Tuesday, February 14, 2006

SI.com - 2006 Winter Olympics - Russians continue domination in pairs skating - Monday February 13, 2006 9:40PM

SI.com - 2006 Winter Olympics - Russians dominate in pairs skating - if you ignore 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
In Pairs Figure Skating, there wasn't a scoring flap as there was at the last Olympics. The Russians won with room to spare. But how about those skaters from China: 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

The top pair from the USA got 7th.

What does that do to the skating show that tours the states after the Olympics end? Isn't there generally a "Champions On Ice" show that comes to the Civic Arena? Do you think that the pairs from China are going to be as big as an attraction for the masses of spectators? I don't know.

When we were in China, we did go to a skating facility -- but it wasn't for "ice" but rather "roller skating." We were in the southwest part, much like Florida weather, so ice skating wasn't to be expected.

This skating rink was rather interesting however. It was right on the landing within the large, central sports (soccer) stadium. A roller rink was on the cement within the second level of the stadium. No wasted space.

At another edge within the stadium there was a ballroom dancing studio -- where space was used for dance. The space was not enclosed by glass or anything special, but more like a fence or larger metal gates that could have been locked to keep folks from entering into the areas of the seats in the stadium, but you could easily see the field and such.

Other places around town were used for community dance and more group exercises -- but this dance studio within the stadium was more of a formal ballroom set up with more limited use and coaching, it seemed.

Generally, the Chinees are not only world class at diving and syncro swimming -- they are OUT OF THIS WORLD. So, it goes to reason that they'll be tops in the figure skating too. The sports of diving (springboard, platform, syncro) have a similar artistic yet athletic constitution.

Meanwhile, we Americans, and even my 2nd son, is all RAD about the half-pipe and the snowboarders. Yesterday, he got a hand-me-down board and boots from a bigger kid we have known from school. They share the same birthday. But he is four years older. So, of course, my guy is pumped to hit the slopes and try out the new gear.

Today's P-G reported upon the Pittsburgh connection with the guy skater representing the US. His mom and some other family is local. That's 'neat.'

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