Reading some posts tonight, I began to wonder: what is it that makes a person *really* love a particular skater or pair/dance team? This discussion has probably already been had here before. I apologize; I am a relative newcomer. I think it is an interesting question that requires some introspection.

I certainly find myself getting defensive when people criticize or otherwise say negative things about Alissa Czisny. I find this bizarre on my own part, because in general I love skaters who challenge traditional gender archetypes, such as Shawn Sawyer (who evinced flexibility usually reserved for female figure skaters) and Tonya Harding (gender norm challenges obvious, even if unintentional). I also get goose bumps when pair and ice dance teams reverse gender roles by having the female partner lift the male partner. Any yet, inexplicably, I love Alissa Czisny, the Platonic form of femininity.

So, my question is: Does anyone have a theory of this (not of my preferences, but of why people like the skaters they like)? I am inclined to think one deceives oneself insofar as one thinks, “I love skater X because skater X is just the best!” Or, less ambitiously, what concrete criteria does a skater have to satisfy for you to love them (i.e., be their defender on internet discussion threads)?