View Poll Results: Who was the most controlling/difficult skating mom?

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  • Suzanne Bonaly

    32 24.24%
  • Shuguang Zhao (Caroline Zhang's mother)

    1 0.76%
  • Marjorie Chin

    21 15.91%
  • Julie McDonough

    26 19.70%
  • Park Mee-hee (Kim Yu-Na's mother)

    10 7.58%
  • Jennifer Leung

    16 12.12%
  • Jody Flatt

    1 0.76%
  • Danny Kwan

    12 9.09%
  • Doris Fleming

    0 0%
  • Raymonde Joubert

    4 3.03%
  • Galina Cohen

    1 0.76%
  • Other

    8 6.06%
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I really know nothing about Mrs. McDonough at all. It is interesting to see her so high in votes and rivalling the Terrible Trio. She must have been something pretty bad even though I have barely heard anything about her.
    Legend has it that Mrs. McDonough shared that when she adopted Ann-Patrice in Korea she picked up the baby and said, "You will be a figure skater." If I recall correctly, Mrs. McDonough did not have advantages growing up, but she wanted to be a skater. So she decided that her daughter would live out her dreams. She was known to be pushy and critical of AP's coaches. She insisted on making her daughter's costumes, including a distracting Swan Lake dress with a beak poking out of the cleavage. AP looked depressed and uninterested in skating. She made it no secret that she skated because of her mother, and she seemed to quit the sport as soon as she could.

    Mrs. McDonough's fashion design Swan Lake 2004

    A glimpse of the formidable Julie McDonough before her daughter's 2002 Junior Worlds SP
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-03-2013 at 07:55 AM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    The late Virginia Fratianne should be on the poll. She was an enormous complainer, whining endlessly anytime her beloved Linda did not win a competition, and of course saying nothing at all when she received a blatant gift (eg- 77 and 80 Nationals, 78 Worlds LP, 1980 Worlds SP). She even threatened to sue the judges or the ISU for all the money they cost Linda for not winning the Olympics Gold, LOL! She told Linda bad things about her competitors to make her dislike them, and drilled the whole dealmaking story in Lake Placid in Linda's mind which made her bitter and upset for decades to come. Whether it was true or not, a terrible thing to do to a young women. Had she been on the poll she would have been my vote in a heartbeat.
    Not that she was the only skating mom who did this, but she also paid for or at least allowed Linda to get a nose job before the Olympics. She probably was going to include those costs in the lawsuit.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by all_empty View Post
    Not a fair poll to post, in my opinion.

    There are no manual on being a perfect parent, much less being a perfect skating parent.

    Clearly these women (and man) did something right to get their children to an elite level, sacrificing their time and money and likely personal happiness.

    Did they make mistakes? Sure, all parents do. Unless there was physical abuse (which I don't think any of these cases were) or mental abuse (hard to document), these parents' actions were for the betterment of their children.
    Without getting into the specifics of these parents, it is worth noting that some skate parents are physically and/or mentally abusive and that even where there actions are "documented" the abusive parents try to pass off their behavior as isolated incidents or as doing the best they could for the betterment of their children.

    Case in point:

    When Tonya [Harding] was 6 or 7 years old, she says her mother began physically and mentally abusing her. "She became very abusive [and was] drinking all day long," Tonya says. "Beating me, dragging me off the rink, hitting me with a hairbrush … right in front of everyone."

    In response to her daughter's allegations. LaVona Golden, Tonya's mother, says she did hit Tonya once at a skating rink, but she also says she did the best she could as a mother.
    http://www.oprah.com/world/Tonya-Har...#ixzz2V7gbu4Dc

    So, whom should we believe, Tonya Harding or LaVona Golden?

    The voice came across the ice like the scrape of a blade on metal. Five-year-old Tonya Harding, practicing her figure skating, wanted to rest or go to the bathroom or talk to one of the other girls taking lessons, but her mother shouted to keep moving.

    " `I paid for you to practice, so you're going to stay on the ice and practice,' her mother would scream," recalled Kirsten Spethmann, who took lessons at the same rink as Harding when they were in grade school.

    Never mind that Harding sometimes was forced to urinate on the ice, according to people who knew her then. Or that at the outdoor rink she was shivering in her frilly chiffon skating outfit.

    If Harding protested, her mother, LaVona Golden, "slapped her across the face," once so hard that she was knocked off a stool, said Pat Hamil, whose daughter, Jeannine, skated with Harding.
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1...nancy-kerrigan

    My vote's with Tonya.

  4. #24
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    Someone is trolling for gossip. This is just about the stupidest poll ever!! Do any of you know what these families give up to have a kid at the top?

  5. #25
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    Almost useless poll. How can the Moms of Harding, Lipinski, Fratianne, and maybe even Debi Thomas not be on it yet you have people like the Moms of Cohen, Kwan, Kim Yu Na, Flatt, Joubert, on it. Makes no sense.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorianhotel View Post
    Almost useless poll. How can the Moms of Harding, Lipinski, Fratianne, and maybe even Debi Thomas not be on it yet you have people like the Moms of Cohen, Kwan, Kim Yu Na, Flatt, Joubert, on it. Makes no sense.
    There were only 12 slots available. It's not automatically an insult to be selected for this poll. Everybody in the sport knows skating moms/dads must walk a fine line. It is tempting to overstep boundaries and interfere in coaching. The controlling instinct is where things can go wrong. Harding's mother sounds like she would have been drunk and abusive no matter what sport Tonya was in, so she seems in a class of her own. I wouldn't include her with any of these women/man.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-03-2013 at 07:53 AM.

  7. #27
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    Well Scott Hamilton said he felt due to her Mom Debi could never love skating, and that her Mom didnt even really want her to skate but to focus only on school.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysticchic View Post
    Someone is trolling for gossip. This is just about the stupidest poll ever!! Do any of you know what these families give up to have a kid at the top?
    Why don't you tell us, mysticchic, exactly what these families give up and whether you think it is actually worth it. I have my doubts, particularly since not every skating parent is domineering.

    And I think the dark side of our beloved sport is a fair topic for discussion here, even if I take much of what anonymous posters give as examples with a grain of salt.

    Quote Originally Posted by dorianhotel View Post
    Well Scott Hamilton said he felt due to her Mom Debi could never love skating, and that her Mom didnt even really want her to skate but to focus only on school.


    Horror of horrors! What a controlling and difficult mother! That sort of thinking leads to girls' growing up to be physicians.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Suzanne Bonaly really deserves the lifetime achievement award--rather than Gold or Silver--for controlling your daughter beyond her skating years. Dan Hollander commented on this in his interview with Dave Lease and Jenny Kirk.
    where is this in the interview? i just listened to it and didnt hear a mention of surya or her mom. or was this something that he said that didnt make it into the final edit?
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    where is this in the interview? i just listened to it and didnt hear a mention of surya or her mom. or was this something that he said that didnt make it into the final edit?
    I think it got edited out.

  11. #31
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    Marjorie Chin, easily.


    A friend of mine used to skate at Lake Arrowhead around the same time that Tiffany was training there.

    According to him when Tiffany missed a triple toe loop over and over in practice one day, after Chin left the ice, Marjorie slapped her daughter in full view of everyone.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by essence_of_soy View Post
    Marjorie Chin, easily.


    A friend of mine used to skate at Lake Arrowhead around the same time that Tiffany was training there.

    According to him when Tiffany missed a triple toe loop over and over in practice one day, after Chin left the ice, Marjorie slapped her daughter in full view of everyone.
    Did anyone do anything about it, such as contact the police, Social Services, the USFSA, or the PSA? If so, what happened? If not, why not?

    Any adult who witnesses something like this and does nothing ought to be ashamed of himself.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Not that she was the only skating mom who did this, but she also paid for or at least allowed Linda to get a nose job before the Olympics. She probably was going to include those costs in the lawsuit.
    I remember Debi Thomas saying something to the effect that everyone wanted or had a nose job during that era, and it was no big deal. I was rather stunned to hear that. I was also surprised since while I think Debi is pretty, she has a very big nose, and that's *after* the nose job.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    I think it got edited out.
    Now, Margaret, not all of us have your direct line to MI6.

    I wonder what Mme. Bonaly charges for coaching on English vocabulary.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Did anyone do anything about it, such as contact the police, Social Services, the USFSA, or the PSA? If so, what happened? If not, why not?

    Any adult who witnesses something like this and does nothing ought to be ashamed of himself.
    I give no credence to stories like this. That wasn't the purpose of this poll. A second or fourth hand account of an alleged rink slapping from 28 years ago is not reliable.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 06-05-2013 at 04:56 AM.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Entire post
    You raise points that prompted me to ask those very questions.

    Still, public incidents of physical and emotional abuse by athletes' parents not unknown in other sports, and some governing bodies (in tennis, for example) have done quite a bit to address the problem. What, if anything, are the USFSA, Skate Canada, the ISU, etc., doing?

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorianhotel View Post
    Well Scott Hamilton said he felt due to her Mom Debi could never love skating, and that her Mom didnt even really want her to skate but to focus only on school.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post


    Horror of horrors! What a controlling and difficult mother! That sort of thinking leads to girls' growing up to be physicians.
    No, it leads to girls being unhappy because their parents are not supportive of what they are doing (assuming this claim is true). It is possible to raise a child to become successful academically and professionally without pushing them away from doing other things.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Why don't you tell us, mysticchic, exactly what these families give up and whether you think it is actually worth it. I have my doubts, particularly since not every skating parent is domineering.

    And I think the dark side of our beloved sport is a fair topic for discussion here, even if I take much of what anonymous posters give as examples with a grain of salt.
    Just because parents make sacrifices for their children does not mean they are good parents, or non-abusive parents.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    Just because parents make sacrifices for their children does not mean they are good parents, or non-abusive parents.
    I agree with this. Some parents would benefit from looking around at how others have successfully reared their skater babies.

  20. #40

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    Frank Carroll has talked about what a lovely woman Mrs Fratianni was. I would rather believe him than some skating fan passing on 5th hand rink gossip. I never heard any of this stuff during Linda's amateur days. Some of the posts here are just baseless gossip. Pretty distasteful.

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