This is so inspiring a story that I have to share. I heard one side of the story during Four Continents from Qing Pang & Jian Tong, since then I have been so eager to know the other side of it. Finally I got the complete answer from Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford at Worlds.
From Four Continents Championships 2015 Press Conference
Eric (commenting on Pang & Tong’s comeback) :”It gives us hope for the future.”
Meagan:”In 2011 we finished second (in Four Continents) and Pang/Tong won. Eric and I were star struck to be on the podium with them. I remember that being a very special experience.”
From exclusive interview with Pang & Tong during Four Continents Championships
Tong:”I remember 2011 (Four Continents). After the competition, the Canadian pair came to us and asked, ‘why are you able to maintain such good condition, and keep winning titles?’ I didn’t know the exact answer at that time, so I told them it is about your love to the sport. Now in retrospect, I still believe so. If you really love this sport, and if you really value yourself as an athlete, you will always be demanding to yourself. To stay competitive in the highest level, you first need to respect the sport, to follow the rules being an athlete in everyday training and everyday life, knowing what you should persist and what you should give up.”
Tong’s answer is too brilliant and too inspiring to be forgotten. Ever since I heard the story, I couldn’t help but kept wondering how significant this episode means to Meagan and Eric, and how they value this sport being persistent veterans and champions themselves now. So I raised this question when I finally got the chance.
From World Championships 2015 Press Conference
Me (to Meagan & Eric):”Do you still remember that episode 4 years ago and what did you get from that? Now as world champion and veteran yourselves, what other advice would you like to share with upcoming generation?”
Eric:”I remember that moment, and I remember Tong said something about keeping your love for skating, and let that drive you. I think that’s what we’ve done, and that would be our advice to younger teams and younger skaters too. And along with that love and passion for skating, would be to keep it fun. Whatever that means for you, keep it light. Not to let skating define you as a person. It is just a sport, it doesn’t need to make you sad every day if it is not going well.”