Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Only Time Being Cold is OK

Here are four questions to ask (and answers) in order to sound like an expert at an Olympic Figure Skating Watching Party.  Or more likely, when you're discussing it with coworkers the next day - but wouldn't it be delightful if figure skating watching parties were a thing?

1.  "Do you know why Figure Skating is called Figure Skating?"  Figure Skating has evolved greatly from the sport it started off as.  In fact, it is called figure skating because that's what it used to be: the ultimate goal was to create perfect shapes, evident in the marks the blades left on the ice, called compulsory figures.

2.  "Did you know that the quadruple jump is considered the most difficult move?"  You may remember Evgeni Plushenko from the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver from his very loud opinions that he should have won gold over Evan Lysacek because he landed a quad jump.  He forgot one very important thing though: skating is not just about the individual skills, it's about the entire performance that the skills make up.  Though Lysacek didn't include the extremely difficult quad jump in his program, he did out-perform Plushenko in other technical skills and gracefulness.  In skating, everything counts.

3.  "Can you guess which costumes are designed by Vera Wang?"  The famed wedding dress designer was a figure skater back in the day, and therefor understands skating costume design on a deep level.  The aerodynamics, fit, material, and movability are all very key design elements for the intensity and cold environment of the sport.  Who better to design a costume than someone who understands these fine details?

4.  "Do you know what Olympic commentator Scott Hamilton's signature move was?"  Now a staple at Olympic competitions, commentator Scott Hamilton had a very successful skating career in the early eighties, including his signature backflip in almost every competitive program.  He did this only to please fans though, as backflips receive no acknowledgment in the judging system.

(photos collected from googleimages)

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