The Skating Lesson 2018/2019

VIETgrlTerifa

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Am I missing some hard-hitting expose where Dave confronted an interviewee? He kisses ass once he gets an one-on-one interview with the best of them. I mean TSL is too scared to even have skaters they trashed be tagged in tweets to videos where he and “nice guy” Jonathan trash them. He trashes people who won’t give him the time of day and is all rainbows and sunshine when they give him access to their rinks or grant him one-on-ones. For those who he trashed, he changes his tune once they cooperate and add to the TSL brand.
 

canbelto

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I really enjoyed the Gordeeva interview. I loved hearing about the Soviet training system. I also think it's interesting how her memories now differ a bit from the book. For instance here she said that she and Leonovich were having problems during training in the book, but here she says that part of the issue was that Leonovich wanted to leave Russia and Marina was as well. Also she's kinder about Zhuk here than in the book. I forget how young she was when she wrote the book, and it makes sense that as a middle-aged woman her memories are more nuanced.

I would like to hear her thoughts on current skaters and the IJS and what not, but this was a very good, in-depth interview.
 

soogar

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I really enjoyed the Gordeeva interview. I loved hearing about the Soviet training system. I also think it's interesting how her memories now differ a bit from the book. For instance here she said that she and Leonovich were having problems during training in the book, but here she says that part of the issue was that Leonovich wanted to leave Russia and Marina was as well. Also she's kinder about Zhuk here than in the book. I forget how young she was when she wrote the book, and it makes sense that as a middle-aged woman her memories are more nuanced.

I would like to hear her thoughts on current skaters and the IJS and what not, but this was a very good, in-depth interview.
I was wondering about Zhuk as well. It's been a long time since I've read that book but from what I remember, I thought they took them away from Zhuk because he was "abusive". Don't know if I remember correctly- someone please correct me if this is wrong.

She was much kinder to Zhuk- maybe she realizes that his tough training made her and Sergei perfect and in sync. Watching all those programs again made me appreciate how in sync and perfectly matched they were. Even the 1994 programs, as much as I preferred M&D, G&G were so smooth, quick and seamless compared to them.
 

bardtoob

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Also she's kinder about Zhuk here than in the book. I forget how young she was when she wrote the book, and it makes sense that as a middle-aged woman her memories are more nuanced.
It's been a long time since I've read that book but from what I remember, I thought they took them away from Zhuk because he was "abusive".
The complaints against Zhuk were of a " me too" nature. It was never about his training methods.
 

canbelto

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The complaints against Zhuk were of a " me too" nature. It was never about his training methods.
In this interview she seems to walk back against those complaints and she does say he was extremely tough and harsh, but gives him credit for their technical proficiency and she says he stopped coaching because of "health problems" and some vague "complaints" but doesn't get into specifics. She did say in interviews later that the book was written very quickly and wasn't a 100% accurate rendering of her life because of the time constraints, the extreme interest in Sergei, and where she was emotionally at that time. I remember some of the crazed "Sergei widows" got extremely angry because they thought she was de-facing his memory by saying the book was a bit romanticized.

Also I must have missed this but did she and Ilia Kulik divorce? Because she refers to him only as "Liza's father" in the interview.
 

Tinami Amori

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I was wondering about Zhuk as well. It's been a long time since I've read that book but from what I remember, I thought they took them away from Zhuk because he was "abusive". Don't know if I remember correctly- someone please correct me if this is wrong.
His pupil Kondrasheva accused Zhuk of agressive attempts to molest her. She wrote an official complaint letter to the Federation. The same was said (by then eyewitnesses) about him and Vodorezova (Buianova). When Kondrasheva's letter went for review by the Federation, given the "Vodorezova/Zhuk rumors", they asked Vodorezova about it, and she denied it, went to the Communist Party officials and to Federation, and wrote a letter that dismissed Kondrasheva's claims. Kondrasheve never forgave her. Zhuk denied everything. Given what "insiders" knew about him, even if there was no official proof, Zhuk was fired from the rink. There are few articles still floating about it, in bits and pieces.
https://www.eg.ru/showbusiness/16393/
https://www.championat.com/other/ar...lstva-sporte-moiseeva-korbut-gucu-nassar.html
 

canbelto

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Here is another article about Zhuk:
http://skateguard1.blogspot.com/2016/07/what-zhuk-scandals-from-behind-iron.html

Maybe Gordeeva is just grateful for how technically proficient G&G became at such a young age and that was due to Zhuk's training methods. Or maybe she doesn't want to speak ill of Zhuk as he's no longer around? Anyway it was odd to hear her speak so kindly of him when I remember her saying he was a monster in "My Sergei."
 

Tinami Amori

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Here is another article about Zhuk:
http://skateguard1.blogspot.com/2016/07/what-zhuk-scandals-from-behind-iron.html

Maybe Gordeeva is just grateful for how technically proficient G&G became at such a young age and that was due to Zhuk's training methods. Or maybe she doesn't want to speak ill of Zhuk as he's no longer around? Anyway it was odd to hear her speak so kindly of him when I remember her saying he was a monster in "My Sergei."
Well, if Gordeeva is saying, and in english, then it must be true... :lol:
Gordeeva continued by stating, "I shared a room with Anna Kondrashova, and Zhuk would tease us about eating dinner at the cafeteria. Anna always had a problem keeping her weight down, so we stopped going to dinner because afterward Zhuk would tell such stories about how much we ate and how much we'd weigh if we kept eating dinners like that... One time I saw Zhuk hit Anna. I was in the bathroom, and Zhuk came and started talking loudly to her. I decided I'd better stay where I was, but then they started fighting, and when I came out, he was hitting her on the back. I ran out to get Sergei, but by the time we came back Zhuk was gone. Anna was crying. That was nothing new. She cried almost every day. Zhuk used to come to her and say, 'I saw you last night go into Fadeev's room. What were you doing in there?' Even if she had done this, it was none of his business, of course. But he would torment her with his spying, and I was so young that Anna never confided in me what was behind it. I understand now that he was trying to get Anna to sleep with him. He had done this with many girls over the years."
:D i am surprised David L. is not "telling the full Buianova/Tutberidze/man" story, claiming he fears of getting sued, and only learned of it now. It's been in the russian press since the 90's, and mentioned on forums "in full".. :lol:
 

starrynight

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I think the way we remember things changes over time. As we recover from experiences, the memories of them seem less harsh. As in the old saying, 'One day we will look back on this and laugh'.

There's times in my life which were dreadful when I was living them. But a decade or so later, I've managed to actually use those experiences to make jokes and funny stories. Even though there was nothing funny to me about it at the time. You can also concentrate on the positives ie. it made me stronger.

It's part of how humans move on and recover from things. But it does not make what happened okay.

I read in My Sergei those stories of Zhuk beating Gordeeva's room mate and Gordeeva running to get Sergei to try to help and the stories of Zhuk basically blackmailing female students for sex. Dreadful stuff. But when you have that kind of absolute power, you can do it. I also recall reading how Gordeeva, Grinkov and Marina Zueva signed a petition to have Zhuk removed from power. Gordeeva says her father was furious at her because her father considered Zhuk to be above reproach. These days a coach could probably find themselves in prison for that kind of stuff.

All the stories about Zhuk beating female skaters were corroborated in The Second Mark by Julie Goodwin too.

Quote from page 38:

The atmosphere of a Zhuk training session was highly combustible. "Oh he was a yeller," Leonovich affirms. "And if that didn't work, well he would use his hand. But only on the girls. The boys he didn't hit. They were too big for him".

Quote from page 39:

Zhuk ruled by fear in part because fear got results... Every year, every competition, the Red Army Club was coming home with medals, and the front office was happy. So if there was attendant ugliness - alcoholic outbursts, girls being struck on the ice or propositioned by a lecherous coach - no one was interested. Besides, who was going to stand up to Zhuk? The other coaches were his military subordinates, and the skaters whose destinies he controlled would wouldn't dare oppose him. Most skaters even took a perverse pride in their ability to endure the worst Zhuk could dish out.
 
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canbelto

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Another thing is that many Russian coaches come to the U.S. and complain about how lax the discipline is and how the results are not the same. I remember Natalia Miskutenok talk about coaching her own daughter and saying "She listens, but not like she should." And her saying that in Russia, not listening to your coach was not an option, it was "like a job." And she also said that in the U.S., few children are willing to devote the time and energy to be "really good" at skating. She said "You can be good, but you can't be REALLY good." Since Gordeeva coaches her own daughter she might be feeling nostalgic about the Soviet training system, for better or for worse.

Anyway the interview had some wonderful clips of G&G that showed their remarkable speed and precision when they were so young. Ah, good times. They were truly one of the greatest pairs of all time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEX-4IyPrAk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGy7c-kXBx0
 

starrynight

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Although skating was like a job under the Soviet system because skaters were paid allowances that were sometimes more than their parents earned at their adult jobs. In that scenario you can buy obedience.

You really can’t compare that to skating in other countries where it is just a very expensive hobby for the children themselves. If they aren’t enjoying themselves I’m sure the parents would only be too happy to stop the lessons to save the expense.
 

Tinami Amori

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Although skating was like a job under the Soviet system because skaters were paid allowances that were sometimes more than their parents earned at their adult jobs. In that scenario you can buy obedience.
Obedience of a student/pupil to teacher/coach is not specifically "Soviet system" even if was used in USSR. It's cultural, and there are other countries/cultures where "student" must be "obedient to teacher", Japan, China, India, parts of Europe, etc.
 

aftershocks

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I don’t get the problem so many people have with [Barton's] praise [of Eteri].
There's no reason for DL to trash Ted Barton for the way he conducted the interview with Eteri. But seriously, there's a difference between being polite, respectful and somewhat pandering to an interviewee whom you ultimately wish to please so you can get more interviews in the future, vs coming across as obsequious. Barton laid it on pretty thick at tiimes, to the point where his fawning was extremely overdone. Plenty of people noticed and commented on that fact in the Barton/Eteri interview thread in GSD. The interview was conducted to the point where it became fairly useless, aside from inducing some jaw-dropping, head-scratching, and even a bit of entertaining review commentaries. IOW, the commentary about the interview in the cited thread is more informative and interesting than the interview itself, notwithstanding DL's TSL piling on.

I do understand what you mean though about being confronted with an interview subject and trying to be on your Ps and Qs, and not wanting to offend because you realize they have more expertise, information, and experience on a subject which you would like to elicit sparkling insights about (regardless of what you think about the interviewee personally).

I give Barton a pass to a degree, because he's a very kind and knowledgeable contributor to the sport of figure skating. Barton has done a tremendous amount for fans which we should all be grateful for. He's also generally a good commentator, but the Eteri interview did not show him in his best light. He could have laid off on a bit of the excess praise. And I agree with everyone who had a taken aback reaction when Barton made that silly comment about Eteri's skaters not having injuries (or words to that effect). To give Barton the benefit of the doubt, maybe he was trying to bring up the subject of injuries and he ended up doing it awkwardly and misspoke, expecting Eteri to elaborate. Who knows though what Barton was intending. He has to know as a skating observer, that Eteri's skaters have suffered a number of injuries. Still, I think a lot of people give Eteri enormous credit and praise for her success (even snarky DL), while also being able to recognize and challenge the weaknesses and failings in her training methods.

Meanwhile, I credit you and @mysticchic for doing an excellent job with Skate Talk Online (with one reservation I have about something in one episode which I can discuss with you privately). For the most part, you guys are killing it, and I'm stoked about the contribution you are making to figure skating coverage. While Jackie Wong and especially Nick McCarvel can be rather predictable and status quo, I think Wong tends to do a good job of being polite and respectful while also contributing good insights and asking good questions (in addition to all of his wonderful contributions he's made with his blog, Rocker Skating). Wong managed to conduct a nice interview recently with Brian Orser, even though it was obvious Wong was being careful not to offend, and he asked a number of fawning, softball questions. Still it didn't cross the line into useless, overdone praise.

For fans, it's rather easy on skating forums to do stream-of-conscious complaining and ranting. I'm guilty of that. But in order to write fair, concise and informative reviews for the wider public (like @clairecloutier does in such great fashion), one has to take a step back and try to be more respectful, while walking a fine line betwixt useless pandering, hype, snarky critiques, disappointed whining (e.g. about the judging which is where I'm at for sure! :p) and thoughtful observations/ queries that can lead to constructive, enlightening insights.
 
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ilovepaydays

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and in various cultures in the US as well.
And some of the basis for what’s led to the mess at USA Gymnastics. Elite sports can be tough anyway, but I think there was a special mentality that was tolerated there.

For some dysfunctional reason, there was something about creating young Olympians that allowed coaches to demand complete obedience from the gymnasts - and even their parents, too. You don’t see that near as much in sports where athletes don’t typically make an Olympic team until they are in their 20s.
 

essence_of_soy

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Ted is excellent in that he allows his subjects to relax, thereby getting them to open up and talk more about their process.

As much as Dave Lease would like to believe he is the Hard Copy of figure skating, TSL's brand of histrionics is losing them fan and industry support.
 
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ilovepaydays

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As much as Dave Lease would like to believe he is the Hard Copy of figure skating, TSL's brand of histrionics is losing them fan and industry support.
And he STILL is making Marta Karolyi references - he did it again during either the Japanese or Russian Nationals recaps. Does he think her (along with those like former USAGym CEO Steve Penny with her) mentality about assignments was healthy and effective? Current numerous scandals aside, you’d think how well the American women did at 2018 Worlds disproved that the system was actually necessary.
 

muffinplus

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And he STILL is making Marta Karolyi references - he did it again during either the Japanese or Russian Nationals recaps. Does he think her (along with those like former USAGym CEO Steve Penny with her) mentality about assignments was healthy and effective? Current numerous scandals aside, you’d think how well the American women did at 2018 Worlds disproved that the system was actually necessary.
Who is she?
 

Orm Irian

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Marta Karolyi was responsible for setting up the training system that enabled Larry Nassar to sexually abuse over two hundred young US gymnasts over a decade or more, and is also alleged to have both deliberately turned a blind eye to allegations made against him by survivors of his abuse, and created and enforced a physically and mentally abusive training environment at the US team's training camp, which she and her husband ran (according to the Wikipedia page I linked to above, they're currently under investigation by the FBI for this). If you remember seeing news stories about gymnasts including Aly Raisman and Simone Biles speaking out in court about an abusive coach, this is what it was about.
 

aftershocks

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Ted is excellent in that he allows his subjects to relax, thereby getting them to open up and talk more about their process.
Yes, I like Ted Barton, but I wouldn't give him +5 for the Eteri interview. :) The most real thing Eteri relaxed and opened up about to Barton was how upsetting and distracting her mother's illness and subsequent death was for her during the recent Olympics.
 

CaliSteve

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Yes, I like Ted Barton, but I wouldn't give him +5 for the Eteri interview. :) The most real thing Eteri relaxed and opened up about to Barton was how upsetting and distracting her mother's illness and subsequent death was for her during the recent Olympics.
How about her talking about her favorite skater.
 

CaliSteve

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And he STILL is making Marta Karolyi references - he did it again during either the Japanese or Russian Nationals recaps. Does he think her (along with those like former USAGym CEO Steve Penny with her) mentality about assignments was healthy and effective? Current numerous scandals aside, you’d think how well the American women did at 2018 Worlds disproved that the system was actually necessary.
I thought he was being sarcastic when he made those comments/references.
 

puglover

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Ted tries to say nice things about all skaters but I think he is absolutely gobsmacked by these young junior Russian girls. Blown away! As Eteri coaches most of them, I am not really surprised he came across as a bit of a fan - somewhat in awe.
 

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