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View Full Version : Finnish skating news, part II



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Jaana
02-23-2012, 06:55 PM
Anyone who thinks that the ordinary folks who are starving in NK were the ones who got to see Laura skate are living in a fantasy world. Most likely it was the ruling class and elites and the their families as it is with most communist countries. So much for the communist philosophy of the peasants rising up against their oppressive leaders. Just not in those countries.

I think that a change will come one day, it has in so many other countries in one way or another... Let´s remember e.g. USA having slaves and eventually the freedom came. Not so quickly though, as I myself remember living the time when African-Americans were not allowed into same busses, schools, cafés, etc....

allezfred
02-23-2012, 08:31 PM
Anyone who thinks that the ordinary folks who are starving in NK were the ones who got to see Laura skate are living in a fantasy world. Most likely it was the ruling class and elites and the their families as it is with most communist countries. So much for the communist philosophy of the peasants rising up against their oppressive leaders. Just not in those countries.

Thank you for that. I'm sure we'd never have been able to figure it out for ourselves. :P

I'll bet the shuttle bus service to the rink was amazing though. :saint:

IDC a.k.a. Ritti
02-23-2012, 09:57 PM
Laura's own travel log will be published exclusively in the Urheilulehti magazine (that's why she has declined all interview requests, I suppose).
http://www.hs.fi/urheilu/Urheilulehti+Laura+Lepist%C3%B6+luopui+keimailevas ta+esityksest%C3%A4+Pohjois-Koreassa/a1305556276279

Tidbit: Her originally planned exhibition program (to music from the Chicago musical) was "too flirtatious" for the organizers, so she had to create a new one (to Dr. Zhivago) at last minute.
Laura:
"I have gotten bucketfuls of nasty comments. This trip and my thinking ability has been questioned totally."
"It was lovely to see how the local skaters enjoyed performing. For them the show was certainly a great experience."

kwanfan1818
02-24-2012, 12:26 AM
I wonder if she got to skate with the guy who barely missed qualifying at the Vancouver Olympics. I remember reading that he was self-taught from video, and his 3A to open his SP was as good anyone's in the competition.

love_skate2011
02-24-2012, 07:52 AM
Laura's own travel log will be published exclusively in the Urheilulehti magazine (that's why she has declined all interview requests, I suppose).
http://www.hs.fi/urheilu/Urheilulehti+Laura+Lepist%C3%B6+luopui+keimailevas ta+esityksest%C3%A4+Pohjois-Koreassa/a1305556276279

Tidbit: Her originally planned exhibition program (to music from the Chicago musical) was "too flirtatious" for the organizers, so she had to create a new one (to Dr. Zhivago) at last minute.
Laura:
"I have gotten bucketfuls of nasty comments. This trip and my thinking ability has been questioned totally."
"It was lovely to see how the local skaters enjoyed performing. For them the show was certainly a great experience."

thanks
there is a youtube clip from skaters in NK, the older ones anyone has the links, I forgot. I don't think all of them were the communist elites, it was full packed and had typical opening with skaters in synchronized dances. I agree with Laura just because its on its own inside world doeesn't mean we can deprive them of other forms of happiness, I am happy for Laura she made some people smile.

skating should be skating , from all walks of life without any
political connotation, there have been plenty of others
that have skated in NK.

cholla
02-24-2012, 12:06 PM
Competing or performing a made-for-pimping event that is blatantly in praise of, for the amusement of, and in worship of, this naughty ruler/ruling class = piss poor judgment at the least.
And piss poor hypocrisy from the American company that enlisted the skaters to go there, I guess.


Anyone who thinks that the ordinary folks who are starving in NK were the ones who got to see Laura skate are living in a fantasy world. Most likely it was the ruling class and elites and the their families as it is with most communist countries. So much for the communist philosophy of the peasants rising up against their oppressive leaders. Just not in those countries.

Most of the starving ordinary folks don't live in the capital city and have indeed other preoccupations than attending a skating show. But this year the entrance to one of the three shows was free so anyone from Pyonyang was at a liberty to come. It surely doesn't take away the fact this was all in honor of a dictator. But the skaters had the opportunity to talk with NK skaters and to a few others. They asked advices about their skating, about how to train properly, etc. It's not going to change the world but it's better than nothing. Though, I can understand the puzzlement at skaters going there. Personally, I wouldn't go (for such a reason) but the main thing is : who am I to judge ? Skating shows aren't helping to free the country but how many of you have done something concrete to help North Koreans ? It's easy to get all outraged when you're safely tucked in your nice house, sheltered behind great political principles with the Internet to communicate. Compared to North Koreans you have every single thing you need and what are you doing besides pinching your lips and condemning ? I've worked for a humanitarian organization and I've been denied entry to NK but at least I didn't content myself with being all contemptuous and judgmental of others. I know a few North Koreans who have escaped their country and frankly anyone who hasn't lived there is living in a fantasy world. Some of you may have read books written by dissidents but how many ? All this agitation and indignation is just words and wind. It's certainly not better or more helpful than skaters going there to make some money.

This is why I hate politics so much. People have great noble ideas and principles and to them this is enough to be decent and respectable human beings. A lot of things could be changed all over the world if people were moving their rear end on top or instead of only talking. But it takes much more efforts than only talking.

My apology to Finland and its skaters for being kind of off topic, I'm off my :soapbox: now.

Vagabond
02-24-2012, 03:18 PM
cholla, how do you feel about your fellow French, Péchalat and Bourzat, bowing to a portrait of Kim Jong-Il (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/519-gala-affairs-for-nathalie-p-chalat-and-fabian-bourzat)? And what is the reaction of other French people who know about that?

allezfred
02-24-2012, 03:44 PM
Someone is a tiny bit obsessed about it, aren't they? :shuffle:

Vagabond, do you never do things you don't believe in even if that means offending a host? Because if you don't, you're either the most perfect person in the universe or a liar. :P

Vagabond
02-24-2012, 04:00 PM
Vagabond, do you never do things you don't believe in even if that means offending a host?

Yes, I do, sometimes. But there are things, both social and professional, that, out of principle, I never do.

I once interviewed for a very well-paying job (advertised as "environmental" work) that turned out to be working for a tobacco company. I made it clear that I would not take the position. Of course, there are people -- even non-smokers -- who would have gone ahead with the interview and even accepted the position. Perhaps you are one of them.

And if you think that bowing to the portrait of the Dear Leader was purely social politeness and not done to make sure they got their paycheck, I have a bridge (http://www.americanmanufacturing.org/files/brooklyn-bridge.jpg) I'd like to sell you. ;)

cholla
02-24-2012, 05:03 PM
cholla, how do you feel about your fellow French, Péchalat and Bourzat, bowing to a portrait of Kim Jong-Il (http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/519-gala-affairs-for-nathalie-p-chalat-and-fabian-bourzat)? And what is the reaction of other French people who know about that?

Knowing Bourzat and his background, I don't worry about him becoming a convinced communist or showing any kind of genuine respect to a tyrant. The whole thing has always indeed been fascinating to him in a :wideeyes: kind of way, like it is to any Westerner witnessing it. Like China has been to me under Mao Zedong or URSS under Brejnev. And I've bowed to many people in Asia, including ones I didn't like, because it's part of regular politeness and courtesy, not the indubitable proof you worship the quicksand they walk in. If skating in NK doesn't help freeing the country, neither would spitting on its dictator portrait. As far as I know there has been no particular reaction to all this in France. There was an article in daily sports newspaper l'Equipe, it was rather positive with Nathalie talking about not mixing up politics and sport. As far as I know again, they haven't been pilloried for that and neither were other French athletes who went to NK before them. But even if the French were having a fit, it wouldn't change a single thing about what I think. If French opinion was as negative as what I read here, my reaction would be exactly the same : if you think that what they're doing is bad, then instead of wrapping yourself in the dignity of what you see as your social and political superiority, do better.

North Koreans who are struggling for a living don't give a shit about what you think and couldn't care less about your political righteousness and principles. They are several worlds apart from these beautiful thinking and theories. What they need is practical actions. So it might be better to go there and bow to a portrait because you can't do otherwise and then answer the questions your liaison officer and the local skaters ask about your sport and your life in the West, rather than comfortably sitting at a keyboard and lift a finger only to condem others. If I had been allowed into the country, I can tell you I'd bow as often as necessary to anyone and even more. Just as I wore a veil in Afghanistan, as much as it is against my principles and personal beliefs. I would strongly object to Péchalat/Bourzat skating in NK if they were rolling themselves on the floor laughing at my past humanitarian work or strolling around the world with a NK sponsor logo adorning their sport clothes. But they are not. P/B are both clever people with a lot of respect for humans in general and particularly suffering ones. They are not going to NK to support anything, but to work because they need it and to skate because they like it and are pleased to share what they like with people, wherever these people are. You don't have to believe me and you can still think they are dangerous communist fiends or even nitwits. But maybe it would be better to think a little bit before taking some words literally. Like, you see, to me it's really fascinating to see that people are so eager to spread justice in the world but are not ready to do anything else than talking. And people who do not have exactly the same principles than you are not any worse or any better. Allezfred can speak for himself but it's not because he knows some Asian customs and disagree with you that he has no principle at all. Seriously. I have been asked to translate some neo-nazi stuff once. I of course refused. I'm not saying "declined" but refused as if in saying no way are you kidding me ?, not only no, thank you. But had this translation been to collect money to treat children with cancer in a totalitarist country, I'd have done it. I guess you would not and I can understand it. I would not criticize and stigmatize you for that. Not sharing your own principles doesn't mean people are monsters or daydreamers, or idiots.

And really, I don't know why I'm at it again, I've already have had this kind of discussion on the subject on FSU and it's, unfortunately, for me a losing battle :lol:. This time I'm really out !

Vagabond
02-24-2012, 05:18 PM
They are not bringing any money to a dictatorship by doing so, they are collecting some, through an American company, which for me is really :rofl:. How come nobody has discussed this ?

Details, please? I hadn't heard of this before.

Sylvia
02-24-2012, 05:37 PM
I believe "Champions on Ice" is no longer an American company (ETA: It sounds like Sergio Cánovas's COI is responsible for the skaters that performed in North Korea this year).

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champions_on_Ice

In November 2006, Anschutz Entertainment Group and Sergio Cánovas purchased Champions on Ice. AEG is the owner of Champions on Ice U.S.A. while Sergio Cánovas owns the brand in the rest of the world. In 2012, Sergio Cánovas's new Champions on Ice began touring internationally, headlined by Evgeny Plushenko.

The Champions on Ice web site hasn't been updated since 2008: http://www.championsonice.net/champions_on_ice_staff.php

ioana
02-24-2012, 05:49 PM
In November 2006, Anschutz Entertainment Group and Sergio Cánovas purchased Champions on Ice. AEG is the owner of Champions on Ice U.S.A. while Sergio Cánovas owns the brand in the rest of the world.


Interesting...is this the same Anschutz family related to the Kween's ex-bf?

skatingfan5
02-24-2012, 05:51 PM
Interesting...is this the same Anschutz family related to the Kween's ex-bf?Yes.

ioana
02-24-2012, 06:15 PM
Yes.

All threads go back to her. Even Finnish skating news turned political debates.