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Thread: Breaking Up is Hard to Do

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  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    Breaking Up is Hard to Do

    I was viewing my videotapes from the 1990 US Nationals and Worlds and again enjoyed watching Kristi Yamaguchi and Rudi Galindo's performances as US National champions. At that time, Yamaguchi was also competing in ladies' singles. She finished fourth in ladies' singles at Worlds and she and Galindo finished fifth in pairs, for the second year in a row. After Worlds, Yamaguchi decided to concentrate solely on singles, and she and Galindo dissolved their pairs partnership. While Yamaguchi's decision proved to be an excellent one for her, Rudi was left to flounder for several years as a singles skater. His victory at the 1996 US Nationals was all the more outstanding because it was so unexpected.

    Does anyone remember Natasha Kuchiki and Todd Sand? Despite their age differences - 13 years or so - they were US champions and won the World bronze medal in 1991. Sand met Jenny Meno, who was then skating with Scott Wendland, at the 1992 Winter Olympics, sparks started to fly, and they both dropped their respective partners so they could skate together. Meno and Sand got married several years thereafter and have enjoyed a long, successful pro career. Wendland coached several promising figure skaters. Kuchiki continued to skate as a singles skater but never achieved greatness.

    I am not criticizing any of the skaters for dissolving their partnerships. I'm sure the decisions were not made lightly. I do feel sorry, however, for the skater who was "dumped" from the partnership. It's not as though you can find a partner and instantly develop the chemistry and team work that took years to develop with your previous partner.

  2. #2
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Don't forget Irina Rodnina & Alexei Ulanov and Kyoko Ina & Jason Dungjen, two famous cases from the "ugly break-up hall of fame".

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    Quote Originally Posted by berthes ghost
    Don't forget Irina Rodnina & Alexei Ulanov and Kyoko Ina & Jason Dungjen, two famous cases from the "ugly break-up hall of fame".
    Absolutely! I just named two break-ups, but there are a number of them.
    Rodnina and Ulanov's was very dramatic, to say the least, as Ulanov had fallen in love with Ludmilla Smirnova (sp?), the Soviet silver-medal winning pair team, and he broke up with Rodnina so he could skate with Smirnova. At the 1972 Worlds, Rodnina broke down in tears after they skated their long program, as that was their final skate together. She then auditioned a number of partners and chose Alexandr Zaitsev, with whom she won seven Worlds championships and the 1976 and 1980 Olympic gold medals. Not bad for being on the rebound.

    As for Ina/Dungjen, this pair never seemed to really jell as a team. There was a constant aura of disharmony between them, or so I thought. I wasn't surprised when they broke up, to be honest.

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    How about Marina and Ilya?? I always felt bad for her that she had to switch countries in order to find a partner. I hsve to admit, it was always a pleasure when she and Gwendal beat L&A at big events (and on more than a few occasions )

    Yana


    PS - as far as Rodnina is concerned - didn't she also marry Zaitsev?

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    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STL_Blues_fan
    PS - as far as Rodnina is concerned - didn't she also marry Zaitsev?
    Yes, married and divorced. They have a child together, too. The year she gave birth was the year she did not compete at Worlds. Tai & Randy won gold that year.

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    http://p068.ezboard.com/bstrawberrycanyonfsc
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    Absolutely! I just named two break-ups, but there are a number of them.
    Rodnina and Ulanov's was very dramatic, to say the least, as Ulanov had fallen in love with Ludmilla Smirnova (sp?), the Soviet silver-medal winning pair team, and he broke up with Rodnina so he could skate with Smirnova. At the 1972 Worlds, Rodnina broke down in tears after they skated their long program, as that was their final skate together. She then auditioned a number of partners and chose Alexandr Zaitsev, with whom she won seven Worlds championships and the 1976 and 1980 Olympic gold medals. Not bad for being on the rebound.
    .
    OMG i would break down in tears, too. She was in love with the guy!

    Here's something that isn't mentioned too much- Michkoutienok was in love with Dmitriev, and everyone but HER knew during the 1992 Olympics that he was getting married to the rhythmic gymnast :(

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    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisthingcalledlove
    OMG i would break down in tears, too. She was in love with the guy!

    Here's something that isn't mentioned too much- Michkoutienok was in love with Dmitriev, and everyone but HER knew during the 1992 Olympics that he was getting married to the rhythmic gymnast :(
    Wow..I never knew that Rodnina was in love with Ulanov, nor did I know about Mishkoutienok being inlove with Dmitriev...:(

    Are there any more interesting break-ups? .

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisthingcalledlove
    OMG i would break down in tears, too. She was in love with the guy!

    Here's something that isn't mentioned too much- Michkoutienok was in love with Dmitriev, and everyone but HER knew during the 1992 Olympics that he was getting married to the rhythmic gymnast :(

    Actually, Moskvina didn't know either.
    So, it wasn't like Natasha was the ONLY one who didn't know about the baby/engangement.
    His son was born in September of 1992.

    To tell you the truth, I'm not sure M&D were ever in love. It has been speculated a lot on the internet; but I haven't seen any articles/interviews actually saying so. Not saying it's not true, just that all I've heard are rumors & internet stuff-which is not exactly the best source.

    Natasha dated Alexei Urmanov sometime in the 1990s. I do know that she gave him a car. Not sure how long they dated-it they're both involved with other people now.
    They would have made such a cute couple. :D

    According to an interview on http://www.velena.ru Artur said he fell in love with Tanya(wife) the moment he saw her.
    He also mentions how much he appreciates her support-and that she gives him advice on skating ideas, and he trusts her judgements a lot.

    She was a very cool gymnast back in the day. Very "Olga Korbutish" in terms of personality.

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    I've always wondered, too, if the rumors about M&D were true. I hope not--only because I always liked Natasha, and it would be sad if Artur broke her heart. Before his marriage, there was never any suggestion in the press that he and Natasha were involved, or that she was in love with him. But, then again, why would he bother to keep the marriage a secret unless there *was* something between them? It's a mystery.

    Does anyone know what's happened with Natasha in recent years? Is she still married to Craig Shepherd, the hockey skater? Is she coaching or anything?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    I was viewing my videotapes from the 1990 US Nationals and Worlds and again enjoyed watching Kristi Yamaguchi and Rudi Galindo's performances as US National champions. At that time, Yamaguchi was also competing in ladies' singles. She finished fourth in ladies' singles at Worlds and she and Galindo finished fifth in pairs, for the second year in a row. After Worlds, Yamaguchi decided to concentrate solely on singles, and she and Galindo dissolved their pairs partnership. While Yamaguchi's decision proved to be an excellent one for her, Rudi was left to flounder for several years as a singles skater. His victory at the 1996 US Nationals was all the more outstanding because it was so unexpected.
    I think that was absolutely the right decision for Kristi to do! Besides way too exhausting to practice and to compete in two disciplines. One has to make a choice. Sad for Rudi of course, but she had no other choice. One´s own success is more important than to remain with a partner, if the success does not look probable. I´m happy that Rudi won the Nationals and a bronze in 1996 Worlds! It looks like they both kind of wasted time by competing as a pair.

    Marjaana

  11. #11
    average opinionated skate fan
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    I´m happy that Rudi won the Nationals and a bronze in 1996 Worlds! It looks like they both kind of wasted time by competing as a pair.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    I may have to respectfully disagree with you on that one, M. Yuka said that she thought she became a much better singles skater at her age by taking up pairs skating with Jason after they married. She stated that her back and upper body strength increased dramatically because of the lifts and holds required of the dicipline.

    Though Rudi had many obsticles thrown his way during AND after his split with Kristi, she continued to improve and excel. Perhaps it was EXACTLY her pairs training that helped her to develop into a better singles skater. I would imagine, since Kristi herself has stated that she had trouble learning and perfecting her jumps that flying above someone's head while twisting and turning and blazing across the ice while being held aloft above someone's head who basically has knives strapped to the bottom of his boots may have even helped her confidence a little
    From my own experience, "failures" can urge you in the direction of giving up or they can spur you on to be better....all depends on your mindset. Just my own opinion on the subject

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    I agree with you, especially in the sense that one normally learns something from everything... Generally speaking I would though assume that most of all Kristi benefitted from having more time for her singles skating. We all do have only 24 hours in a day, and practices take time, especially for two different disciplines that each had a short programme and freeskate. And of course exhibition numbers.

    Marjaana
    Last edited by Jaana; 08-23-2004 at 08:24 AM.

  13. #13
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Let's not forget that in addition to pairs free skating and singles free skating, they also had to practice figures, so yeah, they definately had a lot more time to concentrate on singles free skating after their 1990 break-up. I'm not sure that Kristi would have persued singles so soon or so agressivley if figures had remained until 92.

    While I agree that we learn something from everything, I also agree that, while talented at pairs, Y&G would have been lucky to get world bronze at best. They just weren't as good at pairs as they were at singles.

    I also think that getting dumped was the best thing that ever happend to Rudi, as his comments about pairs skating are kinda scary and I think that going it alone provided for tremendous personal growth.

  14. #14
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthes ghost
    Let's not forget that in addition to pairs free skating and singles free skating, they also had to practice figures, so yeah, they definately had a lot more time to concentrate on singles free skating after their 1990 break-up. I'm not sure that Kristi would have persued singles so soon or so agressivley if figures had remained until 92.
    Of course school figures were abolished after the 1990 World Championships, so had Galido and Yamaguchi remained as pairs skaters, Kristi would still have had more free time, as she would not have to practice the figures. Still, I think they would have had a very difficult time winning a World or Olympic pair medals. IMHO, they simply weren't as good or as much of a "pair" as the then-
    medal-winning pairs teams.

    However, I believe that Kristi definitely benefited from skating with Rudi. She gained a great deal of physical strength, and her stroking and jumping were enhanced with her partnership. The triple salchow was her nemesis jump, yet she landed her jumps beautifully when Rudi threw her into them.

    What about Jessica Joseph and Charles Butler, the young US ice dance team who won silver at the 1998 US Nationals and skated at the Nagano Olympics? I thought they were going to be national champions at some point, and they were excellent skaters. I was sad to see them dissolve their partnership.

    Whatever happened to Jamie Silverstein? She was a gorgeous ice dancer, and she's disappeared from the radar.

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