Who Is the Queen of Skating Moms

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Squibble, Aug 29, 2010.

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Who Is the Queen of Skating Moms?

Poll closed Sep 3, 2010.
  1. Momma Henie

    1 vote(s)
    0.6%
  2. Momma Heiss

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Momma Fleming

    5 vote(s)
    2.8%
  4. Momma Chin

    33 vote(s)
    18.5%
  5. Momma Lipinski

    15 vote(s)
    8.4%
  6. Momma Harding

    2 vote(s)
    1.1%
  7. Momma Bobek

    5 vote(s)
    2.8%
  8. La Mère Joubert

    22 vote(s)
    12.4%
  9. Momma Leung

    16 vote(s)
    9.0%
  10. Momma Zhang

    7 vote(s)
    3.9%
  11. Momma Kim

    56 vote(s)
    31.5%
  12. Other (please identify)

    16 vote(s)
    9.0%
  1. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    Yep. Sorry, but life's tough. :hat1:

    :lynch: Go start your own poll. :p

    She's there. Mind you, I didn't specify which Zhang. ;)

    I'm surprised no one's voted for Momma Heiss so far. She managed to (1) upstage her daughter in press interviews and (2) control her daughter from beyond the grave. :yikes:

    I also think I should have added Momma Mitchell. (David, not Mark) :mitchell:[
  2. jazzpants

    jazzpants New Member

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    Mamma Ruh, I've heard, is a piece of work... ;)
  3. ratatouille

    ratatouille New Member

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    I'm not sure if Kim's mother is QUEEN ... she majored in Yuna and seems to be the perfect mom for a figure skater but she did not teach her daughter the most important thing in life: respect and courtesy and that blaming others deoesn't lead you to anything.
  4. Mafke

    Mafke New Member

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    Two weird things. Skating dads seem to mostly be off the radar, how many competitor's dads really seem to get in their offspring's careers?

    Papa Henie,
    Papa Trenary,
    Papa Csako (doubling as coach),
    Papa Kwan,

    and ....?

    Skating moms mostly seem to be about the daughters, La Maman Joubert seems to be the only Skating Mother from Hell in a son's career. Am I missing others?
  5. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Other than Tarasova, who else has dumped a skater and openly stated the reason as "being sick and tired of her/his mother? :revenge:
  6. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

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    Haven't you already mentioned that before?
  7. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    Yes I have but I want to know if there had been any other cases. :p
  8. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    One other "skatemom from hell" was forgotten here, and she really takes the prize...

    Mama BONALY!!!!! Who, I believe, actually coached her daughter during her eligible career.
  9. ratatouille

    ratatouille New Member

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    nobody can beat mom KIM. Other moms are being more discret.
  10. bek

    bek Guest

    In the sense of who is probably the hardest to deal with and hardest on her child, I definetly think its Mama Kim. But I think there ar other parents who have not only been rotten to deal with, but have also mismanaged and even hurt their child's careers.

    For example one could argue Danny Kwan cost Michelle perhaps 2 OGMs. He was the one who forced her to continue on those boots, that she made it clear she didn't like because he gave his word and I'm sure money. She got injured because of those boots, and its why she wasn't able to do a 3/3 at the Olympics etc. Then we could add in Danny encouraging Michelle to go coachless at the Olympics to save money.

    Say what you will about Mrs. Park who may be extremely hard on her daughter and extremely rotten to deal with. But I don't think she would EVER force Yu-na to continue on skates that were uncomfortable for her. I think winning and doing the absolute best to ensure Yu-na wins has always been Park's primary motivation-not money.

    And while she may let the relationship with Brian lapse, I have a feeling when Brian suggested on Canada Am that it was about someone who will pressure Yu-na more to stay in, that its the truth. Mrs Park does not strike me as the type who would let her child go uncoached.

    So I guess it just depends on how you really look at things.
  11. MarieM

    MarieM Well-Known Member

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    Lies.
    She's a really nice person, and never interfered with her daughter on ice training until noone wanted to listen to Surya anymore ... Meaning when they all tried to get something out of her ....
    Outside that, Mama Bonaly is an angel with strange food taste.
  12. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of parents who made decisions that hurt their child's careers -- although no one knows what part, if any, Danny had in Michelle actually going coachless, or whether money was a part of it (or, for that matter, what part, if any, Mama Lipinski played in Tara's hip injury, by failing to limit her practices, etc; John Hughes in handling Sarah's post-OGM career.). I don't look at one or two bad decisions as creating a "skating-parent-from-hell".

    Instead, I look at other things. While trying to break into acting is not something I particularly admire, Tara does do a lot of charitable work, and, seems to be turning out OK. Not only did the Kwan and Hughes family each turn out a skating star who (at least so far) are managing to handle themselves quite well in preparing for life-after-skating, but they both had other kids, who did not become skating starts, but still turned out OK (at least as far as anyone could tell). No Kwan or Hughes sibling has complained about their dreams being sacrificed to the family skater.
  13. hirshey girl

    hirshey girl New Member

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    Actually, IIRC, Frank Carroll stopped working with Tiffany Chin because of her mother. :wideeyes: That's the one that pops to mind immediately.
  14. bek

    bek Guest

    True. I agree about Yu-na's sister getting the raw end of the deal, but I also feel that its a situation we can't completely judge. The Kim family struggled financially whereas lets say the Hughes family was rich. Sometimes family members may make a decision to invest in one child, if they think that child's talent has the potential to benefit from the entire family.

    Kim's mother did express regrets about not helping her other daughter's singing career, and DID offer to help her if she wanted too. I know everyone said, well I wouldn't want my mother to help me now if she didn't do it in the past. But I think that if a career in music was what her daughter truly wanted with more than anything in her heart, she absolutely would have taken her mom up on the offer. Even if she was still angry and upset about how her mother treated her. I know I would.

    Perhaps Kim's sister truly wants to be a nurse now, which is very much a noble profession. Saves lives! I also think that perhaps her sister, got to see what the celebrity life is like for her sister, and perhaps is thankful to have a more normal life. Its not like her sister has no education, no decent job etc. I think she turned out alright. I am shocked when people criticize Kim's sister's career.

    My feeling is given that Mama Kim has said her daughter is to take care of her sister and trying to make the music right. That Mama Kim and Yu-na both feel guilty enough about it, and know that Aera sacrificed so much that Aera could literally right now have probably anything she wanted, and pursue any dream she wanted. Now sure she didn't get that when she was a child, but not everyone gets that when they are a child or an adult.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2010
  15. Squibble

    Squibble New Member

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    Papa Robertson

    Given the popular demand for it, I'll post a "Who Is the King of Skating Dads?" poll tonight. If anyone wants to nominate someone not listed already in this thread, please submit your nominations here or by PM. :)
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  16. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    Since when has there been evidence that Danny convinced Michelle to go coachless considering both she and Frank have always been extremely closemouthed about their split? Do you know something the rest of us don't?
  17. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't put Papa Trenary in this list. Trenary's dad seemed very supportive of her at competitions, because she wasn't close to her divorced mom at the time. It was usually her dad that showed up at her competitions, and hence the ABC crew often shoot him in the stand cheering her on. It's like how we often see shots of Kerrigan and Todd's parents in the stands, but no one would classify them as the classic "skating parent".

    What about Papa Weiss ?
  18. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure bek was just expressing her opinion, but I don't think she's the only one that believe Danny played a big hand in Michelle going coachless though, but that's old news :shuffle:
  19. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    And if the Hughes family are not rich? I have never heard anyone say that the Kwans were wealthy. Also, IIRC, the boot endorsement issue arose around the time Karen was entering college ... and Ron was already attending college. Does this mean if Danny Kwan made the decision regarding the boot endorsement to get the money he needed to send Ron and Karen to college, it is OK, and he gets off the "skating-parents-from-hell" list?

    Let's not forget that the decisions (to send other siblings to college, or, to sacrifice their dreams in the interests of another child) was made long before that other child was a skating star, and, when the skating issue was a gamble. The fact that Mama Kim's gamble paid off, and, the older daughter could cash in if she wanted to, doesn't alter the fact that the older daughter's dream was sacrificed on a gamble, whereas neither the Kwan nor Hughes parents asked the same type of sacrifice of their other kids.
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  20. kosjenka

    kosjenka Well-Known Member

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    I was stunned when Michelle and Frank ended their partnership.
    But somehow I remembered this moment that has happened in that Olympic season. I think it was during Skate Canada or Skate America press conference or on of the press junkets they attended together at the time where Michelle was asked about possibly going to Torino Olympics 2006 and Frank laughed out loud like it is out of the mind and Michelle have him this confused look and said something like "Well anything is possible.".
    They seemed out of sync.
    Like they were not in tune with each other. Simmilar like when Orser said during a press conference that Yu Na should learn 3 axel not so long ago and how she looked at him after that.
  21. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Along this same vein, the Weirs, I believe, made an agreement with Johnny that he would pay back money originally saved for his brother to fund his skating, which, by happenstance, was well timed since Johnny's brother is 4 years younger.
  22. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

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    There was also a Father and Grand Parents involved here. It was not a pretty scenario. The good news is that she did survive.
  23. bek

    bek Guest

    How was the other daughter's dream sacrificed when she's still more than young enough to have a singing career if she so desires? I mean this in the nicest way possible but for skating careers, these things have to be pursued when you are young. But the other daughter is now 22, that was plenty of time for her parents to help her out/make it up to her even if Yu-na's skating dream didn't go through. There was always a way longer window for her to pursue her dream than for Yu-na to pursue hers.

    And if I understand correctly in the story about Yu-na, Yu-na was discovered by a coach who was simply begging her parents to pay the money to help her skate, send her overseas etc. He was even telling her parents that he would help them with the funds if necessary. He firmly believed she had the talent to be an Olympic champion at the young age. Don Laws said something similar.

    While Aera may have a beautiful voice, given that the mom didn't know how good it was, there's quite a big chance that no teachers were going up to the parents saying a big thing. So its not like the two gambles were equal.

    And once again we don't know if Aera's parents sat down and had the same talk with Yu-na and Aera that Johnny's parents had with him. We will pay for your skating Yu-na but when you are older, you'll find a way to make it up to her sister. In fact there was talk that Yu-na came very close to quitting because of finanical income

    I'm not saying life was wonderful or fair for Aera. Life never is but to judge a family for the decisions made when aren't there isn't fair either.
  24. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    First, while not as extreme as with boys, the voices of girls often change with age, so it is possible that the time window is lost. Second, with much money spent on Yu-Na's career, it would be doubtful if Aera's dream could be pursued if Yu-Na did not reach skating stardom. Third, the fact that the Kwans, the Weirs and the Hughes all managed to support their skating-star-child while securing the futures of their other children shows that great wealth is not necessary.

    Most importantly, however, is that, if judging Mama Kim for "the decisions made when aren't there isn't fair" [sic], why is it fair to judge Papa Kwan for a decision (or decisions) made for reasons also undisclosed? As I mentioned before, the two older Kwan children would be in college when the issue of the boot endorsement arose. It is completely unknown if the boot issue had any bearing on the Nagano results, since Tara was so fanatically dedicated to winning that she practiced until her hip was injured .... and beating fanatics is extremely difficult.

    We also don't know what involvement he had with Michelle's decision to (a) drop Frank or (b) go coachless as opposed to getting another coach. It is very possible, for example, that Danny did not have any direct part in the decision. His part (if any) could have been indirect (i.e., tension began brewing between Frank and Danny; despite attempts by both to hide it, Michelle could feel the pressure, but couldn't handle it). He also could be completely innocent.

    It seems to me that the rules should be the same for both the Kims and the Kwans -- if it is unfair to judge the one, it is unfair to judge the other. This is especially true with the "skating mom" [or "skating dad"] sobriquet. As it is, there is one problem, centered on a coach, where both parents (at least allegedly) made a bad decision. However, both parents should also be given credit for the good that they did ... including the decisions made by the Kwan, Hughes and Weir families to protect their non-skating children.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  25. Muffin

    Muffin New Member

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    Frank did say this about Papa Kwan in the NY Times regarding 1998:
    It was bad advice, and Papa Kwan should not have gone over the head of the coach. But really, that's not even in the same league as Tiffany Chin's mom.
  26. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

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    What happened?
  27. bek

    bek Guest

    I criticize only on decisions seemingly related to skating and not if people love their kids. If Mrs Park allowed her daughter to go coachless at the Olympics, I'd criticize her. You better believe I'd criticize her. And while yes the Kwans were facing college for their kids, this was also the time of the skating boom and Michelle was already a huge star. Making your child wear a boot that hurts them makes them feel uncomfortable that is frankly dangerous. But I'm sure Danny Kwan meant well and I don't doubt He loves Michelle dearly.

    And I think its unfair to say that Kim's didn't secure their other daughter's future. The girl went to school to become a nurse. Its not like she had no education and is now waiting tables. Last I checked nursing requires some form of college education.
    A lot of times the girls voices actually gets better with age, it matures as long as it wasn't damaged by oversinging etc... Its once again far more likely for the other daughter to pursue singing in her 20s than it would be for Yu-na to pursue skating in her twenties.

    Please don't get me wrong I'm not saying Mrs Park's choices were all right. I absolutely would have sent someone else with Yu-na for Aera's graduation etc.

    And I'm going to point out the Kwans had a wealthy sponsor I believe who paid for Michelle and Karen's training. The Kim's didn't have a wealthy sponsor for all those years. Whose to say the Kwans wouldn't have made hard choices and frankly didn't make hard choices. Whose to say that Johnny would have been a complete flub on the skating scene and then no college money for his kid brother?

    I feel in general that sometimes parents do different things for different kids. It doesn't mean they love one child more than the other. Its hard to judge. Perhaps if the Kims ahd made Yu-na stop skating, the entire family including Aera would have regretted it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2010
  28. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    Foreign nurses often do not have nearly the same professional standing of US RNs, which are recognized in the US as both front line responders and in demand well compensated licensed professionals.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  29. bek

    bek Guest

    True but I remember them saying she was in nursing school, so she's getting some kind of credentials. Its once again hardly some horrific job, and who knows it may be the job she know wants.
  30. bardtoob

    bardtoob Well-Known Member

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    It's not a horrific job to me since I have worked in healthcare, but some people would rather do something that does not involves lots of gloves. To be a nurse and like it does take a special kind of person because the job functions are not always pleasant.
  31. bek

    bek Guest

    Oh I know. Please don't get me wrong I don't think Mrs Park was correct in everything she did. I don't understand some of the things like she did like why not just ask another parent to go with Yu-na to that competition so she could go to Aera's high school graduation, heck why not see if Yu-na can skip it. I defintely think there's more she could have done for the other daughter. Although it sounds like she even had regrets about not encouraging Aera. At the very least even without a lot of money you'd think she'd find some way to help her daughter get better at singing (free choirs etc and really at least voice lessons aren't that expensive)

    But I get quite angry when I hear this whole her poor sister's a nurse. My Grandmother is a nurse and was very proud to be so, as is my Aunt. It truly is a noble profession. And it is a profession that can give you some financial security (not make you rich) but some financial security.

    I will say I definetly cringe when I see Yu-na singing in public now after hearing about Aera. But in the end, I really don't know what I'd if I was Ms Park and I had a child prodigy little family finances, I just don't know what I'd do.. And that's why I kind of defend Mrs. Park there because while I'd like to think I'd spend equal money on all my children, I don't know what I'd do if there was an extraodinary circumstance like that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2010
  32. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but it costs a heck of a lot of money to defend yourself against such a claim (I speak from experience as a media defense attorney), so better to avoid the claim in the first place.

    Seems like all the notorious skating moms are listed, none of whom I would refer to as "Queen." :lol: Cruella? Maybe.

    O-
  33. RunnersHigh

    RunnersHigh Active Member

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    Her sister currently works as a nurse in a hospital near home. ;)
  34. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    And it is also possible that Aera may have been as successful a singer -- and it would have improved Yu-Na's skating not to have the pressure on her. We also don't know the effects of this decision on the relationship between the sisters -- sacrificing Aera's dream in favor of Yu-Na's dream is something that could easily poison the family, in the long term.

    As to the other points:

    Even if the family was sending the elder child to nursing school while financing Yu-Na's skating, it may not have been that expensive, or, there may be more help (scholarships and grants) for nursing school than for skating. If US nursing is any guide, it also does not necessarily require a college degree plus grad school (one can be an LVN without a bachelor's, for example).

    That Aera is finding a valuable career to replace her squelched dream, though, doesn't negate the damage done by the decision.

    As to some of the other things you mentioned ... first, Karen started college -- and the issue of the boot endorsement -- arose around '97 -- when Michelle had been a big star for maybe a year. Also, by California law, a big chunk of the money that Michelle earned "for creative services" (which includes sports prize money and skating shows) had to go into a trust fund for Michelle, but the endorsement money would be different. So, it is very possible that the endorsement money would have been needed for college expenses.

    Second, your post is the first I ever heard of the wealthy sponsor ... even Michelle's autobiography never mentioned having one pay all expenses for both Michelle and Karen. There is (I believe) a need requirement for the grants given by the Women's Sports Foundation -- Michelle did get one of those grants -- which indicates to me that all expenses were not paid.

    My point was simply that a parent of a young skating star making one bad decision that may affect the child's skating career, is both comparatively common and rather uncertain -- Kwan may not have won gold in SLC with Frank; Tara's hip may still have been injured even if Pat had stopped her practicing so much -- should not be compared to a parental gamble that may affect the rest of the child's life.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  35. bek

    bek Guest

    There was an article about the owner of the Yankees who just died, who was a benefactor for Michelle Kwan and her sister.

    To be frank if I was in Mama Kim's situation, I might perhaps if really money was that bad put Aera's dream maybe a bit on hold. Maybe not put all kind of finances in it but get her voice lessons (they can be fairly inexpensive) Encourage her to do choir etc, look into music scholarships. And I'd probably put a time limit on Yu-na's career, where I'd stop in than put more resources into Aera's.

    I do think its fair to note that her mom I guess before Aera went into university, DID feel bad about what happened and tried to do something about it. I know that sometimes parents make mistakes realize they were wrong and then apologize for it try to make it right. So I don't think its completely fair to say Aera's "life was destroyed" when she could pursue music now if she wanted. Of course that was definetly a gamble on the Kim's part.
  36. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    I don't get why some people like to discuss skaters' private lives let along their family's. Don't you think they deserve privacy?
    All I know is Yuna's sister has a stable professional career as a nurse and is a beautiful young lady on her own. If I were her parent, I'd be darn proud.
    RunnersHigh and (deleted member) like this.
  37. bek

    bek Guest

    Well nobody would be discussing Aera's missed singing dreams, if Mrs Park hadn't told the whole world about it in her book. She opened herself up to that criticism, and I wonder how Aera must have felt to have a private disappointment revealed to the entire world.
  38. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

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    I haven't read the book and I have no plan to read it.
    IMO, publishing such book is corny and discussing about it intensly isn't that cool either. Hyping of an athlete's parents might be a usual routine in Korean society but it certainly won't help her when she tries to expand her boundaries in the future. I doubt that similar stuff will ever be published again.

    But it's only my opinion and you are free to carry on.;)
  39. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Really??? :eek: George Steinbrenner was a benefactor for Michelle and Karen Kwan??
  40. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    He gave the Kwans $10,000 when Michelle was 13. As generous as that was and as fortunate as the Kwans were to receive such a gift, it's not as if he funded them for years.

    http://www.requiredelements.com/2010/7/14/1569110/michelle-kwan-reflects-on-the-boss