ITA, but Brennan's comments apparently go beyond sentimental giddiness over Kween's coming of age, and veer toward a lack of understanding of the cyclical nature of the sport and the vast transitional changes the sport is undergoing. The sports media has always only paid surface, sound-bite lip service to their coverage of figure skating. They don't seem to understand what it takes to be a contender, much less a consistent champion in figure skating these days. Nor, have they probably ever truly understood. They are apparently even blind to some of the harder lessons that Kwan's journey in the sport provided. Not unlike the reported attitudes of some coaches, the media apparently expect U.S. ladies champions to perform like "automatons" and always be in the medals, preferably gold.
It never fails to fascinate re how much Michelle Kwan’s reign at the top of the sport spoiled everyone, especially those who hardly appreciated her at the time and were always looking for someone else to beat her. And those who claim they found Kwan “boring” likely still don’t understand the significance and complicated relevance of her impact on the sport. In any case, I don’t completely agree with the cries of “chaos” in U.S. ladies’ figure skating.
It does seem like Kwan’s wedding has left some in the press and perhaps among TBTB pining once again for the ready-made drama and storylines that MK always provided. It seems that while Ashley Wagner was winning gold medals at two GP events, perhaps Phil, Christine, and others were holding their breath thinking that, “Our new U.S. ladies star is on track for gold in Sochi.” Then when Ashley had a slight mishap in her fp at the Grand Prix Final, but still managed to win silver, seemingly it wasn’t enough for the journalists and bigwigs waiting with bated breath. Will nothing but gold suffice?
And too, perhaps some fs observers in the media have become worried that Yu Na’s stellar athleticism in her dutiful comeback, not to mention the somewhat over-hyped but solid potential seen in the phoenix-like rise of a different North American skater possibly threatens the prospects of their hoped for “U.S. golden girl in Sochi” headlines. They also seem to be relegating Gracie Gold (at least at this point) to the “afterthought” bin. They are missing all the unheralded stories, as well as the underlying back story and ongoing journey of the “Almost Girl,” turned “Nike Girl.”
Go Ashley, Go Mirai, Don't Give Up Caroline, Go Ross, Go Jeremy, Go Marissa and Simon! Go all U.S. figure skating athletes! Fans who do care, who do understand and who do appreciate all of you, are still watching. Your sincere fans know you can turn “chaos” (and Phil Hersh's "undue enthusiasm") into personal victory and triumphant glory whether or not gold or podium placements factor into the equation. It is the journey and the effort that count. If medals were and are the only goal and the only satisfaction, what’s the point in ever lacing up, or in spending so much time and money training so hard? Medals are and have always been simply “icing on the cake.” It is taking part in the process and being centered and fully aware during the hard-fought struggle in the arena that makes personal victories and grand triumphs so sweet.