Ted Barton: "There’s something so precious about youth."


Shut that door.
Ivana Komova’s interview with Ted Barton for www.thatsokay.ca

IK: Today, two of the most beloved figures in modern figure skating are in the same room. What does it feel like to be the slightly less beloved one of them?

TB: Three words come to mind: honor, integrity, and humility. Those are also the names of the three Dalmachshunds my wife and I have opened our forever home to. Their favorite skater is Daria Usacheva and they love to sing along with her free program music. Integrity really does an excellent Lara Fabian imitation. Julie Marcotte couldn’t tell the difference, and she’s seen Lara Fabian live almost seventy times.

IK: This year, you not only brought Russian junior and senior nationals to the world, but you also stopped making comments that could have been misinterpreted as negative toward Russian skaters. What caused this change?

TB: Three words come to mind: threatened by Eteri. Basically, she had one of her assistants tell me that they were willing to pay dozens of Russians to flood my twitter account with anti-Canadian messages. Then I told her that I loved her skaters and that, if she wanted to **** with me, I’d get the North Koreans who prevented Papadakis and Cizeron from beating Virtue and Moir to come to Worlds and make loud farting noises throughout the 3As’ programs. Eteri said “Bitch please” (in Russian, although she speaks perfect English) and said she would also get Putin, Didier G., and that youtube comment troll who caused bleffing chaos on some skating website and maybe also Kori Ade and her light speed texting fingers. So now I love Eteri’s skaters more than anything—except for Poutine and Mikeburgers.

IK: What are your favorite qualities about Eteri’s skaters on the junior circuit this season?

TB: Well, there are too many to list, but let’s start with a young man who will go on to make history, Daniil Samsonov. His jumps are so light, so quick. His spins are much better than Plushenko’s ever were. His eyebrows are fierce, or at least that’s what I’ve been told by people who are younger and hipper than I am. He has this magical ability to feel every note of the music, and translate that feeling from his soul to the audience. Finally, even though he only smiled once this season and it probably wasn’t by choice, it was such a nice, young, light smile.

IK: And the trio of girls who represented Russia at Junior Worlds, who would have swept the medals if Alysa Liu’s father hadn’t bribed the judges with obscene amounts of money he extorted from fans at a series of illegal meet and greet events?

TB: Three words come to mind: light, airy, ethereal. Actually, I don’t know what “ethereal” means but that’s the nature of the English language. Sometimes a word and what it means and the way you say it are all mixed up, especially when you’ve been talking to yourself for nine hours and secretly praying that the technical minimums get jacked up higher than Andrei Lutai’s blood pressure before another ISU championship event with 63 junior ladies.

IK: I stay at the spa bar until the Russians compete, as no alchemist has yet been able to create a chemical strong enough to make me endure so long an event without creating a permanent void in my soul.

TB: That’s very poetic, Ivana. Maybe we should commentate an event together next year.

IK: Perhaps if Ice Mall Challenge returns, I will consider it. Moving on, what were some of your greatest discoveries this season?

TB: Let’s talk about a great one and a not-so-great one. The not-so-great one was a song by Madonna that was on the same original album as “Vogue.” Now, I can do every move of “Vogue.” It’s my favorite karaoke song and my wife and I slow dance to it every year when we have our anniversary party in the big city. But I never knew there was a wildly inappropriate song about a very adult subject on that same album. Now, to be fair, the German girl who chose the song probably doesn’t speak English, and that’s okay. Maybe she thought it was about handkerchiefs and pancakes, which are two things I really like, although maybe not at the same time—not anymore, anyway. The only upside to this is I discovered another great song on the same album called “I’m Going Bananas.” It has more tropical flair than Holly Cook’s “Another Cha Cha” short program.

IK: And the great discovery?

TB: Not a new discover, but a re-discovery—Vadim Kolesnik. He’s a big, strong boy, but is so light on his feet. It’s like watching a cross between Mr. Teen Universe and a young Michael Flatley. By the way, I also commentate Mr. Teen Universe, although it was back in November. Watching Vadim dance to my favorite piece of music, the Aladdin soundtrack, makes me want to be a big, strong, muscular young man wearing tight clothing and dancing to Disney music. But I can’t turn back time, and that’s okay.

IK: Maybe Eteri will find a way once the 3A are finished growing.

TB: There’s something so precious about youth. I have three words for it: innocence, purity, and honesty.

IK: Are those the names of your cats?

TB: Are you ****ing kidding me? Cats are God’s second worst mistake after making British Columbia so damn cold in the winter.

IK: Ted! That comment is very out of character for you.

TB: Forgive me. I’m tired—very, very tired. For the last nine months, I have watched and commentated over 225 hours of skating, including skaters from Indonesia, India, and Andorra. I have had enough so I am not going to say any more here. But when I come back for the Junior Grand Prix, my first comment will be how happy I am that skating is back again.

IK: Until then, be well, stay safe and may IVANA be with you!

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