Boot and Blade

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Archive for February, 2010

What Not to Wear, Figure Skating Edition

Last week I spoke with ABC News for their story about Olympic figure skating costuming, Vancouver Olympics: In Figure Skating, Women Go Classy, Men Stay Flashy. The article asks this question: Why are men donning outrageous costumes while the women are toning it down with sophisticated dresses? It was fun to weigh-in on the discussion [...]

Does Figure Skating Need to Man Up?

Seven-time Canadian Champion Elvis Stojko has been speaking out about a lack of masculinity in the men’s figure skating event. As a life-long figure skating fan, I too have seen a rise in effeminate costumes and choreography. When Dick Button, Brian Boitano and Kurt Browning were skating, men didn’t do ladylike layback spins or make [...]

Send Joannie Rochette Your Support

Watching Joannie Rochette battle through the short program last night was inspirational and, of course, heartbreaking. Her courage is astounding. Many fans have expressed their support for Joannie with messages and texts. In this statement, she says that she appreciates all the support: We both want to thank all the people here and across Canada [...]

Canadian Ice Dancers Make Olympic History

I feel so lucky! I was one of 11,000 skating fans at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver to witness Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir dance their way to Olympic gold. It was an evening of perfection led by the Canadian duo whose complex, powerful and emotionally profound free dance left the audience in an awestruck, [...]

Lori Nichol, Choreography Queen

Choreography is the new quad. Patrick Chan and Joannie Rochette’s routines are evidence of just how critical good choreography is in making a skater competitive on the world stage. In Chan’s case, his intricate, dramatic footwork sequences and artistic embellishments almost make up for a shaky triple axel and no quad. It’s choreography, I believe, [...]

Olympians Hard at Work

On Monday I attended an Olympic figure skating practice at Pacific Coliseum. The men prepared for the short program event and the pairs got in their last practice before the free skate. When you’re at ice level, the athletes’ speed and power is spectacular! Here are some photos from the event:

How Figure Skating Works: Advancements in Figure Skate Construction

A reader asked me for some information on recent advancements in figure skate construction. Here are a few points of interest that might be helpful for his granddaughter’s fourth grade report on Figure Skating. The oldest pair of skates apparently date back to 3000 BC, found at the bottom of a lake in Switzerland. The [...]

How Figure Skating Works: Triple Lutz-Triple Toe Tutorial

Every now and then I try to explain the physics of figure skating. Since I majored in Fine Arts, not Physics, my explanations usually break down into violent arm gestures and long-winded diatribes on why figure skating is impossibly difficult! So, I was delighted to discover this articulate and beautifully rendered tutorial on the physics [...]

Manley and Witt Reunited at Robson Square

Last weekend I went to Robson Square to see Elizabeth Manley and Katarina Witt reunited 22 years after the Calgary Olympics. Hundreds of fans came out to get a glimpse of the figure skating icons. For so many Canadians, Manley’s flawless free program in Calgary was the highlight of the ’88 Games. Manley and Witt [...]

US Nationals Through a Fashionista’s Eyes

I often wonder what non-fans think when they happen upon a figure skating competition on TV. Are they amazed by the athletic feats? Do they marvel at pairs skaters’ willingness to be hurled into triple split twists? Do they appreciate artistic achievements? Over at Go Fug Yourself, Jessica reviews US Nationals with an entertaining costume [...]