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My Olympic houseguest, who treated me to the show, was already there so she filled me in on what I’d missed and, as the evening went on, she helped me understand how to do well in ice dancing:
- Stay close together, holding hands whenever possible
- Synchronize your twirls
- Go fast
- Balance on as few blades as possible, as many times as you can
- Costumes don't count so it's okay to wear a shirt with fluttery cape-like extensions on it (even if it looks ridiculous)
Things you miss in the TV version:
- You get to see ALL the skaters, even the other Canadian couple, Vanessa Crowe and Paul Poirier, managed a Titanic-style pose with Vanessa standing balanced on Paul’s hip while they sped across the ice.
- The audience claps for everyone, they just clap harder for the Canadians.
- Hardly anyone drinks beer at Ice Dancing.
- A bunch of cute little girls sit obediently in a row at rink level, waiting their turn to skate out and pick up whatever the crowd throws onto the ice after each dance. Two girls go out at a time and the whole row moves along so the next pair is ready to go.
- The intermission music included the Rolling Stones singing "Honky-Tonk Woman", BTO singing "Taking Care of Business" and someone singing "That's the way I like it, uh huh."
- Zambonis are awesome.
- It takes less than 15 minutes for a handful of blue-jacketed people to roll out carpets and then push the three-piece medal podium out onto the ice and fit them together, ready for the ceremony.
- Shaking a cowbell instead of clapping may seem like a good idea, but not when you're inside a building it's happening right behind your left ear.
- The Mounties look great against the white ice as they stand at attention ready to raise the flags.
This morning a couple of people asked me if last night was exciting and I have to say it didn't feel like a real competition. Everyone skated well (most achieved a "personal best") and everyone got lots of applause, but there were no evil geniuses out there. It was fun rather than exciting and even though I heard the phrase "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" several times, it wasn't life-changing—except that I did sing the national anthem for the first time in about 40 years—maybe that's changed my life.