Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Figure Skating Review

I love the Winter Olympics. I love just about every sporting event broadcast during the games. I love the luge, bobsledding, speed skating, downhill skiing and ski jumping. I would give it all up for 24/7 coverage of figure skating. It’s the ultimate Olympic sport for me.

I really enjoyed watching the American pair beautifully perform the “never before seen by Olympic audiences” throw triple axel. It was poetry on ice. They have a lot of work to do before they become medal contenders, but they have already earned their place in Olympic history.

One of the best Olympic moments I ever viewed took place this week during the pairs figure skating finals. The second to last pair from Russia skated very well. In the not too distant past the female from the Russian pair was badly injured during a throw. It was nice to see how they had overcome the anxiety of falling during a throw to perform beautifully. The last pair to perform was from China. They had a good shot at being the first pair from China to win a gold medal. During a throw at the beginning of the routine you could sense disaster by the posture of the male skater after he threw his partner in the air. She fell and twisted her knee. It was very sad because it mirrored what the Russian pair had experienced and it eliminated the Chinese pair from the gold medal. I didn’t think they would even finish their routine, but they did! She overcame the pain and wanted to continue. I have to say that the skating that followed was some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The Russian pair won the gold and the Chinese pair won the silver. It was a poignant conclusion to that event.

The men’s short program last night, on the other hand, was not beautiful and did not live up to any expectations I might have had. I was listening to music on my new MP3 player (a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift from my adorable husband!) while watching the telecast. I had closed captioning turned on for good measure. There are probably close to 20 competitors. You don’t expect all of them to be solid performers. You don’t expect them all to fall on their backsides, either! I don’t watch the Olympics to see what I would look like on the rink. J I was left wondering if there were any decent male figure skaters competing this Olympics. I’m sure that through the process of getting Allison to bed, getting my MP3 player loaded with music and other interruptions that I missed a few of the skaters. Is it possible that I missed only the polished skaters? I was very disappointed. It is my deepest hope that the men have gotten rid of their first skate jitters and will give stunning performances during their final programs.

In the meantime, I will go back to my work and daydream of the Olympics when both Emma and Allison are skating for gold medals (not against each other of course. One will have to be in the pairs competition. I can’t be forced to pick between my girls).

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