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  1. #1

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    Yebin Mok: "Now [skating is] just pure love, expanding and forgiving"

    August 2012 article, titled "Yebin Mok Returns to the Ice After Struggling with Eating Disorder," that I just came across today: http://iamkoream.com/august-issue-ye...ting-disorder/
    Looking back, Mok realizes she was chasing something she never really wanted.

    “My idea of success when I was little was the Olympics because that’s what everyone goes for in skating, but I wish it was different,” Mok said. “My calling was to bring that magical performance to the ice—that’s why I was into skating.”
    ...

    Mok’s life became a competition. She recalled talking with other figure skaters about the number of calories she took in and the amount of time she devoted to working out. Each girl wanted to outdo the other.

    Mok had whittled down her daily caloric intake to a dangerously low 710. To put that in perspective, it is recommended that healthy young women take in around 2,000 calories a day. A young, extremely athletic woman could easily take in more than that because the more active you are, the more calories you burn.
    ...

    Mok lowers her voice and peers downward before explaining “the pivotal
    moment” in her skating career in 2005. One day, she drank an excessive amount of alcohol, desperate to force herself to throw up. Finding her at home drunk, her parents were shocked. But she told them that she was only trying to force herself to vomit and why.

    “[My parents] said ‘Oh my god, we had no idea! Just quit skating! This is not how you want to live your life, this is so wrong.’ So I think that gave me the courage to quit,” Mok said. “I couldn’t be normal in that environment. [My parents] were just like, ‘We don’t want you to hurt yourself, we love you,we want you to be OK.’”
    ...

    “It is and it is not about the jumps. First is performance,” Mok continued. “Jumps are a part of choreography. Elements become fused into choreography and music, making it even more beautiful, freer and more effortless. That is how a great performance is made, and that is something that I had to consciously learn, change and grow from because I was still stuck in the idea of competitive skating.” That’s a mindset she would like to see other young skaters abandon.

    Mok, who teaches skating and is also training to be a yoga instructor, still has the diaries she kept as a young skater. “When I look back at my diaries, it’s just,” she began, then paused, searching for the right words. “Depressing,” she continued. “I can’t believe I was so mean to myself. If I could go back to that girl, I’d say, ‘Ease up. It’s not the end of the world, you know?’”
    Check out the photo in the article captioned "Yebin Mok (back), with other skaters at the 2002 Triglav Trophy (Kim Yuna is pictured in the hanbok on the left, and Evan Lysacek is on the right). Photo courtesy of Yebin Mok."

    The article was an offshoot of this bio she wrote about her life in June 2012 (thanks to FunnyBut for finding and posting the link): http://iamkoreanamerican.com/2012/06/12/yebin-mok/

    IceNetwork article (June 2012): http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news

    Some of her professional performances can be viewed on her YouTune channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/lizzhazha/

    Her memorable 2003 U.S. Nationals SP to "The Swan": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlv6n5EQq3U
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-14-2013 at 05:39 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #2

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    Thanks for the links, Sylvia. I look forward to watching the professional performances when I'm home and can listen to the music.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    August 2002 article, titled "Yebin Mok Returns to the Ice After Struggling with Eating Disorder," [/url]

    The article was an offshoot of this bio she wrote about her life in June 2002 (thanks to FunnyBut for finding and posting the link): http://iamkoreanamerican.com/2012/06/12/yebin-mok/

    IceNetwork article (June 2002): http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news
    I think all these 2002 are supposed to be 2012.

  3. #3

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    Thanks, I've now edited in the correct years.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    I love her SP to "The Swan." --glad to hear she is still involved in the sport--

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    Thanks so much Sylvia for starting this thread focusing solely on Yebin Mok's inspiring journey (as it was brought up in a different thread where it most definitely might have been missed by some fans).

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    Re-visiting this thread to add shine's post that appeared in the other oddly unrelated thread where Yebin was recently mentioned:

    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    Nice revisit of Ye Bin Mok's 2003 SP. What she demonstrated there was close to perfection I'd say. She had a lot more talent than many of the ladies skaters much more well known than her IMO. I didn't knew why she stopped competing until the recent article posted here - what a shame that her career had to end the way it did

    ETA: And what a triple lutz she had!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlv6n5EQq3U


    Thanks for sharing your impressions of Yebin, shine.


    Re-quoting Yebin from Sylvia's OP:

    “It is and it is not about the jumps. First is performance,” Mok continued. “Jumps are a part of choreography. Elements become fused into choreography and music, making it even more beautiful, freer and more effortless. That is how a great performance is made, and that is something that I had to consciously learn, change and grow from because I was still stuck in the idea of competitive skating.” That’s a mindset she would like to see other young skaters abandon.
    And thanks so much to Yebin for this perspective on figure skating. ITA!

    Perhaps there should be more opportunities for artistic skating performance outside of the traditional, mainstream sport-centered competitive point-grabbing track. And I mean artistic in the sense that Yebin describes where the athleticism of jumps are fused with the choreography and the music making the technical and artistic parts of figure skating come together as a whole. In that way figure skating is made "even more beautiful, freer and more effortless."
    Last edited by aftershocks; 02-17-2013 at 07:44 PM.

  7. #7

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    I wish that there were more - and better - opportunities for Yebin; and other excellent skaters who want to perform, and have much to offer.

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    ITA skatesindreams!

    I can totally see that being such a wonderful ideal and enterprise to work toward -- and I can see it being an uplifting experience for fans not to mention an exciting expressive opportunity for skaters like Yebin, Bebe, Alissa Czisny, Jeremy Abbott, Wesley Campbell, Jonathan Cassar, Jeremy Ten, Garrett Kling, Rohene Ward, Shawn Sawyer, Alexander Johnson, Scott Dyer, Mark Hanretty, Stephane Lambiel, and so many others. It might even be an opportunity for a skater like Denis Ten to truly shine without the stress and nerves of competition deep-sixing his technique.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 02-17-2013 at 08:18 PM.

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    I loved Yebin's skating, and am so sorry to hear of her struggles at the time. I'm glad to hear that she has come through them such a splendid young woman. I would love to see her choreographing for other skaters or ice shows. Her Swan was the best Swan ever, IMO.

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    Her SP to the Swan is one of my all time favorite short programs!!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DORISPULASKI View Post
    I loved Yebin's skating, and am so sorry to hear of her struggles at the time. I'm glad to hear that she has come through them such a splendid young woman. I would love to see her choreographing for other skaters or ice shows. Her Swan was the best Swan ever, IMO.
    Totally agree with this. I had no idea she was skating professionally, but she looks fabulous on the ice.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  12. #12
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    Thanks again, Sylvia, for posting the link to Yebin's professional performances.

    This is the first one I looked at, and I have to say: Wowsa!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcbxmOoUvG0

    Boy has Yebin grown as a skater, a woman, and an artist. All the more amazing since she's skating on such a small rink (looks like the size on a cruise ship). That size makes it really difficult to pull off a lot of jumps. The yells and wolf whistles from the crowd are something else too. Some of the approval is surely coming from her fellow show skaters and friends who might be sitting in the audience

  13. #13

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    "Interview with Yebin Mok, Return to Korea for Magic on Ice in 19 Years! May 31 - June 10" - in Korean and English: http://blog.daum.net/sadprince57/1843
    Excerpt:
    Yes, I’m in Toyota Sports Center in LA and coaching and choreographing. I am also a certified yoga teacher, so I teach yoga to all ages of students; NBA players to kids to elders. My future plans are to nurture our next generation of skaters to fulfill their best in the route that they choose. I want to offer the competitive skaters, a smart, injury free training along with mind/body awareness program (on&off ice).
    I want to create opportunities for great skaters that perhaps are not necessarily cut out for competitions, but are great performers/great artists. I want to offer them a road where they can still be a great impact in a skating world, whether it be in professional skating realm, choreographing, or coaching.
    I also want to deepen my own practice with yoga, and incorporate yoga/meditation, mind/body awareness with the students I teach.
    ...
    Q12: It’s been already 20 years that you have been with skating. What is ‘figure skating’ for you? What lesson did you have from skating? When and what are the best moments and regrettable event in your figure skating career?

    Figure skating to me is my passion, my breath for life, and my artistic expression. I love how I can still be on the ice after 20 years, after so much joy, peace, agony and pain that came with the sport that I can still be on the ice and still LOVE being on the ice.
    With figure skating, I learned many life’s lessons: heartbreak, disappointment, dedication, perseverance, courage, patience, meditation, self-awareness, and mind/body control.
    "Magic On Ice" opens May 30, 2013 at Samsung Blue Square Theater, Seoul - Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wheelerproductionsmagiconice
    Last edited by Sylvia; 05-06-2013 at 03:04 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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