This discussion wins the best thread contest, hall of fame category, hands down! Thanks to Rgirl for starting it and to everyone who has contributed, especially Hongli.
(((((Doggygirl))))), I am so glad you made it through your struggle and got to the other side alive and well.
In connection with the speculation that the Chinese authorities run their skating program like a boot camp, going to draconian lengths to control their athletes weight, I was wondering about Lu Chen. Lulu seemed the opposite. Several times in her amateur career it seemed like she was intent on asserting her independence, especially about training in America. It seemed like she was in constant trouble with the Chinese skating establishment over this, and IIRC they almost refused to send her to the 1998 Olympic games.
Because of her striking beauty and her appeal to fans across all cultural lines, it seemed like she was set for a long and lucrative professional career. But far from starving herself, in her mid twenties she seemed to struggle to maintain her "fighting weight" and was criticized for lacking the discipline to train hard.
[QUOTE=Mathman]This discussion wins the best thread contest, hall of fame category, hands down!
I agree, Mathman. Reading this has been quite an education, on several levels. Thanks to Rgirl for starting the thread and to hongligl and especially Doggygirl for sharing your unique perspectives.
Mission ! completed
Hi Doggygirl, Rgirl and Hikaru,
I have passed your messages to Haobo Zhao through email and also post it in S/Z's website. Hopefully they have time to read it before World.
I also mentioned nicole_1, mpal2 Hanaka, emma and mzheng(mzheng I know you don't need me to speak for you ) in the post and email.
Doggygirl, thank you for your kind wishes. I'm not studying anywhere any more. Just I need to take an oral test for French. I passed the reading and writing ones. Oral test would be my biggest headache. Keep my fingers crossed
Rumour or not..she looks anorexic, IMO it takes away from a graceful look as far as skating goes...rather like that newborn colt look. If she is being encouraged to keep herself painfully thin, I would hope someone realizes that it actually detracts from the performance. Again that is just my 2 cents.
It's all about Plushenko.
Wow, thanks honglil! I really appreciate it.
P.S. Good luck too.
I'm really glad that Shen & Zhao and Bin Yao know how much all of us love them!
I doubt coach Yao Bin or his assistants force Qing Pang eat less or loose weight. Xue Shen is not very skinny, acturally she is just about right, maybe a little more than she should be. Both Pang and Tong are very skinny, and have been like this for years. They are really matched pair skaters.
I was fortunate to see Shen & Zhao live at 2003 Worlds and they were one of the two great highlights for me.
I got a lot of great photos of them (some in black and white which IMO adds a lot of character to a picture). Unfortunately, I didn't get them developed on disc. I think I might have to take the negatives in sometime and get a photo cd. I also got a great one of Michelle performing to Fields of Gold in the exhibitions. When I got my pictures back, I was shocked. A professional photographer must have sneaked in when I wasn't looking!
Thanks mathman. Lulu's case was special. It was not that she wanted to be independent that she went to the states for training. On the contrast, she was sent to the states together with her coach to train so that she can have a better chance to win. In Lulu's word, "She WAS the chinese figure skating team." In her amature time, she was fully covered financially by the government. After she won World in 1996(?) she had dispute with her coach and her training suffered terribly from it. She gained about 20-30 pounds that made it almost impossible to performe and she dropped to 25th in the next world. She was under treamendous pressure when she was trying to change coach as people thought she was not grateful---changing coach right after winning the World. But Lulu felt she had more potential than her coach could help her to bring out. This was what Lulu said, there might be other reason from the coach's side but her coach kept silent about this. Lulu risked not being eligible for the olympic because of her poor competition results right before the olympic. Can't remember how she fighted it back to be good enough to make the olympic team, maybe at nationals. Anyway, Lulu was drained out emotionally and didn't want to compete for a single one more year after the 98 olympic. She went to the states on her own this time (and for the first time) and she felt at lost and lonely because she had to take care of everything. Before all she needed to do was training well. In this sense, chinese skaters are lucky as there is nothing to worry about, no finacial issue, no school issue, coaches are always there for them and they don't need to pay for the coaching time or ice time. And they do have the freedom to choose to leave nowdays if they want to. Love Lulu
Originally Posted by Mathman
It was indeed one time thing as my impression when I read the original interview story in chinese (SinaSport web site). However after a while I read the translation in at FSU board it was lost this sense of 'one time' doing thing, made it sounds like she did very often.
Originally Posted by hongligl
As I remembered what said it was right after the time very down in their career. They were left in Harbin trainning by themselves, just two teenage kids, there were arguments and fights between them sometimes they went on ice seperately diddn't talk to each other skating seperately. Once this last for a week. That they lost the competetion to the younger pairs. At the point they almost quit, but they get together hold each other decided stick it out for another year. Then when an important competetion (I think it was National) came along, at the time Tong was not that strong, to help Tong in lift, Pang decided to keep her weight down that she did the chewing not swallowing. Since it came out from Pang directly, at the time, I did think there was some factor of heroic talking here. (bragging may be the wrong words)
I read in china-ice just recently that it was quoted from Tong that Pang is a very caring person and very thoughtful. Whenever Tong's sick, Pang will stick out for him doing every thing to take care of him. While Shen and Zhao are the other way around.
hongligl, thanks for the links. But don't know why those chinese web sites loaded with too many graphics. It took loooooooong time to upload the page and browser through it. I'm not visiting that often now. Not sure if they all use high speed pc in china these days. They always go for very 'high' or very 'new' for those can afford, while there are still a lot can't afford left in dust. Just like they do with sports.......
Not only chinese skaters. The old soviete union skaters as well. I remember an episode ran on US tv before featured most of pre Olympic medalists from Russia. They talked about moving to states made the life more difficult for them. Back in Russia all they need do was just trainning, trainning they don't need to worry about anything. While moveing here, they have to shop, coock, review bills, paying bills, etc. they have to do every thing. I'm wondering if there is any change in Russia current trainning system.
Originally Posted by hongligl
In state, a skater over 20 is suppose to live alone and take care themselves. remember Kirk's interview at 4CC. She basically said the same thing about her independant life in Cal as those Russian skaters.
Figure Skating Fan
Thank you so much for passing them the message, you have no idea how much I appreciate it! I've been browsing the web site, mostly to see the pictures, and I just love the Swan Lake one, they look so in character! I'm saving the pictures to make a wallpaper for my desktop
Originally Posted by hongligl
In reference to the comment that Pang and Tong are well matched, well, I'd have to respectfully disagree. She is simply too tall (or perhaps he is not tall enough, strong enough). They are not well matched. Maybe they were years ago before each of them came to maturity. If he were just a tiny bit bigger or stronger, then her weight would not have been a question in the first place. She could have been a healthy, athletic weight.
BTW, I'd like to remind everyone that EDs go both ways. Obesity in the USA is like a plague. The health risks are enormous. It is wonderful when young people ice skate or choose some form of exercise because it means they are setting good habits for themselves that, hopefully, will last a lifetime. Sadly, the number of young people involved in athletics is not the largest percentage.
Oh yes. Nothing of the old system is left; except perhaps for coaches still willing to give their time for free. However, the skaters now do have to take care of everything. That includes medical treatments - just consider the problems Klimkin has had with having the federation pay for his surgery.
Originally Posted by mzheng
Thanks Hongligl for sending our best wishes to the Chinese teams! That is very nice of you to do. WOW. FRENCH!! Your English is fantastic and you're adding French. Are there other languages you speak? That is such a positive thing to do - it opens up even more avenues for communication in the world.
Also thanks Hongligl and Mzheng for explaining more about Lu Chen's situation. While I know the world is always changing in every country, it's hard for us Americans to relate to the culture as it was in Lu's day.
Linny you are right that obesity is a killer of larger proportions here in the US. But I will save my many lengthy thoughts on that topic for a different thread!
Yes, thanks sooooo much for passing on those messages, I can't tell you how much I love watching S/Z skate!!! And, Chen Lu was simply one of my favorite skaters of all time back in the mid-90's, god she was beautiful to watch. Is it true that she opened a rink in the south? is she coaching?
Earlier someone was talking about expressing emotion/romanticism (i'm too rushed to check who and what exactly was said at the moment, so sorry), and wondering if that is more difficult culturally for Chinese skaters. Over the years, I too have wondered about the ways a certain expression and artistic style gets favored in all skating disciplines and how that both hurts some skaters and limits the range of creativity in skating. However, regarding expressing 'romatic' feelings....I, in addition to being a die hard S/Z fan, am also really really into both Hindi films and Chinese martial arts films....anyway, one thing that strikes me about both these very different 'asian' artistic mediums is how they both express heart renching, gut renching, 'love', 'romantic themes', emotion....sure, until very recently without too much actual physical touching (or limited touching like a sweep of the hand on a face), but the story lines AND the body language and eye language is soooooo strong...anyway, i bring this up to suggest and ask those who might know more if maybe some of us are just assuming that 'asian' cultures are not expressive in this way????
And lastly, about martial arts and skating....hmmm....ok, now i'm fantasing but i can imagine some really cool poses and positions...