Friday, 21 February 2014

Thanks, Yuna

Rude Boy: My father thinks liking figure skating is “gay.”
President: Watching hot girls in skimpy costumes is gay?

I touched recently on how I'm kind of a huge fan of Kim Yuna (or Yu-na, or YeonA), undoubtedly my very favourite athlete. I don't really care about the rest of the sport; I just like Kim Yuna. This is because she's fucking adorable, and – almost as importantly – because she's an amazing figure skater. Drinking with President at a small bar last night, I outlined my opinions.

Rude Boy: She is perhaps the second most attractive female Korean athlete. Glad you asked! Ee Seul-bi, the third from the Korean Women's Curling team.

Although it's close!

When I was a full pitcher and two pints deep, President pointed out that her short program had come on the TV behind the bar and I kind of lost my shit. Then she told me to calm down, because she didn't want people to think we were weirdos.

And then tonight I watched her long program. Holy. Fuck. Her adorably made-up face. Her beautiful costume, perfectly tailored to show off her smooth, muscular back. And, you know, her performance itself! I'm no sports writer and I lack the vocabulary to explain it, but I thought it was fucking rad. Like, seriously, is there any art form that matches the combination of elegance and excitement of figure skating? Or, for that matter, any figure skater who matches the elegance and excitement of Kim Yuna.

Not for my money. Not for the commentators', either, as after the Russian girl went (I forget her name because she's dead to me), one of them explicitly said, “Well, she's not on the level of Yuna, but that was a great performance.” The judges agreed, at least about it having been a great performance. In fact, they thought it was better than Yuna's.

Which it very well was fucking not. Not even close. I watched the Russian girl's long program and it was really just ok. The commentators were like “wtf.” I was like “President, I just...this is...gwarrrrghuhhhh???????!!!!” exactly like that, because it was a text message. Seriously, you've gotta be fucking me. SILVER? Bullshit. This was the one thing I'd been waiting all Olympics for and I'd been kinda assuming Yuna just had it, and after watching her skate I assumed it twice as hard as I had been already. And then this happens. Fucking robbed. [UPDATE: If you disagree or don't know what I'm talking about, here's an analysis by The Korean at Ask a Korean! explaining.]

Asada had kind of a disappointing finish, although she managed to bring herself up from 16th after the short program to I think 8th in the end by putting out what I heard was a fairly excellent long program, so I was hoping she and Yuna might square off again in a media-manufactured rivalry kind of a way, and then place a distant second. But I'm happy she was able to at least partially redeem herself. This is a Japan blog, so this paragraph satisfies the quorum for requisite Japan-related content per post. Because mostly, Kim Yuna.

And now I'm hearing that she's retiring from competitive figure skating? Terrible. But I guess I understand. Next winter Olympics, she'll be 27, and so probably not in any serious contention for a medal. At least, that's what President thinks. I want to believe she could have one more gold in her. And that she could have other things in her, as well.

Sigh. What is it with Russian figure skating judges and cheating all the time? First Jamie Soleil and David Pelletier, and now this shit. It's like they've misunderstood the Olympics and think that it's supposed to be a competition amongst judges, to see who can be the most corrupt.

Whatever. She's first in my heart.

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