I noticed right away that Johnny Weir was a new commentator--because who couldn't notice Johnny Weir--but the girl I didn't recognize. It took me until last night when I finally saw her name on the screen that I nearly flipped out: Tara Lipinksi! I knew the name, but I couldn't remember what Olympics or what she had looked like at the time. But anyone who was alive and kicking in 1998 would remember this picture. (Wasn't she just adorable?! She was only 15, the youngest woman to win Olympic gold.)
Anyway, getting back to my original point: how awesome are Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski?! The two of them together are just what figure skating needs right now. I was watching all of these old videos from previous Olympics when Scott Hamilton used to commentate. Nothing against Scott Hamilton, but I feel like he had become so nit-picky and annoying, calling out jumps and flips before the skater even did them. It was obnoxious. I just love that Johnny and Tara are still so in love with skating, and they're very much in the background, hardly commenting at all while someone is performing. So much more enjoyable, in my opinion.
Apparently, they've also been causing quite the sensation with their outfits. Word is they were planning them months in advance. This article actually lists some of the items they brought with them to Russia, and it is pretty absurd, but they do look amazing, don't they:
Isn't the transformation of Tara crazy though?! I mean, it's no wonder I didn't recognize her. She grew up. Seeing her made me want to go down memory lane and watch her winning program, along with Michelle Kwan, and the 2002 Olympics in Utah when poor Michelle lost the gold again to another younger American skater, Sarah Hughes. I remember being such a huge fan of Michelle's and hoping so much that she would finally win gold. But watching both of her long programs again, it's clear that both Tara and Sarah skated better and deserved to win gold.
Just for fun, here are Tara's and Michelle's long programs in the 1998 Olympics in Japan.
Oh, I just love watching them! And, because this is not to be missed, here's Johnny Weir's program from the 2010 Olympics in Toronto, where I believe he placed 7th, though I have no idea how that was possible. He skated flawlessly! (And I have to say I've never seen a man skate the way he does; so feminine and gorgeous, but powerful and fearless at the same time. Sounds like Tara too. It's no wonder they get along so well :)
The ladies free skate is on my DVR at home and I can't wait to watch it! Have a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend everyone!