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  1. #61
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    True, Siberia.
    No matter, Adrian still holds most special place in my heart. I first saw him last season and I immediately liked him. And I like him even more after reading and learning more about him.
    Thank you very much for all your hard work in translating this article. I'm impressed!

  2. #62

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    Siberia, thanks.

    The article sounds more and more moronic as it goes on. Sorry, but...

  3. #63
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    Page 49 (continued):

    In the middle of the program, I hear a female voice from the hockey booth:

    - Fine Kristoffer, your Lutz was great!

    Andrea Dohany has coached Kristoffer since he began skating, but looks as if she would enjoy being at a ski hotel in Aspen more than in an empty, cold and sweat-smelling rink with puck marks on the boards. Her black hair is drawn back into a tight bun, and she wears pearl earrings, moon boots and a thin black jacket from Moncler.

    “Smooth Criminal” thunders from the loudspeakers, and on the ice Kristoffer mixes his spins and jumps with hip movements and kicks from Michael Jackson's repertoire.

    I ask Andrea what she thinks about his final Swedish Championships.

    - Kristoffer can do everything fine. But sometimes, it gets crazy at a competition. If he doesn’t get a lot of strange thoughts, it will go well.

    Erik Almqvist: - Have you talked much about it?

    - Yes, but unfortunately, he has made some poor performances in recent years. Earlier, I saw that he had such power, and it’s a pity that it hasn’t gotten better. But a lot depends on injuries. This is not a healthy sport. The older you become, the more you compensate with wrong movements for fear of getting hurt and injured again. That's why he's so weak with the jumps. A triple Axel cannot be done cautiously. There's a long procedure to get rid of that fear.

    After an hour on the ice, Kristoffer glides around, hunched over with his hands on his knees. He grimaces, breathing heavily, and puts his hand around his right foot.

    - The groin is thoroughly overexerted. I can’t jump as much as I want.

    Later, Kristoffer is sitting on the express bus that will take him to the Athletics building. While he tries to eat a plastic-wrapped sandwich without the bus driver seeing him, I ask how he views the rivalry with Adrian Schultheiss.

    - Yes... well, it’s more like... he probably still thinks that I receive too many points. But it's always like that when you compete. You want to win as well. Everyone is different. I can express it like this: he is much younger than me. When he arrived, he had a lot of talent. But I’ve never, how shall you put it... I wouldn’t say the kind of stuff that he has to the media.





    Wow, I actually finished translating the section which focuses on Koffe (which is the largest chapter within the article). This is nothing short of a miracle!!! Of course, I couldn't have gotten this far without whiteskates' and shoegirl's help, so a BIG thank you to both of them for patiently answering my questions about the Swedish language. At my current reading skill level, I just might be able to challenge a 3-year-old Swedish child.


    whiteskates has already submitted to me her translation of Adrian's part, but I still have to look it over before I can post it.
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-07-2011 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #64

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    Jättefint arbete, Siberia82! Jag tackar so mycket!
    Thank you, Siberia82!

  5. #65
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    This is the first half Adrian's second chapter as translated by whiteskates, with some minor changes done by me.



    Page 49 (continued):

    In his messy Gothenburg apartment, Adrian Schultheiss goes to the refrigerator and grabs a can of Power King – the food chain Willy’s low price version of the energy drink Red Bull.

    - I drink so many of these that I’m not sure whether they have an effect anymore. But when I do a really difficult jump, I can still feel a little bit of the slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings”.

    After meeting Adrian a couple of times, it is hard not to get the impression that things could have turned out really badly for him if he hadn’t found this sport. Adrian says that he would like to develop “his aesthetic side,” design clothes or paint.



    Photo, pages 50-51 (http://i51.tinypic.com/33544d2.jpg):

    RESTLESS. In the autumn, Adrian's beloved fish do not behave normally. He is afraid that they've become ill because he bought a used aquarium with a dirty pump.



    Page 53 (http://i51.tinypic.com/2ilhc2e.jpg):

    But a few days ago, when I asked him what he thought he would do if he didn’t have figure skating, he smiled and replied, “I probably would’ve been an alcoholic or something.”

    He then points to a little liqueur cabinet just outside the kitchen.

    - I don’t drink anymore. I started at a fairly early age and drank for a few years, like teenagers often do. But then my body began to protest against it. Afterwards, I lost two or three training days, every time.

    When Adrian was 15, his family moved to Tibro. Adrian decided it was time for him to leave the parental home in order to continue his devotion to figure skating. He lived in a “rathole in Linnéplatsen,” and then rented a room from “a nice elderly couple” before he found his current apartment three years ago.




    Adrian's comment that he'd likely be an alcoholic without the sport really breaks my heart. This article is so sad that it makes me want to disintegrate into a pool of tears... Btw, isn't it highly unusual for someone to move out of the house when s/he's only 15? I can only guess that things may have been at rough for him at home, but that's just speculation on my part.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by aemeraldrainc View Post
    Thank you very much for all your hard work in translating this article. I'm impressed!
    Thanks for saying so. Translating a fairly large body of text that's written in a language you can't really read is not for the faint-hearted!

    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    The article sounds more and more moronic as it goes on. Sorry, but...
    Yes, there are aspects of the Mr. Almqvist's writing which are indeed moronic , but I've nevertheless gained some valuable insight into these skaters' lives and their personalities. I just wished that he had framed everything better and offered a more balanced viewpoint instead of the Beloved Altmeister vs. Pierced Punk story we got earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finnice View Post
    Jättefint arbete, Siberia82! Jag tackar so mycket!
    Var så god! (That's how you say, "You're welcome" in Swedish, right?) I actually understood what you wrote without having to check my books! (I'm sure you meant to type "så" and not "so".) Wheeeeeee, I'm actually learning a little bit of Swedish!!! How cool is that???
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-09-2011 at 03:39 AM.

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Thanks for saying so.
    Var så god! (That's how you say, "You're welcome" in Swedish, right?) I actually understood what you wrote without having to check my books! (I'm sure you meant to type "så" and not "so".) Wheeeeeee, I'm actually learning a little bit of Swedish!!! How cool is that???
    It is very cool that you learn Swedish! If you come to my part of Finland and to my village, you can use it here, because 65% of people are Swedish-speaking.
    Yes, så! Mixing Swedish and English always gets my head spin.

  8. #68
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    Here is the second half of Adrian's chapter as done by whiteskates (with a little tweaking by yours truly).



    Page 53 (continued):

    The 22-year-old Adrian now lives on the 6000 SEK* per month that he receives from the Swedish Olympic Committee, which also pays for his coach and ice time. Adrian would like to work to supplement this income, but it’s hard for him to find the time because he trains so much and travels to competitions every three weeks on average.

    - I would've wanted something more in life, not just the money. I could do any kind of work, except maybe scrubbing toilets. But who would want to hire me? You see how I live! I have no car and it’s a constant struggle. I’ve tried to get sponsors. You can’t go for gold on your own. If I continue skating next year, I’ll probably move to the USA. I want to make money on this. The top five at Grand Prix competitions earn prize money. I’m sixth, ninth, eleventh…

    Adrian tosses his empty Power King can in one of the garbage bags and picks up his skating bag from the hall floor. While walking through a rain of wet snow to the bus stop, I ask him if Kristoffer Berntsson’s success meant much to him when he was younger. Adrian responds that he has never cared much about other skaters and that he “didn’t have an eye on him”. However, he still thinks that Kristoffer is favoured by the judges in Sweden.

    - I was robbed at the Swedish Championships last year. I skated well while he made three major mistakes. When I saw his score after the short program, I wanted to leave and withdraw from the competition. I keep fighting, but they never hand me points as they do with him.

    Adrian is aware of that he should stop thinking about the duel that has dominated the Swedish figure skating in recent years. Like Kristoffer Berntsson, he is surprised that neither of them has been the best skater in Sweden lately.




    * whiteskates wanted to mention that 6000 kronor is equivalent to approximately 900 USD, a sum that is almost impossible to subsist on. The lowest paid full-time jobs in Sweden will give you about twice that amount after tax.


    While I do agree that Adrian should’ve won the SP at the 2009 Swedish Nationals (I remember being flabbergasted that Koffe came out ahead by 0.02 points even though he made two errors while Adrian only had one ), Berntsson deserved to win the free skate IMHO. Each skater had one glitch in this segment, but Kris sold his program better. In fact, I was a bit surprised at how “flat” Schultheiss’ LP was in comparison to what we saw at the Olympics and the 2010 Worlds.

    Koffe also achieved higher levels on some elements during the event, so along with the slight PCS advantage that he has (which exists not only in Sweden, but at major ISU competitions as well), I believe he deserved to win the title. Still, the scoring for the SP was fishy , so there was definitely some favouritism going on there. (Btw, I do have the official DVD copy of the Senior Men’s event, so the image quality and camera angle are much better than the home videos that are available on YouTube.)
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-11-2011 at 06:04 AM.

  9. #69
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    900 USD is realllly low.. you'd have enough to rent a room in a house and food and that's about it..

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnice View Post
    If you come to my part of Finland and to my village, you can use it here, because 65% of people are Swedish-speaking.
    While I've made some progress, I don't think I'll last 5 minutes in your village. In terms of my reading skills, I can recognize some common words now, plus sentences which are short and simple. I haven't practiced writing in Swedish all that much, and I certainly don't understand the spoken language.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finnice View Post
    Yes, så! Mixing Swedish and English always gets my head spin.
    My first "Swenglish" or "svengelska" incident involved trying to write "You're welcome", and I came up with "Du är välkommen".

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    900 USD is realllly low.. you'd have enough to rent a room in a house and food and that's about it..
    And don't forget that taxes in Sweden are even higher than in Canada.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Adrian's comment that he'd likely be an alcoholic without the sport really breaks my heart. This article is so sad that it makes me want to disintegrate into a pool of tears... Btw, isn't it highly unusual for someone to move out of the house when s/he's only 15? I can only guess that things may have been at rough for him at home, but that's just speculation on my part.
    It's around the time you finish mandatory school in Sweden and go into our version of high school. It's not common to move out at the age of 15/16, but it does happen, especially with sports kids, because they tend to enroll into specialty sports programs and those are few and far between and often involve moving.

    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    And don't forget that taxes in Sweden are even higher than in Canada.
    There is no way he could subsist on 6k/month if that pre tax. If he had to pay income tax on that he'd be left with less than 4k per month and that wouldn't cover rent + food, let alone any skating related expenses. Covering that on 6k/month would be very, very hard. It's less than what students live on.

  12. #72
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    Oh my gosh, I missed the part where it says his living expense money ALSO PAYS FOR HIS COACH AND ICE TIME.. wow.. that's even worse than I thought. No wonder he's suffering from clinical depression. He's probably slightly malnourished..

  13. #73
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    Page 53 (continued):

    At a Luleå high school 1370 kilometers* from Gothenburg, Kristoffer’s and Adrian’s main competitor is leaning over his backpack in a corridor. He is waiting for math class to begin.

    - Heeey Majorov!

    A thin teenage boy with bushy, black hair walks over to Alexander, who introduces me.

    - Oh hell, interview! So do you think we have hot girls here?

    The guy smiles and lets his gaze sweep over the lockers in the empty corridor. He then tells Alexander that he really should be in religious studies class.

    - But I can’t keep up, so I said I had to go to the bathroom. Well, Buddhism, I don’t get it. They believe in reincarnation. There I’m okay, but their goal is to reach Burma or whatever the hell it’s called. You are reborn as something better each time until you get there. Still, one can become animals and stuff… I don’t get it.



    Photo, pages 54-55 (http://i52.tinypic.com/16jfp53.jpg)

    ICE FAMILY. In order for cooperation to work, the Majorovs have decided to split their roles. "At home, I’m the mother, but at the rink, I just coach. We can’t talk then when he is in pain, we do that once training is over."



    Page 54:

    Alexander looks at him and scratches his cap.

    - Nah, I don’t get it, either.

    A few hours later, Alexander puts on a pair of very dirty socks in a locker room at the Coop Arena. He explains that he doesn’t wash his skating socks. Clean socks slide downwards and move inside the skating boots, plus it’s an old Russian figure skating superstition.

    It is not an exaggeration to say that Alexander Majorov was born to be a figure skater. His father, also named Alexander Majorov, became a successful coach after his own skating career. Alexander’s mother Irina is a former ballet dancer who specializes in helping figure skaters with their costumes and choreography.




    * The journalist claims that Luleå is situated "137 mil" (in Sweden, 1 mil = 10 km) from Gothenburg, but I think he may have meant to say that the high school was located 1037 km or 1073 km away. From what I can gather on the Internet, Luleå is just over 1000 km from Gothenburg, so 1370 km seems excessive.


    My family comes from a Buddhist background, so I very much want to tell the ignorant kid that Sasha talked to that the state of enlightment is called "nirvana" and not Burma.
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-13-2011 at 05:00 PM.

  14. #74
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    I just had a thought related to Adrian's finanical situation: don't the top skaters receive funding from the Swedish Figure Skating Association (which is a separate organization from the SOK)? I'm sure it isn't much, but I hope that he does get something in addition to the monthly 6000 kronor.

    I know that Koffe's funding from the SOK was cut after the 2006 Olympics where he finished a disappointing 23rd, yet he seems to be doing okay money-wise compared to his rival despite having to juggle university studies. I don't know if he had to work to supplement the missing income (I was only aware of the consulting firm job, and that happened after the 2009/2010 season) or if he got help from his parents. While I certainly haven't "read" every Swedish article or interview about Kristoffer that has existed since he began skating, I don't recall him ever mentioning that he was in dire straits financially.


    On another note, did anyone else pick up these skaters' opposite attitudes towards cars? I'm almost certain the author added this small detail on purpose to emphasize just how different Berntsson and Schultheiss are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Evilynn View Post
    It's around the time you finish mandatory school in Sweden and go into our version of high school. It's not common to move out at the age of 15/16, but it does happen, especially with sports kids, because they tend to enroll into specialty sports programs and those are few and far between and often involve moving.
    Thanks for the explanation. Having to move and live on your own at the age of 15 to pursue an athletic career is tough.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    He's probably slightly malnourished..
    Adrian did mention in an AbsoluteSkating.com article that he hasn't been taking care of his health (like not being to be able to find the time cook properly). Considering that he's living beneath the poverty line, I'm surprised that he wanted to invest in an aquarium and pet fish. No doubt he regards it as a necessary expense for his psychological well-being, but if I were that poor, I'd be pinching pennies. (I was tempted to use "öre" in that sentence, but it's no longer legal tender in Sweden from what I understand. )

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Page 53 (continued):
    * The journalist claims that Luleå is situated "137 mil" (in Sweden, 1 mil = 10 km) from Gothenburg, but I think he may have meant to say that the high school was located 1037 km or 1073 km away. From what I can gather on the Internet, Luleå is just over 1000 km from Gothenburg, so 1370 km seems excessive.
    The driving distance between Luleå and Gothenburg is 1307 km. Sweden's a very elongated country. (Luleå is about 1000 km north of Stockholm).

    I think Berntsson probably had a study loan and study grant on top of whatever he got from SOK/sponsors. It still wouldn't be big money, but it'd be doable.

    I'm sure neither Schultheiss nor Berntsson pays as much for ice time/coaching as the US skaters do, but I couldn't really give even a ballpark estimate.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilynn View Post
    The driving distance between Luleå and Gothenburg is 1307 km. Sweden's a very elongated country. (Luleå is about 1000 km north of Stockholm).
    Is there a significant difference between the "straight line" distance and the driving distance? I did check several sites (they all listed Gothenburg and Luleå as being approximately 1024 km apart), but it's possible that none of them were reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilynn View Post
    I think Berntsson probably had a study loan and study grant on top of whatever he got from SOK/sponsors. It still wouldn't be big money, but it'd be doable.
    I hadn't considered that Koffe may have sponsors. It's odd that he'd have some while Adrian has none even though the latter is the more successful skater. Your suggestion is probably the most likely scenario since Kris has managed to survive without the SOK's support for 5 years after being kicked out of their talent program.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by siberia82 View Post
    Is there a significant difference between the "straight line" distance and the driving distance? I did check several sites (they all listed Gothenburg and Luleå as being approximately 1024 km apart), but it's possible that none of them were reliable.
    Yes. There is nothing in the middle of the country (well, mostly nothing ), except mountains, so you wouldn't build dead straight roads, and the road up north follows the coast line for obvious reasons, so that's where you get the 300 km difference.
    I hadn't considered that Koffe may have sponsors. It's odd that he'd have some while Adrian has none even though the latter is the more successful skater. Your suggestion is probably the most likely scenario since Kris has managed to survive without the SOK's support for 5 years after being kicked out of their talent program.
    I don't know if he's ever had any major sponsors (I highly doubt it). IIRC he was sponsored by his hairdresser at some point. Skating is not a big sport in Sweden, and the name recognition is very low, but Berntsson's been around forever, so that helps a little.

  18. #78
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    Page 54 (continued):

    During the collapse of the Soviet Union, Alexander senior had arranged figure skating training camps in Luleå for Russian skaters. He had witnessed the chaos, red tape and queues at home, and thought in the future that there must be better places for people who want to become good figure skaters. When their son was a year old, the Majorov family moved to Sweden and has been running the Luleå figure skating club ever since.

    Alexander’s childhood was dominated by the sport. Papa Alexander had shown his son the goodies in his video library of skating competitions that he has recorded throughout the years. He recounted the time when he coached Alexei Yagudin, who later became one of the best skaters in history. He mentioned all the talented skaters that he has coached who, like himself, never quite managed to make it to the elite level. He also talked about those who, after their amateur careers, struggled to make a living by skating for their nouveau riche countrymen in roving ice shows onboard cruise ships with ice rinks. These days, most conversations around the dinner table are about the Luleå pupils’ programs, costumes, choreography and development.

    - Dad feels sad when someone doesn’t do as he says. He sees the other students as his children, too. Sometimes I get pissed off when he talks too much about them. They have their own parents.

    Alexander Majorov has been travelling to international competitions since he was 14. During the summers, he participated in training camps with the Russian national team in St. Petersburg. After Kristoffer’s and Adrian’s strong results in 2008, the then 17-year-old Majorov was given the chance to compete as one of three Swedes at the 2009 European Championships.

    - I had never competed with such a large audience and cameramen from Eurosport before. I was so nervous that I couldn’t control my body. I made a fool of myself. After my third fall, I felt awful. After the fourth, I could barely finish my program. I will never forget how I was sitting in the changing room afterwards. I had done my worst performance ever in front of all those people when it really counted. I sat there all alone with my skates and costume for twenty minutes. I actually cried.
    Last edited by siberia82; 03-15-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  19. #79

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    Misstake her about Alexander!
    He has not been able to go to Russia for some years now since he could risk that they would make him do military service.He has applied "to give" his Russian passport back some years ago and I hope it is now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilynn View Post
    There is nothing in the middle of the country (well, mostly nothing ), except mountains, so you wouldn't build dead straight roads, and the road up north follows the coast line for obvious reasons, so that's where you get the 300 km difference.
    Ah okay, now I have a slightly better understanding of Sweden's topography. I'm also relieved that I didn't accidentally share "false" information and embarrass myself in front of FSUers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evilynn View Post
    IIRC he was sponsored by his hairdresser at some point.
    I think you may be referring to this old fluff piece : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCNmAGMwT5M

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis View Post
    Misstake her about Alexander!
    He has not been able to go to Russia for some years now since he could risk that they would make him do military service.He has applied "to give" his Russian passport back some years ago and I hope it is now.
    Thanks for pointing that out. I've heard about this on AbsoluteSkating.com a while ago, but it totally slipped my mind. Mr. Almqvist did write in the past tense, though, so I guess it's not an error per se, but he should've clarified the Russian citizenship issue. Of course, he might be trying to make Sasha appear more Russian than he really is, and decided to omit that detail. The journalist refers to him on the title page as a "Russian prodigy" (and not Russian-born).

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