Tuesday, July 8, 2008

For the Love of a Great Skating Mom

It’s always sad to hear when a person passes away, but when that person was a parent to someone you know of—even if it’s only by name—it becomes a little more profound. So when I learned today (via this article ) that Elizabeth Manley’s mother just died, I had to give a sad little sigh.

As with so many “skating moms”, Joan and Liz Manley surely shared a bond uniquely woven by early-morning drives, long hours in cold rinks, concession-stand coffee, encouraging words for every well-landed jump… and patience. Patience to sit in the stands with a book or some needlework for patch session after patch session, but also patience to weather the thousands of heartbreaking competitions along the road to success. In Manley’s case, she apparently did it all as a single mom. That’s a feat in itself. But what better reward could there have been than sitting there in the stands at the Calgary Olympics, watching your daughter give the proverbial “skate of her life” to win a surprise silver medal in her home country?

Liz Manley’s show-stealing free skate at the ’88 Games is, of course, the Clip of the Day. You can see her mom in the stands at about 4:40 into the clip. Here’s hoping her place in heaven is warm, cozy, and provides ample time for her to brag on her family.

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