I’m a big fan of the Olympics, in particular Figure Skating, but I’ve got to admit that I’m having a hard time getting into it this year. A lot of it has to do with NBC’s horrible coverage. I swear to God, between the insufferable Bob Coshtash, Mary Carillo, and the truly awful Cris Collinsworth, I can barely watch. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would be fully convinced NBC executives were going around giving cancer to, maiming and, in some cases, killing the family members and friends of athletes so that they are sure have something to talk about during their inconsistent and ridiculous hours of primetime coverage. It’s so bad it almost makes me violent.
And so I think of happier times.
Back when skating was fun to watch, I happened to be living in Lyon, France the year the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final was held there. So naturally, I got tickets for the ladies’ competition! I had several observations at the time: 1) Peggy Fleming seemed to be going through menopause. She sat in the ABC booth constantly eating while being fanned with a piece of white paper by a woman sitting behind her, all while wearing a pair of gigantic gloves. Every time I looked at her she appeared to be uncomfortable. 2) Terry Gannon looked plastic. 3) I wanted the ass of a Russian male figure skater. To see one in person is to redefine the meaning of buns of steel. I really think a small automobile could have crashed into Anton Sikharulidze’s ass and been totaled without him ever knowing the difference.
The quality is not great, but here’s the Kiss and Cry from where I sat:
Michelle Kwan was the main reason I went; here she is warming up during her practice skate.
And one more.
It’s blurry, but here is Michelle in the Kiss and Cry following her performance.
And here she is accepting the silver medal. She came in second to Russia’s Irina Slutskaya.
When it aired in the US I had a friend record it for me; I was hoping I would be on television. I might have been, too, had these two French homos not stolen the limelight. Right when Michelle finished skating I launched a stuffed bear out onto the ice and screamed wildly like I had seen people do on television so many times before. Unfortunately, not only were these two guys sitting nearer the camera bank and in the front row, but they were also waving a French flag and holding posters filled with loving, wonderful messages for Michelle — which arguably made for better television than catapulting Mrs. Berenstein out onto the ice.
Anyway, flashing back to 2010, the ladies’ short program is now on tv except, doh, they’ve gone back to the nordic combined.