Produced by HuffPost's Eyes & Ears Citizen Journalism Unit
Yesterday evening, I was lucky enough to attend the pairs short program at the Pacific Coliseum. It was pretty interesting watching an Olympic skating event take place at a rink I know so well and used to skate at occasionally.
I watched all 20 couples perform their short program, starting with the famous Chinese couple Shen and Zhao who have just returned to the sport after retiring two years ago. (See? Not just football QBs can come out of retirement.) They skated a clean program and scored the best marks of the evening. But I would have had them third, despite the fact that they posed for picture with me.
The German team deserved to be first. Their program and elements were the strongest (though I loathed their costumes -- 'Send in the Clowns' is not a song about clowns actually -- ask Catherine Zeta Jones who is currently singing it on Broadway in A Little Night Music).
The Russian team of Kavaguti and Smirnoff should be in second. They are youthful, talented and exquisite, and I was fully moved by their performance.
Shen and Zhao should be in third. Skating first and coming off of retirement, I just think the judges over scored them. Their program was clean and strong but did not resonate with the audience and I didn't see anything 'new'.
With regards to my Canadians, Langois and Hay should have fended off Dube and Davidson for the sixth position. Though they didn't have the triple twist, their program was fantastic and gave me a jolt of Canadian pride.
Both American teams gave strong skates and the crowd loved them almost as much as their home team, well almost. They all have bright futures ahead of them.
By the way, coaches and choreographers? I suggest you hire someone who knows something about music in the future. Skating to a piece composed by Hans Zimmer is a good thing. Skating to a techno version of Carmen is not. The British team skated to a version of Linkin Park's 'Numb' which made me smile -- even if the program was pretty devastating.
But overall, great job skaters! I remember the days when doing side by side double axles was a big thing, let alone pair skaters with good extensions. Now the short program has everyone doing the triple salchows, throwing triple loops and employing expression worthy of the Bolshoi Ballet.
Can't wait to see the free skate tomorrow night and see who brings it! And you all have to bring it, you have nothing to lose.