TRIPLE LUTZ, TRI ... OH, THAT WASN'T GOOD: I'm subbing in for Gretchen on this one, but if you watched the US ladies' figure skating championship Saturday night and/or followed my tweets during same you know where I'm going with this: what Saturday night reminded us, more than anything, is that figure skating is really, really hard. To skate flawlessly for four minutes and pull off the jumps required at this level takes a remarkable amount of strength and balance, and there's a reason why I counted nine of the twelve athletes as having planted ass on ice or otherwise egregiously two-footed during their skates.
Points are what they are, so I understand why Mirai Nagasu took the second Olympic slot with champion Rachael Flatt. Still, the more-experienced Ashley Wagner performed more difficult elements in her long program, and did them better, and it's a damn shame that her screwed-up triple lutz in the short program (which she explains here) will keep her out of the Games.
As for Sasha Cohen, it just wasn't there, and for medals in Vancouver folks shouldn't be looking at our ladies at all. Instead, it's that flamboyant guy, that less flamboyant guy and our ice dancers ... though I'd first have to concede ice dancing to be a sport. (That's why I tend to focus on other disciplines, though, seriously, the Russian/aboriginal thing is going to be quite a fun controversy.)
While I have the floor -- I'm paying for this microphone, after all -- after a long dormancy look for a flurry of CoverItLive activity here for sweeps month. I'd expect us to resume that feature for the Grammys this Sunday, for the Oscar nomination reveal on February 2, and for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies (indoors, a first!) -- because we've got way more interesting things to say about the marching countries of the world and the Children Uniting In Song than Bob Costas does.
After the jump, a special video from Johnny Weir: