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  1. #21
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    Thumbs up Ex-Turkish Football Player aims for Sochi with girlfriend Olga Bestandigova

    WOW!

    http://www.focus.de/sport/videos/ums...vid_20013.html

    Translation:

    Back during the Football World Championships in 2002, Ilhan Mansiz was still on of the stars in the Turkish National Football Team and he played for Besiktas Istanbul, amongst other football clubs.

    But today the Bayern-born 35-year old has a new sport dream. Together with his significant other, Olga Bestandigova [she used to skate pairs for Slovakia with her brother Josef Bestandig], he wants to qualify for the Pairs event at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

    ---

    Ilhan met Olga whilst taking part in Stars/Dancing On Ice tv show. They are a couple now and decided to pursue the dream of qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Games.

    Whilst the level of his skating, displayed in that video above is very low, Turkey does not have any Pairs teams so you can imagine them making the National Team by default.

    Being a professional athlete, Ilhan must be in great shape and it's very possible he'll learn fast enough. We will see. Their coach Alexander Koenig was praising his work ethic and attitude.

    It's a very long shot but respect for him, for giving it a go!

    On another note, Olga used to be extremely wild. Both in her appearance (bright pink hair) and her wayward behaviour. She looks very demure, tame and sweet now.

  2. #22
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    You're about a month behind the rest of us, Ziggy.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    You're about a month behind the rest of us, Ziggy.
    I blame the system. It wasn't displayed as a new thread when I logged back to FSU after holiday.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    You're about a month behind the rest of us, Ziggy.
    exactly, i thought when this thread came up again it was some video of them practicing. ..disappointed

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    I blame the system. It wasn't displayed as a new thread when I logged back to FSU after holiday.
    Ziggy, the search button. The search button, Ziggy.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    I've just seen this news. Obviously this partnership won't go anywhere skating-wise. However, Turkey is a football (soccer) -crazy country and this sport has a very macho culture. So hopefully the fact that a relatively high-profile football player finds figure skating cool will change the image of skating as a girls' sport and will bring more boys to the rinks.
    Yes, let's hope that this is going to create a lot of publicity for figure skating. And the fact that such an alpha male is pursuing it will hopefully make it be seen as a bit less "gay."

    I missed Bestandigova so much. In both her partnerships, she was totally no teknik but always brought tons of VOIDS.

    In her appearance (various shades of pink, violet, etc. hair, piercings, mad costumes), music choices (Michael Jackson, Art of Noise, etc.) and cool choroegraphy.

    Loved her!

    I will totally have to make it to the qualifying competition for the 2014 games just to see them compete!

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Yes, let's hope that this is going to create a lot of publicity for figure skating. And the fact that such an alpha male is pursuing it will hopefully make it be seen as a bit less "gay."
    In Turkey, as in Russia, people do not link figure skating to being gay. Boys are just not interested in participating, it is not as cool for a boy as the team sports, that's all.

    I will totally have to make it to the qualifying competition for the 2014 games just to see them compete!
    Oh, I'll be surprised if they are still skating at the end of this season, let alone in 2014. Ilhan is already 35 years old and he has had to quit football because of a knee injury. He'll soon realize it's not as easy as it looks. He can go back to appearing in TV series.

    He's had quite a career though. Not a long one like some of the great football stars, but he has been a national hero during the 2002 World Cup where Turkey came 3rd. He scored the golden goal that took Turkey to the semi-finals and then he scored two goals in the match for 3rd place. Only FSUers from other football-crazy countries can imagine how big this was in Turkey. I won't even try to explain it to the others, because there is nothing else that remotely compares to football hysteria.

    He must have a lot of to finance their skating.

  8. #28
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    I have found a video about them in an austrian newsmagazine but it is german

    http://www.krone.tv/krone/S30/kmwebt...505/index.html

  9. #29

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    I already love them! good luck and see you in Sochi! (or maybe earlier, during Europeans, if he learns to jump, lift etc etc )

  10. #30
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    His forward xovers looked decent, but some of the other stuffs he was trying looked downright scray. No overhead lift please. This is a cute story but his partner shouldn't be wasting her skating career waiting for him to become a good skater.

  11. #31
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    Asli - thanks a lot for all the insights.

    Well if he did have a serious knee injury that forced him out of football, then I can't imagine him making it to the 2014 season at all.

    Once he starts to jump and do lifts regularly, the pressure on his knees will be immense and the injury will most likely start flaring up again.

    Shame.

    Orbitz - Bestandigova has retired a while ago. Being Turkish National Champion (just don't mention you where the only ones competing ) is only going to help her show career, I think.

  12. #32

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    Ziggy, whether he is injured or not it is impossible to take this experiment seriously. He never put on skates till he was 30, he's never going to make the minimum score for the Euros, let alone qualify for the olympics. His injury only shortens the time he will enjoy playing at being a skater.

    Still,as I said I am happy about the exposure he is giving to the sport. Plus if he tried he could bring in more sponsors with a phone call than the federation could with a year's struggle. I had never seen a Turkish skater on any kind of commercial - TV, written press, bilboards - until Ilhan appeared in this Clear shampoo commercial on skates and every bilboard was showing his skating photos. In the commercial he says that in skating, not only must your performance be precise but your hair must be perfect as well. Wheeeee! He already knows the essentials of skating. He must read the FSU.

    Off topic except for showing the variety of sponsors he could bring in: Don't miss this commercial of the Evy Lady sanitary towels. x infinity.
    In this macho sport, not many football players in the world who would accept to be beaten in beach football by a girl having her period - however good the sanitary napkins and however high the fee they earn. You go Ilhan!

  13. #33
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    Cool shampoo commercial. It brought back memory of Dorothy Hamill's Short and Sassy commercial from the 70s. I can totally see Evan doing a commercial like that for Head & Shoulder, for example, but it's not going to happen.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    Ziggy, whether he is injured or not it is impossible to take this experiment seriously. He never put on skates till he was 30, he's never going to make the minimum score for the Euros, let alone qualify for the olympics. His injury only shortens the time he will enjoy playing at being a skater.
    In other sports, there are loads of stories of people who have taken up a sport and became World Champions in a couple of years.

    Of course skating is very different, much more difficult. But then didn't Johnny Weir start skating very late in his life and became Junior World champ after a few years of training?

    The chance of them making it to Olympics is 0.1% but I'll reserve judgement until I see them compete. We need videos from Turkish Nats!

    Thanks for the commercial link. We need exactly this. Mass media messages that make skating look super cool instead of the usual frumpy, old ladies/gay/whatever venture.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    In other sports, there are loads of stories of people who have taken up a sport and became World Champions in a couple of years.

    Of course skating is very different, much more difficult. But then didn't Johnny Weir start skating very late in his life and became Junior World champ after a few years of training?

    The chance of them making it to Olympics is 0.1% but I'll reserve judgement until I see them compete. We need videos from Turkish Nats!

    Thanks for the commercial link. We need exactly this. Mass media messages that make skating look super cool instead of the usual frumpy, old ladies/gay/whatever venture.
    Johnny Weir's 'late' start was at about age 12...lol
    In US most champions start at 3-5 years old.

  16. #36
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    As the ISU is also putting a lot of significance on Adult Skating this is also a good promotion for our sport. I often have older people ringing up asking for training classes. The y have seen a skating movie or live sports coverage and now want to try out if this would be something to them.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pennskater View Post
    Johnny Weir's 'late' start was at about age 12...lol
    In US most champions start at 3-5 years old.
    That is an extremely late start. Most skaters start at 5-6 years old.

    Most people would never imagine that somebody starting at 12 would be capable of achieving all he did.

    Of course it's very different than starting at 35. ;D

    But Ilhan used to be a top athlete and is physically in top shape, I would imagine.

    I don't know - I am normally so cynical and bitter but I can't help being super excited about this team.

    I know that their chances of making the Olympics are practically none but I have a lot of respect for him for trying.

    Grandma - glad to hear that!

  18. #38

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    ziggy. clear your pm box!

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    Eventhough this man could be brilliant enough to learn skating tricks fast, his knees injury will most probably hold him back.
    To be an international pair skater he will have to learn the basic skating skills extremely fast, as well as jumps. He must be able to perform at least a double axel in competition, meaning of course that he has all the other double jumps.
    This will require a full time training, several hours a day to make up for the late start and age.
    And it's pretty much impossible. Figure skating is too hard. People tend to believe it's easy because champions make it look easy, but once they start they figure out how incredibly difficult it is.

    To do so he has to be a super talent. But since he is already a gifted sportman, maybe nothing is that impossible. And as a man it's easier to learn jumps at a late age than for a woman (after puberty it gets difficult for girls to even manage to keep their technic + they are less powerfull than boys especially with female body characteristics, fat vs muscles...).
    So I'll wait and see but I would not bet my money on their participation at any championship.
    They could maybe participate in an adult event where I believe they belong to.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedwig View Post
    ziggy. clear your pm box!
    Ughhh that...

    Message me on FB please.

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