U.S. Figure Skating Epic Slapfest in the Making

The NEW YORK TIMES brings to America’s attention the brewing rivalry between the top two male figure skaters in the United States, Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek. Alan Schwartz dances around the issue deftly in his open, but we can sum it up much more easily:

Tanith Belbin

(You wouldn’t choose sides because one of them is dating her, would you?)

One’s fey! One’s butch! One’s dating Tanith Belbin; one’s not talking about it, hmm okay? We smell sitcom! Someone ink Scott Hamilton as the wacky next door neighbor!

Weir, the effeminate one with the stunningly graceful routines that emphasize the “figure” in figure skating, despises Lysacek’s brutish emphasis on spinning and leaping. Lysacek has a frustrated hockey player locked inside him that would love to cross-check Weir’s glittery excesses into the boards in the middle of his amazingly athletic feats.

Johnny prefers operatic performances; Evan wants nothing but heavy metal and X Games-style leaps. Johnny wears fur coats and wants to get into the feel of the moment. Evan wants to rip the hearts from each of the competitors using only his left skate and then show it to them moments before their demise. You get the idea.

The division has torn asunder this nation’s figure skating fans at a time when we need unity. In this moment of exaggerated crisis, we turn inward to nostalgia and find strength in the sitcoms of old. What would Patty Duke do when faced with internal strife while the Japanese, French, and Swiss are at our medal-winning door?

Where Johnny adores a minuet
The Ballet Russes, and crepe suzette
Our Evan loves to rock and roll
A hot dog makes him lose control (hey, Johnny too) — What a wild duet!

Still, they’re skaters,
American skaters and you’ll find
No one seems to really care
About men dancing in their underwear
Unless it’s Olympics time
And skaters become two of a kind!

Wiser words were never spoken, Patty.