I don't know how any of you feel about this, but I would LOVE to sit back and watch the US Nationals this year without enduring any more of those boring, dippy "up close and personal" pieces on Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Michael Weiss, etc. Every year we are served the same helping of these bios, and, as far as I'm concerned, they make perfect excuses for me to raid the refrigerator or call a friend on my cell phone.
Honestly, do the television stations and or the USFSA really think that we care two hoots about Kwan's coaching changes, Cohen's modeling career, Weiss' kids, etc.? OK - maybe a five minute piece that includes all of them might be in order, but not long, drawn-out pieces on all three of them. I'm not criticizing the skaters personally, you understand. They are talented athletes who have pretty much dedicated their lives to figure skating. However, it's not realistic to expect any of them to have anything really interesting or insightful to share with us, as they have all pretty much lived in the tunnel-vision world of skating, touring, commercials, etc.
Most of us are not millionaires, and we do not spend most of our time "on the road". These skating stars certainly have opinions and perspective, but how can their views connect with the rest of us who live "normal" lives?
I recall an interview Dorothy Hamill gave a number of years ago in which she spoke of her difficulties with the media after her 1976 Olympic victory. She said, to paraphrase, "The press expected me to have something profound to say every time I appeared at a press conference. To be truthful, I never had anything to say that anyone wanted to hear."
I remember seeing an "up close and personal" piece on Tara Lipinski that was filmed just prior to the 1998 Olympics. It portrayed Tara as "just another normal 15-year-old who enjoyed hanging out with her friends". Tara was shown giggling
with her girlfriends while shopping at the local mall, and she was shown playing on the roof of her townhouse with those girls. To portray Tara as a typical American teenager was, quite frankly, laughable. She was anything but your typical kid. She was a prodigy, a marvelously talented athlete who had the single-minded determination and drive to skate to the top. But those personal bios, showing Tara cavorting on the ice did not portray the fact that Tara gave up her childhood for skating, neither did it mention that fact that her over training resulted in the career-ending hip injuries.
I did not mean to print a sermon here, folks. I just wanted to express my view that the less of those personal bios, the better. I would much rather watch other skaters than see those silly bios!!!