August 6, 2012

The Olympics and Tomoko

The Sports Olympics holds a special place in Tomoko’s heart. Did you know that Tomoko’s daughter Beata competed ten years ago in the 2002 Olympics?

Beata started skating at age two as a way to keep active and fit, but she became serious at skating herself at age six. She kept up with her skating practice, but she didn’t compete until the U.S. Nationals. Real competition started after age 20 for her. She started as a solo figure skater, but teamed up with Charles Sinak, whom she married the next year in 1996. Along the way she has experienced both disappointment and success, but she continues as a professional pairs skater with her husband, and also teaches figure skating.

Beata’s attitude mirrors her mother’s in terms of discipline, perseverance, dedication, and patience. And Tomoko has modeled good parenting practices in actively supporting her daughter’s interests, and expecting high standards from her daughter.

Tomoko thinks that youngsters should start by focusing on their technical skills, be it in playing a musical instrument or skating. They should delay serious competition until they are grown up; otherwise, they can burn out. Tomoko also believes that performance – be it on ice or on the keyboard -- involves interpretation, emotion, and spirit. Being surrounded by music has also helped Beata choose fitting music for her performance – and move in consort with it effectively.

Tomoko feels that music gives her freedom, and, no doubt, Beata feels the same about her figure skating. And their freedom has come because of the years of hard work and sacrifice.

Those years of effort pay off for the listener’s ear in appreciating Tomoko’s exquisite performance. You can listen as Tomoko’s fingers glide over the keyboard on her album of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann’s music:

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