Monday, January 26, 2015

FIGURE SKATING & THE NICE JEWISH BOY(S)

In honor of Jason Brown winning his first US Men's Figure Skating title, please enjoy the piece I wrote last year for Kveller.com about the three nice, Jewish boys representing American figure skating at the Olympics, and my own lack of fear that my sons' interests in costume design and ballet would "make" them... you know....

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First, I was a figure skating fan, then I was a figure skating TV researcher/producer, then I was a figure skating mystery novelist, and currently I’m a hodge-podge of all the above.

I am referencing my C.V. in order to explain why, while I don’t know the total number of Jews on Team USA for the Sochi Olympics, I do know that there are three of them in the figure skating delegation: two-time World Ice Dancing Champion and defending Olympic silver medalist Charlie White, singles skater Jason Brown, and pairs skater Simon Shnapir. (Ladies’ singles skater Gracie Gold is, alas, not Jewish, despite the name.)

That’s right, the US is being represented at the Olympics by three nice, Jewish boys. The latter actually emigrated from Moscow as a toddler.

It stands to reason. Figure skating is a huge sport in Russia. It’s a huge sport in America, too. But, primarily for girls.

“My son, the Olympian figure skater,” is not something a lot of parents–Jewish or otherwise–dream about. Or even think about. At the rink, girls get signed up for figure skating lessons, boys get hockey lessons. It’s more instinctive than deliberate.

I saw it when I worked in televisions sports. I saw it when my younger brother was a competitive skater. I see it now with my own sons.

They don’t skate (mostly because I know exactly how hard it is… on the parents, and never even gave them the option). But my 14-year-old is passionate about art and costume design (check out some of his Purim/Halloween creations here), and my 10-year-old has been studying ballet since second grade.

I’ve lost count of how many people have congratulated my husband and I on being so “open-minded” about supporting our sons’ artistic interests.

And then, some of them will ask, “But, aren’t you worried about…”

“What?”

“You know…”

“No. I don’t. What?” (I know. Of course, I know. I’m just messing with them. Because they deserve it.)

I’ve had one father flat out state to me that he would never let his son take dance lessons because it might turn him gay. (There, see, doesn’t it feel better to stop beating around the bush?)

Continued at: http://www.kveller.com/heres-to-the-three-jewish-american-male-figure-skaters-at-the-sochi-olympics/