Olympics, Sports

In which I vicariously relive my childhood dreams..

Four years ago, I hosted an Olympics party. Now I barely even dress up for Halloween, but if there’s one theme party I will go all domestic goddess for, it’s the Winter Olympics. We’re talking handmade paper torches, meticulously drawn Olympic rings on cookie after Pillsbury cookie, and dusting off the old sequined skating sweaters, squeezing my feet into my 15 year old relics of skates. Straight out of Martha Stewart, thank you very much!

(Side note: do you know how hard it is to find food coloring gel the color of the 5 Olympic rings?)

This is what happens when you dream of becoming an Olympic figure skating champion.. and never even make it to triple jumps. You become an imaginary stage mom and mentally adopt other people’s children to obsess over instead.

Your gold is my gold.

Because, you know, I’ve been working so hard boring holes into the back of the TV with my bloodshot eyes and sending mental vibes to Sochi while sprawled out on the couch, clearly contributing to events that transpired 8 hours ago. It’s hard, stress-inducing work. Like I said, our gold.

It’s been four years since Vancouver – I’ve been waiting a long time for this. The ladies SP has come and gone, and not to spoil it for y’all but holy God-given talent!! But don’t just take my word for it, listen to a real champion:

Now, it’s a little too close for comfort. Carolina Kostner skated beautifully but not <1 point away from Yuna beautifully. What is that about? Yuna drew an early slot and has been mostly absent form the international circuit post-Vancouver. Because this is wonky figure skating judging we’re talking about, the ISU of course has to take such factors into consideration. I mean, Patrick Chan did set a world record with an imperfect performance a year or two ago, but he’s an ISU poster child and seems to play by all their rules. C’est la vie. But c’mon, even the casual viewer can tell you she’s a cut above. Not that I’m biased or anything.

Leading up to the short program, I thought it would be the Yuna-Mao-Yulia show.. until devastation! My heart breaks for Mao – such a tremendous competitor who with or without triple axel, has upped her artistry over the years. Not the way I wished her to go out – but hopefully this will take off the pressure to rock the free skate and deliver something incredible, medal or not. And triple flip.. the jump so many of these elite skaters can waltz through in their sleep. Michelle Kwan in Salt Lake. And now Yulia in Russia. What is it about that jump at home territory? Maybe it’s the pressure. I still remember the day, huddled up over my tiny box of a dorm room TV, tense in anticipation, tearing up at that fateful triple flip that would result in bronze.. but I digress. Yulia is a force to be reckoned with, and the judges have given her room to be a serious contender.

Which brings me to The Queen. The maturity, the fluidity, those skater’s arms! While the 2010 Bond medley will forever be my favorite program EVER, there’s a bittersweet whine of the strings – how can you not be affected by this rendition of Send in the Clowns?

I leave you with a few final thoughts:

  • Those Russians and those spins! Yulia’s flexibility and Adelina’s one handed Biellmann? Russian figure skating is back with a vengeance and how! The last time I was this excited about Russian skaters were circa the Gordeeva & Grinkov years. It’s good to see them pushing the envelope, both in singles and in dominating pairs.
  • I miss 90’s US figure skating. It hasn’t been the same since. The golden haired trio may be marketable and all (by traditional American standards), but it’s been a while since I’ve been truly excited by what’s been coming out of USFS. Meryl & Charlie exempted. They are exquisite.
  • Carmen (Adelina). Scheherezade (Davis & White). Romeo (Hanyu). The usual suspects.. at least music wise. It’s too bad the USFSA took this year’s Bond girl (Mirai) out of contention. It would’ve been fun to see that rendition.
  • The Asian programs have come a long way. What the heck is going on with Japanese skating? Yuzuru Hanyu – such a fan! I’m not super optimistic that Korea will produce another true international contender in time for Pyeongchang, but never say never..
  • Volosozhar & Trankov are my new Donna Moss & Josh Lyman of figure skating. Meaning, hurry up and fall in love and get married already! The former being Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, of course.
  • Charlie White is dating Tanith Belbin?!
  • The Queen is baaaaaaaack!

My heart leaps for tomorrow.


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