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17 January 2006

Artistry on Ice

Steven and I went to see the Smuckers Stars on Ice tonight. Man, I love this sport. It's actually a toss up between ice skating and gymnastics. I'll watch both any time they're on. This tour comes thru my city every year, at around the same time, and I was determined to go since it's been such a long time. This is the first time Steven has gone with me. It was funny really, because the only skater he knows, by sight, is Michelle Kwan. Every once in a while he'll watch a skating competition with me, but these ice shows are different. These are skaters that used to compete and have now gone professional. And it's all about artistry, not technical execution. So, every time a skater--or a pairs team--came out, he was all "Who's that?" "Now who's that?" "Is Alexei gonna do a quad?" (because it's all about quads in competition now). It was almost worse than being in a movie theater with a kid who won't shut up. And he kept getting the two Asian skaters mixed up. So there I was, in between performances, trying to explain that "Kyoko Ina is with John Zimmerman. They're a pairs team. Yuka Sato used to be a single skater before she started skating with her husband, Jason Dunjen." I think Ina and Dunjen used to be a pairs team at one time, too, now that I think about it.

I found out tonight that the show is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. 20 years of seeing amazing skaters like Scott Hamilton (founder of Stars on Ice), Kristy Yamaguchi, Kurt Browning, Paul Wylie, Rozalyn Sumners...that was the old school crowd. Scott, Paul, Kristy, Kurt--they no longer skate with the show. (However, you'll catch a glimpse of Kurt on that new reality show "Skating with Celebrities"). Now there's a bunch of new people, but people that I know, because I've seen them compete: Yuka Sato, Jason Dunjen, Steven Cousins, Todd Eldredge, Alexei Yagudin, John Zimmerman (HOTTIE...YOWZA!) & Kyoko Ina, Jamie Sale & David Pelletier, Anton Sikharulidze & Elena Berezhnya and Jennifer Robinson (Um..who the hell are you?)

FYI: The Russians (Anton & Elena) and the Canadians (David and Jamie) were involved in a controversy during the last Winter Olympics. The Canadians should've won the Gold that year--and they did--after the story broke out that a judge had been bribed. And now they're skating together in an ice show. How cool is that?

But I got to see Scotty again (if only MC'ing the event from a taped video), got to see clips of the previous shows, clips of people in the show that had passed away (including a FANTASTIC 28-yr-old Russian skater that was the other half of an even FANTASTIC-ER pairs team), and clips of skaters with their children. It was a great trip down memory lane.

We saw some spills, some triples, and no quads from some very decent seats (Section 114, Row 14) and I am once again reminded why I love this sport. They make it look easy but we know it's not, right? I can't wait till the show comes back around next year. And I'm looking forward to the Winter Olympics next month.
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 11:16 PM |


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