Meagan Duhamel wraps up the Olympic Games 2010
By Meagan Duhamel
Photos © Absolute Skating & Ageha & Megi
Meagan kicked off our series "Skaters comment on the OG" so by passing her the keyboard one more time, she completes the circle.
So the Olympics have ended! I have struggled this week to find interesting things on TV. It seems like nothing captures my attention because itâ€™s not the excitement of the Olympics! The passion, pride and determination shown by every single athlete competing in Vancouver was remarkable and regardless of medals won they are all winners. Each of them won a battle within themselves, whether for a personal best, or the battle to overcome all adversities and compete on the Worldâ€™s biggest sporting stage. As much as I loved watching countless hours of TV coverage from Vancouver, in 2014 Iâ€™d much rather experience the Games from Russia! So as the Olympics has come to an end, many skaters and athletes world-wide have now started a countdown to Russia and these next 4 years mark a new chapter in the sport of figure skating and the lives of skaters around the globe.
First and foremost I send my sympathy to Joannie and the Rochette family. What a horrible thing to occur at what was promising to be the highlight of Joannieâ€™s career. But life can be cruel sometimes and Joannie was thrown into the most difficult situation of her life. I have the great opportunity to skate almost every day alongside Joannie and share her coach, Manon. Now, I have to admit that I think Iâ€™m pretty tough. I can handle a lot and be stronger because of it, but Joannie and Manon prove to me every day how Iâ€™m not tough enough. These two women are the strongest, most determined, passionate and TOUGH ladies I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and they make an unstoppable match together. When Joannie stated she would continue with the competition and skate in honor of her mother I know sheâ€™d do well, there was no doubt in my mind. With Manon in her corner theyâ€™d dig deep and use their strength to pull themselves through this difficult time. Joannie stepped on the grandest stage of all, feeling lost, exhausted and for the first time without her mom but managed to put together a remarkable performance. Beautiful, confident, precise and passionate. Iâ€™m sure many wondered â€śHow did she do it?â€ť, but I think the close knit skating community knows how. She just went into auto-pilot and let her skating take over without interfering it with her thoughts. Thatâ€™s the hardest thing to do for an athlete, to go into a competition and stop thinking. But itâ€™s always the goal, let your skating take over and donâ€™t overthink or analyze, just be. When you are well trained this is very easy to do, because your body has done it day after day after day. Joannie is one well trained athlete. Even though she had never trained for a situation anything like this one, once her music started and she took her first step her body just knew what to do, because it had done this program every single day for months. Joannie has now become a Canadian hero and she will no doubt be remembered by Olympic fans and Olympians for many years to come.
The Quad. What a debate that caused! Plushenko has probably gone back to Russia to further discuss his quad with anyone who cares to listen and stashed Elvis in his backpack. But I love Plushenko. Anyone who has that much confidence and longevity in a sport deserves respect, in my opinion. Sure he doesnâ€™t do fancy footwork, or difficult transitions, or effortless spins, but he does a quad and he does it well! Patrick Chan (below) does all the fancy footwork, difficult transitions and effortless spins, but he doesnâ€™t do a quad, so we love him for what he brings to the table. Everyone is different. If the menâ€™s event had 24 Plushenkos, I think we would have been bored before the first flight had finished. Same goes if it had 24 Takahashiâ€™s. We need different skating styles, different personalities and different perspectives to make our sport interesting. The new judging system has brought out so many different aspects to a skating program. Spins, transitions, jump lay-out and choreography to name a few. I can do a great triple Lutz, but if I do my triple Lutz and no transitions, level one lifts and little passion, I understand that I will not win. Thatâ€™s not how skating works and everyone within the sport knows this and for the most part understands it. You find very, VERY few â€śall round skatersâ€ť whom excel in the quad, transitions and choreography, and when you do find that skater they are a real gem. Few and far between. Until the skating world is littered with gems we appreciate every skater and what they brought to the table. So the quad discussionâ€¦. wellâ€¦. to each his own! Plushenko and Joubert think the quad is very important and that is what they practice the most. Good for them, they are pushing the technical side of our sport. Patrick and Evan find the footwork and choreography exciting and by showcasing this within their programs they are pushing that side of our sport. One day weâ€™ll find a little boy that does a quad. Has great Lori Nichol choreography. And spins like a top. When he comes along everyone will sit up and notice, and no one will complain about the quad or choreography anymore.
One last thing I want to mention was the GREAT judging in the ice-dance event. Iâ€™m not saying this as a biased Canadian, because I actually prefer Davis and White over Virtue and Moir usually, but on that night in Vancouver, Virtue and Moir were better than they ever were, and Davis and White were not far behind. Beautiful, beautiful skating and I was so proud for our sport that the judging was correct. In 2002 I sat in the stands at a Junior Grand Prix event with my coach Lee Barkell watching the ice dance event. He pointed to the team on the ice and said â€śThey will be Olympic Champions in 2010â€ť. He was pointing at Domnina and Shabalin. I questioned his statement and he explained they are Russiaâ€™s greatest junior dance team at the moment and they will be experienced enough by 2010 that the Russian Federation would be priming them for the Gold. I always remembered this statement and watching the dance event at Worldâ€™s last year that seemed correct. The Russian Skating Federation did everything in their power to ensure this team would be at the top in Vancouver. Thatâ€™s how skating works sometimes - unfortunately. Politics! Itâ€™s there, we all know it, but thereâ€™s not much the skaters themselves can do. We skate, regardless, because we love it but it is always sad to see these things happen when there may be more deserving skaters sitting in 4th place. Thatâ€™s why I was so proud of figure skating after the dance event finished. The judges didnâ€™t judge in political favor of anyone. They judged what they saw and thatâ€™s how it should be. Good for figure skating!
Thus ended another chapter of Olympic figure skating history. See you all in Russia!
Thank you Meagan, David, Leonie, Oscar, Ashley, Tamar & Kutay for making these series such a huge success!! Did you miss out on any of these?? Check them out by following the links:
The Olympic Games 2010 - Kutay Eryoldas reports about Men LP by Kutay Eryoldas
The Olympic Games 2010 - The Olympic Games 2010 - Krail & Peter about the FDs by Leonie Krail and Oscar Peter
The Olympic Games 2010 - The Olympic Games 2010 - Krail & Peter about the ODs by Leonie Krail and Oscar Peter
The Olympic Games 2010 - The Olympic Games 2010 - Krail & Peter about the CDs by Leonie Krail and Oscar Peter
The Olympic Games 2010 - David Richardson reports about Men SP by David Richardson
The Olympic Games 2010 - Meagan Duhamel comments on Pairs Free by Meagan Duhamel
The Olympic Games 2010 - Meagan Duhamel comments on Pairs SP by Meagan Duhamel