I still remember watching the 1984 Winter Olympics at a family friend’s house. We, kids, got to stay up late to witness Torvill and Dean in their unforgettable Ice Dancing routine to Bolero. I remember cheering for Scott Hamilton. I remember the deep desire to be a beautiful ballerina on the ice.
Sadly, I can barely ice skate. I can’t skate backwards. The one time I attempted to spin, I fell flat on my face and cut my lip. The Zamboni machine is more graceful than me.
A family tradition was born out of 1984 Olympics. Our family became faithful Figure Skating fans. We’ve watched the United States build skating greats like Brain Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Sasha Cohen. We sat in shock and disbelief during the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan scandal. We’ve cheered the teeny tiny Tara Lipinski who looked too young and too small to be able to pull off such high jumps. We’ve defended Johnny Weir’s eccentric costumes and unusual song choices.
It’s art. It’s sport. It’s bad ass.
A couple of years ago, I bumped into Peggy Fleming at our local Costco. I was so excited to see her, know that it WAS HER!, but way too afraid to go up to her and say anything. Instead, I followed her around and then called my dad, whispering into the phone, “Peggy Fleming shops at OUR COSTCO!!!”
This year, the 2012 US Figure Skating Championships are being held at the HP Pavilion in San Jose starting this Sunday, January 22nd. My dad and I seized the opportunity to witness what before we’ve only watched on pre-recorded television. It’s a chance for us to live our nearly 30-year old tradition. I can’t wait to sit next to my dad and watch the next generation of Figure Skating champions take the ice – LIVE!
Tickets are surprisingly affordable with optional packages (all event package for the week long championship start at $250.00) and individual events via TicketMaster.