Peter Oppegard being investigated over abuse allegations | Page 2 | Golden Skate

Peter Oppegard being investigated over abuse allegations

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el henry

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I'm assuming at his age the kids are grown and gone.
Peter and Karen married in 2003, I believe. Karen is younger than Peter.

If their daughters were born in 2004 and 2005, they would be 15 and 16, if my math is correct. ETA: And I don't know when they were born, I am just going with the oldest possible date.
 

brightphoton

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It sure is nice to have people care about you so much. I assume the concern over Peter's children is their upbringing if the skating community or media caught wind that he was throwing coffee at and biting his students. He might lose his job, although I get the feeling that his employment is determined entirely by the Kwan family.

Worst case scenario, he'd have to work at Applebee's and Karen would become a single mom, which isn't that bad. Certainly not as bad as keeping him on as a coach for 15+ years with no accountability.

Maybe coaches should start wearing body cams, like police do.
 

ice coverage

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... It may have to come to the point where coaches cannot engage with athletes except in public and any breach of this (asking the athlete to come into their office or step outside) will result in consequences, even if there's no malice intended. ...

FYI, policies along these lines already are in effect, per the USFS SafeSport Handbook.
Not only for in-person interactions, but also for electronic communications (such as Zoom sessions).
 

anonymoose_au

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FYI, policies along these lines already are in effect, per the USFS SafeSport Handbook.
Not only for in-person interactions, but also for electronic communications (such as Zoom sessions).
Thanks for the info.

It's a shame that it comes to this sort of thing (I like to think on the whole people are good), but child safety has to be the priority.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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What's sad is that the girl who Oppegard bit wasn't the one who filed the complaint with Safesport. Which means that there were enough other abuse victims to start a SafeSport investigation. And who knows how many more victims there are out there, who are staying silent?


Michelle Kwan owns the East West ice rink, hm. Does the Kwan family has liability for this? Obviously running a rink with an abusive coach is bad for business and PR, but maybe students feared reprisals from the owners if they accused a family member of abuse. I don't know how many ice rinks there are in Los Angeles. If they got exiled or kicked out from East West, would there be another ice rink that they could take their business to?
NO, Michelle Kwan does not own the East West Ice Rink, The Kwan Family does/did and can fire who they wish. There are many other rinks a fired coach could go to in order to coach but they won't want them with allegations like this one.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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There are several rinks in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. However, the prestige of skating at Michelle Kwan's Rink is huge for all the skaters who looked up to, and continue to look up to the Kwan Family. I believe these coaches are hired by the skaters, not the rink, so I'm not sure how much responsibility lies with the Kwan's. Most skaters rent, or book, Ice Time and are basically let into the rink by the staff and then they're on their own. I imagine Peter had keys since he was married to Karen.
Actually, the rink and the figure skating coach supervisor/head coach has alot to do with the hiring and firing of coaches at a particular rink. They are hired by the rink, and then the student/families can pay them to coach their kids from said rink.
 

b-man

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NO, Michelle Kwan does not own the East West Ice Rink, The Kwan Family does/did and can fire who they wish. There are many other rinks a fired coach could go to in order to coach but they won't want them with allegations like this one.
The East West website now indicates they are in common ownership with Center Ice arena in Ontario. Do you know how that affects the Kwan family ownership?

I note Karen Kwan, Caroline Z. and Grant H. are listed as staff coaches at East West, which is currently closed. Oppegard of course no longer is.

I estimate one of Karen's children is age 10-12, based on elapsed time since i saw her. I wonder if she has skating in her future?
 

brightphoton

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A LinkedIn profile lists a Peter Oppegard as "Director of Figure Skating" at the East West Ice Palace. He's held that job title since May 2005. Another Peter Oppegard profile has the job listings of head coach and choreographer.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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A LinkedIn profile lists a Peter Oppegard as "Director of Figure Skating" at the East West Ice Palace. He's held that job title since May 2005. Another Peter Oppegard profile has the job listings of head coach and choreographer.
Well, despite what a linked in profile has, he's obviously not holding said titles anymore due to the investigation.
 

brightphoton

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Well, despite what a linked in profile has, he's obviously not holding said titles anymore due to the investigation.
Yes, I suppose updating his social media profile has gone down on the priority list :shrug:

But I wanted to add that information because if he was the head coach and responsible for hiring coaches, then people couldn't report allegations of coach abuse to him. He wouldn't fire himself.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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Yes, I suppose updating his social media profile has gone down on the priority list :shrug:

But I wanted to add that information because if he was the head coach and responsible for hiring coaches, then people couldn't report allegations of coach abuse to him. He wouldn't fire himself.
Yes, but the rink operators/owners could. So they would have it reported to them, if a skating club ran out of that rink then the president of that would have something to do with the parents reporting to them as well and the firing.
 

mrrice

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Yes, but the rink operators/owners could. So they would have it reported to them, if a skating club ran out of that rink then the president of that would have something to do with the parents reporting as well and the firing.
I agree. It could ruin a rink into closing if it was discovered that they knew and covered up abuse. Fortunately, he was caught and punished this time. However, if he would do this in public, it was not the first time he's been abusive. It's a good thing he was caught. I will be following to see where this story goes.
 

b-man

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I don't remember this, but Peter listed as coach of Yu Na Kim in Oct, 2010. There are a few pics on the web which I couldn't post.
 

CoyoteChris

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I just read that they are "Estranged" but not officially divorced. How terrible for their children.
First I heard of estranged....wonder what she knows? I just saw them on the Telly together coaching as I was watching an old DVD...
Its been a long time since I have read, "Frozen Teardrop" by famous figure skater Lucinda Ruh. She describes a well know here Japanese coach who she states beat his students with their skate guards and did other things I wont talk about. My memory is fading but IIRC she says the coach's famous daughter ( who I think is also an estranged wife) told her to get away from him and go to America like she did.
 
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brightphoton

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First I heard of estranged....wonder what she knows? I just saw them on the Telly together coaching as I was watching an old DVD...
Its been a long time since I have read, "Frozen Teardrop" by famous figure skater Lucinda Ruh. She describes a well know here Japanese coach who she states beat his students with their skate guards and did other things I wont talk about. My memory is fading but IIRC she says the coach's famous daughter ( who I think is also an estranged wife) told her to get away from him and go to America like she did.
I think it was Yuka Sato. I haven't read that book, but she was a champion in Japan with a skating coach dad, then moved to America.

I don't remember this, but Peter listed as coach of Yu Na Kim in Oct, 2010. There are a few pics on the web which I couldn't post.
He also coached Caroline Zhang and Grant Hochstein during the latter part of their careers. They had nothing but positive things to say about him. However, there was a very strange period in which Caroline refused to have a coach "represent" her at competitions. People first noticed it when Caroline was at a regionals or sectionals, and during the kiss and cry, Caroline would sit by herself -- even though Peter Oppegard was only 20 feet away and he wasn't helping another one of his skaters. On paper, Oppegard was still listed as her coach, but in all practical terms, she was coaching herself. Then she showed up to Nationals without a coach.

Later she and Grant did an interview on TSL, and she said she wanted to go coachless because she placed last at 2013 Skate America, and she was so disappointed in her results that she didn't want a coach to be associated with that.

That’s such a strange dynamic, as if she were worried about Peter’s ego or reputation. I would’ve thought, who cares? You pay him, he coaches you. Aside from Sonja Henie or Yuna Kim, all skaters go through tough seasons or wane in the latter part of their careers. And Sonja's dominance was partly because her father would probably get his mobster friends to break the knees of any judge who placed his daughter lower than 1st.
 

Ic3Rabbit

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I think it was Yuka Sato. I haven't read that book, but she was a champion in Japan with a skating coach dad, then moved to America.
Please don't speculate. Yes, she was coached by Nabuo Sato, but he never beat her. She has discussed openly that there were Japanese coaches that she did see beat students at the training center she was at in Japan, but not Nabuo. Her own mother on the other hand, beat her instead while in Japan after witnessing it with others (and feeling like Lucinda wasn't working hard enough).
 

b-man

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He also coached Caroline Zhang and Grant Hochstein during the latter part of their careers. They had nothing but positive things to say about him. However, there was a very strange period in which Caroline refused to have a coach "represent" her at competitions. People first noticed it when Caroline was at a regionals or sectionals, and during the kiss and cry, Caroline would sit by herself -- even though Peter Oppegard was only 20 feet away and he wasn't helping another one of his skaters. On paper, Oppegard was still listed as her coach, but in all practical terms, she was coaching herself. Then she showed up to Nationals without a coach.

Later she and Grant did an interview on TSL, and she said she wanted to go coachless because she placed last at 2013 Skate America, and she was so disappointed in her results that she didn't want a coach to be associated with that.

That’s such a strange dynamic, as if she were worried about Peter’s ego or reputation. I would’ve thought, who cares? You pay him, he coaches you. Aside from Sonja Henie or Yuna Kim, all skaters go through tough seasons or wane in the latter part of their careers. And Sonja's dominance was partly because her father would probably get his mobster friends to break the knees of any judge who placed his daughter lower than 1st.
I knew Caro and Grant a little, and I was at 2013 Skate America in Detroit. As I remember it, Caroline was injured prior to that SA, and coach O. felt she was not ready and should not compete. GP assignments are prestigious and difficult to get, so Caroline decided to compete anyway without Peter at the boards. She had a bad fall in the SP, and probably should have withdrawn. Yet she continued, skating injured in the FS the next day. She had additional falls in the FS, with one of her worst performances.

Interesting you mention being worried about a coach's reputation. Earlier in her career, Caroline had a bad skate, and was chastised by her then coach, to the effect, don't ever skate like that again and embarrass me. I'm not going to mention which coach it was, but Caroline did not feel comfortable remaining with that coach, and soon moved on. She may have become sensitive to a coaches reputation from that earlier incident.

Congratulations to Grant and Caroline, who are expecting a baby girl.
 

brightphoton

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I knew Caro and Grant a little, and I was at 2013 Skate America in Detroit. As I remember it, Caroline was injured prior to that SA, and coach O. felt she was not ready and should not compete. GP assignments are prestigious and difficult to get, so Caroline decided to compete anyway without Peter at the boards. She had a bad fall in the SP, and probably should have withdrawn. Yet she continued, skating injured in the FS the next day. She had additional falls in the FS, with one of her worst performances.

Interesting you mention being worried about a coach's reputation. Earlier in her career, Caroline had a bad skate, and was chastised by her then coach, to the effect, don't ever skate like that again and embarrass me. I'm not going to mention which coach it was, but Caroline did not feel comfortable remaining with that coach, and soon moved on. She may have become sensitive to a coaches reputation from that earlier incident.

Congratulations to Grant and Caroline, who are expecting a baby girl.
Oh no, poor Caroline :( It's sad that her coach's comments still had psychological effects years later. I used to wonder whether Peter said something to her, but at least now I know it wasn't him ...
 
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