Adam Rippon on Quiet Starvation in Men’s Figure Skating

Thread starter #1

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,911
Ratings
14,368
Dear Admins:

I'm starting this as a new thread because I don't want to derail the U.S. Men's thread or any of the existing Adam Rippon threads. Please feel free to move or merge this.
:saint:

Yours,

Vaga.


Adam Rippon on Quiet Starvation in Men’s Figure Skating

Shortly before Adam Rippon’s breakthrough victory at the United States figure skating championships, Brian Boitano crossed paths with him and asked how he was doing. Boitano, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist, expected Rippon to rave about his jumps or his signature spins.

Instead, Boitano said, Rippon pulled back his shoulders, puffed out his chest and proudly proclaimed, “I’ve never been thinner.”
Arutyunyan took one look at Rippon’s muscles and sent him straight to an elliptical machine to start shedding pounds.
So now Arutyunyan will tell his skaters that they look sluggish or that they need to be in better shape. “But basically,” he said, “same time I’m thinking, ‘O.K., how I can make elephant to fly?’”
I'm glad that Rippon eventually got some help from a U.S.O.C. dietician, but Arytunyan still needs to clean up his act.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,739
Ratings
5,585
I'm glad that Rippon eventually got some help from a U.S.O.C. dietician, but Arytunyan still needs to clean up his act.
I am not sure if this is a good time to bring up this information and possibly cause a rift between Adam and Rafik during the Olympics.

Rafik is Rafik, he learned his training methods NOT in USA, and yet currently is one of the most successful singles coaches in USA. If Adam did not like the approach, this is not USSR.... he could have switched coaches. If Rafik reads or learns of this interview now, it will not help the interaction between him and Adam.
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
Messages
20,212
Ratings
15,655
@Tinami Amori, Arutyunyan was interviewed for the article so I'm pretty sure he already knows about it. If you read the article, there does not appear to be any conflict between Rippon and Raf.
 
Thread starter #5

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,911
Ratings
14,368
But the issue itself usually results in a "conflict" and "confrontations"..
Given that Rippon sought outside help a year ago and that Arutyunyan was interviewed for the article, I think that any conflict on the issue has been resolved.

The idea that Rippon should remain quiet is exactly what that the reporter is challenging.
 

Sylvia

Club comp. season is underway & I'm sort of ready
Messages
52,367
Ratings
45,829
I am not sure if this is a good time to bring up this information
Adam is using the platform of the Olympics to highlight various issues for public discussion and the important, yet often taboo, topic of eating disorders/disordered eating/body image in figure skating applies to male as well as female skaters. Brian Boitano, Johnny Weir and Jeremy Abbott are also quoted or mentioned in the NYTimes article and websites, such as TeenVogue.com, already have picked up on it: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/adam-rippon-body-image
 
Last edited:

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,739
Ratings
5,585
.. if you guys think it will not cause a rift or not a bad subject during Olympics, then no problem... :lol: I don't like when "old conflict issues" are raised during important competitions....
 

Skittl1321

Well-Known Member
Messages
17,079
Ratings
8,667
This is a really important subject to discuss during the Olympics. Who is not at this Olympics because of this issue? Two prominent ladies are no longer skating because of eating disorders. That it isn't limited to ladies is a big deal; people like to pretend it doesn't affect men.

We have a snowboarder tweeting they want ice cream during the event. And a figure skater saying during competition he used to subsist on a few pieces of bread. That's not OK for an athlete.
 

Spun Silver

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,999
Ratings
13,754
I wish the article explained what Adam is eating now that he has learned a healthier way to relate to food. It's not helpful to detail his old diet and not his new one IMO. There is a reality that figure skaters need to be lean and strong. So how are they supposed to do it?

Explaining this could be a great career for Meagan Duhamel after she retires!
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,739
Ratings
5,585
@Tinami Amori I get your point about not creating distractions during an important competition, but at the same time this important health issue needs visibility and the Olympics draws eyeballs.
Why don't people just arrange a symposium or an international conference on "Important Issues of interest", instead of using Oscars, Golden Globes, Football games, Olympics..... it is getting annoying as hell.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
Messages
16,192
Ratings
16,902
Rafik is Rafik, he learned his training methods NOT in USA, and yet currently is one of the most successful singles coaches in USA.
So then what's "Rafik's" explanation for the best 3A in the US currently belonging to one of the most muscular men they have? Max is very small, but his body composition is not dissimilar to Adam's in terms of where his bulk is placed - and indeed, he has a "less ideal" body for it since the short-torso-long-legs type appears to be all the rage for men right now.

All of the coaches obsessed with "thinness" are absolute idiots. You need muscle to jump!
 

Skittl1321

Well-Known Member
Messages
17,079
Ratings
8,667
Why don't people just arrange a symposium or an international conference on "Important Issues of interest", instead of using Oscars, Golden Globes, Football games, Olympics..... it is getting annoying as hell.
How about you go to any of these events and just focus on movies, TV, or sports. And show everyone how much more you get done by that focus.
And until then, let the people who actually ARE at the events focus on whatever they want. If Adam wants to use his platform to talk about something other than just skating, good for him. Because he's the one who is there.
 

nimi

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,179
Ratings
3,310
A big part of Adam's 10 lb weight gain is muscle. His diet is likely still very restrictive, but it's clear he's gained muscle in the past two years.
Hopefully his bones have gotten a bit heavier too, because of increased bone density.

The articles about Satoko's recovery from the hip fracture also talked about how she had been affected by decreased bone density and how she now takes care to get enough of the nutrients she needs and has put on a few pounds, per doctors' orders. I googled a bit and found this interview translation (link):
I’ve heard you made it a point to increase your body weight.

When I was injured, I was told that my bone density indicated that I was too thin, and the doctors advised me to increase my average weight a bit. They told me that this would be better for my bone health. An athlete tends to use up all their energy training, so eating more meant that more nutrition would go to my bones and muscles. In my case, putting on more weight doesn’t necessarily mean that I am heavier; it has given me more power. So I have been eating properly, training and building up my physique.

Have you increased the amount of food you eat?

I’m the type of person who eats a lot anyway, but I had trouble with weight control and losing too much weight when the competitions started. I tried to do something about this with supplements. Until now, I didn’t really think about what I was eating in my days off. On some days I didn’t eat much. Now I have learned that when I do have a day off, that’s when I really need to eat properly. This probably means that overall, I do eat more.
ETA: Your immune system needs fuel, too. Undernourishment is not going to help it do its job optimally.
 
Last edited:

Aceon6

Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.
Messages
14,426
Ratings
12,857
All of the coaches obsessed with "thinness" are absolute idiots. You need muscle to jump!
Clara Hughes (Canada) wrote extensively about the weight/power ratio (thinner=faster) that she was expected to have for cycling and what a relief it was to go back to speed skating where the coaches understood that calories in have to match calories expended once someone was at their skating weight.
 

GreatLakesGal

Well-Known Member
Messages
117
Ratings
290
I thought it was rather odd for Phil Hersh to ask Yuzu about his weight at his Press Conference yesterday. I'm guessing it was this NYT article that prompted his question. Yuzu seemed rather surprised and then amused by it.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
13,739
Ratings
5,585
If that is what you truly believe, why have you been reading this thread and posting your pontifications here? :confused:
because after one comment i made, people are replying to me and it is not polite to ignore a reply once you chose to engage in a conversation? did you grow up in a barn? :D

Every issue we have discussed about the Olympics has related to an athlete competing there. How are these non-related issues?
i have a different opinion, but we can each keep ours.
 

Anita18

It depends!
Messages
11,961
Ratings
2,923
GO ADAM! If not at the Olympics, no one would pay attention. Good for him in bringing to light more things nobody else wants to acknowledge. :kickass:
 

cmk

Active Member
Messages
231
Ratings
241
Any sport where weight can be an injury affects men and women. Skaters, gymnasts, wrestlers, and jockeys seem to deal with it more than some of the other sports. You do see 350 pound football players (usually on the oline or dline), but you aren't going to se a 350 pounder riding a horse in the Kentucky derby. Wrestlers and Boxers have to make weight for their scheduled matches.

I think nutritional coaching should be available for the athlete AND the coaches. I can think of several highly regarded coaches that need educated in that regard. The Scotvolds (despite being on the heavy side themselves, Heiss Jenkins, and Callahah all come to mind. There are too many coaches that still pressure their skater or gymnasts to lose weight. Some of the past ice shows had weigh-ins (Hamill ended it when she had ice capades, but I don't know what the policy on that was when Pat Robertson owned (and destroyed) it. The brief revivial in 2000 was actually a pretty good show even without any famous skaters. Too bad the 2000 tour went bellyup after the 3rd show, and they actually did send me a refund for the programs that weren't ready by show time for show #2 in Dayton, ohio.
 

acraven

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,648
Ratings
1,082
In fairness to Arutyunyan, Adam had really, really bulked up in the upper body before he moved to California. He commented not too long afterward that Arutyunyan had told him it was too much, and I didn't think there was anything odd about that at the time. A fair number of male skaters have found that too much upper-body muscle isn't a good thing--I think including Michael Weiss and Max Aaron.

But subsisting primarily on bread is not ever a good idea, and any coach who has a skater known to be eating that way should push hard for a consultation with a dietician.
 

vesperholly

Well-Known Member
Messages
11,987
Ratings
9,552
A big part of Adam's 10 lb weight gain is muscle. His diet is likely still very restrictive, but it's clear he's gained muscle in the past two years.
Adam has been getting progressively skinnier since 2014. He's gotten a little scary skinny IMO. Ashley leaned out for a bit too but after her world medal she slid a bit.

I'm curious to know if/how USFS gets involved with nutritional help.
 

analia

Well-Known Member
Messages
474
Ratings
471
If your coach thinks your only way to success is to only eat three pieces of bread a day and he basically calls you an elephant, maybe something is wrong with your talent level. And maybe you keep up with your coach because you know it's true. Honest to god I can't think of any "healthy" solution to this problem.
 
Thread starter #30

Vagabond

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,911
Ratings
14,368
A fair number of male skaters have found that too much upper-body muscle isn't a good thing--I think including Michael Weiss and Max Aaron.
After going through a phase of emphasizing upper-body weight-training, Weiss slimmed down drastically, ostenisibly to improve his consistency on quadruple jumps. From what I can remember, his results were not significantly different after he slimmed down.
 
Last edited:

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 1, Guests: 0)