Current Finances for German Figure Skaters in Comparison to Other Nations

Husky

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I don't know where to post this. Feel free to move it. It's about the sad state of finances in German figure skating which is at an all-time low. There are comparisons to former Soviet Republics, Spain, and the USA. Plus it includes a detailed calculation of their expenses. Hence, this might be interesting for a wider audience.

Excerpts from paywalled newspaper article, translated through deepl:


Annika Hocke and Robert Kunkel are third in the European Figure Skating Championships. The professional athletes represent their country worldwide. But the support in Germany is so poor that they are losing interest. Here they reveal their income and expenditure.

The money for the pair only lasts until October - the season runs until March. "We thought that after our most successful season, the support should also be up and running," says Kunkel. "But things turned out differently."

A winter costs around 74,000 to 86,000 euros for the Berliners, who have been training in Bergamo, Italy, since 2022: Coach fees, choreography, ice time, travel and costumes (see cost calculation at the end of the text). While in other countries the federation takes over a large part of the financing, the two cannot hope for much from the German Skating Union (DEU). "The DEU provides around 6,000 to 7,500 euros per year," says Kunkel. "That always fluctuates, depending on how many travel expenses we are granted."

Even the costs associated with DEU compulsory measures had to be financed by the athletes. "For example, there was a compulsory course in Oberstdorf that had to be completely self-financed, but for which there was no contribution from the DEU," says Kunkel.

"Funding has deteriorated drastically once again"

If they want to take their coach to competitions, they usually have to pay for it themselves. "Funding has deteriorated drastically once again," says Kunkel. "It's really never been as low as this year.

Another problem: the DEU keeps 10% of the prize money that the pair earns. For example, there was around 11,000 euros for European Championship bronze, of which only two thirds remained after deductions by the association and organizers. "In return, the federation finances less than 10% of our expenses," says Kunkel.

"The DEU model doesn't exist like this in any other country," says Kunkel. "The association pays almost no funding and still takes its share. Other countries, for example in Eastern Europe with Georgia, keep 100% of the prize money, but there all costs are covered and the athletes receive a monthly salary from the association as well as corresponding bonuses. Then there are federations that even double the prize money if you win it. The US federation was an example, which also covers all costs. The Spanish federation pays bonuses even if the athletes don't make it into the prize money places because they want to promote the athletes."


Cost calculation by Robert Kunkel and Annika Hocke
• Training costs in Bergamo 21,500 euros
• Physiotherapy (currently suspended) 11,520 euros
• Injury prevention (currently suspended) 6400 euros
• Travel costs 3600 Euro
• Visa costs 750 Euro
• Self-funded costs for association measures (e.g. performance diagnostics) 2260 euros
• Special training camps 7370 euros
• Material costs (e.g. shoes) 1500 euros
• Costume costs 5900 Euro
• Program costs/choreography 5200 Euro
• Music editing 400 Euro
• Competition costs (e.g. for travel & trainer costs) 7600 to 19,600 euros
• Total 74,000 to 86,000 euros


Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

Source: Welt Online (paywalled)
"Deutsche Meister, aber nichts im Portemonnaie"
 

Ananas Astra

Get woke, go broke!
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14,930
Just take a look at Germany in general. The country has managed to become a 3rd-world-shithole-country in only a couple of years.
Figure skating is one of the tiniest of the problems going on in this bullshit called Doucheland.
BUT they are world champions in "wokeness" and "green politics".
Congratulations!
 

ice crystal

Active Member
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90
Germany has world class training sites in Oberstdorf and Berlin. H/K are training abroad. I guess that is by choice. To get the full picture, we'd need to know what the financial situation is, if they chose to train in Germany.
 

Samurina

Active Member
Messages
143
Seems good enough for Hase/Volodin......

Edit: There is also Chemnitz. I'm merely asking the question if training in Germany would solve their financial problems.
even though they train in germany their main coach is dmitri savin in sochi. marina and 'kolya have had russian training for year, so that rather than Berlin is reason for their success
 

sus2850

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1,555
Germany has world class training sites in Oberstdorf and Berlin. H/K are training abroad. I guess that is by choice. To get the full picture, we'd need to know what the financial situation is, if they chose to train in Germany.
There used to be a federal coach (Bundestrainer) for pair skating (Alex König up to 2021) and one for young/upcoming/junior pair skaters (Rico Rex) in Berlin, they were paid for by the German state/employed through DEU. Teams working with them had to pay no coach fees. Rex still holds that position, but there is no Bundestrainer right now for seniior skaters. The position is vacant.
There is no top level German pairs coach Hocke/Kunkel could work with (well, Knut Schubert seems to be a really great guy, but they wanted new input and I think the move to Hotarek and his team was a good decision, and as their results are ok and Italy is nice they probably also would not consider moving to Chemnitz where Steuer/Szolkovy/Savchenko have now started out).
 

Husky

Well-Known Member
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365
There are special places where you can poop when you need to, you know ?
The comment is not wrong though.

I've spent some time in Hamburg recently, one of Germany’s richest cities and was truely shocked. The central railway station is the most dreadful, crowded, and dysfunctional station I've ever seen. Junkies and beggars among ordinary people who are heading to their train. But the trains are never on time or are canceled, sometimes more than 3 trains waiting in one rail track, none of them can start. People are truely desperate. They are waiting, waiting when they should be at school, at work, or at home with their families. This is caused by severe underfunding of parts of the national administration and fires back to economy.

The financial situation of figure skating mirrors the national situation. Germany is clearly struggeling.
 
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Nmsis

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3,197
The comment is not wrong though.
I thought I was in the Strictly Skating -> Great Skate Debate part of the forum. My bad.
And insulting a country is wrong, whatever the section of the board.


I've spent some time in Hamburg recently, one of Germany’s richest cities and was truely shocked. The central railway station is the most dreadful, crowded, and dysfunctional station I've ever seen. Junkies and beggars among ordinary people who are heading to their train. But the trains are never on time or are canceled, sometimes more than 3 trains waiting in one rail track, none of them can start. People are truely desperate. They are waiting, waiting when they should be at school, at work, or at home with their families. This is caused by severe underfunding of parts of the national administration and fires back to economy.

The financial situation of figure skating mirrors the national situation. Germany is clearly struggeling.
There are countries or places where police and people chases beggars and those where they are tolerated in the public space and not told off.
Whatever the economical context, I tend to prefer the latter.
And by the situation in Los Angeles, one would think the US is going down the drain so to each his own.

I can't say France (or Italy) is doing much better than Germany economically-speaking but, even without the level of skating infrastructures of Germany, it manages to do better in this sport so I think there is more to it than just the state of economy.
 
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Miezekatze

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16,983
I feel bad for Ananas Astra, because she ist forced against her will to live in the worst and poorest country in the world ,so we should all cut her some slack. :saint:

Personally by this time i'm quite fed up with Hocke and Kunkels constant compaining and i don't think it will get them anywhere, especially since their skating seems to be a constant mix of stagnating and getting worse. Others manage to make it work with worse conditions and Efimova found the German system somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of finances.

If they struggle so much every season, because of Roberts back, i personally think it might be healthier to rethink continuing . He Looks like he needs an oxygen tank after most of his skates (even though its usually still him who lands the SBS jumps).
 

Sabine-Yuna

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297
I feel bad for Ananas Astra, because she ist forced against her will to live in the worst and poorest country in the world ,so we should all cut her some slack. :saint:

Personally by this time i'm quite fed up with Hocke and Kunkels constant compaining and i don't think it will get them anywhere, especially since their skating seems to be a constant mix of stagnating and getting worse. Others manage to make it work with worse conditions and Efimova found the German system somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of finances.

If they struggle so much every season, because of Roberts back, i personally think it might be healthier to rethink continuing . He Looks like he needs an oxygen tank after most of his skates (even though its usually still him who lands the SBS jumps).
I don't see them stagnating or getting worse. I see them getting better. Maybe some little setbacks here and there but after all enough to be on the podium at most competitions of the season.
I wouldn't call it complaining, if you tell a reporter the bitter truth. And who knows, maybe a potential sponsor reads this article and helps. And you can be sure that not very many people in Germany would assume that this is possible in a country that used to treat their world class athletes quite good. There are problems in the German funding system itself (other athletes speak out about that for a longer period), but there are really big problems in the German Fed that gets almost 1.4 million Euros a year and funds almost only their office work and doesn't get any team sponsors.
 

Miezekatze

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I don't see them stagnating or getting worse. I see them getting better. Maybe some little setbacks here and there but after all enough to be on the podium at most competitions of the season.

Isn't that more or less, cause the state of pairs is a bit mediocre at the moment?

They looked ok at Nebelhorn, just like last season and then their skates seem to get worse as the season progresses, just like last season.

As for the funding, there certainly are problems, but then in how many countries in the world, can athletes just join the military as an athlete and then get a fixed monthly salary for being an elite athlete? (with just a few mandatory military trainings per year). I guess in case of a war, they'd be drafted quickly, but apart from that risk, it's a pretty comfortable system and I don't assume that exists in the US for example? I know some countries (Italy) have a similar system, but I doubt ALL other countries have something like that.

As for state funding, do people generally think figure skating should be state funded and the goverment should give money to elite athletes? WHen it's China and Russia who are state funding and skaters funding is tied to money from the government, it's seen to be extremely negative, but in Germany apparently the biggest problem is that the money from the state is mis-managed and has become lower (due to the 9th place in the team event in the Olympics).

I'd find it more interesting to hear where other small federations (like Spain) where figure skating is a niche sport actually take their money from and what they do better. But the way it's reported, the focus is always on "but everybody else give more money".
Do Spanish skaters also receive a salary from the military in addition to what they get?
Where does the USFSA take their money from? i think it's pretty impossible to compare the systems of different countries, without having all the information about how it actually works.
 
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sandra_persch

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3,761
Amen.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The country is seriously ****ed

Agreed. One of the many reasons I am not living there anymore and havent in a long time.

The funding is ok for up and coming skaters with free ice time and coaches at the training centers but after the Olympics some lost the status and I think only the big 3 are still listed - Berlin, Dortmund and Oberstdorf.
There used to be a rule of 7 national team skaters at the rink to be considered "Bundesstützpunkt"

A lot of regional bodies also have free ice time for their regional squad skaters but if you really want to improve you likely have to move to Oberstdorf.
I really hope that having Aljona and Robin in Chemnitz will get more skaters there and they can eventually make it back onto the list.

As to making Top 8 in the Team event at the next Olympics .... I guess we can only hope for a miracle there as I dont see any of the ladies and men getting anywhere close but PLEASE proof me wrong!
 

Miezekatze

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16,983
This comment is very German of you. ...
Oh, I find you quite German actually. Complaining and moaning, dooming and glooming, complaining and moaning;) At least you engage in the favorite national sport (luckily not funded by my tax money :lol: ) .

All that said, I personally do imagine it must be extremely depressing to passionately hate the country one chose to emigrate to (I mean, jeez, of all possible countries in the whole world, that must be similar chances as being hit by lightning or something). If you are one happy camper full of love and inner joy, I must of course just be misinterpreting your general posting style :saint:
 
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Sabine-Yuna

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297
Isn't that more or less, cause the state of pairs is a bit mediocre at the moment?

They looked ok at Nebelhorn, just like last season and then their skates seem to get worse as the season progresses, just like last season.

As for the funding, there certainly are problems, but then in how many countries in the world, can athletes just join the military as an athlete and then get a fixed monthly salary for being an elite athlete? (with just a few mandatory military trainings per year). I guess in case of a war, they'd be drafted quickly, but apart from that risk, it's a pretty comfortable system and I don't assume that exists in the US for example? I know some countries (Italy) have a similar system, but I doubt ALL other countries have something like that.

As for state funding, do people generally think figure skating should be state funded and the goverment should give money to elite athletes? WHen it's China and Russia who are state funding and skaters funding is tied to money from the government, it's seen to be extremely negative, but in Germany apparently the biggest problem is that the money from the state is mis-managed and has become lower (due to the 9th place in the team event in the Olympics).

I'd find it more interesting to hear where other small federations (like Spain) where figure skating is a niche sport actually take their money from and what they do better. But the way it's reported, the focus is always on "but everybody else give more money".
Do Spanish skaters also receive a salary from the military in addition to what they get?
Where does the USFSA take their money from? i think it's pretty impossible to compare the systems of different countries, without having all the information about how it actually works.
So who do you think is responsible for Germany not placing better than 9th at the Beijing Olympics? It's the stupid German Fed that didn't get H/K into the team event when Seegert was locked in for Covid. With a team of only three it was impossible to place better.

And don't forget, sports in Germany is sort of state funded with the millions all sports feds get. But if you don't want to spend this money on athletes, like the figure skating fed...
Interesting in the article that the fed refuses to talk to the athletes commission. Why could anybody think that a behavior like this is not a problem, but the athletes are the problem and shouldn't complain?
 

Karen-W

It's the off-season and I'm low-key bored.
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So who do you think is responsible for Germany not placing better than 9th at the Beijing Olympics? It's the stupid German Fed that didn't get H/K into the team event when Seegert was locked in for Covid. With a team of only three it was impossible to place better.

And don't forget, sports in Germany is sort of state funded with the millions all sports feds get. But if you don't want to spend this money on athletes, like the figure skating fed...
Interesting in the article that the fed refuses to talk to the athletes commission. Why could anybody think that a behavior like this is not a problem, but the athletes are the problem and shouldn't complain?
I thought Germany only had 1 pairs team at the Olympics. There wouldn't have been time to get HocKun there as replacements once they found out Nolan had tested positive. And, that also would have meant that HaseSeeg were WD entirely and replaced in the Pairs individual event by HocKun.
 

Ananas Astra

Get woke, go broke!
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Oh, I find you quite German actually. Complaining and moaning, dooming and glooming, complaining and moaning;) At least you engage in the favorite national sport (luckily not funded by my tax money :lol: ) .

All that said, I personally do imagine it must be extremely depressing to passionately hate the country one chose to emigrate to (I mean, jeez, of all possible countries in the whole world, that must be similar chances as being hit by lightning or something). If you are one happy camper full of love and inner joy, I must of course just be misinterpreting your general posting style :saint:
So am I supposed to run around happily proclaiming we are living in "the best Germany there ever was" only for you to finally stop harrassing, insulting, belittling and attacking me? What did I do to you? Kill your hamster? Didn't gender you correctly? Criticize your favourite politician?
What the hell is your ****ing problem?! You are free to ignore me if you cannot deal with the backlash.
And don't even dare to assume you know anything about me or whatever I do in my everyday life.
 

Sabine-Yuna

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Messages
297
I thought Germany only had 1 pairs team at the Olympics. There wouldn't have been time to get HocKun there as replacements once they found out Nolan had tested positive. And, that also would have meant that HaseSeeg were WD entirely and replaced in the Pairs individual event by HocKun.
There WAS enough time to fly them in, but fed didn't do so knowing with a team of three they'll have no chance to place 8th. And yes H/S would have been replaced entirely. So the whole German team better suffer the loss of a lot of funding? That's the situation we have now.
 

Andrea82

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869
Italy's system is that some of the elite get appointed as police, not military. I read somewhere that Faiella continued working as a policewoman after she retired from skating.
There are no Italian skaters in the military at the moment but they also have their own sport group. Basically in Italy there are sport groups of
Army (Esercito)
Police
Carabinieri (I don't know how to translate them)
Prison police (Polizia Penitenziaria)
Finance police (Guardia di Finanza)
Air Force (Aeronautica)
Navy (Marina Militare)

Skaters are enlisted as follows
Grassl, Frangipani, Memola, Conti, Guarise, Macii and Gutmann in the regular Police.
Rizzo, Ghilardi, Ambrosini, Beccari, Guignard, Fabbri as Prison police.

Yes, Faiella was in the Police and stayed in after she retired.
 

kwanfan1818

RIP D-10
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@Andrea82 Are the military sports groups ones where their primary job is military, but they participate in sports, or is their primary job sports, with occasional military duties?
 

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