Wednesday, July 2, 2008

When Janet Lynn Speaks…

…Hopefully, people listen. With the intensity of a thousand suns.

I’m not old enough to remember Janet Lynn’s era personally, but I like to think I’m wise enough to cherish it just the same. From the time my ballet teacher (who worked with Lynn at some point in her career) kept a newspaper article on the skater posted in the tiny lobby of her dance studio, with Lynn’s radiant smile lighting up the wood paneling like no amount of neon or twinkling lights could ever do, I had a sense she was someone very special.

For the most part, as you probably know already, Lynn has stayed out of the spotlight and focused her considerable creative energy not on coaching, or commentating, or judging… but on raising five sons. That doesn’t mean she’s lost touch with figure skating, though. Far from it.

Last week I stumbled across this link to the transcript of a speech Lynn recently gave at 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Governing Council Dinner. “From Whence Comes the Joy of Figure Skating?” is its title, and at 12 pages, you’ll definitely need to set aside a few minutes to read it in its entirety. I strongly recommend you do so. Lynn’s commentary on the direction her sport is taking may echo the frustrations of countless fans and skaters, but it does so with a perspective and tenderness that few others can achieve. “I have stored up a lot to say over 25 years!” she proclaims in the opening lines… indeed she has, and here’s hoping the USFS picks up the gauntlet she threw down so brilliantly at the speech’s end.

And since she references her “Afternoon of a Faun” program in the speech, I’ve got her 1983 revival of that program as the Clip of the Day. (which you may need to cut and paste into your browser today-- sorry about that)

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