Almost exactly 15 years ago, the very first version of Skating.com.ua website was launched. Dedicated first and foremost to Ukrainian figure skaters, it attempted to fill the existing information gap on Ukrainian figure skating. During these years, we not only gathered and put online information about skaters and coaches, published results and scores of competitions, but also made thousands of professional photos from events and pioneered live video streams from figure skating competitions. What is even more important, Skating.com.ua forum has become a place that brought people together and gave them a voice.
Skating.com.ua has become a community of figure skating fans, skaters, coaches and parents, and anyone who considers him/herself as a friend of figure skating.
Together we went through 3 Olympic cycles, making life-long friends along the way, spent countless hours together watching Worlds or European Championships in each other's houses or sports bars (ignoring raised eyebrows of bar personnel), skating and learning elements together. We were helping and supporting each other in tough times and were launching crowdfunding campaigns to support our loved skaters when in need.
We rooted and cheered for them at their competitions, small and big, at local ice rinks and at the Olympic arenas. We volunteered at international competitions and woke up at 5 AM to watch their practices and starts. We travelled thousands of miles to get a chance to throw a plush toy on the ice to support our favourite skaters and let them know that
We celebrated your victories together and cried with you over your losses, falls and injuries. We visited you in hospitals, we attended your weddings. We wrote obituaries when members of our skating family passed away, and grieved with you at funerals. We hated to let you go when you were deciding to move on and go to another country, but were genuinely happy for you and were supportive along the way.
We love figure skating and have immense respect for Ukrainian figure skaters. And that's what truly unites us.
Fast forward to present days, the old site and the forum has accumulated a number of unresolved issues. Technical limitations of web frameworks, never-ending hacker attacks and spam, lack of time for proper forum moderation, along with a rapidly deteriorating state of figure skating in Ukraine resulted in a few-year period of site degradation. Some pages suddenly literally stopped working. Thousands of published photos have vanished. New users couldn't register on the forum. People stopped reading it since it became an unpleasant place to visit as toxic personalities enjoyed lack of moderation.
The old site has come almost to the brink of extinction...
And then a series of events and conversations have happened bringing life and hope into our community and creating a strong need and urge to fix and revive the website. Some of you – maybe it was you, dear reader – through your words and actions, created a spark, which ignited a new fire and a desire to move Skating.com.ua to the next level.
More than a half a year of work, hundreds of cups of coffee, thousands of hours of coding, conversations, research and analysis resulted in a brand new web site version of Skating.com.ua, which we are proud to present to you today.
We've not merely fixed the issues with old web frameworks but created a new one from scratch, and designed it solely for our purposes. It is written in pure love to Ukraine and figure skating, which will ensure that this new version will work reliably for the next decades and won't degrade as its previous incarnation.
The new site not only provides the same functionality – news, detailed skaters and coaches profiles, ice rinks information, photos and videos, competition results, detailed element breakdown and rich statistics – but also empowers you to contribute and improve the site without a need to contact the site admin. As soon as you see missing or incorrect information about an athlete – in a few clicks, you can send us the correct information, and it'll be applied after moderators' review. With your help, we can turn Skating.com.ua in the most complete and advanced national figure skating resource – trust us, no other country in the world has figure skating resource of this level of sophistication. We're pioneering again.
We were researching and adding bit by bit information about past Ukrainian championships and Ukrainian skaters since the early 90s. It's frightening to think that a new generation don't even have a way to learn the history of Ukrainian figure skating – and you can't understand the present without knowing the past. Who remembers nowadays more than impressive triple axels of Vyacheslav Zahorodnyuk, costume changes in the middle of the program (long before it became mainstream) by Iryna Romanova – Igor Yaroshenko or fascinating programs even from juniour seasons of Yevhenia Filonenko – Igor Marchenko? We want to preserve and to tell the history of Ukrainian figure skating, and pay our homage to our skaters for all those efforts, sweat and tears they shed for Ukraine.
One of the crucial details for us is the correctness of the information and, especially, name spellings. Digging through hundreds of results and scores produced by ISU and Ukrainian judging team, we spent an enormous amount of time fixing and correcting mistakes and misspellings of skaters' names. Those mistakes are not just annoying – they exhibit disrespect and render any available data unusable for analysis. We're fixing both.
Speaking about data, we offer you a new depth of understanding the real state of Ukrainian figure skating, seen through numbers of statistical analysis. Charts and analysis on our statistics pages will provide you with the high-level picture, and personal stories we're going to tell will zoom you in and let you see what it's like to be a Ukrainian figure skater. You may start by visiting our Statistics page and check how well you understand the current state and trends.
Start exploring the new site by switching to your preferred language (we support three languages!), then by skimming through old news, which we carefully imported from old site versions, then go straight to the Profiles page and try to find the skater or coach you're more interested in. We're still missing a lot of information, so chances are you'll find the semi-empty page, and that's where you can help right now – just click "Add" buttons and send us the correct information, coaches and years of collaboration, date and place of birthday, programs' music for each season. If you have good or rare photos of a skater or a coach – feel free to upload them as well, but do your best to find the author of the photo and add the proper credits – we respect the work of photographers. And we're always happy if you'll help us to find videos of our skaters and link them with the competition, so they appear in the results and video section of the skater's profile.
The site is still in the beta phase, which means it has a lot of issues and bugs, which we're fixing every day. We're also processing hundreds of thousands of photos from our archive of all these years, and will be adding them to profiles – it'll take at least a few months to process that amount of information. So stay tuned.
We are incredibly proud and happy to finally turn over this new page in Skating.com.ua history. This site was, is and always will be about you and for you, dear Ukrainian figure skating community.