Saturday, July 5, 2008

Warm day, cool ice

I used some of my free time today, during this slow and lovely holiday weekend, to search for videos on YouTube. No, those were not very productive parts of the day, but I started a list of favorites, and am now glad to share one here.

I've always enjoyed watching figure skating, but it wasn't until the 1994 Olympics that I began to follow figure skating, to watch as much as I could, and learn lots of skaters' names, histories, and programs - not as in TV programs, but as in short or long, technical or artistic. It was a big Olympics because of the Nancy Kerrigan - Tonya Harding "rivalry," and the incident at the US Championships where Nancy was whacked on the knee (and yes, Tonya was part of the plan). But by the time the competition had ended, it was Oksana Baiul, the 16-year-old orphan from Ukraine, who had won the gold medal. It was Oksana's skating, her incredible grace on the ice, like no one I'd ever seen before, that had won my heart.

This is one of the programs she skated at the Exhibition following the 1994 Olympics, though I don't think this video is of that same performance, but a bit later that year - she was still 16. The music is "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saens, part of his piece called The Carnival of the Animals. I purchased a Saint-Saens CD because I loved the music so much. I could watch Oksana skate this program every day, and never grow tired of it.


2 comments:

tsirois52 said...

I too love to watch Oksana Baiul and wish that someone would put together a CD of all of her performances throughout her entire career.
There is no other skater with her artistic talents, but it's more than her talents that she shares with the audience, it's her heart.
I have three sons, but secretly adopted Oksana as my only daughter--when she skates, even on old tapes that I've seen before, I hold my breath for her while crossing my fingers and then beaming with pride.

HeathMochaFrost said...

Thank you for your comment! And I know *exactly* what you mean about holding your breath and crossing your fingers - she's not a consistent jumper, but when she lands them, the "spell" of the program is unbroken.
I sometimes wished I could suggest songs for her to skate to, thinking, "That would be AWESOME, it's PERFECT for her!" Yeah, fans are funny sometimes! :-)