Thursday, October 1, 2009

The F Word

Today I am not blogging about The D Word.  Instead I thought I'd blog about the F word.

No, not that F word!!  Figure Skating.  My mom and I share an obsession a love of figure skating.  We've been to tons of figure skating shows and to a few competitions including Skate America in 2006.  To say we are fans is a gross understatement.  To say we are gracious would also be wrong.  We have been known to go to skating events and quietly make fun of "fans" who don't know their stuff.  We firmly believe audience members should be quizzed on skating knowledge before entering the arena, and seats should be granted according to the quiz score.  This would assure us the best seats in the house!  My mom also once hinted at something I could *ahem* trade with some male skaters to get us better seats.  She was kidding . . . I think.

Go ahead.  Throw out the name of any figure skater you can think of.  I'm almost certain to have seen them skate live (provided you don't go back 45 years or anything).  I may have even met them / follow them on Twitter / got their autograph / hugged or touched them.  (Does that sound creepy?)  I watch Brian Boitano's show on Food Network.  The only thing I don't do is skate myself.  Don't get me wrong, I can go forward.  I can stop if I skate into the boards.  But that's about all I'm coordinated enough to do.  That doesn't stop me from loving, and obsessing over, figure skating.

I read skating magazines.

I have skating books.

I have a ton of autographs.
These are Ekaterina Gordeeva and Brian Boitano.

I have pictures.

The first figure skating show I ever saw was Ice Capades in the early 80s.  Tai and Randy skated in that show.  Mom and I saw every Champions on Ice from the mid-90s until they folded in 2007.  We still go to Stars on Ice every year and we always sit in the front row, which is actually folding chairs on the ice.  We used to go to all of the shows at the International Skating Center of Connecticut and we are still upset they don't have shows anymore.  We went to one show in Newington and just last weekend we went to a show in Danbury.  When Pete was living in New Jersey, I dragged him to a couple of really cool shows down there!  We sat in on-ice seats for one of those shows, An Evening with Scott Hamilton and Friends, and Kurt Browning crouched beside me waiting to go on and accidentally touched my hip.  *sigh*

Of all the shows we've seen, Mom and I have loved each and every one.  But a few stand out in my memory.  The year Brian Boitano did his tribute to Andrea Bocelli was amazing.  Mom and I were already huge fans of Andrea as well, so it was like someone put together a show crafted just for us.  The following year, Brian's tribute was to Earth, Wind and Fire.  They played the whole show and rocked the place!!  Andrea was a hard act to follow, but the Earth Wind and Fire show was just as awesome in its own way.  Then there was the tribute to the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team.  Did you know that back then, the entire world team would travel together on one plane?  Did you know in 1961 that plane crashed and our best skaters and coaches were all lost?  That is when so many figure skating coaches from other countries began coaching in the U.S.  We had no coaches left of our own.

There are shows that were less epic, but mean as much to me.  I loved the show in Simsbury when Viktor Petrenko gave me a hug after his number.  I loved the year the male members in Stars on Ice did a spoof of an 80s hair-band (this is a YouTube link with regrettable poor footage, but it's all I could find), and John Zimmerman played "rock god and groupie" with me by grabbing my hand when I held it up.  (I have to admit, I blacked out a little on that one, but it was cool.)  I loved the time my mom clapped so hard that her ring flew off her hand and onto the ice.  Brian Orser picked it up and brought it to her, and she conned a hug out of him.  (Yes, I know, we are shameless).

The show I loved the most of all is also the show I wish never happened.  It was the tribute that was held after Sergei Grinkov died.  He had been living in Connecticut at the time, and the tribute was held here.  We were able to go.  It was the first time his widow appeared on the ice after his death.  It was beautiful and sad and so amazing.   I can never ever put into words what that show was like, but the memories will never fade.

And that, my friends, is what the F Word is to me.  There is so much more to all of us than the D Word.  Thank you for letting me share a little more of myself with you!


  1. I am loving these #nodday posts. I feel like I am learning so much more about everyone!

    That is just awesome. You have so many facets as do us all I guess but this was sooo cool!

    Pete's a lucky guy! :)

  2. How cool to be so passionate about something. What a great expression of it too :)

  3. Loved the post & reading some of your fondest memories! I've never seen figure skating in person but I think I may have to put it on my bucket list now ;-)

  4. OMG that is awesome. I had a huge crush on Kurt Browning for a while (Canada, eh?) and who couldn't love poor Chris Bowman? When he skated to "Sunglasses at Night" I was in heaven (loved Corey Hart then & still do!).

    Thanks for posting!

  5. I LOVE that you LOVE Figure Skating! It's an amazing and graceful sport.

    And I'm not just saying that because my mother was a professional Ice Skater who was a member of The Ice Capades !

  6. So freakin' cool Karen!!!
    Glad you chose to post about the F word.

    wv: axeglef

    If I tried to skate in any figures, I would no doubt hurt my axeglef.

  7. I'm with Kathy. I loved Chris Bowman. Although I don't follow like I used to, I was obsessed with figure skating in the '80s. My only disappointment was in actually doing it. I should have been able to twirl, but I couldn't even stand up. I loved seeing your pictures!

  8. And here I was expecting a post about the K-word, or at the very least the Y-word. Thanks for the surprise!

    PS - captcha "WEROMP" - yes, we do!

  9. That was fun to read. You're so lucky to share your passion with your mom!

  10. I'm glad I'm not the only one that uses the boards as brakes. The figures I skate are mostly just line segments - start, straight line, crash.


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