My mom and my sister Sweetie... they loooooove figure skating. They buy tickets to competitions and everything. Give Sweetie a year and she'll tell you who the world champions were. She can name off all the medal winners from Olympic years back to 1988. That was a big year. The Olympics were in Calgary Alberta, and for the first time ever a Canadian team of ice dancers won a medal. It was bronze.
Well... in many ways, it's been a good year to be Canadian.
Those are a couple of huge gold medals hanging off of a team of ice dancers from right here in Ontario. Virtue and Moir are the first Canadians to win gold in ice dancing and are also the first North Americans of any kind to get this medal.
Dudes. I don't really get ice dancing at all but I sure do like to watch it. Pairs skating, with all those death defying throws, make me cringe. It's great when it works, but yeesh, not when it doesn't. Ice dancing is sometimes embarrassing too, with overdone theatrics and ridiculous costumes. However, when it's beautiful, it's darn near transcendent.
Not that I saw it. No TV in the house these days; besides, I went to hang with my big ol' writers group last night.
Instead I looked up some still shots. This is always good for entertainment...
Like, um... where's his other hand??? Careful there, bud. Don't distract her...
When you think it through, considering these guys have to put their hands all over pretty and fit young women, you'd think teenage boys would be lining up to do figure skating. I mean, duh.
And how can she be looking down at that potentially skull-cracking ice like that and look so peacefully happy? How is this possible??
On the other hand, he looks quite strong, and since she's clearly not worried about getting dropped, well then...
I get the thrill seeking mentality. I just can't imagine it combined with wearing tons of make up and hair pins and like, tights and tiny floaty skirts. I'm thinking these young ladies look like angel fairies but are superhumanly tough, holy smokes.
I know from the few small horse shows I've competed in that most of the difficulty is mental toughness. Your head can mess you up big time when it counts most. Considering a shocking tragedy earlier this week (our figure skating champ's mother collapsed and died of a heart attack after arriving in Vancouver) I can't imagine how hard it would be to stay in the moment and keep showing. Add the pressure to win in the home country. Add the first tragedy on opening day, when a young luger was killed. I guess that's what years of training will do -- give an athlete (or rider, or actor, musician, whatever) the ability to empty the mind of everything else except for RIGHT NOW, the moment.
Then, hopefully, the reward could be a moment like this.
I'm not really into sports. Like I said, I don't skate. But I like a good drama. And what the heck, I will just up and say it.
I think we have a really pretty flag.
(Next up: Did you catch the guy's speed skating Whole Lotta Handsome race on the weekend? No? Well I did!)