RIP Doug Mattis

Sylvia

TBD
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:(

Jackie Wong's tribute (includes 2 screenshots from a family member's Facebook post - ETA - now copied out below): https://twitter.com/rockerskating/status/1624165547779710992

The word was communicated to our family that my brother Doug Mattis passed away this evening (Thursday, 2/09/23) after a protracted illness. Doug was 56. He seemed to know millions of people all across the world, though I’m not sure how many of you knew my brother personally. He became well-known in these circles as a result of his success as a figure skater.

Doug lived a life of his own choosing. He continually made his own decisions and adhered to his own moral principles. Not every circumstance resulted in the best results. He insisted on them and dealt with the consequences even if the decisions and routes he took weren’t always the “preferred choice.” I think the bulk of the skating world loved and embraced him. But it seemed to me that there were always “administrators” who didn’t agree with him and tried to make his life difficult. They didn’t believe his “free spirit” was “good for the sport” because he was such a “free spirit,” to put it politely.

Doug afterwards became an activist for human rights and opposed bigotry of any kind, particularly against the gay community. Even when his political ideas occasionally brought him into trouble, he would not be afraid to lose friends over his beliefs, behavior, or remarks. His feeling of seclusion eventually became quite strong, and he seldom ever spoke to anyone outside a very limited group of very close friends and relatives. Because of how painful his illness may be at times, I wasn’t sure how much longer he could live. We all knew that eventually this day would come.

In Pennsylvania in particular, he received virtually little assistance from the government in the way of services like healthcare. If he found out that, tragically, others are currently having the same issue, he would be much more upset.
People who knew him (in the past) often wondered what had happened and where he was. But once more, it was his choice. He didn’t want to be seen in his current state by others. He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him or irritated with him. He obviously desired for everyone to remember him as he was “before.”

I heard him reassuring me repeatedly, saying, “One day, I’ll just stroll into the sea and disappear.” In a metaphorical sense, he succeeded in achieving that. If you knew our mother, Jill Marberger, I’m sure she would love to hear from you, see your pictures, and hear about the good times YOU had with Doug. On behalf of our entire family, thank you in advance for your prayers and good wishes.


Robin Cousins (4 tweets): https://twitter.com/TheRobinCousins/status/1624338240978182144
Getting the news last night of Doug Mattis passing hit me hard. He was a student of mine in his final competitive years and such a joy to teach and choreograph for. His joy of skating should be heeded by those who think what you do is more important that how you do it.
I couldn’t make the final Nationals, but we talked it though every day. Our conversation after the short was something like this. D: I’m going to do the back flip Me: No, you know the consequences.
D: But it’s my last time and you always tell me the most important person on the ice is me and that’s who I am. Me: OK. Skate clean and give everyone else what they need, then and only then, the backflip is yours.
You were funny, smart, and always you. RIP Doug. 💔
His 4th tweet included a link to Mattis' 1991 Nationals FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLxMS8Orc6g

Tai Babilonia: https://twitter.com/taiskates/status/1624206933048848384
Her tweet includes the link to "Doug Mattis & Dorothy Helium 2.0" (from the 1991 PSA US Open) that's posted on Doug Mattis' YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmEfY7SsNxs

Lorrie Kim: https://twitter.com/ThreePatchCocoa/status/1624195713889452032
Her Rainbow Ice website's profile: https://www.plover.com/rainbowice/dougri.html
 
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Sylvia

TBD
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Re-posting @Jayar's original question re. the death of Doug Mattis, along with subsequent posts, from the U.S. Men's thread yesterday:
Just got unconfirmed news that former US men's competitor Doug Mattis passed last night. I was told that it was due to cardiac arrest. Can anybody confirm?
The Skating Lesson have tweeted it, so has Robbie Przepioski who Doug used to coach. His brother also has posted about it on Facebook… it only says following a long illness. 😢
I remember seeing Doug skate at Nationals several times. Always a performer. Several of his performances are on youtube. Here's his short program from 1991 Nationals - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L0JFgPLcw8
Heard about this just now and I'm devastated. Doug was the emcee of an annual local big skating show in Ohio ~10 years ago that always pulled in top names, and he gave me tickets and unrestricted access to practice and choreography sessions and to talking/going to dinner with the skaters; it's when I had a blog and the skaters were all very receptive toward me. He also was one of my guests on Skate Talk Online, reviewing a Grand Prix event. Always so generous. :(
Double-posting, but here's a really memorable program from him:

(ETA: This "Imitation" artistic program from the 1994 U.S. Open was mentioned by Mattis as one of his favorite programs in Ryan's Skate Guard interview linked below.)
I’m really sad to hear the news about Doug Mattis. I enjoyed watching him perform in the 90s. I didn’t know him at all, but at one point when I was still a very young skating fan, I had a brief interaction with him, and he went above and beyond to be kind to me. I always got the impression that he had a lot of warmth and generosity - skating was very lucky to have him.
 
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Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love! Not LatinX!
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22,247
May Doug Mattis Rest In Peace.

From our discussion on the U.S. Men’s thread (also in GSD, “US Men 2022/23 News and Updates”), I’ll copy this great memory about his tribute-program to past skaters:

Doug Mattis understood the essence of so many skaters. I found his tribute to Petrenko the most hilarious: just two seconds striking a “tah-dah!” pose. Two seconds said it all!
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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12,782
:(

Jackie Wong's tribute (includes 2 screenshots from a family member's Facebook post - ETA - now copied out below): https://twitter.com/rockerskating/status/1624165547779710992

The word was communicated to our family that my brother Doug Mattis passed away this evening (Thursday, 2/09/23) after a protracted illness. Doug was 56. He seemed to know millions of people all across the world, though I’m not sure how many of you knew my brother personally. He became well-known in these circles as a result of his success as a figure skater.

Doug lived a life of his own choosing. He continually made his own decisions and adhered to his own moral principles. Not every circumstance resulted in the best results. He insisted on them and dealt with the consequences even if the decisions and routes he took weren’t always the “preferred choice.” I think the bulk of the skating world loved and embraced him. But it seemed to me that there were always “administrators” who didn’t agree with him and tried to make his life difficult. They didn’t believe his “free spirit” was “good for the sport” because he was such a “free spirit,” to put it politely.

Doug afterwards became an activist for human rights and opposed bigotry of any kind, particularly against the gay community. Even when his political ideas occasionally brought him into trouble, he would not be afraid to lose friends over his beliefs, behavior, or remarks. His feeling of seclusion eventually became quite strong, and he seldom ever spoke to anyone outside a very limited group of very close friends and relatives. Because of how painful his illness may be at times, I wasn’t sure how much longer he could live. We all knew that eventually this day would come.

In Pennsylvania in particular, he received virtually little assistance from the government in the way of services like healthcare. If he found out that, tragically, others are currently having the same issue, he would be much more upset.
People who knew him (in the past) often wondered what had happened and where he was. But once more, it was his choice. He didn’t want to be seen in his current state by others. He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him or irritated with him. He obviously desired for everyone to remember him as he was “before.”

I heard him reassuring me repeatedly, saying, “One day, I’ll just stroll into the sea and disappear.” In a metaphorical sense, he succeeded in achieving that. If you knew our mother, Jill Marberger, I’m sure she would love to hear from you, see your pictures, and hear about the good times YOU had with Doug. On behalf of our entire family, thank you in advance for your prayers and good wishes.


Robin Cousins (4 tweets): https://twitter.com/TheRobinCousins/status/1624338240978182144

His 4th tweet included a link to Mattis' 1991 Nationals FS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLxMS8Orc6g

Tai Babilonia: https://twitter.com/taiskates/status/1624206933048848384
Her tweet includes the link to "Doug Mattis & Dorothy Helium 2.0" (from the 1991 PSA US Open) that's posted on Doug Mattis' YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmEfY7SsNxs

Lorrie Kim: https://twitter.com/ThreePatchCocoa/status/1624195713889452032
Her Rainbow Ice website's profile: https://www.plover.com/rainbowice/dougri.html

Sylvia. OMG thank you for sharing this, I’m watching the 1991 YouTube video right now, such a beautiful man and sweetheart. Oh my gosh can I tell you I totally miss figure skating of 1991 and yesteryear. So artistic. What a great program. Judges, so many of them should be ashamed of themselves. 4.6

I hope he wasn’t totally alone in the end but if he was I totally understand it 100%. Rest in peace Doug, beautiful soul
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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Damn even as a professional the judges lowballed him, audience boos the judges. Why is this because he was openly gay? Oh my gosh it’s so frustrating for me.


this is such an artistic program and for me how figure skating should have stayed. Now everything truly is a carbon copy write down to Warhorse music. Figure skating needs its freedom back. If we’re gonna continue using the points system there should be 10 point bonus for not looking like the figure skater who just competed before you. And five points for using a piece of music no one ever has heard of.

Love his skating. I want to see more 🕺🏼❤️💪🏻
 

SkateGuard

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2,163
💔💔💔

Doug’s History of the World from the 1997 American Open:


Nightmare/It’s No Good from the 1997 U.S. Open:


Can’t Cry Hard Enough (a tribute program to those lost to HIV/AIDS that Doug skated in many benefit & Pride shows in the 90’s):

 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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Nightmare/It’s No Good from the 1997 U.S. Open:


I am watching these one at a time. I love this. Who was Scott Williams the skater right before him that walked off in disgust of his scores , I remember the name but can’t place him. Is there an actual video of this entire competition somewhere?

I love these pants, I so would wear them right now

One commentator said “I used to go to clubs with him in Hollywood“ and I was trying to figure out who the commentator would’ve been then it turned out as I watch the end of the video it is Christopher Bowman? Who’s commentating I can’t remember was Christopher LGBT as well? I just can’t remember. I don’t think that he was I’m so interested in skating of the Mid90s, I just love it
 

SkateGuard

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I am watching these one at a time. I love this. Who was Scott Williams the skater right before him that walked off in disgust of his scores , I remember the name but can’t place him. Is there an actual video of this entire competition somewhere?

I love these pants, I so would wear them right now

One commentator said “I used to go to clubs with him in Hollywood“ and I was trying to figure out who the commentator would’ve been then it turned out as I watch the end of the video it is Christopher Bowman? Who’s commentating I can’t remember was Christopher LGBT as well? I just can’t remember. I don’t think that he was I’m so interested in skating of the Mid90s, I just love it

Scott Williams was a U.S. Open and World Professional (Jaca) Champion who toured with Torvill and Dean. Very unique skater with some really interesting programs over the years. He was a medallist at the U.S. Championships in the 80’s and was the organizer of the American Open Pro FSC in the 90’s.

Christopher Bowman was the commentator in the ‘97 U.S. Open video - married to a woman and had a reputation off the ice in skating circles as bit of a partier.
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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Doug’s History of the World from the 1997 American Open:


wow that was an artistic program if I’ve ever seen one. That was amazing. I stayed to watch the final results at the very very end I don’t recognize any of the other skaters but I think that I should

I wish this artistry had survived. I feel like all we getting now are war horses. This really makes me miss how figure skating used to be.

I never knew you Doug, but you sure have my love and respect
 

AngieNikodinovLove (ANL)

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This is pro skating. ISU-style competition was never like this in any era.

Right

But it def was to an extent. I miss 80/90 ISU style when it did have more freedom in artistry back in the 90s. I sure do miss a forward Charlotte, a backward Charlotte, a shoot the duck.... something innovative an interesting from the 90s. I just miss pre-code of points figure skating.
 

Lacey

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Doug Mattis skated at my club in Ardmore PA for a few years.

I don't think Doug came with Richard Callaghan, I think he grew up in the area with his Mom, and if he attached to him, I think he also left him in Philly & branched out. It was in the same era that Richard arrived with Susie Wynne & Joe Druar & Craig Maurizi & partners & there were many others, & slightly later Todd Eldredge. I think Doug lived with his mother, Jill Marberger, who was lovely to us hosts and understood that the competitors were filling up our ice, which was a complicated situation, and she graciously helped Doug and both sides.

I love watching all of Doug's later competition vids, he had such style! The US judges clearly were not ready for anything unusual, but his programs were unfortunately and wrongly marked down for being different. Look at his hands, watch him skating to the beat, he might have been one of the most expressive skaters ever. USFS should have been ashamed about the judging. He was right to get out of amateur competition, & seemed to have a fabulous time doing pro comps & shows for years, so I think it was the right strategy for him.
 
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Sylvia

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Doug Mattis skated at my club in Ardmore PA for a few years.
Philadelphia Skating Club's tribute post (Feb. 11): https://www.instagram.com/p/CoihMRILir6/
With a heavy heart we announce the passing of Doug Mattis, a great skater, choreographer, motivator, and iconic showman. Having him call our ice home and represent our club was an honor. He was U.S. Junior Men's Champion in 1985, a 7-time member of the U.S. International Figure Skating Team, and won the U.S. Open and American Open. Our condolences to his family and extended skating family.

Mattis' life will be celebrated on April 30 at the club:
 

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