Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Skating - Day 12: 5 Favorite Ladies Skaters

Well, sort of. I haven't had many ladies favorites for the last few years, as the discipline seemed to deteriorated in general and with the lion's share of skating coverage on the web (and when live, at strange times depending on where the competition is held), I haven't been watching it nearly as much as I used to. There are a few recent ladies skaters that are undeniably excellent (Yu-Na Kim, Mao Asada), but none of them have really captured capture me like the living legend that is Michelle Kwan.

I started watching Michelle when I was still really little - I was only 6 years old when she claimed silver in Nagano.  But as I have mentioned before, while I did watch some skating even then, I only became a die hard fan after the 2002 Olympics and unfortunately, by then Michelle had already started skipping the Grand Prix most of the time, so I don't remember as many of her performances as I would like. I know that naming Michelle Kwan as your favorite skater is really rather typical of a skating fan, but there's a reason she is so beloved; she truly skated with passion and heart. She consistently not only gave solid technical programs, but really gave you an honest, emotional performance. By doing that, Michelle engaged the heart of many of those watching, at home or live. I think that is what makes her so utterly unforgettable, more than her status as the most decorated American ladies skater of all time. I am not the crying type, but she's made me burst into tears during her performances so, so many times. There really is just some sort of magic to her skating. I think one of my few regrets about Michelle's career is that she never won that elusive Olympic gold medal; I can't think of any recent ladies' skater who has deserved it more than she does, and I am quite sure that I am not the only one who misses the days when she was competing.

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