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  1. #1
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    My best close-to-skater experience:)

    I'm inspired by the "worst people you sat next to at skating comps"...only I feel like rambling about really nice memories instead...

    I think the one on top of my list is meeting with Stanick Jeannette at Bratislava Euros 2001....I generally don't like disturbing skaters who watch competitions, so I went over to him during one of the brakes, and asked for his autograph in my skating dairy. I complimented his programs and we started chatting, as I asked if he liked my stuffed yellow pumpkin that I threw for him on the ice. it was really cool, you could open the top and there was a cute little friend inside. Stanick liked it too, and he asked me to sit down. Together we watched some ladies short program, but I was too shocked to remember anything from it lol

    Stanick was soooooooo nice, and asked if I was a skater, I said I was an icehockey player, and he got really interested, and we chatted a lot about hockey, which he found fun, but very hard, and a bit dangerous. Stanick - my man!! Always cheered for him, even more after that.

    Another sweet story, that is actually a not-close-to-skater-at-all experience, or close-to-the-wrong-skater experience, that occured at Euros in Lausanne 2001. Together with other members, we were having a fan-club meeting with Sasha Abt, in the lobby of the skaters hotel. We had some gifts for him, and his then very young son, and our great fan club president had spoke with Sasha, and he promised to show up at 11.00 or something. We were all very nervously chatting to each other, trying to think of clever questions to ask him, without sucess of course....and the time went on....and no Sasha....and the time went on and on....

    After a long while, our fan-club president went to the reception and asked if they could call the room. They did, and told the skater picking up the phone that "there were some girls waiting for him in the reception". oh my.... well, anyway, he promised to come down, and we waited....and waited.... no Sasha, but some minutes later, Maxim Marinin showed up, wandering around the lobby. we were never ever sad to see Maxim, but where was Sasha?

    Yup....you're right.... Maxim was Sashas room mate, and he was the one recieving the call. Poor Maxim must have understood nothing, and after circling around a bit, he dissapeard again. Sasha we later learned had badly overslept, and later apologiesed so much... our poor president was really sad the meeting never happened, but we all assured her that it was perfectly fine, we had a great time, and it was all too good to be true anyway. Actually, we were too nervous, so it was probably for the best. we all went on the competitors bus, with Petrova & Tikhonov (that are so sweet people) to the rink to watch ladies free

    and btw...I've later met Maxim on several occasions....and he's the perfect gentleman. So nice, calm, polite, he speaks to you like he really pays interest to the conversation. just had to spread it!

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    Meeting most of the US SOI cast, the skaters at Mike Weiss' foundation show, and the University of Delaware skaters at their Nationals' Send-Off show, skaters at the Liberty Summer Competition. Just about everyone was extremely gracious and friendly (this includes some of the parents as well).

    Standouts in friendliness - Kurt, Todd, Yuka, Kimmie, Jeff B., John Z. & Silvia, Armin M., Dan Hollander, Mike, ...

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    I think my favorite off-ice skater stories happened at SA in Hartford (2006?) when the @#$%ing fire alarm went off at some ungodly hour of the morning. As we were leaving our room, a shirtless Kevin van der Perren opened his door, looked blearily at all of us leaving, and then just shut his door. Fire, schmire! Mao Asada was sitting outside on the sidewalk in her PJs and looking about 10 years old, and Nobunari Oda never even went outside; he was sitting on the lobby sofa inside and blinking out at all of us like "Why is everyone standing out in the rain?" Good question!

    After we were cleared to go back inside, I sat in a quiet corner of the lobby waiting for the crowd by the elevators to thin out. Some very nice woman who was incredibly perky for that time of the morning sat down by me and started chatting. It wasn't until Navarro and Bommentre came over and sat with us that I realized she was Kim's mom.

    Other than that, Ryan Jahnke wins the "Nicest to CynicElle's Mom" award; he was very sweet when she complimented him on his skate at SA in Pittsburgh and chatted with her for a few minutes.
    Last edited by CynicElle; 01-05-2011 at 08:12 PM.
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    What a great thread! Didn't get a chance to talk to any (Yet!) but I did get a smile and a nod from Xue Shen and Scott Hamilton in Lake Placid SA last year. Made my entire week!!! I almost said to Scott "OMG- you DO realize that you're Scott Hamilton, don't you?" Glad I kept my mouth shut for once!!

    Also, my boyfriend went into one of the hotels to ask directions to somewhere, and he comes out just smiling away. Apparently there was a whole herd of skaters at the bar. He tried to get me to go in, but I was WAY too nervous and star struck to do it! That's something I'm working on for Nationals- get up the cojones to say hi to some of the skaters He has no problem with it, but then again, I'm the actual fan. He's just along for the ride.

  5. #5

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    I volunteered at the 2007 Junior Worlds and as I was the only volunteer to speak Russian, I often had to translate stuff and explain everything to the Russian team.

    The volunteers were allowed to watch the opening reception at the hotel which was a bit...strange...as the organizers wanted to show the skaters a part of Bavarian culture. They hired a bizarre dance group consisting of 4 or 5 men in typical Bavarian clothes who were running around on stage, ripping their clothes off, shouting their Bavarian outcries and doing some acrobatic stuff. Of course, the skaters were all like "WTF?!" and . After that "performance" there was a huge buffet in the corridor. I took a bottle of beer and suddenly some guy asked me in German whether I was even allowed to drink before the competition started. I turned around and Daniel Hermann was there with Philipp Tischendorf. We chatted a bit and they were just embarassed about these "acrobats". "Now everyone in here thinks ALL Germans are like that." Some time later, the reception was over and we went back to Oberstdorf.

    I worked at the catering and one day Elena Vodorezova came to my table and was looking for special teabags but couldn't find them. So I asked her in Russian if I could help her. She frowned at first and said: "Oh my God! You are Russian!" I apologized in case I scared her but she said: "No, no, it's alright! I just didn't expect other Russians to volunteer here and I'm happy to hear my native language." She was very nice to me over the whole week and never forgot to wave and say "hi" when I crossed her way. She's a very very nice lady

    Florent Amodio and Kim Lucine were also there and both guys were extremely nice. After having talked to them in French they also never forgot to say "Hi" and once they sat behind us and watched a competition. They absolutely weren't rude or anything. Just quiet and nice.

    John Coughlin was the life of the party, so to speak. He was always in a good mood, joking around and he really LOVED German food, always running around with Bockwurst He and Rockne Brubaker dressed up like this one day and made everyone laugh.

    At the last day of competition, some girls came to me: "You have to translate that Russian pair (Krasilnikova/Bezmaternikh), they say, the organizers have lost their exhibition music!" So I went to the practice rink, where both were practising and Bez skated to the boards where I was standing. "They say that you said they lost your music." And he replied: "Noooo, not at all! I tried to tell them we forgot our music in our hotel room." "Alright. Because they misunderstood you." So this problem was solved as well
    Krasilnikova/Bezmaternikh became my favourites after Junior Worlds because they were so nice and always thankful for help. That is why I always had a soft spot for them

    Oh yes and I met Alexander Gorshkov on the corridor. Later while I watched Pairs FS (I think) he was sitting behind me in a seperate room with a window and I caught a glimpse of him playing Minesweeper

    That's it so far.
    Last edited by Moka-Ananas; 01-05-2011 at 02:39 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CynicElle View Post
    I think my favorite off-ice skater stories happened at SA in Hartford (2006?) when the @#$%ing fire alarm went off at some ungodly hour of the morning. As we were leaving our room, a shirtless Kevin van der Perren opened his door, looked blearily at all of us leaving, and then just shut his door. Fire, schmire! Mao Asada was sitting outside on the sidewalk in her PJs and looking about 10 years old, and Nobunari Oda never event went outside; he was sitting on the lobby sofa inside and blinking out at all of us like "Why is everyone standing out in the rain?" Good question!
    I went to that event, but had the good fortune to stay at another hotel. You poor people. The weather was very windy and rainy that day!

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    I met some of the still eligible figure skaters and there are stories on each one of them, I had some good or bad experience with some, but turns out that someone else had the opposite experience with the same skater. It really depends on when and how you approach the skater.

    Apparently one skater on which everyone agrees is John Kerr. He was really kind with me when I approached and looks like he's always like that with everyone, I wonder how he does. He also looked truely surprised and glad for the fact that they have italian fans although we also have italian dancers to cheer for. He may have been a good actor, but that was nice anyway!

    We also have a fan club, which is for Carolina Kostner. I heard so many stories about her acting like diva or being nasty with fans but I could experience this is just not true, of course she' s a little bit shy and like most of the skaters doesn't like to be approached just before a competition, but she has been very nice with us fans, not to mention her mother which is a real sweetheart.

    During Nationals this year she came to speak with us while watching the men's free and during the medal cerimony she took the banner I made for her and skated with it around the rink and took some fun picture "wearing" it. That was really fun and sweet from her.

    PSI will have my best close to skater experience when I'll get to meet Browning, regardless he will act nice or not, I will know he exists for real..
    Last edited by eleonorad; 01-05-2011 at 02:42 PM.

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    I've had a lot of positive close-to-skater experience so far, both with skaters and their parents.
    For example, at Turin worlds I was introduced by Adam's mom to Evan Bates' parents, and a couple of days later I met them during a break and they told me: "OMG we saw you during the CD with the US flag, thank you so much for your support!! it's so nice of you cheering for Emily and Evan!".
    About Adam's mom, she's one of the nicest persons I've ever met. We met at 2010 worlds at the beginning of the week: during practices I was kind of helping the volunteers translating into english, and a volunteer told me there was an american woman that probably had a problem with something. I spoke with the woman and she told me she had a chaperon pass but they didn't let her enter [she was at the wrong entrance but no one told her where she should have gone], and she had to use an all even ticket to enter in the arena. She showed me her pass and I saw the "Rippon" surname, so I asked her:
    "Are you an Adam's relative?"
    "I'm his mom!"
    "Really?? He's my favourite skater! I met him yesterday and gave him some chocolate "
    "Ah, that was you! He told me about you and gave me a piece of the chocolate"
    Then I accompained her to the right entrance.
    At the same event I also got the chance to know Meryl and Charlie's moms. On saturday morning we went citysightseeing in Turin with a friend of mine and we had such a great time
    Tessa's mom is very sweet too

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleonorad View Post
    I heard so many stories about her acting like diva or being nasty with fans but I could experience this is just not true, of course she' s a little bit shy and like most of the skaters doesn't like to be approached just before a competition, but she has been very nice with us fans, not to mention her mother which is a real sweetheart.
    During the first day at nationals Carolina entered in the...how is it called? refreshment room?...and everyone was very nice with her, offering her food etc. She then went to look for her pass and returned to eat something. When she went away for warming up everyone in the room started to gossip about her being always nasty even with kids, etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    During the first day at nationals Carolina entered in the...how is it called? refreshment room?...and everyone was very nice with her, offering her food etc. She then went to look for her pass and returned to eat something. When she went away for warming up everyone in the room started to gossip about her being always nasty even with kids, etc.
    That doesn't sound like Carolina at all. Every time I met her, she was totally sweet and friendly and she was like that to everyone. This is the first time I read about her being unfriendly. Her mum told me that she was VERY tired at Nationals (as she had just returned from Beijing two days earlier). I guess if you have a jetlag, are really tired and are just about to prepare for your second competition in a week, you might get a little tense and people might interpret that wrong.

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    It's not about that. Of course you haven't read or heard anything similar before since you're not from Italy, where "snarking" about her is a national (olympic) sport Of course those things are not true or are misunderstood, but she is object of envy for so many.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu View Post
    "Really?? He's my favourite skater! I met him yesterday and gave him some chocolate "
    "Ah, that was you! He told me about you and gave me a piece of the chocolate"
    So you actually gave her the chocolate! I wish I was a skating mum

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eleonorad View Post
    Apparently one skater on which everyone agrees is John Kerr. He was really kind with me when I approached and looks like he's always like that with everyone, I wonder how he does. He also looked truely surprised and glad for the fact that they have italian fans although we also have italian dancers to cheer for. He may have been a good actor, but that was nice anyway!
    My best close-to-skater experiences include the whole Kerr family. They're all just sooo nice! I totally love them.
    At the Zagreb Euros in 2008 their parents made me and my sis go with them on the skaters' bus, because "nobody really ever checks the passes anyway" So I had a chance for a ride on a bus full of top European ice dance teams Then their mother gave us Scottish tartan scarves, which we now take with us everytime we go to an event with Sinead and John. In Tallinn John commented he really liked them, having no idea we got them from his mother then back in Zagreb, we were surprised by Evegeny Platov, who approched us, put his hands on our shoulders and said: "best supporters of the British team" Now that was a compliment, considering we aren't even British
    And I must say Sinead and John are really the nicest people to talk to. And they like giving cheek kisses for goodbye but to me the best thing was that after a few times we chatted, John actually send me and my sis some kisses from the ice at the gala finale. He remembered where we were sitting and just directed it especially to us. I was thrilled and it's still one of my best skating memories.

    Another great experience for me was at Drobiazko/Vanagas's show in Vilnius. After the show (the first one of 3 which took place in a row that day) we went to the entrance for skaters to check if there was anyone available to talk to. We were there with some friends who owned the backstage passes, so they easily went inside, we stayed outside. First Tomas Verner came out so we chatted with him for a while and then he asked if we were staying for another show. We said: "no, we don't have any passes, they won't let us in" and his reply was: "They won't let you in? Maybe they won't let ME in either?" lol he was a cutie. Then Povilas showed up and I went crazy cause they are my forever and ever favourite dance team, so I began to talk like crazy and again, he also asked if we were staying. And again we said no, we cannot be paying for another show and then he took out some backstage passes and told us we could stay anyway. But he told us not to parade with them too much and only show them if someone asks cause he might get into trouble for it. How sweet was that of him?

    From my experience I can also say Alban Preaubert is a very nice guy, even if his English is as poor as my French


    We also have a fan club, which is for Carolina Kostner. I heard so many stories about her acting like diva or being nasty with fans but I could experience this is just not true, of course she' s a little bit shy and like most of the skaters doesn't like to be approached just before a competition, but she has been very nice with us fans, not to mention her mother which is a real sweetheart.
    I don't know about it. My experience with her is quite the opposite, but I'm not gonna talk about it so I don't ruin the lovely atmosphere of this thread

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    I went to SC in Kingston and met some really lovely skaters and their families.

    Dylan Moscovitch seemed to have the largest and most vocal support group there. He came to sit with them after the pairs long program.

    I met Mr. and Mrs. Kerr (and I think John's girlfriend?) after the free dance. I must say after that meeting I definitely became more of a fan! Very nice people, they stayed to chat with us for a long time. We were very sorry to miss Sinead and John.

    We also met Adam Rippon and he also stayed for a long time to chat.

    Most of the skaters seem to be very pleasant. Although some clearly wanted to avoid all us rabid fans

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    I got to meet several skaters at a Meet & Greet for Champions on Ice several years ago. Josee Chouinard, Isabelle Brasseur, and Elvis Stojko were all incredibly nice! Brian Orser & Liz Manley must have been having an off day, and didn't seem to want to be there..LOL!

    I also saw Jeff Buttle in the local mall 2 years ago when CSOI was here, he was also very nice, even though I think my co-worker and I disturbed his lunch!

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    Wow, your stories are very impressive, especially the one about the fire alarm, which is scary and thrilling at the same time. I don't have many stories to tell, because I've been regularly attending competitions for two years only, and I've never talked to skaters or members of skaters' families. But when I was returning from Saransk to Moscow by train after the Russian Nationals, I had an unexpected encounter with the skating world. My friends had a compartment in another car, and I had to pass through five or six cars to visit them. And there, in the middle of a narrow corridor, I found myself face to face with TAT! Actually, when I encounter celebrities, I always have a strange impulse to say hello, because they are, in fact, the people I know. But since they have no idea who I am, I always refrain from doing it. So, I just lowered my eyes and got out of the way to let her pass, but she suddenly said 'Hello!' to me It turned out that she just wanted to ask where the restaurant was. I answered and rushed away, totally star struck, only to encounter Mukhortova, Blanchard and Bariev in the next car By the time I got to my friends' compartment, I had already seen about ten skaters and coaches, plus I later saw Zhulin and Vodorezova at the railway station in Moscow. I did not expect so many skaters and other skating-related people to return to Moscow before the gala, though it seemed logical for them to return as early as they could to spend the holidays at home.
    As for other experiences, the closest was the one I had with Johnny Weir at 2009 CoR. He came to the stands to watch the ladies' free skate, and the members of his fan club, who sat next to us, saw him and rushed to his stand during the break to take photos and to chat with him. They remained in the stands for some time, but then the competition began, and they had to go out in order not to distract the audience. I had no idea where they went, but then my friend decided to go home earlier, and two minutes after she left, she sent me an sms 'Johnny is in the foyer'. Though I did not know that he was going to attend the competitions, I took a gift for him with me (just in case...) So I went out to the foyer, but Johnny was shut in the circle of his fans, and it was really hard to access him I tried to give the gift to Tara Modlin asking her to pass it to Johnny later, but she just waved me aside and pointed at Johnny, indicating that I must give it to him directly. So I waited until he said goodbye to his fans, came up to him, muttered something stupid and handed him the gift. Although he looked tired, he was really sweet, thanked me in Russian and even gave me a hug. I still smile when I remember about this, though I'm a bit ashamed of myself for being so shy and behaving like a fool, LOL

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    I met some skaters at Galas and competition, but I also get very often star struck and don't try to speak with them.

    Originally Posted by eleonorad
    Apparently one skater on which everyone agrees is John Kerr.
    I met the Kerrs and they were very nice. The funny thing is that I asked to Sinead a lot of thing, and when John arrived he said like "hello! I'm here too now" and I didn't know anymore what to say, so we started chatting about things outside skating and he was really nice...Then I had a long run to get my autobus, and when I arrived to the bus-stop completely exhausted, I heard a "byebye" and there were him and Sinead waving from their car as they passed.

    I met many times Carolina Kostner, and I've had both positive and negative experiences: I guess it's just the moment you get across her (as for others)! Just to stay in with the spirit of this thread, I remember last year when she finished her free program she went to join her boyfriend and family among the public. They were all sitting in the row near mine, and instead of asking me to stand up and let her pass (the simplest thing since I was on her way to the stairs), she jumped from a row to the other just to not disturb.

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    We had Johnny Weir here recently in Melbourne for a Xmas show. He did an autograph session after the show which the skating clubs had made group bookings for. He stayed for an hour afterwards doing photos and autographs. It was also during National Championships so he was at the rink quite a bit whilst the other skaters were here. The whole time he was here he was very accommodating and nice to our young skaters. I think it was part of the deal to have him here but hercertainly made the experience very special for our skaters who don't often to get to see Olympic level skaters. Got my autograph and photo too.

    The other skater who I personally know is Mandy Woetzel (she lives and coaches in Melbourne). However I met her when she toured with Imperial Ice Stars and she was absolutely lovely. I had always been a fan of her and Ingo so I was really excited to meet her. I asked her about some music she had used and she told me to get in contact with her about it and then sort of kept in touch. And then funnily enough she actually moved to Melbourne and have known her since.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    This year I had the fantastic opportunity to meet a lot of skaters some who were really kind and others..well..nevermind.

    After the free dance in torino at worlds I went at the parking place where all skaters tooke their cars or bus or taxi!
    The Kerr's were fantastic as you all say! Really joyful and kind to everyone!
    I met Massimo Scali and he was so happy for his medal and was really really kind! I met him a few times the day after and he was always smiling to us!
    The last skaters to arrive were Tessa and Scott! Even if it was almost one o'clock a.m they stayed there signing autographs, taking photos and were really great to us! They let us took a photo of them togheder! They were so cute!!!
    The next day I met Mao and Miki and they were so kind to us even if they couldn't speak english (at least mao)!

    Just 20 days ago I went to the Italian championships and the atmosphere with the skaters was incredible!
    I had the same exeperience as eleonora with carolina! she was so kind to us!!! I cannot understand why people say she behave nasty etc...Of course it depends in which day you meet her! She is a really shy person but she loves her fans and in particular kids! I remember that in milan and at the ice gala in bolzano two years ago she was surrounded by kids ad she stayed there with them taking photos as long as she could.

  20. #20
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    I've had too many great experiences to mention, though standouts were Michelle Kwan and Kurt Browning.

    Some of the people who are supposed to be some of the nicest in skating have been nasty to me, however. I tend to give them a bit of a pass, since perhaps it was just a bad day. BUt that's another thread.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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