Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Old as Ice

Last night, I found myself pondering the likelihood of Kim Yuna becoming a 2-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist*. I have no real anticipation for the Sochi Games, but I thought I'd try to muster some**. A friend on Facebook commented that Kim is past her prime, and, disregarding the existential shock that anyone could be past their prime at 23 years old, it turns out he's probably correct.

The facts (I did the research myself!):

Since Dorothy Hamill won the gold medal in Innsbruck in 1976 in Ladies' Figure Skating***, the average age of Olympic Ladies' Figure Skating gold medalists has been 19 years old.

If Kim wins gold in Sochi, she would be the second-oldest Olympian in the event to win (again, since 1976) after Shizuka Arakawa, who won in Turin/Torino at the age of 24. The sole repeat gold medalist since 1976? Katarina Witt (in 1984 and 1988, at ages 18 and 22, respectively****). The youngest? Tara Lipinski, 15, in Nagano.

But! Kim's biggest rival, Asada Mao, is no spring chicken either at 22. It's a wonder that, at her age, she can even remember to take her gym bag to the rink when she practices, but apparently she's improved her triple axel, which is the figure skating analogue of dunking from beyond the free throw line in basketball. The problem is, she lacks grace, like a family of atheists eating supper with shovels in place of spoons.

We'll see what happens in a month's time. I'm just ruminating now because I'm actually interested in the competition. I'm looking forward to watching these two seasoned veterans battle for one last round, before they're rendered into glue.

* Tomorrow I'll be curious about something else. It's how my flitting brain works. What's the Guinness record for longest eyebrow hair? Whatever became of John-John the Leprechaun, who went to school with nothing on? Where the fuck is Wallace, String?

** As does everyone, even those Coca-Cola polar bears. Especially those Coca-Cola polar bears.

*** Man, that's a lot of ins...with no easy way out.

**** That "respectively" is redundant and annoying, I know. I'm keeping it in because I've been editing medical analysis documents all day, and those dudes love that fucking word for some reason. Almost as much as they like single sentences that run on for three pages; almost as much as They like randomly Capitalizing lEtteRs without any rhyme or reasOn.

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