What does the skaters do with all the gifts that fans threw onto the rink?
@xiaodreamer I’m making this a “On Gifts” post because I’ve been meaning to do one for a while… I hope you don’t mind…
In general, they’ll keep the ones they really like, and donate the rest to charities or hospitals.
Well-loved skaters receive truckloads of plushies over the years. In some videos behind-the-scenes, you’ll see the stadium hallways lined with bags full of the Pooh plushies that were thrown for Yuzuru.
I know Yuzu once stated that even with donating so many Poohs, he’s kept enough throughout his career to where he has a room full of Pooh to greet him when he returns home. Plushenko apparently once ordered some containers to ship back to Russia every one of the gifts given to him by fans in Japan. IIRC, it was some ridiculous weight like 500 kg. I believe he donated the majority of that to charities in his city.
^You can see how the gifts cover the ice here for Yuzuru. The ice is being continuously cleared while more stuff rains down.
There are a bunch of flower girls and flower boys that are invited to help clear the ice for these competitions. With really popular skaters, commentators sometimes joke that the next skater will need to weave among the gifts as they get ready for their turn.
^Personalized gifts tend to be kept by skaters: bears with the current costume sewn on them, figurines, music boxes, phone covers, water bottle covers, etc. Here you can see Misha with a Stitch plushy that was given to him by a fan who approached the boards – in the same way that Minako personally gave Chris his flower crown. Like Yuzu with Pooh, and Javier with Mickey, Misha has Stitch as his mascot character. Fans research (by stalking Instagram/Twitter/news) what their favorite skaters like, and buy or make gifts accordingly.
The special gifts tend to be given at the boards or handed directly to staff instead of thrown on the ice.
Some gifts are very creative:
And sometimes skaters get bizarre gifts… like that one time Patrick Chan received panties…. or when Plushenko would have bras thrown at him…. I’m sure Victor and Chris have received gifts like these from rabid fans. I’m not sure what skaters do with those kinds of gifts, but if it’s a T-shirt or something, you might see them wear it and post a picture.
So the reason Yuuri gets food and dog plushies, and Yurio gets cat plushies, is because fans read on their respective profiles or heard in interviews that Yuuri loves food and owns(owned) a dog, and Yurio loves cats (owns one&wears cat-patterned clothing). Since Christophe also takes pictures of his cat and posts them on Instagram, I bet fans mail cat toys to him.
^Flowers, likewise are kept or donated. They’re tied with plastic so that the flower is marginally protected when thrown on the ice and so that you don’t have flower petals littering the place. Some years ago I briefly worked in the floral industry, and I know that flowers and floral arrangements at these kinds of events tend to be donated to local hospitals.
I hope no one thinks that the skaters are ungrateful for giving away the gifts that are given to them - it’s just that it’s way too much for one person to keep!
(June 3, 1977)
Tampa, Florida.—City officials, reeling from a mini riot which erupted when a thunderstorm washed out a Led Zeppelin concert, canceled a rain check rerun Saturday, leaving fans from as far as Michigan and New York holding “rain or shine” ticket stubs. “If I were in Buffalo, I’d go home right now,” said Bonnie Strickland. The 19-year-old youth and three companions had driven 24hours to get to Florida for the concert. Strickland said they were the first ones in the stadium when the doors opened at 11:30 a.m. Friday for the 8:30 p.m. concert. After spending the day in 90-degree weather on the sun baked football field, they settled down for the concert. The British band played for 20 minutes before the thunderstorm hit. About 45minutes later the concert was called off. The cry “We want Zeppelin. We want Zeppelin” came from the 70,000 fans as rocks and bottles began flying onto the stage. “We had what had to be called a small riot. There were between 3,000 and4,000 people who were unruly and disorderly,” Tampa Police spokesman Johnny Barker said. About 250 police officers, all in riot gear and using billy clubs, broke up the rioting and herded the fans out of the stadium. The scene was followed by 26 reported traffic accidents near the grounds. “The cops didn’t give any warning,” one teen-aged girl said. “They just waded in. I ended up at the bottom of the crowd and a cop kicked me in the head. My brother got a broken leg and broken ribs.” The melee left an estimated 100 fans with injuries. Eight were arrested. Shift Commander Tom Wilson said “in the neighborhood” a dozen officers were treated for injuries. “One had a concussion, there was one with a broken hand, one with a broken ankle, one with cut lips and some teeth knocked out, one with a dislocated shoulder… There were so many people you just couldn’t move,” a 32 year-old man from West Palm Beach said: “I was just trying to get away. The ticket said rain or shine.” “Persons holding ticket stubs can get refunds, but we are encouraging them to mail in their refund requests,” Barker said. (Newswire - June 5, 1977)
How about this: the first time the Doctor watched ‘Pretty Woman’ was as Eleven, and it was during one of the times he visited Clara while she was babysitting the Maitland kids.
The kids are upstairs doing their homework, and Clara pulls the grumpy Eleven onto the sofa next to her and forces him to stay with her while she watches the film. He doesn’t pay much attention to what’s happening on the screen because he’s too busy stealing glances at Clara. The song registers, though.
Fast-forward to the medieval stadium scene. Twelve is slightly delirious from the non-stop partying (and all the mead he’s downed). He looks up, sees Clara, and the first thing that pops into that big ol’ Time Lord brain of his is the song from the movie.
And Clara has that goofy look on her face because, well, he remembered.