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  1. #1

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    "The Diplomat" on ESPN

    Excellent article, well written. I look forward to seeing this documentary on Katarina Witt. Sounds like it was done with an understanding of the times, the politics of the Cold War and the youth of the athletes. Very interesting stuff in that there are no simple answers but there is, at this distance, an understanding of the relationship between the GDR and their athletes. http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/ar...socialism.html

  2. #2

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    Thanks for that. The documentary sounds like it'll be worth watching!
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  3. #3

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    Article from the April premiere in NYC: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mor...-the-diplomat/

    TV Alerts forum thread: Aug. 6 on ESPN: Katarina Witt documentary, "The Diplomat"

    Re-posting from the other GSD thread:
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenMichelle View Post
    For those of you who don't know "Nine for IX" is a documentary series celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX. It focuses on stories of women in sports as told by female filmmakers. The next episode, showing this Tuesday (8/6) at 9pm, is about Katarina Witt.

    "At the height of the Cold War, Katarina Witt became one of East Germany's most famous athletes by winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals in figure skating. The Nine for IX film "The Diplomat," which premieres Aug. 6 on ESPN (8 p.m. ET), explores how Witt ultimately ended up being a beneficiary and victim of the East German regime." http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action/nine-for-ix/ The episodes do replay so if you miss it it should be on several more times.
    Thanks for posting that very interesting article, Willoway!
    Last edited by Sylvia; 08-06-2013 at 05:47 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  4. #4

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    THE DIPLOMAT: DIRECTOR'S MOMENT
    http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action...-film-diplomat

    ETA another article: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/artic...&vkey=ice_news
    Excerpt:
    When Witt saw the finished product for the first time, at the Tribeca Film Festival, she was moved by the other people who appear in the film, particularly Ingo Steuer, world pairs champion and Olympic bronze medalist who is now coach of four-time world pairs champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy. He spoke about how as a teenager Stasi (secret police) officials forced him to spy on Witt.

    "It was good for him to do that. He set the record straight," Witt said. "Forgive the guy -- he was young. If somebody could be upset, it was me, and I'm the one who has forgiven him from the beginning."

    "There was a reason and a methodology that the Stasi were known for and they used on their people to intimidate them," Kheshgi said. "He was at that age (17 when the spying began), in a very vulnerable position."

    The film also sheds light on Witt's coach, Jutta MŁller, who during Witt's competitive career was often cast as a cold, domineering taskmaster who was an instrument of the East German regime.

    "I know she was seen as a very strong, very tough woman," Witt said. "Hardly anybody got to see the other side, which we got to see -- the side I always respected because as hard as she was to her students, that's how hard she was on herself. She didn't ask for anything more than she would deliver.

    "To see her after all these years being so vulnerable as well as showing how much pressure she was under," she added, "I think it makes that piece special and shows her in a different light. She is a woman with all the aspects we have: being sensitive, being emotional and being warm hearted and not just being a tough coach."
    Last edited by Sylvia; 08-06-2013 at 06:28 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  5. #5

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    Little Katarina was so cute!
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  6. #6

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    Lots of footage from the Chemnitz rink and Ingo Steuer being interviewed (even a glimpse of Savchenko/Szolkowy practicing).
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

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    Some good stuff! They really didn't get into the details of how she won but reflected her role as a face of east Germany. Makes sense as it was called The Ambassador. Bu they crying over Gaby Seferts being forced to leave skating because of no pro opportunities and the huge backlash athletes got in east Germany after their bonuses were revealed in detail were interesting. Witt was so defiant! She won Gold! she "did her job for East Germany!" and then Talking about Ingo Steuer spying on her and her having no hard feeling was a highlight. I thought they would mention doping but they didn't maybe because it didn't effect Witt or part of Criminal trials with participants like krenz.

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    It was not what I expected, but I thought it was very goof. And it really made me think about that entire era.

    Glad I watched it

  9. #9

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    Yes, it was very well done.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

  10. #10

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    Darn, I missed this due to skating (a certain irony in that, lol). I hope they rerun it so I can watch it or at least remember to set the DVR. Sounds like a great documentary.

  11. #11

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    @espnw tweeted: "If you missed the premiere of #TheDiplomat, fear not! It re-airs tonight at 1 a.m. ET on ESPN2. #NineForIX"
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  12. #12

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    Thanks, Sylvia! Glad I saw this before going to bed. DVR is set.

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    If anyone finds this uploaded online, please let me know! Dying to see it & don't have the ESPN.

  14. #14

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    I missed seeing this espnW feature article on Witt yesterday:
    THE TAO OF KATARINA WITT
    By Johnette Howard | Aug 6, 2013
    http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action...-katarina-witt
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  15. #15

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    Wonderful documentary. Great to see that Frau Muller (the real one...ha-ha) is still around, coaching young ones & looking so well. Very funny moment when one of her young skaters said that The Frau has softened with age. Also, I found very interesting the comments by & about Ingo; I'm sure that many persons were forced to spy on colleagues & neighbors. Such was the awful system back then.

    One small quibble: Annett Poetzsch was not mentioned or shown. She too was a World and Oly (1980) champion trained by Frau Muller who, like Seyfert, simply retired without a pro career. It was likely an oversight due to space & time limitations. Also, Annett had a bit of a pro career, appearing in 'Carmen on Ice' in a bit role and even skating in some of the Gold Medalist tribute specials in the mid-90s. Still, it was a bit odd that she wasn't even mentioned. Ditto Jan Hoffman, although the focus was on Ladies.
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 08-07-2013 at 04:41 PM.

  16. #16
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    As someone very interested in politics, I found this documentary to be fascinating. Their government was so strict about pro athletes that they told her she could only go on a tour if she won a 2nd gold medal, as if it was no big deal. Amazing to them that one gold medal was not enough, and a silver would have been a complete failure. It was also lucky for Kati that the wall fell shortly after she was allowed to reap the rewards of her winnings. I understand the people's anger at gifts given to athletes when the people lived in poverty, although it wasn't the athlete's fault as they really had no freedom either.

  17. #17

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    Witt answered questions in an online chat on Tuesday before "The Diplomat" aired: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/48629

    Fan reaction to "The Diplomat": http://espn.go.com/espnw/w-in-action...-film-diplomat

    In “W Wants to Know,” espnW poses five questions to some of our favorite athletes. Today, two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist Katarina Witt checks in: http://espn.go.com/espnw/athletes-li.../katarina-witt

    Re-posting from the related thread in TV Alerts forum:
    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    Angie, for you; and anyone else who hasn't seen it .
    From the "Golden Age"; a skating "special" which really is:

    "Carmen on Ice":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYXkjJbS8T4
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isnít every four years, itís every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  18. #18

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    Another thing not mentioned (it was likely discussed during the interviews but edited out for time considerations) was that Brian Boitano offered Katarina to come stay with him in the US if she felt unsafe when the athletes were experiencing such hostility in East Germany. She did not take him up on that offer but appreciated it very much.

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    That was a great thing for him to do.
    I'm glad that they have always been such good friends.

  20. #20

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    Argghhh! My DVR didn't record the re-airing! I must have missed a step somewhere. Searching through TV listings, I found 2 more airings:

    Sunday, 8/11, 4-5 am ET, ESPN2
    Monday, 8/12, 2:30-3:30 am ET, ESPN Classic

    OK, so I have 2 more chances to get it right. It can also be watched on iTunes for $5.

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