Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Sunday, January 15, 2006


So Kwan got her bye, Old Man Baldwin finally qualified for his first Olympic team (and made history when partner Rena Inoue landed the first Throw Triple Axel at Nationals), Tanith Belbin justified her quickie citizenship, and Johnny Weir won another Nationals despite being only third in the Long Program... and competing in one of the strangest costumes since 1994 Olympic Champion Alexei Urmanov.

So those are the facts. And now for some random observations:

Both Jamie Silverstein and Morgan Matthews are better than their respective partners. Oh, Charlie Butler (best American-born male ice dancer ever), where are you when we need you?

After seeing Katy Taylor skate and her adorable yearning for a pink Hummer, how can the company not just give her one?

Emily Hughes: I'm sorry I jinxed you. As soon as I saw the standings for the Short Program, I told my husband, "Emily will end up in third place and her spot will go to Michelle Kwan." Not that I disagree with the decision. I've written before about my belief that, if healthy, Michelle should go to the Olympics.

I think this would be best for everybody. Emily does not need to go to her first, major Senior international competition (she skated at Cup of Russia and Skate America, but you can't really compare those to the Olympics) only four years after her big sister came out of (as far as the viewing public is concerned) nowhere to win Gold in Salt Lake City. It would be too much pressure on her, and unfair, to boot. Emily needs to be recognized for being herself, not just as Sarah's little sister.

It's no secret that I'm a major fan of the Hughes clan. I literally wrote the book on Sarah. Since then, I've had some wonderful interactions with the Hughes family. There is no other way to put this: The Hughes rock.

This year, Emily will have a chance to go to Worlds and make her debut under less pressured circumstances. She'll get her feet wet and position herself beautifully for the next four years. Sarah, after all, was 7th in 1999, 5th in 2000, and 3rd in 2001, before winning Olympic Gold in 2002. The Hughes girls know that "slow and steady wins the race."

They also know how to hold it together under pressure. That's what impresses me the most. They have different coaches and different styles of skating, but both Sarah and Emily know how to rise to the occasion. They've got nerves -- and wills -- of steel. I figure they get that from their mother.

Any woman who can give birth to and raise six kids (plus survive breast cancer) has got to be pretty unfaltering.


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