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Thread: Ingo Steuer Ends Coaching Career

  1. #1
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    Ingo Steuer Ends Coaching Career

    I found a story on the German Yahoo news site that might be of interest.
    My translation follows:

    Nov. 27, 2003

    Ingo Steuer Ends Coaching Career

    Former pairs world champion Ingo Steuer will, for personal reasons, end
    his recently begun coaching career at the end of the season. To this end,
    according to the German Skating Union (DEU), the 37-year-old has already
    requested his discharge from the German Army's "sports company."

    A final effort by DEU president Reinhard Mirmseker and sport director Udo
    Dönsdorf to change his mind was unsuccessful. Steuer coaches three pairs
    in Chemnitz, among them German champions Eva-Maria Fitze and Rico Rex.

    "I've asked for a time-out because the work has just become too much. I'm
    falling apart humanly," Steuer told the dpa [German news agency]. His
    decision to stop after the world championships in March in Dortmund, where
    Steuer became European champion in 1995 with his partner Mandy Wötzel, is
    also related to the fact that he recently became a father and his family
    lives in Berlin. "I'm there for my athletes round the clock; I can't do
    that anymore," said Steuer, who is in his third season of coaching and was
    viewed by the crisis-ridden DEU as their great hope for the future.

    At the beginning of this winter, the DEU, together with the four-time
    German champion, developed a "pairs skating concept" that was to bring at
    least one world-class competitive pair to the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin.
    Only this past summer did the DEU get a position for Steuer, as coach, in
    the army's sports company. Following Steuer's decision, which was
    "surprising and disappointing," the federation must now find a new
    approach for the success of the promising pairs in Chemnitz.

    "It simply can't be that all hopes are hung on me. I always did
    everything alone, and no one listened to me," said Steuer, who has been
    asking for an assistant coach for some time now. He wants to work
    together with the DEU to find a solution, and is offering his help: "I
    haven't left this earth yet, and I'll definitely return, even if my
    time-out takes a year." Without the financial security of the military
    position, Steuer wants to skate in more shows with Mandy Wötzel next year.

    Other stories, no new details:

    Official fanclub (not yet updated) with cute picture of Ingo as Austin

    Some additional information off the top of my head:

    The three pairs currently coached by Ingo are Eva-Maria Fitze/Rico Rex,
    Nicole Nönnig/Matthias Bleyer, and Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy.

    The use of the army's "sports company" to provide a source of income for
    athletes is a common practice in Germany and other countries. Many of the
    current German skaters are now in said sports company, and do, in fact,
    have to take time out for basic training and other commitments.

    I hadn't heard of the practice used for coaches, but I'm not surprised.
    The DEU really had put all their hopes on Steuer, and coaches appear to be
    civil servants working for the DEU but are now paid based on medal count
    rather than hours worked (some incentive program, eh?). Most of the
    coaches I've read about have other professions (e.g., architect). At some
    point I'd like to get more details about how the system works.

    I wish Ingo all the best in trying to prioritize his life. I've been in
    his position (everyone assumes you'll fix a major problem but doesn't do
    much to help), and it's no fun. Kudos to him for recognizing his physical
    and mental limits and stepping back. A very wise senior IBM executive
    once told me that once you've started working regular overtime to cover
    for shortcomings in the system, it becomes expected (most often without
    credit). He advised that the only way to get help and save yourself is to
    let the system fail. (In my case, I couldn't let the system fail, and my
    health suffered for it. I did finally just quit.)

    Best wishes to Ingo!!

    Anke G.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2003

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    This was interesting article Anke - thanks.

  3. #3
    Celebrating Golden Skate's 18th Anniversary gsk8's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Joey Votto Fangirl KwanFan1212's Avatar
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    Thanx for posting this article and best wishes to Ingo! I always liked his and Mandy's skating. They were a great pair. :D

  5. #5
    On the Ice Tove's Avatar
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    Aug 2003

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    Very interesting, thank you!!!

    Do you Anke, or anyone, know about Aljona Savchenko and her new partner? will they compete this year? will they compete for the Ukraine, or another country? I loved her with Stanislav!!


  6. #6
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    Question from Tove: Do you Anke, or anyone, know about Aljona Savchenko and her new partner? will they compete this year? will they compete for the Ukraine, or another country?

    Answer: According to the German magazine Eissport's October edition, Aljona will have sat out her year of competition and be eligible to compete for Germany as of January, 2004. Soooo, they may be at the German Nationals in Berlin, Jan. 2-4.

    It should be a very exciting event, with Ingo's three pairs (if they all compete) and Mikkeline Kierkgaard/Norman Jeschke (coached by Knut Schubert in Berlin). I'll certainly be watching for news from that event and let you know what happens.

    Anke G.

  7. #7
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

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    Ingo and his partner Mandy were one of my favorite pairs for a long time. I don't think they ever were really appreciated for their talents. Great story. Thanks for the update.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2003

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    I too was a big fan of Woetzl & Steuer. He was such a handsome man and I thought they became a magnificent pair. LOL...I think I was one of the few that actually thought they deserved the silver in Nagano. But, at least they had that world title from 1997. It sounds like Steuer's head and heart is in the right place...with his family.

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