View Full Version : My best close-to-skater experience:)

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01-05-2011, 08:10 PM
Wow, your stories are very impressive, especially the one about the fire alarm, which is scary and thrilling at the same time. I don't have many stories to tell, because I've been regularly attending competitions for two years only, and I've never talked to skaters or members of skaters' families. But when I was returning from Saransk to Moscow by train after the Russian Nationals, I had an unexpected encounter with the skating world. My friends had a compartment in another car, and I had to pass through five or six cars to visit them. And there, in the middle of a narrow corridor, I found myself face to face with TAT! Actually, when I encounter celebrities, I always have a strange impulse to say hello, because they are, in fact, the people I know. But since they have no idea who I am, I always refrain from doing it. So, I just lowered my eyes and got out of the way to let her pass, but she suddenly said 'Hello!' to me :wideeyes: It turned out that she just wanted to ask where the restaurant was. I answered and rushed away, totally star struck, only to encounter Mukhortova, Blanchard and Bariev in the next car :lol: By the time I got to my friends' compartment, I had already seen about ten skaters and coaches, plus I later saw Zhulin and Vodorezova at the railway station in Moscow. I did not expect so many skaters and other skating-related people to return to Moscow before the gala, though it seemed logical for them to return as early as they could to spend the holidays at home.
As for other experiences, the closest was the one I had with Johnny Weir at 2009 CoR. He came to the stands to watch the ladies' free skate, and the members of his fan club, who sat next to us, saw him and rushed to his stand during the break to take photos and to chat with him. They remained in the stands for some time, but then the competition began, and they had to go out in order not to distract the audience. I had no idea where they went, but then my friend decided to go home earlier, and two minutes after she left, she sent me an sms 'Johnny is in the foyer'. Though I did not know that he was going to attend the competitions, I took a gift for him with me (just in case...) So I went out to the foyer, but Johnny was shut in the circle of his fans, and it was really hard to access him :lol: I tried to give the gift to Tara Modlin asking her to pass it to Johnny later, but she just waved me aside and pointed at Johnny, indicating that I must give it to him directly. So I waited until he said goodbye to his fans, came up to him, muttered something stupid and handed him the gift. Although he looked tired, he was really sweet, thanked me in Russian and even gave me a hug. I still smile when I remember about this, though I'm a bit ashamed of myself for being so shy and behaving like a fool, LOL

01-05-2011, 09:12 PM
I met some skaters at Galas and competition, but I also get very often star struck and don't try to speak with them. :)

Originally Posted by eleonorad
Apparently one skater on which everyone agrees is John Kerr.

I met the Kerrs and they were very nice. The funny thing is that I asked to Sinead a lot of thing, and when John arrived he said like "hello! I'm here too now" and I didn't know anymore what to say, so we started chatting about things outside skating and he was really nice...Then I had a long run to get my autobus, and when I arrived to the bus-stop completely exhausted, I heard a "byebye" and there were him and Sinead waving from their car as they passed.

I met many times Carolina Kostner, and I've had both positive and negative experiences: I guess it's just the moment you get across her (as for others)! Just to stay in with the spirit of this thread, I remember last year when she finished her free program she went to join her boyfriend and family among the public. They were all sitting in the row near mine, and instead of asking me to stand up and let her pass (the simplest thing since I was on her way to the stairs), she jumped from a row to the other just to not disturb. :)

Aussie Willy
01-05-2011, 10:02 PM
We had Johnny Weir here recently in Melbourne for a Xmas show. He did an autograph session after the show which the skating clubs had made group bookings for. He stayed for an hour afterwards doing photos and autographs. It was also during National Championships so he was at the rink quite a bit whilst the other skaters were here. The whole time he was here he was very accommodating and nice to our young skaters. I think it was part of the deal to have him here but hercertainly made the experience very special for our skaters who don't often to get to see Olympic level skaters. Got my autograph and photo too.

The other skater who I personally know is Mandy Woetzel (she lives and coaches in Melbourne). However I met her when she toured with Imperial Ice Stars and she was absolutely lovely. I had always been a fan of her and Ingo so I was really excited to meet her. I asked her about some music she had used and she told me to get in contact with her about it and then sort of kept in touch. And then funnily enough she actually moved to Melbourne and have known her since.

01-05-2011, 10:11 PM
This year I had the fantastic opportunity to meet a lot of skaters some who were really kind and others..well..nevermind.

After the free dance in torino at worlds I went at the parking place where all skaters tooke their cars or bus or taxi!
The Kerr's were fantastic as you all say! Really joyful and kind to everyone!
I met Massimo Scali and he was so happy for his medal and was really really kind! I met him a few times the day after and he was always smiling to us!
The last skaters to arrive were Tessa and Scott! Even if it was almost one o'clock a.m they stayed there signing autographs, taking photos and were really great to us! They let us took a photo of them togheder! They were so cute!!!
The next day I met Mao and Miki and they were so kind to us even if they couldn't speak english (at least mao)!

Just 20 days ago I went to the Italian championships and the atmosphere with the skaters was incredible!
I had the same exeperience as eleonora with carolina! she was so kind to us!!! I cannot understand why people say she behave nasty etc...Of course it depends in which day you meet her! She is a really shy person but she loves her fans and in particular kids! I remember that in milan and at the ice gala in bolzano two years ago she was surrounded by kids ad she stayed there with them taking photos as long as she could.

01-05-2011, 10:14 PM
I've had too many great experiences to mention, though standouts were Michelle Kwan and Kurt Browning.

Some of the people who are supposed to be some of the nicest in skating have been nasty to me, however. I tend to give them a bit of a pass, since perhaps it was just a bad day. BUt that's another thread.

01-05-2011, 10:15 PM
Ryan Bradley is always very nice and spends alot of time with fans. I've met him 5 times and it's honestly like I'm talking to a friend now. He always makes sure to have a little conversation with everyone and is good with the younger fans.

Before I became friends with him and his family, I always thought Keegan Messing was such a gentleman. Very well spoken and friendly. Actually, during the same event where I met him (2010 Nationals), we sat together with his mom (now my 2nd mom) during the Junior Mens FS. That was fun. :)

I've heard alot of people say Sasha Cohen is not very friendly - but when I met her she was so incredibly friendly and nice. It was after SOI in 2009 one year and I was at the buses (the only fan - WTF). Security was not too happy about it but Sasha was so nice about it, she posed for a picture and chatted with me a bit.

Meryl and Charlie are also incredibly friendly... I've met them twice and before I said anything the 2nd time, they immediately recognized me from the first time.

I've met Evan 4 times and the first two times were kinda hectic so I couldn't say much about him. But the last two times, we really hit it off and he's actually really funny.

Jeremy Abbott is so sweet but so immensely shy! He told me once on twitter it is because he feels socially awkward - poor guy :lol:

Johnny is another skater who is very fan friendly. I've met him twice and each time he complimented my hair. While I may not be a fan of his personality most of the time... I can't deny that he is so good with fans.

The Kerrs, like everyone else said are extremely nice - especially John. I've met them twice and both times I have had long conversations with John.

Honorable mentions - Jonathan Cassar, Evora/Ladwig (Mark is so funny!), Ilia Kulik, Rockne Brubaker.

But honestly, I've never had any bad experiences. Every skater I've met is really kind.

01-05-2011, 11:13 PM
My assigned seating at SC 2006 was basically in Skater Central. Had multiple skaters and teams sitting next to me or behind me over the course of the competition (including Jamal Othman, who made fun of my stuffie-throwing capabilities when one of them hit Rod Black in the back of the head, then proved to have a great arm when I challenged him to throw the next one!) Got to be one of the first to congratulate Stephane when he somehow won; listen to pairs commentary from Scott Davis and Vaughn Chipeur; listen to protocols discussion by Lefebvre/Markov; meet and wish good luck to Davis/White, and multiple other skater sightings. Was a very fun experience!

01-05-2011, 11:28 PM
I have been fortunate enough to have several up close skater experiences.

During a summer competition at our rink we have met Kris and Kristy Wirtz, Lloyd Eisler, Josee Chouinard and Jennifer Robinson. Kris and Kristy posed for a photo with our daughter and her friend, along with their two young children. Jennifer Robinson was incredibly accommodating. She was there to support her husband, who was coaching. My husband ran into her while the rest of our family was elsewhere in the building and asked her if she would wait while he came to get us. She agreed and graciously posed for a photo with our daughters and signed their programs. Definitely above and beyond! Scott Moir is another very friendly skater. My kids were often volunteers at this competition and he almost always joked around with my oldest.

Josee Chouinard was skating at the opening of an ice rink in Cambridge on my daughter's eighth birthday. At the time, my daughter skated in Josee Chouinard skates. When Josee found out it was her birthday, she posed for a photo and signed a little calculator case my daughter happened to have with her but we were very sorry she didn't have her skates with her to be signed!

Jeff Buttle has been quite nice to my daughter on a few occasions. The first time they met, she was about 6 and he was signing autographs at our club. He was her absolute favourite skater but she was quite shy. When I mentioned that he was her favourite and asked if she could have a photo with him, he got up from the table he was signing at and came around and got down on his knees on the floor beside her for the photo. A couple of years later he was at Junior Worlds, in Kitchener, sitting with Joey Russell and she and a few of her friends approached them for autographs and they were quite nice with the girls. She met him again about two or three years ago as he was watching Octoberfest and had her photo taken with him again - and once again he was very friendly and accommodating.

At a Stars on Ice backstage meet and greet my mother and I got to mingle with Shae Lynn Bourne, Kurt Browning, Brian Orser, Elvis Stojko and Jennifer Robinson. All were very nice, but once again, Jennifer went above and beyond. She took the time to really chat, and ask questions. Elvis posed for a photo with my mom that still sits on the table of "family" photos lol.

At Skate Canada in Kitchener I met many of the skaters as I was volunteering. Stand outs for me were Kurt Browning, who was on one of the rinks at the venue practicing when a few of us took a break to go watch him. He seemed to enjoy the audience and spent about 10-15 minutes chatting with us. Very self deprecating and funny! Jeremy Abott was also very polite and seemed very sweet. He had a friend pass away that weekend and dedicated his skate to her, which was very touching. Yuka Sato was there coaching and was also quite lovely. I met Aliona Savchenko. She is very tiny but actually does eat. She came into the skater lounge hungry and was quite happy when she found that I had some sandwiches stashed away. Denis Ten was also very cute. I enjoyed listening to him practice his English as he requested chocolate milk!

I met Liz Manley when she was coaching at another competition I volunteered at and she was very friendly and sweet. It was quite a thrill for me to meet her as I loved her Olympic moment and had been a fan for a long time.

We met Isabelle Brasseur and Rocky Marval at the rink they coach at in New Jersey and they were both quite friendly. I've also met Jean Michel Bombardier and he's quite nice. Finally, at Battle of the Blades, Barb Underhill was quite nice with my daughter and posed for a photo with her.

On the whole, I can only think of two skaters who were anything less than nice in all the years I have been attending and/or volunteering at competitions so either I've been really lucky, or skaters are, for the most part, nice people!:)

01-05-2011, 11:30 PM
Meeting Aaron Parchem, right after the medal ceremony at 2006 Nationals, when he and his partner Marcy Hinzmann made the Olympic team. OMG, he is soooo yummy up-close! :swoon: My sister boldly asked him for a hug, which he happily gave her. Then he asked me if I would like a hug too, I could barely stammer out "yes!" :swoon: :swoon:

Awkward John Baldwin story: 2006 Nationals was the year he and Rena had a lights-out freeskate, including completed SBS triple toes and throw triple axel, which moved them from fourth to first and make the Olympic team. After their opening move, I excitedly wrote in my notebook "SBS triple toe and HE LANDS HIS! A bit wonky but done." Later my sister and I solicited his autograph but my sister handed him that same notebook. He obviously read my note and gave us a withering look before handing back the book. D'oh! :o

I've met Johnny four times, each of which was a treat, he is ultra-generous with his fans.

Loved meeting Tanith and Ben. Tanith is even more gorgeous in person, and so tiny!!! And Ben is a classy, smiley guy. Love!

Derrick Delmore, Melissa Bulanhagui, Tiffany Scott and Megan Williams-Stewart are also very sweet.

Met Jeremy once - he was sweet but seemed shy, as ryanbfan mentioned above.

I've met Evan twice, and while he was very nice both times, it was so rushed that we didn't really get a chance to chat. :(

01-06-2011, 12:30 AM
Met Robin Cousins at SA ’88. He was coaching Joanne Conway at the time. Very gracious.
I concur about the Kerrs. ’06 SA was able to chat with Sinead. :swoon: So very sweet.
Also Alban Preaubert who was a bit shy, but very gracious. As with Mia Joy, between my bad French and his bad English, we managed to converse a bit.
Mariusz and Dorota Suidek were very kind. When Suidi found I was a FSUer, gave me a big thumbs-up.
Sidebar: SA ’06 we stayed across the street so we didn’t get the fire alarm.

01-06-2011, 01:38 AM
Awkward John Baldwin story: 2006 Nationals was the year he and Rena had a lights-out freeskate, including completed SBS triple toes and throw triple axel, which moved them from fourth to first and make the Olympic team. After their opening move, I excitedly wrote in my notebook "SBS triple toe and HE LANDS HIS! A bit wonky but done." Later my sister and I solicited his autograph but my sister handed him that same notebook. He obviously read my note and gave us a withering look before handing back the book. D'oh! :o

Did he sign it or did he just hand it back to you?

I met Kimmie Meissner at a University of Delaware send off show - she was extremely sweet. The funniest skater there was probably Dean Copely, who was totally basking in the attention of so many girls asking for his autograph. :lol: I passed him his soda can that he'd left on the bleachers out of reach!! :swoon:

01-06-2011, 01:51 AM
i was mirai nagasu's seat partner in third and eighth grade. she's really cool and nice. i dont really blame her for going to online school. arcadia is really competitive.

01-06-2011, 02:04 AM
The first time I met Johnny really sticks out in my mind. I was really nervous meeting Johnny and could hardly get anything out except ask for an autograph and a picture. My son who was 12 at the time took the photo but not being use to my camera managed to cut off my and Johnny's heads. I was checking the photo on the side and Johnny must had noticed the look on my face. He came over and asked me if the photo came out okay. When I told him no, he immediately offered to pose for another. Given that there were others to see Johnny and it was almost ten o'clock at night I thought it was really nice of him.

01-06-2011, 02:14 AM
Awkward John Baldwin story: 2006 Nationals was the year he and Rena had a lights-out freeskate, including completed SBS triple toes and throw triple axel, which moved them from fourth to first and make the Olympic team. After their opening move, I excitedly wrote in my notebook "SBS triple toe and HE LANDS HIS! A bit wonky but done." Later my sister and I solicited his autograph but my sister handed him that same notebook. He obviously read my note and gave us a withering look before handing back the book. D'oh!

"withering look" :rofl:

I love all of these stories. :)

01-06-2011, 02:48 AM
I've only told this story to a few people, but last March I went to the "Thin Ice" show that was being filmed at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. I went to the Sunday afternoon show which was a dress rehearsal for the live show airing on ABC that evening. After the afternoon show they announced there would be a meet and greet out in the lobby.:biggrinbo..I got to meet and get autographs and take photos with Stephane' Lambiel, Shizuka Arakawa, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Jamie Sale', John Zimmerman, Mike Weiss, Dick Button, Patrice Lauzon & Marie-France, Melissa Gregory & Denis Petukhov! I was so thrilled! I had never met any skater...Well I also went to the evening show...we stayed after the show and Kurt Browning was signing autographs down by the ice, so I got a photo with him too! Out in the lobby they were doing another meet and greet, but the lines were super long and I was just happy I had met some skaters earlier in the day, so my hubby and I went to find a place to grab a glass of wine and relax..we went into the Shrine at MGM...it was right around the corner from the show....we got our drinks and some appetizers...we sat in a booth that overlooked the casino...we watched all the skaters walking by after the show...we even waved to some of them. Imagine our shock and surprise when they all started showing up at the Shrine for their "after party"!! They started roping off an area we were already in...I asked if we were going to be asked to leave the waitress said "no, it's just a party for some skaters :eek: can you imagine!!! Security came by our booth and closed the opening to the casino! (Our booth was right next to the DJ booth ) One by one we watched all the skaters arrive..all the above skaters mentioned plus Steven Cousins, Elena B., Kristi Yamaguchi, David Pelletier! (this was around the time everyone was speculating if Jamie and David were together or not.....that night they Def. were not together...they came to the party apart...and never even spoke to one another..Dave hung out with Steven and Elena) The DJ started playing and after more wine My husband and I joined the skaters on the dance floor! My husband still talks about how he bumped into Kristi Y on the dance floor!! John Z. and Shae-Lynn skated to Poker face on the Thin Ice show...well when the DJ played poker face we were treated to a repeat performance by John and Shae complete with lifts...we all stood around in a circle clapping! Afterword we bought John Z a drink, which he graciously accepted...he came over and thanked us and gave me a kiss on both cheeks:hat1: I think I was stunned speechless!! He had his Mom there with him...she had had enough of the after party and was headed up to her room. I got to speak with her for a few moments and tell her how great I thought her son was..lol doesn't every mom want to hear that! We stayed till the party ended..at little after 1:00am...then we went to the casino and played roulette and won ourselves a little $$. It was a night I'll never forget!!