Every Winter Olympics, I have my favorite events to watch. I like hockey, skiing and the speed skating events in particular, but I have to admit that one sport’s athletes always impress me – pairs figure skating. The funny thing is that I rarely ever think about it until I see that it is going to be on.
I think it probably all got started for me in the 1992 Winter Olympics, when the pairs figure skating team of Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov won the gold medal. They performed their routine to Prokofiev’s “Romeo & Juliet,” which I absolutely love, and I had a big crush on the Ekaterina Gordeeva at the time, and that was also a big plus.
I think what impressed me the most about them, however, was the athleticism that goes into pairs figure skating. It was incredible to me to see the incredible strength Grinkov had to toss Gordeeva into the air and catch her. I know that she is not that heavy, but that is still difficult to do, and to do it on ice is even more incredible.
Watching her spin in mid-air with complete abandon, not knowing for sure that he would catch her, but having confidence that he would, was awesome to me. I don’t see how she did it, and I don’t know how he was able to catch her with such ease.
Another thing that I learned about pairs figure skaters from watching their routine is that they have to have tremendous stamina. They are basically going full speed ahead for several minutes, and performing numerous complicated and dangerous moves all the while.
The funny thing about it is that I was one of the guys that used to make fun of pairs figure skating. I was a wrestler, which also requires a great deal of strength and stamina, but I always thought of figure skating as more of a show than a sport. When I really started paying attention to all that they do, I realized exactly how wrong I was.
These are some of the world’s finest athletes competing in a sport that is extremely challenging, and they deserve respect for the work and effort they put into it on a daily basis. It is not something that everybody can do, and it requires extreme dedication.
It seems that pairs figure skating would be a sport that would require great courage in addition to strength and stamina, and I am not sure that I could ever have been part of a sport like that. I guess that is the reason that it impresses me so much.