By Leah Adams
Photos by Leah Adams
Dan Hollander won the bronze medal at the U.S. Championships in 1996. He would represent the U.S. at the 1996 World Championships where he finished in tenth place. The following year, Hollander added another national bronze medal. However, two years later, Hollander suffered a number of injuries that forced him to turn professional.
Dan Hollander: We are doing fantastic. I’m getting things ready for the baby’s room. We are having a little girl. We already have the furniture picked out.
FSO: You retired from competitive skating in 1999. Has it seemed like it has been that long?
DH: When I did the Skate for Hope show in Florida in August, Max Aaron was talking to me and asked the last time I competed. I told him it’s been a while and he was surprised.
FSO: You spent several years touring with Tom Collins’ Champions on Ice. Talk about some of the skaters you toured with.
DH: I toured with Michael Weiss. Michael was invited to my wedding, but a conflict in his schedule prevented him from coming. I see Elvis (Stojko) on Facebook. Elvis is living back with his wife in Canada, [over the holidays, he was] doing a show several times a day in Busch Gardens.
FSO: Talk about your wedding. You got married this fall on Wabee Golf Course. How did you pick that venue?
DH: We saw one place and I wasn’t a fan. So I went with my dad to check out the Wabee Golf Course and as we walked in, I chuckled because one of my students had her Bat Mitzvah there. The lady who was the coordinator was easy to work with.
FSO: Talk about your officiant.
DH: Nancy was great. She was also a stand-up comedian. We did a FaceTime chat, the three of us, and it was entertaining as she asked us questions. Since we’re in show business, I wanted to have something planned out, not scripted, but still know to expect.
FSO: How many people were at your wedding?
DH: 163 people.
FSO: You had two cakes. One had the bride wearing skates jumping into the groom’s arms and the other was Olive Oyl and Popeye, a show routine favorite.
DH: It was a groomsman cake surprise from Emily and it tasted better to me than the other cake.
FSO: Talk about your coaching. You have a young skater from the Ukraine.
DH: Yes, her parents came to the U.S. for her father’s job. He’s going to be a doctor and the mom is the nurse. This little girl is so talented and driven. She open skates all the time to help save money for her parents and we do lessons twice a week. She’s doing well. I went to Texas for my annual Santa gig and I told her I was going to be coaching Santa. She wasn’t interested in competing yet because she was nervous. I told her I was going to miss her Friday lesson. So I slipped a letter in my bag wrapped in a ribbon addressed in her name. It was a written letter from Santa Claus saying he was so excited to see her skate with a Photoshopped picture of Santa and me on the ice. Santa said he understood she was nervous because Rudolph was nervous too, but Rudolph is competing himself. Sure enough she decided to compete.
FSO: You have a new puppy?
DH: Yes, he’s already up to 70 pounds. His name is Thor and he is a mighty St. Bernard. Emily lost her dog so she wanted a new one and now we have another St. Bernard.
FSO: What are your plans after the baby?
DH: Emily is still skating and coaching. She’ll stay home for a while after the baby comes but you cannot keep her down because she loves skating so much. She wants to go back and take her Senior free test. Her Maid of Honor, Stephanie, loves babies and she is right on the way to the rink, so she’ll be Nanny Stephie while we skate and then we will pick up our daughter to have dinner. Things have fallen into place. I waited 43 years, but I realized I needed the time for everything to be so perfect. We both communicate extremely well. It’s very soothing and we can talk about something, pass through and have a compromise.
FSO: If you could be a superhero, who would you be?
DH: That’s so hard. I’ve always wanted to be Batman, but I think Captain America is cool too. I’ll lean more towards Captain America with all his enhanced features, but he’s still human. He does the right thing, more of a gentlemanly right thing. He treats the ladies with “Yes ma’am.”