More Female Athletes Freeze Out Figure Skating In Favor Of Ice Hockey

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

More women are taking the ice – no longer as figure skaters, however as hockey players.

JULIETTE CHAKER BRAVIN: It’s fun to skate and to get the p.C..

CLEMENTINE PARKER: I like going rapid and…

JULIETTE: So do I.

CLEMENTINE: …Chasing the percent.

JULIETTE: So do I.

SHAPIRO: That’s Juliette Chaker Bravin and her teammate Clementine Parker. They are each 8, and you won’t capture either of them on the ice in sparkly leotards.

CLEMENTINE: I don’t need to do figure skating because there is tune involved, and it is hard to do with song.

JULIETTE: Yeah. You get all distracted.

CLEMENTINE: You do not wear pads. And in case you fall, it will hurt.

JULIETTE: Would you as a substitute play a sport or twirl and dance? I might instead play a sport.

 

SHAPIRO: Well, Anne Marie Chaker is hockey instruct to Clementine, teach and mom to Juliette, and he or she’s a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who wrote a piece this week titled, “For Many Girls, Figure Skating Loses Its Edge To Hockey.” Anne Marie, thank you for coming in.

ANNE MARIE CHAKER: Thank you so much.

SHAPIRO: So we should say you aren’t a neutral party right here. You are a former competitive parent skater-turned-hockey teach. So you have got a chunk of an attitude in this.

CHAKER: Yeah. So I grew up just an overall rink rat. In the ’80s and ’90s, determine skating became exquisite cool, and I simply – I loved the 6 a.M. Practices, I cherished the tune, all of it. And it became very – the strains had been very surely drawn. It turned into, like, the women were over at this sheet of ice doing the parent skating, and the boys had been over here stinking up the place doing the hockey.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter). And these days?

CHAKER: Today, there is loads of ladies playing hockey. The parent skating ice, there’s maybe or three girls on the ice, but no longer tons extra than that.

SHAPIRO: You dug into the numbers on your Wall Street Journal story. How rapid is this growing?

CHAKER: It form of commenced to take off 1998, whilst the women debuted on the Olympics. And then in the early 2000s, the numbers commenced to virtually jump. When I checked out the us hockey information, I changed into without a doubt amazed to look, like, inside the ultimate 10 years, the growth has genuinely skyrocketed, like, 50 percentage.

SHAPIRO: I assume a whole lot of humans consider it as a very violent game wherein people get injured. And, like, to take a percent to the face, that does not deter those ladies at all.

CHAKER: It does not. And, you know, watching them and coaching them has been so interesting because at the beginning of the season, it is the boys that dominate the entirety. There’s, like, 60 to 80 boys at the ice. And the women, there may be perhaps six to ten of them. They form of are seeking each different out.

SHAPIRO: So those are co-ed teams.

CHAKER: They’re co-ed teams. And then some thing occurs. We have this all-girls match in February, and it’s the first time that they see other groups of all ladies. And it’s, like, the energy of seeing different girl hockey gamers similar to them, they experience like this belongs to them.

SHAPIRO: How an awful lot of that is connected to the fulfillment of woman function models in ice hockey and the type of absence of super high-profile figure skaters who’re dominating the conversation?

CHAKER: I suppose it’s massive. You recognize, when the girls’s Olympic ice hockey team won…

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER: She has stopped. United States wins gold.

CHAKER: …I imply, Kendall Coyne competed for the primary time on the All-Stars in the fastest skater occasion.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER: An incredible job through Kendall Coyne. Watch the feet circulate there. The angles are…

CHAKER: Those are eye-establishing moments that solution the question, I assume, for a variety of women, like, are we able to try this? Yes. We can absolutely do that, and this is what it looks like.

SHAPIRO: This is this type of current fashion. Has there been a moment on the ice that has simply greatly surprised you, seeing little girls do some thing which you had not visible them do earlier than?

CHAKER: My ladies, I turned into looking to give an explanation for to them the concept of aggression. You recognize, little girls are taught to be polite, to be correct. And I become seeking to get them to keep in mind that that all flies out the window in hockey. Do we understand what competitive means? And I become looking to – and whilst we came returned from that tournament, my daughter, who had form of been fearful of the percent, simply became this beast. And I turned into so pleased with her.

SHAPIRO: (Laughter).

CHAKER: She had scored her first goal, and there was just, like, a bit cocky swagger. Like, it become hers now. It become…

SHAPIRO: Permission to genuinely move for it.

CHAKER: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

SHAPIRO: Anne Marie Chaker, thank you so much.

CHAKER: Oh, my God. This was so a laugh. Thank you.

SHAPIRO: She is life and arts creator for The Wall Street Journal and a hockey mother and train.