Pioneer Press article on Mother's Day

Skating stars fill their moms with pride — and more than a little fear

For Mother's Day, we asked the proud moms of a few Smucker's Stars on Ice participants for some insights on their children. Here are some cool facts on these talented figure skaters:

RUTH ELDREDGE, MOTHER OF WORLD CHAMPION TODD ELDREDGE

Scariest moment: "Todd took to the ice in the final warm-up group at the 1998 Skate America competition when suddenly his skate struck an ice chunk frozen to the ice surface. Todd fell to the ice and suffered a dislocated shoulder. My concern was the severity of the injury and I never expected him to return to the ice to compete. However, after a slight delay in the competition, much to my surprise, Todd came out when his name was announced to perform his long program and won the event."

Proudest moment: "Todd won the 1996 World championships skating the best long program I had ever seen. After the awards ceremony, he skated over to the boards, to John and I, and placed the gold medal he had just won around my neck. We were so proud of him and all the sacrifices and obstacles he had overcome to win the world title."

Something few people know about him: "Todd began skating at age 5 1/2 and at the age of 8, he suffered significant pain in his left knee (his landing leg). We went to Dr. Arthur Pappas, the Red Sox physician and surgeon, who said the injury had the potential of ending Todd's skating career. As treatment, Todd could either have a cast

put on his leg, use crutches and stay off of it for three months or continue to practice figures only, and promise to walk and not run or jump for 3 months. Todd chose the second option and was faithful to the treatment, as well as the follow-up rehab. Fortunately, the decisions and Todd's commitment worked."

JACQUI WHITE, MOTHER OF ICE DANCING SILVER MEDALIST CHARLIE WHITE

Scariest moment: "Fortunately, Charlie hasn't had very many scary moments on the ice, (but) he once did fall skating with (partner) Meryl (Davis) and she skated over his arm. There was quite a bit of blood, but the cut wasn't deep and looked worse than it was. My sister, who works in a hospital, was there with me watching that day and she knew quickly right what to do and Charlie was shaken but fine.

Proudest moment: "The day he won an honorary mention in his first basic skills competition when he was 5 years old. He looked up at me in the stands from the ice next to the podium with a look of pure joy on his face. His pride in how he skated was all he thought about that day. I loved how he didn't pout or feel that the score was unfair. Even though he is fiercely competitive, his love for skating has always been what really makes him happy.

Something few people know about him: "He is a self-admitted geek. He likes all the things that geeks enjoy, like endless hours of video games, computer workings, math and science, and reading something from his huge collection of sci-fi and fantasy books."

MARGIE WEISS, MOTHER OF THREE-TIME U.S. CHAMPION MICHAEL WEISS

Scariest moment: "The first time Michael had to do his 'tornado,' a back flip with a full twist, on the ice alone. We had taught him the skill on the trampoline when he was a kid, but with ice underneath his head, it was a scary moment. No one had ever done that skill on ice, and I doubt anyone ever will in the future!"

Proudest moment: "Any time I watch him interact with fans — he smiles at a skating child who has stars in his or her eyes, signs the extra autograph for the shy person waiting in the wings or simply enjoys his show performances that please so many people. It's not all about winning nationals or making an Olympic team — certainly those are all very proud professional moments for the whole family — but the journey that continues for him in the sport he loves.

Something few people know about him: "Mike is a total sentimentalist. He lives for his extended family, empathizes with their pain, would do anything for those he loves. He also has the funniest dry sense of humor and a quick wit."

MICHELLE BELBIN, MOTHER OF OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST TANITH BELBIN

Scariest moment: "When she fell during a lift and received two skull fractures and a severe concussion. She spent two days in the hospital and was off the ice for a couple of weeks, then went back to training gradually and had to wear a helmet for a month."

Proudest moment: "When Tanith and her partner Ben took on the huge job of organizing a benefit show to raise money for the tsunami relief effort. They accomplished this on their own while training for their national championships and were successful on making $40,000."

Something few people know about her: "She was a tomboy growing up and never played with dolls. When she was around 5 years old, she was fascinated with Rambo, she would dress up like him with her dad's old tie around her head and toy weapons tucked into her belt."


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