Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On men's figure skating

For a second yesterday I almost thought figure skating was a real sport. I watched skater after skater try to top Evgeni Plushenko's brutal 90.85 score in the men's short program, and with each skater, I gained more respect for the amount of athleticism required to do these things they did... after all.. I can hardly jump that high on solid ground with shoes and a running start, let alone while spinning around 3-4 times and.. oh yeah... going backwards. I remember at one point I ran back from the bathroom to catch Peter Chan's performance (the young Canadian guy everyone talked about) because he's good and because no Canadian has ever won etc.. something I'd never done for anything but True Blood and Entourage. It was sad to see him underperform his expectations, but he's still young. Evan Lysacek's performance towards the end was just as stunning as Plushenko's though, and even in a sport where winning margins are so thin, they might as well have tied. I don't think I've ever admired figure skating more.

Enter Johnny Weir. I know what you're all thinking, but my view surprisingly has nothing to do with sequins, rhinestones, pink tassles, or the flamboyant personality accompanying it. I don't care that he's gay, because to say that "figure skating is gay therefore it's not a real sport" would be plain ignorant. No, what got me was this:

"I tend to do my triple flip on the wrong edge, which is a shame, but I'm old and you can't really teach an old dog new tricks, especially a figure skating technique. But I tried. We tried to hide it on the ice where it's not quite as visible to the judges and technical callers, but it's still not something that's hard to see. That would be why. But as long as it's pretty, I don't really care. And as long as I'm not on my ass."

"I actually had fun tonight and that's something I haven't been able to say for a long time. I had fun skating. I really showed my heart. I smiled. I can't remember the last time I smiled like that. Tonight was really everything that I hoped it would be. The scores I can't control, so I can't say, 'Dammit, I'm not in the top three today.' I can't do anything about that. My goal for this whole competition was to show people my heart and take them on a journey with me and make them feel they're with me and they can feel me skating."

"I want people to feel me. I want people to think they're going through this with me. Regardless of where they're from, who they're rooting for, I want to feel like they're on the ice with me."

Come on! Who is this guy? Britney Spears? Is there no sense of competition at all? If you tend to do your triple flip on the wrong edge (whatever that means) shouldn't you practice more? Do it on the right edge?

And that's it. For every Plushenko and Lysascek out there there's a dude like him taking a piss on the "sport" and making it seem like it's just the experience, the show, the costume, and the music that count. Wrong. You're at the Olympics. You're there to win medals for your country (in a sportsmanly fashion of course). If there's no competition, it's not a sport, regardless of how physically challenging it is. So I'm sorry to say, Johnny, but if you're going to think like that, figure skating is as much of a sport as Cirque du Soleil.

...that and also man cleavage makes things 25% less a sport. It's documented fact.

No comments:

Post a Comment