Tuesday, March 02, 2010

With Hearts A'Glow

(source of this spiral)

The end of the Olympics feels akin to the day after Christmas, doesn't it?  The anticipation and the drama and the excitement are now over.  The medal-winners put away their shiny toys and go back to work (whether that be selling cereal or stocking shelves at the Home Depot).  Bob Costas, like Santa Claus, disappears from our lives and flies off to wherever it is he resides between games.  And the rest of us are forced to get off the couch, start returning phone calls, and find other plans for our evenings. 

Sigh.  Before we move on, let's take one final look back...

Ice Dancing

I don’t actually care to comment on the Ice Dancing competition, because I refuse to acknowledge a reality where Belbin & Agosto aren’t medal winners. (I’m not saying Virtue & Moir’s gold medal was undeserved, necessarily. Just that I can’t quite fathom how my favorites weren’t the judges' favorites.)

(I will admit that Virtue & Moir's final dance was really quite lovely.)

(I will also admit that I think the name "Tessa Virtue" is possibly the best name I've ever heard.  Should there ever come a time when I need to flee and go on the lam (not because I committed a crime, probably just because I was wrongfully accused like The Fugitive), and you need to get in touch with me to tell me that my name has been cleared and I can safely return home, you may want to try searching South American countries for someone living under the name "Tessa Virtue."  Just saying.)

(Of course, now that I've revealed my alias of choice, I probably shouldn't use it.  Shoot.  Strike that.)

Ladies Figure Skating

The Olympic creed says that "the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

Canadian Joannie Rochette (#3) certainly embodied that credo in Vancouver.  Just days after her mother unexpectedly passed away, Joannie fought well, struggled to overcome her emotions, skated clean programs, and earned a bronze medal.  I truly can't fathom how she did it- I'm pretty sure I would have been a mess in that situation.

The rest of the ladies in Rochette's group were a pleasure to watch.  Kim Yu-Na (#1) lived up to her hype and skated beautifully.  Her scores were huge and the gold medal was hers for the taking.  Mao Asada (#2) made history with her triple Axels; despite some weird bobbles in the middle of her program, she did a great job.

Mirai Nagasu (#4) is so stinkin' cute.  She skated to Carmen, while Miki Ando (#5) chanelled Cleopatra.  I liked both programs.

NBC omitted coverage of Laura Lepisto's (#6) programs.  This Finnish skater was the silver medalist at the 2010 European Championships, and won the gold medal there in 2009, so she's not nobody.  After placing tenth in the short program, she moved up to sixth place overall.  I don't love to watch Lepisto skate (her arms bother me; it's as though she places them in positions, rather than moves them there) so I wasn't sad to miss her programs. 

But I did find it a little strange that when American Rachael Flatt (#7) finished her free skate - solid as always - and NBC's broadcasters were applauding her performance, no one bothered to mention that Rachael had finished behind Lepisto.  (They were one-two at that point in the evening.)  It was as though if NBC didn't show the skater in their broadcast, she didn't exist.  Weirdzies.

Finally, I'd like to posit that no one, not no one, does a spiral sequence like Michelle Kwan.  Though Sasha Cohen is no slouch, either.  I didn't see one spiral in this Olympic competition that was quite the caliber of theirs; I wonder if this move has become a casualty of the new scoring system?  Hmm.

And with that question-for-the-ages, ladies and gentlemen, I conclude my exhaustive, nit-picky coverage of Olympic figure skating.

Good night from New York, where we're still dreaming of Vancouver, but looking ahead to London.  You stay classy, Bob Costas.

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