Well, figure skating is over for another Olympics. I admit I enjoyed watching all that skating from the comfort of my living room. I loved being a member of the press at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010, but seeing the skating from the comfort of home sure is less exhausting. Today's modern and huge televisions are great since I can see close-ups of all the figure skaters in action.
Now that the figure skating is over, here are some of my thoughts:
Let me work backwards:
Ladies:The Russians that finished first and second, Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva, were so beautiful and almost superhuman-like skaters. It is almost a repeat of when 15-year old Tara Lipinsky won over veteran Michelle Kwan in 1998.
Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond was wonderful too. Many figure skating fans say they thought Osmond should have won the gold.
Now, let me talk about the the three girls representing the USA. Both Mirai Nagasu and Bradie Tennell had to be exhausted after the Team event's excitement. And...Karen Chen stated that she needed her mom at this Olympics. I am sad that the Olympic figure skaters and families go for days and days without seeing one another. Figure skaters especially need their moms. Karen will press on and so will Bradie, but who knows who will represent the USA in four years?
In my opinion, there was just too much hype about Bradie Tennell. The poor girl just couldn't be perfect all the time. And...Mirai did the triple Axel in the Team Event, so why did she have to be under the pressure to do it again? I'm so happy that she is leaving this Olympics with a Team Event Bronze though.
Yes, this was the worst the US ladies have placed at the Olympics in years. I wonder now if the "powers that be" should have sent Ashley Wagner afterall? It is too bad that the participating nations aren't allowed to send certain skaters for the Team Event and different representatives for the individual events. We have so much talent in the United States.
Ice Dance:I was glad to see the Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir win. They have achieved amazing greatness. They began skating together as children and have been together so long. Winning two Olympic gold medals at this Olympics is so impressive, but the idea that they won the Olympics in Vancouver and returned to win again is just mind boggling. (They also won silver in Sochi in 2014.)
Ice dancing is so hard to judge and understand. I hate that one slip or fall ruins years and years of hard work in a matter of seconds. I've seen the Shibutani siblings grow up and remember how good they were as little kids (my own children looked up to them and wanted to skate like them), but I so wish that Zackary Donohue had not slipped which ruined the chance for he and his partner Maddison Hubbell's Olympic Bronze medal. Maia and Alex Shibutani already earned an Olympic Bronze medal in the Team event, so it would have been nice for Maddison and Zack to earn one too. And...I am so sad about the fall Madison Chock and Evan Bates took.
Men:I'm so glad Nathan Chen landed six quads and redeemed himself after his two disastrous short program performances, but it is obvious that Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu is a figure skating king. Wow! Two back to back Olympic golds! I am still not sure how fond I am of the quads that are now required to be on the top in men's figure skating, but it looks like quads are here to stay. It made me so, so sad to see Nathan Chen miss every jump in his short program, but quadruple jumps is what has brought Chen to the top.
Spain's Javier Fernandez and Japan's Shoma Uno were so good too. With all the hype over Nathan Chen, USA's Vincent Zhou didn't get a lot of attention, but he did a great job at this Olympics.
Pairs:The German pair of Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot were amazing and I'm so glad Savchenko finally earned an Olympic gold medal after competing in so many Olympics. I really like Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford. Meagan's smile shows a joy of skating! I'm so glad they won the bronze, but it would have been nice for them to have won the gold or silver. I'm so glad they earned the gold in the Team Event.
I'm glad too that Alexa and Chris Knierim did a successful quad twist, but I'm also "bummed" that the only pair from the USA at this Olympics placed so low. (15th place is not good.) Again, I think it might be just too much for skaters to be expected to perform well in both the Team and individual Olympic events.
Team Competition:The Figure Skating Team competition is the greatest thing! I think it is so awesome that some of the skaters from the USA that had no chance of medaling are leaving this Olympic Winter Games with Olympic Bronze Medals!
I'm so happy for Alexa and Chris Knierim since I've known Chris and his mom Dee Knierim-Couch for so many years. The Knierims did help Team USA win the bronze. And...wow! Mirai Nagasu's triple Axel has made history! Just seeing the photos of the team with their medals made me happy!
And...I'm glad that Canadian Patrick Chan finally earned the Olympic Gold medal he dreamed of.
Other Thoughts:Adam Rippon became famous at this Olympics. His open comments and interviews were fun to see and listen to. I wonder if there is a different reason than has been publicized on why he didn't accept the NBC commenting job?
I sometimes liked listening to Tara and Johnny's commentating and other times I longed to listen to Scott Hamilton or Dick Button. Tanith Belbin White was absolutely the greatest ice dancing commentator though.
I don't like it that single skating is all about landing jumps. Although spins and artistry earn some points, let's face it: skaters must successfully land a lot of multi-revolution jumps to win. That has ruined skating for so many in my opinion. Not everyone wants to fly in the air with ice skates on and not everyone wants to be an ice dancer.
What Happens Now:Now that figure skating at the 2018 Olympics is over, I wonder what is in store for the future of the skaters that competed in PyeongChang. In the singles events, "youngsters" like Nathan Chen, Karen Chen, Bradie Tennell, and Vincent Zhou will probably try again for a 2022 Olympic spot. Mirai Nagasu has proved to the world that getting "back up" is possible. Her future should be bright and I see her continuing to press on with or without skating.
The "Shib-Sibs" have won two bronze medals at this Olympics, but I imagine they will continue training and work for gold in 2022, but can they really achieve that when it is almost impossible to out do the French ice dance team? And what about Maddison and Zack? Will they stay on for another four years?
I see a future as a figure skating commentator in Adam Rippon's life. Alexa and Chris Knierim have achieved so much greatness. In an interview they were asked about the future and Chris responded that nothing could beat being at the Olympics. Like a princess and prince in a fairytale, they will live "happily ever after" I hope! I also hope that the state of US pair skating improves.
The "two little Russian girls" will probably be replaced by other Russian jumping prodigies in 2022. Yuzuru Hanyu is so good that I could see him try for a third Olympic Gold. Canadians Patrick Chan and Kaetlyn Osmond will move on.
Memories of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games will be recorded and shown again and again on YouTube and in other places. New and upcoming figure skaters. like Brady Tennell, will "come out of nowhere" and work towards earning Olympic spots in 2022.