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  1. #581

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    By the way, according to her website, she has several "partners," i.e., sponsors, including Nike, Audi, and KMPG. I wouldn't be surprised if she loses some of them now.
    ETA The sponsors say that it will not affect their partnership with Lepistö.
    Last edited by Finnice; 02-20-2012 at 03:55 PM.

  2. #582

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    Finnish news article (Helsingin Sanomat international edition in English): Finnish ex-European Champion takes part in North Korean figure skating event
    “The 21st annual Paektusan festival concluded with the appropriate ceremonies”, announced North Korea’s’ official news agency, the Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA.
    According to the report, prizes were handed out to numerous talented figure skaters from Russia, China, Bulgaria, France, Finland, and the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea).

    News reported by the KCNA about the event was used uninhibitedly to boost the personality cult of the late dictator Kim Jong-il.
    “Every performance reflects the desire of the People of Korea to show Kim Jong-il great respect”, said Kim Jon-ho, the deputy secretary-general of the North Korean Figure Skating Association.
    ...
    Laura Lepistö, the 2009 European Champion, took part in the Paektusan festival as part of the Champions on Ice group. Lepistö’s manager Erkki Alaja says that her reasons for participating were purely athletic.
    “Lepistö does not want to support [the dictatorship] in any way. Participation can also promote positive interaction among nations. The world is currently full of countries where human rights are trampled upon”, Alaja said to Helsingin Sanomat on Friday.

    Lepistö has been unavailable for comment, because she cannot use her mobile telephone in North Korea.
    She has also been told not to speak about her visit, because exclusive rights to the story have been given to a Finnish sports magazine.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-20-2012 at 03:58 PM.

  3. #583

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnice View Post
    The sponsors have not reacted. I guess the danger of losing them because of this is minimal, if nonexistent.
    That's good news for her. I don't think Tomas lost any of his sponsors in the end, either after he went to North Korea last year. I do think the FFSA needs to get their act together, though -Zayak rule fiasco at Euros, not warning Lura about the potential backlash now...hibernating on the job.

    Trying to get back on topic: did Juulia Turkkila ever compete as a Jr this season? Hopefully she can make the adjustment quickly because she has a decent chance of finishing in the top 10 at Jr Worlds in a few weeks.

  4. #584

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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    Trying to get back on topic: did Juulia Turkkila ever compete as a Jr this season? Hopefully she can make the adjustment quickly because she has a decent chance of finishing in the top 10 at Jr Worlds in a few weeks.
    Turkkila finished 13th (110.58) at the JGP in Estonia this past October, then competed internationally twice as a senior -- Ice Challenge in Graz (9th, 108.97) and Nordics (1st, 138.23 ahead of Joshi Helgesson's 137.38). ETA: Turkkila landed a flawed 3T+3T, 3S and 1A in her Nordics SP, and 3T+2T, 2A+2T+2Lo, 3T and 2A in her 2nd place FS (also a 3S<< and doubles).
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-20-2012 at 04:13 PM.

  5. #585

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    Turkkila finished 13th (110.58) at the JGP in Estonia this past October, then competed internationally twice as a senior -- Ice Challenge in Graz (9th, 108.97) and Nordics (1st, 138.23 ahead of Joshi Helgesson's 137.38).
    Thanks Sylvia! I knew she did quite a few events as a Senior, including Nationals and Euros, but I couldn't remember if she did any Junior event this year. She looks much better now than she did earlier in the season, so I'm hoping she has a good outing in Minsk.

    http://bambuser.com/v/2362550 LP's from Nordics (Juulia's starts around 1hr:09 min)

  6. #586

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    OOPS! I forgot that she was at Euros and placed 17th (130.33) - I was looking at Turkkila's ISU bio and missed it! Placing top 10 at Junior Worlds would be a worthy result for Juulia - it's a deep and talented ladies' field this year!

  7. #587

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    Quote Originally Posted by IDC a.k.a. Ritti View Post
    Quite interestingly, a bulletin for the media from Laura was sent out today by the FFSA, where she was quoted as saying: "I went to the trip with the honest thought of bringing joy to that people, and certainly also to seek the feeling of performing in front of an audiende after a break of almost 1.5 years. Only those two things were on my mind. I'm annoyed about the fact that a completely different purpose and image from the original has been created for the trip. I'm sorry for the confusion and irritation caused by my trip."


    Well that sure sounds better than, North Korea offered me big $$ to go and it wasn't an offer I could afford to refuse.

  8. #588
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  9. #589
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    What I'm curious about is why some skaters do those shows more than once (e.g. P/B are there for the second year in a row). I can sort of understand going once: it's probably the only way to get to NK, and even knowing you're getting the guided tour, it would be interesting and educational to see what life is like in such a place. But I can't understand why anyone would return after visiting once.
    Because they need the money. It's not as if they were courted by all the shows in the world and/or as if there were thousands of shows in the world for everyone to make money.
    "I missed the view and viewed the mist..." ©

  10. #590

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    Quote Originally Posted by IDC a.k.a. Ritti View Post
    Random fall on her 2axel aside, her spins looked good and she seems to be in great shape. Looking forward to seeing Laura next season

    Quote Originally Posted by cholla
    Because they need the money. It's not as if they were courted by all the shows in the world and/or as if there were thousands of shows in the world for everyone to make money.
    I think the fact that Plushenko waited until after this show to have his 2 surgeries is a good indication skaters get paid quite a bit for their appearance in the show.

  11. #591

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    I've posted a YouTube video link of a Korean TV broadcast of the Pyongyang show (48 minutes) as a separate thread in the Trash Can: http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=82670

  12. #592
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    In the same show appeared also Plushenko. Our newspaper mentions that according to KCNA he commented that "people around the world were feeling sorrow over the death of the dictatator in December". Plushenko wished success to North-Koreans in obeying the commands of the new dictator.



    In the same show was also Shen/Zhao, P/B, Denkova /Staviski and up to last year Yagudin had gone 3 times already. KCNA had him commenting something like like superb organisation, superb county and that he likes skating there, along the lines. Big fuss I say.

  13. #593
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    Quote Originally Posted by senorita View Post
    In the same show was also Shen/Zhao, P/B, Denkova /Staviski and up to last year Yagudin had gone 3 times already. KCNA had him commenting something like like superb organisation, superb county and that he likes skating there, along the lines. Big fuss I say.
    The fact that you don't have any problem with skaters being paid lackeys of a repressive regime doesn't mean the rest of us are fine with it.

    Aren't you Greek? How would you have felt if the junta back in the early 1970's had hired foreign skaters to come in and salute the colonels?

  14. #594

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    Quote Originally Posted by senorita View Post
    KCNA had him commenting something like like superb organisation, superb county and that he likes skating there, along the lines.
    KCNA is the NK press agency. I'd take anything they publish with a large grain of salt.

  15. #595
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    The fact that you don't have any problem with skaters being paid lackeys of a repressive regime doesn't mean the rest of us are fine with it.
    I think we kind of understood that by now.

    The US (and other countries) don't have diplomatic relations with North Korea. France, Finland, China, Russia and Bulgaria do. These kind of sporting and cultural exchanges have a role to play in diplomacy. I would imagine the respective governments of the skaters will be interested in their insights on their return too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Aren't you Greek? How would you have felt if the junta back in the early 1970's had hired foreign skaters to come in and salute the colonels?
    Delighted to see top class figure skating, I would imagine.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  16. #596
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    ^ That
    But Foreign skaters dont put foot here nowdays either.

    Do you think skaters approve other countries political situations when they go and skate there, besides N. Korea? I can think of one / two countries that their situation is not so "democratic".

  17. #597
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    Vagabond, do you object to the competitors going to Junior Worlds in Belarus next week?
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  18. #598
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    ^isn't there a difference to skate in a international competition or to skate in front of members of a dictator government in order to celebrate and amuse them?

  19. #599

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Vagabond, do you object to the competitors going to Junior Worlds in Belarus next week?
    I am not Vagabond, but I do.

  20. #600
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    I am Vagabond.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceIceBaby View Post
    isn't there a difference to skate in a international competition or to skate in front of members of a dictator government in order to celebrate and amuse them?
    Precisely.

    This is the distinction I made in Post #568 upthread.

    I don't have a problem with competitors going to Belarus unless it turns out that they do something like bow to portraits of Alexander Lukashenko (see Fabian Bourzat is quoted as saying in Post #555) or saluting him the way many Olympic competitors saluted Hitler back in 1936. I would also have a problem if a gigantic portrait of Lukashenko were displayed in the arena. There have been ISU events in Belarus before, and, as far as I know, nothing of the sort has happened.

    I suppose I do wish that the ISU had chosen to hold the event somewhere else, but there have been so many international competitions organized by the IOC, its member federations, and similar bodies that have been staged in countries with repressive regimes that, once the decision to stage the event in Belarus has been made, I don't see any reason for athletes to boycott it.

    Also, Belarus, while repressive, does not make it as difficult (if not outright impossible) for its citizens to mix with foreign visitors as North Korea does. The opportunity for foreign competitors, coaches, officials, and fans to associate with the locals has got to be a good thing for all involved.

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