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View Full Version : Detroit Free Press: Coach Igor Shpilband fired from position at Canton's Arctic FSC



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manleywoman
06-05-2012, 05:13 PM
As you said there are 2 sides to every story. I'm not sure it's a "fact" that Igor was blindsided. He says he was, but, who knows how many times the skaters voiced their concerns and he could not/would not address the issues.

I had a boyfriend like this. I'm hardly a wallflower when it comes to my feelings and I would tell him flat-out when I was unhappy/concerned/frustrated by things, and we would talk talk talk about it. When it was clear things weren't going to change I broke it off, and he was completely surprised and said it came out of nowhere. My response was :confused: :rolleyes:.

And I remembered back to how the previous girl had broken up with him, and he said the same thing, that it came out of nowhere. I've wondered many times since then how she may actually been doing semaphore right in his face, but he chose to ignore it, and she finally got fed up as I did.

In short: it's very possible the teams voiced concerns with him, but he didn't hear it anyway.

leafygreens
06-05-2012, 05:13 PM
If I'm Virtue or Moir, I'd be worried about my training base becoming a political mess. What is more, even if they were Marina's favorites, which I doubt, she's going to be running things now, how much time and dedication will she be able to give them? Emotionally, for Tessa particularly, this must very difficult. Everyone knows she and Marina are close, but professionally-wise, does it work for them to stay in Canton considering all this instability? Or perhaps go back to Canada and train there and keep Marina's choreo, maybe use outside choreography?

Of course, I am speculating. Marina knows Tessa's condition pretty well, she knows how to work around those issues as well. These are things a coach needs to know, you don't get that with a new coach two years from Sochi. I do think they are considering leaving. Not because I have any source or anything, but because it is logical. We'll see.

The teams who are staying are obviously not that worried about their training base becoming a political mess, because they've opted to stay where they're at rather than uproot themselves. Why would V/M be more concerned than other teams? What is Tessa's condition?

bek
06-05-2012, 05:22 PM
As you said there are 2 sides to every story. I'm not sure it's a "fact" that Igor was blindsided. He says he was, but, who knows how many times the skaters voiced their concerns and he could not/would not address the issues.

I have a hard time imagining it was in Igor's interest to be publically fired. He likely knew or should have known there was tensions, but I have a hard time thinking that if he knew for a fact they wanted him gone, that he wouldn't have quietly asked for time to find a new rink/new arrangements and then the mutual split could have been announced. Now THAT would have been in the best interests of all the parties involved. So he could have very well been blindsided by get out of the rink right this second.

So its hard to me think that at the very least he wasn't blindsided with "get out now" even if he knew things with Marina were coming to a close.

How people handle break ups shows a lot about a person. There's a professional way to handle breaking it off with people personally or publically, even if your ticked off with that person. And once again Marina has a documented history of handling her "professional break ups with" coaches very poorly. This doesn't mean at all that Igor didn't deserve to be fired. He may very well have deserved that, but you can still end that with some dignity and the opportunity for all to save some face

aka_gerbil
06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
Hmm? B&A were doing just fine under Shpilband and Zoueva until Tanith fell in that CD in Goteborg.

And things were icy in the kiss and cry that whole worlds... Tanith and Ben left because Igor (and Marina) were giving more attention to the younger up-and-comers.

Also, as much as I loved B/A, they did need some polishing and technical help that they just didn't seem to be getting in Canton. Linichuk did a fabulous job in correcting those issues in a very short amount of time.


If anything B&A Oly dream were thrown away then they decided to leave for Linichuk... Or then they accepted programs she offered them for 2009-2010 season.

If anything, I think they may have slipped further down the standings and faster if they'd stayed put. As for the 09/10 programs, I know a lot of people lump them with DomShabs, but B/A's Olympic year programs were not the monstrosities that people have retroactively tried to make them out to be. In fact, it seems like at first they received quite a bit of praise. I always thought that Ave Maria was definitely a return to where B/A started off with program-wise as their earliest stuff was dramatic. The OD was a nice nod to the upbeat style they'd been known for in the mid-00's. (The real OMG WHAT programs were DomShabs... Between those programs and Max's knees, they shouldn't have been anywhere near that podium.)



All I know is that Linichuk told her that she was too thin - something we've seen with Canton skaters since then - and made her gain a few pounds so she could be stronger. But Anya's right, B/A's Olympic dreams ended because they had bad programs and because their coach and federation were politiking for others.

Yes, Linichuk told her to gain weight, and from several articles, I think Linichuk did a lot to help Tanith body-image wise.

Unfortunately, it seems like there is a chronic problem with the Canton girls being too thin or having problems with disordered eating.

And, I still maintain that it wasn't so much B/A's programs that year, but, as you said, that politicking by their coach and others was what really did them in. Let's be honest; getting DomShabs onto the podium was an epic feat of politicking. Plus, USFS was putting their weight behind D/W instead of their reigning world silver medalists (who, IMO, should have been the reigning world gold medalist--mainly, I think they got underscored in the CD and definitely the OD at worlds in 2009--again, politics).

flowerpower
06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
The teams who are staying are obviously not that worried about their training base becoming a political mess, because they've opted to stay where they're at rather than uproot themselves. Why would V/M be more concerned than other teams? What is Tessa's condition?

It is just speculation that they'd be more concerned, but given Tessa's previous experience with compartment syndrome, it would probably be helpful to have a coach who understands that medical condition well, and how to pace her training schedule to avoid recurrences.

aka_gerbil
06-05-2012, 05:29 PM
What is Tessa's condition?

The chronic exertional compartment syndrome. It sounds like, knock on wood, they've finally got it straightened out to the point where she's no longer in pain and can have fun skating again, but her physiotherapist, etc. are all nearby.

At this point though, I think any coach/choreographer would be able to work with Tessa and listen to her on how things need to be in order to prevent a recurrence. I just don't buy that Marina is the only person who would be capable of understanding all of it.

pani
06-05-2012, 05:32 PM
It is just speculation that they'd be more concerned, but given Tessa's previous experience with compartment syndrome, it would probably be helpful to have a coach who understands that medical condition well, and how to pace her training schedule to avoid recurrences.

Isnt doctors and physiatrists who make recommendations concerning trainings in this situation?

flowerpower
06-05-2012, 05:37 PM
At this point though, I think any coach/choreographer would be able to work with Tessa and listen to her on how things need to be in order to prevent a recurrence. I just don't buy that Marina is the only person who would be capable of understanding all of it.

You could be right.

It has been great to see Tessa so healthy this past year - skating in a long slate of competitions from Finlandia through WTT with no difficulties, skating so freely throughout, then tearing up the ice in the ladies number at CSOI. Maintaining that health is a top priority for her, I'm sure.

bmcg
06-05-2012, 05:38 PM
I have a hard time imagining it was in Igor's interest to be publically fired. He likely knew or should have known there was tensions, but I have a hard time thinking that if he knew for a fact they wanted him gone, that he wouldn't have quietly asked for time to find a new rink/new arrangements and then the mutual split could have been announced. Now THAT would have been in the best interests of all the parties involved. So he could have very well been blindsided by get out of the rink right this second.

So its hard to me think that at the very least he wasn't blindsided with "get out now" even if he knew things with Marina were coming to a close.

How people handle break ups shows a lot about a person. There's a professional way to handle breaking it off with people personally or publically, even if your ticked off with that person. And once again Marina has a documented history of handling her "professional break ups with" coaches very poorly. This doesn't mean at all that Igor didn't deserve to be fired. He may very well have deserved that, but you can still end that with some dignity and the opportunity for all to save some face

Publically fired? I suppose it depends on who went the the Detroit Free Press with that story as that seems to be where the story broke. None of us heard a word about problems in Canton for the last two months they were apparently going on.

aliceanne
06-05-2012, 05:38 PM
Seriously.

My :sekret: tell me Igor just wasn't there a lot. I guess he spread himself too thin and wasn't coaching as much as the skaters thought they needed?

Morozov Syndrome?

bek
06-05-2012, 05:39 PM
Publically fired? I suppose it depends on who went the the Detroit Free Press with that story as that seems to be where the story broke. None of us heard a word about problems in Canton for the last two months they were apparently going on.

I didn't think of that.

Wyliefan
06-05-2012, 05:45 PM
Morozov Syndrome?

I thought that was an STD.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Debbie S
06-05-2012, 05:46 PM
I seem to recall sometime after Vancouver Olympics that Igor made his feelings known about his own loss of interest in both D&W AND V&M and in taking them on to Sochi for Gold.I don't recall ever hearing that. I remember he and Marina talking about how the teams wanted to continue competing. They may have said it would be hard to stay on top for 4 more years, but I don't think that indicates a loss of interest. At this point, halfway through the Oly cycle, it's pretty clear that the younger teams haven't developed as much as one would expect (exception being Weaver/Poje, but they are the same age as D/W and V/M) and unless something amazing happens this season, D/W and V/M will be the top contenders in Sochi. Last fall, there was interview with Igor in the fluff piece shown on NBC during SA where he said Meryl and Charlie's next goal was to win the Olys, with a smile on his face. He sure didn't look disinterested. Whatever has been happening over the past few months, I don't think it's b/c he's bored with his top teams.



My other thought is Tanith may now be whispering in Charlie's ear and reminding him about what happened when Igor lost interest in her and Ben and how their Oly dreams were thrown away by IgorI'm a big B/A fan, but sorry, they lost Oly gold b/c they just weren't as good as D/W and V/M. Maybe they weren't as talented to begin with, I don't know, but I imagine Ben's back problems likely restricted them somewhat during the last few years of their career. And their boring and poorly-constructed programs by Linichuk didn't help. D/W had a great fall season in 09-10 and it was clear by Nats that they had surpassed B/A in ability and performance, so USFS would have been foolish not to send them to the Olys as USA #1 and politik on their behalf.

arakwafan2006
06-05-2012, 05:52 PM
And things were icy in the kiss and cry that whole worlds... Tanith and Ben left because Igor (and Marina) were giving more attention to the younger up-and-comers.

Also, as much as I loved B/A, they did need some polishing and technical help that they just didn't seem to be getting in Canton. Linichuk did a fabulous job in correcting those issues in a very short amount of time.



If anything, I think they may have slipped further down the standings and faster if they'd stayed put. As for the 09/10 programs, I know a lot of people lump them with DomShabs, but B/A's Olympic year programs were not the monstrosities that people have retroactively tried to make them out to be. In fact, it seems like at first they received quite a bit of praise. I always thought that Ave Maria was definitely a return to where B/A started off with program-wise as their earliest stuff was dramatic. The OD was a nice nod to the upbeat style they'd been known for in the mid-00's. (The real OMG WHAT programs were DomShabs... Between those programs and Max's knees, they shouldn't have been anywhere near that podium.)



Yes, Linichuk told her to gain weight, and from several articles, I think Linichuk did a lot to help Tanith body-image wise.

Unfortunately, it seems like there is a chronic problem with the Canton girls being too thin or having problems with disordered eating.

And, I still maintain that it wasn't so much B/A's programs that year, but, as you said, that politicking by their coach and others was what really did them in. Let's be honest; getting DomShabs onto the podium was an epic feat of politicking. Plus, USFS was putting their weight behind D/W instead of their reigning world silver medalists (who, IMO, should have been the reigning world gold medalist--mainly, I think they got underscored in the CD and definitely the OD at worlds in 2009--again, politics).

I never understood why people thought that the BA programs were bad. I thought that the AMEN program was beautiful. It's one of my favorites of theirs. I dont think Tanith pulls off dramatic as well as other dancers because she's generally so bright and pleasant. It was well layed out and suited them well. The costumes were another issue all together. PUTRID.

The problem with Linichuk is that her concept of innovation is still dated. we shall see though.

RumbleFish
06-05-2012, 06:06 PM
I know one of new dance teams that Spilband has recently started to coach. They are an up and coming dance team who will likely represent a small nation in preparation for 2018 PC, rather than 2014 Sochi.

I think Spilband is sincere in wanting to nurture a budding team from the start and build something new with him taking the sole responsibility.

This action could have upset Marina Zoueva, but what I don't understand is the skating club firing Spilband. To me at least, it would have been more than enough to have him removed from their group and let him do whatever he wants to do with his own coaching business.

Did Spilband have some sort of contractual relationship with Zoueva where he was obliged to share his students with her?

Zoueva does lots of choreograpy works with many skaters outside their group, right? Does Spilband get involved with these exterior projects as well?