Episode #65: Caryn Kadavy

by allison on June 8, 2013

May 2013
An interview with Caryn Kadavy, four-time US medalist at the US Figure Skating Championships, 1987 World Bronze Medalist, 1988 Olympian, professional skater, coach and choreographer. We talk about how she developed her fantastic triple loop jump, what it was like to work with Carlo Fassi and Toller Cranston, performing her brilliant short program, and then her heartbreaking decision to have pull out of the Olympics before the long program after coming down with the flu. 55 minutes, 28 seconds.

Me with Caryn Kadavy Me with Caryn Kadavy

 

Thanks to Fiona Mcquarrie for transcribing these interview highlights:

On her most embarrassing skating-related moment: Oh my goodness, I’ve had plenty of them, but what comes to the top of my head is, I used to be part of the World Cup tour, and we did over 100 shows in 80 cities in Canada and the US. We had a show choreographed for big ice, which was normal size, and also for theatre ice, which was 40 by 60 feet. And I remember one time we were coming through curtains on the side, and I came on with my guards and I went completely flat on my face. I looked like Bambi. After so many shows you get so tired and you sometimes forget those things [laughs]. And you know, sometimes you’re quick changing in the back and they put up these little curtains and partition, and you’re changing with the guys and the girls and you’re trying to get changed quickly, and sometimes they didn’t have those so we kind of made our own. So that’s kind of embarrassing, you’re changing in the back with everybody, but everybody’s seen everything before anyway and you just kind of get over it [laughs].

On starting skating: My dad’s side of the family used to love to go skating over the holidays, and that was a lot of fun for us as far as being able to enjoy that type of recreation. And I’m glad they did, because I loved it from the very beginning. So my family joined a skating program and we did the father-daughter numbers in the shows, and my sister was there, and I was able to skate with her. She picked up other things later in life, she played the piano and went on to do art and softball and different things. But I kept with the skating and that was my first love. I was glad to be introduced to it at a very early age, two to four years old. I do remember the big grin on my face, and the speed, and the wind on my face. I just loved how that felt, and the freedom that I felt. And the music was huge in my life, as far as interpreting the music. So every chance I got, it was dance every day of my life on the ice. I was never a dancer, but I did take dance throughout my career and passed tests and everything. But skating was expression for me, like a voice out there on the ice. My mom studied voice for years, so this was more of my type of voice. My body was doing the voice part of the sport. And my mom was a ballet dancer, and my dad’s father was on the gymnastics team for Yugoslavia, so that was where I got at least part of the athleticism and the body type.

In Erie [Pennsylvania] we only had six months of ice a year. So I would do other things in the summer like ballet and swimming and piano. And I would just cry coming out of the classes [laughs], like, I love skating and I don’t know why I’m doing these other things. So my parents had to ship me off to Pittsburgh every summer to stay with my grandparents so I could skate.

On coaches: My first coaches were really influential. In Pittsburgh I met a lady, Charlene Guarino. She was huge in changing my knowledge of technique. The way she taught technique really helped me understand it better, and that was like an “aha” moment, to see how easy that could be. I also learned to trust her and apply what she was telling me. I think I was just trying so hard to try the jump or do the jump or do whatever I could do, everything that I saw, but she taught me from the start technically and scientifically. She also used analogies that really helped me as well. I moved to Rockford, Illinois, to take from her when I was 11 or 12 years old.

It took me a year to get my double axel, but my single axel I learned in a week. But it wasn’t maybe the correct way. I was very visual, and when I would see somebody doing it — maybe I was part of a group class and I was able to learn it in a week. But later on when I got better technique I had to correct things, getting out of bad habits and then trying to create new ones. After that, the double axel took a year. But that was with spotty ice time and not consistent training with one coach. Charlene helped me get to that point. When I met her, I was working on my double lutz and sometimes landing double flip, but my single axel, I didn’t even kick through, I was kind of tucking it in. So when she first saw me, she was like, oh my goodness, I don’t know if I can even get her to do anything. But she said that after the second or third lesson she realized that I was a quick learner and that I could actually trust her and apply my body to what she was saying.

On the triple loop: Yes, it was my favorite jump. I continued to try to do it every year until I was 42, and I’m 45 now, so I haven’t really been doing it for the past three years. But I certainly did love doing a lot of the jumps, and Charlene really taught me how to appreciate that. I still do double loops, and double flips, and double axels, so I’ve been able to keep up. My mind knows how to do it, but you have to practice every day, and it’s one of those things that you just have to hone in, your quick-twitch muscles and your rotational feel. That’s what kind of leaves you if you don’t do it every day. Skating is just a daily exercise that you have to continue doing.

I tried triple loop-triple loop, and I did do double axel-triple toe loop, and I always had as my combination triple loop-double loop. But, you know, at that time we weren’t really doing a lot of triple-triple combinations. Debi Thomas was doing some of them here and there. But we had nine jump passes in our program usually, and now there’s only have seven, or eight for the men, and we had four minutes but they have four and a half. You want to display what’s best in that time, so you’re going to skate your best and display your strengths.

On being recruited by Carlo Fassi: I made it to my first sectional competition as a junior lady, that was my second year as a junior, and I was on a practice session and I saw Carlo and Christa there. And I guess they called my parents after that competition, because I didn’t make it out, I was fifth so I missed Nationals once again. And my parents were like, we’re going to quit. We are exhausted, we’ve had four years away from home because of your skating, and it’s tough financially, so we think you should just get your tests and we’ll move on. We’ve tried, we’ve really tried hard. And so had I, and it was just devastating. And Carlo called, and said, we want Caryn to come to the Broadmoor and skate because we really believe she can make it. And I almost flew through the roof of the car when my mom told me. I was, oh my goodness, can I go, can I go? And my friend helped, she gave me $1000 so I could go and try it out for a week. She was so nice to do that for me. And there was an adult skater who I used to skate with on the adult session every day, because my mom worked all day and so I skated until 5 pm. I did a little homeschooling in between sessions and then would go to night school as well. She also helped me sponsor me anonymously, through the USFSA Memorial Fund, the first year I was at the Broadmoor. When I made it to Nationals and was third in the country that year with Carlo, she revealed herself to me, and I’m still friends with her to this day.

There were just so many pieces of the puzzle that were meant to be, and so many little miracles that happened in my life, and you just realize that you can’t force things, that sometimes it just happens the way it’s supposed to, and you just have to pray for the best. And hopefully you skate well at the time that happens, and you work really hard to get there. And sometimes you make it and sometimes you don’t. But I’m really glad that happened in my life and that I met the people I did, and Carlo was there at the right time in the right place when he saw me. So if I didn’t go to Rockford, if I didn’t go to Chicago — you never know when your opportunities are going to arise.

On winning a bronze medal in senior ladies, in her very first time at Nationals: It was one of the best moments of my life, but when I walked into that arena with all those people that I had never skated in front of, and in a type of arena I had never skated in before in my life, it was — oh my. But my eyes were so big and excited, I will never forget that feeling as long as I live, just the chills and the excitement, and here I am. I finally made it. And that was one of my dreams as a young girl, to be at Nationals, so to finally make it on that stage. One of my other dreams was the Olympics, too, but I never wanted to win, I just wanted to be there. And it was such an amazing feeling to finally be there. I had just turned 17, and other people [who had been there before], they had had experiences to get used to the pressure. Now I had a lot of failures trying to get there, but this was like, wow, I’m finally here and I get to show my stuff, this is amazing. And I was on the podium for the next four years.

On training with Jill Trenary, against whom she also competed: We were really good friends when I first got there, because we competed against each other when we were younger. I think we were both discovered by Carlo Fassi, we were in the same regional and same sectional [area]. And I think when we started competing [while both being coached by Fassi], that was hard because we had one coach that was telling us, you have to beat her, and you have to beat her [laughs]. It was hard to trust where his focus was going to be at times. He tried to get us different choreographers at one time, and that sort of fell through the cracks because she wanted my choreographer, and then, you know, you feel the tension and you feel every day this competition. It’s healthy to some extent but then it can be not very healthy. I found it to be hard to go through, I wish I could have had one person for me. But at the same time, the gift of what he gave me, of being there and also pushing me and getting me through such an amazing time in my life where I needed him — but at that level you really need someone who is solely for you. And he tried to keep everybody, he always tried to have that, a camp of people. And I don’t necessarily know if he really had that when he had Peggy Fleming or Dorothy Hamill or Robin Cousins or John Curry, they were pretty much the stars for him. So this was a hard time in that way. I would say I’m thankful for the opportunities I had because it pushed me in that way, but I also felt that it was a very hard stressful situation with pressure that probably was not favorable in that sense for training.

On winning a silver medal at US Nationals in 1986: I was first after the short program so I thought that I would win that year. And second was amazing. I didn’t have my best skate in the long, because I felt the pressure for the first time. Debi Thomas was injured that week and she wasn’t skating well in the practices, so I thought, maybe I have this one this year. And all of a sudden she skated right before me, I skated last, and she skated this miracle performance. My coach came through the curtain clapping for her, but he’s my coach, and I had cameras on me, I’d never had cameras on me, but the press was so hyped up because that year Debi and me, we both won all of our internationals. And so I went out there, faltered a few times, did some good stuff but it wasn’t good enough to beat her because she skated perfectly. And I cried. I cried hard because I felt that winning the silver was an amazing achievement, but I also felt that the pressure was so demanding, that was very hard on me. I was very emotional and I’d never felt like that in my life. The first year was like, wow, this God-given gift – not a gift, but finally something that I felt like I deserved in a way. And then I felt all this pressure, and I’m like, I need to learn how to handle all of this. And that was difficult.

On winning bronze at US Nationals and at Worlds in 1987: Probably [at Worlds] my father went and thanked one of my first coaches [after one of her figures], you have to give credit where credit is due [laughs]. But Carlo put the whole package together. He trained me, and he also networked for me, he got me exposed to so many judges, and had me perform more, like at convention shows at the Broadmoor for so many companies, and at our annual shows. The networking helped, but also the training helped a lot, as far as pushing me and keeping me consistent on that type of schedule.

When I was 13 years old and watching Katarina Witt at Worlds, I was in awe of her, I thought she was exciting to watch. And [at 1987 Worlds], I thought, I’m here on this stage and I can compete against her. I had competed against her at the Worlds prior, and I didn’t do so well, but it was like, I was third in the US that year, I had a very tough Nationals before I went to Worlds. I went into a rut into my double axel and fell in my short program, and it took me everything I had to get on the World team. I was so prepared for that Nationals and I worked so hard, because I remembered how it felt at that Nationals prior, and I didn’t want to feel that pressure, I wanted to be prepared. And then when I went into that rut on the double axel and fell and then made a mistake, I was like, I may not make Worlds. And so when I went to that Worlds and I wasn’t the [US] champion, I was third, I had come down a peg and I was the dark horse. So when I was in the rink there was a lot of pressure on Jill Trenary because she was national champion that year, and I was like, I’m going to work my buns off, and I’m going to get out there and try my best at Worlds. I never would have dreamt that I would have been on the podium, but I skated my best and I just felt like that was an amazing situation. I never would have dreamt that but I’m very appreciative that it happened. I wasn’t thinking about Katarina Witt, I wasn’t thinking about Debi Thomas, I already knew them, but at the same time, I was competing against them and I wanted to win. So let the best man, or the best woman [laughs] win, whatever.

On competing at 1987 Worlds in Cincinnati, which is near her hometown of Erie: The United States was so gung-ho at that time and it was a packed audience, and I’ll never forget that kind of feel in that stadium. You know, Brian Boitano and I often talk about the Worlds there, but also when we were there in Cincinnati after the [1988] Olympics — there was such a draw from that competition, Brian Boitano and Brian Orser in the leadup to the Olympics, that when we went back to perform in the World tour there, it was like, we couldn’t hear ourselves in the opening number. We couldn’t hear ourselves skate because the audience was that loud. So the hype going into that Olympics and the Worlds prior, because the United States was so excited about the champions then, they were behind us 110%. It was an amazing feeling to be there in the United States and have the Worlds there as well.

On having Toller Cranston choreograph her programs and design her dress in 1988: I still have the drawings [of the dress], I have them framed, actually. Toller was incredibly passionate and he taught me to be more passionate and move my body in a more dynamic way. And I liked his personality, and he expressed a big interest in me. And I felt it was really important to have that, because I was sharing my coach anyway. When you have Toller Cranston and he loves you and loves your skating and wants to help you express that – so many important things went on in his life and made his experience that much broader, and he shared them with me and that really lengthened and strengthened my skating. He was very colorful and very exciting to work with. Just the artist that he was, it was just nice to be in his company, a passionate and funny and expressive person.

On placing seventh in the compulsory figures competition at the 1988 Olympics: I was fourth after the first figure, and then I accidentally skidded coming through a change of edge on my left forward change loop, the left forward paragraph loop, which was the same figure we had at Nationals that year. Why didn’t they change them to a backward something [laughs]. A left forward paragraph loop at the Olympics, that was incredibly scary [laughs]. I love figures, and I think they’re such an important part of our sport, but competing them was incredibly stressful.

On the rest of the 1988 Olympics: I got fifth [in the short program], so I was in sixth [overall] prior to the long. But I was sick the morning of the short, I woke up with a 100.5 degree temperature. We thought maybe it was a short-term thing, but that night it went up to 103.5, and I could hardly lift my head from the pillow. I went to the doctor to get a shot that would stop me from throwing up later on, but that caused my eyes to dilate and my tongue to slur, and I just completely decompressed from there.

I kind of stumbled on my bow in the short, but you’re so well trained at that point and the adrenaline level is so high, that could have helped me through anything. But I didn’t feel so great, and it was really tough for me. I think it just hit from the exertion of what happened, and I did such a great job that day that, you know, your body just kind of lets down a little. And there’s a day in between the short and the long, and that’s when it hit me hard. I don’t know, I think I got the flu from the girls that were sick in the dorm. They finished their long programs for the pair event and the dance event, and we had eight girls in the dorm with one bathroom, and they were taking steam showers and trying to get better. The doctors should have taken them out because we just came in — we were actually there for the opening ceremonies and then Jill and I went back to the Broadmoor to train for four or five days, and then we came back and that’s when we were exposed to them. Jill went outside to stay in a hotel, but I stayed in the dorm because I wanted the dorm experience, and to be in the village and everything. So I think the doctors should have taken out the girls that were getting sick, to protect us. When they had the flu that bad, they shouldn’t have been in the dorm exposing the flu to people who have never lived that dorm life. And unfortunately I never had a flu shot, so that was my fault too. But I have got a flu shot every time since then [laughs]. It was hard, but at the same time I learned a lot through that experience.

On her post-Olympics experience: I went to Worlds but I didn’t do very well because I was still sick, it was only three weeks after the Olympics and it was too soon. I went on the world tour after that, but for half of it because it was just emotionally and physically draining. And then later that year I had a series of things -I thought I was going to continue and skate at Nationals again, but I had a tonsillectomy, and then I had a little tendonitis in my ankles from breaking in new skates. I was broken down, I truly needed a year of recovery. And I just decided to go into Brian Boitano’s skating show. I was like, what don’t I have that I didn’t achieve in amateur competition? And that was winning a National championship or winning a World championship, and what were my chances of getting that, knowing the people that were coming up behind me. And not that I didn’t think I was good enough, but where would I go, where was my team, what coach would I go with – it just seemed at the time, very big. A big moment where I thought I had achieved what I could achieve, and what were my chances of achieving more. And I didn’t want to go down a peg, I still wanted to stay at what I had achieved. And it took me a while to get into professional skating, it really did.

I felt like I was done [with amateur skating] in a sense, but I knew how much work it had taken to get there, and the sacrifices my parents were making as well. And that’s overwhelming. My parents lived apart for eight years while I skated. They have an amazing relationship and stayed united, and I have to thank them for that too, having such a strong foundation for all of us, but I couldn’t put them always through the whole process. I knew I could have gone on my own at that point, but you still need that support system. I felt also that I kind of didn’t have the guidance of my coach saying, I believe in you and I want to take you further. I felt like that chapter was over because of the competitiveness of the competitors that I was with on a daily basis. That person was maybe not that interested in my well-being, but interested in his own, to continue his job. I needed somebody that was like, hey, let’s take you to the next Olympics, let’s go for it. I needed that other component as well, and I think that’s part of why I felt I was alone in the world. At the time, I expected USFSA to kick in or maybe give some kind of guidance, but that’s also very hard. They’re very much not going to tell you what to do, you have to fill it in for yourself, try different coaches, and I didn’t know where to go. I knew a lot of the coaches were taken with other champions that they were trying to hone in for the next four years, so it was a little odd for me to feel, who would take me on at that moment. I wanted to take from Linda Leaver, but she was done after taking Brian Boitano to the Olympics. I actually went to her several times, I admired her and I felt that she was a big help to me. Even during competitions, she would talk to me, and Brian was a good friend of mine and I felt like we would have gotten along great. And I thought she would have given me that same type of attention that she gave to Brian. But that was her star, and she really honed that time of her life for him and took that chance, and I think that was just so admirable. I think it’s very rare today, it’s very rare ever to have someone stay with one coach their whole life.

On following Debi Thomas in the Olympic short program: I think because I was competing against her for those [prior] four years, I knew it was the same old, same old. I kept a log and I recorded every single short program I did before the Olympics. I knew what I was capable of, I knew that I could nail a perfect short program in my sleep probably, and that’s what it takes. You have to do tons of short programs perfectly, you have to do tons of long programs perfectly, and you have to track it every day and build up that confidence.

At the time, I think you could only ask for how well you skated. I felt that I skated great, I didn’t know how everybody else skated, and all I cared about in the end was how I did out there. You have no control over what judges do, but in some ways I can’t really complain [about her placement]. I just felt that I really had a good showing and I was at the Olympic Games, and that was a huge accomplishment.

On letting TV cameras into her room at the Olympics: That was actually at a host family that my parents were staying with. My mom and dad moved me out of the dorm because I was so sick and I needed them. And then my mom got the flu from me, and it was horrendous. There was some comment that maybe somebody didn’t believe I was so sick, and then I think that somebody allowed them to come in and film me. But it’s hard for me to look at that because my face was just so red from the fever that I had. It was unfortunate, but I can’t take it back now, and I didn’t decide it for myself but it was just one of those things where somebody said something like, oh, I think she just has a cold, and that was such a horrible thing for somebody to say anyway. I wasn’t faking it, I wasn’t trying to get out of it, I would never have dreamt of doing that.

I realize too, that even if I had been horribly sick and gone out and tried – judges aren’t going to feel sorry for you. You have to be on your top game, and if you’re not – you have to weigh whether it’s going to be more damaging if you go out and fall all over the place, you know what I’m saying? The whole decision-making process was, whatever happened, happened, and I just couldn’t do it. End of story.

On the 1988 Worlds: It was hard for everyone, just three weeks after [the Olympics]. Paul Wylie expressed that to me just this week when we were together, like, wow, three weeks later we had to go to Worlds. You’re still recovering, you’re not even recovered from your letdown, and then two weeks later you have to go to a really hard competition and compete against all the people that you just did. That just doesn’t seem right. But I was glad to even just be back on the ice and skating again.

On the high caliber of competition at the 1988 Olympics and its impact on the sport: I think that just carried the audience. And we have this big panel discussion today [at the Professional Skaters Association conference] of why our sport isn’t very popular in the world and the US today. And we don’t have those stars. Maybe our stars are up and coming, we have Gracie Gold and several of the ladies, and our US dancers are world champions, and I just feel like that’s going to happen, but in that era, I was really thankful to be part of it, because we had the names and we carried it through. We just didn’t carry it through from the competition aspect, we also carried it through professionally. So after we became professionals we started doing a lot of the competitions here and there that made TV really want to watch us. We all were part of these shows and it made it very exciting for the public to watch. And when I speak to people, it’s like, I remember Calgary. And they do. People remember that Olympics.

On 1980s skating fashion and hairstyles: Oh my God, I don’t even want to look back at that [laughs]. I think, how much bigger could I have gotten with the bangs? I felt like I was not [subdued], I wish I had flatter hair [laughs]. It wasn’t big enough, ever. It had to be bigger! Bigger! Bigger!

On still skating professionally today: I can attribute that to all the amazing competitions that I did through the years. I kept up those skills and I kept pushing myself to be artistic and to come up with different programs. And it made it very exciting, to keep up my triples and be able to compete with everyone. And I won seven professional championships, so that was huge for me. To think that I would be competing against Katarina Witt, Oksana Baiul, Denise Biellman, Michelle Kwan — I beat them all, you know what I’m saying? But we all have this humility of understanding that it’s not all up to us and the skate is the skate. I was just very grateful that after the Olympics I was still able to go on and become this professional and a better skater than I was, and then to be rewarded for it even though I wasn’t a national or world or Olympic champion and I was competing against the people that were. And they rewarded me for that, and I was able to skate the skate, and when I did they rewarded me for that. You realize that skating is sometimes a bit political and the judges are subjective, and when you’re thinking that they’re going to be more biased toward the Olympic champion or the world champion, you have to skate your heart out against those people, to prove that you are also a winner in this area and, I can land all these triples and double axels and compete against them, you know what I’m saying?

On being coached as a professional by Evelyn Kramer, who was also coaching Elizabeth Manley at the same time: In the beginning, I wasn’t training every day with Elizabeth Manley. When I was a professional, I would go back to my home town and get my new programs for the year from Marina Zoueva or Lea Ann Miller or Toller Cranston, whoever would do my program for the season. And I took some of my programs from Sandra Bezic as well. So I’d go home and I’d train, and then I’d go and visit Evelyn when she was at Lake Arrowhead in California. I would go there for a couple of weeks and train with her so she knew my programs well, and then she’d meet me at the competitions. So she’d do the same thing for Elizabeth Manley, but also for part of a tour, which was the World Cup tour for two years, I was on that same tour with Elizabeth Manley. So I was performing every day with her, but then we took from Evelyn at the competitions, we wanted her there for us. Now eventually she went with me and I guess she wasn’t with Elizabeth Manley for a while, but I think you just have to make those choices. I didn’t make that choice, I never said, I want to leave because I don’t want to be a part of that. I really appreciate that Evelyn did a nice balancing job and gave me the attention I needed at the time. She believed in me, and when she said that to me, I believe in you, Caryn — that’s all I needed to hear, because I never did. I knew that Carlo did [say it], but I didn’t hear it when I needed it the most, at that time frame when I just wished he would have been there for me alone.

On the Brian Boitano/Katarina Witt tour: It was wonderful. We went to all the major cities and we had an amazing run. I feel that it gave me a lot of experience as far as getting into professional skating. It was tough for me to get into professional skating, in your mindset and your goals and what you’re striving for in performing, and how different it was from skating a program for the whole year training for the Olympics or Worlds. This was more fun, and you could also be different people in different characters, and you were also keeping up your elements. And Brian was very big on that, and so was Katarina, on keeping up your skills and being professional but still being creative at the same time. And it was wonderful for me to be around those kinds of role models. They’re friends, but I still call them role models because they were Olympic champions, and they were the forefront. People recognized them, and they brought the sport to the forefront, and they could do that because they had the household name. They are the ones that kind of have to uphold that standard, and people want to emulate them. And they are big-time friends but also wonderful people to keep that standard up, and I wanted to do that too.

We all knew we were going to be competing at certain competitions, either against each other or on a team, like the US against the world, so you always wanted to do your best. And I felt that if I did my best I would be asked back to other events, and so you had to uphold your standard at all times because you knew you wanted to be asked back to the next competition or the next tour because of that. That was a really big deal for me.

On being a coach: I have to say that I have ups and downs about being a coach at times. I have such a passion for skating that I love it, to give of myself in a performance aspect and to take care of myself. But then you have the responsibility of taking care of others. Right now, I supplement coach for seven other coaches, so I don’t have as much pressure on me. I do a lot of choreography and technique. But then before, for about seven or eight years, I had my own students that I was responsible for, and I felt like I had to do it all. Now I realize in this IJS system you have so many people helping out and making it work, but for me I find it to be a little bit less glamorous. You have no control over whether your student’s going to leave you or not. You feel that this is a job and it’s my  profession and to give back to the sport, but you don’t have any control over the loyalty, whether your students are going to trust you. I feel like I pour my heart out and I give 110% back to my sport, and teach my parents [of skaters] as well as my students. But sometimes parents are uneducated about skating and they just want the next star, they want the next jump to come in, like, a minute, and why aren’t they getting it. And it’s an education process. Parents today and kids today, it’s an instant gratification process, and a little bit more of that reality show type feeling, that they just want to be the next star on the map. And it just doesn’t work that way. I have a lot of patience for my students when they’re learning new things, but that’s the only downside, you don’t have any control when they go out there. But I also feel that it’s hard to watch just knowing that I had to go through that process too, and knowing how long it took, and knowing that I have to stick in there with this person until they get things.

So it’s a little daunting at times, but at the same time it’s so rewarding when they do achieve and they pass their test. You’re affecting their lives in such ways that you never would realize. And I don’t have children of my own, so I feel like these are my children that I’m affecting through life. And they need you too. Their parents can’t do it all. You feel like you’re a teacher and a mentor through their life. If you can teach them to believe in themselves, if you can give them that, then anything’s possible for them to achieve later if they can’t achieve anything in skating. So that’s really why I do it. I like being part of these kids’ lives and the process of them learning, and hopefully these people will appreciate that through their lives, and I’m a part of that equation. And if they’re fortunate enough to be on the big stage, I can be there with them on the big stage, which is great. But that’s not what I’m in it for. I’ll be there with them on the big stage, great, but it takes a special amount of being in the right time in the right place in getting somebody to the Olympic stage. You have to have the perfect person to be there with, you have to have the right circumstances, and they have to have a great skate. There’s so many factors that go into that moment.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Pilgrim June 9, 2013 at 2:51 am

Hi Allison,

I love the rapport you have with Caryn. What a lovely, relaxed, interesting interview.

Thanks

Nick

Lisa August 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I loved watching Caryn skate. such elegance on ice. thanks for sharing!

Larry February 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Caryn Kadavy had great style and poise on the ice; it was fun reading her skating remembrances!

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