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  1. #1

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    Skaters performing in North Korea

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZbHqtXFOg0
    who are these skaters in the video performing there this week, and is that Elvis Stojko at 2:16??
    just wondering
    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2

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    Oh goodie, it's time for our annual skaters-who-dare-show-support-for-North Korea thread!

    Thanks for posting the link, Sugar! Yup, that's Elvis. Anyone recognize the 3(?) non-Asian couples and singles lady? (That little North Korean girl who played the violin while swizzling is cute. ) I wonder if that is a North Korean synchro team and, if so, do they compete internationally?
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-16-2013 at 07:57 PM. Reason: To add comments after watching the video

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    Lady - I think it's Elena Glebova.

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    Lol! I was all "time for the debate about skaters skating in north Korea!" Is it supporting wherever it is, is it legitimizing dictators, is it skater greed, so many things.

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    There are so few opportunities for skaters to earn money nowadays and this sport is so damn expensive to train that I really can't blame them.

    And come on, they get a chance to see North Korea before the regime collapses! Who wouldn't want to do that? It's number 1 thing on my dream list. And yes, I will be supporting the regime doing that but...

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    Interesting. Didn't Elvis Stojko say that athletes should boycott the Olympics when they were in China?

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    Why are skating appearances in North Korea such a thing these days? Does the PRK have envy about Yu Na or the 2018 Olympics? I wonder if water should be frozen for Elvis when the the people may not have enough.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 02-17-2013 at 04:41 AM.

  8. #8
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    Why don't the skaters never learn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Skatefan View Post
    Interesting. Didn't Elvis Stojko say that athletes should boycott the Olympics when they were in China?
    Yes.

    Perhaps he needed some money to get more tattoos.
    To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mis751 View Post
    Lady - I think it's Elena Glebova.
    Pushkash and Guerreiro as well..

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceIceBaby View Post
    Why don't the skaters never learn?
    Money makes the world go round.

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    I only recognised Stojko, Glebova, Pushkash/Guerreiro. was the first ice dance couple the Hermanns?
    well, their choice...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    Yes.

    Perhaps he needed some money to get more tattoos.
    Where was North Korea back when Tonya needed a venue willing to book her?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Why are skating appearances in North Korea such a thing these days? Does the PRK have envy about Yu Na or the 2018 Olympics? I wonder if water should be frozen for Elvis when the the people may not have enough.
    North Korea has had stronger figure skating programs for decades compared to South Korea sans Yu-Na Kim. It’s nothing new named skaters participating in their events. And I believe there are many developed countries, including the U.S., where building war machine takes higher priority to, say, curing urban poverty, at least on the table of their budget appropriation committees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    There are so few opportunities for skaters to earn money nowadays and this sport is so damn expensive to train that I really can't blame them.

    And come on, they get a chance to see North Korea before the regime collapses! Who wouldn't want to do that? It's number 1 thing on my dream list. And yes, I will be supporting the regime doing that but...
    I too would accept the opportunity, more readily with some money offered!

    When the U.S. table tennis team visited China back in the 70’s, it was not to support the repressive host regime. Neither was the intention of the NY Philharmonic when it visited North Korea in 2008. One can say these events were different because they were “well thought-out and pre-negotiated by the respective governments.” But, I would say the participation of the Western and East European skaters in North Korean events is no less encouraging, since it was obviously done with the basic pre-agreed travel exchange programs and commercial (appearance fees) arrangements. It tells that if the governments (U.S., Chinese, South and North Korean) can negotiate their priorities and grant North Korea security in terms of a peace treaty, it could open up whole new opportunities for North Korean people to exchange with the world and work on their paths out of misery with the help of the developed countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Skatefan View Post
    Interesting. Didn't Elvis Stojko say that athletes should boycott the Olympics when they were in China?
    Yes, he can eat his words now. 2008 Beijing Games were a coming-out event for the Chinese, showing up their position as a developing (now already developed) superpower to be recognized in the world’s political/cultural scene since a brief (in consideration of their long history and culture) period in obscurity after Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Western countries and their Olympic committees did a right thing not boycotting the event and instead being a witness and participant since, IMO, it can be beneficial, at least, in raising the self-awareness and sense of responsibility among the hosting body and its people with respect to their role/reputation in world politics and common causes.

    In 1980 there was a U.S.-led boycott of the Moscow Games in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In retaliation, Soviet-bloc countries boycotted 1984 L.A. Games. But, when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, there was no boycott of athletic events related to that event in the following years, even with the better facilitated exchange of ideas, facts, etc., with the help of internet. It could have been just the U.S. being the only superpower in the era, but I think the world has changed. Some people, like Stojko, could say the west should boycott such and such events, but IMO majority of people are now better educated, and practical, to know that such action is neither supported by the examples nor beneficial to the athletes/performers or to the people of the host countries.

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    that whole video just looked scary.. I hope those performers got paid a lot!

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    You can't even compare this kind of show to competitions. This show's only purpose is to entertain the government and the high elite = entertain people supporting the dictatorship.

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    Sport is one of the best ways for countries to come together. If these skaters can show a North Korean audience that not all Westerners are pure demonic monsters, isn't that a good thing? Baby steps.

    It wasn't that long ago that the thought of Americans going to China or USSR/Russia was incomprehensible. Sport help changed opinions and helped break down walls (pun intended).

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    Here's another article about Stojko's views on an Olympic boycott back in 2008: It's Time to Demand Rights in China, Says Olympian Stojko

    "With the Olympic Games coming up, there's a chance to show China, 'You have to move forward. It's not the Dark Ages anymore,'" Stojko told a rally at Queen's Park in Toronto on Saturday.

    "We don't want to sit back and two years from now say, 'We should have done something; we could have done something,'" said Stojko....

    He condemned the Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, Tibetans, and human rights defenders in China....

    Stojko called on governments and individuals speak up for human rights while attention is focused on China in the lead-up to the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

    "It is our business, regardless of what anyone says. And [we should] stop worrying about what other people think and stand up and make a stand."

    Does that mean he'd boycott the Games were he competing?

    "It's obviously easy for me to say I would boycott because I'm not an active athlete. But I believe the athletes have a choice to make for themselves. Because they're representing all of us," Stojko said.
    I suppose he could say he wasn't representing anyone else, just lining his own pockets.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceIceBaby View Post
    You can't even compare this kind of show to competitions. This show's only purpose is to entertain the government and the high elite = entertain people supporting the dictatorship.
    How is it really different? They had been holding annual international figure skating competition too until recently, used to be called Baekdusan Trophy.

    They are sending political messages. All North Korean events open to its public (via their TV coverage, which I believe this event was also subject to) or to the world (in the case of this thread, by Youtube footage) bear political meanings of some sort. The event is not primarily for the “entertainment” for their chosen few.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capella View Post
    Sport is one of the best ways for countries to come together. If these skaters can show a North Korean audience that not all Westerners are pure demonic monsters, isn't that a good thing? Baby steps.
    I think most North Koreans know it's not WESTERNERS (or the Russians, or the Chinese, who I get the feeling are sometimes mildly embarrassed by sort of being their allies) who are monsters...they'd probably appreciate food more than figure skating, not that it would get to them. Most people in totalitarian dictatorships aren't stupid enough to believe their government blaming all its problems on everyone else in the world. They just also aren't stupid enough to admit that and bring their government down on their heads.

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