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Interview, 10th December 2011

Many thanks, Irene

Q: I’m pleased to meet you on the occasion of the show „Stars & Sternchen“ here in Berlin. You have abandoned your carreer as a figure skating now. Could you briefly explain what contributed to this decision, please?

A: Essential was, that I had a deficit on the ice, caused by several injuries. My mind felt not ready to compensate this deficit. During the training I felt that I had reached certain limits of myself; it was the same with specific jumping techniques. Another reason may have been that I hadn’t had as much time for training as I wanted. Finally, the main reason was that, due to the injuries, I had such a deficit that I decided that I won’t be able to catch up.

Q: It was a moving moment when you had taken your leave at the show, especially for your fans, who travelled from Japan to Berlin only for this. What did you feel?

A: Well, it had been a great show for me. The farewell celebration was amazing, a nice interview with the responsible coach of Berlin, Mr Ketterer. When he asked, what the three greatest moments had been, I hadn’t known myself at this time, because he did the interview during the show, therefore, now after the show, I have to add that, too. Well, this hasn’t been a contest, I talked only about the three greatest moments in my contests. Definitely, the greatest moment had been (and that I have still in front of my eyes) after the FS at the Euro’s in Warsaw, being a good one eventually. The thousands of people applauding, and this had been an unbelievable, amazing moment. But this moment yesterday was emotionally one step higher, And, what’s more, it has been a very special program. And the audience had acknowledged this very well, and supported me and accompanied me enthusiastically. This has been one of the greatest moments!

Q: You’ve surprised with an impressing program. The title of the song was “At the window”. Who played the violine that accompanied you?

A: That was Georgi Gogow, the violinist of the band „City“. A band, popular in the former GDR (German Democratic Republic) at first, but with “At the window” they started to be popular in Europe e.g. in Hungary. One know the melody of the song. Maybe not the title, but if you hear the melody you will recognise it. I know Joro (Georgi Gogow) very well, he is the grandfather of my niece, the daughter of my elder sister and her ex-husband. He is a musician, too. Joro is his father.

Q: Who had the idea?

A: The idea has been around for several years. We joked about a musical gig very often on family events, and especially during Christmas time, but never considered it because either I had to prepare for contests or he was on tour with his band. This time it was the perfect opportunity. The idea was born four weeks ago. I think it was my sister Nadine who said ”Why not ask…” Then I asked him, and he replied immediately “Yes, of course! If not now, then never. It has to be now, it will be more difficult later.” Both of us were excited, and for me it was pretty clear that it has to be this song. I’ve chosen the part with much violine solo, in order to emphasise his play. It is a great program. One knows it, but I’ve chosen the more uncommon parts. One hasn’t heard this violine solo with those notes dashing through the space. This idea exists for a long time, but we implemented it four weeks ago. And it was a great decision.

Q: You’ve mentioned the excited audience. Is this motivation to perform in ice shows in future?

A: It has been such a great program! Actually I intended only one performance, mainly with this program. If I skate this program again, I would skate this only together with him- because it’s so special…and because it is well received if there is another artist on the ice. But actually it has been clear for me that it is the only show- but wait and see. I’m going on holidays beginning of January, but if there would be requests and it suits Joro – Sure, why not? Well, I can imagine to perform this again very well.

Q: What are your plans and aims for the future?

A: Starting in January I’m for three months in New Zealand making a dream come true - to travel for a long period. This desire to travel was created by practising my sport. If one gets to know cities, people and other cultures when participating in contests. That I want to deepen with a longer stay in New Zealand. I thought, if I ever will have time, I have it now. Later it will be more difficult due to profession and family. I will be back on 30th March and on 31th March will be the assessment test for the university in Amsterdam because I want to become a physiotherapist. I hope I will be successful, and if so, I will start the studies in August in Amsterdam.

Q: Is there something you would like to tell your fans?

A: Looking back, one is thinking more and more about the past and the outcome. I must say, four, five, six years ago it was nice to have fans supporting me. But I wasn’t aware about the significance of fans. During the last years and months I realised, that competitive sports is a thing one does mainly for oneself, but when performing in shows, one realises how satisfying applause is. Well, the importance of the fans has increased over time. Yesterday there had been such a moment, when I thought “wow”. Of course, there weren’t 1500 fans of mine, but all being somehow impressed by what I’ve shown to them. Simply a big, big thank you to all who liked my skating. I’m not off completely, maybe one can see me in the one or other show. Again a big compliment to all who kept sticking to me and supported me, having sent birthday – and Christmas cards… Thank you.

Q: So we will wish you all the Best, success for your studies, and hope to see you in the one or other show.

Future prospects... Interview 2010

German Nationals 2010
German Nationals 2010

Question: Philipp, last february you've moved to Oberstdorf, joining the team Huth. What are the differences in coaching compared to Berlin?
Philipp: As mentioned, I've joined the Team Huth. Apart from my coach Michael Huth, there are also other people taking care for the skaters. As Co-Coach Vlasta Kopriovova, Choreographer Dr Rostislav Sinitsyn, Fitness coach Harald Martin and for Ballet Dance the „Tanzfabrik Sonthofen“. This is the core-team, being supported by others during the summer preparations. This co-working does the trick. From everybody one gets advice and tipps, so one has the chance for a permanent scrutiny in order to improve oneself.

Question: I’ve read, that the team is in a very good mood. Can you confirm that?
Philipp: Absolutely, yes! For our training, we have the motto: „To learn with delight“, so corrective measures can be memorised much easier. That does not mean, that we are being praised all day and everything is super-duper, but criticism and suggestions for improvements are delivered in a constructive manner. Eventually it should spur one to perform better.

Question: How about leisure time? How do you spend your sparetime in Oberstdorf?
Philipp: I spend my leisure time in the open countryside very often. Especially in spring and summertime one can explore the surroundings of Oberstdorf excellently by bike. Besides, we athletes do a lot of things together, as Bowling, Pool-Billard, table tennis, etc. You see, very sportive activities. Time permitting, I like to sleep late, followed by relaxing with a book in my hands, accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.

Question: Could you describe a typical daily routine?
Philipp: Usually I get up between 7:30 and 8:00 am. After short morning-gymnastics (stretching, Yoga, etc) in order to get awake, I have a shower and breakfast. Weather permitting, I go to the ice-rink by bike, taking approximately 5 - 8 min. From 9:30 to 11:00 am the first training unit (warm-up and ice-training) is due. After a short break, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm the second training unit (warm-up, ice-training, go-through) follows. Then it is time for lunch and relaxing until the third training unit in the afternoon/evening (approximately from 6:30 to 8:30 pm). Two times a week these training units are accompanied by two athletic units and two ballet units, taking place in the afternoon. Between the units, daily requirements are due as shopping, washing the clothes, or paperwork for the army. After evening training, there will be a small diner and depending on the situation, I spend time with other sportsmen, watch TV, write mails, etc.

Question: What do you miss most in Oberstdorf?
Philipp: My family, for sure! Especially on weekends, for years I was used to have breakfast with them and spend time together. That I miss, but in the age of internet, one can exchange with the family in Berlin by mobile phone or skype in the internet regularly.

Question: The season 2009/2010 has ended. What’s your summary of this season? What do you want to improve in the next season?
Philipp: My summary is very positive. After difficulties in the beginning, I finish this season with a respectable performance. In addition I‘ve earned some points for the global ranking from Slovenia. My step sequences are more elaborate as before, my spins improved in terms of velocity and complexity and at the end of the season, my jumps are more stable. Especially in the “components” an improvement can be seen, too. For the season to come, I would like to extend my repertoire of jumps and increase the steadiness in competitions. In general, there is room for improvement everywhere, because nobody is perfect - one can only strive for perfection!
Q:What are your aims for the season 2010/2011?
P: For the next season I plan to participate in the Euro’s and World’s and gathering more points fort he global ranking at ISU events. To Berne (SUI) –host town for the Euro’s – and Tokyo (JAP) – host town for the World’s – I have special relationships. Switzerland, being the home of my webmaster and Japan with many enthusiastic figure skating fans, visiting my  website in remarkable numbers.

Question: What about the triple Axel or a quadruple jump in general?
Philipp: We have had included the triple axel in the training program, but to work on a more stable technique for the double axel was in the focus during the last season. For the time being, a quadruple jump we put at the bottom of the list. On these two highly demanding tasks we will work while preparing for the next season.

Question: How about the low season? Is the training different from the main season?
Philipp: Yes, the training effort for the season’s preparation is much higher compared to the contest season. Especially in summer, in the iceDOME –Camps, training is very hard, exhibited in 3-4 ice-units per day, a lot of athletics training for a basic physical fitness, increased ballet training for the understanding of movements, etc. Due to the fact that the seasons preparations take place at different places with different athletes and coaches, sometimes I did not realise how exhausting it is. With the term “low season”, I associate the months april/may. Then advanced training in the army is due.

Question:Have you already considered which programs to perform next season?
Philipp: Sure, I will get a new SP and keep up the FS. Further details I will communicate on my website.

Question: Is there piece of music you ever wanted to skate to?
Philipp: Hmm...No, I can't imagine a special piece of music. There are many styles and pieces of music or songs which I like, but there isn't any specific piece to say: “Yes, that's it! That's the music I ever wanted to skate to“. When considering new music at the end of the season for the season to come, I like to be inspired by other skaters, search the internet, talk to my coach about that. If the music is worked out, I am able to adapt to it quickly.

Question: What do you like about this sport?
Philipp: It's the possibility to interprete programs larded with difficulties and to appeal to the audience with it, to tell a story and to transfer emotions. That’s what makes figure skating fascinating for me. I’m also fascinated by those skaters who are capable of spreading emotions to the spectators.

Question: Would you like to tell your fans something in addition?
Philipp: First of all, I want to express my thanks to my fans! What would figure skating be without fans? - Nothing. Who should I address my programs to if not to the fans? You are spending an extensive amount of your spare time for figure skating, therefore it deserves my respect.- very much appreciated! Thanks, and don’t stop to win other people by spreading your enthusiasm for this sport.

Interview Rheinland-Radio September 18, 2007

Selected questions from the interview with radio presenter Klaus Werner and listeners of Rheinland-Radio during the live-chat.

Klaus Werner:
At what age have you been on the ice for the first time?
I was  3 1/2 years old when trying my first steps on the ice, and 4 years standing on the ice with skates.

Klaus Werner:
When have you decided to be a competitive athlete?
I decided late to be a competitive athlete; first I have passed through all the squads. The final decision was taken when I was 12 years old.

Klaus Werner:
When did you perform the first Axel?
Late, not during at the first squads. I performed the first Axel with 8 years.

Klaus Werner:
When did you perform the first double Axel?
With 12 years, in the 6th class

Listener of the live-chat:
How about your jumping the triple Axel before your injury?
Not too bad, the triple Axel isn't my favourite jump, but I managed to perform it on one leg once or twice (sometimes diagonally and not perfectly backwards)

Listener of the live-chat:
Have you contemplated to quit skating once?
Yes, at the age of 14; the training hasn't developed well, I had been injured several times therefore I lost interest and had to decide. I spoke to the coach of Berlin Reinhard Ketterer, and he and my personal coach encouraged me to continue.

Listener of the live-chat:
Have you ever performed the quadruple Lutz?
I haven't performed the quadruple Lutz correctly yet. My best trial has been 3 1/2 rotations, landing with the leg on the right.

Listener of the live-chat:
What was your most pleasant experience of the season 2006/07?
Definitely the moment after the FS of the Euros in Warshaw (2007), when the audience applauded enthusiastically and cheered me up. That was a great feeling in front of approximately 2000 spectators.

Article Skate Today February 26, 2007

Euros 2007
Euros 2007

Tischendorf Surprises in Seniors

Article & Photo © J. Barry Mittan (Thank you very much)

Philipp Tischendorf, who will turn 19 in June, won the silver medal in senior men at German nationals to win a spot at the 2007 European Championships in neighboring Poland, where he finished a respectable 15th in the field of 32. Tischendorf has competed for the last three seasons on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, winning a bronze medal at Skate Slovakia in Bratislava in 2005. He finished eighth in both of his events this season.

"My goal for the season was to go to Junior Worlds in Oberstdorf," he said. "I didn't plan to go to Europeans. But I skated well at German Nationals and was well prepared for Europeans. I was really happy with my performance. It was nice to have the recognition of the crowd, screaming at my performances. That was a lot of fun."

Both of his parents were athletic. His father was a volleyball player and his mother was a gymnast. Tischendorf began skating when he was six. "My parents were great fans of Katarina Witt," Tischendorf recalled. "My sister was also a skater who competed up to the senior level at German Nationals. She's eleven years older than I am. While she was training, my parents took me to the child care section at the rink where little kids could skate while the others were practicing."

Tischendorf first landed a triple jump when he was 13 years old, a triple salchow. "My best jump is the triple lutz," he stated. "You could wake me up at 4 AM and I could do a triple lutz. I'm working very hard on my triple axel. I've landed it but not very clean. I've also tried the quadruple toe loop in December of last year. It was painful, not my best effort. I can imagine that a quadruple lutz would be better for me. I may work on it in the summer."

The Berlin native included a triple lutz/triple toe loop, triple flip and double axel in his short program this season. His long included triple lutz/triple toe loop, triple salchow/double toe loop/double loop and triple flip/double toe loop combinations. He also included two double axels and a triple flip, lutz, and loop. "I've tried a triple lutz/triple loop and landed it in practice many times, but when I changed boots, it went away," he lamented.

Tischendorf has trained with Romy Oesterreich, the 1976 Olympic silver medalist in pairs, for the past eight years. He trains in Berlin, where he works on ice for two hours a day, six days a week with an extra hour a day twice a week. Off ice, he does athletics four days a week and ballet twice. In the summer, he adds running and cycling to his schedule.

Two former German ice dance champions choreographed his programs for 2006-07. His short program was created by 2004 World bronze medalist Rene Lohse, using "A Gusta" and "Crazy Benny" by Safri Duo. Hendryk Schamberger choreographed his flamenco long program. "I always choose my own music," Tischendorf said. "I go to a big music store and listen to music. My short program is new this season. I heard a dance to this music and found it to be really nice. The long program is the same as last season. I saw Daisuke Takahashi skating to a Spanish short program in 2004 and he did a very nice program. He's one of my idols and I wanted to try it. Spanish music is my favorite." Tischendorf choreographed his own gala program to Roger Cicero's "Zieh die Schuhe aus". "It was the first time," he said. "It would be nice to do more of my own programs in the summer when I have more time. I always bring my ideas for the programs so there's a little bit of my own in all my programs."

For fun, Tischendorf enjoys playing soccer and table tennis and skiing. "I love almost all music," he noted. "I love pop, rock and roll and oldies like the Beatles, but I hate techno. I had a few piano lessons, but I didn't do very well at it." He also likes reading books and using his computer.

Tischendorf has one more year of high school, where he is studying sports and biology. Then plans to study at university, but he hasn't picked a specialty yet.

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