What can I possibly say about young Evgeny Plushenko of Russia that hasn't already been said or thought? His routine tonight was sheer beauty and masculinity in motion, and it was a total pleasure to watch. I thought his program was totally flawless and his obvious display of emotion was truly genuine. His name reminds me of a Russian poet I was partial to back in my rebellious years... Yevgeny Yevtushenko who once said "Envy is an insult to oneself." Born in 1933, he is the greatest living poet in Russia. But mostly, Plushenko reminded me of a young Mikhail Baryshnikov with his visibly raw emotions.
I've been secretly in love with Mikhail Baryshnikov for at least 30 years and once bought tickets for a friend and I to see him in Lubbock. It was a deal that we paid a couple of hundred dollars extra (each) to have close (to the stage) seats, valet parking, and a cocktail reception to meet him after his performance (which did not include the cost of the drive and the hotel). For weeks we worried about what we'd wear to meet the Prince of Dance and the excitement mounted as the day grew closer. This was before I had children, in the early 1980's and Mr. Snoots and I had only been married a few years. Then one day I received a phone call from the ticket agency, which I knew couldn't be a good thing. It wasn't. Misha had injured his knee, requiring a total of three surgeries, which meant his performance was canceled and our money would be refunded. I was impressed that they called us individually but we didn't want our money back. We just wanted to see him even if he was in a wheelchair and hooked up to a breathing machine. That was not in the cards for us. We both cried. We whined. We got inebriated, cried, and whined. We mourned the death of our one and only chance to see and meet the great Baryshnikov who had been so enchanting and sexy in the 1977 film The Turning Point and later, White Nights with Gregory Hines and Helen Mirren. I still mourn it to this day. Mr. Snoots had to cash the refund check. I could not bring myself to do it. I kept hoping... Anyway, I think Plushenko skates with much of the same passion that Misha danced with back in his glory days.
But, WHOA! Wait just one minute! Then gold medal winner Evan Lysacek came out and skated to Rhapsody In Blue and it was even more dazzling. He was wonderful and nailed all of his jumps as well. Suddenly, he reminded me of a young Fred Astaire, in a way. Fred Astaire on ice skates would be the best description, I think. He presented a completely different program, which set him apart from all the rest. His long elegant limbs, his energy and his emotions were the epitome of what you want to see in men's ice skating. I could never choose between Lysacek and Plushenko because they are so opposite in the style of their skating. That would explain why I'm not a judge, I suppose.
And how about the USA men's 4 man bobsled run? GOLD! After a 66 year absence from medaling in this event at all, we finally have a team that got the job done and will be bringing home the gold medal. Team Holcomb! Woot! Woot! Way to go guys! You did us so proud! As they stood on the podium to receive their gold medals, you could see the tender emotion and pride on their faces.
Davis and White, the USA silver medal winners for ice dancing did a wonderful, enchanting program and were perfect. However, then came the Canadian gold medal winners Virtue and Moir (my personal favorites) and they were nothing short of fabulous with their program. It was one of the most intriguing programs I've ever seen.
After the mountain pretty much beat the daylights out of Lindsey Vonn, she wasn't able to win another medal in her last event. But who cares? She got us a gold medal which is such a great victory for the USA women's ski team!
In addition, my head is still spinning from the 8.8 earthquake in Chile, which has some of the finest summer skiing in the world in Portillo. When I still lived in Aspen, lots of people I knew went to Portillo for the summer to train. I could never afford it and had not yet gotten a sponsor, so I stayed summers in Aspen except for the year I spent in Hawaii. Luckily, the predicted Tsunami never quite hit the Hawaiian Islands with the impact that had been predicted. Better safe than sorry, yes? Anyway, my prayers go out to those who have lost or are still looking for friends and loved ones in Chile...
Tomorrow night is the closing ceremony for the 2010 winter Olympics, but I'm not sad. It has been a landmark Olympics for the USA, for which we should all be proud of our athletes. We have never in the history of the winter Olympics, done so well in Alpine events, figure skating, ice dancing, bobsledding, or even speed skating, period. (I'm sure there are some events I'm forgetting...) It has been a total party from beginning to end... for me, anyway. Bravo to NBC for such great coverage because now I'm looking forward to the 2012 summer Olympics that are to be held in London, England. Hey, Jeri! Got room? (j/k) No matter, because I plan to be there!