Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Figure Skating!

There was a time in my life when I used to be reallllly into figure skating (watching, NOT doing), and that was because I idolized the greatest figure skater of MY generation-- Michelle Kwan. Michelle is probably (and unfortunately so) known to many as the great skater with one accolade missing from her collection, the Olympic gold medal. However, I know her as the graceful, classy athlete who is the most decorated figure skater in the history of US skating. When Michelle stopped competing, I stopped watching. And so, I haven't been excited about figure skating, until now. Last night was the short program portion of the female figure skating competition at the Olympics, and there is a reason why it is the most watched Winter Olympic event. Drama Drama Drama! LOVES IT.

In one corner you have the world reigning champion, Yuna Kim, a 19 year old from South Korea who is not only considered the greatest figure skater skating today, but quickly cemented herself as one of the greatest figure skaters of all time. The biggest celebrity of her nation, she has the weight of Korea's expectations on her shoulders, so much so that she can't even live and train in Korea. Her match with Mao Asada, an equally talented 19 year old from Japan, is the stuff scripted dramas are made of. Both carry the weight of their country's pressure on their shoulders, both are multi-millionaire celebrities, both are expected to bring home the gold and once and for all settle the rivalry between the girls' respective nations. And if drama and rivalry aren't your things, then you have tragedy: the current 3rd place finisher, Canadian Joannie Rochette, is skating a mere 2 days after the sudden death of her mother. Emotional stuff!

Tomorrow brings the conclusion of the exciting competition, and while Yuna Kim has the commanding lead at the moment, anything can happen by tomorrow night's end. My current prediction though, mirrors the current standings at the moment:
Gold: Yuna Kim (South Korea)
Silver: Mao Asada (Japan)
Bronze: Joannie Rochette (Canada)