Surprising & Fun Facts About Skaters | Golden Skate

Surprising & Fun Facts About Skaters

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Country
United-States
Usually, surprising and fun facts about skaters lurk in the depths of Fan Fests or in the footnotes of their biographies. Do you know any tidbits about your favorites that you think are not general knowledge? It is still the off season, and we would like to know! No gossip though.

Here are a few things I know:

Elaine Zayak had only a partial left foot.
At age two, she lost three toes on her left foot as a result of a lawn mower accident. On the advice of her doctors, she began figure skating as physical therapy. Her left boot was stabilized with a wood mold to compensate for the irregularity in the shape of her left foot.

Mervin Tran competed seriously in track and field!
He competed at the provincial track and field championships in the high jump and the 100-meter hurdles, finishing fifth in the hurdles.

What should we know about your favorites, but don't?
 

LutzDance

On the Ice
Joined
May 9, 2019
Nathan Chen trivia:

1. His Chinese first name was originally 微, meaning tiny, presumably because he's the youngest of five Chen kids. It was changed to 巍, which has the same pronunciation as 微 but means the magnificence and grandeur of mountains.

2. He trained all the way up to Level 9 in gymnastics. He also won boys' AA at 2008 Utah State Gymnastics Championships.

3. He passed USFS silver dance in 2011, meaning that he could do patterns like tango and foxtrot.

4. In addition to figure skating, hockey, piano, ballet, and gymnastics, violin was once also part of his extracurricular regimen. He was so bad at it that his mom begged him to put the mute on :rofl:

ETA: 5. He went to the same high school as Michelle Kwan: Rim of the World High School, before switching to online education.
 
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CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
I was surprised to learn during the making of the basic FanFest post for Nika Osipova and Dmitry Epstein that Nika in the past also had skated with Alexandr Galliamov - the now well known World Champion with Anastasia Mishina.

I had a similar experience when making out the Fan Fest post for the very promising Advanced Novice skater from Cyprus, Stefania Yakovleva (which I can't post yet because I have no idea what age she is. At a guess, I would say that she is still under 13). I discovered that her coach is Nikita Pchelyakov, who is the former Ice Dance partner of Ekaterina Mironova, who now skates with Evgenii Ustenko.

Ekaterina Mironova / Nikita Pchelyakov - 2014 NRW Trophy Pattern Dance 1
Ekaterina Mironova / Nikita Pchelyakov - 2014 NRW Trophy Pattern Dance 2
Ekaterina Mironova / Nikita Pchelyakov - 2014 NRW Trophy Free Dance

And I only found out there now (when I looked up their ISU Bio to check the spelling of Ustenko's name) that Mironova is the daughter of Elena Sokolova, who I remember watching during 2003 Euros, where she and Irina Slutskaya had a great fight for the Ladies title.

Elena Sokolova - 2003 European Championships SP
Elena Sokolova - 2003 European Championships FS

That was the competition where I properly got interested in figure skating, after dipping in and out for a couple of years.

Small world, eh?

CaroLiza_fan
 

ladyjane

Medalist
Joined
Jun 26, 2012
Country
Netherlands
I didn't realise Elena was old enough to have a daughter ready to compete! In my memories she was the fresh faced young girl who nearly beat Irina (and that was right, except that I just didn't consider her growing older and having a family). Nice surprise, @CaroLiza_fan !
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
Daughter of Cupcake! :love:

Does that make her a petit four?

:love:

Great analogy! :bow:

I didn't realise Elena was old enough to have a daughter ready to compete! In my memories she was the fresh faced young girl who nearly beat Irina (and that was right, except that I just didn't consider her growing older and having a family). Nice surprise, @CaroLiza_fan !

Actually, I have been doing some more digging, and it is now clear that Ekaterina Mironova's mother is a different Elena Sokolova.

I looked at Ekaterina's Date Of Birth (as per her ISU Bio), and realised that she was born 9 months and 2 weeks after 2003 Europeans. And I understandably put 2 and 2 together and thought "Ah. The petit four was the result of some baking that was done shortly after Euros".

But, when I looked up Cupcake's competitions from the following season, I spotted that she competed at Skate Canada. Which was held 2 weeks before Ekaterina was born.

Elena Sokolova - 2003 Skate Canada FS

No way is Elena 9 months pregnant in that video!

So, I made a mistake. Sorry folks. :slink:

But, at least it led to a nice trip down memory lane. :biggrin:

Oh, and I am the same, @ladyjane . I still think of retired skaters as still being the age they were when they were competing! :p

CaroLiza_fan
 

soccerjc77

Rinkside
Joined
Nov 29, 2020
The off-ice trainer of Joannie Rochette who was a kinesiologue (Marilyn Luis) told me that she found it funny that Joannie have accept a publicity for water (Amaro) : https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CctYgcMXEAEyqQb?format=jpg&name=medium
http://www.signmedia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/SAM_0916.jpg

Because Marilyn Luis told me that Joannie when she was training with her in the beginning told Joannie to drink more water in her training and Joannie said to Marilyn that she doesn't like drinking water. But in the future, Marilyn said that Joannie finally accept later to drink more water for her training. I was finding this story funny !
 

anonymoose_au

Insert weird opinion here
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Country
Australia
When Kurt Browning first started figure skating he wore white boots......His parents bought them used if I remember correctly. He wanted to be a hockey player but was too small.
Plushy started out in white boots too, a neighbour bought them for her daughter, but the daughter hated skating so she gave them to Plushy.

Then the neighbour had to tell them to go to an ice rink because Plushy started off by skating on the street :laugh:

He was still wearing white skates at his first Junior Worlds since he was too small to fit black skates at the time.
 

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Country
United-States
Everyone knows Charlie White was a good hockey player, but did you know, he played the violin in his school's string quartet?

At the time of the 2014 Olympics, he had not played for quite some time.

He made a bet with the Good Morning.America people that if he and Meryl Davis won Olympic gold in ice dance, he would play on the show

Here he is, paying his bet:


 

Ella5555

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Plushy started out in white boots too, a neighbour bought them for her daughter, but the daughter hated skating so she gave them to Plushy.

Then the neighbour had to tell them to go to an ice rink because Plushy started off by skating on the street :laugh:

He was still wearing white skates at his first Junior Worlds since he was too small to fit black skates at the time.
And to carry on with same theme: Nathan Chen started out with white boots as well. They were hand-me-downs from his sister. It appears that quite a few little boys got their start that way.
 

gordana

On the Ice
Joined
Sep 17, 2015
Country
Russia
that Mironova is the daughter of Elena Sokolova
It is Mironova and Ustenko coach Elena Sokolova who is her mother. In a relatively recent interview coach Elena told that people very often mistake her identity with a more famous and successful skater Elena Sokolova. So, don't worry much since you are a foreigner and have a respective discount. ;)

And now while I was checking the information about Mirionova - Sokolova relation, I have found a curious fact for this topic. Ekaterina came to a skating rink because her mother worked there and once wanted to skate herself and started at the age of six
ice dancing at once, without any singles skating experience.
 

CaroLiza_fan

EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Country
Northern-Ireland
It is Mironova and Ustenko coach Elena Sokolova who is her mother. In a relatively recent interview coach Elena told that people very often mistake her identity with a more famous and successful skater Elena Sokolova. So, don't worry much since you are a foreigner and have a respective discount. ;)

And now while I was checking the information about Mirionova - Sokolova relation, I have found a curious fact for this topic. Ekaterina came to a skating rink because her mother worked there and once wanted to skate herself and started at the age of six
ice dancing at once, without any singles skating experience.

Since you are more familiar with the situation, I want to ask you about something I was wondering after I realised my mistake. Did Mironova's mother ever compete as well? After all, it's common for coaches to be former skaters themselves. And, if she did compete, was there ever any confusion with the more famous Elena back then?

If the two Elenas were contemporaries, I suppose using their patronyms would have avoided any potential confusion (like we had a few years ago with the two skaters called Anastasia Gubanova, and more recently with the two skaters called Anna Shcherbakova). So, it's a pity that whoever compiled the ISU Bio did not include the patronym any time the coach's name was mentioned.

That is indeed uncommon for skaters to go straight to Ice Dance without first doing Singles. But, I think I might have another example. Returning to the Cypriot theme that started this conversation, I created a Fan Fest a few years ago for their star Ice Dance partnership, Angelina Kudriavtseva / Ilia Karankevich. I found 2 seasons worth of Singles results for Ilia on his fskate.ru profile. But I can find absolutely no results for Angelina before she started skating with Ilia. (She did not have a profile on fskate.ru).

So, unless there are records for her on Russian websites that I don't know about, it looks like Angelina does not have a history of competing in Singles skating.

Anyway, thank you so much for the additional information about Ekaterina Mironova and her mother.

CaroLiza_fan
 

figureskatingandrainbows

Happy Olympic Season!
Medalist
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Shun Sato received an amulet from Yuzu (his skating icon) when he was five that he still uses as a good-luck charm. He also has a goldfish.
Kazuki Tomono has the best hobbies. Some highlights are ramen hunting, shoe polishing, thrift store tours, and saunas
Yuma Kagiyama trained in jazz dance when he was younger and attends high school with Shinnosuke Oka, who won multiple medals at the Junior Worlds for artistic gymnastics in 2019
 

dorispulaski

Wicked Yankee Girl
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
Country
United-States
I just read an interesting article by a guy who interviewed a lot of the old time skaters. It had some fun and surprising items.


Janet Lynn-talk about a sheltered life:
She claimed that when she signed her contract with Ice Follies in 1975, she did not know how to write a check, and when she was married two years later, she did not know how to start a washing machine.

Peggy Fleming, not so much.
In 1972, Jenkins had a Porsche 911T, and occasionally raced it. Not to be outdone, the competitive Ms. Fleming got behind the wheel and did some racing herself.And I would have thought that a very un-Peggy Fleming thing to do — except I saw her chugging down a Budweiser


Peggy was riding in VP Biden's Motorcade at 2010 Olympics. A car rear ended her car and she was injured.


And Carol Heiss was in a dreadful movie called "Snow White and the Three Stooges."
 
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LiamForeman

Medalist
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
:love:

Great analogy! :bow:



Actually, I have been doing some more digging, and it is now clear that Ekaterina Mironova's mother is a different Elena Sokolova.

I looked at Ekaterina's Date Of Birth (as per her ISU Bio), and realised that she was born 9 months and 2 weeks after 2003 Europeans. And I understandably put 2 and 2 together and thought "Ah. The petit four was the result of some baking that was done shortly after Euros".

But, when I looked up Cupcake's competitions from the following season, I spotted that she competed at Skate Canada. Which was held 2 weeks before Ekaterina was born.

Elena Sokolova - 2003 Skate Canada FS

No way is Elena 9 months pregnant in that video!

So, I made a mistake. Sorry folks. :slink:

But, at least it led to a nice trip down memory lane. :biggrin:

Oh, and I am the same, @ladyjane . I still think of retired skaters as still being the age they were when they were competing! :p

CaroLiza_fan

Well, in your defense, both Slutskaya and Sokolova were always rumored to be pregnant since 1998!! lol
 
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gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
That is indeed uncommon for skaters to go straight to Ice Dance without first doing Singles.
It's certainly less common, but not all that rare. Mostly it depends on what kind of training is available where the skater is starting out.

Obviously everyone needs to learn the beginning basics of how to skate at all before they can begin to train in any discipline of figure skating. And young kids starting out in the sport do tend to be more interested in learning jumps and spins. But if ice dance training is available to them locally from the low levels, some do start out in that discipline from the beginning.

E.g., I'm pretty sure Christopher Dean began his training as an ice dancer from the start (remember that Great Britain was still the dominant force in that discipline as of the 1960s). And undoubtedly a number of Soviet-trained ice dancers -- I believe Maya Usova and Evgeny Platov, among others. More recently, I think many of the WISA skaters went straight from Learn-to-Skate lessons into the ice dance academy.

Even those who did train in singles for a few years before taking up ice dance may not have gotten to the level where they would have competed in singles competitions the results of which would be recorded anywhere, even if they did enter some low-level local events.
 
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