If you're a fan of Swedish men's figure skating...

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by siberia82, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. shoegirl

    shoegirl New Member

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    You said it yourself: lack of initiative as a symptom of tiredness is a sign of depression...

    Just for the record, we do have a recycling program and you actually get money for your empty cans
     
  2. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Page 42 (continued):

    Kristoffer's sole competitor in Sweden, Filip Stiller, was a real figure skating nerd who fully embraced the sport, and his childhood room is filled with videotapes of the best skaters. The first time Kristoffer and Filip had met, at the 2000 Swedish Championships*, Filip went first. He did a flawless skate and was so delighted afterwards that he fell down to his knees and kissed the ice. When Kristoffer saw this, he intensified his focus. He then went out and opened with a perfect triple Axel. No one had performed that jump in Sweden before. He became so excited that his body shook for the rest of the program, but he still managed to land a few more triples.

    The time spent together at camps and competitions meant that Kristoffer's and Filip's rivalry eventually turned into friendship.

    Filip Stiller: - I had severe anxiety for two weeks prior to each Swedish Championships. I was completely paralyzed. Outsiders cannot understand how much pressure it is to compete in figure skating. You are totally alone on the ice. You have no team to hide behind. You can miss a jump that you've nailed every time in training – knowing that a wrong edge can destroy everything is so psychologically stressful. If you fall, it defines your entire performance. When I competed, there was only one who could understand. Kristoffer was very shy, but at international competitions, we often shared a room, and naturally we began to chat. We became very close friends.

    Despite his dominance at home, Kristoffer had difficultly asserting himself internationally. He was respected for his fine skating, but what separated him from the world’s elite was that he, despite countless attempts and training hours, never successfully landed a quadruple, a jump where one rotates four turns in the air. Kristoffer could do the four revolutions, but he always stumbled on the landing. He therefore never included a quad in his competitive programs – and was thus well behind the best skaters before the competition had even started.

    To compensate for his technical shortcomings, he began to refine other parts of his skating instead. At a figure skating competition, the judges evaluate the technical elements – jumps, spins and footwork – but they also rated the "artistic" – choreography, costumes and interpretation of the theme. Kristoffer hired a professional dancer as a choreographer, worked on improving his facial expressions on the ice, and tried to find different themes and music selections.




    * The author may have been referring to the 1999 Swedish Championships (as in the 1999/2000 season) because that was the first time Koffe had competed at the senior level. However, it's mentioned in his ISU biography that he was the first Swede to land the triple Axel in the year 2000, which either refers to the 2000/2001 season, or someone had "rounded up" mid-December 1999. I'm now confused about the dates. :confused: It should be noted that the official website for the 2010 Swedish Nationals (which took place in mid-December of last year) does list the event as SM 2010, but Berntsson is considered to be the 2011 Swedish national champion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  3. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I think the ISU date for landing a 3axel is referring to an international event recognized by the ISU. National competitions don't qualify.
     
  4. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Well, Kevin Reynolds' quad-triple-triple combination (which was performed at the 2008 Canadian Nationals) is listed on his ISU bio.
     
  5. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Whoa, I didn't realize that Adrian had such a violent temper... :eek: :wideeyes: :yikes: :scream: I don't know much about his background, but was he always a troubled kid? That aggressive behaviour must come from somewhere...



    Page 43 (no picture):

    At the same time, he continued to be spurred on by Filip Stiller. Both saw that they inspired many young guys to start figure skating. At Filip's club, a promising lad arrived who was different from the others: he had been doing martial arts and played hockey, but stopped because he started fights too often on the ice. As a figure skater, Adrian Schultheiss impressed others with his explosive jumping, but he was still easily drawn into conflict. Like the other teenage boys who figure skated, he was occasionally mocked by the hockey guys at the rink, but he refused to accept any insult.

    Filip Stiller: - It didn’t matter how big they were. He would take on anyone. One day a guy called Adrian Schultheiss a "gay demon". Adrian confronted him and didn’t stop even when a friend tried to pull him away, or when one of the hockey players kicked Adrian in the head. "I don’t take crap from anyone. Shit be shit have," Adrian declared. He wasn’t that disciplined, so one was surprised every time it went well for him at a competition. He did whatever he felt like doing, said what he wanted to say, and ate whatever he craved for.

    After winning three junior gold medals, the 17-year-old Schultheiss competed against Filip and Kristoffer at the Swedish Championships in Karlskrona. The music abruptly ended in the middle of Adrian's long program. He faltered on a spin, became furious and began to quarrel with the organizers. After a few minutes, the music played where it had stopped, and Adrian completed his skate flawlessly.

    On the podium, Kristoffer Berntsson had difficulty hiding his disappointment at being defeated by a cocky 17-year-old with a pierced lower lip. For five years*, the Swedish Nationals had been his tournament. Because these results determined who would be sent to the major international competitions, he was furthermore saddened for Filip Stiller, who finished third, and would not be joining him at the European Championships.

    Filip decided to retire. While Kristoffer grew even more lonely, Filip encouraged him to try to become Sweden’s best again.




    * The journalist made a mistake when he wrote "Under fem år" (translation: For five years); Koffe didn't compete at the 2001 Swedish Nationals, and he was forced to withdraw after the SP in 2002 even though he did win that segment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011
  6. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    Well, eys, but Kevin's bio says he landed the 4-3-3 at Nationals. What I meant to say was 'XY was the first skater from Z to land a quad' implies this happened at an international event sanctioned by the ISU. Midori Ito landed 3axels at national competitions in Japan well before she did one at the 1988 NHK trophy, but that still counts as the first time she did in [ISU-sanctioned] competition.

    Thanks for the rest of the translations!
     
  7. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for the translations! I might get Filter from Finland, but right now I can´t drive to Helsinki, so your reports are really appreciated.

    This reportage seems to be very colourful and dramatikkk, and wonder what the skaters really think about it.

    We interwiewed Kristoffer and Adrian togehther to the Finnish Figure Skating magazine doing the Europeans 2008 (the point was their home Worlds in Gothenburg) and from there, I got the impression that they were not close. They were polite to each other (and very polite to us) but one could clearly see that they are not friends who can support each other.

    Great to hear things about Filip Stiller, too! He was voidy.
     
  8. kia_4EverOnIce

    kia_4EverOnIce New Member

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    thank you for the translations!!! :)
     
  9. oakl0008

    oakl0008 New Member

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    Great work Siberia82! Although dramatic, I am loving the in depth look at the skaters their relationship to the sport and how they differ from each other as individuals. :)
     
  10. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    You're very welcome, everyone! :) I'm grateful that there are at least a handful of people who are willing to read my rough translations. I'm almost finished with the next section, but the journalist used a word which didn't exist in my dictionary, so you'll have to be patient.


    Ah okay, now I understand. That would make the most sense in Koffe's case.

    I'm curious, too. Someone should ask them about their opinion on the article. It's fairly obvious that the author wanted to focus on the negative aspects of their experience. :drama: For example, the part about Kris' loneliness and his resentment towards the sport's image was such a downer for me to read that by the end of it, I didn't really understand why the heck he would continue skating under those circumstances. :huh:

    Thanks for sharing your observations with us! Things may be a bit frosty between the two of them, but so far it doesn't sound like they're on same level as the Weir/Lysacek rivalry. ;) There is still a lot of material that needs to be translated, but it's already easy to see why Koffe and Adrian wouldn't get along. They're polar opposites in terms of their temperament.

    I actually don't know much about Filip (I only started watching figure skating in the spring of 2008, so he was "before my time"), so it was interesting to learn a bit more about him. Considering that Kristoffer's an introvert who was uncomfortable with the theatrical side of the sport, it seems unusual that he would become good friends with an extroverted skater who embodied all that was "ridiculous and geeky" about it.

    Me too! The text may be a biased glimpse into their personalities and lives as figure skaters (i.e. the heavy emphasis on the angsty stuff), but it's a lot better than nothing IMHO.
     
  11. Roxanne

    Roxanne New Member

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    Thank you so much much for translating these. This is extremely interesting and a bit sad.
     
  12. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Page 43 (continued):

    The following year, Kristoffer set a new personal record at the Swedish Nationals and qualified for the 2007 World Championships in Tokyo. There he was followed throughout the week by a camera crew from the PR agency Göteborg & Co. The next Worlds would be held in Gothenburg, and the city wanted to promote the event by highlighting the country's greatest figure skaters.

    While Kristoffer took off his skate guards and walked out on the ice in a shiny silk shirt and imitation leather black pants, he had a stomach ache due to nervousness. But as soon as he began the Travolta-dance to the first notes of "Stayin' Alive", he heard cheering from the stands. When he nailed a perfect triple toe loop, he felt that he had something big going on. Television commentators Katarina Hultling and Lotta Falkenbäck reported home to the Swedish people, "What a skate!" "Fun and groovy!" "Oh so lovely!"

    After he had completed his final spin, Kristoffer Berntsson stood with his left hand on his hip and the other stretched towards the ceiling. The audience in the packed arena gave him a standing ovation; flowers and teddy bears flew through the air and landed on to the ice. Kristoffer could not help but smile and applauded himself. He had never skated this well before. He smashed his personal record by 20 points and finished in ninth place – the best result for a Swedish man since Gillis Grafström’s gold in 1929.

    The 24-year-old Kristoffer Berntsson came home to Gothenburg as a star. People stopped him on the street to offer their congratulations. Moreover, his achievement meant that Sweden had two spots for the home World Championships.

    Kristoffer then followed up this result with a seventh place finish at the European Championships in Zagreb – his best placement ever at an international competition. Naturally, everything should have felt fantastic – if it were not for the 18-year-old Adrian Schultheiss who finished sixth.

    For figure skating fans all over the world, it seemed as if Sweden had something big happening. The country had no major presence on the international scene for nearly a century, and now it had two skaters among the top seven in Europe.
     
  13. Lis

    Lis Member

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    I have read the whole article a few times and I don't really know what to say about it.

    It is very well written in trems of making an interesting story,get peoples attention to read,that's for sure and also it puts the spotlight on Swedish skating that hardly ever happens in the press (writing).It feels more like a drama story, making Kristoffer the good guy who does everything right ,Adrian the bad guy who sits in a dark room with pierced lip and then finally Alexander who pops up from nowhere, but this according to the reporter who knows absolutely nothing about Swe skating...well before he wrote this.It is a hard sport and they do need sponsors but I don't like the way he describes the skaters.It could have been done in a more positive creative way and still put forward the problems Swedish skating face concerning sponsors .TV could help here.
    On TV we get to see who won Swedish nationals but this is not chosen by us the Swedes.We want according to Tv statistical see way more figure skating. The show in Stockholm last year was almost sold out so it is not the viewers point if you get what I say to show so little FS.We want to see more that Europeans and Worlds even though I do realize not all countries are so lucky.

    The part that says they don't talk to each other, eat breakfast together or practice together is a simple fact such as not the same practice time and also on focusing on the goal.

    It is nice that there is a focus on skating in Sweden but please don't make it look like they are enemies drama cause they are not.It is simple competition and a wish do be the best .
     
  14. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Lis, thanks for your insight into the journalist's sensationalist writing style. While I still have many pages to translate, I have already noticed that Erik Almqvist likes to describe Adrian as being "pierced"; it's as if he couldn't be bothered to inform us of Schultheiss' other traits. :rolleyes: Adrian is obviously a lot more than just an "angry punk", but it looks like the author wanted to emphasize the antagonistic side of this skater's personality. :blah:
     
  15. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    siberia82, thank you so much for your efforts in translating this. I love both Adrian and Kristoffer as skaters and it is very interesting to get more insight into their personalities and experiences. Although it does look like the author is going for a sensationalist angle on the whole thing which might be detrimental to getting sponsors for Swedish figure skating :(
    Adrian's behavior sounds really worrisome :( I hope that he can regroup and find a renewed love for skating. He is too talented to quit.
     
  16. shoegirl

    shoegirl New Member

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    I was really surprised to find out that some of you guys find the journalsit´s writing style sensational.

    Filter is by far the best magazine in Sweden, known for its deep research and proffesional approach. Filter was chosen for Magazine of the Year, 2009 and Erik Almqvist was rewarded Journalist of The Year.

    Now, don´t forget that this is an article written in a lifestyle magazine where the main target group are the people in general, and not the skating fans. And every reporter needs a story with a beginning and an end. That being said I think he did a great job portraying the skaters and I find the article very well written and objective. If you´ve been following Swedish skating you know that Kriss and Adrian were never friends. That´s a fact. They are both very talanted and voidy in their own ways but they were never friends. And if you read the article carefully you´ll notice it by the way they´re talking about each other. I think it´s really sad but that´s how it is. And this is something that´s been going on for ages. I actually thought that Adrian showed his vulnarable side in the article which is hard to notice sometimes.

    Anyway, I hope that Adrian finds the inspiration and the strenght to continue skating. And let´s hope for the best for Majorov. Because something is telling me that the Euros was the last time we saw Kriss competing :(((( (And yes, I hope I´m wrong!!!)
     
  17. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    shoegirl, it's very good of you to inform us that Filter is a highly regarded magazine within Sweden, and that Erik Almqvist has won a major award for his journalism. (He's not immune to mistakes, though, and I've pointed out earlier in this thread that he forgot two of Filip Stiller's national titles.) For outsiders like me, it helps to know what kind of publication this is. Despite my earlier criticism, I'm utterly grateful that he wanted to showcase Sweden's top male skaters, and I've certainly learned a lot about their mindset in the few pages that I've translated.

    While I agree (in my limited, English-speaking way) that Mr. Almqvist has an informative and engaging writing style, I nevertheless feel that Adrian is portrayed in a more negative light than Koffe is (e.g. the constant reference to his piercing, which the general public would normally associate with rebellious behaviour). Granted, Adrian does possess a more "edgy" temperament than Kris, but I don't think it's necessary to frequently paint him as somewhat "threatening" (or at least that's the impression that I get). For instance, in the last section I had worked on, I sensed that the author was trying to imply that Schultheiss "got in the way" of Berntsson's success by placing ahead of him at the 2008 Euros. Why didn't he write something less confrontational, like "Kristoffer was disappointed because he wasn't the top Swede at that event"?

    Of course, my perception is no doubt influenced by my minimal ability to "read" Swedish, so I'll admit that some details from the text are lost to me because I cannot grasp the subtleties of the language.
     
  18. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Page 43 (continued):

    For the first time, Kristoffer and Adrian experienced the true scent of the fine figure skating world, where the best athletes sign fat endorsement contracts and draw in millions of kronor in prize money. The most successful Russians were offered roles in television series, pen best-selling autobiographies, and have both groupies and stalkers.



    Photo, page 44 (http://i52.tinypic.com/20koef4.jpg):

    PREVENTION. After ice practice, Kristoffer rides the bus to the Athletics building for fitness training. "My body is not built for skating. I have almost no curvature in my lower back, so there is too much strain on the vertebra."



    Page 45 (http://i52.tinypic.com/20koef4.jpg):

    Kristoffer Berntsson: - It was hysteria in Tokyo. Ten thousand Japanese stood up and applauded me for my free skate. It was... a special feeling. There was a mass of fans outside the stadium, and they would take pictures, give me presents and ask for autographs. When I came back to the hotel, people were waiting for me there, too. I still receive stuffed animals and letters from Japan.

    What the foreign fans didn’t know was that Kristoffer Berntsson and Adrian Schultheiss were as different as night and day. They lived and trained in the same city, but never socialized and did not talk to each other more than necessary. When Kristoffer wasn’t training, he spent time with his girlfriend and was studying for a Master of Engineering degree at the Chalmers University of Technology. The pierced Adrian led a less orderly life. In an interview, he summarized his hobbies: "Reptiles, death metal and hip hop."

    Days before the World Championships in Gothenburg, the newspapers’ sports pages were filled with interviews of the hometown hopefuls. Aftonbladet visited their practices and described how they both trained to learn the quadruple jump – and thus break into the international elite. In an interview with Svenska Dagbladet, Adrian Schultheiss criticized the marketing of the World Championships, where posters of Kristoffer Berntsson were displayed on bus shelters and trams around Gothenburg. "As for the marketing department, they didn’t use their whole heads," he opined. "Kristoffer has received a lot of undeserved attention. I still have beaten him several times." Shortly thereafter, he made an unsuccessful attempt to play down the rivalry with the comment: "We don’t burn down each other's hotel rooms, of course."




    Adrian's last statement is just :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:! I love his sense of humour! :D
     
  19. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    By coincidence I was rewatching my videos of the 2008 Worlds Men's competition this weekend. I came across a fluff piece where Berntsson walks around introducing Goteborg and you see that there were posters of him everywhere in his Saturday Night Live costume. Must have rankled Adrian - although he was a relative newcomer at the time, would have been great for the organizers to use both Kristoffer AND Adrian as the faces of those world championships. The fluff piece definitely didn't show any posters of Adrian or even mention him in any way.

    Nonetheless, Adrian's performances at those Worlds were great! It must have been a wonderful experience for him to perform well in front of his home crowd :)
     
  20. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    I have that fluff piece, too. I believe this is the only footage produced by a major network where he speaks English (or if he has done other video interviews in English, I've certainly never seen them).

    Yeah, I can understand why Adrian would feel resentful about being "neglected" by the promoters. However, a few factors were working against him:


    1. Kristoffer was already a minor celebrity, so it was easier for the organizers to focus on him since many Gothenburgians (is that a word?) would recognize his face.

    2. Although Schultheiss did beat Berntsson at Euros, it was probably too late at that point for the marketing department to change their plans.

    3. Adrian doesn't project a "family-friendly" image, so the city and the companies that sponsored the event may have felt uncomfortable showcasing an athlete who has a punk-like aura about him.
     
  21. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Page 45 (continued):

    It was high time to wipe out Kristoffer's and the audience's expectations. While Adrian Schultheiss breezed through his long program, fans in the Scandinavium did the wave and chanted: "Adrian! Adrian! Adrian!" He closed the best skate of his life by moving down into a limbo position with his hands shaped like guns and fired at the judges. The gesture was not appreciated by all; Adrian finished at number 13 in the world, but he showed the audience that he had the potential to go further. Afterwards, he declared that he "will someday stand on the podium."

    As for Kristoffer Berntsson, he could see that the future wasn’t nearly as bright. His coach summed up his World Championships effort with the sentence: "It's about doing the best you can, and he didn't do that." The rest of the season was destroyed by a hip injury, and he was finally obligated to undergo surgery. When Kristoffer returned, he developed back problems. If he stood up for five minutes, he was forced to spend the rest of the day on the couch. He started to question whether figure skating was worth all the hard work and all the pain. It was the same steps, the same jumps, the same spins... 20 hours a week. He knew he had reached the age when a skater’s body began to deteriorate. Backs worn down due to the extreme torsion caused by the rotations, battered groins, deformed ankles. Many suffer from asthma due to the cold, dry air at the ice rink, while others feel so horrible from the loneliness and the psychological stress that they develop alcohol problems.

    After one and a half years of rehabilitation training, Kristoffer successfully came back to the 2009 Swedish Nationals. Since he had been away for so long, he knew that he not only had to win the event, but he also needed an impressive performance at the subsequent European Championships to convince the Swedish Olympic Committee to select him for the Olympics instead of Adrian.

    The result was that Kristoffer decided to jump a little higher and go a bit faster instead of focusing on security in skating. At the Swedish Championships, it went well, and he was awarded victory over Adrian. In a Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå interview, Adrian argued that Kristoffer did not deserve the title: "I don't give a crap that he won Nationals. The judges in Sweden are biased, and it has been really corny lately. They give him high marks just for being him. When we have competed internationally, I have beaten him three times out of four."




    I was aware of Koffe's hip surgery after the 2008 Worlds (and I even remember seeing a photo of him using crutches :fragile:), but I didn't know that he also suffered from a painful back injury. :( That explains why he struggled so much with his "Dancing Robot" routine. I find it odd that the journalist seemed to suggest that Kris didn't compete during the 2008/2009 season and the fall of 2009. I suppose that his way of skipping over 1.5 years, but it's still misleading. :blah:
     
  22. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

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    Again thank you a lot for translating and posting this, Siberia82!
    But the tone of the article just goes more and more weird. Yes, people seem to love rivalries,but this just strengthesn the sterotype that all the figure skaters are b####y b####s.
    Still, in a perverse way, very interesting to read.
     
  23. Lis

    Lis Member

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    Well the journalist got what he wanted...
    I have never read Filter before nor did I know about it, but since I have talked to all 3 guys several times I feel the description of them is kind of odd and does not describe their true personality.
     
  24. Lis

    Lis Member

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    Well the journalist got what he wanted...
    I have never read Filter before nor did I know about it, but since I have talked to all 3 guys several times I feel the description of them is kind of odd and does not describe their true personality.But yes of course the are competing against each other not drinking coffee.
     
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  25. Lis

    Lis Member

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    Oh have to add that Adrian is not the only one who thinks Kriss has been favored at Nationals.There has been a talk for some time now about that...
    I like all three of them since they are so different in style.
     
  26. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your insight!
     
  27. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Photo, pages 46-47 (http://i51.tinypic.com/15z5un4.jpg):

    TOKYO MEMORIES. "I have sought a challenge and decided to take it as far as possible," says Kristoffer. "You can be happy if you get something that comes easily. But if you accomplish a difficult goal that you set for yourself – it's hard to top that."


    Page 46:

    During the European Championships, Kristoffer crashed twice, and the Swedish Olympic Committee chose to send Adrian Schultheiss to Vancouver. Despite the frustration, Kristoffer understood deep down the SOK's reasoning: he was 27 years old and was believed to have passed his best before date, while Adrian Schultheiss’ career path still pointed upwards.

    On the same day that Wayne Gretzky lit the Olympic flame at the Winter Games in Vancouver, Kristoffer Berntsson stopped reading the newspaper. He usually followed the major sporting events, but now he changed the channel on his TV when the sports broadcasting started, and kept silent whenever a friend talked about the Swedish skiers' successes. Every time he was accidentally exposed to the massive Olympic coverage, he could feel a stabbing sensation in his body.

    The morning after the men's figure skating final, he could not hold it in any longer. As soon as he awoke, he opened his laptop in bed and logged on to the International Skating Union website. There was, he persuaded himself, a small chance that Adrian Schultheiss had made a fool of himself and did not make it among the top 25. In that case, Kristoffer may at least be chosen for the World Championships in Turin, one month after the Olympics.

    The page loaded slowly. Kristoffer read: American Lysacek one, Plushenko second, Japanese Takahashi third. He scrolled down until he saw Adrian's name. 15th place. It was over.

    The Swedes who sat in front of their TV sets had seen how Adrian had stepped on to the ice in Vancouver with a tattered straight jacket, his arms crossed over his chest, and performed an almost flawless skate to a potpourri of Cypress Hill's “Insane in the Brain” and Prodigy's “Smack My Bitch Up.”

    As if that were not enough, the young Olympian had become the first Nordic skater to land a clean quadruple jump in competition.

    When Adrian came in ninth place at the World Championships, after yet another perfect quad, Kristoffer Berntsson was done with figure skating.
     
  28. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    Ajax, since we were discussing the heavy emphasis on Berntsson during the 2008 Worlds promotional campaign, you might be interested in a couple of commercials where he appeared briefly. Kris and Team Surprise (well, it's either that or a throng of Koffeholic fangirls :p) shout out something in Swedish near the end of this 3-minute "Welcome to Gothenburg" ad (I could only make out the word "Göteborg"):

    http://www.nicozon.net/watch/sm10402449 (Scroll down the page to watch the video.)


    Kristoffer was also featured in this (somewhat corny) 2008 Worlds commercial: http://www.nicozon.net/watch/sm2728130
     
  29. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

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    I've discovered in this section that Koffe cares about the environment and has good taste in music (so he's not just smart, talented and cute ;)). Oh, be still, my foolish fangirl heart! ♥ ♥ ♥ :swoon: :swoon: :swoon:



    Page 46 (continued):

    Six months later, Kristoffer catches the express bus at Kungsportsplatsen in Gothenburg and sits down at his usual spot: the third seat on the right side. He sets aside his down jacket and hat on the adjacent seat, puts the iPhone headphones into his ears, and plays a track from the '90s group A Perfect Circle.

    Since he firmly believes that city dwellers have no excuse to contribute to the greenhouse effect with a car, he spends two hours on public transport every day to travel between home, office and the Landvetter rink. He falls asleep quickly, as he always tries to do, to save energy.

    Fifteen minutes later, just as the bus brakes outside of the rink, Kristoffer awakens and staggers off. He pushes past some snowball throwing school children and walks through the door with the peeling hockey club stickers.

    The ice is full of scratches from the hockey team's practice.

    - Oh, they didn’t rinse the surface? There is certainly no one here who can drive the Zamboni, either.


    Page 47 (http://i51.tinypic.com/15z5un4.jpg):

    After having searched for the janitor, he jogs a few lengths up and down the stands before he goes into the locker room to tape his right ankle, which is broken by too many sprains. Both feet have hard, bulging nodules after a lifetime of being in ice skates.

    When Kristoffer Berntsson had quit figure skating, he initiated his Master’s thesis at Chalmers and got a job at a consulting firm in Majorna. A few months later, he lay at home and watched the TV program Mästarnas mästare. On the show, Patrik Sjöberg spoke about the time after he had retired from the high jump, and explained that he had never found anything that gave him the same kick as competing. Kristoffer could already recognize himself in the description, and was afraid that it would worsen. He missed "going out on to the ice and entertaining the crowd," and judged that his body felt good from the rest. After discussing the matter thoroughly with his girlfriend, he decided to commit to the sport for one more season. The objective was obvious: to win the Swedish Nationals and thus secure a berth at the European Championships – which in turn will determine who gets to go to the World Championships in Tokyo one month later*. Sweden has two spots for both competitions. Three skaters, Kristoffer, Adrian and the promising Russian-born junior Alexander Majorov, will battle for them.




    * I know I'm being nitpicky, but the text should have read "två månader" (translation: two months) and not "en månad".
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  30. siberia82

    siberia82 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Messages:
    824
    Photo, pages 48-49 (http://i52.tinypic.com/jpww8z.jpg):

    ALONE. "Adrian could never replace Filip for me. The nature of our rivalry was different. Filip and I had grown up together."



    Page 48:

    To get revenge on the tormentor Adrian Schultheiss and earn a good result in front of his fans in Tokyo would be the perfect end to a long career.

    How it would be to finish third at the Swedish Nationals and once again sit at home while his rivals represent Sweden at the World Championships – he didn’t even want to consider that possibility.

    Kristoffer stuffs small, home-cut foam pieces into his skates to prevent chafing against his ankle, takes the CD with his program music from his bag and walks towards the ice.

    I ask him if one can perform at the top level as a 28-year-old.

    - We'll see. There is almost no one who has tried. It was a process to make the decision to continue, but it's now that I have a chance. I can't do this in three years.

    During the summer, he almost nailed a quad during training, but since then, he has been forced to give priority to the stability of the easier jumps. Because he started late in the season, he didn’t have enough time to practice the program so that "it goes on autopilot." But he is confident that it will be ready in the spring – when the European and World Championships take place.

    - The problem is that if I don't get it together now, for the Swedish Nationals, I won't even get the chance to show it in the spring.



    Page 49:

    He takes off his skate guards and heads out on to the ice. After a few warm-ups with the easier spins, steps and jumps, he fetches his burned CD from the boards and places it in the PA system. The loudspeakers soon echo Yann Tiersen's “Comptine d'un autre été” from the film Amélie.





    Well, we know how the story ends for Koffe this season... :wuzrobbed

    Ugh, I resent the author's use of the word "tormentor" to describe Adrian. :blah: How much of it is actually Kris' perception of his rival, and how much of it is Erik Almqvist's imagination?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011