Saturday, December 2, 2017

Nathan Chen's "Nemesis" by Benjamin Clementine

In an Olympic season that has been full of recycled programs, bizarre Grand Prix events, and uneven performances, Nathan Chen's short program to "Nemesis," by Benjamin Clementine is far and away one of the most refreshing, standout programs of the season. It's contemporary, nuanced, creative, and exciting. I love this!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tara Lipinski's "Anastasia"

The other night I watched the movie "Anastasia" with the girls that I babysit. It had been years since I've seen it. I had forgotten how enchanting and charming it was! It also reminded me of Tara Lipinski's 1998 Olympic short program to the song "Once Upon a December," from the film's soundtrack. The girls were not alive in 1998, did not know who Tara Lipinski was, and don't often watch skating, so it was a treat to see the "Anastasia" skating program, complete with Lipinski wearing a dress modeled after what was worn in the movie. It has also been years since I've seen this short program. In watching again, I can't say that Lipinski's actual skating wowed me, but her sheer enthusiasm and verve were simply unmatched in the event. I love the feeling of joy in her footwork sequence and her expression of happiness at triumph at the end.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Twenty Years Ago: Michelle Kwan's Iconic Rachmaninoff Short Program

Yesterday I saw a post on another skating Web site that marked the 20th anniversary of Michelle Kwan's debut of her iconic Rachmaninoff short program. I remember watching Michelle's Skate America showdown between Tara Lipinski in the fall of 1997. I was in 8th grade. I cannot believe this was 20 years ago. In all those years, no one has captured the true essence of figure skating and our hearts the way that Michelle did. As much as I miss Michelle's skating, I feel so lucky and honored to have witnessed her greatness.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Happy Birthday Dick Button!

Today is Dick Button's 88th birthday. Skating fans haven't seen much of him in awhile, but I sure hope he's well. I thank Dick Button for teaching me almost everything that I know about figure skating. Not only did I listen to his skating commentary on television since I was 10, he was also the host of the Magic Memories on Ice tape that I re-watched over and over on countless Saturday afternoons and as little girl. Dick Button's voice and his unique perspective on the world of figure skating, in his intellectual, enthusiastic, and witty, bumbling ways are forever etched in my memory.

At the 2014 Nationals in Boston, I was lucky enough to meet Dick Button and have him sign my copy of his book Push Dick's Button. He was older then than how I picture him forever frozen in time in my memory, but that didn't matter to me. Meeting him was a thrill and honor of a lifetime.

Happiest of birthdays, Dick Button. You have shared so much skating knowledge, appreciation, and joy. Thank you.

Michelle Kwan's "Red Violin"

When Michelle Kwan won the 2000 World Championships, she did silenced the many naysayers who said she peaked in 1998. On the contrary, some of Michelle's most memorable and stunning performances happened in the second half of her career. I remember watching this performance during my sophomore year of high school. I missed the live coverage because I was out celebrating a friend's 16th birthday party. When I got home, I rewound the VHS tape in the VCR and watched Michelle lay down the gauntlet to win her third world title. I love the way Michelle competed this program: with such speed, energy, and attack. I miss performances like this from skater's today. Michelle was the gold standard.