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  1. #121
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    "Ilhan: When they said, do a three-turn…
    Oli: He wasn’t doing a three-turn, he was turning three times in a row.
    Ilhan: I turned three times and I was like why do I have to turn three times?"

    I wish them both ALL the best. No matter whether they make it to Sochi, it doesn't matter! It's the journey that counts
    But hopefully they will compete in Euros anyway ... that itself would be another big achievement.

  2. #122
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    Great interview, thanks for sharing.

    Even though their chances of qualifying are pretty much 0.0000000001%, I wish them all the best and I do hope that it's the journey that counts for them and that they are going to be pleased with what they have achieved.

    Hopefully they can do some international competitions and get the minimum TES for Europeans at least.

    Best of luck to them!
    Last edited by Ziggy; 09-22-2013 at 04:41 PM.

  3. #123
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    In the interview linked by Sylvia, Bestandigova said that they had to qualify for the Olympics before she could be considered for citizenship, which suggests a very expedited process should they qualify.

    Among those trying to qualify for the four Pairs spots:

    *Takahashi/Kihara scored 138.08 at Lombardi. (For general context, their SP score would have placed them just below Kemp/King and just above della Monica/Guarise at Worlds last year, and their total score would have placed them in 14th, just above dM/G.)
    *Kemp/King scored 133.56 at 2013 Worlds
    *Davidovich/Krasnopolski scored 133.07 at SLC.

    *Usmantseva/Talan scored 122.88 at Coupe de Printemps
    *Makarova/Kenchidze scored 115.96 at 2013 Euros

    *If by the Spanish pair Bestandigova meant Grigoreva/Maestu -- does Grigoreva have Spanish citizenship, since I don't see any other Pairs from Spain -- they scored 100.33 at Lombardi
    *Paliakova/Bochkova scored 103.13 at 2013 Euros
    *Roll/Forsgren broke 100 at Coupe de Printemps (SP's from 29-24 and FS's from 53 to 67 at four 2012-13 Senior B's)
    *Klatka/Chrusinski scored 99.65 at 2013 Euros

    Ziegler/Kiefer withdrew from Lombardi I don't see any results for Zabijako/Zaboev -- she's Tallinn-born; he's Russian -- or Pak/Song from last season; PRK's Kang/Kim are the only Pair I can find, from JGP Chemnitz. (They scored 108.62) The Estonian government is not particularly Russian-friendly in any situation, let alone citizenship, but who knows.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  4. #124
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    Bestandigova/Mansiz earned the Euros TES SP minimum at Ondrej Nepala today:

    http://www.slovakskating.org/ont/2013/SEG005.HTM

    They were very close at Nebelhorn in the SP, but about 50% below the TES FS minimum at Nebelhorn. It's going to be difficult to make it just two weeks later, but I hope they do.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Best of luck to them!

  6. #126
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    Fantastic! Love their short programme! They have achieved so much already and their quest to reach the "impossible dream" is very inspiring.

  7. #127
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    After watching their Nebelhorn LP, all I wish for is for them to stop this madness before having some serious accident. Those lifts were beyond scary and Ilhan looked like he would have a heart attack halfway into the program, he was completely out of breath. Well yes Ilhan, it is a proper sport, for which you need proper training!

    Surely Ilhan Mansiz finances their own training, but still I wish the federation had not accepted to send them to international competitions. Turkey does not have the best reputation in figure skating so if we want the judges to take our skaters seriously, we shouldn't give the judges reason to laugh. Sending a 37-year-old football player with multiple knee injuries to the Olympic qualifying event is laughable and therefore unfair to the few Turkish skaters who are trying to get noticed.

  8. #128

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    I agree with Asli that their lifts are scary and that they are far from reaching the goal they set themselves. They would do great in an adult competition but they were far below anyone else at Nebelhorn. One could see three miles against the wind that Ilhan is no skater and will never be one. It is a kind of pity - they spent so much money and time into this but you just cannot go that far in skating if you start that late. It is a pity because I always kind of hoped that I would get much much better than I am right now in my skating.

    However, I don't think that it was a bad thing to send them to international competitions. AFAIK, Turkey has no pair anyway and they created a lot of public interest. Any interest for the sport is better than none IMO.

  9. #129

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    I'm torn about this subject, on one hand I agree with Hedwig that the Turkish Federation didn't have a lot to lose by sending them, and who knows, maybe turkish parents will be more willing to put their kids in a skating program because Ilhan is doing it too, but on the other hand I wonder what effect this situation has on people who already think the sport is a joke, if a guy can start skating in his 30s and meet the minimums then maybe, in the public heads, these competitions are no better than dancing with the stars. It's difficult to predict what will come out of this, maybe he'll be able to bring some money into the sport in his country, maybe not, regardless I wish they hadn't had such a spotty training regimen over the years because they'd definitely be a bit better by now then they are.

  10. #130
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    Asli, I understand where you are coming from, but I think you are wrong that Bestandigova/Mansiz are damaging the credibility of Turkish figure skating. As Hedwig said it's not like they are depriving any other Turkish pairs of an opportunity and the publicity this will give to skating in Turkey will hopefully encourage more people to take up the sport. That can only be a good thing.

    And for what it's worth at Nebelhorn it certainly didn't seem to me that anybody was laughing at Bestandigova/Mansiz. I think people wanted genuinely to see them do the best that they could.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Seeing their lifts at Nebelhorn, I thought that Bestandigova was brave even more than the norm for pairs. It was seriously scary.

    That said, I don't think it's a bad thing for them to compete, and I have to credit them for continuing even after what must have been a difficult experience at Nebelhorn. The attention they get because of his background can have a positive impact in the long run, and they seem to generate good will, not mockery. Meanwhile, anyone who tunes in can see that you can accomplish a lot even if you start skating late, but you can't be a match for people who have trained their entire lives. That strikes me as an overall positive (and correct) message. So no, I don't think their competing puts skating in a bad light, and it does have some potential benefits.

    I agree that it's unfortunate that their training was so disorganized; they wouldn't have been really good regardless, but they could have been better. I wonder how many run-throughs they actually did for that LP (if any).

  12. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    Meanwhile, anyone who tunes in can see that you can accomplish a lot even if you start skating late, but you can't be a match for people who have trained their entire lives. That strikes me as an overall positive (and correct) message...
    I thought so too. I wanted them to do well (as Allezfred said, like everyone in the audience did as well) because it would have been kind of a modern fairytale we all like to see.
    But in a way I am also selfishly glad that they (or he) are not a miracle but that they show a realistic picture of how hard skating is and that even with endless money, coaches and time you cannot go further than a certain level and therefore create maybe even more respect for skating.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedwig View Post
    I thought so too. I wanted them to do well (as Allezfred said, like everyone in the audience did as well) because it would have been kind of a modern fairytale we all like to see.
    But in a way I am also selfishly glad that they (or he) are not a miracle but that they show a realistic picture of how hard skating is and that even with endless money, coaches and time you cannot go further than a certain level and therefore create maybe even more respect for skating.
    ITA! You guys are so insightful

    Overall, there seems to be a lot of goodwill for these two. Now, I remember Bestandigova being a bit of a headcase back in the day (even though she did make it to Salt Lake City, from what I remember), but she's turned into an extremely mature/elegant woman and her level courage is just amazing.

    Mansiz made me think a lot about my own skating ... and how incredibly tough skating could be for an adult (I skated for a bit as a teenager, then picked it up again at age 23 and stopped at age 26 after finally being able to do a clean axel) ... whatever happens, I just feel that Bestandigova / Mansiz are doing this for the right reasons and I hope that these two will live happily ever after as a couple

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Asli, I understand where you are coming from, but I think you are wrong that Bestandigova/Mansiz are damaging the credibility of Turkish figure skating. As Hedwig said it's not like they are depriving any other Turkish pairs of an opportunity and the publicity this will give to skating in Turkey will hopefully encourage more people to take up the sport. That can only be a good thing.
    allezfred, figure skating has never lacked publicity in Turkey. If anything, I think middle-class parents like me know more about it in Turkey than in France, because of the spectacular coverage it had on the one and only TV channel when we were teenagers. Of course now there are zillions of private channels, so Dancing on Ice was needed to once again increase its visibility for younger people. Unfortunately this program was shelved after two seasons, in 2010 I think. Ice rinks were flooded with recreative skaters while the show was being aired. However I doubt that Ilhan Mansiz's taking on competitive skating after winning Dancing on Ice has had any further impact on the sport's popularity. I can find just a few mentions of their participation of Nebelhorn in the press. "They did well, considering" does not exist in Turkey. There is either success or failure and the few articles that mention Nebelhorn have "failure" in their title.

    The problem of Turkish figure skating AFAIK - apart from the lack of facilities - is that while the clubs can find talented children and get some good international results at the lower levels, it is almost impossible for parents to let their children put in the training hours once they are 10 or 11. Turkey has a fiercely competitive education system. Children as young as 8 or 9 are already preparing for central exams that will place them in good secondary schools which could eventually get them to good universities which in turn will maybe, just maybe, land them with a good job. When she was 3-years-old, my niece had to pass a test to be allowed into a good kindergarten. Now, at 7, she has two hours of mathematics and two hours of English per day - plus all the other subjects - and has spent her summer vacations going through a ceiling-high pile of homework. So you see, even though my sister loves figure skating, she could never risk her daughter's future by allowing her to spend more than a couple of hours a week in a rink. An ex-football player with more money than he can spend can afford to work for three years and then be last in every competition. Not the rest of the people.

    And for what it's worth at Nebelhorn it certainly didn't seem to me that anybody was laughing at Bestandigova/Mansiz. I think people wanted genuinely to see them do the best that they could.
    I'm sure fans wished them the best.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    I'm sure fans wished them the best.
    It wasn't just fans. They seemed to be genuinely liked and supported by their fellow competitors as well.

    Now if only Ireland could have Turkey's lack of facilities.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    It wasn't just fans. They seemed to be genuinely liked and supported by their fellow competitors as well.
    Well, they weren't exactly a threat to their competitors, where they?
    Seriously though, they are two very personable people and it is brave and lovely of them to make this attempt. I just hope she doesn't have a fall!

    Now if only Ireland could have Turkey's lack of facilities.
    Only two olympic rinks - none in Istanbul - is a lack of facilities for Turkey, considering the amount of there is in the country and the sums that are spent for sports. The transfer fee of one foreign football player or even basketball player would finance the entire figure skating program for several years.

  17. #137

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asli View Post
    Only two olympic rinks - none in Istanbul - is a lack of facilities for Turkey, considering the amount of there is in the country and the sums that are spent for sports. The transfer fee of one foreign football player or even basketball player would finance the entire figure skating program for several years.
    And let me guess, 90% or so of the figure skaters at those rinks are girls? This is the area where this peculiar situation could have some influence IMO, in getting boys to see the sport with a different pair of eyes, but if they are not getting any press then it's irrelevant.

    Would you say that parents are more inclined to invest in a boy's sport career(even if not football) than in a girl's? Because this is something I've been noticing for a while, I rarely see typically male sports (ex:fight sports) justifying their problems with boys having to go to school and dropping practice, so I'm more inclined to think that there are other stronger justifications for not investing in a sport career than just the educational system, like money or gender bias.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeperryfan View Post
    Would you say that parents are more inclined to invest in a boy's sport career(even if not football) than in a girl's? Because this is something I've been noticing for a while, I rarely see typically male sports (ex:fight sports) justifying their problems with boys having to go to school and dropping practice, so I'm more inclined to think that there are other stronger justifications for not investing in a sport career than just the educational system, like money or gender bias.
    No, I think in the case of a middle-class Turkish family - with few exceptions - anything outside academic progress is considered a loss of time and concentration, whether the child is a boy or a girl. My parents are quite worried about my daughters' extra-curricular activities! But then we live in France and my daughters, 11 and 8, have less homework during the school year than Turkish children have during their vacations.

    As for lower-income or blue-collar families who do not have much expectation of academic acheievement for their boys, football is a popular choice of career. Even if the boy plays in a third-division local team, he can earn a good living and enjoy himself. There is no equivalent for the girls I'm afraid. Turkish women are successful in basketball and voleyball, but there are not enough clubs to make these wide-spread career options.

  19. #139
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    Well, their Nepala FS TES were lower than their SP TES and it doesn't look promising for them.

    http://www.slovakskating.org/ont/2013/SEG006.HTM

    I really thought I had accidentally been looking at the SP scores and had been mistaken about them meeting the Euros SP TES minimum. The only reason their total score was higher in the FS was the double factoring of PCS (1.6 vs. .8); their individual component scores were lower in the FS, but the total PCS was higher.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    I enjoyed their skating. Not bad for a person started that late. I know how hard it is as it took me quite awhile just learning 3 turns and swing rolls.

    I would give both of them and their coach credit for doing as well as they did right now, although it could be a strech to go to bigger competitions.
    Last edited by skatingfanfun; 10-05-2013 at 04:16 PM.

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