Small federation, men, pairs, ice dance | Golden Skate

Small federation, men, pairs, ice dance

TT_Fin

Medalist
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Country
Finland
I have thought to start about this topic already for a long time. Yesterday I found and watched a video clip about Dr Virtanen in which he told about his career. It is in Finnish and probably geoblocked, because it is on national TV's website, so I don't add a link.

Finland is ice hockey country, as many of you know. FS is an expensive hobby, so that's rules out some people who would otherwise be interested. But those who could afford, how would they became more interested in Figure skating? Valtter told in that clip that when ice hockey juniors have been watching him skating, they have started to applause every time he had fallen. He has not been bullied very much at school, but ice hockey juniors have been worst. Ironic, but he was asked to be a team doctor for the Ice hockey team, JYP, the team in Jyväskylä, where he works now and after thinking he had said yes - he has also other places where he drives around and works as doctor. He told that he has no problem with that JYP team, he just tells he is now going to FS competition and it is ok for the team members.

Finland has had "pojat jäällä" which means "boys on ice" tour, where retired male skaters promote FS in different towns in Finland. Some results can be seen, because net weekend's nationals both juniors and seniors men have more participants than in years, if there will be no many WDs.

My point is, how could men's - also pairs and dance - FS get more valuation, the valuation it deserves, in small federations? Bulling maybe one thing boys dare not to start it, even if they were interested and can afford it. In Finland, where are about 300 Ice rinks and even many small communities have a rink of their own, during winter time there are hundreds of outdoor rinks. But parents want their sons to be next Teemu Selänne or Patrik Laine and put the boys more rather to an ice hockey team than to a figure skating team.
 

ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
This bullying from team sporters surprises me. But then, I've never been one for enjoying team sports (except for synchronised skating). I'd watch individual sports any day! Good for Valtter though that he didn't and doesn't let that deter him. He really is a skater to be proud of - and pretty smart into the bargain!

I'm not sure whether it is the size of the Federation that is a problem but more the whole idea that Figure skating is a 'girl's' sport which seems to play in quite a few countries. That would perhaps explain the bullying of boys having a go at Figure skating? And that includes the pairs and dance guys. There's often a shortage of male partners, and not only in small federations. But to turn this idea around?
 

4everchan

Observer
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 7, 2015
Country
Martinique
I have thought to start about this topic already for a long time. Yesterday I found and watched a video clip about Dr Virtanen in which he told about his career. It is in Finnish and probably geoblocked, because it is on national TV's website, so I don't add a link.

Finland is ice hockey country, as many of you know. FS is an expensive hobby, so that's rules out some people who would otherwise be interested. But those who could afford, how would they became more interested in Figure skating? Valtter told in that clip that when ice hockey juniors have been watching him skating, they have started to applause every time he had fallen. He has not been bullied very much at school, but ice hockey juniors have been worst. Ironic, but he was asked to be a team doctor for the Ice hockey team, JYP, the team in Jyväskylä, where he works now and after thinking he had said yes - he has also other places where he drives around and works as doctor. He told that he has no problem with that JYP team, he just tells he is now going to FS competition and it is ok for the team members.

Finland has had "pojat jäällä" which means "boys on ice" tour, where retired male skaters promote FS in different towns in Finland. Some results can be seen, because net weekend's nationals both juniors and seniors men have more participants than in years, if there will be no many WDs.

My point is, how could men's - also pairs and dance - FS get more valuation, the valuation it deserves, in small federations? Bulling maybe one thing boys dare not to start it, even if they were interested and can afford it. In Finland, where are about 300 Ice rinks and even many small communities have a rink of their own, during winter time there are hundreds of outdoor rinks. But parents want their sons to be next Teemu Selänne or Patrik Laine and put the boys more rather to an ice hockey team than to a figure skating team.
i am not sure what to say...because Canada is also an ice hockey nation... however, I believe the "learn-to-skate" nationwide programs have contributed a lot to develop figure skaters who were attracted to hockey but then considered figure skating after taking skating lessons.. like Patrick Chan... I find that very sad that bullying still exists for male figure skaters... gosh... but then, women are barely getting any recognition for playing stellar hockey. Anyways, i do not have much to offer,except that I believe that it may come from a skating skills program that benefits hockey players, speed skaters and figure skaters, so that children start skating young enough, and then can be oriented towards the sport that fits best their aptitudes and personalities.
 

lariko

Medalist
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Country
Canada
i am not sure what to say...because Canada is also an ice hockey nation... however, I believe the "learn-to-skate" nationwide programs have contributed a lot to develop figure skaters who were attracted to hockey but then considered figure skating after taking skating lessons.. like Patrick Chan... I find that very sad that bullying still exists for male figure skaters... gosh... but then, women are barely getting any recognition for playing stellar hockey. Anyways, i do not have much to offer,except that I believe that it may come from a skating skills program that benefits hockey players, speed skaters and figure skaters, so that children start skating young enough, and then can be oriented towards the sport that fits best their aptitudes and personalities.
Ten years ago, all starting to skate programs at our rec centre were very obviously and very aggressively oriented toward boys and hockey (or girls with brothers who wanted to play hockey). My girl-child wanted nothing to do with it after a few lessons, because it was ‘for boys’. Now they do have a skating club that does figure skating at least.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
I have thought to start about this topic already for a long time. Yesterday I found and watched a video clip about Dr Virtanen in which he told about his career. It is in Finnish and probably geoblocked, because it is on national TV's website, so I don't add a link.

Finland is ice hockey country, as many of you know. FS is an expensive hobby, so that's rules out some people who would otherwise be interested. But those who could afford, how would they became more interested in Figure skating? Valtter told in that clip that when ice hockey juniors have been watching him skating, they have started to applause every time he had fallen. He has not been bullied very much at school, but ice hockey juniors have been worst. Ironic, but he was asked to be a team doctor for the Ice hockey team, JYP, the team in Jyväskylä, where he works now and after thinking he had said yes - he has also other places where he drives around and works as doctor. He told that he has no problem with that JYP team, he just tells he is now going to FS competition and it is ok for the team members.

Finland has had "pojat jäällä" which means "boys on ice" tour, where retired male skaters promote FS in different towns in Finland. Some results can be seen, because net weekend's nationals both juniors and seniors men have more participants than in years, if there will be no many WDs.

My point is, how could men's - also pairs and dance - FS get more valuation, the valuation it deserves, in small federations? Bulling maybe one thing boys dare not to start it, even if they were interested and can afford it. In Finland, where are about 300 Ice rinks and even many small communities have a rink of their own, during winter time there are hundreds of outdoor rinks. But parents want their sons to be next Teemu Selänne or Patrik Laine and put the boys more rather to an ice hockey team than to a figure skating team.
The bullying is not a small fed only thing. It's been happening for years in the US and Canada as well. And not just men, ladies(women) as well.
 

mercybuckets

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
I'm also a hockey fan (pretty much the only team sport I enjoy tbh) and I often hear fan refer to figure skating in a derogatory way (what's he whining for, this isn't figure skating, etc) and I feel like that attitude is even more prominent among kids and teenagers. Presumably a large chunk of this is the usual sexism/homophobia but some of it is the "hockey culture" and how it seems natural to compare the two sports. They are so different of course and some people feel the need to tear one sport down to build the other up if that makes sense.

I personally feel that bullying has to be handled at the lower levels transitioning to the higher. I think many kids learn to skate, or can learn to skate but if they have to deal with the challenges of taking their skating to a higher (elite even) level and also contend with bullying at the same time, then that is quite a difficult thing.

I quit competitive dancing right at the point where it would have become more serious (I had won a few medals regionally and competed nationally but not placed high) because the training was brutal and the studio environment was catty and awful. I felt like I could deal with one but not both at the same time.
 
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mrrice

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
The bullying is not a small fed only thing. It's been happening for years in the US and Canada as well. And not just men, ladies(women) as well.
This is completely true! We've heard Uncle Dick talk about it before. He knew before the scores came out that Michelle Kwan wouldn't win because of the Judging Panel at the event. In Dance, this happens as well. Some judges will hold you back because they don't think you've "Earned" big scores. You see skaters lose an event, and you know in your heart they should have won. That "I Tonya" Scene is a perfect example. My dance students actually mentioned that scene to me as it reminded them of me. The swear words are bleeped.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xOlA8uwnq8
 

Flying Feijoa

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Country
New-Zealand
i am not sure what to say...because Canada is also an ice hockey nation... however, I believe the "learn-to-skate" nationwide programs have contributed a lot to develop figure skaters who were attracted to hockey but then considered figure skating after taking skating lessons.. like Patrick Chan... I find that very sad that bullying still exists for male figure skaters... gosh... but then, women are barely getting any recognition for playing stellar hockey. Anyways, i do not have much to offer,except that I believe that it may come from a skating skills program that benefits hockey players, speed skaters and figure skaters, so that children start skating young enough, and then can be oriented towards the sport that fits best their aptitudes and personalities.
This is a really good point. I've also noticed many figure skating coaches around here (Ontario) also give power skating lessons to hockey players. There's one at my rink who is now teaching a little hockey kid double-3s and rockers - it's gotten past the point of being directly applicable to hockey, so I suspect some hidden motives... :p
So yeah, like CanSkate, power skating for hockey kids could be analogous to the tactic of camouflaging vegetables in a meal for fussy eaters - maybe they will have a more open mind towards considering figure skating if it isn't packaged like 'figure skating' (with all the preconceived prejudices).
 

Ic3Rabbit

Patineuse élite et professionnelle
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Scotland
This is completely true! We've heard Uncle Dick talk about it before. He knew before the scores came out that Michelle Kwan wouldn't win because of the Judging Panel at the event. In Dance, this happens as well. Some judges will hold you back because they don't think you've "Earned" big scores. You see skaters lose an event, and you know in your heart they should have won. That "I Tonya" Scene is a perfect example. My dance students actually mentioned that scene to me as it reminded them of me. The swear words are bleeped.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xOlA8uwnq8
Yes, while all of that is true, I'm speaking more of the bullying at the rink as skaters try to train from the beginning stages up.
 
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