Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A gratifying conclusion

kw: observations, sports, olympics, figure skating

The only time my wife and I watch TV heavily is during Olympics season, now every two years. So of course we watched NBC last evening until we were both falling asleep. Over my lunch break I just went back—now fully awake—and watched the online video of the amazing performance by Shen and Zhao, finally winning a gold medal in this, their last Olympic performance.

We are no experts, but I guess we have picked up something over the years. As other art forms, "We know what we like." We could both tell that this couple's level of artistry was far ahead of the others'. Even though there were a few minor errors, the overall impression was, just, "Wow!" Nobody else there left us with such a satisfied feeling.

While popular sentiment has been strongly behind Shen and Zhao, it was no sentiment that earned them their medal. It was their hard work and that ineffable quality of sheer artistry that so few ever attain. Much of what they did, technically speaking, is learned by many talented skaters; it is what they project, somehow sharing their heart with the audience, that makes them special.

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