Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ice Skating

I am not a sports writer. I do like to watch sports, but really only understand football fully. I’ve had many embarrassing interactions with friend about sports that I know nothing about. But what I lack in sports knowledge, I think I make up for with my knowledge of history and the arts. I figure when you’re a writer you have to focus on what you know.

However, when one of my friends got the opportunity to work on a one day internship with Smuckers Stars on Ice, I decided a little variety in a portfolio never hurt anyone. So, for one day I placed myself out of my element, history and the performing arts, and focused on my Achilles heel: sports.

And it was one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had so far. Because it was only a one-day internship, I had the freedom to do whatever really. I learned basics about audio interviews in a class last year, and haven’t had a chance to utilize my skills since. My teacher said I was one of the best in the class, so I decided that would be what I would focus on from the experience. The tough part for me has been how to incorporate sports into my blog.

The initial idea was to do the history of ice-skating, but I’ve done something similar several times before. I’m trying to keep things fresh, and writing another history on how a sport has come to be just doesn’t seem appealing to me. Plus, it’s not exactly timely at the moment.

So I searched around a bit before I found an appealing topic.

Jackson Haines is the man credited with bringing figure skating to America. From what I could find on Haines, he was a dancer and combined these skills with his skating. He was revolutionary because he broke away from the rigid style of the time.

In 1863 Haines proclaimed himself the figure skating champion in America (which in retrospect didn’t mean much since many athletes gave themselves the title). However, the unenthusiastic attitude of Americans caused Haines to leave for Europe where he was warmly received. It was here the international style of figure skating was born, and the style eventually came back to America.

Haines was a revolutionary skater. I wish I could find more on him, but there was very little information I considered reliable. He seemed like a charismatic person and skater.

I did find some other historic figure skating moments at In 1948 Dick Burton won the gold medal. He was the first American to win the gold. In 1998 Tara Lipinski became the youngest Olympic gold medal skater. She was 15.

With this being said, I hope you can walk away knowing a bit more about some of the colorful skaters in the skating history. That being said, I’m going to attach my finished audio files for the skaters I interviewed at the Stars on Ice. Feel free to give them a listen. I’m pretty proud of them, and audio is definitely something I’d like to incorporate into my blog on a more regular basis.

As always, leave comments, and happy history!

Jeremy Abbott Interview

Meryl Davis and Charlie White Interview

Ben Agosto Interview

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