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!
First, love yourself. I guarantee that you are far more incredible than you think. That you are capable of so much more. Love who you are now or you’ll never love or appreciate who you become.
Second, when you care about someone and they care about you, and I mean when you both genuinely give a shit, do not let that go. For me, I have three feelings that I love:
1.) The moment lips meet for a kiss.
2.) The way someone snuggles up against me and I the way snuggle back.
3.) And the fucking glorious belly rub, ‘running your fingers through my hair,’ holding your hand feeling that I get in my belly when I’m just talking to someone I adore. In person, over the phone; no matter what, that feeling is there.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you have to give a shit about people. Always. We are all we have. Friends, family, lovers: all of them. Always care. Because I guarantee you will help someone if you do and I also guarantee that right now, there is someone that thinks you’re amazing and would love to adore the shit out of you.
If my shy, awkward, quiet, Winnie the Pooh quoting, baby face having, teddy bear, soft heart having ass can find someone, so can you.
Take a chance. Shit, I just swallowed my nervousness and sent a message one night. Seems to be working out so far.
Find what and who makes you happy. Because happiness is all you deserve.