Last night it was all figure skating all the time for me. First I watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, The Price of Gold, which you can find streaming on the Netflix. This 75-odd minute film tells the story of what happened before the 1994 Winter Olympics, when Nancy Kerrigan’s knee got a beat down by people from Tonya Harding’s camp. This was a great trip down memory lane. I was a freshman in high school back then, with a ton of time to read every People magazine story and obsess over who was right and who was wrong and who was lying.
This film is told from Tonya Harding’s perspective (because Nancy Kerrigan refused to be interviewed, though her husband does pop up a few times). At first they had me really feeling for Tonya. She came from the wrong side of the tracks. Her mother was abusive. She had no money. The only thing she had in her life was figure skating. The figure skating people kept trying to get her to change to fit their mold. (That left me wondering if things would have been different if Tonya would’ve just really said, “Screw all y’all,” and skated and dressed like how she wanted to instead of acquiescing and becoming the low-rent Nancy Kerrigan. What if she had cut her hair, worn pants instead of skirts, skated to rock music, and sported those blue nails? Would that have garnered her a whole different level of success? Would she have become the anti-Nancy, the punk rock figure skating rebel instead of the trashy wannabe? She just struck me as Caring Too Much. You have a triple axel. Give no fucks, Tonya. Give no fucks.)
Anyway. By the end of it, I realized that as much as she insisted that she had no knowledge of the attack, all of that was probably bull shit. She totally knew. And she harbors this weird hatred for Nancy, like everything was Nancy’s fault. Maybe Nancy was a bitch, I don’t know. But she did not deserve to have her knee bashed in. Nancy is not at fault here.
After the show was over, I turned on the ladies’ Olympic long program, and yawn. First of all, the American commentators keep trying to shove the American girls down our throats, which, of course they are. This is American television. But the American girls never had a chance, and, also, they’re so boring and lame. And they all look exactly the same.
If figure skating knew its shit, it would’ve been pumping up the spitfire who ended up winning the whole thing, Adelina Sotnikova. She banged on the wall before the start of short program, like, “Let’s do this,” and then skated with the vim and vigor of a young Tonya Harding. And then there was old, decrepit Carolina Kostner from Italy, who, at age 27, should barely be able to walk, let alone skate. And my personal favorite, France’s Mae Berenice Meite, who completely possesses the power and the rock goddess attitude Tonya Harding should’ve been cultivating back in the late ’80s.
But even with these great personalities, figure skating currently lacks drama. I guess there’s some bad blood between the two older blond girls on the U.S. team? Who knows? I don’t really care. They’re basically the same person to me. We need some real drama. We need some Dynasty-level dung tossing.
So, here are some ways figure skating could manufacture some real drama:
1. Reveal that Meryl Davis and Charlie White have been dating for years…Then reveal they’re also brother and sister!
2. Start a rumor that Davis has been hooking up with Moir…or better yet, Virtue!
3. Gracie Gold: International Spy!
4. Jason Brown already took on Riverdance. Up next, Magic Mike! (Dang, Evgeni Plushenko basically already did that. The Russians are so far ahead of us! Get it together, U.S. figure skating!)
5. Someone needs to push someone down a well. That just needs to happen.
How do you think figure skating should spice things up?
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