On Thursday, Abigail at Diary of a New Mom nominated me for the Sweet Friend award–having never been nominated for anything, I, like Abigail, have to say–how cool is that????? It comes at a good time, too, because the “rule” is I have to tell you ten things that make me happy. And after seventeen days (and counting) of one to three sick, crabby and needy kids in my house, I’m having trouble focusing on things that make me happy! In fact, it’s taken me all weekend to a) come up with something to write about and b) find time to do it. But yesterday afternoon, we turned on the TV and found the U.S. Figure Skating championships on. Alex came over and watched with me, and every time the ice dancers did a lift, he said, “Wow! That was cool!” It made me so happy to share my love with my son. And I thought, you know what? I’m going to share some of my favorite skating programs, because they really do make me happy. And let me add this: I LOVE YouTube.
- I have to start where it all began for me: with Katarina Witt’s long program at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. I was in the fourth grade and it was the first Olympics I watched. I fell in love with how beautiful she was, how beautiful her costume was–but also with the beauty of the sport.
- Oksana Baiul skates to Saint-Saens “The Swan” in 1994 in Lillehammer. I never teach that piece to a flute student without thinking of this performance.
- Mishkutenok & Dmitriev (Lillehammer 1994) skate to Rachmaninov. I have adored Gordeeva & Grinkov forever, and yet I had to admit that in Lillehammer, M&D did better.
- Nonetheless, G&G’s program was also spectacular…and there was something about those two that just made me happy to watch, always. At my first Stars on Ice, we sat in the rafters of the Kiel Center, and the whole thing seemed distant and unreal–except these two. When I saw them skate in person, I really knew that they and I were existing in the same space. I actually grieved when Sergei Grinkov died so suddenly. So I include this program here among the best figure skating I have ever seen.
- Stars on Ice really made me appreciate professional skating. Free from all the nonsense that surrounds judging, skating really becomes art. There was Kristi Yamaguchi’s “Doop Doop” program–another one I was thrilled to get to see in person. (Looking back, how ’90’s is that outfit?)
- And Underhill and Martini’s “On My Own.” (The commentator will eventually shut up; bear with it.)7
- Then there are the men. My problem is, I don’ t care for the new guys AT ALL. But how can you resist Kurt and Scotty? It’s figure skating meets Stomp! Despite their virtuoso physical skills, they don’t take themselves seriously; I think that’s what I like so much about watching these two guys.
- Along those lines: here’s Hat Trick (Scotty) and Clown (Kurt).
- And another Hat Trick, this time with Torvill and Dean. I came by an appreciation of ice dancing very late, so I don’t have as many favorites in that area–but I love watching it now.
- Last but certainly not least, I adore Jamie Sale and David Pelletier. This was their Olympic program in 2002, where I “met” them. The judging scandal, in which Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze were awarded the gold despite not being as good as S &P, was the impetus behind a major rework of the judging & scoring of figure skating.
There you go. If you follow every link I put in here, it’ll take you an hour to read this post…but I hope you’ll be happier at the end of it!
And now, because everyone needs a reason to reflect on what makes them happy, I bestow the Sweet Friend on…
Take it away ladies!