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.
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.
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.
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.
It's enough to make a man want to scream.