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Dulebohn expands his horizons beyond skating

U.S. pairs champion, Olympian focuses on business ideas

Philip Dulebohn still loves skating with Tiffany Scott, even years after competing together.
Philip Dulebohn still loves skating with Tiffany Scott, even years after competing together. (Getty Images)

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By Lois Elfman, special to icenetwork.com
(06/06/2013) - Eight years after ending their competitive partnership, 2003 U.S. pairs champions Tiffany Scott and Philip Dulebohn still occasionally perform together. Most recently, they skated a lighthearted, fun routine in the Skating Club of Wilmington (Delaware) spring show.

"I love skating with Tiffany," Dulebohn said. (Scott and husband Brian Pryor, a surgical resident, are parents of a toddler, so her performing time is less these days.) "I don't really care how big or small the show is. I enjoy being around her. We've been through a lot together and shared a lot. There's a bond there that is very rare in your life. I cherish it more than ever.

"Normally, when we prepare for shows, we spend most of our time talking," he added. "It's more about sharing our lives."

Over the years, when the U.S. pairs scene featured ever-changing partnerships, Scott and Dulebohn were a constant. Both credited their commitment to sticking together as the root of their success. Despite injuries and other disappointments, they achieved their goals in the sport -- winning the U.S. title, competing at four world championships and at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Dulebohn, 39, said in many ways, that first worlds -- 2000 in Nice, France -- was his high point in competitive skating and a personal benchmark to always persevere in life.

"I always said, 'If I can compete at the world championships, then I can do anything,'" Dulebohn said. "When that dream was fulfilled, I felt enormous satisfaction."

After retiring from competitive skating in 2005, Dulebohn decided to go to college. He began at a community college and then earned his bachelor's degree in finance at the University of Delaware. At first, he went part-time and then switched to full-time, graduating in 2010.

"I wanted a very practical degree I could kind of do anything with," he said. "It offered me a new skill set."

He did an internship at a commercial real estate company but decided that wasn't for him. He has continued to coach skating throughout the years.

"I was always looking around for things I could start or I could do myself, rather than working for other people," Dulebohn said. "As a skating coach ... you have a very independent mindset."

He had the idea for a unique website that he's been developing for the past two years. The idea -- a dating and event planning website -- has evolved as he's developed it. He's met new people in the process. At times, it's been frustrating, but he's continuing to push forward.

Dulebohn is honest in saying that finding his path hasn't been easy. As a competitive athlete, one's life is very structured and centered around skating. When it's over, one has to figure out what one wants to do next. While he loves coaching, he craved more.

Starting college after the age of 30 was challenging, but he's glad he did.

"My dream was to compete at the world championships and go to the Olympics, and I fulfilled those dreams," he said. "I love coaching and I don't want to stop, but I have new dreams. To pursue new dreams, you have to step outside the box."

In addition to the website concept he began right after college, Dulebohn has three other ideas he wants to develop. He recently learned about an IT program that could lead him in that direction.

"I'd be educating myself and creating a new skill set," he said. "It would be very helpful in what I'm trying to do with my Internet businesses.

"We'll see where life will take me in the next six months to a year," he added. "You cherish having purpose, meaning and direction in your life."