Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Thursday, November 11, 2004


Thirty-five year old Richard Swenning contends that, in spite of having been a cast member in Torvill and Dean’s touring show, as well as a soloist with Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice, he has no “real titles” in skating.

“This year, I won the Major League Figure Skating Team competition (as part of) Team Fusion,” he offers. “It’s great to skate at a high level at this age, and be a part of these skating events. I think you always have to work hard to achieve your goals and get respect from other skaters and producers. If you can do that on a regular basis you are successful.”

Swenning retired from competitive skating in 1987. “I was competing with Boitano, Scott Williams, Chris Bowman, Mark Cockrell,” he recalls. “All greats, all from California, so I threw in the towel and it led me the right way. I see competition so differently now. Only a few make it, but skating is so much more than competing. Competing is really hard. You have to be a killer. My professional career has been great. I started doing a lot of chorus work with Ice Capades, and eventually got it together to become a soloist. I had to work for that very hard, but I was really improving with each show I did. I ended up skating all over the world and traveling. The hard part is trying to wind down and start a family and get grounded after all those skating highs. Now, I’m married and just had a baby girl. It’s great. Though I still will skate. Retirement is not in my vocabulary. You’re only as good as your last skate. I just saw Brain Orser at 40- something and he was great, he really inspired me. But there are bittersweet times, when you may not get a contract you want because it is competitive, and let’s face it, the younger kids are coming up. They may be better or cheaper (than you). It can be a dirty business, but if you are good at what you do, you don’t have to beg for jobs or be a kiss-ass.”

“I am producing my own instructional series on specialty skating and I will produce my own shows,” Swenning predicts. “You can’t rely on others in this business to offer you work, so at this point on the ladder, that’s where I am. My family is the best gift now, and we will be in Switzerland working with skaters there and hopefully getting some of our own projects going.”



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