What's the world coming too? Or at least the world of figure skating? Being a 14 year old national champion doesn't get you a trip to Worlds anymore. Well, they haven't for a couple of years now, but I can still complain, right? Take little Marai Nagasu, who took home the top prize in last night's senior ladies competition. She floated through her dance elements like a polished ballerina--of the quality usually reserved for more experienced skaters. She flew through her jumps, torquing her twists at such a speed that it was hard to tell she ever left the ice. Truth is, there's not much gravity holding her back. At 4' 11' (the height of my protagonist Dree, my fourteen year old gymnast) it might seem easy, but I bet it's hard to gain that much speed when your legs are only as big as twigs. But this is what impressed me the most. She fell in her opening double axle, then rebounded and skated her remaining program without a mistake. Flawless. Beautiful. Exquisite. The qualities of a much older competitor. Afterwards, in the kiss and cry area, she confessed that she was a bit perturbed that she fell and thought it "stupid" so she "attacked" the rest of her program. Good for her! What a star! That's what William (my fourteen year old junior skating champion) would have said in the same situation. "That was bloody stupid!".
It was fun seeing Charlene Wong as Marai's coach. Charlene was the perpetual silver medalist in Canadian figure skating circuit for most of the eighties. I loved her tenacity and always wanted her to break through a take the title, but it didn't happen. Now, she coaches champions. Good for her.
If you missed any of the action last night, check out the ice network for great videos of the competition.
I'll be busy with my manuscript trying to sneak in a scene of William training. Now THAT should be fun!