Michael Weiss Juggles Skating and Fatherhood

Professional figure skater Michael Weiss has the best of both worlds — for six months out of the year, he is a stay-at-home dad to 10-year-old Annie-Mae and 9-year-old Christopher, and the other six he’s on the road with Smucker’s “Stars on Ice.” Being away from his kids and wife Lisa for the time he’s on tour is hard on the skater — despite meeting up for mini-vacations throughout the tour — but no matter where he is, Michael makes sure to call his kids each night to put them to bed. Though they’re young, Michael and Lisa recently decided to give each of their kids their own cellphone due to the various activities that they are involved in. However, there are only a few people they have permission to call! “They’re only allowed to call their ‘Fave Five’ list,” which includes both Michael, Lisa, their home number and “maybe an aunt or an uncle.”

Michael began skating when he was just a boy, but so far neither of his children have shown much interest in the sport. “My daughter skated for about six months at one point,” but soon quit after becoming overbooked. “She had a bunch of activities,” Michael explains. “I was like, ‘There’s so many days in the week we can fit them … narrow it down to three things from the five that you’re doing.’ I don’t necessarily want to them to do what I’m doing just because I did it.” Michael’s parents were supportive and helped him to be his best, so he tries to do the same for his kids. “You have to find a balance as to when you’re pushing too hard,” he says. He also feels that parents should be their children’s role models, and that’s the reason he finds the entire Michael Phelpsbong incident quite sad. He shares,

“I think it’s a shame that it happened. I think role models should be your parents … If my kid is completely idolizing one person so much that they’re going to start doing any and everything that that athlete does, I don’t think I’m doing my job.”

Even though he was the first U.S. man to land a quadruple toe loop in competition — and the former National Fatherhood Initiative’s Father of the Year — Michael feels that “one’s a lot more important than the other … being a parent is a lot more important because you have a lot more influence. Landing a quad may have made a lot of difference in the skating world, [but] I’m glad to have had both.”

Source: Times Union

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