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  1. #1
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    New Skating Lesson Podcast: Tim Goebel Interview

    They just posted the whole interview with Goebel, so here is the link. It seems like he had a lot to say.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHw_w...As3L7118lqKL3A

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    I really liked this interview. He and Jenny, since they were contemporaries, have a nice open dialogue going on. He shares a TON of detail about how his financial contract with Frank worked (to which all I can say is WOW), and his perceptions of Michelle Kwan, his overtraining, etc. He really puts you in the mindset of what it's like to be a competitive skater.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    I find this funny because Tim spends quite a while talking about the seriousness of boot problems while last week Tai spent an equally long time talking about how she hates when the younger generations complain about boot problems.

    The part about still having to stroke Frank checks after getting fired by him is incredible.

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    Tim's comment about not realizing you've peaked until you're already on the way down was pretty sad/enlightening. I really like how unfiltered he was here. I'm sure he has his issues with certain skaters/coaches, but he came across pretty even-handed in his candor.

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    Tim on Johnny Weir is too funny: "He will never age... He literally has a million-dollar face because he's probably put that much La Mer on it."

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    ^^ Tim has a great sense of humor. I recall back at the time they had been touring COI, that Tim commented how Johnny is "one of the funniest" people he ever met. The whole discussion about Tim and Johnny rooming together when touring with COI was hilarious. I do kinda differ slightly from Tim's viewpoint about who Johnny is and how he presents himself today (you have to listen to entire podcast to hear Tim's comments on Johnny in response to a question by Dave ... it might be in Part 7, or 8).

    IMO, Johnny tried as best he could to "fit in" with what was expected in the skating world while also trying to remain true to himself, and that was a difficult struggle for him, especially in his late teens and early 20s. Despite being rebellious and outspoken, I don't think Johnny felt the freedom and acceptance to truly be himself, so perhaps his rebellious persona (captured in the early Nats fluff pieces) was the tease and the protective mask. I think it was a long process of Johnny blossoming more as he achieved success on the ice and acceptance first from fans circa 2004 - 2006. His fans stuck with him during the high profile but very up-and-down years 2006 - 2010. And then as he began to gain larger acceptance outside of skating, partly as a result of the initial Pop Star on Ice documentary and post-2010 Olympic exposure, he did come more into his own re being unafraid to publicly explore and reveal all sides of himself. Some people feel that means Johnny changed his entire persona, but I disagree. Sure the documentary led to the television show which can lend itself to some self-conscious posturing. However, I think Johnny was pretty much always an odd, unique, witty and humorous person, even as a child before he ever became a figure skater. It's the limelight that sought out Johnny and he was likely always fated to sparkle.

    It is too bad that it was partly Johnny's dislike for the hard work of training (not that he didn't train hard at times, he just didn't enjoy the process) and his difficulty with competition nerves as well as not being well-liked by TPTB which combined kept him from realizing his full potential. The reason Johnny accomplished as much as he did is because of his extraordinary talent and the hard work that he forced himself to do when everything was on the line 2003 - 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009 - 2010. Johnny has worked pretty hard too in his recent comeback attempt, but as Tim accurately opined, it's d**n hard after age 25. BTW, the cooking show Johnny is currently appearing in was filmed in June 2012. I hope Johnny will concentrate on developing a fantastic skating extravaganza and doing work as a figure skating commentator, as well as joining with other veterans to figure out a way to create a viable professional tour.

    ITA with Tim's assessments of Evan and Plushenko.

    Sometimes the questions were so involved that all parts of a question didn't get answered, e.g. in Pt. 3, Jenny asked a long question, part of it about whether Frank had spoken with Tim before taking on Evan as a new student, and it didn't get specifically answered. But the main focus of the question was answered, and the questions were thoughtful and well-prepared. Tim gave very thoughtful and sincere answers. It's commendable for him to have admitted that his own insecurities played a part in his eventual break-up with Frank.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 01-10-2013 at 03:56 AM.

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    Lot of good questions and answers. I thought there would be a more direct question to him about transitioning from 6.0 to IJS as an individual. There was so much interesting stuff there. I watched this before tai but will watch that next. The topic of the American federation and coaches with the men and their technical content was good. But also the women too. Like he is another skater that says the idea of having a jump but just holding it until you "need it" is just not a recipe for success with that jump or combo. His talking about himself and his decline is pretty sad really. But he talks about everything pretty directly.

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    There are a ton of fascinating things throughout the whole podcast with Tim, but I found his thoughts on the commentators (i.e. Dick & Peggy) interesting. He feels like they were very unprofessional, unfair, and did damage to skaters' careers!

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    I liked his comment about how you have to train off the ice otherwise your body will become asymmetrical. I remember putting on a bathing suit one summer and realizing that my right hip and thigh (I jump and spin counterclockwise) were more developed than the left. I was just a recreational skater! I've never heard anyone else mention that! I would think it would create orthopedic problems for a high level skater.

    I couldn't find any clips past part 8, but that didn't seem to be the end. Are the rest not uploaded or did I miss something?
    Last edited by aliceanne; 01-10-2013 at 02:57 AM.

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    There is a part 9 and that's it. Also apparently " fridge break " makes a lot if skaters or symbolises why a lot of skaters hate Buttons commentary

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    This interview is great. So insightful and honest. I wonder how long Frank continues to take a cut of ex skaters earnings for after they leave/get fired...

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    Quote Originally Posted by aliceanne View Post
    I liked his comment about how you have to train off the ice otherwise your body will become asymetrical. I remember putting on a bathing suit one summer and realizing that my right hip and thigh (I jump and spin counterclockwise) were more developed than the left. I was just a recreational skater! I've never heard anyone else mention that! I would think it would create orthopedic problems for a high level skater.

    I couldn't find any clips past part 8, but that didn't seem to be the end. Are the rest not uploaded or did I miss something?

    Part 9
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEKzhvnsPos

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    Yeah so did goebel have season contracts that ended after worlds or was it like a multi season or was it in the contract that whatever new deal goebel got while being coached by him that he always got money as long as goebel did.

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    I think he had seasonal contracts... he mentions signing contracts in June..

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    I am a bit confused on the part about still having to pay Frank. How in the world could Frank hold Tim to a contract if Frank fired him or was the one who decided to end the partnership. It sounds like Tim agreed it was time to move on but if Frank initiated things then how can he hold Tim to anything? I don't understand that. It borders on fraud, if you ask me. Also, Tim didn't make it clear how long he had to keep giving Frank a portion of his earnings? I hope it was only for the remainder of the season, which it sounds like is how long the contracts were good for.

    I find it incredibly interesting that no one knows what happened between Kwan and Frank. The great skating mystery shall live on. lol
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

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    On a different note, Tim's response to the Tonia Kwaitkowski question was unexpected. Not that I disagreed with him, it just sort of took me off guard that that was the context in which he chose to respond to the question about her. Plus I could not stop laughing when he described Nicole Bobek's lutz entrance as a "fan kick."

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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyedwards View Post
    Lot of good questions and answers. I thought there would be a more direct question to him about transitioning from 6.0 to IJS as an individual. There was so much interesting stuff there. I watched this before tai but will watch that next. The topic of the American federation and coaches with the men and their technical content was good. But also the women too. Like he is another skater that says the idea of having a jump but just holding it until you "need it" is just not a recipe for success with that jump or combo. His talking about himself and his decline is pretty sad really. But he talks about everything pretty directly.
    Yes, Tim is very forthright and fairly thoughtful in his responses. For Tim's views on 6.0 and transition to IJS, you should check out manleywoman's podcast interview with Tim (#49): http://www.manleywoman.com/episode-49-timothy-goebel/

    In the linked interview with manleywoman, Tim talks about the time he served as an ISU technical specialist, and he discusses skaters' "as-it-was-happening" reactions to the 2002 Olympics scandal. He's thoughtful and he has a great sense of humor.

    In the interview with Jenny and Dave, I think Tim provided great insight re the quad dilemma for U.S. skaters, as well as fresh perspective on why international skaters have gotten the jump on that extra revolution over U.S. skaters.


    Quote Originally Posted by FSfan107 View Post
    There are a ton of fascinating things throughout the whole podcast with Tim, but I found his thoughts on the commentators (i.e. Dick & Peggy) interesting. He feels like they were very unprofessional, unfair, and did damage to skaters' careers!
    Yes, there certainly are a ton of interesting takes and insights. Tim's discussion of Michelle Kwan's dedicated training discipline provides further proof of why Michelle was so consistent in competition. It also kind of gives a daunting birds-eye view of what you're signing up for when you aspire to be a champion figure skater. The fact Tim hated doing run-throughs but was still successful, perhaps points out how much better he might have become with more discipline. But as Tim describes, eventually his body couldn't handle the unrelenting pounding involved with training and competing multiple quads.

    When he left skating, Tim seemed very bitter, disillusioned and down on himself, so it's great to see that his transition to college and real life has given him enough distance for a more clear-sighted and balanced perspective, although of course, some skating incidents still hold a lot of emotion. Ironically, he was becoming a more well-rounded skater presentation-wise when his career began to stall, but still he had already achieved great success. Not everyone has an Olympic bronze medal and two World silver medals. He also won six medals at senior Nationals (one gold, four silver, and one bronze).

    Tim's response re the mystery surrounding Michelle Kwan's break-up with Frank Carroll simply shows how discreet MK and Frank have been about their former coach/ student relationship. They had a pretty deep connection despite Frank always being cognizant of the importance of trying to separate emotions and treat the relationship like a business partnership. It may have been the deep connection that in the end got in the way of whatever on-ice decision-making conflicts they had leading up to 2002 Olympics.

    I don't think Tim nor Jenny and Dave were blanket criticizing anyone but just pointing out the powerful influences of some commentators and the hurtfulness of some remarks. They mentioned "ABC commentators," as well as Hamilton's conflict of interest re commenting on skaters with IMG contracts who eventually signed with SOI. They referenced the "refrigerator break" comment which I remember but did not recall in detail, so I looked it up.

    Here's a link to Dick Button's take on the notorious comment:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=123410358

    I think Tim makes a good point, but so does Dick. It's true that broadcasters' commentary can be hurtful and have a negative impact on a skater's career. But perhaps if accepted with an eye to how one might improve their skating, Dick's criticisms might have sometimes been helpful, if not always diplomatically phrased. Tim spoke at one point in the podcast about the need for the sport to not "sugarcoat" behind-the-scenes realities, and Dick states in the linked article/NPR interview he has never "meant any harm," but that he's "adamant about not sugarcoating what he sees on the ice." Therefore Tim and Dick seem to agree about the importance of abstaining from "sugarcoating."

    In any case, Angela N during her career was definitely "a talented, elegant skater" with perhaps the best layback position in the business (which Dick praised on many occasions). And once she gained confidence under coach, Elena T, Angela truly blossomed and "commanded attention" as a skater, just as Dick stated he "knew" she had the ability to do.

    ETA:
    In the NPR audio broadcast, it's funny to hear Dick "tearing apart" and criticizing his own famous skating performances as "not very good," etc.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 01-10-2013 at 06:26 AM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by shan View Post
    Thanks for the link.

    I think what Tim was trying to get across is that skaters are young and they don't have the perspective of the seasoned adults. A coach like Frank may have taken Button's comments in stride and fixed what he could and ignored the rest (afterall Button is a "performer" himself when he is broadcasting), but to a teen who probably has very little life outside of the rink it would be devastating to be publicly criticized by a skating icon.

    Ditto the split with Frank. Frank has probably been through it many times before but to a teen it smacks of major rejection by a skating icon. Tim now realizes he did the same thing to Carol Heiss, but back then he was a beginner at adult relationships and had probably never considered that the relationship was a two-way street.

    Tim's comment was that it would be easier for the young skaters to bounce back from these experiences if they knew that other people were going through the same thing. That is why he chose to go public with his experiences rather than just utter the accepted cliches.

    It is also easier for him to do it than Frank, because skating is no longer his livelihood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    I am a bit confused on the part about still having to pay Frank. How in the world could Frank hold Tim to a contract if Frank fired him or was the one who decided to end the partnership. It sounds like Tim agreed it was time to move on but if Frank initiated things then how can he hold Tim to anything? I don't understand that. It borders on fraud, if you ask me. Also, Tim didn't make it clear how long he had to keep giving Frank a portion of his earnings? I hope it was only for the remainder of the season, which it sounds like is how long the contracts were good for.

    I find it incredibly interesting that no one knows what happened between Kwan and Frank. The great skating mystery shall live on. lol
    I was puzzled by that too. If Frank was the one to end the relationship, why was Tim still under contract to him? That sounds like some iron-clad contract.

    It sounds as if Frank arranged to send him to Audrey Weisinger since Tim mentions that she was the only other person who knew about the split when he was at NHK. I could see Frank delegating the day to day supervision to another coach if he and his student were no longer getting along, but Weisinger was on the opposite coast. I don't see how Frank could have been construed as being involved with him by any stretch of the imagination.

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    I believe Tim had to pay a percentage of everything he earned through June 2005 when his year-long contract w/ Frank was up (even though he was fired by Frank in Nov 2004). He was still making decent money at the time, but the extra cut for Frank was tough because Audrey, Lori and his agent were also getting a percentage.

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