OTHER The Hughes Machine

I have to feel sorry for the other US women’s figure skaters, trying to compete for press first with Michelle Kwan and now with Emily Hughes. Maybe it’s a New York thing, since Hughes is a local girl, but with her sister having won the last gold medal, she’s definitely the media darling. And it’s not just that: like her sister, Hughes is approachable, infectiously enthusiastic, and seems normal – she’s even built like a normal teenager. Sasha Cohen, by contrast, is frighteningly thin and wound up tight as a drum, and her freakish flexibility (her signature move is standing on one leg with the other one pointing directly skyward, a standing split that few gynmasts could manage, let alone while spinning on ice) only makes her seem more inhuman. And pity the poor third girl on the team, who apparently is quite good but gets completely overlooked.

3 thoughts on “OTHER The Hughes Machine”

  1. Winter Olympics has too many of the kinds of “sports” that suck: (1) having your whole performance depend on the whims of judges as in figure skating; and (2) racing against a clock instead of directly against another person as in most of the downhill and sledding events. In the first case you either get a committee decision that is not anyone’s first choice or you get out and out corruption as happened in Salt Lake City. In the second case, the performances are not as thrilling or as competitive as what happens when the leader looks over his or her shoulder and sees someone gaining. The only thing worse would be motor “sports” a la NASCAR. Snowmobile motocross anyone? I do, however, love hockey played on a bigger rink. Generally, it is much faster and less violent.

  2. I never mind timed events, even if they could be more thrilling.
    I don’t really consider judged sports legitimate, but figure skating is certainly dramatic, given the enormous pressure and the youth of the competitors. Emily Hughes impressed me with her composure, and even more with the fact that she seemed to be enjoing herself despite all the pressure. She wasn’t as good as the best skaters, but I guess she has some time to improve.

  3. Personally, l prefer the Winter Games. I have no interest in shooting, archery, shotput, javelin, pole vault, etc. But I really enjoy the hockey, the skiing, the long-track skating and figure skating. And yes, I find curling to be absolutely fascinating. It appeals to the bookworm/geek in me.
    As a reminder — the Summer Games has its share of judged sports — think gymastics, rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming. Talk about boring!

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