In honor of Mother’s Day, and my return to “normal” Momzilla life from an extended foray back to the professional world, I would like to explore some of the trailblazing Momzillas of figure skating.
My great friend has a veteran Momzilla. She has been around the rink many, many times, and has much to say about figure skating and the sidelines. She is an invaluable resource for this discussion of prominent Momzillas in our sport. By examining those who have come before, I hope to begin to identify where Momzilla behavior benefits our Little Champions, and where it goes awry. So I submit a series of third- (or higher) hand case studies for evaluation.
Momzilla Boitano, a grande dame of our sport to be sure, is purported to have dropped young Brian off at the rink every day. She didn’t come in to watch, she didn’t hover, and she didn’t pressure him to skate. According to an interview conducted by Nancy Kerrigan circa the 2006 Olympics, Momzilla Boitano left the whole shebang up to Brian.
So there we have exhibit 1. Momzilla leaves it up to the kid, he wins the Olympics, has a jump style named after him, continues to land triples into his 40’s, and has unbelievable thighs.
Moving to the opposite end of the spectrum is Momzilla McDonough. According to a very reliable source, young Ann Patrice was sometimes forced to go to school wearing skating costumes, as penance for poor performances. Her friends and classmates snuck clothes to school for her, so that she could change after Momzilla dropped her off.
Crazy? I think this one might actually be in the dictionary in the “C” section. Or was it “I” for insane, or “P” for pathologic? Sadly, Ann Patrice has nothing named after her, no Olympics, and left skating for a gloried career as a clubgoer in Manhattan
As long as we’re talking about Momzillas doing their unwitting best to destroy their children’s lives, we might as well refer to Momzilla Bobek, who was known to have perfected a technique for smiling in front of the camera while simultaneously cursing young Nicole out, sailor-style. Now, you’ve got to give her snaps for ventriloquistic skill. But when you pull out to a wide angle view, poor Nicole, widely considered the modern American skater who most under-realized her potential, is dancing. And not on a highly-acclaimed reality show. I respect the profession for its lucrative potential, but it’s just not the same as a “Bobek triple flip” might be.
At the end of the day, Momzilla Cohen might just pull it out on the Glinda side of things. While she has been reported to be a world-class nagger/hoverer, Sasha has turned out to be a productive member of society who maintains a tight and voluntary relationship with her Momzilla. So chalk this one up to nuts, mitigated by love at the end of the day.
So there we are. After a totally biased and unscientific examination, it would appear that love and support win the day.
Take-home lessons? Love thy child. Do not force (or encourage) skating dresses outside of the rink. Remember that their skating is for them, not you. If you’re going to swear at your budding champion, don’t try to hide it. And for goodness sake, make it for a good reason (read: anything but skating).
Happy Mother's Day