Why am I watching figure skating?

Фигурное катание | Блог Listen to your broccoli

Have you ever practiced a sport where athletism, mathematics, and make-up matter? Is there such a sport? Yes, there is. This is, of course, figure skating. I am not so fond of watching sport on a couch. However, figure skating is an exception. You can watch it endlessly.

So if I am doing this I need some excuse, but before writing about reasons why I am watching figure skating, some basics:

I often hear that people do not know that there are four types of figure skating (not three), so just in case: men, women, pairs, and ice dancing (also synchronized skating).

The difference between pairs skating and ice dancing is in jumps, spirals, spins and special pairs elements (twist, throw, death spiral, balance). In ice dancing, there are dance balances, spins, dance steps on the ice, twizzles.

All competitions of figure skating consist of a short program and a free program. A short program is shorter (yes:) and consists of mandatory predefined elements. A free program is longer and gives more freedom in the choice of elements. The aim is of course to choose most ‘expensive’ elements.

Figure skating is story and beauty 

There are trends and fashion for music, costumes, styles in figure skating. 

There are popular music compositions that are used every figure skating season (Carmen for example) and then reviewers would spend ages discussing who is the best Carmen of all the times. There are trendy music themes like movie songs.  For example, Dirty Dancing, La la land, Moulin Rouge (this is a must watch). There are even programs inspired by sculptures like Kiss of Rodin (old video). There are programs inspired by ballet music: Swan Lake (and here the same partner with another lady), Don Quixote

Female figure skaters often have dresses inspired by haute couture.

Figure skating is mathematics and calculations

Elements and their sequence in the figure skating program are predefined and scripted by the figure skaters and their coaches. However while in the process of performing the athlete can still replace, skip or add an element (for example if they failed one of the jumps) and perform an element in a different moment of the program. And of course, they should make the right choice about the type of element, timing and the ‘price’. For example, Alina Zagitova made the right choice: she did not succeed to perform triple rittberger jump in the right place and she added it later and that allowed her to win the gold Olympic medal.

Figure skating is about life

I wanted to start the sentence with the statement that figure skating is a soap opera, probably it is more life than soap opera. How is it to spend the whole day on the skating rink and be partners in real life and spend the rest of the day together. And then stop being a couple in real life but still spend the whole day together. Or one of the partners starts a relationship with the coach and three of you still spend whole time together. How is it hate each other and still work for the same goal?

Both figure skaters and coaches know that the whole world is watching them and still the emotions that they show in the kiss and cry corner are amazing. Afterward, figure skating fans will spend hours trying to read lips in order to understand what a figure skater said to her coach after completing the program (this is a real story of figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva).

Broken figure skating couples, sportsmen leaving their coaches, public excuses and explanations. The figure skating news is constantly accompanied by all of this. I can follow this endlessly (because of anthropological interest of course:).

This cocktail of sport, beauty, music, relationship, gossips (let’s call a spade a spade) is fascinating.

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