The background of a split-up.

What happened between Nóra Hoffmann and Attila Elek?

By Titanilla Bőd

Photos © Absolute Skating

The split-up of the Hungarian ice dance couple Nóra Hoffmann/Attila Elek was one of the most discussed subjects of the summer in figure skating field. There have been many rumours about the circumstances and the reasons of their break-up, so we tried to find out what exactly happened and how the skaters will continue their career. Although we talked with them separately, we mixed their confessions trying to give a compact view on the situation.

Nóra: “I’m really sorry about this mess in the media because of our split-up. I don’t want any more rumpus… There always was talk that I might switch partner, especially in the last few years. We’ve been quite unlucky lately. We were often criticized because of our height and we had many injuries. In May, I had a chance to go to Canada for a tryout with Liam Dougherty, who has contacted me a few times. I went there just to look around, not to make a decision, so I didn’t want to tell Attila about this, he was quite depressed after his injury.”

Attila: “I don’t say I wasn’t sad in the first few weeks after my injury, but it happened in January, on the Europeans in Warsaw, so there was no need to protect me and not tell me about this in May. It would have hurt for sure, if Nóra had told me she wanted to go for a tryout, just to be safe in case I can’t skate in such a level any more, but it would’ve been much fairer. I could have swallowed it, if it hadn’t happened in secret. I saw the rumours, that she was in Canada, on the internet and when she returned, it turned out that this wasn’t only rumours this time. My faith in her was broken.”

Nóra: “When I came home we made it clear and spoke about it. I told him my opinion about our future: I think we probably never make it to an Olympic podium because of the height difference. We can make one or two steps forward, but only with excellent choreography. We decided that Attila would look around for which possibilities he had, we would see how he could skate again after the injury and then we would make final decision: whether to skate together or to search for another partner.”

 

Attila: “We had a talk in which I and my coach understood that it was a break-up. We decided that we both should try to find someone else. I called a few coaches and told them to let me know if they knew about some opportunities. All at once I got a call from the Israeli federation to try out a new partner. I had to take this chance. My new partner is shorter than me, she reach to my shoulder. I accepted the offer to compete together, and I think it might be a better solution for everyone involved.”

Nóra: “I understand Attila’s decision because it is a good chance for him. But I was told he was in Spain on holiday, while he was in America! I think such lies aren’t a proper way to end a fifteen-year partnership. What makes me especially angry is that he put the responsibility on me! It was his decision to compete for another country, not mine. I can accept it and see no problem in it, but don’t make me the reason of it!”

Attila with his brother, György

Attila: “We had an uncomfortable conversation when I told Nóra about my new partner and we definitely split up. Nóra is sad because I said it happened because of her, but I never would have thought about looking for a new partner, because we were quite successful. If someone goes abroad for a tryout to keep it safe, it means she doesn’t believe in the partner, or at least in his complete recovery. If one of us is allowed to go for a tryout, then the another one is allowed to. I think I had to make this decision because without mutual trust it’s difficult to work together.”

What’s next?
Attila Elek will compete for Israel with Loren Galler-Rabinowitz. They might appear on the 2008 Worlds for the first time (the last competition of Hoffmann/Elek was 2007 Europeans and they have to keep a one year break when changing nationality) but it depends on Attila’s recovery. Their coach is Natalia Dubova. The plans of Nóra Hoffmann are not known yet.

Loren Galler-Rabinowitz with her old partner David Mitchel at Bofrost Cup on Ice 2003.
Nora & Atilla at Europeans 2007, their last comp together.



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