Tag Archives: Figure skating

Feeling a little “flat” this year (literally)

I flipped on the TV yesterday afternoon in time to catch the end of a figure skating program. Instead of focusing on the performance, I was completely distracted by the cardboard people.

Years ago sponsors started having their names pasted all over the rink walls which was bad enough to have in your line of sight while watching an exquisite skating performance, but now here were cardboard cutout people filling the first several rows. Because Geico was a sponsor, I saw, as the camera circled the ice, more than one human-sized Geico lizard also in attendance. If he had to be there why wasn’t his cardboard version at least gecko-sized?? He’s really tiny in those commercials otherwise people would run in terror or try to kill it.😯

I assumed these paper people were space-fillers due to the pandemic, like the restaurants that have filled seats with mannequins (which I’d find creepy not cozy). I was partially right. I googled it & it turns out until an October deadline interested people could BUY cardboard cutouts to take their place at skating events. Purchasers could use a photo of themselves or if not, “Snowplow Sam”, whoever the hell that is, would be used.

I figure, if they’re going this far, bizarre as it already is, why not go all in and let people buy cutouts of whatever they want to sit in the audience? Why not Chewbacca or E.T. or zombies? A Geico gecko zombie? The possibilities…πŸ˜€

A couple thoughts as the Olympics wind down

On whole I have really enjoyed the 2018 Olympics.. I missed Bob Costas and Scott Hamilton and only saw one Mary Carillo piece. (Did I just miss them somehow?? Despite watching a lot of Olympics – not all – I learned almost nothing about South Korea. There seemed to be far fewer “human interest” pieces.)

One thing I find a little disconcerting throughout – the way a child often does on encountering adults dressed up in costumes with animal heads at amusement parks or other venues – is the visual effect of the uniforms now worn in the various sports. It makes everyone look like they are visitors from another planet or possibly from the future. Have you seen the headgear on the snowboarders? Only figure skaters wear no protective gear when performing – if they crack their head on the ice or their partner accidentally slices their skin with a skating blade, oh well. It’s the only sport that is fully about creating an illusion, safety be damned. (If you have any interest here’s a recent article with old photos on changes in US winter uniforms over the years; apparently the snowboarder/astronaut look is intentional!)

In both winter and summer Olympics the TV viewer is sometimes shown a projected visual “line” onscreen in sports like speed skating and swimming indicating where the current leader or record holder was in their race. Watching these moving lines, which are so cool, made me think that if the actual race participants could see them TOO, like a carrot on a stick, I bet they’d move faster.