Figure Skating Looks Fun!
What a dream world these girls are living in!
I’m no figure skating expert — I couldn’t tell a triple Salchow from a triple cheeseburger! But I watched the women’s figure skating final tonight, and holy macaroni, what a gas! One thing’s obvious: These gals are having the time of their lives! Just look at the joy on their faces:
It was a magical night all around for these princesses of the Winter Olympics wonderland. Prior to the contest, there was a bit of a kerfuffle over the fact that a banned substance had permeated the Navy Seal-esque training regimen of reigning Russian Champion and little girl Kamila Valieva. The charges were particularly dire in light of the fact that the Russian Olympic Committee has been proven to basically be a drug procurement and disbursal operation unmatched since Aerosmith’s 1979 “Rough in the Nuts” tour. But the Court of Arbitration of Sport decided to let bygones be bygones, so Valieva got to join in the gaiety! And her countrywoman Alexandra Trusova assuaged any fears that Russians might be doping by spending the early moments of the competition on the sidelines shredding her way through a workout that would make John Cena need a saline I.V.:
The early skaters demonstrated athleticism and grace, which was only occasionally interrupted by the sound of Trusova — just off-screen — slamming down the barbell from a 400 pound clean-and-jerk and yelling “FUCK YEAH!!! COME FUCKIN’ GET SOME!!!” Though most of the young women weren’t medal contenders, one hopes that they’ll look back on their Olympic experience with pride, and not with white-hot rage at the coaches and parents who robbed them of a normal youth. I think in many cases, it will be the former!
The competition really heated up (clever because ice skating!) when the top skaters took the ice. Kaori Sakamoto showed style, Anna Shcherbakova showed grace, and Alexandra Trusova showed that she never skips leg day by nailing five quad jumps and then cracking a walnut between her calf and hamstring and uploading the video to Instagram. The last skater to compete was Kamila Valieva. Paradoxically, a good program would have actually denied medals to her two countrywomen. Who knows what the Russian Olympic Committee said to her in light of that fact? I’d guess it was something along the lines of “just have fun out there” or “as long as you do your best, you’ll be a gold medalist in our hearts!” That was probably it, though they maybe also included a brief statement on the intolerability of Ukrainian aggression.
Valieva did not skate well. Perhaps the pressure got to her. It’s hard to imagine how a 15 year-old feels when they’re the focal point of an international scandal that’s tangentially related to a burgeoning foreign policy crisis. Though, I can relate a bit, because I really felt the pressure when my high school swing band performed our “Saint Jazz-trick’s Day Spectacular” to a sold-out cafeteria. As Assistant Page Turner for the rhythm section, all eyes were on me. But performance anxiety got to me, and I went a bit nuts with the page-turning, and long story short: My friend Chris lost his right arm. But I was only 15! I panicked! My point is: I understand what she’s going through.
After her performance, Valieva broke into tears. Maybe she was overjoyed because she tried her best. Maybe she was sad because a lifetime of training had amounted to jack shit. Maybe she was distraught because large men in track suits were — one assumes — at her family’s house at that very moment threatening to break some kneecaps if Valieva didn’t do what they told her to do. We can’t know for sure. Of course, she might have been reacting to her coach immediately accosting her rink-side and saying “Why did you stop fighting? Explain it to me. Why?” Of course, in Russia, that counts as a hearty pep talk!
Alexandra Trusova’s emotions were slightly easier to read:
My Russian is a tad rusty, but I believe that translates to “Fuck you, fuck this, fuck everything, the Olympics can go jump up its own dick, I hope everyone in the world gets tetanus by fucking themselves with a rusty piece of rebar.” Of course, that’s the type of outburst that sometimes happens when you’re taking the same cocktail of HGH, horse laxatives, and plutonium that turned Barry Bonds into the all time home run king.
While all that was happening, Anna Shcherbakova — the woman who actually won the gold medal — was sitting all alone like a child who had been abandoned in a bus station:
What a triumphant moment! How special it must be to achieve the thing you’ve been working towards your whole life, and then celebrate with your…well, with your stuffed bear, in an environment that looks like an Ikea showroom, while the adults who made you skate until your feet bled treat you like Patient Zero of an Ebola outbreak! Look at her — SHE IS GLOWING!!! Who knew that the pinnacle of sporting achievement so closely resembled Ann Veal being left on a bench in Mexico?! Way to plant, Anna!
I hope I have a daughter one day who gets into figure skating. I’d love for her to experience all that the sport has to offer: The joy of keeping a food diary from the age of eight. The magic of undergoing five knee surgeries before you get your driver’s license. The dignity of having some stout hag from the Russian steppes smack a bag of potato chips out of your hand while yelling “YOU NO SPIN IF YOU FAT!” And then, if the impossible happens, and she actually wins an Olympic gold medal, the adults around her who drove her like a sled dog for so many years will immediately vanish.
What a night! What frivolity! What a jubilant celebration of the best humanity has to offer! I only have one request: Next time, save some fun for the rest of us, ladies!