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Thread: Irina's motivation for skating

  1. #1
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    Irina's motivation for skating

    I just watched a friends tape of Worlds and found out that the reason Irina has been pushing herself so hard and trying hard to win this season is, in fact, because she needed money. They said her mom needs a kidney transplant and Irina needed to earn $50.000 to pay for this. This makes me sad for Irina and her family.
    I had wondered all season long why Irina, who is so sick that she was seen with an inhaler after programs, would be compromising her health for competition skating and not coaching, and now I think that has been answered for me.
    I remember back when it was suggested on another board that Irina posed for those photos because she was in desperate need of money and some posters were very firm that that was not the reason and that Irina was very well off. I think Irina's own story is probably the truth. She needs money and she needs it badly.
    I feel bad for her. She has won a lot this season and that money earned still couldn't help her to help her family. I know Russia has universal health care and that Irina's own medical bills were being paid for by the Russian Skating Federation (also read this on another board), but Irina is soley responsible for her 2 parents that are (apparently) disabled (meaning unable to work and take care of themselves). Does Russia have social security and disability?
    One can only hope that Irina stays healthy enough to skate. She must have so much pressure on her. From the Russian Federation to continue skating at top level despite her illness that makes her so weak and ill, and from her parents that are so dependent on her to be their caregiver and only source of financial means. I hope her husband doesn't put any pressure on her, or the poor girl will blow!
    She has my respect and sympathy during this time in her life. I think she needs all the support she can get. No wonder she broke down in tears after her long program. If she didn't win her mother would not get the transplant she needs.
    Where can I find out more about Irina and her family? Is there a charity set up somewhere for them? I think this would be a great charity for fans of skating to donate to. I hope there's something in the works because I think Irina is pushing herself to the limit and I worry for her health and sanity. I wish Irina luck next year in her quest for Olympic Gold. I just hope she can stay healthy.

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    Could you please let her enjoy her world title rather then trying to diminish it by saying she was solely motivated by the money. To be honest, I did not read your entire post but judging your other posts regarding Irina, its not hard to figure out that your trying to paint Irina as this poor ole girl who was only out there competing for the love of money.
    [Sarcasm inserted] Her 9th place finish at 2004 worlds got her a lot of money and she went to worlds that year to earn money.

    I can link many articles where Irina states that she could not live without skating, and that her heart allows her to go out there train hard and compete. But knowing you, you believe whatever ESPN feeds you since its along the lines of whatever you believe.
    Give her the credit she deserves. This sport is lucky to have someone like Slutskaya, pushing the sport and being out there for the LOVE of the sport.

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    It's not about money. If she was skating to earn money for her mother's kidney transplant she would not have done so well. She skated all season for the love of skating and competing and it showed. Her joy was total and pure. I would not even bring the issue of money in.

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    If you look at Irina's competition schedule this year, and her remarks after Worlds that she had "done too much", you have to come to the conclusion that it isn't all love of skating that is driving her.

    She did two GPs, Marshall's (travel to the US), the GPF (travel to Japan), Russian Nationals, Europeans, Worlds. That's 7 competitions in 4 months, and during that time, she had a recurrence of symptoms of her disease and had to go back on heavy doses of prednisone. Now that Worlds is over, Irina will shortly join the COI tour which continues until May.

    Irina's mother is very ill and on dialysis since her body rejected the first kidney transplant. Anyone who's been on dialysis for any length of time or has had a relative on dialysis will tell you that dialysis is rough on the body. Irina has often said that her mother isn't just her mother, she's a part of Irina herself. She is so closely connected with her mother that she didn't go to Worlds 2003 because her mother was in critical condition and she couldn't leave her.

    It can't be easy for Irina to constantly leave her mother when she is so ill to skate in competitions and go on tour. But her mother's care is expensive and Irina will have to pay for a second kidney transplant up front---some $50,000. Irina does earn money from her competitions, but the Russian Federation takes a big bite out of it, and Irina is obligated to pay her coach 30% of the prize money. Irina herself probably winds up with less than half of what she earns.

    While Irina's basic motivation is her love of skating, I think it's safe to say she is driven to push herself to the nth degree as a skater to ensure that her mother's health is safeguarded. Irina herself has a chronic illness that she has to deal with day in and day out, and she has to stay on heavy doses of prednisone in order to be able to compete. I just hope she doesn't make herself seriously ill again by overdoing it.

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    I think it's a combination of everything, definitely not strictly money motivation....however, I DO wonder, with Irina's own health so in question, if her mother didn't need the transplant, possibly Irina wouldn't have pushed herself quite so hard this year. I think her love of skating is probably the number one reason why she's out there this year working so hard, but the need of the transplant for her mother is right behind that.

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    Mr. Michelle Kwan Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossi
    I remember back when it was suggested on another board that Irina posed for those photos because she was in desperate need of money and some posters were very firm that that was not the reason and that Irina was very well off.
    What photos? Did I miss something while I was asleep?

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I don't think it's the money.

    I am not sure it is "love of skating" per se. Elite athletes define themeselves through their sport. While Irina has taken classes to become a journalist, her life is probably fairly empty without skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ptichka
    I don't think it's the money.

    I am not sure it is "love of skating" per se. Elite athletes define themeselves through their sport. While Irina has taken classes to become a journalist, her life is probably fairly empty without skating.
    I think that any skater loves to compete, this is like their job, and if they win they get money prizes. But to say that one only skates for money, I don't think so. I don't know Irina, but from what I saw last year in Dortmund, it is my opinion that she skated there because she had to prove to herself that she was going to be able to keep skating. Sure she has financial burdens with herself and her mothers, so I say, again IMO, that this year she skated for two things: love to the sport, and love to her mother. Irina is sick and knows that someday her health might not allow her to skate well. Sometimes people take things for granted and only when you see that you might not be able to do them again, you start to look at them under a new light, and I think that new vision came to Irina last year. She has a new respect for her sport, and sure, she knows that if she wins she gets the prize money, but I wouldn't go as far as say that money is her motivation. Her motivation is giving her best.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit
    What photos? Did I miss something while I was asleep?
    Irina was voted the sexiest lady by a Russian fashion magazine, and they did a photo spread on her.

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...?t=8604&page=1

    MM

  10. #10
    Mr. Michelle Kwan Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Irina was voted the sexiest lady by a Russian fashion magazine, and they did a photo spread on her.

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/sho...?t=8604&page=1

    MM
    Thank you, double-M.

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    Putting the health and money issues to the side, if I remember correctly, Irina stated fairly soon after it was announced that 2005 Worlds would be in Moscow that it was her desire to stay eligible in order to compete at this Worlds. I think she had a great deal of motivation in her own soul to compete well and win, and I'm very happy for her that she had the opportunity to do so, in spite of the roadblocks that she faced.

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    Well nobody in the world is soley motivated by one thing alone. People are way too complex for that, and I'd assume that the same holds true for Irina. Obviously I don't know her personally so I feel a little uncomfortable theororizing about her motivation...still...

    My guess would be that money played a part in her choice of competing. I mean, everyone has to earn a living, and this is how she does it. Especially with her mom's health the way it is. I don't think she can be faulted for wanting to earn money.

    On the other hand, I can't imagine that being the only factor. Granted I don't know a whole lot about skating yet, but something tells me you don't just walk into Worlds and come out with a gold medal because you wanted the money. There has to be some really deep competitive fire and drive to push yourself to train and compete on that level.

    That's my two cents, for what its worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Excidra2001
    . But knowing you, you believe whatever ESPN feeds you since its along the lines of whatever you believe.
    Give her the credit she deserves. This sport is lucky to have someone like Slutskaya, pushing the sport and being out there for the LOVE of the sport.
    Do I know you Excidra? Have we communicated before? Someone needs to chill.
    My thoughts are concluded from reading Irina's articles in papers, and also from interviews and from what she told the commentators. She feels she has suffered greatly and has had to come back from so much. She is also soley responsible for her parents medical bills. She also has to pay for her mother's transplant and if she didn't win Worlds wouldn't be able to do that.
    Excidra, I don't know enough about you, but I know you don't speak for Irina. I think the actual commentators and people that SHE actually speaks to know much more about her situation.
    Nobody takes anything away from her winning. I am amazed that she has so many people pressuring her, but was able to win despite all of that. It makes me respect and sympathize for her at the same time.
    I think her fans need to really cool down a bit and enjoy her win themselves, instead of trying to attack people that state their opinions. It is getting to be a nuisance.

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    Hmmm... Irina skating for money? Irina skating for the love? Don't they all do that?

    How about Irina skated because that's her job, she's a tough competitor, she's one of the best in the world and she's feeling better? But since those options have already been raised & I'm bored, I will add a different slant to this...

    How about this: She was pushing herself to win on home ice but considered turning pro because she would have a couple of different things... Steadier income as a SOI headliner without the heavy training schedule and access to top level healthcare in the US? But when the Russian federation caught wind of this, they decided to "make her an offer she couldn't refuse" ala USFSA w/ Kwan... Win here, on home ice, and we will make sure that your money troubles are over! And that your mom will get her transplant!

    Do I know this? Absolutely not! But it is possible... Just the MATH makes sense... But I forgot, we don't apply logic to figure skating if we can get away with it!

    Whatever reason Irina has to keep at it, I commend her. She's a great competitor and skating is better with her than without her...

    Kwanford Wife

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    I can remember going back about 3-4 years that Irina was growing weary of all the competitions, travel, shows, etc. and said she'd like to take a year off and "born a baby". I think it was around then that she spoke of staying eligible until Worlds in Moscow.

    Of course, a lot has changed since then, with her mother's illness in the spring of 2003, and Irina's own illness, diagnosed the following year. I think now Irina wants to keep skating as long as she physically is able to. Yes, she needs the money, and yes, she loves skating, but now there's the added possibility she may not be able to skate much longer. I think it's all those factors that drive her.

    Poor Irina! She never talks any more about having a child.

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