Ice Network

Speak it! Icenetwork's best quotes of the year

Skaters filled reporters' notebooks with memorable words in 2016
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Not surprisingly, Johnny Weir had several quotes that made our "best of the year" list. -icenetwork

In addition to being world-class athletes, the skaters we cover have also been known to turn a phrase or two. We combed through every article from 2016 and pulled out what we thought were the best quotes of the year.

JANUARY

"I was doing quads, so at least I have a cool story. I went up and felt OK, and I came down and it was a whole new angle on my foot that I would have been happy never seeing." - Jordan Moeller, on the foot injury that forced him to withdraw from the U.S. championships (The Inside Edge: Moeller out of U.S. championships)

"We're kind of hermits; we don't get dressed up often. It's an opportunity to put on something nice and be around a lot of people we don't see all the time. It's like skating fashion week. If I can't be a star on the ice, I have to be a star off the ice." - Douglas Razzano, on the off-ice fashion at U.S. championships (The Inside Edge: Moeller out of U.S. championships)

"I just choked. I went out there, and there wasn't a fire, there wasn't attack. It was just meh, which is a shame because I was completely well trained." - Gracie Gold, on her performance at the 2015 Grand Prix Final (Wagner, Gold seek consistency in Saint Paul)

"I'm tired of going down without a fight, like, by doing doubles. I want to at least go down guns blazing." - Gold, on changing her approach entering the U.S. championships (Wagner, Gold seek consistency in Saint Paul)

"I was kind of used to it because at regionals somebody's music didn't work and they took 30 minutes just fixing the music and then gave us another warmup. It was kind of like that again, except with blood." - Eric Sjobert, on a delay that occurred during the novice men's free skate at the U.S. championships because of blood on the ice (Sjoberg realizes dream, takes novice men's crown)

"I've been using moisturizer, like, 15 times a day, and now my hands are as soft as babies. I'm Teflon-coated now. I've lost about five years...I look wonderful, don't you think? The last time we were here, I lost, like, four layers of skin. This time, I'm shimmering, I feel fabulous. Also, I've decided to keep growing my body hair, for warmth." - Bobby Martin, on the cold temperatures and dry air of Saint Paul (The Inside Edge: Greetings from frosty Saint Paul!)

"We were doing choreography, and I could tell he was getting frustrated, so I asked him what was wrong. And he goes, 'Well, just so you know, I'm used to pump, pump, crossover, throw the girl in the air and hope I catch her. I'm not used to twizzle, choctaw, twizzle, change hold…'" - Alexandra Aldridge, on partner Matt Blackmer's transition from pairs to ice dance (The Inside Edge: Blackmer transitions to ice dance)

"I never do double flips; I don't even warm up double flips. Why it would come out in a competition is an unknown, terrible thing that will never happen again." - Gold, on her problems with the triple flip (Minnesota morsels: Ladies say it's a beautiful day)

"I'm trained, I'm ready, and I'm going for this. 'Fake it 'til you make it' -- I think that's a really good mentality. I want no doubts, no worries. I can do this, I belong here -- now just go do it." - Courtney Hicks, on her preparedness for the U.S. championships (Minnesota morsels: Ladies say it's a beautiful day)

"She doesn't really listen to me with that kind of stuff. I'm not her coach. Every time I'm like, 'You could keep your back up a little more on that takeoff,' she's like, 'Shut up.'" - Ross Miner, on trying to give advice to girlfriend Heidi Munger (The Inside Edge: Miner wants to enjoy experience)

"When he caught me, my dress fell down, and I think I flashed the audience. So, it really startled me when he went to catch me, because I could feel in the air my breast was out. I don't know if you could see it, because I was rotating, but it really distracted me." - Alexa Scimeca, on a mishap during her and Chris Knierim's short program at the U.S. championships (Energized by new short, Kayne, O'Shea take lead)

"I just wasn't present in the moment. … I don't know. I just wasn't there. I don't know. I am just flummoxed. … I just wasn't there." - Gold, on her performance in the short program at the U.S. championships (Edmunds outshines favorites to take sizable lead)

"I think I am wearing the unluckiest dress in the entire world." - Ashley Wagner, on the black short program dress she wore last season in which she always seemed to skate poorly (The Inside Edge: Wagner plans special exhibition)

"Maybe American mentality is like this: I am going to some shop, and I have a thick wallet with a lot of credit cards and I can buy it today. Sport doesn't work that way. In one day, you cannot get things, no matter how thick your wallet is. You need time to get it, so go to proper coach, to proper place, to someone who can direct you right." - Rafael Arutunian (Minnesota morsels: Arutunian sounds off on jumps)

"So go to Starbuck's and enjoy your coffee, then. If you want to compete, there is always risk." - Arutunian, on the attitude of not wanting to push younger skaters too hard at an early age (Minnesota morsels: Arutunian sounds off on jumps)

"Frank said, 'If you want to make the 2006 Olympic team, you are going to have to work.' And, boy, did I work. Oy." - Evan Lysacek, at the 2016 U.S. Hall of Fame reception (The Inside Edge: Stars come out for HOF reception)

"Ben, I don't love you quite as much as I love Tanith [Belbin] (his wife). But literally, the way I do crossovers is because of the way you do crossovers." - Charlie White, speaking to Ben Agosto at the 2016 U.S. Hall of Fame reception (The Inside Edge: Stars come out for HOF reception)

"They won world bronze (in 2011) right after juniors, then fell down to eighth place and couldn't get up close to the third spot. But they still worked, they still believed, they still dug energy from their bodies. It is a difficult road to touch judges' hearts, (but) they worked to get better, better, better, and finally they did it." - Marina Zoueva, on the journey Maia Shubutani and Alex Shibutani took to winning their first U.S. title (Gold at last! Shibutanis claim first U.S. dance title)

"I feel better than after the short program, opening with a single. I just need to keep my nose down and keep training so that when I get out there, I take all the BS out. What would I do if this was the 11 o'clock session and Frank [Carroll] had me go through a run-through? I wouldn't do a single (jump)." - Gold, after winning her second U.S. title (Clutch Gold takes back U.S. title behind stellar free)

"This is a very restrictive environment. Under the international judging system, it's apples to apples; they need people to be similar so they can compare them. A banana is worthless! They only want apples. It's like, who's bringing a banana to an apple party?" - Scott Hamilton, on the limitations of the judging system (The Inside Edge: Dramatic skates leave fans in awe)

"I give all credit to my mother (Denise) on that one. Everyone loves reading in my family, but especially my mom. She uses words like 'flummoxed' and 'kyped' (to commit a minor theft). She was particularly proud I used the word flummoxed, and that it left some reporters flummoxed." - Gold, on her use of the word "flummoxed" in the mixed zone after the short program at U.S. championships (Minnesota morsels: Gold engages in witty repartee)

"Well, I can only be held responsible for three of those years." - Gold, when asked about the United States' nine-year medal drought in ladies at the world championships (Minnesota morsels: Gold engages in witty repartee)

"If everybody could skate like Yuzuru [Hanyu], then the competition would be boring. You have people who are great spinners, you have people who are great performers, you have people who are great jumpers. It's not just a one-trick competition. It's not a jump competition, it's not a choreography competition, and it's not a spin competition." - Adam Rippon, after winning the U.S. title without a quad (Performance quality propels Rippon to first U.S. title)

"The quad will have been the main problem of my career. With a quad, everyone knows where I could have gone. That's why it will be my last competition." - Florent Amodio, after the short program at Europeans (Amodio wants to say goodbye the best way he can)

"Skating technique has sent me down to hell, because I failed to master it; I have had so many problems because of that. You can't attempt to go farther if you can't master the technique." - Amodio, on his problems with perfecting jumping technique (Amodio wants to say goodbye the best way he can)

"There was so much emotion between him and me before my short program, and throughout. I am happy to finish my career with him, as I have lived my biggest competitions with him.

"It was an enormous mistake for me to leave Nikoli's school. So much of my life was connected to him. I always felt a little voice in my head telling me: "Call him back." I had to wait. I wanted to master myself completely and feel cured of anything I had to overcome since.

"Nikoli was like a member of my own family. He guided me in the best way possible. I discovered everything through and thanks to him, starting with my first medals.

"In fact, I may have had two careers. One was like a fairy tale, of course, with its highs and lows. It was brilliant, and it ended in a catastrophe. The second one will be just the opposite: It started in the worst possible way, and...we'll see how it will end. It's been a fierce battle: I've taken many kicks in my face; I had to fall and come back. I feel I can't spoil everything I was given. It's not easy, but it's also more 'spicy' than my first career, for sure!" - Amodio, reflecting on his career (Amodio wants to say goodbye the best way he can)

"I have never skated this way. The audience applauded so hard that I did not even know where I was. … This is a wonderful day. This will go down as the most beautiful moment in my skating career. I could not even believe it, as the program was unfolding. I could not have dreamed of a better one to end my career with." - Amodio, after his free skate at Europeans (Amodio wants to say goodbye the best way he can)

"I enjoyed this moment tremendously. My legs were shaking; my whole body was shaking. I tried to relax, but I still felt (like I was) under pressure. I felt as if I was going to explode from inside. I still couldn't believe it." - Alexei Bychenko, on medaling at Europeans (Bychenko fights pressure every step of the way)

"It was a great joy for me to see all these people again, that I missed in the past two years. It was an incredible feeling. There are no words to say how happy I feel. It's just like flowers, when they start to open and have all these beautiful things come out." - Aliona Savchenko, on returning to competition (Savchenko, Massot want to create own identity)

"If only I could think and wonder a bit less, my life would be so much easier. I ask myself too many questions. Sometimes I should put my mind in 'pause' mode for a while. That would do me good!" - Laurine Lecavelier, after her mistake-riddled free skate at Europeans (Bratislava Rolls: Watch out for falling plush toys)

"The truth is that, now, life is good. I have a beautiful fiancé. I have a calm coach. He is like a saint! We have big support from the people around us. We are working together with one common goal. I can live and do what I dream of. That's quite a change! Before, it was skating only. I had a lot of success, but I was really sad in my life. It was too much, and it was too closed. You need people around you to take positive energy. It changes everything.

"I changed my life, and I am very happy with this." - Savchenko, on her new outlook on skating (Savchenko, Massot want to create own identity)

FEBRUARY

"Like an idiot, I kept going and then my body started breaking down. Then I got pregnant, thank God. I had to stop skating, and my body started healing. But the symptoms are horrible. Even if you keep pushing through, your brain tells your body it is not working." - Marie-France Dubreuil, on suffering a concussion while on Battle of the Blades (Concussions in figure skating: How they happen)

"I skated for 15 minutes, doing the Ravensburger (pattern), and all of a sudden I wanted to throw up. So I went over to the boards and lost my cookies a little bit. I was out of it. I couldn't take sunlight or loud noises. I couldn't focus. I was going out to dinner wearing sunglasses." - Jean-Luc Baker, on trying to come back too soon from a concussion (Concussions in figure skating: How they happen)

"No lights at all. I would just pray that I wouldn't throw up, that I could just go to sleep. I never had migraines before the concussion, but now there were some months when I forgot what it was like not to have a headache." - Savannah Lavenstein, on the aftereffects of the concussion she suffered while skating (Years later, Lavenstein still affected by concussion)

"I think people who love figure skating really relate to me. I'm far from perfect. There's always something going on, it seems, but I don't do it on purpose -- things just happen." - Mirai Nagasu, on why fans relate to her (Nagasu hopes to give drama the boot in Taipei City)

"I see Maia as being the best female ice dancer in the world right now. She is such a rock. I see her being an athlete, a skater, an artist, a great partner. She is so solid and stable, and I can tend to be a little bit more prone to emotion. ... It was tough when we started senior (in 2011) because we were kids; Maia was 16 when she won a world bronze medal. You are sort of thrust into the spotlight at an early age, and people are extra critical of your success and looking to figure out your weaknesses, and I think Maia has flourished and taken that all in stride." - Alex Shibutani, on his sister, Maia (Shibutanis grow into role as top U.S. dance team)

"They say, 'Daniel, you skate well and have a good technique. Why take risks? Just skate clean and nice, and take your medals.' But you should understand that I compete in men's singles skating, and that risk must be in the blood of a man!" - Daniel Samohin, on answering his critics and the importance of taking risks (Risky program structure paying off for Samohin)

MARCH

"It's 9 a.m. on a Sunday, after three days of hard work (on the show), and he is attempting quad lutzes, even if he is not going to put them into his free skate at worlds.

"It's rare to see someone go above and beyond that way. You get to a certain level, and people tense up and get afraid to allow themselves to make mistakes. But Yuzu is fearless. And he works until he can't see any more because of the sweat in his eyes." - Johnny Weir, on Hanyu's work ethic (Orser, Hanyu embrace long-distance relationship)

"After NHK, I said it would be another 10 years before we see something like that. Then comes the Grand Prix Final, and Brian [Orser] said to me, 'How about 10 days?'" - Tracy Wilson, on Hanyu's performance at the Grand Prix Final (Orser, Hanyu embrace long-distance relationship)

"I think you will see the quads look better than before. As I have said many times, I am never happy -- but I am happier than I usually am." - Arutunian, on Rippon's success rate with the quad lutz heading into worlds (Rippon, Aaron go to battle with Boston demons)

"I never thought I would be up at that level. If you told me I would be world champion one day, I would have thought, 'You are screwed up.'" - Fernández (Fernández' path to success unlikely as they come)

"She was Miki Ando, and I was nobody." - Fernández' reaction upon first meeting now girlfriend Miki Ando (Fernández' path to success unlikely as they come)

"I honestly didn't notice it until someone was screaming at my back every time he was passing by. I don't think there was an issue; we didn't hit each other. I always train with a lot of people on the ice. Maybe he is not used to a lot of people. It's practice: There are six people on the ice, and sometimes we get too close to each other." - Denis Ten, after a practice incident between him and Hanyu at worlds (Boston brewings: Hanyu, Ten stir up practice tiff)

"I'm very happy and proud for athletes who are able to climb up every year after falling down. I think it's a good example for everyone. If you work hard, if you put all your soul, all your heart -- actually, all your life -- into something, you will get it." - Zoueva, on the Shibutanis' getting back to the world podium five years after winning their first world medal (French open title defense with personal-best short)

APRIL

"It was a hard season, for sure. After the concussion, which took much longer to cure than expected, and then after Europeans, they went to do Art on Ice, and Guillaume slipped and opened his head while he was on the ice, another accident. And then a few weeks ago, Gaby had six stitches in her knee. I [said], 'My God, are we going to finish this season in one piece?'" - Dubreuil, on the challenges Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron faced during the season (World-record free dance helps French retain crown)

"It's rare when Frank tells a skater to take a rest day and skip the run-through, and they ignore his advice. Usually, it's the other way around. I did the whole thing and wasn't tired. Frank told me, 'Good for you.'" - Gold, on defying coach Frank Carroll's wishes and doing a full run-through during practice at worlds (Boston brewings: Gold defies Carroll's wishes)

"He talks too much every day. He just feels like my father, so there isn't any chemistry." - Wenjing Sui, on her chemistry (or lack thereof) with partner Cong Han in the team's Latin-themed free skate (Sui, Han in front of Canadians after masterful short)

"First comes skating chemistry, and then comes babies." - Maxim Trankov, on Sui and Han's on-ice chemistry (Sui, Han in front of Canadians after masterful short)

"I know my ice." - Patrick Chan, after he claimed that ruts in the ice contributed to him falling in the free skate at worlds (Fernández pounces on Hanyu's mistakes to win title)

"I am really tired and really happy for Javi. But I am really sad for my long program. I want to do it again." - Hanyu, after his free skate at worlds (Fernández pounces on Hanyu's mistakes to win title)

"I will tell you, having done a comeback myself, there is nothing worse. Hanyu and Fernández were there competing, and I remember thinking, 'OK, I will try to do quads again and I'll wear pretty costumes and I'll be thin and in shape.' Nothing prepares you for what it actually feels like to be gone for a minute and have the world race by you and you have to catch up. It's a horrible feeling." - Weir, on coming back to competition after being away from the sport for a while (Love of sport pulls past champions back into fold)

"I don't know too much about the history, but I get the impression that the English people weren't very nice during that time -- and I'm sorry about that!" - Penny Coomes, after touring some of the historic sites of Boston (British ice dancers explore historic Freedom Trail)

"It was just one of those really, really tragic skates where you feel like you couldn't do anything right. I just feel really sorry for Boston, for the U.S. that I let them down when they needed me most. I couldn't deliver." - Gold, after her free skate at worlds (World-record free launches Medvedeva to gold)

"It was a really unfortunate and sad experience. I feel really ashamed of how I skated, and I want to apologize to my country and to the crowd here -- there's really no excuse for it." - Gold, after her free skate at worlds (World-record free launches Medvedeva to gold)

"I left everything on the ice. I don't have any emotions left." - Evgenia Medvedeva, after winning the world title (World-record free launches Medvedeva to gold)

"I'm like a fine wine, getting better with age -- or at least that's what I like to tell myself. I'm not old, I'm experienced." - Wagner, after winning the world silver medal (Wagner seizes moment after Gold falters in Boston)

"I see her doing run-throughs with a triple at the end of every combination and I think, 'Oh, to be 16.' Then I remember, I couldn't do that at 16." - Wagner, on Medvedeva's jumping prowess (Wagner seizes moment after Gold falters in Boston)

"He always talks so much. He talks, and talks, and talks. It annoys me so much." - Sui, on partner Han (Edmunds wants to 'perform to every row' in 2016-17)

"For me, the notion of not being able to live without her kind of hit me a year ago, when she went into surgery. It was a pretty intensive surgery, and things can always go wrong. I realized I could live without skating, I could live without a lot of things -- but I couldn't live without her." - Grant Hochstein, on proposing to now fiancée Caroline Zhang (Hochstein proposes to Zhang in NYC's Central Park)

"The Russian girls went shopping by themselves -- they didn't ask me. They bought some leather bags, and I was like, 'Girls, that's overpriced. That can be discounted. Have you been to that store? Have you gone there?' And they were to me like, 'Why didn't you tell us earlier?' They were really sad, and they were like, 'That's it, after competition, you're coming with us. We need some shoes and leather bags.' They will find the time. For shopping, girls will find the time." - Misha Ge, at worlds (The Inside Edge: Ge toughs through injury at worlds)

"It's been weird to be on the outside looking in because we were in it so thick for so many years. It was nice to take a step back and, like Tessa said, we were just in awe of what these athletes have done. Now it's like, 'Oh crap, we better get to work.'" - Scott Moir, on his and Tessa Virtue's decision to return to competition (Virtue, Moir embrace challenge of regaining status)

"People asked me this after Meryl and Charlie, and Tessa and Scott finished their careers (in Sochi), and I just said their era is kind of done. They did a revolution in ice dance. If they want to show something else, something new, probably they can skate. I don't know. They have to start competing, that is number one. First, you have to see them." - Zoueva, on Virtue and Moir's comeback attempt (Virtue, Moir return to new ice dance landscape)

"I am way out of shape, and I'll be the first person to tell everybody that, so I have no idea what to expect for tomorrow." - Wagner, on her outlook for the free skate at Team Challenge Cup (Uno's sterling skate lifts Team Asia to singles crown)

"There is no doubt that Wheaton will become the next ice dancing capital in the U.S., if not North America as a whole." - Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter (Wheaton Academy next dance mecca of the U.S.?)

MAY

"Sometimes, if you were watching us working with her, you would really wonder if we were smoking or something. After three hours of work, we also wonder, actually. Except the next day, it shows on the ice." - Papadakis, on working with former Cirque de Soleil cast member Catherine Pinard ('D-H-L' coaching trio deliver ice dance excellence)

"When you master the technique of a program and get used to it, you tend to repeat it mechanically, in kind of a robotic way. When you do it with intention, that's when it becomes art. All the answers are inside of us; we just need to find them. The question is, what you are willing to create at this precise moment?" - Madison Hubbell, on creating art through her and Zach Donohue's programs ('D-H-L' coaching trio deliver ice dance excellence)

"I kind of feel that the technical development has reached a level that the human body cannot follow yet. However, with further development of techniques, maybe we will find a way to reduce the impact to our bodies. Or maybe the wave (of increased difficulty) will calm down suddenly, like at the Vancouver Olympics. Every era has a trend." - Hanyu (Mount Olympus seemingly next stop for Hanyu)

"I've always been the red-headed stepchild. I was so aware of it. I was not that girl. I was always the third or fourth girl, not the top girl." - Wagner (Wagner: 'I am the athlete that I want to be right now')

"I wasn't in this to be the 'It' girl. … I like to work hard. I love this sport so much; that's why I do this. If I had to worry about being the No. 1 girl all the time, I would go crazy." - Wagner (Wagner: 'I am the athlete that I want to be right now')

"For me, it is difficult to watch the war in Ukraine and hard to see people suffering. People in both countries (Russia and Ukraine) are interconnected and share the same history, so I can't understand the bad relationship between the two. What I can say is that, as an athlete, sports have to unite all nations, and I think politics shouldn't be involved in sports in any way." - Alisa Agafonova (Agafonova, Uçar show resolve in trying season)

"I watched it over and over again. I thought there was no way anyone was doing it. Then I started watching it over and over to study his technique. We always thought that we were going to have boundaries. Now, there are no more boundaries. They went out the door." - Max Aaron's reaction to watching Boyang Jin's quad lutz-triple toe at 2015 Cup of China ('New Quad Kings' broke ground with jumping skills)

"I always tell my younger skaters that it is human nature to get better. Babies start out by rolling over, then crawling, and then walking and running. It's not human nature to stay still. We want to get skaters moving into the record books." - Tom Zakrajsek, on the progression of jumps in men's skating ('New Quad Kings' broke ground with jumping skills)

"I don't really know, but it probably will be something insane. I think we are kind of reaching our peak with all of these quads, but maybe something like a triple axel-quad toe, or maybe we'll see all the skaters doing all the quads. I definitely would like to see what happens 20 years from now." - Nathan Chen, on which jumps are coming next in men's skating ('New Quad Kings' broke ground with jumping skills)

JUNE

"He would sneak up in back of one of us and quietly rub his fingers behind our ears so that it made a cricket sound. So funny, and we all got a kick out of it because he would just crack up -- yes, the legend would crack himself up!" - Tai Babilonia, on a memory she had of Muhammad Ali (Skating world reflects on passing of 'The Greatest')

"As athletes, you would hear people say, 'Oh, figure skating -- that's so political,' and that really hurts. Judges want to be accountable for their marks. It was time for this change, time to regain the trust of our fan base." - John Coughlin, on the decision at the ISU Congres to abolish anonymous judging (ISU Congress 'a real turning point for the sport')

"The (ITNY) skaters don't only want to be virtuosic and pretty and smile -- they are really interested in doing pieces that recognize issues that have social significance. I want to be in touch with people who are interested in choreographing about our environment, about the world at large.

"A program like 'Hommage' takes the audience to another place. It's time for the ice skating world to make statements with their intelligence and their hearts." - Moira North, on the Ice Theatre of New York's performance that honored the victims in the Pulse nightclub shooting (ITNY pays tribute to Orlando terror attack victims)

"Every little girl dreams of three things: being a princess, finding a prince and having a fairytale wedding. Well, I found my prince in Chris -- he's always made me feel safe and loved and respected. He is as gentle as he is strong, and he truly is my perfect partner -- both on and off the ice." - Alexa Scimeca, on husband and skating partner Chris Knierim (The Inside Edge: Scimeca, Knierim tie the knot)

"I already got enough of the 'vibrant path,' so being where I am right now is exactly what I was looking for." - Fabian Bourzat, on going into coaching after retiring from skating (Bourzat fully immersed in coaching career, lifestyle)

"During an exhibition, Philippe [Candeloro] danced to an incredible salsa on the ice and then he squeezed himself into the apparel of a cosmonaut and started lighting some fireworks. Then he launched himself on his belly all the way from one end of the rink to the next! I was completely puzzled to see a champion having so much fun on the ice." - Nathalie Péchalat, on training with Philippe Candeloro during a summer camp in the Pyrenees mountains (You raise me up: Skaters share inspirational stories)

JULY

"[The doctors] told me it was my decision: 'If you want to live your dream, we're just telling you what might happen.' I could have permanent brain damage. … I don't want that. I don't think anyone wants that." - Joshua Farris, on why he decided to announce his retirement (Long battle with concussions ends Farris' career)

"Choosing music for this season was really hard, because I had no idea what I wanted to skate to. It has to work between both the skater and the choreographer. For the choreographer, it's difficult to create something if they don't feel a connection to the music; and as a skater, I always ask myself if I'm willing to listen to the music every single day for the rest of the year without shooting myself." - Nagasu, on choosing the music for her programs this season (Creating the Program: From 'Avatar' to ABBA)

"I was not such a disciplined person, and I must confess that I did a lot of things which are not, um, not so good for a young boy. My father was then working at the ice skating club, and he was watching all the kids who were skating there. He noticed that lots of parents were staying around.

"Then he thought, 'This is exactly what I think my son, Alexei, needs: skating and being supervised by lots of parents all around!' This was the reason I started to skate." - Alexei Mishin, on how he started skating, (You raise me up, Pt. 2: More stories of inspiration)

"Russia is always blamed more than any other country. I think doping has always been (there); it's just some countries are forgiven, and we are not." - Konstantin Menshov on doping accusations against Russian athletes (Menshov moves to coaching after turbulent career)

"It kind of feels like the worst break-up ever. It's your first love and passion, and it's like you're divorcing it." - Rachael Flatt, on retiring from skating (What's next? Skaters detail coping with retirement)

"I felt extremely lost. I felt betrayed by my own body. I was very depressed, which was surprising because I'm pretty easygoing and happy most of the time. I wasn't who I thought I was, and I didn't even know who that was." - Kimmie Meissner, on retiring (What's next? Skaters detail coping with retirement)

"All of a sudden, they started showing highlights from the 2010 Olympics. They showed a section of my program, and it was instantaneous tears. I didn't expect to feel like I was losing something, but it was a realization that, 'This is it. I'm not going to be stepping on the ice in front of tens of thousands of people and performing my heart out anymore.' It did feel like a punch to the gut." - Flatt, on coming to grips with retirement during the flight back from 2014 U.S. Championships (What's next? Skaters detail coping with retirement)

"I don't balance between fun and work. I do work, work, work. This is my fun, and the fun of my best skaters." - Mishin, on his off-season camp in Courchevel (High altitude: Mishin and Co. get to work in Alps)

AUGUST

"The guys in their kilts looked so handsome and colorful. Who doesn't love a guy in a kilt?" - Sinead Kerr, on the men in her wedding party (The Inside Edge: Kayne broadcasts makeup tips)

"Choreographing for couples is a lot of fun. Two arms, great; four arms, even better." - Rohene Ward, on doing ice dance choreography (Ward gets Chock, Bates into the hip-hop groove)

"She's opening with her big jumps, and I'm picturing flames coming through her fingertips -- pow, pow, pow." - Rudy Galindo, on Polina Edmunds starting her short program with a triple lutz-triple toe combo (Edmunds focused on musicality of new programs)

"Anonymity of judging is not part of the IJS; the system can work with or without it. The main thing is that a judge should have knowledge and be objective. If he/she has these two qualities, I do not think that identification of judges will create big problems for them." - Alexander Lakernik, on whether judges should remain anonymous (Forward-thinking Lakernik hints at changes to IJS)

"I hate spins with a burning passion, but the points are right there." - Wagner (Wagner, Gold hit Champs Camp in different place)

"Peter said, 'You need to move really cool, really be sexy,' and I was like, 'Peter, that's not me. Adam [Rippon] is cool; I'm not cool.'" - Hochstein, on his "Rhapsody in Blue" short (Chen hopes to put injury bug behind him in 2016-17)

"I look at my past, and I didn't do triple axel until I was 18. Nathan Chen isn't even 18 now. I got everything a little bit later. I think it would be totally Adam Rippon of me to get quad toe." - Rippon (Late-bloomer Rippon hopes to revive quad toe)

SEPTEMBER

"I'm OK if it's 105 degrees but dry! I'm a witch, and I'm melting." - Douglas Razzano, while in a humid Boston for "Evening with Champions" (The Inside Edge: Chen, Edmunds headline 'EWC')

"What we don't like, right now, it's just element, crossover, element, crossover, element, and background music. Music is like a background." - Ludmila Protopopov, on the current state of skating (Ageless Protopopovs ask: 'Where is the love?')

"She was a force of nature, and tough. Later in life, I learned why when she revealed her own background, and it all made sense to me. (Editor's note: Burka was a Holocaust survivor.) But it was not easy to be her student. We were also with her when Toller [Cranston] was, too, so their dynamic had a huge effect on our lives. The climate was electric, intense, volatile, inspiring, large and loud." - Sandra Bezic, on training with the late Ellen Burka (Legendary, innovative coach Burka dies at age of 95)

"It's 2016; everyone is sick of foxtrots, sick of tangos, and the judges are coming to us and saying, 'We watch all these great numbers on 'Dancing with the Stars', and we're like, 'But you don't let us do any of that!' I think the rules are changing in a good way. ISU is pushing, but I think it takes time." - Donohue, on trying to do something new in ice dance (Hubbell, Donohue hip hop their way to first place)

"As a competitor, I feel like I was always considered to be a jumper more than a performer. Now, on ships, I skate with new purpose. I skate for the performance, the crowd, and my tricks are a secondary result. In other words, if I ever do compete again -- look out." - Brandon Mroz, on his job as a show skater on a cruise ship (Mroz: 'Performing has refueled my love for skating')

"It was a roller coaster; he wasn't the easiest guy at times. His heart was pure. When he was upset about something, he would back it up. He created these moments, and his eyes would fill with tears. He loved the skaters; he loved the emotion. He would create this beautiful picture on the ice, and it really meant something to him." - Scott Hamilton, on late costume designer Jef Billings (Skating world mourns loss of 'visionary' Billings)

OCTOBER

"I don't know what to say now. Refreshing (my) personal best after such a long time? What's the point of my tearful retirement, then?" - Nobunari Oda, after setting a new personal best at the Japan Open (Host country claims title at 2016 Japan Open)

"We would go joking, 'Maybe if they don't allow a quad, we have to learn the triple axel.' Then we started thinking, how do you even do a throw axel? We didn't even know to hold each other on the takeoff." - Meagan Duhamel, on learning the throw triple axel (Duhamel, Radford win, leave room for improvement)

"I am a huge fantasy geek. Give me a book with a map of a fantastical world on the first page and dragons, and I will be in heaven." - Isabella Tobias (The Inside Edge: Skaters dish on favorite books)

"I wasn't depressed, per se, but close to it. I definitely wasn't myself. The people close to me were not worried, but they were like, 'You're not Gracie. Let's get going.'" - Gold, on her mood during the offseason (Busy offseason finds Gold having to play catch-up)

"If you're an athlete who is used to training every day, being wined and dined and feted by sponsors and people that want you to be a spokesperson, you gain weight. It doesn't take much, a few pounds. She's lost some of it; she's trying hard." - Carroll, on Gold (Busy offseason finds Gold having to play catch-up)

"The long program is (about) some twisted stuff I've had to go through in my life. It's like therapy for me every single time I skate it." - Wagner, on her Muse free skate (Busy offseason finds Gold having to play catch-up)

"It was a dumb mistake. I'm upset with myself. It's denial and bargaining, then fear and acceptance…something like that." - Mervin Tran, after making a mistake on a lift in the short program at Skate America (Tarasova, Morozov wow Szolkowy, lead after short)

"I was against the other program (set to Stateless' "Bloodstream") right away when he brought it. And I told him very softly, and I just waited until whenever judges would say it was not good enough. And then I said, 'Remember, I told you so, but I was not pushing you.'" - Arutunian, on Rippon's decision to change his free skate (Rippon debuts new free -- with Arutunian's blessing)

"He's a wonderful boy, like a puppy, just so anxious to please." - Carroll, on Jason Brown (Rippon debuts new free -- with Arutunian's blessing)

"He just has that kind of radiant (personality), I'm sure everyone feels it. It's so constant, by the end of the week, it's almost tiring." - Gold, on Brown's boundless energy (Rippon debuts new free -- with Arutunian's blessing)

"I am going to do what I can do to the best of my ability and perform the hell out of it. I want to entertain, I want people to be on their feet, because sometimes they don't know what they are watching. I want people to get involved and be like, I love this, I love this performer." - Rippon after his short program at Skate America (Flawed Uno holds slim lead over Rippon after short)

"It was kind of one of those dazed moments. I was so focused. I said, 'I'm going to attack it,' and suddenly I'm on one foot and I didn't have to fight for the landing. I thought, 'Oh my God, this is happening,' and then I thought, 'Wait! You're competing right now.'" - Brown, after landing his first quad, at Skate America, (Maturing Uno hits new high at Skate America)

"What's up, guys? Do you want me to say something first? I forget how this works." - Moir, upon arriving in the mixed zone after his and Virtue's short dance at Skate Canada (Virtue, Moir lead Chock, Bates at Skate Canada)

"Patrick has beautiful skating skills, probably the best, and each time he skates it's like I have a moving Rembrandt painting in my rink." - Zoueva, on Chan (Chan, Chen in Canton with different goals in mind)

NOVEMBER

"Everything has to come to an end, I suppose. I have no regrets, except the process itself. The pain won't last, but all this could have happened in a much better way. It's not worth doing all we did to be left out the way we were." - Eric Bompard, on his company no longer sponsoring the French Grand Prix (Bompard: 'We achieved what we wanted to achieve')

"I try to present things so that they become their ideas. When I see that the stars and moon are lined up, I feed the idea in, and then I let them take ownership of it. I prefer doing it that way rather than me saying, 'You should do this.' I don't have to take ownership. If skaters want to be competitive, if they are competitive, then they need to come up with the idea and do it." - Orser (Overseeing Fernández, Hanyu a challenge for Orser)

"Sometimes you feel chaos in your lives; you don't know why you're there and why you're doing what you're doing; you wonder why you're devoting so much of your life to futilities. Sometimes you feel lonely. You may feel distressed because you've lost some values or loved ones. You may feel hurt by all kinds of happenings. So many things are happening in today's world that people are wondering more and more how to cope with them. Sometimes you deal with them, sometimes not. That's what we wanted to portray." - Papadakis, on her and Cizeron's free dance at Trophèe de France (Papadakis, Cizeron find comfort in discomfort)

"Risk would be to walk on a string suspended 1,000 feet above the ground. We may lose; at worst, we won't medal -- but we're not going to die tomorrow!" - Cizeron, on whether he and Papadakis are taking a risk with their free dance (Papadakis, Cizeron find comfort in discomfort)

"There (always) needs to be a problem with something. I just hoped through the end that my dress would not drop before the end of the program!" - Savchenko, after suffering a wardrobe malfunction during the short program at Trophèe de France (Germans overcome wardrobe malfunction to lead)

"When he came to me, I saw right away his posture and his beautiful bodylines. You know, he has trained at the Salt Lake City Ballet! And the fact that he lands such difficult jumps shows how well coordinated he is. He has a grace in his attitudes and movements...I think you may say that of a man, can't you?" - Zoueva, on Chen (S-quad goals: Chen jumps back into history books)

"If I'm passionate about a project or a person, I'll be 100 percent, always. I'm like a horse -- I go straight!" - Piper Gilles, at Trophèe de France (Gill)es, Poirier strive to create moments on the ice)

"All of us from the outside will say, 'Go on, Gracie. You're one of the finest skaters in the world. No one doubts that you could have been the world champion. You are a beautiful girl.' But that's not what is in her head. No one here will push her down; only she does. She has to believe in herself." - Carroll, on Gold (Pot-au-feu: Gold dealing with crisis of confidence

"He makes me quieter. I really needed that in my life. It's important to have a man's hand." - Elena Ilinykh, on her partner, Ruslan Zhiganshin (Pot-au-feu: Gold dealing with crisis of confidence)

"I have two world medals, one Olympic medal, and now I have two Grand Prix medals, one bronze and one silver, which I both won at the Paris leg of the Grand Prix. So I hope I get the same assignment next year, so I can win the gold medal!" - Ten, after winning the silver at Trophèe de France (Fatigued Fernández flogs field to win gold in Paris)

"I'm so glad that everybody saw my quad finally. It just took 27 years!" - Rippon, after landing a quad in his free skate at Trophèe de France, (Fatigued Fernández flogs field to win gold in Paris)

"It's like, 'Do a quad here on the floor and then do the same on the ice, and add a few movements. The one who can do the most quads is the best free skater in the world.' Is that really the best skater? There is so much more to it. Take, for instance, a Jason Brown. He is such a great pleasure to watch, and such a great performer, too. And he is out because quads elude him? What have they made of our sport?" - Carroll (Pot-au-feu: Rippon skates free sans winged friends)

"It was a big test for us. At some point, we began to realize that we may never hear our names announced at these competitive events. But, we believed in ourselves until the very end and fed off each other. It was hard to start the new season since we did not know what things were going to look like from a program perspective, but we were able to do it." - Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, reflecting on their suspension (which was ultimately overturned) for using a banned substance (Past struggles only strengthen Bobrova, Soloviev)

DECEMBER

"We never won the Grand Prix Final gold medal, and by the way, people kept reminding us (of that) this week." - Moir, after he and Virtue won the Grand Prix Final (Virtue, Moir set new world record en route to gold)

"Falling on the throw salchow after landing it is the kind of mistake I'm most afraid of: The jump is done, and the next moment you're on your butt." - Anna Dušková, after the pairs free skate at the Junior Grand Prix Final (Russia claims men's, pairs crowns at JGP Final)

"My entrance on the ice was pretty funny. If anyone in the audience was bored, I definitely woke them up." - Anna Pogorilaya, on almost falling while getting into her opening pose during the short program at the Grand Prix Final (Medvedeva sets new world record in short program)

"I don't lie. I always tell them the truth, even if it may hurt. I tell them it's better to hear it from me first rather than from anyone else. It may deal with their hair, face, body, steps, music, moves, anything. I tell them that they will always hear the good things from others but none of the bad things -- those, I have to tell them." - Eteri Turberidze (Tutberidze gains students' trust by expressing truth)

"This was my little Olympics, and I feel like I won it today. I wasn't even nervous. I loved it, my coach loved it, and I hope everyone watching loved it, too." - Maria Sotskova, after her free skate at the Grand Prix Final (Medvedeva triumphs once again at Grand Prix Final)

"I'm totally unable to ride anything else. I can't ride a bicycle or even inline skates. I'm just not able to -- only ice skates." - Medvedeva (The two Medvedevas: Skater at once grown-up, kid)

"Sometimes I feel like I am two people: the grown-up and the kid. The first one is able to understand and execute difficult programs, while the other one is just like…watching cartoons all the time!" - Medvedeva (The two Medvedevas: Skater at once grown-up, kid)

"I'm just getting all the bad stuff out. And there's been a lot of bad. I want to finish the season on fire. I'm getting out that bad juju. I'm due for some really amazing skating." - Gold, on working through her struggles (Errors haunt Gold once again at Golden Spin)

"A home-run swing is an easy swing (when) done correctly. I feel for the skaters swinging for the wall with bad technique, because they will injure themselves out of a career." - Kurt Browning, on the risk of injury from performing quads with improper technique (Chen's jumping display has skating world buzzing)