Monday, January 26, 2015

Jason Brown Delivers

The 2015 U.S. Figure Skating Championships concluded Sunday with the men's final.

It was fun to see 2014 Olympian Jason Brown rack up a score of 274.98 to win his first U.S. gold, while Adam Rippon achieved the silver and Joshua Farris won the bronze with 272.48 and 267.98, respectively.

The experience writing from the event was eye-opening and good fun. Got reacquainted with several Olympic reporters while making a few new friends with deep knowledge of figure skating. And the Greensboro locals and volunteers were courteous and helpful.

It was my hope to speak briefly with Tara Lipinski and/or Johnny Weir while in attendance. Unfortunately, Tara was busy as there was no Weir to be found except with her in the NBC booth overlooking the ice -- maybe next time.

I did, however, have the pleasure of spotting and introducing myself to Brian Boitano, an approachable and friendly Olympic champion. It hardly seems possible next month marks 27 years since his gold medal performance in Calgary.

There are still a few unanswered questions from the overall experience:

-- When audience members toss plush toys, flowers or other gifts onto the ice for competitors, why do the girls and boys who retrieve these items (to clear the ice) skate with their arms extended like Stretch Armstrong?
-- When will coaches and female athletes at last retire the music and costumes of "Carmen" from competitive figure skating? For this blogger, Katerina Witt was the first, last and only skater to pull this off, so why not honor her by not "going there" with lesser versions?
-- Speaking of music, why are so many of the long program tunes -- for men and women, and even pairs or dancing -- so somber? During the weekend I heard melodies from "Danse Macabre" and "Adagio For Strings" to "Schindler's List" and "Titanic" theme songs -- isn't the audience done with iceberg-inspired soundtracks by now?

Looking forward to future competitions including the 2016 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in St. Paul and the 2016 World Championships in Boston.

Photos by Nicholas Wolaver


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