Timothy Goebel, the 2002 Olympic bronze medalist, agrees. “I’d like to see progress. People doing harder stuff and going faster – that’s the whole Olympics theme. Not prettier outfits and more theatrical.” Goebel was the first figure skater to land a quadruple Salchow in competition as well as three quadruple jumps in a single program.
But….who watches for that? Really? I mean, that’s not going to win them more audience/viewers. Sorry, but figure skating fans like pretty things, and they don’t mind pretty boys. And let’s just face it, bro dudes don’t see enough balls or blood or dudes rubbing up against each other, or smashing into each other, or copping feels that are known as “fouls” in figure skating. Sorry.
So give figure skating fans more of what they actually want instead of more of what you want them to want! If I could count the number of times I’ve seen an iteration of “I miss Johnny Weir” or “It’s just not as exciting without someone like Johnny Weir” since this Olympic season started…well, let’s just say I’ve heard it a lot. And which name will be remembered longer? Weir or Lysaceck? I promise it will be Weir.
These very short videos are so beautiful. If I could embed them, I would, but I can’t. So, please follow the link and see the gorgeous Johnny Weir skating on a frozen lake as it pours the snow. So beautiful.
My upcoming novel, Training Season, is a romance featuring a male figure skater and a rancher. The story has existed in various stages and forms for a few years now, but it has only come into its own in my latest sweep of edits and additions. It is turning into something that I feel rather pleased with, if I do say so myself, and I look forward to sharing more information on it soon, including a lovely cover designed by the always wonderful Dar Albert. Expect that cover reveal soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to talk a bit about the initial moment of inspiration for this novel. The spark originated from watching the following video. It is a fanvideo, a montage of Johnny Weir’s performances over some of his earlier years, set to the absolute perfect song. It was the combination, and the impeccable editing, that really engaged my mind and made me start to ask some really important questions. Such as, what does it look like when you work hard at something with no guarantee that the outcome of years and years of work will pay off? (Hello, I am a writer, I think I understand this quite well, actually.) Or what does it look like when someone keeps screwing themselves over because they just don’t believe, deep down, that they deserve it? What happens when they meet someone from outside of their world who gets them, sees them, and loves them anyway?
Other questions came up, too, but those were the very first ones, and they were all due to this little fanvid right here. Oh, Johnny Weir, you are a divine mess at times, aren’t you? And, yes, he is, in part, along with some other skaters and some people I know in my day-to-day life, the inspiration for the character of Matty Marcus–God’s gift to figure skating, and victim of his own worst impulses.
Enjoy the video. The way it makes you feel is pretty much what this book is about. The emotional base of it stemmed from this video.