Couple of words before Olympics

It’s hard to believe but winter is here Olympics are here. 4 years we’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here, but I guess I’ll fully realize it only when skaters will take the ice. And that will happen only if I have enough courage to watch it live. I still remember Olympics in Sochi and that was a painful experience.

I haven’t written anything about Olympics in Sochi, not a word. Because I couldn’t find the right ones. I was heartbroken, emotionally devastated and burnt from inside, with no desire to follow figure skating anymore. How naive I was) I’m still watching it))) So, I decided to write a couple of words about Olympics before it starts. Just in case.

Almost every skater, whose interview I translated, was asked about their brightest memories about Olympics, from their own experience or maybe some memories from childhood. So I thought, and what are mine Olympic moments?

What can I say, at the Olympics I cried so many times. But once it was really a tears of pure happiness, happiness because my favorite skater won a medal. And I didn’t care that it was only silver, I was so happy for him and cried together with him during the medal ceremony. It was Turin 2006 and Stephane Lemiel’s silver medal.

The most bitter tears because of figure skating I also cried at the Olympics. This time it was Sochi 2014. Mao Asada’s brilliant free program was heartbreaking. Actually, I have never rewatched it.

There was a moment of pure delight – it was Tessa and Scott’s free dance in Vancouver 2010. And realization that here it is, the main principles of sport «Citius, Altius, Fortius!». Ironically I’m writing that about most subjective discipline – ice dance. Because that was Meryl and Charlie’s performance, also in Vancouver.

There are Olympic performances that I have re-watched so many times (Carolina’s sp ans fp from Sochi, Tessa/Stott and Meryl/Charlie’s od from Vancouver) and there are performance I have never re-watched despite the fact that it’s my favorite skaters (Patrick’s free program from Sochi…..actually even in 2014 I haven’t watched it till the end. After second quad I lost my courage and run away to the bathroom, turned on water tap not to hear the audience’s reaction. Never re-watched it since).

These Olympics for sure will add some memorable moments into my “collection”. I’m a realist, so I perfectly understand that not all these moments are going to be pleasant. But I’m ready and come what may.

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5 Comments on Couple of words before Olympics

  1. Mad for Skating // 10/02/2018 at 15:42 // Reply

    I completely understand! My first memories of figure skating were in 2010 – I was 7 years old and my mom wanted me to watch with her because she loved to watch skating when she was a child. I was reluctant at first, but then I saw Mao’s free skate to Bells of Moscow. I thought she must be a fairy queen, something divine. But then the Olympics came and went, and I didn’t watch closely until Sochi. That’s when I got addicted.

    I remember the magical feeling I got when I first saw Julia Lipnitskaya – a young girl like me who could achieve great things. Then I fell in love with a certain male skater with a ponytail and a true Olympic spirit <3 I also gave my heart to the Russian version of Morticia and Gomez Addams in pairs, a feisty Pink Panther, and the magic of Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford. From that point on, I decided I loved figure skating, and I started following it like crazy.

    I survived both Vancouver and Sochi without tears, but the road here has already made me cry several times. The heartbreak started with Wakaba – how does Japan justify holding Satoko so high above the rest at Nationals? The team was decided before she even skated. Even harder was Ashley: how does a world silver medalist get suddenly passed by a girl who hasn't even skated at a Four Continents? My heart still doesn't understand it, although my mind knows the US fed just wants a girl with consistent jumps for the future. Before my poor heart could heal for Ashley, Jason Brown broke me into a million pieces in four and a half minutes. So now instead of beautiful spirals and skating skills that are better than everyone's but Patrick Chan's, we get just another teenage boy with lots of quads…quads that aren't consistent yet. Oh, and to top it off, Ksenia and Fedor actually qualified to the Olympics, but got banned without proof or fair trial. And while I love Ekaterina Bobrova, she has served a doping suspension (for medical reasons, of course) but is allowed to perform in Korea, while Ksenia and Fedor have tested clean at every event and are not allowed. There is simply too much injustice.

    Last night I watched the opening ceremony and thought of all the athletes who deserved to go and won't, and I just started crying. Well, actually I started off by cursing at Thomas Bach. But after I was thoroughly scolded for such language, I shut myself in my room and the tears came. Why? Because it's not fair. Because these people work their butts off for the chance to compete at the Olympics, and even the best don't always reach that dream. I know it's not my Olympic dream that's lost, but it feels like it's happening to me.

    But then I sat down at the computer and turned on some videos. Duhamel/Radford, 2016 Worlds, that perfect free skate to Hometown Glory (goosebumps the second she landed that final throw triple lutz). Stolbova/Klimov's Olympic free skate to The Addams Family (which, considering the circumstances now, was beautiful and painful at the same time). Mao's 2010 Olympic FS, the one that started it all (I stopped believing in fairies years ago, but she still skates like a fairy queen). Ashley at 2016 Worlds and the fairytale that unfolded. Aliona and Bruno's Lighthouse from 2017 Europeans, which earned the title in my heart. The little girl in the red coat, who was the same age I am now, who has been through so much these past four years but stayed strong through it all. Oh, and a whole lot of Jason Brown. A lot.

    I can officially say I am ready to handle all the ups and downs of this crazy sport. Because, like Aliona Savchenko, I just can't stay away from the magic of the Olympics.
    I didn't mean to post such a long comment here but your story just touched me, so here I go talking again haha.

    • So well said!
      You know, Mao is still my most favorite skater, it was her brilliant performance that made me fall in love with figure skating, follow every competition, not just the major ones. It still makes me sad that she’s not an Olympic champion, but she’s a legend and absence of one medal can’t change that.

      I’m also very sad that we won’t see Ashley and Jason at the Olympics and instead we will have to watch some performances I won’t even remember. I do understand this thing with prospects, future, quads etc, but that’s personalities who make figure skating interesting to watch, not just jumps.

      • Mad for Skating // 17/02/2018 at 13:20 // Reply

        Yes, yes, yes, and a million times more yes!

        I agree so much on Mao. There’s just something so magical about her skating. I’ve learned that many of the greatest skaters will retire without a gold medal, because there’s only one every four years, and it’s just so frustrating that it will never happen. But the truly great skaters will be remembered for more than just one medal.

        Ashley and Jason are what keep me interested in singles skating even as men’s skating becomes a competition of “who can land the most quads?” and ladies’ skating becomes “who is Eteri Tutberidze’s newest girl?” It feels all too weird for me right now.
        But at least Aliona finally got her gold medal <3

  2. I understand. I had to stop watching the men’s SP last night. Too nerve=wracking and painful!

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