Short Bios, The Non-Canadian Version


Contains: Midori Ito / Klimova & Ponomarenko / David Liu / Yuka Sato / Michael Shmerkin

Midori Ito

Midori's parents divorced when she was 11 and she moved in with her coach.

Basic Stats

Competitive History

Amateur

Professional

Pictures


Marina Klimova and Sergei Ponomarenko

Known as an extremely dramatic dance couple, this husband and wife team currently live in California (Lake Arrowhead?). For a time, they coached Bourne & Kraatz, and now remain available to them as advisors.

Basic Stats

Marina Klimova

Sergei Ponomarenko

Amateur Competitive History

Professional Competitive History

Pictures


David Liu

David and his family moved from Taiwan to the USA when he was 6. Having never seen snow before he was instantly drawn to winter and thence to winter sports. He begain skating at age 8, but quit at 13 because it had become too expensive. Wanting to remain in the performing arts, he applied to the School of American Ballet and earned entry with a scholarship. Over the next 3 years he proved to be a gifted dancer at an elite school, but the rarified air of the dance community combined with the unfortunate (for a ballet dancer) height mother nature had bestowed upon him resulted in a decision to return to figure skating.

Returing to the novice level, he advanced quickly becoming a senior in 1987 at which point he was invited to represent Taiwan in international competition. Being practical he accepted. After the '88 Olympics he semi-retired to take a degree in international relations at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, training only an hour a day. But inspired by a chance meeting with JoJo Starbuck he interrupted his schooling to devote himself to preparing for the '92 Olympics. He has been toiling on the verge of greatness ever since, determined to stick with amateur competition until he has the performance in competition that he can be proud of, that reflects his true potential.

Like many other second generation overseas Chinese (although technically speaking he is first generation), David is a devout Christian, something he shares in common with JoJo Starbuck.

A short note on Taiwan: The tiny island nation, Taiwan, is the Republic of China (ROC) a capitalist-type democratic nation (one of the main places, other than Hong Kong, where the rich who saw the cultural revolution coming and could move their assets quickly enough moved to). Mainland China is the People's Republic of China (PROC), the last bastion of communism. Both consider themselves to be "the true China". However, PROC has enough clout in the world of international politics and commerce to ensure that Taiwan cannot be officially recognized by people who want to be on speaking terms with the mainland. So it is that Taiwanese athletes cannot carry the flag of Taiwan or compete for Taiwan, they must complete for "Chinese Taipei" under a meaningless flag.

Basic Stats

Competitive History

Amateur

Pictures


Yuka Sato

Both her parents are former Olympic figure skaters who reached 8th place.

Basic Stats

Competitive History

Amateur

Professional

Pictures


Michael Shmerkin

Michael (or Misha) began skating at the age of 4 in Odessa. As he advanced, he soon discovered that the fact that he is Jewish was being held against him. Officials told his mother that Russia would never let a Jew represent their flag. After much soul searching, she divorced her husband and married a Russian, but the fact that Michael was so clearly not giving up his religion meant that he could still not advance as he deserved.

In the end they decided to move to Israel where they could live with dignity. Michael did not expect that he would be able to continue skating in Israel which had no facilities for winter sports of any kind. But as fate would have it, at this time a group of Canadians from the United Israel Appeal had decided to build an ice rink, called the Canada Centre, in Metulla, a town on the Lebanese border.

Now Michael had a place to train. Next he convinced the mayor of the town to support his case for going to the Olympics as a one man team representing Israel. The mayor is now president of Israel's figure skating association.

The Canada Centre is regularly visited by Jewish-Israelis, Arab-Israelis, children from Lebanon, and at least one world class athlete.

Basic Stats

Competitive History

Amateur


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Last Modified:Sunday, 21-Sep-1997 00:11:30 UTC
Page accessed at local time: Saturday, 25-Feb-2017 02:29:48 UTC