Tag Archives: Scott Hamilton

You Know What the Summer Olympics Need? Scott Hamilton.

Avid readers are well aware of the absurdly amazing commentary provided by Scott Hamilton at basically every elite figure skating event. He oohs, he aaahs, he yelps, he dings, and he says things like, “a nightmare covered in molasses.”

This is the kind of thing missing in London. Mayhaps I have been unlucky in my selection of events to watch. I welcome all suggestions for events featuring unique commentary.

The best comment I have come across thus far is from boxing. I was taking a nap earlier in the week and figured boxing would do just fine as something to be largely ignored, and just before drifting off on the living room floor I heard a commentator start waxing poetic about the acting chops of Al Pacino, before declaring that the q quality of the dance depends on your partner—Fred Astaire always looked best dancing with Ginger Rogers. 

That’s pretty solid. Too bad I have no idea who noted commentator is, to whom he was referring—and I pretty much never intend to watch boxing again.

I should have thought that gymnastics commentators might have some wondrous things to say. I thought wrong. The mantra “if you’re gonna hop you wanna hop forward,” is burned into my aural memory.

Maybe Scott should start commenting on all sports all the time.

For some of my small-scale commenting, you should really be following JohannaAP25  on Twitter.

 

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Ladies Figure Skating Nationals: Czisny, Flatt & Nagasu Battle It Out

Alissa Czisny/ UniversalSports.com/ Chris Keane/ Reuters

Alissa Czisny spent this season turning her skating around after nearly retiring last year when she failed to make the Olympic team. She came into the U.S. Nationals as the new 2010 Grand Prix champion.

Rachael Flatt went into Nationals as the defending U.S. champion, knowing no woman has managed to defend her title since Michelle Kwan in 2002.

Mirai Nagasu came out of the short program with a narrow lead, only to continue her pattern of coming up short in the free skate every time that she has led in the short program, including her performance in last year’s World Championships and this year’s Cup of China, despite coming in 4th (highest of the American women) at the Vancouver Olympics.

It was über dramatic.

The three top U.S. women were virtually tied going into the free skate competition, Nagasu in the lead, followed by Czisny, with Flatt in third.

Czisny skated first of the top three, displaying the new form she has been working on this season: “there is a calmness, a focus about her skating that we have not seen before,” said Sandra Bezic. Technically, Scott Hamilton explained, “it’s how she rotates, her air position has changed ever so slightly.”

It was a dreamy free skate, and Czisny’s face said it all throughout. And depend on Hamilton to say it in that Scott way: “Alissa Czisny has it all and she just delivered it, what a comeback!”—along with various undefinable exclamations as usual, building up to her final score of 191.24.

Mirai Nagasu/ UniversalSports.com/ Chuck Burton/ Associated Press

And Mirai Nagasu had to skate right after that.

Before the top three skated, commentator Sandra Bezic said of Nagasu, “She’s an artistic being, so you never know what she’s going to bring to the table; one day it’s divine and the next it’s a mess.”

Unlike past examples of Nagasu’s fall from first place in the short program, she fought this one out, but no one could catch Czisny.

Comments?

Scott: ““Knowing Mirai for as long as I have, and knowing how volatile she can be—especially when the pressure’s on—after Alissa Czisny took all the air out of the building, she [Mirai] took command of that ice and she delivered a fine performance, that was very, very strong.”

Sandra: “She did [deliver a fine performance], and she looked genuinely afraid when she started, when she took that opening position, and  it looked like she battled her demons throughout, it wasn’t the joyous performance that we’re used to from Mirai—it was work.”

So that was rough, again—but it could have been a lot, lot worse.

Before she started her program, coach Frank Carroll was heard to say, “Believe in yourself, get out there and do it. You’re the best skater in the world. Believe it.”

During her “Memoirs of a Geisha” skate, Nagasu stepped out of a double axel a bit and had some balance issues on a spin sequence, which are usually her strongest point. Her final score came to 177.26, well behind Czisny and hoping to hang on to second place so as to make the U.S. team for Worlds in March.

On the upside, she has changed her costume since earlier in the Grand Prix season and I like this blue incarnation better. So, there’s a sartorial win.

Rachael Flatt/ UniversalSports.com/ Chuck Burton/ Associated Press

Rachael Flatt was last to skate (and people are still busy commenting about her short haircut), delivering an unusually unreliable performance given her reputation. She had a couple of mistakes at the beginning, mistakes that made it impossible to catch Czisny. On a combo that she almost lost, Scott’s verbal contortions changed ‘beautiful’ to a cry of lament: “beeeeeuuuuuuu-ooooooooohhhhh…”

Yeah.

Comments from Flatt?

“That was frustrating.”

Needless to say she came up second to Czisny with 188.38, in all likelihood claiming the second American spot at Worlds in Tokyo this March (the U.S. only has two spots this year because the American, including Flatt and Nagasu, did not score high enough last year).

Whamps.

All three however have been named to the U.S. Four Continents team.

Christina Gao/ UniversalSports.com/ Chris Keane

Andrea Joyce obviously got to stalk the champion when it was all over, getting a joyful and grateful snippet from Czisny: “I’m just so happy to have gone out there and done the best that I can do and really come back after last year… being able to find my love for the sport again.”

Newcomer that I liked?

Christina Gao. She’s speedy and surprisingly tall, and only almost knocked into the boards after a combination. Sandra says “the future is hers,” and that “Christina is just magical when she’s on.” I really enjoyed her Yellow River Concerto program. She finaled with a  167.20, finishing in 5th.

So that’s that. Not too many commentary gems from Scott, but we’ll see what I can pull for the men’s programs. We shall see.

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Scott Hamilton Returns: Commentary at Skate America

Sure, Michael Weiss’ commentary based on working with various skaters on Stars on Ice and his empathy for newly risen senior skaters provides interesting insight to the world of figure skating. Tara Lipinski‘s subtle cattiness is splendid at times. And Tanith Belbin is just sweet as sweet all the time, especially when she is offering to find scissors to trim costumes that are too long.

But you cannot beat Scott Hamilton for amaze-tastic commentary. It is not possible.

Skate America 2010 witnessed the return of live in-house commentary by Scott Hamilton, supporting roles awarded to Tracy Wilson and Terry Gannon. Performances were peppered with cries of “Ding!” “Bam!” “Aughauhgghhg!” and “Niiiiiice!”

It was magical.

The dramatic verbosity kicked off immediately with the pronouncement that the participants of this Grand Prix “come to begin a new four-year journey at Skate America.”

While my heart was still doing flips over the return of Scott, he went ahead and elaborated that after an Olympics year “There’s kind of this almost chaotic changing of the guard. You got these grizzled veterans out here, some of these girls are eighteen years old—Carolina Kostner she’s 23—but they’ve got these young emerging talents coming up behind them and kind of nipping on their heels and sometimes getting past them and it’s like, ‘Wait, it’s MY turn!’”

Armin Mahbanoozadeh/Matthew Stock/Getty Images

Let’s get straight to my favorite gems.

“You wanna have the confidence, all that you can muster into the triple axel..and beautiful! That was nothing but neck, that was awesome!” regarding 19-year-old American men’s competitor, Armin Mahbanoozadeh’s free skate to music from Avatar.

In the realm of Scott saying things as I think them, “a lot of interesting body positions [Mahbanoozadeh’s] using in his spins.”

We’re on the same wavelength. Isn’t it great?

Anyway the young American had a great skate, beating his personal best thus provoking a jubilant Terry Gannon to declare, “His best has been—for the free skate—just over 121. And how ‘bout just waving at it as he sails by it?!” as the 143.56 score pops up.

Which is, naturally, how I feel about deadlines of course.

Then Scott nearly orgasmed over Adam Rippon’s trademark lutz jumps with both arms over his head which no one else in the world does (Brian Boitano does one arm over his head). One could almost see Scott leaping out of his seat in excitement.

Daisuke Takahashi/Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

And then all three of the commentators wrote an ode to the wonder that is Daisuke Takahashi (all the while, each of them pronounced his name differently), despite a free skate peppered with technical mistakes. A catalog of the madness? Of course:

“He’s an incredible showman. Because of his presentation he has about a six point buffer in the free skate program.” ~Wilson

“It’s the quality of every edge, his presence, the way he interprets the music—and then you throw on his extraordinary jumping ability on top of that.” ~Hamilton

“Look at this footwork, look at the way he moves!” ~Wilson

“So tight, so crisp, every movement is just bam, bam, bam. It brings the audience into the performance.” ~Hamilton

“As he flirts shamelessly with the judges!” ~Wilson

“No one in the world can really deliver choreography with that kind of dynamic. No one touches him in that regard.” ~Scott

If I had more time, I would have forged those comments into a sonnet. Possibly Scott Hamilton has already written one in his spare time.

At any rate despite the whole “moments of brilliance, sloppy at times” (Wilson) issue in Takahashi’s free skate the Japanese World Champion still placed first with countryman Nobunari Oda in second and Mahbanoozadeh slipping onto the podium for the bronze: “I heard the audience cheering for me and as I ended and I saw them standing, I just couldn’t believe it it was a great moment for me… I truthfully wasn’t even expecting to land on the podium, it’s beyonf what I was thinking would happen. I’m just ecstatic, maybe it will sink in tonight, I don’t know… I just feel like I wanna be considered competitive among the world’s best and I think today was a step forward.”

Bravo.

The ladies free skate presentation was prefaced by a replay of fabulous new Japanese lady Kanako Murakami’s short skate, which is adorable and marvelous and made me fall a little bit in love with her at the Grand Prix Japan. Scott cried out in joy for her jumps and Wilson enthused, “Well she’s the bright light that’s already shining through, heading to the Olympics four years away, and I say with four years to improve, her timing could be perfect. She’s got a bounce to her step , she’s a bundle of enthusiasm, she’s so much fun to watch!”

True story.

She does the whole nod emphatically to her coach and then race away to her starting pose, reminding me of Mirai Nagasu’s typical pre-skate demeanor.

Kanako Murakami and coach Machiko Yamada/Universal Sports

She and Scott opened energetically crying, “Triple toe biiiig—and triple toe ! LOTS of speed coming out!”

It wasn’t her most magnificent skate, but she still scored a 110.98 (total 164.93) placing ahead of US Champion, Rachael Flatt… and everyone else for the gold in her second senior Grand Prix event!

Plus, her coach Machiko Yamada is super glam, wearing fabulous scarfed and sunglasses all the time. Love.

Flatt was her typical “Reliable Rachael” self—a phrase of which commentators will apparently never tire. Scott, in a frenzy of praise at the end of her program elucidated, “There’s a work ethic there! If you can just skate like that everytime—and she does—you’re going to have success!”

Thanks for the explanation of her success, Scott. I thought maybe she never practiced or something.

“Ding!”

“Bam!”

“Niiiice!”

Thank you Scott. I look forward to Nationals, where I imagine you will also be commenting.

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Favorite Ridiculous Olympic Moments: Random Things

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  • Mary Carillo hugging, nuzzling and wiping the tears of stuffed moose Colbert after Canada’s hockey loss.
  • Props to Bode Miller on being less of an ass-hat and tearing up for his gold. Emotional growth–win.
  • “Looking ridiculous, does it affect the judges?” “Yes, Tom, it does come into play, it is a subjective sport.” Regarding the Russian ice dancers.

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  • Hearing Steve Holcomb’s name and immediately making an Arrested Development connection when he stood up, both arms raised: “Steve Holt!”
  • Short track cameraman, what is wrong with you. Why do you always zoom in on Apolo’s crotch. By always, we mean specifically that one out of control time during the 1500 meter race on the first Olympic Saturday.
  • Mary Carillo attending the RCMP Academy and attempting to rise through the ranks to the sound of American Beauty music. She was wearing knee socks.
  • The Orange Crush Dutch folk, especially the very to-the-point blazing orange bobsled. Having seen the speed skating fans, I should have known it was coming, but I have to admit that I was not quite prepared.

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  • Stephen Colbert climbing into the faux fire-place at the NBC interview set.
  • Billy Bush called Julia Mancuso in winners circle after her first silver medal race… and she ran off to grab her phone and proceeded to engage in conversation.
  • Words of wisdom from Shani Davis, who always sounds like he kind of hates the world. “I’ve learned a little trick. It’s called skate with your heart.” On the other hand, he has also had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game where he “almost skipped the plate:” but you know, “White Sox forever!” Thanks Shani.
  • Apolo Ohno jumping over fallen foes in the 500 meter and then magical moments afterwards when they showed a montage of Apolo that allowed us to see for the last time that footage of him running up a cliff. Plus that time there was that other endlessly entertaining Ohno segment regarding being recognized for Dancing with the Stars. Chris Collinsworth named Apolo Ohno’s short track performances his second top moment of the games: “He’s jumping over people, he’s doing all these outrageous thing! … It was nothing but fun out there on the short track.”

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  • Everything Scott Hamilton did or said, as per the wide range of entries on the topic.
  • “The lane change heard ’round the world,” AKA Dan Jansen’s take on the Sven Kramer catastrophe.
  • Women’s Giant Slalom commentator regarding Julia Mancuso’s raw deal: “If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts.” Really? Yes, that was said.
  • Mirai Nagasu spinning so fast in her short program that she got a bloody nose. Plus, she came in fourth solidifying her claim that “I’m the future.”
  • Stephen Colbert: “I’ve got Olympic fever. Either that or I ate some really bad poutine.” Me too Stephen, me too.

Glad it has somewhat passed. On to Oscar night mayhem next, but don’t worry there is Julia Mancuso update/ recap in the works. I know you are holding your breath, do not lie to me.



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Everybody Loves Scott Hamilton: the Gala & the Best

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It is a fact: Scott Hamilton is the ultimate commentator. If you are not a fan, there is something wrong with you, you might even be dead inside. According to an extremely scientific Access Hollywood viewers poll, 66% of the nation think that Hamilton is the greatest male figure skater ever, the runner-up being Brian Boitano with 22%. Ponder that.

And just why do we love Scott Hamilton? Well he’s an amazing figure skater of the ages, his commentary is the stuff of legends and he is always willing to have fun with it. When Stephen Colbert had him on the show via-fireplace and asked whether there was a new Cold War in the making vis-à-vis men’s figure skating, Scott laughed, “Why not?” And regarding that trademark backflip? Colbert pointed out that none of the competitors had bothered with that feat and wondered, “Shouldn’t you get the gold medal?” I know I wish backflipping was still involved. Scott settled with a snarky, “Well– I did.” Which circles back to why we love the man.

I’ve been planning this post since the first night of figure skating. Last night we got our last taste of Olympian comments from Scott during the gala skate exhibition, one of the happiest events of the winter games. The first Olympics of which I have memory were the 1992 Albertville games and I still clearly remember Kristi Yamaguchi’s gala skate, which only made my child-self love her more.

Sigh.

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So Scott came back to us for a few magical moments of the 2010 gala skate which featured Joannie Rochette in a great little purple velvet sequined number skating to the French version of Celine Dion’s “Fly,” which incidentally also reminded me of my child-self, albeit sometime post-Kristi. Rochette chose the piece because it was one of her mother’s favorites. She received the Terry Fox Award (along with Petra Madjic, the fierce cross-country skier who took home a bronze despite multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung) as an Olympian who best embodied the best of the human spirit, who brought the Olympics beyond sport. Raise your hand if you cried? Chris Collinsworth judges you if you didn’t: “I know men don’t like to cry, but if you didn’t cry watching this young lady then what kind of man are you?” He named it is his number one moment of the 2010 games.

Back to Scott. Evgeny Plushenko came out on the ice being his usual fabulous/awful self, skating to “Je Suis Malade.” What are you trying to say Evgeny? Scott announced the song and provided the translation, “I Am Sick,” and proceeded with, “He’s sick? He’s sick with talent. He’s sick with ability.

Plushenko, “the one and only”  goes on to toss out handfuls of triple axels like Halloween candy, which Scott simply cannot get over, “Oh why not just keep throwing triple axels, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhaahaha, oh man– this guy is great!” Wait, does Scott voice Tony the Tiger?!?!

The wonderful thing about Scott Hamilton is his never-ending positivity, he loves to watch great athletes skate and he’s not afraid to let us know his feelings. Davis & White came out to a slow swooning cover of “Billie Jean,” and all Scott had to say was, “I love everything they do!.. GAH! I love them.”

Kim Yu-Na came on and there was more love fest in the air. According to Sandra, Kim has said that “the purpose of this program is to say thank you to everyone who has been supportive so far in my career.” Scott remained enamored throughout the program as Kim glided over the ice in a surprising long-sleeved and fairly long-skirted princess waist costume. It was different. I liked it. Scott summed up her skating with the succinct statement that “it’s truly a gift.”

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Another favorite pair of Scott’s, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir came out with a hugely entertaining performance. They started out to music from The Nutcracker Suite, Virtue wearing a full-on crinoline tutu; however, as the music suddenly transitioned into, yes, a jock jam situation Moir’s chosen Canadian hockey jersey-wth-jeans look began to make sense. It was just fun, total fun and the crowd loved it. Somehow, Scott still managed to wax poetic about how graceful they are: “Hard to believe they’re so good so young!” Sandra called theirs “a fairy tale story.” I just giggled.

For the crescendo of Scott’s praise, tuxedoed Evan Lysacek performed a competitive program choreographed to “Rhapsody in Blue.” According to Scott, they had run into each other a few days earlier– what I wouldn’t give to just run into my friend Scott Hamilton at the breakfast bar– and that Lysacek had been unable to pick his gala program. Scott said, “well, what do you want to say?” and Lysacek came up with  “I want to do ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ because I feel like it’s the date that brought me to the dance.'” Someday, Mr. Lysacek is going to make a great commentator.

At any rate, Scott could not effuse enough praise, gushing “Every time he had a setback, he worked through it and he earned it! He earned it the best way possible. He worked harder than anybody else”… Evgeny Plushenko. Yeah.

In a previous interview with Bob Costas, Scott has made it clear that although Plushenko is a great, Lysacek was without a doubt better and more deserving and that the Russian skater needs to get over himself and deal with his silver medal, quad or no quad: “It’s figure skating. It’s about the whole performance,” not just whether or not an athlete can successfully throw a quad on the ice.

Scott Hamilton blends the emotional, the entertaining and the technical seamlessly into his figure skating commentary– and that is why we love him.

A few favorite bites from these games, linked to the original posts:

“[Rachael Flatt] didn’t get any slack from the collar tonight!

“My heard just started beating a little faster.” As Kim Yu-Na comes onto the ice.

“[Kim Yu-Na’s] nemesis, the triple flip!

“You’re never a former gold medalist… You’re always an Olympic medalist!” Regarding his own esteemed status.

“When you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk ,and he just skated that skate!” Regarding Johnny Weir’s free skate.

“A little scary! This guy’s a cat, I don’t know how he landed that!” Regarding Plushenki’s free skate.

“I’m here to selllll myself!” Regarding Weir’s short program.

“A nightmare covered in molasses.” Regarding the year that Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy have had.

So what are you favorite Scott Hamilton moments?

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Goodbye Scott & Sandra: Ladies Free Skate

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What a night.

We start out with Sandra pointing out the obvious with near-show-tune of the night: “It’s figure skating so of course we’re going to hear some Carmen tonight.”

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Rachael Flatt laid out a strong performance to Scott Hamilton’s delight: “She’s a rock, she’s so consistent… skates her best performance of the year!” Sandra went with declaring that “She’s really doing it… she has saved her best one for the Olympics games!” Unfortunately our eyes are once again scarred by her insistence of wearing dark taupey tights despite a pretty jazzy red costume. Even more unfortunately, our friendly commentators believe that Flatt may have been underscored; Scott again falls into great turns of phrase saying, “she didn’t get any slack from the collar tonight.” Flatt ended up in seventh position.

Mirai Nagasu on the other hand made it within sight of the podium with her interpretation of Carmen, landing herself in fourth place with another personal best. Before heading out onto the ice Nagasu was looking pretty grim before her coach told her, “Smile!” Scott was obviously super excited about all of her jumps shouting out the combinations: “double lutz, double lutz, double TOE!” He also noted that as compared to her performance at Nationals “every jump looked a little higher and a little bit tighter here… Everything about her is just quality.”

As for Sandra? ” Everything about her is just beautiful, pristine… She went out tonight and just nailed it, she did sparkle!”

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The best thing about Mirai is how stoked she was at the end with a big open grin, how thrilled she was with her final score and how excited she was later on to take a picture with Joannie Rochette. She’s just spunky; she says, “I don’t care about results, I just want people to know that I’m the future!” Spunktastic. Even Dick Button thinks that she is “a really spiffy young lady,” who deserves a medal. Plus her red and black sequined costume was the perfect accompaniment to Carmen, I mean, if you want to get sartorial about things.

Sartorially speaking about the inspirational Joannie Rochette, her costume features that awkward faux bare midriff situation with which I take issue. Miki Ando of Japan also had that going on with her Cleopatra program. Sigh.

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But back to business: Rochette managed the skate of her life just days after her mother unexpectedly passed away, “a kiss for her father, a performance for her mom.” Her story definitely became the emotional center of the women’s figure skating competition/ the whole Olympic games. Scott was especially emotional, choking up as he wondered how she could have persevered: “I’ve never seen such a super human determination… She went after everything, she was athletic, she was determined… it was just a wonderful thing to see… I’m so inspired by her performance.”  I personally teared up a few times and when her program was over I actually almost clapped in my living room. My hands actually twitched to life, something unique to her performance.

So how did she do it? Rochette spoke to Andrea Joyce afterwards and explained, “Ever since I’m young, my mom she was really a tough woman and she taught me that… it was really important to be… so she is happy where she is.”

Take a break, grab a tissue.

Next up Mao Asada who created history by landing not one but two triple axels in her free skate, in addition to one landed in her short program. Epic. Scott… back to you–

“What courage to come out after that [Kim Yu-Na] and to throw those jumps that she did!”
“I was so proud of the effort, of the courage.”

nbcolympics.com/ Getty Images

It was very impressive. Mao is Kim’s closest rival and she totally threw down last night. And to top it off, she had a delightful costume that Molly described as “burlesque” in a way. Very old broadway or vaudeville or something, black and red, sequins, gloves, a choker– the works.

And finally… Kim Yu-Na, who “owns and operates the rule book.” Scott was so f’ing excited about this lady, saying “My heart just started beating a little faster,” as she came onto the ice. Really. She is amazing, fluid gliding and spinning over the ice which she covers so completely and with such graceful speed that Scott compared her to Apolo Ohno, oddly. From here on out, I just need to list some of the things that the commentators said, because it’s all just too much.

“Oh my goodness this is glorious! It’s one of the greatest Olympics performances I have ever seen!” ~Sandra

“Jumping to their feet, the coronation is complete, long live the queen!” ~Tom

“No one can walk a mile in those shoes!” ~Scott

“What was magical about the performance were the moments she took to focus into the audience and play with choreography and to feel relaxed.” ~Sandra

“To me, the crowd was just spellbound.” ~Tom

The quotation paradise of figure skating never ends. Never.

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Kim lost some of her legendary composure at the end of her skate, obviously well aware that she just broke the world record through the roof taking a 159.06 for the free skate and a composite of 228.56. The tears she spilled at the medal ceremony were apparently a complete surprise to her, being the first she has ever shed after a performance: “I was really happy that I did what I wanted to do.” “I think it was both [relief & joy].” This was the first figure skating medal for South Korea… lots of pressure.

And that’s the end of Olympian figure skating until Sochi 2014. I leave you with this tweet by short tracker J.R. Celski:

@celskeet i wonder if it would be harder to transition from speed skating to figure skating, or the other way around? i know for sure i can’t spin…

Things to ponder.

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Scott Hamilton, We Missed You: Ladies Short Program

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Before we get down to the women’s figure skating short program, let’s just have a moment to love Scott Hamilton and his commentary and how happy we all were to hear his voice last night.

@KathElizW Glad Scott Hamilton has come back to me. #Olympics

@JohannaAP25 @KathElizW I missed Scott a lot. A lot. Ice dance was like a drought. #olympics

@Kmwrather Scott Hamilton was getting choked up over that

@KathElizW@kmwrather He gets so engrossed. I love it. The man has many emotions. (that being said, it was very moving).

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This last tweet of course referring to the most emotional performance of the night, Joannie Rochette skating a personal best  to rank third despite her mother’s recent sudden death. As Rochette came onto the ice to thunderous applause, commentator Sandra said, “It’s like she’s found solace on the ice.” Scott only tried to comment once during the performance and as noted above it sounded like he was trying to hold back serious tears, and who wasn’t? Later in the evening a slightly more composed Scott declared, “The importance of this performance wasn’t the Olympics, it was life… [and] it means so much.”

After noting the triumphant significance of Rochette’s Olympic experience it will be difficult to regain the tone with which I prefer to imbue these posts, however with no disrespect–here we go:

Overall the most striking element of the evening? How difficult is it to pick a “nude” fabric that matches your own shade of nude? It was a sartorial massacre, despite otherwise passable-to-enjoyable costuming. And the nudes were off across the field of competition, hence “massacre.” One example?

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Rachael Flatt… why were your legs taupe when clearly your actually body is not? Distracting. The photos don’t even to justice to the skin tone discrepancies that flashed across the screen last night. Meanwhile, Dick Button says that her performance was like “sunshine coming down,” placing her into fourth place; good thing you don’t get judged on your tights.

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Mirai Nagasu, the other American contender placed  sixth for the night with a seasonal best, showing “lots of moxie and lots of potential.” Oh Sandra,  way to step up your vocabulary due to the fierce competition brought by Scott! She’s right– girl’s got spunk, plus her spins are so beautiful and so fast that she ended the program with a slight bloody nose! Scott says her spins are among the best out there. So there.

The headliner of course was Kim Yu-Na of South Korea who is basically “the biggest superstar South Korea has ever seen.” She gave a world-record-breaking skate to the musical stylings of James Bond– a delight. She faced and conquered “her nemesis the triple flip” (thanks Scott) and delivered a program full of “strength and sensuality, with a little flirt thrown in there too” (Oh Sandra, you really are stepping it up)!

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But seriously, the American ladies represented well last night, both placing into the top six, in prime position for the upcoming free skate. And aside from the non-nude nude issues and the propensity of the ladies to insist on wearing tights stretched over their boots… my eyes were not terribly scarred. Have I simply become immune to figure skating fashion faux pas as a result of overexposure during the past two weeks?! Something to ponder.

One last gem from each commentator? You’re welcome:

“She’s someone who can be spectacular, or who can implode.” ~Sandra on Miki Ando of Japan
“Let’s rock the house!” ~Scott regarding Rachael Flatt’s attitude

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