Tischendorf Surprises in Seniors

Articles, Articles by Barry Mittan

Philipp Tischendorf

Philipp Tischendorf, who will turn 19 in June, won the silver medal in senior men at German nationals to win a spot at the 2007 European Championships in neighboring Poland, where he finished a respectable 15th in the field of 32. Tischendorf has competed for the last three seasons on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, winning a bronze medal at Skate Slovakia in Bratislava in 2005. He finished eighth in both of his events this season.

“My goal for the season was to go to Junior Worlds in Oberstdorf,” he said. “I didn’t plan to go to Europeans. But I skated well at German Nationals and was well prepared for Europeans. I was really happy with my performance. It was nice to have the recognition of the crowd, screaming at my performances. That was a lot of fun.”

Both of his parents were athletic. His father was a volleyball player and his mother was a gymnast. Tischendorf began skating when he was six. “My parents were great fans of Katarina Witt,” Tischendorf recalled. “My sister was also a skater who competed up to the senior level at German Nationals. She’s eleven years older than I am. While she was training, my parents took me to the child care section at the rink where little kids could skate while the others were practicing.”

Tischendorf first landed a triple jump when he was 13 years old, a triple salchow. “My best jump is the triple lutz,” he stated. “You could wake me up at 4 AM and I could do a triple lutz. I’m working very hard on my triple axel. I’ve landed it but not very clean. I’ve also tried the quadruple toe loop in December of last year. It was painful, not my best effort. I can imagine that a quadruple lutz would be better for me. I may work on it in the summer.”

The Berlin native included a triple lutz/triple toe loop, triple flip and double axel in his short program this season. His long included triple lutz/triple toe loop, triple salchow/double toe loop/double loop and triple flip/double toe loop combinations. He also included two double axels and a triple flip, lutz, and loop. “I’ve tried a triple lutz/triple loop and landed it in practice many times, but when I changed boots, it went away,” he lamented.

Tischendorf has trained with Romy Oesterreich, the 1976 Olympic silver medalist in pairs, for the past eight years. He trains in Berlin, where he works on ice for two hours a day, six days a week with an extra hour a day twice a week. Off ice, he does athletics four days a week and ballet twice. In the summer, he adds running and cycling to his schedule.

Two former German ice dance champions choreographed his programs for 2006-07. His short program was created by 2004 World bronze medalist Rene Lohse, using “A Gusta” and “Crazy Benny” by Safri Duo. Hendryk Schamberger choreographed his flamenco long program. “I always choose my own music,” Tischendorf said. “I go to a big music store and listen to music. My short program is new this season. I heard a dance to this music and found it to be really nice. The long program is the same as last season. I saw Daisuke Takahashi skating to a Spanish short program in 2004 and he did a very nice program. He’s one of my idols and I wanted to try it. Spanish music is my favorite.” Tischendorf choreographed his own gala program to Roger Cicero’s “Zieh die Schuhe aus”. “It was the first time,” he said. “It would be nice to do more of my own programs in the summer when I have more time. I always bring my ideas for the programs so there’s a little bit of my own in all my programs.”

For fun, Tischendorf enjoys playing soccer and table tennis and skiing. “I love almost all music,” he noted. “I love pop, rock and roll and oldies like the Beatles, but I hate techno. I had a few piano lessons, but I didn’t do very well at it.” He also likes reading books and using his computer.

Tischendorf has one more year of high school, where he is studying sports and biology. Then plans to study at university, but he hasn’t picked a specialty yet.

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