Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A non-skating poor excuse for a Canadian is still pretty amped about this gold medal!

It's true: I don't skate.  I gave my used hockey skates away a couple years ago, after I decided that if I'm going to be outside freezing, it'll have something to do with horses, NOT a frozen hard surface and really uncomfortable footwear.  But I do get it.  It's fun when it all goes smoothly.  I'm just not your typical hockey-freak Canuck.  And I sure as heck don't understand figure skating.  I have a hard enough time going in a straight line with two metal blades attached to my feet -- spinning and jumping????

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!)


Four Dinners said...

Congrats on the Gold!!!

....and more importantly it wasn't Curling!!!

Heidi the Hick said...

I don't get curling either!!!!

But it's entertaining, all that hurrying and hard and other kinds of frantic yelling while sweeping.

Who won?! Britain???

Biddie said...

Grandma Lynn tried to talk Jessica into joining the curling team at school.
Can you just picture THAT??
I am pretty stoked about all of the gold medals this year. Have we ever done this well in the winter Olympics?

Heidi the Hick said...

Bid, nope. Not that I can think.

Wait- Jess's school has a curling team??? Weird!

Heidi Willis said...

that was a great win for y'all! :)

You do have a pretty flag. Maple leaves are my favorite leaves. Oak makes me sneeze.

I still like my stars though. Nothing better than a good starry night.

mugwump said...

different country, same excitement.

Heidi the Hick said...

I also have to write about how the flags get incorporated into the uniforms. As much as I love the creative ways to use red maple leaves, I gotta hand it to the stars and stripes!

Erin Halm said...

I loved this post. Congrats on the gold and you are right about the skating, when it´s good it´s really good and magical to watch.

Yeah, I don´t get the whole curling thing either, the yelling and sweeping. Do you think they yell like that when they are sweeping up around the house? And the thingy they slide on the ice looks kind of like a big teapot to me. I wonder if they yell when they make tea too?