Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pic of the Week

When he arrived in Nagano for his first (and only) Olympic Games in 1998, he seemed completely unaffected by the magnitude of it. Scott Hamilton repeatedly said, "it's just like any other competition for him. He's ho humming through it."

Ilia was the leader after the short program, which was no small feat considering Stojko, Eldredge, Candeloro, Yagudin, and Cousins had all turned in great short programs (I think that was one of the best men's short programs ever!).

The talk was the Quad...would Ilia attempt it...everyone knew Stojko was going to go for it...maybe even two! Ilia drew first to skate in the free skate (not a great place in the old judging system), took a deep breath, and began his program. Less than 20 seconds in he reels of a gorgeous quad toe and goes on to hit every jump in his program. At the completion of his program he smiles for the first time since arriving in Japan and you can see a youthful joy come over his face...a moment to remember!

The costume may have been unusual (do you remember the vinyl giraffe?) but the Olympic Gold Medal was splendid!

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