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Who Is the Queen of Skating Moms

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Squibble, Aug 29, 2010.

Who Is the Queen of Skating Moms?

Poll closed Sep 3, 2010.
  1. Momma Henie

    1 vote(s)
  2. Momma Heiss

    0 vote(s)
  3. Momma Fleming

    5 vote(s)
  4. Momma Chin

    33 vote(s)
  5. Momma Lipinski

    15 vote(s)
  6. Momma Harding

    2 vote(s)
  7. Momma Bobek

    5 vote(s)
  8. La Mère Joubert

    22 vote(s)
  9. Momma Leung

    16 vote(s)
  10. Momma Zhang

    7 vote(s)
  11. Momma Kim

    56 vote(s)
  12. Other (please identify)

    16 vote(s)
  1. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Along this same vein, the Weirs, I believe, made an agreement with Johnny that he would pay back money originally saved for his brother to fund his skating, which, by happenstance, was well timed since Johnny's brother is 4 years younger.
  2. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

    There was also a Father and Grand Parents involved here. It was not a pretty scenario. The good news is that she did survive.
  3. bek

    bek Guest

    How was the other daughter's dream sacrificed when she's still more than young enough to have a singing career if she so desires? I mean this in the nicest way possible but for skating careers, these things have to be pursued when you are young. But the other daughter is now 22, that was plenty of time for her parents to help her out/make it up to her even if Yu-na's skating dream didn't go through. There was always a way longer window for her to pursue her dream than for Yu-na to pursue hers.

    And if I understand correctly in the story about Yu-na, Yu-na was discovered by a coach who was simply begging her parents to pay the money to help her skate, send her overseas etc. He was even telling her parents that he would help them with the funds if necessary. He firmly believed she had the talent to be an Olympic champion at the young age. Don Laws said something similar.

    While Aera may have a beautiful voice, given that the mom didn't know how good it was, there's quite a big chance that no teachers were going up to the parents saying a big thing. So its not like the two gambles were equal.

    And once again we don't know if Aera's parents sat down and had the same talk with Yu-na and Aera that Johnny's parents had with him. We will pay for your skating Yu-na but when you are older, you'll find a way to make it up to her sister. In fact there was talk that Yu-na came very close to quitting because of finanical income

    I'm not saying life was wonderful or fair for Aera. Life never is but to judge a family for the decisions made when aren't there isn't fair either.
  4. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    First, while not as extreme as with boys, the voices of girls often change with age, so it is possible that the time window is lost. Second, with much money spent on Yu-Na's career, it would be doubtful if Aera's dream could be pursued if Yu-Na did not reach skating stardom. Third, the fact that the Kwans, the Weirs and the Hughes all managed to support their skating-star-child while securing the futures of their other children shows that great wealth is not necessary.

    Most importantly, however, is that, if judging Mama Kim for "the decisions made when aren't there isn't fair" [sic], why is it fair to judge Papa Kwan for a decision (or decisions) made for reasons also undisclosed? As I mentioned before, the two older Kwan children would be in college when the issue of the boot endorsement arose. It is completely unknown if the boot issue had any bearing on the Nagano results, since Tara was so fanatically dedicated to winning that she practiced until her hip was injured .... and beating fanatics is extremely difficult.

    We also don't know what involvement he had with Michelle's decision to (a) drop Frank or (b) go coachless as opposed to getting another coach. It is very possible, for example, that Danny did not have any direct part in the decision. His part (if any) could have been indirect (i.e., tension began brewing between Frank and Danny; despite attempts by both to hide it, Michelle could feel the pressure, but couldn't handle it). He also could be completely innocent.

    It seems to me that the rules should be the same for both the Kims and the Kwans -- if it is unfair to judge the one, it is unfair to judge the other. This is especially true with the "skating mom" [or "skating dad"] sobriquet. As it is, there is one problem, centered on a coach, where both parents (at least allegedly) made a bad decision. However, both parents should also be given credit for the good that they did ... including the decisions made by the Kwan, Hughes and Weir families to protect their non-skating children.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  5. Muffin

    Muffin New Member

    Frank did say this about Papa Kwan in the NY Times regarding 1998:
    It was bad advice, and Papa Kwan should not have gone over the head of the coach. But really, that's not even in the same league as Tiffany Chin's mom.
  6. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

    What happened?
  7. bek

    bek Guest

    I criticize only on decisions seemingly related to skating and not if people love their kids. If Mrs Park allowed her daughter to go coachless at the Olympics, I'd criticize her. You better believe I'd criticize her. And while yes the Kwans were facing college for their kids, this was also the time of the skating boom and Michelle was already a huge star. Making your child wear a boot that hurts them makes them feel uncomfortable that is frankly dangerous. But I'm sure Danny Kwan meant well and I don't doubt He loves Michelle dearly.

    And I think its unfair to say that Kim's didn't secure their other daughter's future. The girl went to school to become a nurse. Its not like she had no education and is now waiting tables. Last I checked nursing requires some form of college education.
    A lot of times the girls voices actually gets better with age, it matures as long as it wasn't damaged by oversinging etc... Its once again far more likely for the other daughter to pursue singing in her 20s than it would be for Yu-na to pursue skating in her twenties.

    Please don't get me wrong I'm not saying Mrs Park's choices were all right. I absolutely would have sent someone else with Yu-na for Aera's graduation etc.

    And I'm going to point out the Kwans had a wealthy sponsor I believe who paid for Michelle and Karen's training. The Kim's didn't have a wealthy sponsor for all those years. Whose to say the Kwans wouldn't have made hard choices and frankly didn't make hard choices. Whose to say that Johnny would have been a complete flub on the skating scene and then no college money for his kid brother?

    I feel in general that sometimes parents do different things for different kids. It doesn't mean they love one child more than the other. Its hard to judge. Perhaps if the Kims ahd made Yu-na stop skating, the entire family including Aera would have regretted it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2010
  8. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Foreign nurses often do not have nearly the same professional standing of US RNs, which are recognized in the US as both front line responders and in demand well compensated licensed professionals.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  9. bek

    bek Guest

    True but I remember them saying she was in nursing school, so she's getting some kind of credentials. Its once again hardly some horrific job, and who knows it may be the job she know wants.
  10. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    It's not a horrific job to me since I have worked in healthcare, but some people would rather do something that does not involves lots of gloves. To be a nurse and like it does take a special kind of person because the job functions are not always pleasant.
  11. bek

    bek Guest

    Oh I know. Please don't get me wrong I don't think Mrs Park was correct in everything she did. I don't understand some of the things like she did like why not just ask another parent to go with Yu-na to that competition so she could go to Aera's high school graduation, heck why not see if Yu-na can skip it. I defintely think there's more she could have done for the other daughter. Although it sounds like she even had regrets about not encouraging Aera. At the very least even without a lot of money you'd think she'd find some way to help her daughter get better at singing (free choirs etc and really at least voice lessons aren't that expensive)

    But I get quite angry when I hear this whole her poor sister's a nurse. My Grandmother is a nurse and was very proud to be so, as is my Aunt. It truly is a noble profession. And it is a profession that can give you some financial security (not make you rich) but some financial security.

    I will say I definetly cringe when I see Yu-na singing in public now after hearing about Aera. But in the end, I really don't know what I'd if I was Ms Park and I had a child prodigy little family finances, I just don't know what I'd do.. And that's why I kind of defend Mrs. Park there because while I'd like to think I'd spend equal money on all my children, I don't know what I'd do if there was an extraodinary circumstance like that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2010
  12. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but it costs a heck of a lot of money to defend yourself against such a claim (I speak from experience as a media defense attorney), so better to avoid the claim in the first place.

    Seems like all the notorious skating moms are listed, none of whom I would refer to as "Queen." :lol: Cruella? Maybe.

  13. RunnersHigh

    RunnersHigh Well-Known Member

    Her sister currently works as a nurse in a hospital near home. ;)
  14. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    And it is also possible that Aera may have been as successful a singer -- and it would have improved Yu-Na's skating not to have the pressure on her. We also don't know the effects of this decision on the relationship between the sisters -- sacrificing Aera's dream in favor of Yu-Na's dream is something that could easily poison the family, in the long term.

    As to the other points:

    Even if the family was sending the elder child to nursing school while financing Yu-Na's skating, it may not have been that expensive, or, there may be more help (scholarships and grants) for nursing school than for skating. If US nursing is any guide, it also does not necessarily require a college degree plus grad school (one can be an LVN without a bachelor's, for example).

    That Aera is finding a valuable career to replace her squelched dream, though, doesn't negate the damage done by the decision.

    As to some of the other things you mentioned ... first, Karen started college -- and the issue of the boot endorsement -- arose around '97 -- when Michelle had been a big star for maybe a year. Also, by California law, a big chunk of the money that Michelle earned "for creative services" (which includes sports prize money and skating shows) had to go into a trust fund for Michelle, but the endorsement money would be different. So, it is very possible that the endorsement money would have been needed for college expenses.

    Second, your post is the first I ever heard of the wealthy sponsor ... even Michelle's autobiography never mentioned having one pay all expenses for both Michelle and Karen. There is (I believe) a need requirement for the grants given by the Women's Sports Foundation -- Michelle did get one of those grants -- which indicates to me that all expenses were not paid.

    My point was simply that a parent of a young skating star making one bad decision that may affect the child's skating career, is both comparatively common and rather uncertain -- Kwan may not have won gold in SLC with Frank; Tara's hip may still have been injured even if Pat had stopped her practicing so much -- should not be compared to a parental gamble that may affect the rest of the child's life.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  15. bek

    bek Guest

    There was an article about the owner of the Yankees who just died, who was a benefactor for Michelle Kwan and her sister.

    To be frank if I was in Mama Kim's situation, I might perhaps if really money was that bad put Aera's dream maybe a bit on hold. Maybe not put all kind of finances in it but get her voice lessons (they can be fairly inexpensive) Encourage her to do choir etc, look into music scholarships. And I'd probably put a time limit on Yu-na's career, where I'd stop in than put more resources into Aera's.

    I do think its fair to note that her mom I guess before Aera went into university, DID feel bad about what happened and tried to do something about it. I know that sometimes parents make mistakes realize they were wrong and then apologize for it try to make it right. So I don't think its completely fair to say Aera's "life was destroyed" when she could pursue music now if she wanted. Of course that was definetly a gamble on the Kim's part.
  16. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

    I don't get why some people like to discuss skaters' private lives let along their family's. Don't you think they deserve privacy?
    All I know is Yuna's sister has a stable professional career as a nurse and is a beautiful young lady on her own. If I were her parent, I'd be darn proud.
    RunnersHigh and (deleted member) like this.
  17. bek

    bek Guest

    Well nobody would be discussing Aera's missed singing dreams, if Mrs Park hadn't told the whole world about it in her book. She opened herself up to that criticism, and I wonder how Aera must have felt to have a private disappointment revealed to the entire world.
  18. RumbleFish

    RumbleFish New Member

    I haven't read the book and I have no plan to read it.
    IMO, publishing such book is corny and discussing about it intensly isn't that cool either. Hyping of an athlete's parents might be a usual routine in Korean society but it certainly won't help her when she tries to expand her boundaries in the future. I doubt that similar stuff will ever be published again.

    But it's only my opinion and you are free to carry on.;)
  19. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Really??? :eek: George Steinbrenner was a benefactor for Michelle and Karen Kwan??
  20. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    He gave the Kwans $10,000 when Michelle was 13. As generous as that was and as fortunate as the Kwans were to receive such a gift, it's not as if he funded them for years.


  21. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Still, that is waaaaayyy cool. Never knew Steinbrenner was a FS fan.
  22. Iluvid

    Iluvid Active Member

    There's a mom at my rink who's the ultimate skating mom! The daughter is a national level skater. The mom coaches her when she doesn't have a lesson with her coach. The poor girl is always crying and doesn't seem to want to skate when her mom is telling her what to do. This has been going on for years and she has slapped her before. Back to the thread, I say Bonaly and Harding.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  23. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

  24. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    BTW, Cecelia's mother easily passes Pat Lipinski since she did it first in an era when it was not so easy (because their were fewer facilities and her position in proper society would indicated that she do otherwise), including moving to a different country for coaching.
  25. amaro

    amaro Active Member


    I think the media owes Yuna's mom a sincere apology for their witch hunting, or should I say skating mom hunting on her and bringing a bunch of witch hunters out of these people here. Sensationalism at its lowest.
    RunnersHigh and (deleted member) like this.
  26. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

    The media has never apologized for demonizing other skaters and their families so I highly doubt they're going to start apologizing to Yu-Na and her family. The media is in the business of digging up dirt and that's something that public figures and their families just have to deal with.
  27. Morry Stillwell

    Morry Stillwell Well-Known Member

    There were legal and Social Service people involved.
  28. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Lordie, what a list of Nasty Nasties (while caring for their darlings, of course)! Having witnessed Mama Chin's antics up-close-and-personal in the early 1980s, I crown her my Dragon Lady of All Time. Yu-Na's mom is just the best-known of the moment.
  29. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    I keep reading about Mama Chin but don't know the story. What did she do?
  30. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    They are public figures and have chosen a public profession, so attention comes along with that. And Team Yu-Na has exploited that public status for $$$$ with endorsements, etc., so to complain about them "deserving" privacy seems a little :confused:

    And FWIW, even in gossipy forums like this one, we don't always hear everything about what the worst skating moms do. If we did, I suspect people would be even more :eek: