Rivals on ice, friends(???) off ice

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by nguyhm, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. nguyhm

    nguyhm Active Member

    100
    47
    28
    I have been contemplating on starting this thread although I'm not sure how far it will go. We all hear of rivalries on ice such as Kwan/Slutskaya, Yu Na/Mao, D&M/G&G among others. I've heard (bits and pieces) that although they are fierce competitors on ice, they have developed good friendships off ice. Michele and Irina were good friends, competing against but also supporting each other. Yu Na and Mao have mentioned being each other's rivals but they have a good relationship off ice. Artur and Sergei were very good friends while competing before Sergei's early death - Artur was one of the pallbearers at Sergei's funerals. I'm not sure how much of this is speculation but I personally like the fact that they can be friends.
     
  2. blancanieves

    blancanieves Active Member

    442
    228
    43
    I imagine that unless someone is downright rude, your competitors are the people who have the most in common with you. You can relate to the hard work that goes into making it in the sport, and even admire someone's talents. Also, it takes time to develop as a figure skater, and you're literally growing up alongside your competitors throughout the years. That's a lot of common ground where friendships can blossom.
     
  3. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    7,535
    892
    113
    Also, when two skaters have been competing against each other since juniors, there will be a sizeable number of contacts over the years ... plus any tours or shows where both appear. (Michelle and Irina, for example, were both on the COI tour when it was doing 60 or 70 shows a year) In such cases, the two might make a real effort to get along as well as possible.
     
  4. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

    774
    70
    28
    Sasha Cohen famously and pointedly said that she wasn't friends with Kwan, when pressed. The interviewer asked her twice, and the 2nd time it was quite awkward because you could tell she was struggling to stay civil.

    I think Sasha's reasoning was that you can't really be friends with someone at that level of fierce competition because you're both dedicating your lives to the same goal. On the other hand, if the skater isn't ranked so closely with you, it might be easier to make friends with them
     
  5. girlscouse62

    girlscouse62 Active Member

    660
    121
    43
    I understand that Scott moir and Charlie White are good friends. Certainly Tessa and Kaitlyn appear very friendly in there latest vids.
     
  6. MissJD

    MissJD Active Member

    460
    67
    28
    I believe Savchenko and Volosozhar were, at least once upon a time, friends (haven't seen/ read anything recently though). They skated in the same groups early on, in the same shows (including that syncro pairs #), and there were off-ice social pics... I doubt they're very close now ;) I tried to find those pics, but googling their names together just got me like every pairs podium pic in recent history lol

    Just for kix, here's the program http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7MS_0hF7hzE
     
  7. misskarne

    misskarne #408

    7,220
    2,082
    113
    Can't go past Joshua Farris and Jason Brown, who have a current status of "officially really good friends".

    They've been competing against each other since the age of ten.
     
  8. Stephanatic

    Stephanatic Member

    30
    8
    8
    Johnny and Stephane have been good friends since they met in juniors around 1998. Carolina and Alissa are friends.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  9. zebraswan

    zebraswan Active Member

    212
    216
    43
    Yuzuru and Javier Fernandez
     
  10. canbelto

    canbelto Well-Known Member

    1,447
    170
    63
    Carolina Kostner and Adelina Sotnikova appear to be good friends. Sotnikova also appears to be friendly with Mao Asada.

    It also appears that Evgeny Plushenko and Evan Lysacek are friendly now. Plushenko said Lysacek sent some supportive messages during Sochi.
     
  11. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    2,702
    288
    83
    I think some rivalries are imagined. ;) Most skaters appear cordial to each other.
     
  12. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    1,583
    201
    63
    Are Yuna and Mao actually friends or just civil acquaintances? I am asking because I really don't know.
     
  13. coraczek

    coraczek Member

    277
    13
    18
    Being friendly to each other doesn't mean being friends.
     
  14. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    1,551
    1,555
    113
    One article described Mao and Yuna as "frenemies." :)
     
  15. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

    2,289
    342
    83
    Plushenko's friends : Stefan Lambiel, Johnny Weir, Tomas Verner .
     
  16. Shyjosie

    Shyjosie Active Member

    270
    48
    28
    True.
    But with time passing on, people learn to tell niceties from real compassion, hopefully, and I don't have a doubt that there are friendships in FS as well as in other sports.
    Didn't Maya Usova make Tracy Wilson her bridesmaid? Well, they weren't real rivals, with W/M retiring quite before U/Z bacame really big, but still...
     
  17. misskarne

    misskarne #408

    7,220
    2,082
    113
    And none of them were really his rivals. Stephane was always just lacking those jumps, Weir threw away his talent and wasted it, and Verner was never in the same league.

    I think we're talking about skaters who are direct rivals, actually fighting each other for medals on the ice, and somehow friends off it.
     
  18. rosewood

    rosewood Well-Known Member

    2,899
    2,355
    113
    In a press conference after Sochi Olympics Mao described she's "friendly" to Yu-Na when she meets her in competitions, and also she thinks Yu-Na is "someone like a friend". Feel free to assume anything based on these words. ;)
     
  19. lala

    lala Well-Known Member

    2,289
    342
    83
    uhm..I understand. But Stefan was second when Plushy was first that is rivalry. In this sense Javier also doesn't rival of Yuzuru, Alyssa doesn't rival of Carolina, Johnny doesn't rival of Stefan..
     
  20. coraczek

    coraczek Member

    277
    13
    18
    It was mentioned a few times in this forum. But I'm also curious if it is true, because I’ve only read about it here. Never have I read any article or interview about it.

    I think friendships happen more often between a top athlete and an athlete, whose position in sport is much weaker. But unfortunately, when both of them fight for the highest places, the friendships are rare. But I also don’t doubt that they happen.

    One of the posters has written that in the mid-1990s Grishuk/Platov were friends with Krylova/Ovsiannikov (though I’m sure if it’s true). But when K/O became G/P’s competitors for the highest place the friendships finished. Such situations happen in other disciplines as well. Aga Radwanska allegedly used to be friends with Vica Azarenka. But when the competition between them got more heated, this friendship finished, as well. But to be honest I suppose that there was no real friendship between those athletes in the first place.
     
  21. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    1,583
    201
    63
    I'd say Charlie White/Tanith Belbin qualified back in 2010. :lol:
     
  22. Stephanatic

    Stephanatic Member

    30
    8
    8
    I don't think Stephane, Johnny, Tomas - or Brian, Daisuke, Jeff - just ceded the gold to Plushenko before every competition and decided they would divvy up the silver and bronze between them. Of course they knew that Plushenko was the favorite with his talent and history, and of course they knew the judges loved him, but elite athletes go into competitions convinced they can win (especially those used to skating in the last group); they don't train to come in second. I would be surprised if Plushenko didn't consider them as rivals who could possibly pull an upset...as Brian did (yes, just once, and he was the only one until Vancouver, but that's not the point I'm trying to make). Particularly Stephane, Brian & Daisuke were legitimate contenders for all three medals; just because Plushenko virtually always won doesn't make the others a bunch of second-tier nonentities that he could safely befriend only because they weren't going to be actually competitive with him.
     
  23. lauravvv

    lauravvv Well-Known Member

    1,515
    160
    63
    Stephane (or, more, precisely, Stéphane with an "é") ;). He is from the French part of Switzerland, therefore he has the French version of that name, not the German one or whatever.
     
  24. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    1,911
    473
    83
    haha I remember that. #awkward

    I liked her answer. It was honest.
     
  25. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    1,583
    201
    63
    The feeling was mutual. As I said earlier, Kwan would not say anything positive about Cohen circa 2002-03 even when prompted repeatedly. But I don't think they disliked each other because they were going for the same goal. Their personalities just clashed. Remember Kwan gave the famous "I like you, Tara" declaration at the 98 Olympics and Tara later described Kwan as a nice girl from a good family. Kwan also admitted that she couldn't watch Irina skate sometimes, like at 2001 worlds, because she Irina so much and didn't want to wish her to skate poorly. Slutskaya would go on to refer to Kwan as her friend many times. Kwan even praised Sarah Hughes many times after Salt Lake City. She just simply didn't like Cohen. LOL

    I wonder how Yamaguchi and Kerrian would feel about Cohen's remark about not being able to be friends with a rival. I realize that Kerrigan being a headcase never posed a serious threat to Yamaguchi but when they were Albertville roommates, they told the press that they stayed up nearly all night talking after the short program. They were 1,2 in the standings at the time and even though Kerrigan wasn't expected to win, I'm sure Yamaguchi knew there was a slight chance of an upset by her friend. Their competing against each other never affected their friendship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  26. misskarne

    misskarne #408

    7,220
    2,082
    113
    I'm not saying that they were - if it weren't for Stephane I might have actually changed the channel that night in 2010. (My sister and I thought he was a young buck at his first Olympics. Oops.)

    But if you consider Plushenko's career - there would never again be a rivalry for him like the one he had with Yagudin. He never again had to push himself to the same level as he did when fighting Yagudin. While these guys definitely kept him on his toes and surprised him once or twice, he probably considered them as rivals but certainly not in the same vein as Yagudin. Which is perfectly fair.

    As well as that, I think Plushenko has started to loosen up a lot in the last few years towards his competitors. I mean, can you imagine him going up to one of the American skaters in Salt Lake City or even Turin and gushing about how much he loved his skating? Unimaginable.
     
  27. unchat123

    unchat123 Active Member

    296
    47
    28
    Isabelle Brasseur and Kristi Yamaguchi are very good friends - Isabelle was a bridesmaid in Kristi's wedding - yet they were rivals while Kristi was doing pairs with Rudy. Isabelle is also very good friends with Nancy Kerrigan, so I wonder what the friendship triangle is like, especially the Kristi-Nancy angle.
     
  28. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    2,604
    408
    83
    Wasn't Sasha Cohen friendly with Naomi Nari Nam, at least when they first started out in Juniors?
     
  29. Stephanatic

    Stephanatic Member

    30
    8
    8
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  30. overedge

    overedge where's the remote?

    18,710
    3,555
    113
    Roz Sumners and Katarina Witt were not all that friendly with each other when they were competitors - IIRC partly because Witt was kept away from the eville Westerners, so no one got to spend much time with her, and partly becase Sumners was bitter when she lost to Witt by not very much at the Olympics. But they became friends later on when they were on many professional tours together and got to know each other.