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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Old age should burn and rave... - Evgeni withdraws from the Singles event

No, no, no, no, no! It wasn't supposed to end like this. It simply wasn't. Alas, Evgeni has just withdrawn, shortly before his SP, right after the warm-up had ended.

Long have I accepted that IJS won't go away, that Brian's career will end without an Olympic medal, Tommy's without a world medal, that Speedy will go away, but only to be replaced by no other than Didier. That Savchenko/Szolkowy will never have that illusive gold. I have come to terms with Evan Lysacek being our reigning Olympic Champion. I have lived through 3 different and yet identical Tigerman programmes + a 4th one with the Tigerman choreo step. I watched Brian fail the triple+triple in the short for seemingly a decade, only to land it after two weeks with Morozov. I've seen it all, I've taken it all in stride, stiff upper lip and everything.

Still, there was one thing left I could look forward to: Evgeni in Sochi. Not only in the team event, but also in the Singles event. The ultimate victory of mind over matter. Of age over time, and that doesn't even make sense. I was ready for one last hurrah! Once more onto the ice, dear friend, once more! used to be my last words before falling asleep at night.

It actually wasn't about skating that much. Truth be told, it wasn't about skating at all. Over the last years, Evgeni has never really shown us the great programmes that he had worked on. He never put in all the transitions that he wanted to catch up on. He would likely never have delivered on that complete package, which we were promised time and again. But he also didn't need to. Everything that needed to happen was him stepping onto the ice, and our minds would have taken care of the rest.

He, who can evoke the good old times like no other. The pre-IJS days. The years when pro-skating was still something. The Yags/Plushy era. The condensed fond memories of his career, spanning all the way back to Euros 1998 and beyond. A career spanning my entire time of skating fandom. For one last time, nostalgia and sentimentality would have taken the stage, before, via the route of our fleeting memories, transitioning on to oblivion.

Thusly, and much like the proverbial Harlequin, I have to repent. I was nothing less than a fool in this previous post, where I complained about Plushenko being overscored. In my state of utter and complete delusion, I even wanted to give the victory to Kevin Reynolds or Tatsuki Machida. Luckily, with time passing, and a few epiphanies on the way, some amount of common sense had the courtesy to make its return to my feeble mind.

Notwithstanding such trivial matters like the self indulgence, narcissism, and campyness or missing programme coherence, lack of general taste, sophistication, and artistic sensitivity. Nothing of it really matters, or to put more it aptly, nothing of it matters without something else, something vital to every human endeavour and, by extension, every skating performance.

His performances have what every great performance should have, and what even a book featuring Elvis Stojko has written on its cover: "Heart and Soul". Passion and Charisma. Watching someone doing something they love and thrive on it, that is a beautyful thing to behold.

And now? What now? Which skater can provide me with the necessary closure? Who can defy the odds and accomplish the impossible? Brian, Tommy, Daisuke?


  1. Well, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you..

    1. I almost choked on my spinach, when Jouby delivered.