June 13, 2010 |
Last year, just before Christmas, the manager of a city ice rink called Doreen Denny on her day off. At age 68, Denny still taught ice skating five days a week. The manager insisted she come in right away. His voice sounded odd. "There's some crazy lady here who says she has something that belongs to you," he said, trying to sound mysterious. "It's something from the '50s." "The '50s?" Denny sputtered in her clipped British accent. "I wasn't even here in the '50s." But she was. Fifty-one years before, as a wispy teenager from Twickenham, England, she and her partner had skated flawlessly for their country at the storied Broadmoor World Arena to capture the 1959 ice dancing world championship.
February 24, 2010 |
Even with the non-manly sport of ice dancing dominating NBC's Monday night prime-time coverage (sprinkled in with a little men's aerials and some snippets of women's hockey), the Olympics out-drew a two-hour first-run episode of "The Bachelor" on ABC and a new episode of Fox's "24" (Jack Bauer might want to try using a skate blade as a secret weapon). The U.S. didn't win any gold medals to draw in extra viewers, but 21 million were watching the Olympics versus 11.2 million for "The Bachelor" during the 8- to-10 p.m. block and 8.7 million for the one-hour "24," according to NBC and Nielsen Media Research.
February 23, 2010 |
Could you imagine Joe Torre managing the Dodgers and Angels? Or Canada's hockey coach, Mike Babcock, behind the bench for both the Canadian and U.S. teams? That's the situation in the ice dance, where the top two finishers, one from Canada and one from the United States, share a pair of Russian émigré coaches and the same training rink in Canton, Mich. Such arrangements are not unusual in figure skating, where one coach often trains rivals in the same discipline.
February 22, 2010 |
Scott Moir of Canada is a big hockey fan. He trains every day at the same rink outside Detroit as Charlie White of the United States, who also is a big hockey fan. Both had to avoid paying more attention to the U.S.-Canada men's hockey game than their own skating in the ice-dancing competition Sunday night. "Are we going to talk about that?" Moir said, groaning. He had a hard time pulling himself away from a television showing the game. "I finally stopped because I had to focus," Moir said.
February 21, 2010 |
Know what I like? Ice dancing -- the elegance, the artistry, the physical contact. I used to express myself by cursing politicians on TV or swearing at other drivers. Now, ice dancing has come into my life. Ice dancing is the sort of sport Barry Manilow might've invented. It belongs in Las Vegas, except it would all probably melt. Then it would be water dancing, which doesn't sound so bad. Just imagine what NBC would do with a "skin cam." Right away you're probably thinking, "Oh, this dude's writing about ice dancing, he's going to make fun of it."
February 20, 2010 |
Will Russia's anger over Evgeni Plushenko's loss in the men's figure-skating competition have an effect on the ice dance results? That question will hang in the air until Monday, when the skaters do the free dance in an event that began with compulsories Friday. If world champions Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin do not win, Russia will leave the Olympics without a skating gold medal for the first time since 1960, since its women won't even get near the podium. Even worse: A 12-Olympics win streak in pairs ended with a crash when no Russian team won a medal.