The Peculiarities of Figure Skating


Sidney Crosby fans are easily transfixed by show-choir performances. (Luke Winn/SI)

VANCOUVER — Figure skating is the only Olympic sport in which you’ll hear someone talk about the Real Housewives of Atlanta in a post-competition interview (that’s Johnny Weir). It’s the only sport in which you’ll see someone compete in a straitjacket (that’s Swede Adrian Schultheiss, whom I wrote about yesterday). And it’s the only event where you’ll be entertained, on the walk up to the venue, by a ukulele trio covering Elvis, and a show choir performing an adaptation of Earth Wind & Fire’s September:

What Happens Outside a Figure-Skating Event

What Happens Outside a Figure-Skating Event

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Figure skating also introduces its athletes like no other sport — by using weird tidbits from personal-information surveys. The public address announcer at Pacific Coliseum provided biographical info on each skater during their group warmup sessions on Thursday, including the following fantastic (and automobile-heavy) lines:

Figure Skating sign

You won't find a sign like this at a hockey game. (Luke Winn/SI)

For Italy’s Paolo Bacchini: “He enjoys handball, basketball, and reading.”

For Canada’s Vaughn Chipeur: “When he’s not skating, this competitor likes to play guitar or drums, or work on his car.”

For Ukraine’s Anton Kovaleski: “In addition to yoga, tennis and dancing, this next skater likes cars.”

For Kazakhstan’s Denis Ten: “He is a descendent of famous Korean General Min Keung-Ho.”

For France’s Florent Amodio: “He loves traveling, dancing, movies and cars, among other things.”

For Japan’s Daisuke Takahashi, the bronze medalist: “He enjoys meeting up with friends and shopping.”

For the U.S.’ Evan Lysacek, the gold medalist: “Counting cars, modeling and golf among his many interests …”

The announcer made note that Russia’s Evgeni Pluschenko, the silver-medalist, was a newlywed, but somehow failed to list “complaining about Lysacek not doing quadruple jumps” as one of his hobbies.

  • Published On Feb. 20, 2010 by lukewinn

    1. Judy

      This is why I LOVE figure skating!

    2. Brian

      This is why I HATE figure skating!

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