Do most skaters end up in debt after their careers are over?
Since the show skating circuit seems to be almost non-existent (at least in the states) and skating lessons from famous coaches is expensive as all get out, how do skaters stay financially solvent after their skating careers are over? I feel like Yuna or Mao...ok, I understand how they will be fine due to all their endorsements. But for 99% of skaters (even good ones like Ashley Wagner and Adam Rippon), it's not like anyone is really paying them to be figure skaters...in fact, they are the ones paying boatloads of money to their coaches to win tournaments that don't really net them any money. I also assume a lot of these skaters, like many pro athletes, are not college educated. So...I'm wondering how they pay back all that coaching money with nothing but trophies and not being college educated to show for it.
In most cases, the Mummy and Daddy trust fund covers skating expenses.
Skating is art, if you let it be.
economic disparity for the win
Originally Posted by brightphoton
Last edited by dorispulaski; 10-24-2013 at 09:51 AM.
Reason: white fonts are a GS no no
Off the ice
I'm not sure if you're referring to elite international competitors or to lower level skaters.
Originally Posted by bump
Anyway, a few things:
1. In many countries, skating is not as expensive as it is in the US, and/or the federation covers at least some a skater's expenses past a certain stage. I doubt someone like Brian Joubert, who trains in Poitiers and doesn't work with famous (read: expensive) coaches has the sort of expenses a top American skater does.
2. There's prize money (the WTT is especially lucrative) and shows - not in the US so much, but you have shows in Russia, the Swiss-run Art On Ice, Artistry on Ice in China, a bunch of Japanese shows and tours, Yu-Na Kim's ATS shows for those lucky/good enough to be invited, Denis Ten headlined two big shows in Kazakhstan with a lot of skaters, etc.
3. Elite skaters don't usually go this route, but a lot of skaters sign on with cruise ships and tours and make some money from that.
4. I don't know why you'd assume most skaters are not educated. Some aren't, but many go to school or at least get coaching diplomas while they compete. The Universiade is an event for college/university students; active skaters who have medalled there over the years include Pechalat/Bourzat (and Pechalat recently finished her Master's degree, I believe), Daisuke Takahashi, Nobunari Oda, Akiko Suzuki, Valentina Marchaei, Kiira Korpi and Cappellini/Lanotte. Tomas Verner said in a recent interview that he'll be starting his MBA. Alban Preaubert got a Master's in management while an active skater and now works in finance. In the US, you also have a lot of educated skaters: Czisny is a college graduate, Flatt is at Stanford, and many Michigan-based ice dancers attend the University of Michigan at least part-time (D/W, the Shibutanis).
5. I don't think it's accurate to say that most pro athletes are not educated, either, since NFL players and some NBA and MLB players have at least some college education. Not sure about the NHL.
6. After skating careers end, so do the expenses. Assuming parents, and later federations, prize money and shows covered at least some of the costs, skaters can move on to coaching or other pursuits with no more debt than many American college graduates.
It's a question worth asking, though.
I imagine that some mid-level skaters end up with a lot of debt, or at least with the family's finances seriously eroded. People who come in fourth or fifth or lower at Nationals year after year until they realize that they have to give it up might have some financial trouble, at least for a few years. I presume this is probably true in the U.S.; I don't know what other countries' systems are. I imagine gymnastics (all those little girls dreaming of becoming Gabrielle Douglas or Nadia Comaneci) is probably similar.
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