Interview With Suna Murray
Q: You ended your eligible career and such a young age to pursue an education at Harvard University. Did you ever regret not continuing on and trying to make a second Olympic team or was your decision something you were at peace with?
A: I never regretted my decision to attend Harvard. The friends I made there have been life long friends. I have been to all my reunions and volunteer as a mentor for undergraduates.
A: Janet Lynn was my idol. When I was twelve, Janet competed in the 1968 Olympics. I loved the way she moved across the ice. I have a funny memory. I was fifteen at my first World Championships. Janet sent her boots to the Skating Club Of New York to be sharpened. I remember touching her boots for good luck when they were sitting in the skate shop and remember Peter Burrows chiding me that she was now my competitor.
Q: Your daughter Kylie Gleason is a former Eastern Ladies Champion and U.S. competitor that you yourself coached for a time. How hard was coaching your own daughter?
A: It was not hard coaching my daughter. She loved to skate and was extremely self motivated. I was more concerned about school. Having gone to the Olympics myself, I knew what a small chance she had. She graduated from Harvard two years ago and now works in New York City as a Consultant for Bain & Co.
Q: You recently attended the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. What were the high points of your trip?
A: My favourite part was the Opening Ceremonies. My Olympic team in 1972 was so small: no ice dance, women's hockey or biathlon, short track speed skating or any of the crazy skiing events they have now. The Opening Ceremonies consisted of the Parade Of Athletes, a few speeches and a Japanese skater lighting the torch. The Opening Ceremonies in Sochi were incredible. There is no way that television could convey how moving they were.
Q: What were your thoughts on the Sochi figure skating events? Do you think that the current judging system is helping or hurting figure skating?
A: I was in Sochi through the men's event. I did not see the ladies. There is too much being made of the Russian judge hugging Adelina. I am sure the American judge hugged Evan after he won. As for IJS, it is what it is. We have to work within that system. I don't feel that it is hurting figure skating. The sport is getting more difficult every year. Now, you have to be an incredible athlete to accomplish what is necessary. Some skaters will never be able to accomplish the technical difficulty required.
Q: What's one thing about you most people don't know?
A: Something people don't know about me... I tutor reading in Dorchester, Massachusetts (a poor Boston neighborhood) on Monday mornings. This is my third year with the same two little girls. They are now in fifth grade, almost reading at their grade level.
Q: What has kept you involved with the sport and loving it all of these years?
A: I love my job, I love skating and hope that I can give that joy to my students.
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