View Full Version : Help with interviews: Paul Wylie and Tom Collins

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01-16-2012, 05:22 PM
Hey everyone. There's a possibility I'll be interviewing both Paul Wylie and Tom Collins (Champions On Ice) in the next few weeks. I welcome any help you can give with either interview. Anyone have any good stories, questions, info?

I'm especially wrestling with how to diplomatically ask Paul about him vs. Mark Mitchell. :shuffle: I'm sure it was none of his doing, since he's the athlete and everyone else was working on his behalf, but still I wonder his thoughts on it.


01-16-2012, 07:53 PM
Tom Collins would make a fascinating bio (one with lots of pictures!). I'd be curious to hear what he thinks of show skating today and what he would do to make it commercially viable. Does he think the present formula of selecting only top competitive skaters (stars) is still a good model, or would it be better to audition show skaters?

Asking Paul about Mark would be like asking B/S about Sale/Pelletier in Salt Lake. What can he say? Of course Paul thought he deserved to go to the Olympics or he wouldn't have done it.

01-16-2012, 08:20 PM
And I think the Olympic results proved everyone right. Sorry, but at this point to dig that up for an interview is not relevant! Shouldnt there be a "Statue of limitations"?

Paul at one point was outspoken about his views that the Secret Judging was not a good idea. I would be curious what he thinks about the new system several years in...

01-16-2012, 09:19 PM
Yes, I would be very interested in hearing what Wylie thinks now about the World Skating Federation and whether it was worth the effort - especially for those who ended up getting kicked to the curb by the ISU because of their participation (e.g. Stapleford, Bianchetti).

01-16-2012, 09:38 PM
And I think the Olympic results proved everyone right. Sorry, but at this point to dig that up for an interview is not relevant! Shouldnt there be a "Statue of limitations"?

I agree 100% that the silver medal result justified the choice. And it may not even be something that ultimately I ask, since I work very hard NOT to piss off my interview subject. :lol:. But it is something I've been considering how to approach if I approach it at all.

Thanks for all the good suggestions so far. :)

01-16-2012, 10:05 PM
Here are some ideas, although none are all that mind blowing:

Curious to know why he thought he had inconsistent results and then pulled it all together at the end. I heard that school was a big challenge that took him away from training and distracted him otherwise.

How would his life trajectory have changed if he didn't win the olympic medal? (he's probably NEVER been asked that!)

I also think he had excellent skating skills and components by today's standards. Perhaps he could assess how well he'd do in PCS if his skating was judged under that system.

Curious to know why he didn't do loops and the salchow was very inconsistent. And the axel came late. He was a toe jumper. Would love to get his perspective there in terms of how his jumps developed.

I thought he was a good commentator but we don't see him doing that much now (or do we?) Why is that? Is he interested in it?

01-16-2012, 10:26 PM
I've always wondered about Paul's music choices, if he picked his programs or if his coaches did, and were they mostly movie ballads? Certainly his Olympic long program to Henry V, with the long glide introduction as I remember it, was poetic. And also, I would ask if he thinks he would have placed better in many competitions, under a CoP scoring system, I 100% think so.

01-16-2012, 10:34 PM
I'd like to know what percentage of the choreography for his programs came from him and what percentage came from the Scotvolds. (I suspect it was mostly from him if not all since the Scotvolds' programs for Nancy were so crappy, LOL.)

Ask him why he decided to give up the corporate job and came back to coaching. Does he mind the daily grind of being a coach?

This is an obvious questions but what skaters does he enjoy watching under the IJS? Does he think he could've flourished as an artistic skater under IJS ?

Any advices he has for full-time student/elite skater like Rachael?

01-16-2012, 10:35 PM
Two things:

I was fortunate enough to be at Orlando nationals in person.

Eldredge skated for a day or so before withdrawing with an ongoing back injury. He was landing triple lutz/ triple toe combinations in practice, however.

Both Wylie and Mitchell were amazing in practice, and did clean run - throughs the day before their short and long programs. Paul was very lucky to make the team at all, given he was only in fourth place behind Bowman, Mitchell and Scott Davis after the short. The men's event was very strong that year.

Regarding the competition itself, if Mark hadn't stumbled on the triple flip / triple toe combination, he could very well have won gold ahead of Christopher Bowman. Christopher didn't include the triple axel in either the short or long programs, but he was ranked fifth in the world and had won Skate America earlier in the season.

I read somewhere that when he finished skating his free program, Paul thought he may not make the Olympic team with the performance he gave, and made peace with his career at that point.

01-16-2012, 10:56 PM
Please ask both Paul and Tom if they are going to write autobiographies. If the answer is "no," please try to convince them to!

Please ask Tom is there is any way that we could get a DVD of at least some of the COI ensemble finale numbers. I would be willing to buy such a disk even if it were more expensive than the usual skating DVD.

Please also tell him how much we miss COI, and ask if there is any way that he could revive it, perhaps less frequently, but at least some time?

It would be interesting to remind Paul about his tour-de-force Carmina Burana when the lights went out ("Chris Bowman did it!") Perhaps he could share some of his memories about Chris as well.

Also: what's Paul's favorite Boston sports team - Sox, Pats, Celts, or Bruins?

What piece of music would Paul have most liked to skate to, but never did?

Tell him that this ancedote (http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showpost.php?p=3426795&postcount=82) has been much enjoyed by his fans on this forum. I am so pleased that I got to have that conversation with him.

01-17-2012, 12:10 AM
I like snoopysnake's questions. (What was that about the lights going out? I've never heard that story!)

I'd also like to know, how many students does he have now, and how does he like coaching?

And I'd second the question about whether he'll go back to commentating.

01-17-2012, 12:34 AM
I've always loved Paul's skating; every since I first saw him in Atlanta - 1980!

Did anything "particular" happen between 1992 Nationals and the Olympics to spur his success there?
He was a "transformed" skater in Albertville; and has carried that special confidence with him in all he has accomplished in the years since.

I've never been so happy for any Olympic Silver Medal Winner as I was for Paul.

01-17-2012, 02:14 AM
I'd be curious on Tom's thoughts on how skating shows went from the golden days post Tonya-Nancy to the point when you couldn't keep tours going. What influence did the 2002 SLC judgin scandal and the new scoring system have on this in his opinion?

01-17-2012, 01:09 PM
Not a very important question but something I would like to know! I really enjoyed Nationals in Greensboro. Could you ask Paul if Greensboro might bid for Nationals in the near future? I loved having the practice rink and main arena in the same building because the fans could move back and forth easily. It was very nice.

01-17-2012, 01:24 PM
Considering the Rachel thread... Paul skated while at Harvard. Does he think the COP makes this a realistic goal and what advice would he give a skater and their family trying this?