The popularity of Yuri on Ice, a yaoi figure skating anime, has prompted me to come out of the closet. Yes, that’s right…
…I am a fan of figure skating. It doesn’t match with my persona of being a hardcore American football fan, but it’s true. Ever since the thrilling 2002 Winter Olympic women’s free skate final, I’ve always made sure to tune in to the women’s portion of the competition. (I don’t get into the men’s portion.) I even went to a figure skating event in Pittsburgh back in 2012, and I hope I can get to one again.
Here are my favorite five figure skaters of all time:
5. Sasha Cohen
Sasha is who I cheered for in 2006 at the Winter Olympics. Sadly she came up short of the gold medal, but I was a big fan of hers that year.
4. Yuna Kim
How can you not be a fan of Yuna Kim? She’s the most graceful figure skater to ever live. She may not blow you away with athleticism, but her style of skating is so beautiful.
3. Kimmie Meissner
Kimmie rose to fame very quickly, then faded away just as quickly. Injuries prevented her from reaching her full potential. It’s a shame she didn’t do better at the 2006 Olympics, when a medal could have pushed her into super-stardom.
2. Sarah Hughes
It was Sarah Hughes’ amazing performance in the 2002 Olympics that first got me into figure skating. She managed to win the gold medal despite having none of the hype. As someone who has no trust in judges to get the right winner of a competition, this was one exception, when the unknown skater beat all the big stars.
Well, of course I’m going to go with the one who I actually got to meet! I had the opportunity to meet Joannie Rochette back in 2012, two years after she courageously won the bronze medal only days after losing her mother. She was brilliant as a skater, and she’ll always hold a special place in my heart.
Not sure if I’ll ever watch Yuri on Ice (shouldn’t it be called “Yaoi on Ice”? Just joking), but anytime anime is able to bring attention to sports, I don’t complain.