La Mère Joubert
Other (please identify)
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.
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 by attyfan; 08-30-2010 at 10:30 PM.
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.At those Games, Kwan was sequestered by her famously nervous father, Danny, and her agent, Shep Goldberg. Carroll said he barely saw her. “Her father told her, ‘Be slow, take your time, stay on your feet and you’ll win,’ ” Carroll said. “She stayed on her feet and she didn’t win.” Winning the Olympics requires aggressiveness, Carroll said.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 bek; 08-31-2010 at 04:00 AM.
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 bek; 08-31-2010 at 04:57 AM.
Seems like all the notorious skating moms are listed, none of whom I would refer to as "Queen." Cruella? Maybe.
Her sister currently works as a nurse in a hospital near home.
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 by attyfan; 08-31-2010 at 05:20 AM.
There was an article about the owner of the Yankees who just died, who was a benefactor for Michelle Kwan and her sister.As to some of the other things you mentioned ... 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.
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.should not be compared to a parental gamble that may affect the rest of the child's life, such as sacrificing Aera's dreams in favor of Yu-Na'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.
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.
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.
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.
Michelle Kwan was a 13-year-old whose parents were trying to scrape up money for her skating when Yankees owner George Steinbrenner stepped up to the plate.
Kwan, who became the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, never would meet Steinbrenner, who died Tuesday at age 80. But she still has the "wicked cool" Yankees jacket Steinbrenner sent in response to her thank-you letter for his $10,000 contribution to her funding in the fall of 1993.
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce