Two hours before the press conference that announced most of the
Olympic figure skating team for 2014, I
was sitting in church... where the sermon was taking a closer look at the idea
of “everything happening for a reason.” U.S.
Hmmmm. There were no figure skating analogies made (of course; it’s not
time yet), but oh, what might have
I’ve had a couple of days to mull it all over, and what can I say... I’m an inquisitive lady with more questions than answers. 20 QUESTIONS, to be exact...
(and pardon me for using mostly first names here, but at this stage of the game I just feel like it's the right thing to do)
1) Does anyone else see that Get-it-together-before-it’s-too-late moment with Jeremy’s FS—where he suddenly had to scramble to his starting pose and deliver, or risk a time disqualification—as a great metaphor regarding Jeremy’s situation in general leading up to this Nationals?
2) Does Max watch someone like Jason and wonder, just a little, “how the hell am I going to beat this guy in the long run without pummeling my hips and knees into a dark, gooey jam from all the quad jumps?”
3) If/when Jason lops off his ponytail, will it be kind of like the moment when Felicity cut her long ringlets away?
4) Do you realize that Jason was only 3 years old when Felicity debuted on the WB Network, and surely has no first-hand idea what I mean when I throw out a Felicity reference like that one?
5) Are Ricky (Dornbush, 2nd after SP/5th overall) and the pairs team of Scimeca/Knierim (2nd at 2013 Nats; 4th this time) just now waking up from all the Olympics hullabaloo of which they ultimately had no part, shaking their heads like dazed cyclone victims and asking themselves What just happened??
6) Did Caydee/John, as the most decorated U.S. pairs team over the past couple of years, have as much of a right as Ashley to hope that USFS would choose them over Felicia/Nate for the Olympic team?
7) Were Caydee/John passed over without much fanfare (relative to U-NO-WHAT) because of the lack of international pairs success (read medals)? Or is it because, justified or not, the ladies’ discipline (aka U-NO-WHAT) is still considered the best way to attract
viewers to the sport? U.S.
8) Either way... how does Caitlin Yankowskas feel right about now?
And speaking of U-NO-WHAT...
9) Do you worry that the passive skating fan—the kind that only watches Olympic skating, save for Nationals on prime-time TV every January—say “I don’t get it” about Ashley because all they’ve really seen of late are her sub-par performances?
10) How would we all feel if the one who had finished 3rd and left off the team was Agnes? Or Christina? What about Samantha? Or Courtney?
11) Is it different because it’s Mirai, the one among these names that we’ve “known” the longest? Or would the outrage be the same regardless?
12) Do you think, after the ladies’ SP, at least a few of The Powers That Be pondered Mirai’s results at the last two Nationals... and assumed there would be no difficult decisions to be made come Sunday because she’d be out of the picture?
13) Did USFS cast its vote for the ladies’ team keeping in mind the adage “there is no such thing as bad publicity”... (and as I ask that, I keep in mind the image of Mirai on the Yahoo! Headline ticker over the weekend, or the feature that made it to NBC Nightly News on Monday)
14) Did USFS leave Mirai off the Worlds team to twist the knife a little deeper, or out of concern that a Gold/Edmunds/Nagasu team didn’t stand as good a chance to keep 3 ladies’ spots for 2015?
15) Does the Mirai/Ashley decision set a bad precedent or a good one? Or none of the above?
16) Can we think of any other year when the most decorated figure skater of the time finished off their Nationals podium in an Olympic year? Was it even possible in the days when compulsory figures prowess set the stage for the rest of the event?
17) What one person might Mirai most upset with at this point? A specific individual likely to have cast a vote on Sunday? An old coach? Polina? Ashley? Herself?
18) Speaking of Polina... how much of a disadvantage does she have simply because she is relatively unknown to the media or to skating fans? Or because she clearly asserted, to the media, her right to be in the top three if she managed her multiple high-scoring jumps with ease...?
19) Or because any number of fans (if not judges) quickly decried her style to be as junior-ish as her 15 years... consequently disputing her placement in the top 3 altogether?
20) Are Olympic years ending in “4” now destined to be crazy ones for
I’ve got more to say about the “controversy,” as I alluded to on Twitter, but here’s a starting point. Or maybe 20 starting points. Feel free to make these questions anything but rhetorical ones via the Comments!
P.S. I know Euros start very shortly (may have already started by the time you read this), but I’m still coming out of the Nationals vortex and haven’t made any predictions... based on how I did with Nats— a paltry 4-for-12, I think?—it’s probably just as well. But I’ll be following along of course! Let’s talk about it next week.