Thursday, February 25, 2010

The skates of their lives

kw: sports, achievements

I have been watching figure skating for decades, and I still can't tell a Lutz from a toe-loop from a flip. Because the Axel starts forward and lands backward, I can sometimes tell that one. But I can tell when someone is having a good time, and tonight's women's long program showed plenty of that.

There was huge pressure on Kim Yu-Na of Korea to get gold, and she did. But mainly she didn't just exceed her fellow skaters, she exceeded herself. Of the last group of six skaters, she was one of four who skated a personal best. In her case, she also set an Olympic record with her score of 228.

That is what I find satisfying about seeing championship performances: when someone does the best they've ever done, at the right moment. Sure, there may be someone who does even better and gets the top prize, but to exceed yourself is the greatest achievement. That's what this is all about.

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