|20 May 2007 13:52:09|
|Competitive Figure Skating FAQ: Skating People and Events|
Last-modified: 20 May 2007
COMPETITIVE FIGURE SKATING FAQ:
SKATING PEOPLE AND EVENTS
This article is part of the FAQ list for (amateur) competitive figure
skating. This section covers questions about specific skaters and
This FAQ list is posted monthly to rec.sport.skating.ice.figure. Send
corrections and suggestions to email@example.com.
This file is available in both plain-text and HTML/Web versions. You can
get to the HTML version from SkateWeb Figure Skating Page at URL:
Table of Contents
*  Who's this Dick Button guy, anyway?
*  Who was the first person to do [various jumps]?
*  When are upcoming competitions?
*  How do I get tickets for these competitions?
*  When is [some skating event] going to be shown on TV?
*  Why didn't [well-known skater] compete at [Skate America | Skate
Canada | NHK Cup | etc]?
*  What's the piece of music so-and-so is skating to?
*  Who are recent [US | world | Olympic | etc] champions?
*  How do I send fan mail to my favorite skater?
*  Is [some skater] on the net? What's their e-mail address?
*  How do I get a backstage pass for a show or competition?
*  Whatever happened to [some competitor from N years ago]?
*  How can I make a donation to help a competitor with their
*  How do you pronounce [some skater]'s name?
*  Are Robin and Steven Cousins cousins?
 Who's this Dick Button guy, anyway?
Dick Button was the 5-time world champion and 2-time Olympic
champion, from 1948 to 1952. He's widely credited with introducing
the modern athletic style of skating. He was the first person to do
a double axel, and the first to do a triple jump (a triple loop). He
also invented the flying camel spin.
Here are some other people you hear about from time to time:
Dick Button's coach. Also coached Dorothy Hamill. His skaters
are known for their superb spinning technique. He died in 1993.
Italian national champion (and European champion) during the
1950's, but better known as a coach. His skaters included Peggy
Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, John Curry, Robin Cousins, Caryn Kadavy,
Jill Trenary, and Nicole Bobek. Fassi died in 1997.
Canadian men's champion during the 1970's. Known as a dramatic
stylist, and for being very outspoken on skating matters.
Russian pair coach (e.g., of Mishkutenok and Dmitriev). Her
husband, Igor Moskvin, is also a coach, and is probably best
known for his association with the Protopopovs.
Canadian pairs champion (with her brother Val) during the 1970's,
now a choreographer (e.g., for Boitano and Yamaguchi), TV
commentator, and co-producer of "Stars On Ice".
coached Katarina Witt, Jan Hoffman, and most of the other
well-known East German singles skaters.
Ludmila & Oleg Protopopov
Russian pair skaters who won Olympic gold medals in 1964 and
1968. They're known for their ballet-like style. They also
invented pair moves such as the inside death spiral.
Canadian ice dancer; with her partner, the late Rob McCall, she
won a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics. Now a TV commentator.
F. Ritter Shumway
president of the USFSA at the time of the 1961 plane crash that
killed the entire US world team and coaching staff. He was
instrumental in rebuilding the figure skating program in the US
and setting up the memorial fund which now provides financial
support for nearly all competitive skaters.
former British (and world) pairs champion in the 1950's, now best
known as a pairs coach (e.g., of Babilonia & Gardner and Meno &
a British skater who was the 1937 world champion. She was the
first woman to execute a double jump (a double salchow) and
inventor of the camel and layback spins.
coach of Ukrainian skaters Viktor Petrenko and (formerly) Oksana
former choreographer for Canadian skaters Bourne & Kraatz and now
coach of Elvis Stojko; credited with starting the craze for
Canadian pairs skater from the 1960's, and long-time commentator
for Canadian TV.
10-time world and 3-time Olympic pairs skating champion (with two
different partners) from the (ex-)Soviet Union, now coaching in
Canadian competitor from the early 1980's who is often cited as
the canonical example of a skater who was pushed into the
spotlight as a child and burned out on the sport before reaching
Long-time head of the CFSA (now Skate Canada).
 Who was the first person to do [various jumps]?
Here's a partial listing.
Axel Paulsen, 1882 (on speed skates!); Sonja Henie, early 1920s
Ulrich Salchow, 1909; Theresa Weld, 1920 Olympics (first jump
performed in competition by a woman; she was officially
reprimanded for attempting anything so "unladylike".)
Werner Rittberger, 1910
Alois Lutz, 1913
Karl Schafer, 1925 (in practice only)
Karl Schafer, 1926 (in practice only); Barbara Ann Scott, 1942
Gillis Grafstrom, 1926 (in practice only); Cecelia Colledge,
1937(?) (first double jump by a woman)
Dick Button, 1948 Olympic games; Carol Heiss, 1953
Dick Button, 1952 Olympic games (first triple jump); Priscilla
Hill, 1975 Prague Skate
Ronnie Robertson, 1955 World championships; Petra Burka, 1962
Canadian championships (first triple jump by a woman)
men ?? (prior to mid-1970s, at least); ladies, Manuela Ruben and
Katarina Witt, 1981 World championships
Donald Jackson, 1962 World championships; Denise Biellmann, 1978
triple toe loop
Thomas Litz, 1964 World championships
Vern Taylor, 1978 World championships; Midori Ito, fall 1988
Eastern Japanese championships
quadruple toe loop
Kurt Browning, 1988 World championships
Tim Goebel, 1998 Junior Series Final; Miki Ando, 2002 Junior
Grand Prix Final (first quad jump by a woman)
triple (toe loop)/triple (toe loop) combination
Grzegorz Filipowski, 1980; Midori Ito, 1982(?)
triple loop/triple loop combination
Eric Millot, 1996 Champions Series Final; Tara Lipinski, 1997 US
quadruple jump in combination
Elvis Stojko, 1991 World Championships (quad/double); Elvis
Stojko, 1997 Champions Series Final (quad/triple)
quadruple jump in the short program
Min Zhang, 1999 Four Continents Championship
two different quads in the same program
Ilia Klimkin, 1999 Nebelhorn Trophy
three quads in the same program
Tim Goebel, 1999 Skate America
For more jump firsts, check out
 When are upcoming competitions?
Here's a list of major national and international events.
2007 Skate America Oct 26-28, 2007 Reading, PA
2007 Skate Canada Nov 1-4, 2007 Quebec City, QC
2007 Cup of China Nov 8-11, 2007 Beijing, China
2007 Trophee Eric Bompard Nov 15-18, 2007 Paris, France
2007 Cup of Russia Nov 22-25, 2007 Moscow, Russia
2007 NHK Trophy Nov 29-Dec 2, 2007 Sendai, Japan
2007 Grand Prix Final Dec 13-16, 2007 TBD
2008 Canadian Nationals Jan 16-20, 2008 Vancouver, BC
2008 US Nationals Jan 20-27, 2008 St. Paul, MN
2008 Europeans Jan 21-27, 2008 Zagreb, Croatia
2008 Four Continents Feb 4-10, 2008 TBD
2008 World Juniors Feb 25-Mar 2, 2008 Sofia, Bulgaria
2008 Worlds Mar 17-23, 2008 Gothenburg, Sweden
2008 Synchro Worlds Mar 28-30, 2008 Budapest, Hungary
2009 US Nationals Jan 18-25, 2009 Cleveland, OH
2009 Europeans Jan 19-25, 2009 Helsinki, Finland
2009 Four Continents Feb 2-9, 2009 TBD
2009 World Juniors Feb 23-Mar 1, 2009 Ostrava, Czech Republic
2009 Worlds Mar 23-29, 2009 Los Angeles, CA
2009 Synchro Worlds Mar 26-28, 2009 TBD
2010 Olympic Games Feb 12-28, 2010 Vancouver, BC
For a more complete listing of international events, check out the
ISU's web page at http://www.isu.org/.
 How do I get tickets for these competitions?
All-event tickets for US Nationals typically cost around $200-$600 a
set (depending on the quality of the seats) and go on sale two or
more years in advance.
The 2008 US Nationals site is at http://www.saintpaul2008.com/. For
information about other US Figure Skating-sponsored events, look at
the US Figure Skating web page at http://www.usfigureskating.org/.
Tickets for events in Canada typically go on sale about a year in
advance. For information about Canadian Nationals and other Skate
Canada events, visit their web site at http://www.skatecanada.ca/.
The 2008 Worlds web site is at http://www.vm2008.cornix.se/.
Competitions in Europe other than the European or World Championships
are usually sparsely attended and many people simply buy tickets at
the box office when they arrive instead of ordering them in advance.
There are a number of travel agencies that specialize in travel
packages (including hotel and transportation as well as event
tickets) for skating competitions, including those in Europe and
Asia. Check out advertisements in skating magazines or on the web,
or ask around for specific recommendations.
Note: Many of the best seats at competitions and ice shows are held
for event sponsors and/or group sales. You may have better luck
getting a good seat by going with a tour or a group from your local
skating club instead of ordering your ticket directly. For touring
ice shows, you can usually order tickets by mail from the tour
promoter before they go on sale through the arena box office; or you
can check back with the box office a few days before the event to see
if any leftover tickets for the better seats have been released.
 When is [some skating event] going to be shown on TV?
Heather Winfield maintains a long-term schedule of skating events
that are planned for broadcast on US television at
Most of the online TV listing web sites will also let you search
current listings for your area using specific keywords (e.g.,
 Why didn't [well-known skater] compete at [Skate America | Skate
Canada | NHK Trophy | etc]?
These fall international competitions are part of the "Grand Prix".
The ISU seeds the top-ranked skaters from the previous season's world
championships among the various fall competitions, so that each of
them attends a different two or three events. Other skaters are
assigned to these events based on their rankings in other
international events, or selected by the countries hosting the
competitions. The end result is that not all of the big-name skaters
are at every event, and unseeded skaters may wind up doing only one
fall competition, or not getting a competition assignment at all.
Sometimes skaters also pull out of these events due to injury,
illness, accidents, etc; or choose to perform in shows during the
fall season instead of compete in Grand Prix events.
 What's the piece of music so-and-so is skating to?
For current-season music information, check out the skater
biographies on the ISU web site: http://www.isufs.org/bios/index.htm
There are some databases of music used by skaters going back several
seasons available on the web. The URLs are:
 Who are recent [US | world | Olympic | etc] champions?
Here are the winners since 1990. They're listed for each year in
this order: US; Canadian; European; World Junior; World; Olympic.
2007: Evan Lysacek; Jeffrey Buttle; Brian Joubert;
Stephen Carriere; Brian Joubert
2006: Johnny Weir; Jeffrey Buttle; Evgeni Plushenko;
Takahiko Kozuka; Stephane Lambiel; Evgeni Plushenko
2005: Johnny Weir; Jeffrey Buttle; Evgeni Plushenko;
Nobunari Oda; Stephane Lambiel
2004: Johnny Weir; Emanuel Sandhu; Brian Joubert;
Andrei Griazev; Evgeni Plushenko
2003: Michael Weiss; Emanuel Sandhu; Evgeni Plushenko;
Alexander Shubin; Evgeni Plushenko
2002: Todd Eldredge; Elvis Stojko; Alexei Yagudin;
Daisuke Takahashi; Alexei Yagudin; Alexei Yagudin
2001: Timothy Goebel; Emanuel Sandhu; Evgeni Plushenko;
Johnny Weir; Evgeni Plushenko
2000: Michael Weiss; Elvis Stojko; Evgeni Plushenko;
Stefan Lindemann; Alexei Yagudin
1999: Michael Weiss; Elvis Stojko; Alexei Yagudin;
Ilia Klimkin; Alexei Yagudin
1998: Todd Eldredge; Elvis Stojko; Alexei Yagudin;
Derrick Delmore; Alexei Yagudin; Ilia Kulik
1997: Todd Eldredge; Elvis Stojko; Alexei Urmanov;
Evgeny Pluschenko; Elvis Stojko
1996: Rudy Galindo; Elvis Stojko; Vyacheslav Zagorodniuk;
Alexei Yagudin; Todd Eldredge
1995: Todd Eldredge; Sebastien Britten; Ilya Kulik;
Ilya Kulik; Elvis Stojko
1994: Scott Davis; Elvis Stojko; Viktor Petrenko;
Michael Weiss; Elvis Stojko; Alexei Urmanov
1993: Scott Davis; Kurt Browning; Dmitri Dmitrenko;
Evgeny Pliuta; Kurt Browning
1992: Christopher Bowman; Michael Slipchuk; Petr Barna;
Dmitri Dmitrenko; Viktor Petrenko; Viktor Petrenko
1991: Todd Eldredge; Kurt Browning; Viktor Petrenko;
Vasili Eremenko; Kurt Browning
1990: Todd Eldredge; Kurt Browning; Viktor Petrenko;
Igor Pashkevich; Kurt Browning
2007: Kimmie Meissner; Joannie Rochette; Carolina Kostner;
Caroline Zhang; Miki Ando
2006: Sasha Cohen; Joannie Rochette; Irina Slutskaya;
Yu-Na Kim; Kimmie Meissner; Shizuka Arakawa
2005: Michelle Kwan; Joannie Rochette; Irina Slutskaya;
Mao Asada; Irina Slutskaya
2004: Michelle Kwan; Cynthia Phaneuf; Julia Sebestyen;
Miki Ando; Shizuka Arakawa
2003: Michelle Kwan; Jennifer Robinson; Irina Slutskaya;
Yukina Ota; Michelle Kwan
2002: Michelle Kwan; Jennifer Robinson; Maria Butyrskaya;
Ann Patrice McDonough; Irina Slutskaya; Sarah Hughes
2001: Michelle Kwan; Jennifer Robinson; Irina Slutskaya;
Kristina Oblasova; Michelle Kwan
2000: Michelle Kwan; Jennifer Robinson; Irina Slutskaya;
Jennifer Kirk; Michelle Kwan
1999: Michelle Kwan; Jennifer Robinson; Maria Butyrskaya;
Daria Timoshenko; Maria Butyrskaya
1998: Michelle Kwan; Angela Derochie; Maria Butyrskaya;
Julia Soldatova; Michelle Kwan; Tara Lipinski
1997: Tara Lipinski; Susan Humphreys; Irina Slutskaya;
Sydne Vogel; Tara Lipinski
1996: Michelle Kwan; Jennifer Robinson; Irina Slutskaya;
Elena Ivanova; Michelle Kwan
1995: Nicole Bobek; Netty Kim; Surya Bonaly;
Irina Slutskaya; Chen Lu
1994: (title vacant); Josee Chouinard; Surya Bonaly;
Michelle Kwan; Yuka Sato; Oksana Baiul
1993: Nancy Kerrigan; Josee Chouinard; Surya Bonaly;
Kumiko Koiwai; Oksana Baiul
1992: Kristi Yamaguchi; Karen Preston; Surya Bonaly;
Laetitia Hubert; Kristi Yamaguchi; Kristi Yamaguchi
1991: Tonya Harding; Josee Chouinard; Surya Bonaly;
Surya Bonaly; Kristi Yamaguchi
1990: Jill Trenary; Lisa Sargeant; Evelyn Grossmann;
Yuka Sato; Jill Trenary
2007: Castile & Okolski; Dube & Davison; Savchenko & Szolkowy;
McLaughlin & Brubaker; Shen & Zhao
2006: Inoue & Baldwin; Marcoux & Buntin; Totmianina & Marinin;
Vlassov & Meekins; Pang & Tong; Totmianina & Marinin
2005: Orscher & Lucash; Marcoux & Buntin; Totmianina & Marinin;
Mukhortova & Trankov; Totmianina & Marinin
2004: Inoue & Baldwin; Marcoux & Buntin; Totmianina & Marinin;
Shestakova & Lebedev; Totmianina & Marinin
2003: Scott & Dulebohn; Lariviere & Faustino; Totmianina & Marinin;
Zhang & Zhang; Shen & Zhao
2002: Ina & Zimmerman; Sale & Pelletier; Totmianina & Marinin;
Riabchuk & Zakharov; Shen & Zhao;
Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze and Sale & Pelletier
2001: Ina & Zimmerman; Sale & Pelletier; Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze;
Zhang & Zhang; Sale & Pelletier
2000: Ina & Zimmerman; Sale & Pelletier; Petrova & Tikhonov;
Savchenko & Morozov; Petrova & Tikhonov
1999: Hartsell & Hartsell; Sargeant & Wirtz; Petrova & Tikhonov;
Obertas & Palamarchuk; Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze
1998: Ina & Dungjen; Sargeant & Wirtz; Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze;
Obertas & Palamarchuk; Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze; Kazakova & Dmitriev
1997: Ina & Dungjen; Savard-Gagnon & Bradet; Eltsova & Bushkov;
Hartsell & Hartsell; Woetzel & Steuer
1996: Meno & Sand; Menzies & Bombardier; Kazakova & Dmitriev;
Maksuta & Zhovnirsky; Eltsova & Bushkov
1995: Meno & Sand; Menzies & Bombardier; Woetzel & Steuer;
Petrova & Sikharulidze; Kovarikova & Novotny
1994: Meno & Sand; Brasseur & Eisler; Gordeeva & Grinkov;
Petrova & Sikharulidze; Shishkova & Naumov; Gordeeva & Grinkov
1993: Urbanski & Marval; Brasseur & Eisler; Eltsova & Bushkov;
Korshunova & Saveliev; Brasseur & Eisler
1992: Urbanski & Marval; Brasseur & Eisler; Mishkutenok & Dmitriev;
Krestianinova & Torchinski; Mishkutenok & Dmitriev; Mishkutenok & Dmitriev
1991: Kuchiki & Sand; Brasseur & Eisler; Mishkutenok & Dmitriev;
Krestianinova & Torchinski; Mishkutenok & Dmitriev
1990: Yamaguchi & Galindo; Landry & Johnston; Gordeeva & Grinkov;
Krestianinova & Torchinski; Gordeeva & Grinkov
2007: Belbin & Agosto; Dubreiul & Lauzon; Delobel & Schoenfelder;
Bobrova & Soloviev; Denkova & Staviski
2006: Belbin & Agosto; Dubreuil & Lauzon; Navka & Kostomarov;
Virtue & Moir; Denkova & Staviski; Navka & Kostomarov
2005: Belbin & Agosto; Dubreuil & Lauzon; Navka & Kostomarov;
Matthews & Zavozin; Navka & Kostomarov
2004: Belbin & Agosto; Dubreuil & Lauzon; Navka & Kostomarov;
Romanovskaya & Grachev; Navka & Kostomarov
2003: Lang & Tchernyshev; Bourne & Kraatz; Lovacheva & Averbukh;
Domnina & Shabalin; Bourne & Kraatz
2002: Lang & Tchernyshev; Bourne & Kraatz; Anissina & Peizerat;
Belbin & Agosto; Lobacheva & Averbukh; Anissina & Peizerat
2001: Lang & Tchernyshev; Bourne & Kraatz; Fusar-Poli & Margaglio;
Romaniuta & Barantsev; Fusar-Poli & Margaglio
2000: Lang & Tchernyshev; Dubreuil & Lauzon; Anissina & Peizerat;
Romaniuta & Barantsev; Anissina & Peizerat
1999: Lang & Tchernyshev; Bourne & Kraatz; Krylova & Ovsiannikov;
Silverstein & Pekarek; Krylova & Ovsiannikov
1998: Punsalan & Swallow; Bourne & Kraatz; Grishuk & Platov;
Joseph & Butler; Krylova & Ovsiannikov; Grishuk & Platov
1997: Punsalan & Swallow; Bourne & Kraatz; Grishuk & Platov;
Oulanova & Stifounin; Grishuk & Platov
1996: Punsalan & Swallow; Bourne & Kraatz; Grishuk & Platov;
Davydova & Kostomarov; Grishuk & Platov
1995: Roca & Sur; Bourne & Kraatz; Rahkomo & Kokko;
Sharutenko & Naumkin; Grishuk & Platov
1994: Punsalan & Swallow; Bourne & Kraatz; Torvill & Dean;
Nowak & Kolasinski; Grishuk & Platov; Grishuk & Platov
1993: Roca & Sur; Bourne & Kraatz; Usova & Zhulin;
Svirina & Sakhnovsky; Usova & Zhulin
1992: Sargent-Thomas & Witherby; Petr & Janoschak; Klimova & Ponomarenko;
Anissina & Averbukh; Klimova & Ponomarenko; Klimova & Ponomarenko
1991: Punsalan & Swallow; McDonald & Smith; Klimova & Ponomarenko;
Stergiadu & Razguliaiev; Duchesnay & Duchesnay
1990: Wynne & Druar; Borlase & Smith; Klimova & Ponomarenko;
Anissina & Averbukh; Klimova & Ponomarenko
For a more comprehensive event results database, check out the
Skatabase web site at http://www.eskatefans.com/skatabase/.
 How do I send fan mail to my favorite skater?
Your best bet is send it to them in care of the agent that represents
them professionally, the rink or skating club where they train, or
their national skating federation. If there is a web page about your
favorite skater, it will probably include a contact address.
A good source of this kind of directory information is the "Skater's
Edge Sourcebook". The cost is $39.95 plus $5 shipping; order from:
Skater's Edge Sourcebook
Box 500, Dept SM, Kensington MD 20895
The US Figure Skating web page at http://www.usfigureskating.org/
includes a club directory which may be helpful. Many clubs and rinks
also have their own web pages, which are listed on SkateWeb at
Here are a few other helpful addresses:
US Figure Skating:
20 First Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
voice (719)-635-5200, fax (719)-635-9548
865 Shefford Road, Gloucester, ON K1J 1H9
voice (613)-748-5635, fax (613)-748-5718
PO Box 5904, Rochester, MN 55903
Ch. de Primerose 2
 Is [some skater] on the net? What's their e-mail address?
Nowadays almost everyone is on the net. But only a handful of elite
or professional skaters have chosen to publicize their personal
e-mail addresses or set up an e-mailbox especially for fan mail.
Check web pages about the skater in question to see if the skater has
a public e-mail address listed. Otherwise, you'll have to stick with
snail mail. Please be respectful of skaters' privacy; the accepted
way to contact skaters is through their business address, NOT through
their home or personal address.
Incidentally, a few elite-level skaters do "lurk" at least
occasionally in this newsgroup, plus a number of other skaters have
family, friends, or other members of their entourage who follow this
newsgroup and/or other skating discussion forums on the net. You may
want to keep in mind that your comments about skaters may very well
find their way back to them, and exercise some discretion in what you
post in public.
 How do I get a backstage pass for a show or competition?
In general, you CAN'T get backstage passes unless you are a member of
the press or have some other valid reason for being there. Having
lots of random people wandering around backstage during the event
could be very distracting to the skaters, as well as presenting
legitimate security and liability problems. You will get a better
view of the show from your seat in the arena, anyway.
If you want to collect autographs or offer congratulations to
skaters, you may have better luck waiting for them after the show
outside the skaters' entrance to the arena or at their hotel.
However, DO exercise some discretion. You may only want a few
minutes of the skaters' time, but if you multiply that by their many
hundreds or thousands of fans, you can see how impossible it is for
the skaters to spend time chatting with everyone. It can also be
quite intimidating or overwhelming for skaters to be mobbed by fans
wherever they go. Don't harass or hound skaters, don't be rude or
intrusive, and don't be disappointed if your favorite skater doesn't
feel inclined to stop to chat with you.
Some specific situations where you SHOULDN'T pester skaters for
* When they are warming up, preparing to skate, or actually on the
ice (even in practices).
* When they are eating in a restaurant, or deep in conversation
with their coach, family, or friends.
* When they are sitting in the stands at a skating event watching
other skaters perform. (This is not only rude to the skater
you're trying to get an autograph from, but rude to all the
people sitting around them, and to the skater on the ice as
* When they are already surrounded by a mob of people.
* When they are standing outside in the cold or rain trying to get
into a car, taxi, or bus that is waiting for them.
* When *you* are a volunteer, caterer, etc working an event where
the skater appears.
 Whatever happened to [some competitor from N years ago]?
Debi Thomas retired from professional skating in 1992 in order to
attend medical school. She received her degree from Northwestern
University in 1997. Paul Wylie retired from full-time touring in
1998 in order to pursue an MBA at Harvard; he is now working in the
business field as well as doing some TV commentary work.
Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini have now retired from skating and
are working as TV commentators. Kitty Carruthers is coaching while
Peter Carruthers is a TV commentator. Midori Ito does commentary for
Japanese TV. Maria Butyrskaya is now working as a sports reporter
for Russian television.
Janet Lynn retired from skating many years ago and is married with a
number of children.
After getting in trouble with the law more times than anyone can
count, Tonya Harding has now taken up professional boxing.
Jill Trenary retired from amateur competition in late 1991. She is
now married to Christopher Dean and is no longer skating
professionally due to health problems. Torvill & Dean have retired
from touring but are still active as choreographers and have appeared
in a British TV series.
Isabelle and Paul Duchesnay retired from skating because of Paul's
serious back problems, and are now coaching in the US. Isabelle has
done commentary for French TV.
Robin Cousins has retired from skating as a performer although he is
still active as a skating choreographer and producer of ice shows.
He has also worked as a stage actor, appearing in musical productions
Toller Cranston now spends most of his time concentrating on his
career as an artist.
Christopher Bowman, Linda Fratianne, Holly Cook, Tiffany Chin, Peter
Oppegard, Jill Watson, Irina Rodnina, Suzanne Semanick, Scott
Gregory, Karen Courtland, Petr Barna, Dianne De Leeuw, Aren Nielsen,
Mark Mitchell, and Lisa Ervin are all working as coaches in the US.
Christine Hough and Doug Ladret have also embarked on coaching
careers. Michael Seibert is a choreographer, and Judy Blumberg still
skates occasionally as well as doing TV commentary and working with
the Ice Theatre of New York. Jojo Starbuck is a coach, and Ken
Shelley has been a judge and held a management position with an ice
show company. Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner still skate together,
but Randy has also become known as a choreographer while Tai designs
jewelry and skating clothing.
Scott Davis is now coaching in Canada, after touring with "Grease on
Ice" and other ice shows. Michael Chack has been touring Europe for
several years with "Holiday on Ice". Natasha Kuchiki skates with one
of the Disney ice shows.
Brian Boitano, Brian Orser, Nancy Kerrigan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Dorothy
Hamill, and Oksana Baiul have all cut back on their touring schedules
in recent years, but are still skating in occasional shows and
made-for-TV events. Rosalynn Sumners and Scott Hamilton have more or
less retired from professional skating now.
Sarah Hughes is attending Yale University. Ann Patrice McDonough and
Jennifer Kirk are also attending college and no longer skating
competitively. Tara Lipinski suffered a serious hip injury and is
not currently skating; Deanna Stellato and Erin Pearl have also
retired from skating due to injuries.
Gary Beacom has been deported from the US after serving a prison term
for income tax evasion, but is still skating professionally in
John Curry died of AIDS in 1994. 1972 Olympic champion Ondrej
Nepela, Canadian skaters Brian Pockar and Rob McCall, and US
competitor Robert Wagenhoffer have also died of AIDS.
 How can I make a donation to help a competitor with their training
Figure skating is a very expensive sport. It generally costs at
least $30,000 to $50,000 a year to compete at the national or
international level. While eligible skaters are now able to earn
good money from competing and touring, in practice only a handful of
the top competitors are being offered such opportunities. For most
other skaters, it's still a real struggle to make ends meet.
For more information about providing financial assistance to skaters,
visit the Skater Support web page at http://www.skatersupport.org/.
In the US, you basically have three options:
* You can make a donation to a charitable fund. The largest of
these is the Memorial Fund, established by the USFSA in memory of
the 1961 world team members who were killed in a plane crash.
You can restrict your donation to go to skaters from a particular
club, if you want, but you cannot funnel your contributions to a
specific skater through the Memorial Fund. Most (all?) skaters
who compete at the national level are apparently eligible for at
least a token subsidy from the Memorial Fund. Donations to the
Memorial Fund are tax-deductable. Checks should be sent to:
US Figure Skating Memorial Fund
20 First Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906
More information is available at
The New England Amateur Skating Foundation also distributes
financial support for skaters (including many outside the New
England region). Donations are tax-deductable; you can suggest
that your money go to specific skaters, but the final decisions
are made by committee. Checks should be sent to:
New England Amateur Skating Foundation
PO Box 6881, Providence RI 02940
401-861-9266, Fax 401-861-3628
In Canada, Skate Canada has an Athlete Trust Fund that accepts
donations to support Canadian skaters. More information can be
found at http://www.skatecanada.ca/en/athletes/support/how/.
Skate Canada Athlete Trust
865 Shefford Road, Gloucester, ON K1J 1H9
Some training centers and clubs have also established their own
charitable foundations to benefit their skaters. For more
information, check out the Skater Support web site at
* If you want to help a specific skater, the best way to do it is
just to send them a check directly as a personal gift. (Most
skaters would be intensely grateful for even a small contribution
because it's a sign that people appreciate them and have
confidence in them, as much as concrete financial assistance.)
Donations you make this way are not tax-deductable for you.
* If you want to set up a sponsorship arrangement where the skater
promotes your business or performs other services in exchange for
financial support, you have to negotiate a contract through their
national federation (US Figure Skating for US skaters) rather
than with the skater directly. This is necessary to protect the
skater's eligible status.
 How do you pronounce [some skater]'s name?
Here are some approximate hints, for English-speakers:
* Sjoukje Dijkstra: SHOW-kyeh DAY-kstra
* (Anton) Sikharulidze: seek-har-oo-LEED-zay
* (Tanja) Szewczenko: shev-CHEN-ko
* (Alexei) Yagudin: ya-GOO-din
* (Ilia) Kulik: koo-LEEK
* (Elena) Gedevanishvili: geh-deh-vah-NISH-vil-ee
 Are Robin and Steven Cousins cousins?
No, they're not related. But Robin's nephew Tristan Cousins is a
skater, and Steven's wife Kristina is a former ice dancer who now
skates professionally using her married name.