Sunday, January 16, 2011
Carlo Fassi: The Master
In accordance with today's earlier history lesson, I've decided to post clips from a 1997 ESPN Tribute to Carlo Fassi, the coach os champions. For those who are unaware, Carlo Fassi was the original international master coach. His skaters dominated the Olympics and World Championships for decades, particularly in the school figures. Carlo was also one of the best packagers of talent the sport has ever seen. Instead of keeping his skaters in-house, he would send them to choreographers before it was commonplace and would often send his skaters to jump coaches if they were struggling. A Renaissance man, he had a great appreciation for the arts and aesthetics in general, which showed when watching how polished his students were.
Carlo was a master at managing the politics of parents, judges and federations. He knew how to talk up a skater to other judges because he spoke a bevy of languages. Carlo was so trusted because his skaters would back up his proclamations on the ice. Back in the '60s, '70s and '80s, Wide World of Sports was widely-viewed by television audiences due to the scarcity of television networks. Carlo's energy and antics were so entertaining that he was known by the general public so well that even Snoopy's fantastical visions of skating coaching were obviously modeled after him. A pal of Dick Button's, Carlo even served as a translator for ABC during competitions.
Watch Carlo be 'madder than the devil' in the Kiss and Cry following Jill Trenary's short program at the 1988 Olympics.
After the jump, I've posted highlights from the tribute gala as well as features on Carlo's heralded career. It is amazing that Dorothy Hamill returned to host the event, as the two had a famous falling out after her Olympic win. Even if you aren't a fan of older skating, the tribute to a genius is a wonderfully delightful and fascinating event.