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 My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English

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PostSubject: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:08 pm

Table of Contents photo; page 16 (http://i54.tinypic.com/106cz2w.jpg):
GLITTER. Athough Adrian Schultheiss is Sweden's most successful skater internationally, Kristoffer Berntsson is the most popular at home. This spring they will face-off for the last time.


Table of Contents teaser description:
REPORTAGE. Sweden's best male figure skaters fight against hockey guys, depression, sore bodies – and each other.


Photo; pages 38-39 (http://i53.tinypic.com/2qbeqmx.jpg):
ICE LONELINESS. For five years, Kristoffer Berntsson was Swedish figure skating's perfect son-in-law*. Then martial artist Adrian Schultheiss emerged with more advanced jumps and a pierced lower lip. Everything was established for a final showdown when a Russian prodigy blended into the game.


* "Svärmorsdröm" means "mother-in-law's dream", but considering that "stora" (grand or great) was in front of it, I felt that "perfect son-in-law" sounded less clumsy in English.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:48 pm

Skaters' profiles; page 41 (http://i52.tinypic.com/10yqbs1.jpg):

KRISTOFFER BERNTSSON
Born: July 13, 1982 in Gothenburg
Personal best: 206.29 points (2007 World Championships in Tokyo)
Merits (selection): Five-time Nordic champion, gold at seven Swedish Championships (along with an additional two which were not counted when there were too few competitors), ninth at the 2007 Worlds, plus a seventh and an eighth place finish at the European Championships.
Trivia: Is according to SVT's figure skating commentator Roger Blomqvist, "...our greatest figure skater of all time. What they were doing in the '20s was a different sport."



Two of Koffe's national titles don't "count"??! Shocked I'm assuming that "too few competitors" would be 2 or less, but that would mean Filip Stiller's 3 wins (1998, 2001, 2002) and Adrian's 2005 gold medal are also "invalid". Moreover, Kris was the victor at three Swedish Nationals where he had only one other challenger (1999, 2000, 2007), so shouldn't he be a 6-time national champion (and not 7 as the author claims?) scratch


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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:24 am

ADRIAN SCHULTHEISS
Born: August 11, 1988 in Kungsbacka
Personal best: 218.26 points (2010 World Championships in Turin)
Merits (selection): One-time Nordic champion, one Swedish Championships gold, fifteenth place at the 2010 Olympics, ninth at the 2010 Worlds, sixth at the 2008 European Championships.
Trivia: Likes reptiles and has a boa constrictor and two barbed agamas at the parental home in Tibro. The Russian consul in Gothenburg, David Mnatsakanyan, specially composed the music for Adrian's program last season.



ALEXANDER MAJOROV
Born: July 19, 1991 in Saint Petersburg
Personal best: 180.73 points (2010 JGP Czech Skate in Ostrava)
Merits (selection): One-time Junior Swedish champion, one silver and two bronzes at the Swedish Nationals.
Trivia: Alexander's mother Irina sews his figure skating costumes. Until two years ago, Alexander had a different gait. "I tried to be cool and did hip-hop style, it was a bit of a way to compensate for people thinking that it's a silly sport."



This article was published in mid-January, so obviously the author didn't mention Sasha's recent victory at the Nordic Championships.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:02 am

Page 40 (http://i52.tinypic.com/10yqbs1.jpg):

Adrian Schultheiss is sitting on the edge of his bed in his studio apartment in Gothenburg and watches his aquarium with an empty gaze in his eyes. He apologizes for the messy state of his place.

- Up until two years ago, I used to clean up, but after that, I couldn't be bothered to do it anymore. So I've stopped.

In the middle of the room there are two big, black garbage bags full of empty cans. Adrian hasn't disposed of them because there are so many that it would be embarrassing. Under a coffee table with lit candles there are some plastic bags. They contain dolls, teddy bears and other stuffed animals that Adrian's fans have thrown onto the ice. Between the bed and a small couch, he has squeezed in a training bike. The walls are full of photos of him skating and of paintings that he has painted himself. Taped on a shelf, there's a piece of paper with a drawing of a podium. He has drawn a smiley on the gold medalist's spot. Beneath it are the words, "I can. I will."

It has only been a few days since Adrian got back from the competition Skate America in Oregon, where he and his coach of seven years had a falling out and decided to part ways. He is upset and confused, and doesn't yet know how to schedule his training for the future. For the time being, he has an arrangement with two junior coaches, Maria Bergqvist and Johanna Dalstrand, who will coach him until the Swedish Championships.

- I care about my coach, but as in all relationships, there have been lots of disagreements. In the last four years, there has been a lot of shit. It has been locked up. We can't talk anymore.

Adrian really wants to break into the world's elite, but this season has been dogged by problems. On top of the rows with his coach, he has suffered pain in his groin and was forced to change skating boots because he was unlucky to get a bad pair. All are unfortunate circumstances, but such things happen to an athlete. Adrian's main problem is far worse: he doesn't enjoy it anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:56 am

Page 40 (continued):

- I'm very confused right now. Lately I haven't been happy. I think I'm depressed. It's been like this since the 2008 Worlds: first it was really a lot of things happening, then I was depressed during the summer and couldn't find any happiness in my skating. And this year there has been so much crap with everything. I have goals, big goals, but sometimes I have stopped dreaming. If I can't find the joy in skating again, I'm going to quit after this season.

Adrian is leaning forward, sitting on his bed.

- My girlfriend comes to watch my practices sometimes. That helps. Then I don't feel so alone. I land the harder triples and perform nicer spins then.

Adrian's life revolves completely around figure skating. He trains in the morning, then he goes home and rests for a few hours before he's back at the rink for the next session. The evenings are sometimes spent with his girlfriend, who studies at the university and lives with her parents. His busy schedule ensures that he no longer has any other friends in Gothenburg. He mostly socializes with a group of foreign skaters that he meets at competitions. When he's at home, he usually sits on his bed and watches the aquarium. He loves his fishes and can watch their behaviour for hours on end.

As if that weren't enough, the fishes seem to be ill. He shows me a note which is the result of many hours of studying in front of the aquarium where he has carefully recorded what the fishes are doing. It says things like: "coughing up food" and "body shivers". He has also calculated their breaths: 80-110 breaths per minute instead of 60, which is normal. Adrian will take the list to a pet store to get help with a diagnosis and buy the right medication. He suspects gill parasites.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:28 pm

Page 40 (continued):

A hundred years ago, Sweden was the best in the world of figure skating. Ulrich Salchow, a daily reporter for Dagens Nyheter, took ten World Championship gold medals between 1901 and 1911 – an achievement that is still his alone today. When figure skating became part of the Olympic program for the first time, Salchow danced home with the gold. At a competition the following year, he performed a jump that no one had seen before: the Swede went backwards on one foot and jumped back from an inner edge, rotated one turn, and landed on an outer edge. The jump, which was named after him, is today one of the sport's six basic jumps.


Page 41 (http://i52.tinypic.com/10yqbs1.jpg):

During the '20s, the architect Gillis Grafström took over as Sweden's – and the world's – top male figure skater. He won three World Championships, and was so appreciated for his ability to draw figures on the ice with skates that the German city of Potsdam named a street after him.

After Grafström, the rest of the 20th century passed without any male Swedish figure skaters making their way up on to the big international scene.

Then came Kristoffer Berntsson.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:52 am

Page 41 (continued):

As a five-year-old, his parents enrolled him in both hockey and figure skating school – the rink was only a few minutes walk from the townhouse in Landvetter. After only half a year, Kristoffer skipped hockey school to devote more attention to figure skating. A whole bunch of boys were trained by the Hungarian former figure skater Andrea Dohany, who during the same period started Team Surprise – the world's top team in synchronized skating some years later.

Since all the figure skating clubs have difficulty attracting guys, they often do their utmost to keep those who begin despite everything. Andrea encouraged Kristoffer and the others to venture more and more ambitiously. When the boys approached puberty, however, her job became increasingly difficult. Suddenly, her sport had everything that they were against: classical music, weird outfits, dance, a demanding discipline, and a blatant lack of role models that the boys could identify with.


Page 42 (no picture):

When Kristoffer was 14 years old, the last of his old figure skating buddies had quit. He had trained 15 hours a week for the past two years, and many in his entourage felt that it was a lot for such a young guy.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:52 am

Page 42 (continued):

Kristoffer, who participated in international competitions, knew he was moving hopelessly against the wind. The Russians had been drilled since they were old enough to stand in a pair of skates. Similarly, the Americans and the Japanese had access to their own rinks which were fully customized for figure skating. Kristoffer had to settle for ice sessions that the Landvetter hockey club did not use.

Another problem was that he was so lonely. When he began competing at the senior Swedish Championships, he only had one opponent, which meant that the results never became official and no medals were awarded. At the Swedish Nationals, there were only two possible placements: first or last.

Kristoffer used to come first.

- I could miss the community one might get in other sports. But I travel to the USA or Moscow for training camps sometimes, and then of course you get to meet other figure skaters. I'm probably the kind of person who doesn't suffer much from being alone.

Although he was the best in Sweden, he had poor awareness of the best skaters, those who competed at the World Championships, Olympics and the major Grand Prix events. Since he started figure skating, he had deliberately made sure to keep a distance from the sport.

- When the last of the other guys left, I was shocked. We had trained together for so many years, and suddenly he was no longer there. I knew of course that it was odd to get involved with figure skating. I skated a lot, but I was determined not to be identified too much as a figure skater. I skated on hockey blades for a long time. Maybe I distanced myself from it to avoid being bullied, I don't know. It's strange that I began doing a sport where you compete and show off because I was really shy. I understood that others thought it was ridiculous and geeky. I thought so, too. Sometimes we had exercises where we could express ourselves, play theatre. I felt so deeply ashamed that it physically hurt. But hockey could not measure up to figure skating, where everything was free and one can skate with such speed.




Oh, poor Koffe. Sad He seems to have a love/hate relationship with the sport. It's heartbreaking for me to read that he agreed with the general public's perception that figure skating is "ridiculous and geeky", though strangely enough this didn't discourage him from continuing. He could've very easily quit when he had no other friend to practice with, yet he still stuck to it. Considering that there were no role models in the sport he could look up to, the fact that he was able to get this far is truly amazing! cheers
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:40 am

Page 42 (continued):

Kristoffer's sole competitor in Sweden, Filip Stiller, was a real figure skating nerd who fully embraced the sport, and his childhood room is filled with videotapes of the best skaters. The first time Kristoffer and Filip had met, at the 2000 Swedish Championships*, Filip went first. He did a flawless skate and was so delighted afterwards that he fell down to his knees and kissed the ice. When Kristoffer saw this, he intensified his focus. He then went out and opened with a perfect triple Axel. No one had performed that jump in Sweden before. He became so excited that his body shook for the rest of the program, but he still managed to land a few more triples.

The time spent together at camps and competitions meant that Kristoffer's and Filip's rivalry eventually turned into friendship.

Filip Stiller: - I had severe anxiety for two weeks prior to each Swedish Championships. I was completely paralyzed. Outsiders cannot understand how much pressure it is to compete in figure skating. You are totally alone on the ice. You have no team to hide behind. You can miss a jump that you've nailed every time in training – knowing that a wrong edge can destroy everything is so psychologically stressful. If you fall, it defines your entire performance. When I competed, there was only one who could understand. Kristoffer was very shy, but at international competitions, we often shared a room, and naturally we began to chat. We became very close friends.

Despite his dominance at home, Kristoffer had difficulty asserting himself internationally. He was respected for his fine skating, but what separated him from the world's elite was that he, despite countless attempts and training hours, had never successfully landed a quadruple, a jump where one rotates four turns in the air. Kristoffer could do the four revolutions, but he always stumbled on the landing. He therefore never included a quad in his competitive programs – and was thus well behind the best skaters before the competition had even started.

To compensate for his technical shortcomings, he began to refine other parts of his skating instead. At a figure skating competition, the judges evaluate the technical elements – jumps, spins and footwork – but they also rated the "artistic" – choreography, costumes and interpretation of the theme. Kristoffer hired a professional dancer as a choreographer, worked on improving his facial expressions on the ice, and tried to find different themes and music selections.




* The author may have been referring to the 1999 Swedish Championships (as in the 1999/2000 season) because that was the first time Koffe had competed at the senior level. It should be noted that the official website for the 2010 Swedish Nationals (which took place in mid-December of last year) does list the event as SM 2010, but Berntsson is considered to be the 2011 Swedish national champion.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:22 am

Page 43 (no picture):

At the same time, he continued to be spurred on by Filip Stiller. Both saw that they inspired many young guys to start figure skating. At Filip's club, a promising lad arrived who was different from the others: he had been doing martial arts and played hockey, but stopped because he started fights too often on the ice. As a figure skater, Adrian Schultheiss impressed others with his explosive jumping, but he was still easily drawn into conflict. Like the other teenage boys who figure skated, he was occasionally mocked by the hockey guys at the rink, but he refused to accept any insult.

Filip Stiller: - It didn't matter how big they were. He would take on anyone. One day a guy called Adrian Schultheiss a "gay f***er". Adrian confronted him and didn't stop even when a friend tried to pull him away, or when one of the hockey players kicked Adrian in the head. "I don't take crap from anyone. Shit be shit have," Adrian declared. He wasn't that disciplined, so one was surprised every time it went well for him at a competition. He did whatever he felt like doing, said what he wanted to say, and ate whatever he craved for.

After winning three junior gold medals, the 17-year-old Schultheiss competed against Filip and Kristoffer at the Swedish Championships in Karlskrona. The music abruptly ended in the middle of Adrian's long program. He faltered on a spin, became furious and began to quarrel with the organizers. After a few minutes, the music played where it had stopped, and Adrian completed his skate flawlessly.

On the podium, Kristoffer Berntsson had difficulty hiding his disappointment at being defeated by a cocky 17-year-old with a pierced lower lip. For five years*, the Swedish Nationals had been his tournament. Because these results determined who would be sent to the major international competitions, he was furthermore saddened for Filip Stiller, who finished third, and would not be joining him at the European Championships.

Filip decided to retire. While Kristoffer grew even more lonely, Filip encouraged him to try to become Sweden's best again.




* The journalist made a mistake when he wrote "Under fem år" (translation: For five years); Koffe didn't compete at the 2001 Swedish Nationals, and he was forced to withdraw after the SP in 2002 even though he did win that segment.


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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:34 am

Page 43 (continued):

The following year, Kristoffer set a new personal record at the Swedish Nationals and qualified for the 2007 World Championships in Tokyo. There he was followed throughout the week by a camera crew from the PR agency Göteborg & Co. The next Worlds would be held in Gothenburg, and the city wanted to promote the event by highlighting the country's greatest figure skaters.

While Kristoffer took off his skate guards and walked out on the ice in a shiny silk shirt and imitation leather black pants, he had a stomach ache due to nervousness. But as soon as he began the Travolta-dance to the first notes of "Stayin' Alive", he heard cheering from the stands. When he nailed a perfect triple toe loop, he felt that he had something big going on. Television commentators Katarina Hultling and Lotta Falkenbäck reported home to the Swedish people, "What a skate!" "Fun and groovy!" "Oh so lovely!"

After he had completed his final spin, Kristoffer Berntsson stood with his left hand on his hip and the other stretched towards the ceiling. The audience in the packed arena gave him a standing ovation; flowers and teddy bears flew through the air and landed on to the ice. Kristoffer could not help but smile and applauded himself. He had never skated this well before. He smashed his personal record by 20 points and finished in ninth place – the best result for a Swedish man since Gillis Grafström's gold in 1929.

The 24-year-old Kristoffer Berntsson came home to Gothenburg as a star. People stopped him on the street to offer their congratulations. Moreover, his achievement meant that Sweden had two spots for the home World Championships.

Kristoffer then followed up this result with a seventh place finish at the European Championships in Zagreb – his best placement ever at an international competition. Naturally, everything should have felt fantastic – if it were not for the 18-year-old Adrian Schultheiss who finished sixth.

For figure skating fans all over the world, it seemed as if Sweden had something big happening. The country had no major presence on the international scene for nearly a century, and now it had two skaters among the top seven in Europe.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:34 am

Page 43 (continued):

For the first time, Kristoffer and Adrian experienced the true scent of the fine figure skating world, where the best athletes sign fat endorsement contracts and draw in millions of kronor in prize money. The most successful Russians were offered roles in television series, pen best-selling autobiographies, and have both groupies and stalkers.



Photo, page 44 (http://i52.tinypic.com/20koef4.jpg):

PREVENTION. After ice practice, Kristoffer rides the bus to the Athletics building for fitness training. "My body is not built for skating. I have almost no curvature in my lower back, so there is too much strain on the vertebra."



Page 45 (http://i52.tinypic.com/20koef4.jpg):

Kristoffer Berntsson: - It was hysteria in Tokyo. Ten thousand Japanese stood up and applauded me for my free skate. It was... a special feeling. There was a mass of fans outside the stadium, and they would take pictures, give me presents and ask for autographs. When I came back to the hotel, people were waiting for me there, too. I still receive stuffed animals and letters from Japan.

What the foreign fans didn’t know was that Kristoffer Berntsson and Adrian Schultheiss were as different as night and day. They lived and trained in the same city, but never socialized and did not talk to each other more than necessary. When Kristoffer wasn't training, he spent time with his girlfriend and was studying for a Master of Engineering degree at the Chalmers University of Technology. The pierced Adrian led a less orderly life. In an interview, he summarized his hobbies: "Reptiles, death metal and hip hop."

Days before the World Championships in Gothenburg, the newspapers' sports pages were filled with interviews of the hometown hopefuls. Aftonbladet visited their practices and described how they both trained to learn the quadruple jump – and thus break into the international elite. In an interview with Svenska Dagbladet, Adrian Schultheiss criticized the marketing of the World Championships, where posters of Kristoffer Berntsson were displayed on bus shelters and trams around Gothenburg. "As for the marketing department, they didn't use their whole heads," he opined. "Kristoffer has received a lot of undeserved attention. I still have beaten him several times." Shortly thereafter, he made an unsuccessful attempt to play down the rivalry with the comment: "We don't burn down each other's hotel rooms, of course."



Adrian's last statement is just lol!! I love his sense of humour!
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:56 am

Page 45 (continued):

It was high time to wipe out Kristoffer's and the audience's expectations. While Adrian Schultheiss breezed through his long program, fans in the Scandinavium did the wave and chanted: "Adrian! Adrian! Adrian!" He closed the best skate of his life by moving down into a limbo position with his hands shaped like guns and fired at the judges. The gesture was not appreciated by all; Adrian finished at number 13 in the world, but he showed the audience that he had the potential to go further. Afterwards, he declared that he "will someday stand on the podium."

As for Kristoffer Berntsson, he could see that the future wasn't nearly as bright. His coach summed up his World Championships effort with the sentence: "It's about doing the best you can, and he didn't do that." The rest of the season was destroyed by a hip injury, and he was finally obligated to undergo surgery. When Kristoffer returned, he developed back problems. If he stood up for five minutes, he was forced to spend the rest of the day on the couch. He started to question whether figure skating was worth all the hard work and all the pain. It was the same steps, the same jumps, the same spins... 20 hours a week. He knew he had reached the age when a skater's body began to deteriorate. Backs worn down due to the extreme torsion caused by the rotations, battered groins, deformed ankles. Many suffer from asthma due to the cold, dry air at the ice rink, while others feel so horrible from the loneliness and the psychological stress that they develop alcohol problems.

After one and a half years of rehabilitation training, Kristoffer successfully came back to the 2009 Swedish Nationals. Since he had been away for so long, he knew that he not only had to win the event, but he also needed an impressive performance at the subsequent European Championships to convince the Swedish Olympic Committee to select him for the Olympics instead of Adrian.

The result was that Kristoffer decided to jump a little higher and go a bit faster instead of focusing on security in skating. At the Swedish Championships, it went well, and he was awarded victory over Adrian. In a Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå interview, Adrian argued that Kristoffer did not deserve the title: "I don't give a crap that he won Nationals. The judges in Sweden are biased, and it has been really corny lately. They give him high marks just for being him. When we have competed internationally, I have beaten him three times out of four."




I was aware of Koffe's hip surgery after the 2008 Worlds (and I even remember seeing a photo of him using crutches), but I didn't know that he also suffered from a painful back injury. Crying or Very sad That explains why he struggled so much with his "Dancing Robot" routine. I find it odd that the journalist seemed to suggest that Kris didn't compete during the 2008/2009 season and the fall of 2009. I suppose that his way of skipping over 1.5 years, but it's still misleading. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:04 pm

Photo, pages 46-47 (http://i51.tinypic.com/15z5un4.jpg):

TOKYO MEMORIES. "I have sought a challenge and decided to take it as far as possible," Kristoffer says. "You can be happy if you get something that comes easily. But if you accomplish a difficult goal that you set for yourself – it's hard to top that."


Page 46:

During the European Championships, Kristoffer crashed twice, and the Swedish Olympic Committee chose to send Adrian Schultheiss to Vancouver. Despite the frustration, Kristoffer understood deep down the SOK's reasoning: he was 27 years old and was believed to have passed his best before date, while Adrian Schultheiss' career path still pointed upwards.

On the same day that Wayne Gretzky lit the Olympic flame at the Winter Games in Vancouver, Kristoffer Berntsson stopped reading the newspaper. He usually followed the major sporting events, but now he changed the channel on his TV when the sports broadcasting started, and kept silent whenever a friend talked about the Swedish skiers' successes. Every time he was accidentally exposed to the massive Olympic coverage, he could feel a stabbing sensation in his body.

The morning after the men's figure skating final, he could not hold it in any longer. As soon as he awoke, he opened his laptop in bed and logged on to the International Skating Union website. There was, he persuaded himself, a small chance that Adrian Schultheiss had made a fool of himself and did not make it among the top 25. In that case, Kristoffer may at least be chosen for the World Championships in Turin, one month after the Olympics.

The page loaded slowly. Kristoffer read: American Lysacek one, Plushenko second, Japanese Takahashi third. He scrolled down until he saw Adrian's name. 15th place. It was over.

The Swedes who sat in front of their TV sets had seen how Adrian had stepped on to the ice in Vancouver with a tattered straight jacket, his arms crossed over his chest, and performed an almost flawless skate to a potpourri of Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Brain" and Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up."

As if that were not enough, the young Olympian had become the first Nordic skater to land a clean quadruple jump in competition.

When Adrian came in ninth place at the World Championships, after yet another perfect quad, Kristoffer Berntsson was done with figure skating.

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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:36 am

I've discovered in this section that Koffe cares about the environment and has good taste in music (so he's not just smart, talented and cute ). Oh, be still, my foolish fangirl heart! ♥ ♥ ♥



Page 46 (continued):

Six months later, Kristoffer catches the express bus at Kungsportsplatsen in Gothenburg and sits down at his usual spot: the third seat on the right side. He sets aside his down jacket and hat on the adjacent seat, puts the iPhone headphones into his ears, and plays a track from the '90s group A Perfect Circle.

Since he firmly believes that city dwellers have no excuse to contribute to the greenhouse effect with a car, he spends two hours on public transport every day to travel between home, office and the Landvetter rink. He falls asleep quickly, as he always tries to do, to save energy.

Fifteen minutes later, just as the bus brakes outside of the rink, Kristoffer awakens and staggers off. He pushes past some snowball throwing school children and walks through the door with the peeling hockey club stickers.

The ice is full of scratches from the hockey team's practice.

- Oh, they didn’t rinse the surface? There is certainly no one here who can drive the Zamboni, either.


Page 47 (http://i51.tinypic.com/15z5un4.jpg):

After having searched for the janitor, he jogs a few lengths up and down the stands before he goes into the locker room to tape his right ankle, which is broken by too many sprains. Both feet have hard, bulging nodules after a lifetime of being in ice skates.

When Kristoffer Berntsson had quit figure skating, he initiated his Master's thesis at Chalmers and got a job at a consulting firm in Majorna. A few months later, he lay at home and watched the TV program Mästarnas mästare. On the show, Patrik Sjöberg spoke about the time after he had retired from the high jump, and explained that he had never found anything that gave him the same kick as competing. Kristoffer could already recognize himself in the description, and was afraid that it would worsen. He missed "going out on to the ice and entertaining the crowd," and judged that his body felt good from the rest. After discussing the matter thoroughly with his girlfriend, he decided to commit to the sport for one more season. The objective was obvious: to win the Swedish Nationals and thus secure a berth at the European Championships – which in turn will determine who gets to go to the World Championships in Tokyo one month later*. Sweden has two spots for both competitions. Three skaters, Kristoffer, Adrian and the promising Russian-born junior Alexander Majorov, will battle for them.




* I know I'm being nitpicky, but the text should have read "två månader" (translation: two months) and not "en månad".
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:20 am

Photo, pages 48-49 (http://i52.tinypic.com/jpww8z.jpg):

ALONE. "Adrian could never replace Filip for me. The nature of our rivalry was different. Filip and I had grown up together."



Page 48:

To get revenge on the tormentor Adrian Schultheiss and earn a good result in front of his fans in Tokyo would be the perfect end to a long career.

How it would be to finish third at the Swedish Nationals and once again sit at home while his rivals represent Sweden at the World Championships – he didn't even want to consider that possibility.

Kristoffer stuffs small, home-cut foam pieces into his skates to prevent chafing against his ankle, takes the CD with his program music from his bag and walks towards the ice.

I ask him if one can perform at the top level as a 28-year-old.

- We'll see. There is almost no one who has tried. It was a process to make the decision to continue, but it's now that I have a chance. I can't do this in three years.

During the summer, he almost nailed a quad during training, but since then, he has been forced to give priority to the stability of the easier jumps. Because he started late in the season, he didn't have enough time to practice the program so that "it goes on autopilot." But he is confident that it will be ready in the spring – when the European and World Championships take place.

- The problem is that if I don't get it together now, for the Swedish Nationals, I won't even get the chance to show it in the spring.



Page 49:

He takes off his skate guards and heads out on to the ice. After a few warm-ups with the easier spins, steps and jumps, he fetches his burned CD from the boards and places it in the PA system. The loudspeakers soon echo Yann Tiersen's "Comptine d'un autre été" from the film Amélie.





Well, we know how the story ends for Koffe this season... Sad

Ugh, I resent the author's use of the word "tormentor" to describe Adrian. Mad How much of it is actually Kris' perception of his rival, and how much of it is Erik Almqvist's imagination?
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:52 am

Page 49 (continued):

In the middle of the program, I hear a female voice from the hockey booth:

- Fine Kristoffer, your Lutz was great!

Andrea Dohany has coached Kristoffer since he began skating, but looks as if she would enjoy being at a ski hotel in Aspen more than in an empty, cold and sweat-smelling rink with puck marks on the boards. Her black hair is drawn back into a tight bun, and she wears pearl earrings, moon boots and a thin black jacket from Moncler.

"Smooth Criminal" thunders from the loudspeakers, and on the ice Kristoffer mixes his spins and jumps with hip movements and kicks from Michael Jackson's repertoire.

I ask Andrea what she thinks about his final Swedish Championships.

- Kristoffer can do everything fine. But sometimes, it gets crazy at a competition. If he doesn't get a lot of strange thoughts, it will go well.

Erik Almqvist: - Have you talked much about it?

- Yes, but unfortunately, he has made some poor performances in recent years. Earlier, I saw that he had such power, and it's a pity that it hasn't gotten better. But a lot depends on injuries. This is not a healthy sport. The older you become, the more you compensate with wrong movements for fear of getting hurt and injured again. That's why he's so weak with the jumps. A triple Axel cannot be done cautiously. There's a long procedure to get rid of that fear.

After an hour on the ice, Kristoffer glides around, hunched over with his hands on his knees. He grimaces, breathing heavily, and puts his hand around his right foot.

- The groin is thoroughly overexerted. I can't jump as much as I want.

Later, Kristoffer is sitting on the express bus that will take him to the Athletics building. While he tries to eat a plastic-wrapped sandwich without the bus driver seeing him, I ask how he views the rivalry with Adrian Schultheiss.

- Yes... well, it's more like... he probably still thinks that I receive too many points. But it's always like that when you compete. You want to win as well. Everyone is different. I can express it like this: he is much younger than me. When he arrived, he had a lot of talent. But I've never, how shall you put it... I wouldn't say the kind of things that he has to the media.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:49 am

Page 49 (continued):

In his messy Gothenburg apartment, Adrian Schultheiss goes to the refrigerator and grabs a can of Power King – the food chain Willy's low price version of the energy drink Red Bull.

- I drink so many of these that I'm not sure whether they have an effect anymore. But when I do a really difficult jump, I can still feel a little bit of the slogan, "Red Bull gives you wings".

After meeting Adrian a couple of times, it is hard not to get the impression that things could have turned out really badly for him if he hadn't found this sport. Adrian says that he would like to develop "his aesthetic side," design clothes or paint.



Photo, pages 50-51 (http://i51.tinypic.com/33544d2.jpg):

RESTLESS. In the autumn, Adrian's beloved fish do not behave normally. He is afraid that they've become ill because he bought a used aquarium with a dirty pump.



Page 53 (http://i51.tinypic.com/2ilhc2e.jpg):

But a few days ago, when I asked him what he thought he would do if he didn’t have figure skating, he smiled and replied, "I probably would've been an alcoholic or something."

He then points to a little liqueur cabinet just outside the kitchen.

- I don't drink anymore. I started at a fairly early age and drank for a few years, like teenagers often do. But then my body began to protest against it. Afterwards, I lost two or three training days, every time.

When Adrian was 15, his family moved to Tibro. Adrian decided it was time for him to leave the parental home in order to continue his devotion to figure skating. He lived in a "rathole in Linnéplatsen," and then rented a room from "a nice elderly couple" before he found his current apartment three years ago.




Adrian's comment that he'd likely be an alcoholic without the sport really breaks my heart. Crying or Very sad This article is so sad that it makes me want to disintegrate into a pool of tears... Btw, isn't it highly unusual for someone to move out of the house when s/he's only 15? confused
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:20 pm

Page 53 (continued):

The 22-year-old Adrian now lives on the 6000 SEK* per month that he receives from the Swedish Olympic Committee, which also pays for his coach and ice time. Adrian would like to work to supplement this income, but it's hard for him to find the time because he trains so much and travels to competitions every three weeks on average.

- I would've wanted something more in life, not just the money. I could do any kind of work, except maybe scrubbing toilets. But who would want to hire me? You see how I live! I have no car and it's a constant struggle. I've tried to get sponsors. You can't go for gold on your own. If I continue skating next year, I'll probably move to the USA. I want to make money on this. The top five at Grand Prix competitions earn prize money. I'm sixth, ninth, eleventh…

Adrian tosses his empty Power King can in one of the garbage bags and picks up his skating bag from the hall floor. While walking through a rain of wet snow to the bus stop, I ask him if Kristoffer Berntsson's success meant much to him when he was younger. Adrian responds that he has never cared much about other skaters and that he "didn't have an eye on him." However, he still thinks that Kristoffer is favoured by the judges in Sweden.

- I was robbed at the Swedish Championships last year. I skated well while he made three major mistakes. When I saw his score after the short program, I wanted to leave and withdraw from the competition. I keep fighting, but they never hand me points as they do with him.

Adrian is aware of that he should stop thinking about the duel that has dominated Swedish figure skating in recent years. Like Kristoffer Berntsson, he is surprised that neither of them has been the best skater in Sweden lately.




* 6000 kronor is equivalent to approximately $900 USD, a sum that is almost impossible to subsist on. The lowest paid full-time jobs in Sweden will give you about twice that amount after tax.


While I do agree that Adrian should've won the SP at the 2009 Swedish Nationals (I remember being flabbergasted that Koffe came out ahead by 0.02 points even though he made two errors while Adrian only had one Shocked ), Berntsson deserved to win the free skate IMHO. Each skater had one glitch in this segment, but Kris sold his program better. In fact, I was a bit surprised at how "flat" Schultheiss' LP was in comparison to what we saw at the Olympics and the 2010 Worlds.

Koffe also achieved higher levels on some elements during the event, so along with the slight PCS advantage that he has (which exists not only in Sweden, but at major ISU competitions as well), I believe he deserved to win the title. Still, the scoring for the SP was fishy, so there was definitely some favouritism going on there. scratch

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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:48 pm

Page 53 (continued):

At a Luleå high school 1370 kilometers* from Gothenburg, Kristoffer's and Adrian's main competitor is leaning over his backpack in a corridor. He is waiting for math class to begin.

- Heeey Majorov!

A thin teenage boy with bushy, black hair walks over to Alexander, who introduces me.

- Oh hell, interview! So do you think we have hot girls here?

The guy smiles and lets his gaze sweep over the lockers in the empty corridor. He then tells Alexander that he really should be in religious studies class.

- But I can't keep up, so I said I had to go to the bathroom. Well, Buddhism, I don't get it. They believe in reincarnation. There I'm okay, but their goal is to reach Burma or whatever the hell it's called. You are reborn as something better each time until you get there. Still, one can become animals and stuff... I don't get it.



Photo, pages 54-55 (http://i52.tinypic.com/16jfp53.jpg):

ICE FAMILY. In order for cooperation to work, the Majorovs have decided to split their roles. "At home, I'm the mother, but at the rink, I just coach. We can't talk then when he is in pain, we do that once training is over."



Page 54:

Alexander looks at him and scratches his cap.

- Nah, I don't get it, either.

A few hours later, Alexander puts on a pair of very dirty socks in a locker room at the Coop Arena. He explains that he doesn't wash his skating socks. Clean socks slide downwards and move inside the skating boots, plus it's an old Russian figure skating superstition.

It is not an exaggeration to say that Alexander Majorov was born to be a figure skater. His father, also named Alexander Majorov, became a successful coach after his own skating career. Alexander's mother Irina is a former ballet dancer who specializes in helping figure skaters with their costumes and choreography.




* In case there are non-Swedes who have a copy of Filter and are wondering where I got that number, in Sweden, 1 mil = 10 km. The straight line distance between Luleå and Gothenburg is approximately 1024 km, but roads cannot be built through the mountains, so driving along the coast adds another 300 km to the journey.


My family comes from a Buddhist background, so I very much want to tell the ignorant kid that Sasha talked to that the state of enlightment is called "nirvana" and not Burma. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:14 am

Page 54 (continued):

During the collapse of the Soviet Union, Alexander senior had arranged figure skating training camps in Luleå for Russian skaters. He had witnessed the chaos, red tape and queues at home, and thought in the future that there must be better places for people who want to become good figure skaters. When their son was a year old, the Majorov family moved to Sweden and has been running the Luleå figure skating club ever since.

Alexander's childhood was dominated by the sport. Papa Alexander had shown his son the goodies in his video library of skating competitions that he has recorded throughout the years. He recounted the time when he coached Alexei Yagudin, who later became one of the best skaters in history. He mentioned all the talented skaters that he has coached who, like himself, never quite managed to make it to the elite level. He also talked about those who, after their amateur careers, struggled to make a living by skating for their nouveau riche countrymen in roving ice shows onboard cruise ships with ice rinks. These days, most conversations around the dinner table are about the Luleå pupils' programs, costumes, choreography and development.

- Dad feels sad when someone doesn't do as he says. He sees the other students as his children, too. Sometimes I get pissed off when he talks too much about them. They have their own parents.

Alexander Majorov has been travelling to international competitions since he was 14. During the summers, he participated in training camps with the Russian national team in St. Petersburg.* After Kristoffer's and Adrian's strong results in 2008, the then 17-year-old Majorov was given the chance to compete as one of three Swedes at the 2009 European Championships.

- I had never competed with such a large audience and cameramen from Eurosport before. I was so nervous that I couldn't control my body. I made a fool of myself. After my third fall, I felt awful. After the fourth, I could barely finish my program. I will never forget how I was sitting in the changing room afterwards. I had done my worst performance ever in front of all those people when it really counted. I sat there all alone with my skates and costume for twenty minutes. I actually cried.




* I have been informed that Sasha has not been able to go to Russia for some years now because he might be required to do military service. Apparently, he has applied to give back his Russian passport, but I don't know if he has succeeded yet.
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:26 am

Page 54 (continued):

Alexander has long shown that he possesses enormous potential. In training, he can achieve world-class level, but often fell apart in competitions. After the European Championships, he and his father worked on the mental aspects while Alexander gained more experience from major competitions. This year, he has done considerably better than his Swedish competitors at international events.


Page 55 (http://i52.tinypic.com/16jfp53.jpg):

Alexander and his ten-year-old brother Nikolai are gliding to the opera "Prince Igor." They are carving perfect eights while skating backwards on the ice. On each side of the CD player, their parents are leaning over the boards. Standing beside them is the grandmother, who is visiting from St. Petersburg. Although the Majorov family had to adapt to the Luleå hockey club's practice schedule, the training facilities here are unique. Nowhere else in Sweden can you find four indoor rinks with good ice that are adjacent to each other. Moreover, there are two other ice rinks within twenty kilometers.

The practice session is an exercise in discipline. Alexander Majorov moves easily and with precision in a tight, shiny sweater that highlights his muscular upper body. When he falls on a triple Axel, Alexander senior shakes his head and calls for his son. The father gives him some firm instructions while tapping the floor with his foot so that it echoes in the empty arena.

Alexander gains some speed again, jumps, does three turns* in the air, and lands softly.

"Now it was OK! Now it was OK!" his father says with his arms across his chest. "But do it once again with softer knees."




* I'm a little annoyed that the journalist doesn't seem to know that a triple Axel is actually 3.5 revolutions in the air. Non-figure skating fans who read this article won't realize that it's the most difficult triple jump (and thus the reason why Sasha had struggled with it).
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:12 am

Page 56 (http://i51.tinypic.com/1io0v8.jpg):

Afterwards, his mother carefully goes through the choreography of his free program with him.

- You must be more relaxed. It's supposed to be theatre, but it needs to look natural. When you do the move where you scratch like a cat, you have to do it properly: "Grrrrrr." It's very important.

She starts the music over and over again and lets him work through the first part of the program, where he dances and flirts with the judges by stroking his upper body with his hands.

- That was OK, but don't forget to use your eyes. You must look the judges in the eyes, you shouldn't appear apologetic. You can be shy at school, but the ice has its own rules. Go again!

When Alexander steps off the ice, I ask him about his relationship with his two main competitors at the Swedish Championships.

- It's thanks to Kristoffer and Adrian that I have improved so much. I have been training to beat them. It has made me better. But I don't know them. They aren't approachable. Adrian doesn't want to talk to Kristoffer, and Kristoffer doesn't want to talk to me. Before, I used to hang out with Adrian at training camps. We used to tape the others to their beds as they slept, reset their alarm clocks, or spray shaving cream on their hands and tickle their faces. He was like me, a bit mischievous and not like the others, dressed in hip hop style. But when we became competitors, he stopped talking to me. It's a shame.

Soon the entire family is gathered in the locker room. Grandma is joking with Nikolai and Alexander pulls a heavy fleece sweater over the body-hugging red knitwear.

- My current world ranking is probably about 25th, but if I earn a really good result, I'd be able to show that I belong higher up. My first goal is to win the Swedish Championships.




I think it's unfortunate that Adrian cut off contact with Sasha once he realized that the youngster could challenge him. Maybe he wouldn't be as depressed if he had a skating buddy who understood him (sort of like Filip's friendship with Koffe).
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:38 pm

Photo, page 56 (http://i51.tinypic.com/1io0v8.jpg):

SHIELDED. After his own performance in the finals, Adrian sits in the kiss and cry area where he follows Kristoffer's decisive skate on the screen.



Page 56 (continued):

The three national gold medal candidates have competed against each other throughout the season, but when they arrive at the Malmö ice stadium just over an hour before the short program, it is the first time that all three are at the same place. They handle this situation by staying as far from each other as possible.



Page 57 (http://i51.tinypic.com/1io0v8.jpg):

Adrian Schultheiss is reclined on a seat in the stands while his gaze seems lost in space. His green hat is pulled down over his eyebrows, and his cheeks are covered by the fur on his black down jacket. In a corridor at the other end of the arena, Kristoffer Berntsson's newly highlighted bangs sway across his forehead as he jogs back and forth with Iphone earphones in his ears. Further away, Alexander Majorov has distanced himself from his parents, who have his skates in a rolling luggage bag. Like other coaches, they always keep their skaters' equipment under supervision so that no one can sabotage anything.

Kristoffer, Adrian and Alexander don't even look at each other during the six-minute warm-up on the ice. After the two other skaters in the final group – who have virtually no chance of medalling – have skated, Adrian glides onto the ice again and assumes his start position near the blue line with his hands across his face. The ring in his lower lip and the sequins on his tight costume are glittering under the spotlight. He dances backwards, light on his feet, and nails a few difficult combinations*, but has a shaky landing on the triple Axel.

When Kristoffer Berntsson comes out on to the ice dressed as a pantomime artist, he hears the speaker announce Adrian's score: 69.67. He thinks he should be able to beat that if he does not make any mistakes.




* Someone needs to tell Mr. Almqvist that there is only one jump combination in the short program. Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: My attempt to translate the "Isens ensamhet" article into English   Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:54 am

Page 57 (continued):

Kristoffer starts with a clean triple Axel. He doesn't have the same ease as Adrian when he jumps. There is a thud on the ice when he lands, but he then performs a few practised jump combinations and gets 71.95 points.

From the kiss and cry – the area where the skaters sit while waiting for their scores – Kristoffer watches how a nervous Alexander Majorov begins with a challenging dance, but misses a triple Axel and a combination. After the short program, Majorov is third with 57.71 points.

Two days later, the competitors gather again at the Malmö ice stadium. Although they are staying at the same hotel, they have managed to avoid each other: they eat breakfast at different times and spend their practice-free hours in their rooms.

As Alexander Majorov walks on the ice in a homemade brown shirt with rivets and leather straps, Kristoffer is still jogging around in the corridor outside the changing room and listening to music. He doesn't see that Alexander is shivering when he takes his first steps on the ice, or that he stops by the boards and takes his father's hand to get some final instructions. When Kristoffer pulls the earphones out of his ears, he can hear Alexander receiving 129.13 points and realizes that he must have skated well, but the total will not be enough because he faltered in the short program.

While Adrian Schultheiss is standing by the boards, stomping his feet like an eager race horse, Kristoffer Berntsson is lacing up his skate boots in the changing room. He therefore doesn't see that Adrian's hair has been parted and fixed with hair spray in order to create a hairstyle that goes with the puffy-sleeved Romeo shirt. He doesn't need to look to know that Adrian has a planned quad toe loop as his first jump in the program. If he nails it, the final result will be more or less decided.
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