The US Figure Skating Championships start this weekend and I find myself utterly depressed. I’ve written before on the currently flat nature of women’s figure skating and this event has zero buzz. Short of USFSA’s post about ice dancers Belbin & Agosto withdrawing due to injury, and a couple of Ohio-based blogs that have announced the event (which takes place in Cleveland), a quick Google news search shows that there’s been no advance mainstream coverage.
Admittedly, I pay little attention to the men’s side (other than the fact that Evan Lysacek stands out as talented, classy, and kinda sexy), but there certainly seems enough fodder for storylines on the women’s side. Here - for the national and Boston media - are some easy, off the top of the head story launch points:
Alissa Czisny: She’s dazzling when she’s on, which unfortunately is not most of the time. Can she conquer her stage fright and pull out a great performance? If she hasn’t already, shouldn't she get herself to a sports psychologist? (Apparently this has been working great for Canadian Joannie Rochette.)
Rachael Flatt: Ever the underdog, could she make a quiet run for the gold this year?
Emily Hughes: Obviously, she’s been busy hitting the books at Harvard. Will she falter for lack of training or pull off a stunner of Olympic (sisterly) proportions?
Kimmie Meissner: It’s been a disappointing couple of years for Kimmie; wouldn’t it be great for her to make a massive comeback and regain her title? And per above note re: Czisny, is she seeing a sports shrink?
Mirai Nagasu: She’s struggled with growth since winning her national championship last year. Will she quiet her critics and defend her title?
Ashley Wagner: She impressed at nationals last year and seems to have a lot of poise and grace. Perhaps she’ll be a dark horse contender this year.
Caroline Zhang: Petite and elegant, she conjures (desperate?) visions of Michelle Kwan. Can she deliver this weekend and reignite figure skating's flame?
And locally, the Skating Club of Boston is represented twice - by Katrina Hacker and Brittney Rizo. I barely know who these people are despite the fact that they made it to the top 25 for the event and are representing Boston. This seems like easy material for the likes of the Boston Globe. They could even cheat and use Emily Hughes’ Boston presence (though she still represents the Skating Club of New York) to grab readers’ interest.
Hmm… Dear Boston media outlets, would you like to hire me as your figure skating and gymnastics correspondent? I’d do you proud.
Image credit: USFSA