Making Snow Cones

Michelle Kwan

Okay, so, figure skating has gotten a bad rap, what with society's increasing fascination with re-creations that are either far faster or quite a bit more furious than competitive choreographed ice skating. A mere mention of it at your local bro-core sports bar is liable to provoke such reasoned exclamations as "gay," "lame," "gayly lame" and "Please don't talk about figure skating. I'm trying to watch America's Most Nauseating Sports Injuries on the flat-screen." Now, the liberal-arts major in me is tempted to write a treatise on institutionalized homophobia as it relates to sports hierarchies, but this article is supposed to be "brief" and "entertaining," so please forgive me if I glide over some things as I try to defend this most maligned of sports to the kind of people who used to rabbit punch me during P.E. when Coach wasn't looking.

First off, figure skating is fast. You can keep your wimpy NASCAR racing with its seatbelts and helmets—the only thing standing between these competitors and a disfiguring accident is a thin layer of bedazzled spandex.

It's furious, too, as anyone who remembers the grand Harding/Kerrigan rivalry of the '90s can attest. When was the last time one of your precious football players was rapped in the knees with a iron rod before going on to win a silver medal at the Olympics? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought.

But, to be honest, there probably won't be any hockey-league ice fights or WWE-style trash talking at this Sunday's Champions on Ice performance. Heck, it's not even a competition. And if watching figure skating makes you confront aspects of your personality that make you uncomfortable, you probably won't be won over by an event that promises unabashed co-ed lutzes, walley jumps, and salchows choreographed to Britney Spears and Madonna tunes. But if you're confident in your love of the sport that dares not speak its name (in a sports bar), Champions on Ice will give you the chance to see figure skaters at the top of their game doing what they do best. And there ain't nothing gayly lame about that.

Champions on Ice at the Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2500; Sun., 3 p.m. $35-$150.

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