August 26, 2009

What Brian Boitano Did Do

Since he's got himself a hot new cooking show, I thought I would weigh in too. But I don't get the BRAVO network, so I got nothing.

Instead I'll talk about when I saw Brian skate live.

If memory serves it was about 1997 or 98 at the American Open Championship in Chicago. Brian was hosting the competition. This is a competition that is not usually televised and is open to ANYONE. So what you get is a mix of ex-Olympians that still want to do a competitive program and some excellent show skaters laying out all their best tricks and a lot of great, innovative skating by all.

They aren't bound to pulling off as many jumps as they can or doing a spin with as many positions they can cram in there. And yes, I am biased, because I think sometimes a really fast camel or flying camel spin, left alone and held for ten to fifteen revolutions is a beautiful thing.

What they also included in this competition was a game of "Add-on" with Brian competing as well.

For those of you not familiar with Add-on (hey, Ice Mom - does Ice Girl know this game? Do skaters still play this game?) is one skater does a trick, usually a jump. Then the next skater does that jump and adds their own. The third skater has to do the first two jumps consecutively and adds their own and so on and so on.

If you ask me, including this as an Olympic event would really help ratings. No program, no music, nothing subjective. Sure it's a lot like the night before the NBA All-Star game when they have the Slam-Dunk contest, but the judges would not be able to tilt this one. Okay, it's not for the purists and I know, I know, nobody asked me what would help skating in the ratings.

So back to Brian. Well this game of add-on was by far the longest and most challenging probably ever done, with the combo being something like: dbl toe loop, dbl loop, sit spin, crossover into axel, dbl toe, arabian into back sit, crossover, dbl toe, axel and maybe three more other things. Remember they can only take one step or crossover, if any, between all the jumps.

And I'll now cut to the chase ... Brian didn't win it. (Remember this whole thing for him was fun, not serious.) BUT, what I saw for the first time was how much speed he could generate after only three crossovers. He was 30 mph faster than the others. Why? Most, not all, of Brian's competitors in this game were what I would call the B-team, as opposed to Brian's A-team we're used to seeing - Scott Hamilton, Todd Eldrige, Brian Orser, etc. So all of those guys are fast, we just can't see it by comparison. Especially on television.

But at this event, I could. He had superior power and speed in his skating. And that's what Brian Boitano did do.


Anonymous said...

I like simple spins too!

Ice Mom said...

Add-on? Nope. I don't know the game, but I'll ask Ice Girl and Ice Coach.

Seeing Brian Boitano play that game would be so fun. 30 mph with three x-overs. How cool is that?

Katrina said...

FYI, Brian's show's on the Food Network, not Bravo ;)

And frankly... it was kind of cheesy...I'm waiting till next week to see if it improves

Ice Charades said...

Thanks Katrina for the correction. Ooops - I must have Top Chef on the brain.

Ice Mom said...

OMG! Last night, on the way home from the rink, Ice Girl spontaneously mentioned a game of Add-on that she'd played earlier in the day. She limits her friends to no doubles and they limit her to no left jumps (Ice Girl does all her jumps both right and left because she's a nut).

So, yes, Ice Charades, they do still play add-on! :)

Ice Charades said...

Wow - Ice Mom, not too many skaters in the world do things both ways! If she keeps that up, she could be one of the few (again in the entire world) to pass the dreaded ISI(A) Freestyle 10.

Cool - I'm glad she played that game. It's a good one, that IMHO, doesn't promote goofing off. Some of the challenge is remembering the combination.