Tuesday, January 08, 2013

HOW KNOWING SKATING GOSSIP CAN WIN YOU A PRIZE!

This weekend marked the 19th anniversary of Nancy Kerrigan's attack at the National Championship, the event that (temporarily) made figure-skating the most watched televised sport in America (even ahead of football).



I was actually in Detroit in 1994 when the assault happened.  What's ironic is that, inside the arena, we didn't realize what a huge deal the media was making of the incident outside of it.  On the ice, skaters continued practicing, their minds on their own upcoming performances.  It was only later, practically after Nationals was over, that many of us understood how huge the story was.  (It even lead to a TV movie!  Though not the one below:)



The subsequent media attention led to many more skating competitions being created specifically for television.  I worked as a researcher, writer and producer on several of these programs for ABC, NBC, TNT and ESPN.

Unfortunately, working in skating means traveling around the world to where the story is.  Lots of fun when I was single.  Less fun once I was married and had a toddler.  A toddler who made his displeasure with my frequent absences clear by refusing to speak to me once I returned.

So I retired from TV skating and moved over to writing books about skating.  Which, in a way, was even more fun.  When I worked for the shows, I learned all sorts of interesting tidbits about skaters and coaches and officials which I could exactly put on the air.  However, when writing fiction, there is that little disclaimer at the front of the book which states: These characters bear no relation to anyone living or dead.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

As a result, I was able to put all sorts of details into my Figure Skating Mysteries that fans have always wondered about, but I wasn't allowed to tell.

Which inspired me to start the following game: I will post an excerpt from one of my books, and the first person to email me at AlinaAdams@gmail.com with the correct guess about who the character is based on, will win a free copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Okay, ready?  Here's is the first excerpt:

Unlike every generic hotel room she'd ever seen, Erin and Patty Simpson's temporary home away from home looked like they'd brought in a personal decorator to cozy up the place. It wasn't just the travel suitcase standing on its side in the corner, with all of Erin's skating dresses hanging from individual hangers, organized from darkest color to lightest. It wasn't just the teak dresser covered with a ruffled, pink drop cloth to hold their face powder, lipsticks, eye shadows, curling irons, hair ribbons, and body glitter. It wasn't even the portable cooler stocked with Erin necessities like fortified sports drinks, fortified vitamins, and fortified protein bars. What really went above and beyond the call of duty for personalizing a hotel room were all the pictures. They were everywhere. Photos of Erin as a young smiling skater stuck along the mirror, photos of Patty and baby Erin in frames on the nightstands, two scrapbooks chockfull of newspaper clippings on the table, and a handful of Polaroids from the medal ceremony the night before.

This wasn't narcissism as a hobby. This was narcissism as a lifestyle choice.

Not—Bex, the politically correct and terribly nice person, reminded herself—that there was anything wrong with that.

Erin and Patty greeted her when she came to their door. Erin wore blue jeans that, even though obviously petite in size, still hung loosely about her waist, and a green, belly-baring shirt with the words Erin Excitement! glue-gunned in rhinestones across the chest. Her hair was loose around her shoulders. Finally freed from its French braid and ponytail, her scalp actually seemed to be smiling with relief. Patty, for her part, was still in her coaching outfit. She'd taken off her blazer, but she was still wearing a below-the-knee skirt and white turtleneck.

"Come in, Bex," Patty said and subtly directed her to one of two chairs in the room, the one next to the desk by the bay window. The one boxed into a corner. Patty took the other chair, facing Bex. It was as obvious a power play as Bex had ever been a part of. Thanks to Gil, she knew exactly what it meant when you were shoved into a comer. Erin, though, flopped down on the bed, legs bent at the knees and raised in the air, chin propped up on two fists.

Bex said, "Actually, Patty, Erin was the one I'm really interested in interviewing, so maybe you two could switch seats and—"

"Erin doesn't give interviews without me."

"How come?" Bex asked innocently, as if Patty's unbelievably fanatical, loony control over Erin was news to her. As if a few weeks ago, at the national championships, Bex hadn't been in the room when Patty threw a fit about Erin being interviewed for the broadcast in front of a pair of lit candles. They'd been put there to cast a complimentary light on all the skaters. Only Erin Simpson's mother had insisted on their being removed, lest it look like Erin was into—hand to God, no kidding—devil worship.

***

Think you know whom this is referring to?  Email me!

1 comment:

mariam baurice said...

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