult for skaters who are living in a non-dominant skating countries. like in the philippines who is a tropical country, most of their skaters who represent them to international competitions are skaters from the US who cant penetrate Elite scene. Obviously these skaters has some Filipino blood. To continue their dream and get funds they represent a lesser known country. The only home grown talent Philippines has right now is Christian Martinez who is doing quite good in the junior scene. He trains in the US for 2-3 months a year and i think the federation support him but i read somewhere that her mom has to beg corporates and sold properties to support his training. He's doing quite good so I guess thats the motivating factor his family have to continue supporting him.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfid9968 View Post
    Most of figure skaters only quit at Junior level? Considering with the tremendous hours and cost people paying starting from pre-preliminary level nowadays, I am quite surprised that most people don't quite at earlier phase.
    Absolutely many quit at lower levels.

    My experience is in the US. I see many skaters quit, or scale back significantly, when they finish high school, whatever skill level they happen to have reached by that time.

    It's also common to "test out" at that point -- passing as many tests as possible, up to senior, for the credentials and sense of accomplishment even if the skill level wouldn't be competitive past intermediate. Many are not even up to senior test level but will try to pass the highest tests they are ready for, before their lifestyle changes.

    A significant number quit early in high school as other interests and priorities take over. That's why I never got very far, since I had only started a few years earlier anyway.

    If family situations change, especially financially (or living close enough to an ice rink), the kids might have to quit at any point.

    The worse part is: the US figure skating system doesn't support such investment. As far as I know, there is almost zero scholarship from colleges/universities to recruit young high school skaters, no matter how good they are. Compared to other sport players in college (basketball/volleyball/swimming/more..), you would have to consider it as a a punishment for the kids in skating, after they spent so much time/money on the ice.
    The one advantage is that teaching skating generally pays better than other part-time jobs available to recent high school grads. But of course that depends on there being a demand for instructors at beginning levels.

    That's not support directly from USFS. But neither would college scholarships be -- they would come from the colleges.

    There is some funding through USFS available to skaters at not quite elite skill levels, though the amounts are not significant:
    https://www.usfigureskating.org/Athletes.asp?id=325

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Absolutely many quit at lower levels.

    My experience is in the US. I see many skaters quit, or scale back significantly, when they finish high school, whatever skill level they happen to have reached by that time.
    In Russia about the same.
    For example, in SDSUHOR CSKA the eldest female skaters (both 1996) are Sotnikova and Zaseeva, internationally known as Senior and Junior respectively.
    In SDUSHOR-37 - Lipnitskaia and Pogorilaya (both 1998).
    In ISU Bio - profession "pupil" for all four.

    Typical situation in Russia is:
    About 400-500 mothers with 4-5 years old children go at September to skating school.
    About one third of children (i.e. 150) start skating, for others "this sports is not recommended".
    Most of them quit at first year.
    And so from year to year, only 1 to 3 (of 400-500 who tried to begin or 150 who really begun) earn Junior level.

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