Ice Dancers Chitwood/Hanretty Retire From Competitive Skating

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Starshine6, Jun 6, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Starshine6

    Starshine6 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    106
    Team GB Ice Dancers Christina Chitwood and Mark Hanretty have announced their retirement from competitive skating.

    The news was displayed on their website: http://chitwood-hanretty.ice-dance.com/journal/journal-6.5.10.html and on their official Facebook page.

    I am sad that we will no longer be seeing them in competition but wish them all the best for the future.
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    Messages:
    20,569
    It's a shame although after everything they have been through, I can understand that decision. Good luck in their professional careers.

    (P.S. the usual suspects, please don't turn it into another NISA IS EVIL thread which is gonna get it closed :p)
  3. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    4,647
    Aw, that's a shame, I enjoyed them.

    I hope they have a great professional career.
  4. Imperfect Edge

    Imperfect Edge New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Very sad to hear that, had been very much looking forward to another battle between them and Penny&Nick in particular.

    However they have achieved a lot, been to Europeans, Worlds. Its good to hear that they are retiring together and will continue to perform professionally so we'll no doubt still be seeing them in the skating world.

    They'll be missed in the competitive world though :-(
  5. DanceDanceDance

    DanceDanceDance Banned Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Such a shame! What a sad loss to Team GB, but good luck to them both in all that they do.
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,422
    As a figure skating fan, that is bad and sad news.

    I wish them the best in whatever they do next.
  7. pani

    pani Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    8,610
    Sad news..... I really like this team. They look good in Torino/ Good luck to them!
  8. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    9,962
    I'm sorry to hear about this decision. Chitwood/Hanretty were the most promising up-and-coming team from the UK IMO. Especially Hanretty showed lots of natural talent. He somewhat overshadowed Chitwood with his softer movements and ease on the ice, but she was making rapid progress and one could see how much she loved ice dance. It is a pity they couldn't fulfil their potential.

    Hanretty writes in his blog:

    I have only looked into the British skating threads a few times so I am not aware of the reasons for the :drama:. However, even another UK team has been unfairly preferred to them on some occasions, I can't help wishing they had looked at the bigger picture and persevered. They have already competed at the Euros and the Worlds as well as at several other international competitions with respectable results. AFAIK C/H have been skating together for only four years and neither had been ice dancers for more than a couple of years before that. So their achievements so far are remarkable.

    While Mark's frustration with the politicking is understandable, life is unfair for everyone in every profession where competition is involved. You are always discriminated against if you don't have the right people's support, the right background, the right nationality, the right gender, the right looks, enough money, enough name recognition, enough charisma and so on and so forth. :( You are always at the whim of other people to a certain extent - and in ice dance this is only to a certain extent as well. Those who persevere give themselves a chance. The others will never know what might have been.

    Of course some skaters may prefer skating in shows to competition. That is perfectly understandable - an audience in which half of the arena doesn't hope you'll fall is not too bad either! ;)

    Good luck Christina and Mark! :)
    alilou, HisWeirness, mella and 3 others like this.
  9. coldmum

    coldmum New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    It's so sad to see two people who have worked so hard and committed themselves to a sport retire before they have reached their competitive pinnacle. Hopefully there are other couples who come up behind them and learn from them and can put as much enthusiasm and commitment into their skating journey! It appears that the road to success in UK Ice Dance is a rocky one but hopefully we have enough skaters willing to persever through it.

    Good luck to Christina and Mark. Please, please just continue to give us enjoyment by continuing to skate professionly!
  10. Timbuktu

    Timbuktu Banned Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Excellent points. I wish they had persevered too, having come so far, but I can understand the decision to call it a day.

    If your own country is going to thwart your efforts to succeed or to represent the country, then what is the point in dedicating the required amount of time, effort and money in pursuing your goals?

    It's true that there is unfairness in many things, but in most walks of life there is at least some way to get justice without having to appeal to the courts all the time. I admired Elliot Hilton for forcing the decision makers to allow him to go to Worlds in LA, while I admired Chrissy and Mark for staying out of the politics in a dignified way.

    IMO I think that C&H hoped that lessons would be learned and that they would be treated with more respect for behaving in a respectful way. Clearly Mark feels that nothing has changed for the better.
  11. Fairgame

    Fairgame New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    40
    Very good points.....I do believe that British skating will suffer as a result of C and M turning professional. Heaven knows when the powers that be will realise the effects this will have on our results in the years to come. I just wish that they had been fairer to our 2nd and 3rd Senior dance couples and looked after them better.

    Good Luck to Mark and Chrissy for the future. An elegant and dignified couple who have been very good ambassadors for Great Britain, you will be greatly missed.
    skatefan and (deleted member) like this.
  12. mella

    mella is lutz crazy!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    2,025
    This is a real shame. I thought they showed alot of potential and was looking forward to seeing them battle it out with some of the other "up and comers" as I hoped that the competition would be a great motivator for all the teams.

    All the best to them in their future endeavours.

    Asli - Great Post. So very true.
  13. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,422
    I look at it from a different viewpoint:

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. *…

    If C/H don't see a change in their environment, why should they throw good money and effort after bad? Because something might be different in the future?

    Sure there's unfairness in most job or competitive environments, but I commend them for putting their effort into a place where they have more chance to control their lives.
  14. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    9,962
    They were sent to the 2010 Worlds, so I thought that showed some change and would be motivating.
  15. mella

    mella is lutz crazy!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    2,025
    Me too. They had done fairly well at a couple of B Internationals too and I was (probably somewhat wishfully) hoping they might sneak a GP invite. I know they weren't guaranteed one but I had my fingers crossed that our 2nd and 3rd couples would both get a shot.

    I get what you say Kwanfan - I think everyone knows their limits and when enough is enough (whether disappointment, sacrifice, expense). If C/H reached that point then I wish them all the best in whatever they do next.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  16. DanceDanceDance

    DanceDanceDance Banned Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    The simple answer to your question about why carry on when the environment is not in your favour, is that there are some people that love the sport enough to stand up to those that have been accused of corrupting the system.

    There are some people that are aware of the fact that the Kerrs nearly gave up skating after years of being held back before 2003, but look how many fans they have around the world now.

    We have all seen that some posters here are not happy with the discussions around the issues that have gone on behind the scenes, but like it or not, the people that have truly stood up for this sport have had to put up with a lot more crap than the readers here have had to endure.

    I for one sympathise with everyone that wants this sport to be fairer, but have the most respect for the people that have gotten their hands dirty and lobbied to make things better.

    C&M retiring from competitive skating is a direct symptom of the problems that have been discussed in this forum. An occasional unfair result is bad enough, but consistent poor treatment over multiple years is demoralising.

    How can more up and coming couples be prevented from having to go through the same problems? Before we lose yet more talent?

    I would seriously like constructive comments from anyone interested enough to put their mind to the problem. I hate all the slanging matches that have gone on as much as the next person, but I just don't think that letting lunatics taking over the asylum is a valid solution.
  17. Morelli

    Morelli New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    202
    Quote:
    Some of you may be upset that I shall no longer be chasing my goals of Olympic Gold, however I want you to realise that in actual fact, I feel a sense of enlightenment and relief. The realisation that I no longer feel at the whim of other people is a blessing. I have realised that happiness is not sought in the acquisition of medals, and indeed many of the champions I have met still seem lacking in contentment.


    It is a shame for British skating fans that Mark and Chrissy won't be competing any more, but I applaud him for coming to this realisation at a young age. I spent years chasing the next grade in skating or the next competition win in ballroom as if life wouldn't be worth living if I didn't get it. I will never forget the relief I felt when my partner and I didn't make the cut in a ballroom competition and we realised that we no longer actually cared. We have enjoyed both activities and our lives so much more since we weren't at the mercy of a load of judges. You can go so far in a sport and then you have to ask yourself whether you really want what you are chasing that badly.

    I wish both Mark and Chrissy much happiness in their lives. They have been wonderful competitors and ambassadors for the sport.
  18. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,731
    Let's not eh? And just keep the thread on topic.

    Good luck to Chrissy and Mark in whatever path their lives now take.
  19. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,422
    If they felt that this was a true sign of support, perhaps. From Hanretty's statement, I get the message that they don't, and I'm really glad they are happy with their decision to not play and are going forward with their lives.
  20. Timbuktu

    Timbuktu Banned Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    You may not know that C&H were only told that they were definitely going to Turin a week or two before they went out there from what I understand. How are athletes supposed to make sure their physical and mental training is at the top of their game with that much notice? C&B knew at or shortly after the british championships that they were doing europeans and olympics, so it wasn't fair to keep C&H on tenterhooks all that time.

    Dancedancedance's comment WAS on topic. :lol: See the quote from Mark's part of the blog:

    You and the other moderators have the power to close threads if they get out of hand, but why wouldn't you want healthy discussion about how to make things better with british skating? Isn't that one of the things that makes this forum so great?

    There were nasty comments last year, and I got drawn into it more than I would have liked, but there seemed to be much nastier comments from the other side of the debate IMHO.
  21. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,731
    Because time and time again, it hasnt been a healthy discussion and has ended up with emails received to the admin team on several occasions that I dont want a repeat of.
    I dont want to have to close another thread (esp relating to a retired team) so let's just leave that type of discussion elsewhere.

    End of subject from me but this thread is being closely watched.
  22. Timbuktu

    Timbuktu Banned Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Where would you suggest that these issues get discussed? There is no facility for questions or complaints to be aired on the NISA website and the iSKATE magazine is owned by a director of the board and all content is only included on the editor's say so.

    Team GB has now lost a very talented couple because of what has gone on behind the scenes. If this website is a serious forum for genuine fans of skating to share their views about the sport, then it will continue to generate the interest it does and whatever income for the owners of the site.

    It is probably annoying for the moderators to deal with complaints, I can see that. Is that as big a deal as talented and dedicated athletes getting treated like something under the shoe of the governing body? I guess each reader can offer their own view on that question.

    I suspect that the moderators of this site had complaints from people that supported the board in answer to the allegations levelled at them, as well as complaints from people who had been slagged off by the supporters of the board.

    The thing is, the treatment of Chrissy and Mark finally got unbearable to the point where they decided to end their competitive career. So if this website supports the people that have defended NISA and their tactics of making things so messy in this forum that the threads get closed in order to prevent people finding out about what NISA is guilty of, then the website's credibility could also come under question.

    I would hate for that to happen because it is a great website for enthusiastic fans of skating around the world to share their views.
  23. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,187
    On an independent Internet forum created for this purpose? Or start a private email list/group for concerned NISA members who would like to work on improving and/or changing the system from within?

    Best wishes to Christina and Mark!
  24. Asli

    Asli Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    9,962
    Timbuktu, as far as I know NISA is not the only national federation with questionable tactics and lots of politicking going on. Actually this is the norm, not the exception. Every now and then we read on the FSU about how many federations interfere with the outcome of their national championships and/or use questionable criteria to choose their national teams.

    Yet it is possible to mention the names of French, Russian, German or Italian skaters and discuss their skating without the thread becoming a war over the actions of their respective federations. Why shouldn't this be possible for the skaters from the UK? Peace.
  25. Timbuktu

    Timbuktu Banned Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Funnily enough, I totally agree with you.

    I suspect that everything blew up in britain last year because there was an election in parallel with two legal actions, one of which ended with NISA losing in the High Court.

    I have no idea whether whether people in support of other federations get involved with the debate on FSU because I don't read all the threads, but it was pretty clear that current NISA board members contributed to the debate here whether it was directly or indirectly.

    Either way, the politics was specifically mentioned by Mark as contributing to his decision, so ought to be relevant for discussion at least up to a point. If the subject has been exhausted then fair enough, but if people are frightened to post their views in case the thread gets closed then that is another matter.

    I personally don't want trouble for the people that moderate this site or for any of the readers and contributors. But it is upsetting when people that want to represent the country get treated so badly.
  26. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    Messages:
    20,569
    Timbuktu, I am not a moderator but the point Sharpie tried to make (I think) is that if remarks that are seen as libelous are made in a thread, then FSU is ultimately responsible for it and when contacted about it, the admins have no choice but to close the thread. Otherwise there could be legal repercussions to that.
  27. DanceDanceDance

    DanceDanceDance Banned Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Avoiding legal action is an entirely reasonable thing to do. From what little I have seen about people on here complaining about other Federations, I'm not aware of the Federations worrying about what is said here in this site. Is that because they don't feel threatened by what is said here, or because they have less to worry about?

    Timbuktu isn't alone in wanting to see improvements in British skating by talking about it and doing what can be done to carry the ideas through where possible.

    Perhaps this site is not the best place to debate these issues, but considering it is a forum for sharing opinions and ideas then it seems to me concerning that the Association in this country is so sensitive over what people want to say here.

    I don't want problems for anyone either, but when people have asked legitimate questions about what goes on then isn't that part of what this site is designed for? In an ideal world the people that have had allegations made about them would stop doing serious things wrong.

    If there were only fun things to chit-chat about then the world would be a much more pleasant place. Also, C&H would probably still have the desire to go as far as they are able in their competitive career.
  28. Paragraph3s

    Paragraph3s New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    I have stayed out of this discussion for some time because the last time I made a comment one of the more regular posters gave me some negative feedback. But those that were standing up for fair play last year, and there were quite a few at the time, have been proven to be right. We have lost a wonderful couple and it is so sad that there weren't more people willing to support those people that were trying to spread the news about what has gone on at the top.

    Thanks to whoever posted the detailed list of issues recently, I was able to see more of what so many people have been upset about the way skating is being run in the UK. I didn't see anything libellous in that list, but it was still deleted.

    Someone was scared about the content of those questions gaining a wider audience, and it is hardly a surprise when you see such a comprehensive list of mismanagement or deliberate manipulation of the rules.

    Is anything else happening to find out why so many rules weren’t followed? And if not, surely we should be discussing how to prevent such a travesty from happening again.

    As for closing an entire thread when someone gets too aggressive, why are you suggesting that this is the only option when individual posts have been deleted in the past?
    skatefan and (deleted member) like this.
  29. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,422
    The Admins here have day jobs and other things in their lives besides constantly monitoring threads for potentially exploding dumps, especially on topics -- explicit or by drift -- that have produced exploding dumps each time they are discussed.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  30. Morelli

    Morelli New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    202
    It was in my mind on my last post on this thread to say that Mark's comments on his website about politicking etc. could easily apply in many other skating federations and probably many other sports. I don't think you can get away from it and it you want to get to the very top, you have to weigh up your ambitions against how much you are prepared to be controlled by others. As with many things, I think it has got worse since money was more of an issue. There are more competitions to travel to, costs are higher, NISA people are under pressure from those organisations funding skating to provide the results, and mistakes perhpas get made. The people running associations are only human after all.

    I really don't know why the British threads always turn into a war. Maybe it is to do with the nature of British people, or that we are used to the slanging matches of our politicians and the way things are presented in the media, and that makes us more likely to speak our minds without thinking of the consequences.
  31. Timbuktu

    Timbuktu Banned Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    131
    Of course the admins of the site have lives too, as they should. I’m not meaning any criticism of them at all, last year was very tough for them. But it’s not true to say that every british thread was closed down in a heap of flames either because I think the first one that was closed was thread 5. That was right after the fallout from the elections if I remember correctly.

    All I’m saying is that as hard as it was for the admins to stay on top of things here, that pales in comparison to the sacrifice that athletes give up to represent us, and when they have to endure the additional rubbish that Mark and Chrissy had to, the only way I can think of to avoid other skaters being mistreated in similar ways is to help those of us that have tried to bring the issues to light here.

    Perhaps there are other ways too, but from what I’ve seen the answers that came back from the agm were pathetic, so there is no improvement in attitude from this board as far as I can see. It is one thing to forgive them for making honest mistakes, but if they are deliberately trying to deceive the members then that is a different story altogether.
  32. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,422
    This is a private board. It's neither your call nor my call to determine what sacrifices anyone, including the board owner and other admins, should make on behalf of anyone else. They are allowed to create limits.
    SHARPIE and (deleted member) like this.
  33. SHARPIE

    SHARPIE Hapless Board Owner Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,731
    This ...

    As FSU is a privately owned BRITISH Website that wishes not to be that forum you want. Sorry it didnt work out. Bye.



    This is what I wonder too Asli.


    FFS! havent I made this site's position here clear MANY times over?!

    OK, everything bad that has EVER happened in my life pales in comparison ... yeah OK.

    Im sorry DanceDanceDance and Timbuktu but I am removing your memberships, I dont have the time to keep going OVER this shit. Dont bother emailing re how UNFAIR we are but you have both been asked on numerous occasions to knock it off.
    kwanfan1818 and (deleted member) like this.
  34. Imperfect Edge

    Imperfect Edge New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Thanks for your efforts Sharpie and for not closing the thread down.

    Sheffield skaters should get some benefit as Christina and Mark will presumably put more time into coaching?
  35. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    18,017
    Go Sharpie!

    On topic, one of the skaters and her mum at my rink went back to the UK in January and said she had some lessons with Christina. Said she was an excellent coach.

    I am disappointed that they have separated because from what I saw they were very talented. But I think British ice dancers overall have been very underrated on the world scene. I have always enjoyed the British teams when I have got to see them from Euros and Worlds. The Kerrs are probably an exception in that they have really made a mark internationally and got the respect they deserved.
  36. Paragraph3s

    Paragraph3s New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    What is this site’s position? It makes sense to have rules about not posting libellous content, but you didn’t remove these people for posting anything libellous. I didn’t always agree with them, but at least they seemed to have good reasons for posting what they said.

    Did you remove them simply because they persisted in posting an opinion that you didn’t agree with? An opinion that was one of the reasons Mark and Christina retired from competing. I’d like to understand in case I ever feel like posting anything else in the future?
  37. dupa

    dupa Home Sweet Home

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2001
    Messages:
    4,365
    They were banned for being a pain in the arse. Don't be a pain in the arse and you won't be banned. Simple as that. Clear enough?
  38. Sylvia

    Sylvia Whee, summer club comps!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30,187
    To answer your question -- the following was posted in November 2009:
    Back on topic... Chrissy wrote in her June 5th journal: "We will be performing in IceAct’s Chiller shows in Cardiff and Altrincham on June 12 and 13." If anyone attends this show, reviews would be most welcomed!
  39. joe

    joe New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Like everyone I am so sad to see them go, such lovely people and a dream to watch and I`m sure a fantastic new future lays ahead of them.

    Not sure how to start a new thread if someone could do, I`d appreciate. I was wondering how the senior british pairs are doing preparing for the season? I know Sally Hoolin has been off the ice for 6 months or so with a serious form of anaemia but recently told she had been seen back on the ice, though told looked weak was hoping this is a sign they`ll be competing this year. David n Stacey I know are training hard but with so much water between hear nothing of Erica and Robert. Be nice to see a full podium at the british.
  40. Paragraph3s

    Paragraph3s New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Thank you for your reasoned response Sylvia.

    I haven't got the time to be an advocate for either cause, but it's worth pointing out that we're no longer in an Olympic Season, the points made weren't about unsubstantiated gossip (C&H have actually retired and part of their reason was the politics), and this is in an individual thread about Mark and Christina's retirement. So the reasons you posted do not apply in this case. Similarly, whatever Sharpie has gone through that "pales in comparison" is not relevant to this topic.

    Obviously there are people that prefer to ban people or otherwise put them off competing if their face doesn't fit, but if everyone was like that then the world would be a horrible place.

    I wish Christina and Mark all the best for their future, but am sad that it got as bad as it did for them. If this site endorses the behaviour that was inflicted on them, by burying it's head in the sand or otherwise blocking people willing to stand up for our skaters, then I doubt I will make much time to return very often either.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.