Saturday, February 20, 2010

Calling the Olympic Fig Fashion Police

      I call it The Johnny Weir effect.   No matter how weirdly, flamboyantly, or flamingly I dress when I skate, Johnny Weir will be pinker, prissier, and prettier.  So anything goes.

When I first started covering figure skating in 1983, there was a growing movement against sequins on men.  The sport was sensitive to the perception that it was not a place for manly men.  It was a big deal when Scott Hamilton won the 1984 Gold medal in Sarajevo without a rhinestone to be seen, skating in his little page boy haircut and Superman outfit, less the cape.  A lot of people thought he actually looked like an athlete...maybe a speedskater or gymnast something...instead of an action toy.

Fast forward to 2010, where taste has been thrown out the window, and skaters look more like preening peacocks of the stage than athletes.  Here's a snapshot I took of the three medalists from the men's competition.
     On the left, we have your silver medalist, Evgeni Plushenko, who is actually a married man.  He is wearing a red beaded vest as the centerpiece of his costume, I'm not sure why. 

The music he skated to had nothing to do with him being a croupier in a Russian gambling parlor.  To the far right, our bronze medalist, Japan's Daisuke Takahashi (yes, all nations are guilty of this trend) who was skating to La Strada.  Hence he is dressed like a gypsy.  Or--here's a concept--he could skate to the music of La Strada without actually pretending he's Anthony Quinn.  La Strada could just be music to skate to.  Do we really need another skating toreador every time Carmen is played at a figure skating event, which is about three times a night. Takahashi deserves extra credit for trying a quad while dressed like Fellini's fool.  A case can be made, however, that he might actually have landed it without a frock of rags flapping around his face.
       In the center, of course, stands our champion, Evan Lysacek, from Naperville, Illinois.  Here's a better picture of his costume, which, for some reason, involves two snakes encircling his neck.
His music is called Scheherazade, who was the wife of an Arabian king.  Scheherazade told the king a story every night for 1001 nights so he wouldn't behead her, as he'd done all his other wives.  (You see what watching compulsory ice dancing will do to you...that's what I'm doing now...when I'm not searching Wikapedia for the meaning of Scheherazade...and if I hear one more tango romantica I'm going behead someone with a toepick.)  In the synopsis of the story, I could find no mention of snakes, however.  So I don't know what they're doing there around Lysacek's neck.  I suppose Vera Wang does.  That's who designed Lysacek's outfits, and he's proud of it, too.
        Lysacek, it should be noted, is the macho skater on the U.S. team. 
       Can't we just skate without being characters in the Star Wars bar scene? These are only the medalists.  There were far worse.  Take that crazy Belgian, Kevin Van der Perran.  He skated as a skeleton in his short program, then topped that by skating as Robin Hood during his freeskate.  Of course Robin of Sherwood wears a see-through black mesh shirt covered with leaves.  Why wouldn't he?  He hangs with Friar Tuck, right?  I couldn't find a picture of that costume, but here was the outfit he chose for his short. 

    Nothing says Olympic athlete! like a trick or treater on Halloween.
               The most creative costume was worn by an albino Swede (if that's not redundant), called Adrian Schultheiss.  Adrian came to an Olympics and a Saturday Night Live skit broke out during his program, which was entitled Insane in the Brain.  He actually skated in a straight jacket.  Here he is getting into his Olympic uniform, which was not the same one that he marched in during Opening Ceremonies.  

    His music was as unusual as his costume, a medley of Teardrop, Insane in the Brain, and Smack My Bitch Up, which is what I'd like to do to Johnny Weir for leading us down this horrid path.  There actually is such a thing as a costume deduction in figure skating, though what on earth you have to do to incur one is beyond me.  And probably beyond the pale.
       It's enough to make a man want to scream. 



  1. Vintage Swift.

    We do love it when you dress flamingly.

    Dan G.

  2. This sport is beautiful I know because I've watched a lot of championships related to but I've heard those men have made a group in order to use viagra online I don't know why they use it because they seem a little bit gays.