Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Bullets of Men's Figure Skating Short Program

  • Our seats were indeed way up high, but the stadium is so steeply raked that we still had a really good view. And we had a side view of the Kiss & Cry, the bench where the skaters and coaches wait to hear their scores. We could see them hanging out there putting on their jackets while the monitors replayed their best and worst moments. And we could see that there were boxes of tissues (green and blue Olympic logoed boxes) down on the floor. In case of crying, I guess.

  • There were a lot of empty seats, too--including some really choice ones lower down and across the stadium from us, and practically a whole section behind the press seats. The ones across from us were eventually filled by skaters and their families as they finished their routines, but the big blue section never did fill. At first I thought the seats belonged to bigwigs who were going to show up late and just catch the highest-ranked skaters, but then as the evening continued and the seats stayed empty, I started to get mad. Why not give those tickets to volunteers, at least? I couldn't believe there weren't a few hundred people around here who wouldn't be happy to see an Olympic event.

  • In spite of the threats from the official Olympics ticket people, there's obviously a huge scalped-ticket market. On our walk from the bus stop to the front gate we saw at least ten or twelve guys selling tickets, I met a woman sitting near us who had gotten her tickets free from her friend, a scalper who buys huge quantities of Olympics tickets every two years, flies to the host city, and scalps them.

  • Our favorite skater was the Swiss guy who danced to the William Tell Overture. And I also liked the guy from Japan who skated early on and was in 2nd place for a long time. They both had chops *and* musicality

  • I don't actually know that much about skating. I always thought that the audience at a big event like this would be made up of really dedicated fans, and there were a lot of those, but as we found out, mainly what you need is proximity and/or money and/or luck. So I felt like kind of a fraud and like I should have done more research beforehand to have really appreciated it.

  • Fortunately, Uncle Skaterboy was with us, and he's a real expert. He was so knowledgeable and opinionated that the people in front of us were turning around between skaters to ask him how he thought the next one would do. He took to calling each skater's rank after their program was done and before the judges announced the score. He was right more often than not, too.

  • And his commentary was a lot more colorful than you get on TV, too. When a skater who had been a major contender would blow a jump or fall down, Uncle Skaterboy would murmur "buh-bye," and I was know that was that.

  • Figure skaters simply should not wear white costumes: they become basically invisible against the ice. We noticed this in the couples skate on TV yesterday, and it was equally true tonight, though there was a lot less white.

  • No shortage of black and sequins, though.

  • We got to see a lot of the little girls who skate out to pick up the flowers and stuffed animals that fans throw onto the ice. Actually, they're not so little-- these girls were about 11 or 12. We could see them in their spot on the sidelines and they looked absolutely thrilled to be there.

  • It was interesting what happened to all those tributes, too, after the flower-sweepers picked them up from the ice: they'd bring them back to their home base and hand them to an adult volunteer, who'd drop them in a bin lined with layers of plastic bags pick up the innermost plastic bag, twist it closed, and remove the bag from the bin and spirit it further backstage to somewhere we couldn't see. Maybe they were donated to hospitals?

  • I seem to be a more patriotic Canadian than I was/am an American. It really was a thrill to see the sea of Canadian flags and the huge roar of cheers when both Patrick Chan and the other Canadian skater came on. I'm watching the broadcast on NBC right now as I type-- it's delayed by a few hours--and the cameras really don't capture either what it looked like or how it felt.

  • Wasn't that skeleton costume weird? Also, the farmer-boy one.

  • We had a great time. The Mermaid Girl especially. I can't think of a more interesting or eloquent way to say that, so I'll just leave it as it is.


Blogger Two Chicks Nest said...

We had a similar experience with women's ice hockey. The Olympic website claimed that tickets weren't available so we bought them from the fan-to-fan option at twice the price. Once there we discovered that half the seats remained empty for the duration of the event. Such a waste!

9:11 AM  
Blogger MsJess said...

I've heard that they donate the toys to children's hospitals.

I guess the empty seats were scalped tickets that people didn't feel like paying double the price for? Agreed it was a total waste.

9:07 PM  
Blogger E Wein said...

I am SOOO jealous but also it is GREAT to get this ringside report! Thank you!

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Another reason for empty seats: companies etc buy blocks of tickets for employees or clients. If they don't get handed out, or the people decide not to go - empty seats.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Armando Codina said...

The Olympic website claimed that tickets weren't available so we bought them from the fan-to-fan option at twice the price.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

The Olympic website claimed that tickets weren't available so we bought them from the fan-to-fan option at twice the price.

2:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home