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This is an interesting article from ESPN. The article refers to Daniela as the "Slovakian Skeleton". Also interesting that Daniela's coach has admitted that there is something wrong.

Whether we are fans of Daniela or not, I think most of us want to see her get help.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen03/story?id=1605637

Friday, August 29
While others see a 'Skeleton', Hantuchova sees no problem
By Lindsay Berra
ESPN The Magazine


NEW YORK -- Yes, looking at her can make you wince.



Gone is the chubby-cheeked, gazelle-legged teenager of a few years ago, and in her place is the nearly-emaciated Daniela Hantuchova we see today. Her heralded 44-inch legs used to be lean and lithe with muscle. Now they are all bones and angles. Her hip bones and ribs protrude, her arms are not much thicker than her racket handle, and the smile that was making her famous dazzles over a pretty face that is gaunt and drawn.



Daniela Hantuchova's weight loss hasn't affected her world ranking, which stood at No. 9 heading into the Open.


Her nickname is the "Slovakian Skeleton." At first, it seems mean and harsh. But take one look at Hantuchova, and you'll see, sadly, that it's not really a stretch. Her thinness would be an issue even if she made a living strutting a catwalk. It is more of an issue in a vigorous sport like tennis.


But, comparatively speaking, she looks eons better than she did at the French Open last spring, when her 5-foot-11 frame was rumored to weigh in at just over 100 pounds. It was at the French that Hantuchova was first asked directly if she was suffering from an eating disorder.


"Not at all," replied Hantuchova, who said she was blessed to be able to eat whatever she wants. "I just burn more calories than I actually have in my body. I try to eat calories before matches, but when I play long matches, I just burn so much that it's really hard to get it all back."


At first, Hantuchova's coach, Nigel Sears, refused to discuss the weight of his 20-year-old charge. But, as Hantuchova seemingly continued to lose weight, rumors of an eating disorder gained fervor. Sears has since admitted that there is something wrong.


"Athletes have an appropriate performance weight and it is not good to be over or under that. At the moment, she is under that," Sears said at Wimbledon. "We're trying to deal with it the best way we can, but it's not going to change overnight."


Warning Signs
Most people who suffer from eating disorders deny that they have a problem. Many manage to conceal their illness from others. Here are some easily recognizable warning signs of eating disorders. Read more about them on nationaleatingdisorders.org:


Anorexia Nervosa

Excessive weight loss
Depression and mood swings
Pale complexion/dry skin
Obsession with food and calories
Complaints about being "too fat"
Denial of hunger
Excessive exercise
Fatigue
Bulimia Nervosa

Broken blood vessels and swollen glands/cheeks
Fasting and binge-eating
Weakness and fatigue
Vomiting
Depression and mood swings
Excessive exercise
Self-criticism
Teeth and gum problems



Sears says that he no longer lets Hantuchova train aerobically for periods longer than 10 minutes, and that she is working with a nutritionist to bulk up. To her credit, she does look like she has gained a few pounds. But "bulk" is hardly an appropriate word.


In spite of her weight issues, Hantuchova's performance has suffered little. Her serves still regularly top 100 miles per hour. Her groundstrokes are still strong and fluid. She still moves like a ballerina along the baseline. Yet, instead of improving on her quarterfinal appearance at last year's U.S. Open, she fell in the third round to Tamarine Tanasugarn.


Her French Open loss to 18-year-old American Ashley Harkleroad was a hard-fought affair that lasted over three hours, and fatigue was not a factor. At Wimbledon, where the cropped shirt she was wearing revealed protruding ribs and caused another stir about her weight, she lost a strenuous three-setter to Shinobu Asagoe after a battle of a third set that ended up 12-10 in favor of Asagoe. She was near tears after the match when asked if her weight had anything to do with her loss and her fitness.


"I just played one of the longest matches of my career and physically I could have gone on for another two hours," she said.


In her second-round match against Julia Vakulenko on Wednesday, she won 6-0, 7-6. Yet, at several points in the second set against Vakulenko, Hantuchova was once again on the verge of tears.


"I just felt like I should have been off the court much earlier," she said. "I started to make more mistakes. I felt like I was giving her another chance."


Near tears after a well-battled match at Wimbledon. Near tears in Round 2 of the U.S. Open, during a match that she won. Maybe it's not anorexia or bulimia that are plaguing Hantuchova. Maybe it's just expectation. Pressure. The same kind of good, old-fashioned stress than can make even the best of us turn our noses up at a big meal.


Hantuchova is lanky-long arms, long legs, long fingers, narrow frame. When she drops weight, it shows. Yes, it had gotten out of hand, as it does with many women athletes. But, it has also gotten better.


"Maybe before, I used to train too much," Hantuchova said. "At the moment, I think I really got the balance right and I feel great."


Hantuchova has moved up to No. 9 in the world rankings. Ahead of her are the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne, and Americans Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati. A tough field worthy of a little anxiety.


Maybe that's it. Maybe it's not.


Regardless of whether or not Hantuchova is suffering from an eating disorder, it is fact that a lot of women athletes do.


And not everyone has a Nigel Sears to intervene.


Lindsay Berra writes for ESPN The Magazine.










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In defense of the writer, one can do 3 things (accepting that this isn't a medical diagnosis of one's own patient):
  1. Put things in harsh, even melodramatic terms.
  2. Buy into the spin cycle that there's no problem.
  3. Ignore the whole thing.
Of course if Dani went the way of the late, great Karen Carpenter, the debate would end, but too late to matter then. And not only is Dani a public figure, but one whose freely chosen "addiction" to the off-court glamour stuff far exceeded the Schett/Pierce level, is WAY more than Sharky's, and second only to Anna's. And the great irony of course is that the '03 Dani "model" that resulted was far LESS appealing visually than the tennis-focused one of '02. So Jon Wertheim, give this cursory treatment like "...should one be surprised that she has body image issues" if you choose. After all, the "sports magazine" you work for has, pardon the bad pun, whored itself out with the swimsuit issue promo's for years. ESPN, your on-air programming choices may be "less than ideal", but thanks for the printed "reality check". (Dani, plz get well, then thank them too)!
 

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IcePrincess said:
Her nickname is the "Slovakian Skeleton." At first, it seems mean and harsh.
i doesn't "seem", it IS harsh and mean. such articles won't help daniela one bit. yes, she has issues, but fucking hell, give her a break at last!
 

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Well it's hard .. but isn't there a bit of truth in it? She said it very cruel but you can't deny she's right in a certain why.

I really liked Daniela's game when I saw her in Antwerp (2002) for the first time, unknown. When I saw her in the hotel she was very pretty, had a great smile, . . . but know I see a girl who doesn't look hammy anymore, who doesn't play good anymore, ... The writer said it the hard way and it could be written on a more respectfull way but you can't say she isn't right ...
 

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I don't see what is so wrong with this article. She has a serious problem since anorexia is devastating for your health, the consequences can be irreversible.
So the more people write about her problem, the less she will be able to run away from it.
And this article has an educational value for all the young girls out there who are suffering from the same.
I hope Daniela gets the help she needs at this moment.
 

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articles like this and giving her insulting names will never help her, in case that she has a problem (since we all judge from outside views including thise reporter)
it might only make her hate herself (again if she does) even more :eek:
you can't solve a problem till you realize yourself you have one and even then it's not a case of now I am better tomorrow(even when that would be nice).

believe me in this case I know what I am talking about ;)
 

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The article is about two months behind the times.

Even the anti-Daniela UK tabloids have now admitted there is no 'eating disorder' debate anymore.

The article has also been altered since it was first published yesterday. The paragraph about Daniela losing to Tanasugarn has been added - to provide more 'evidence' - but it just reveals lazy journalism.

All Daniela's loss yesterday reveals is she is badly lacking in confidence - and who wouldn't be with idiots like Berra able to publish any drivel they like and get away with it.
 

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I guessed when one starts losing... people would start looking for problems... and weight seems to be the more visible problem she had...
I don't think she have a weight problem.. she always look thin even when she was just starting...
Maybe it is just the stress of living up to everybody's expectations. :)
She is a good player..surely she can find her form again... :)
 

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Calling someone a skeleton when she isn't is cruel. The person who wrote this article acts as if she weighs less than 100 pounds (and looking like the woman who was on the Maury show last week),which she doesn't. Having said that, at the beginning of the year, Daniela looked as if she needed to gain weight and she has put on some weight since Wimbeldon (which Tracyn noted last ngiht). I'd like to know what is Daniela's exact height and weight because I know how old she is (20). That would be a good indicator as to what her exact weight should be.
 

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Let's drop the weight issue already. The problem is
her coach. She needs a new coach- Sears has
peaked. Dani needs to go beyond her current level
to reach full potential.
 

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I feel she will get it together soon...it takes time to remedy these things. I'm still not so inclined to believe that she has an eating disorder, because she is still competing very well...there is a "problem" but not something that can be easily pinpointed?

I have a friend who had a period in her life where she couldn't hold weight no matter how hard she tried...she just kept losing and she was already a tiny little thing! She had to go to the doctor and basically say please help me gain weight.

Still...eat more, train less Daniela!!
 

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I think everyone should just get off of Daniela's back about her weight. It's getting so old and annoying! Yeah she's underweight, but I believe she is starting to get better. Just give her a little bit of time then give her your judgements.
 

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Maybe she does need a new coach, but even a new coach will tell her to bulk up. Being as thin as she is IS NOT healthy. Especially for an athlete. The argument about it not being the weight, is off base. ONe of the worlds best mental coaches for tennis says that being physically fit AND physically HEALTHY is the most important assest to being mentally tough. It is in the book "the toughness training guide for sports". Methods to success for Daniela Hantuchova:
1. Bulk up with lean muscle and gain about 10 pounds

2. Find a new coach, who can help Daniela go teh distance and become more consistent. (Although her playing dubs with ASV and Martina were the best things that ever happened to her)

3. Kick some major tennis @$$

Maybe the author did make it a little strong, or maybe it's that some of her fans are denying she has a problem and blast everybody who thinks she does.
 

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:sad: :sad: Maybe if she has a problem people should stop bashing her and insulting her because of her figure. The media are trying to break her and some people even here on the board are helping them. Please stop insulting her and show some respect for Daniela.
 
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