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2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Sport To Watch: Figure Skating—Ladies Singles

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  • Over the years, the Winter Olympic Games have afforded women more and more opportunities to compete for medals in a variety of different sports. New sports continue to be added, which continue to change the image of the woman as Winter Olympian.  However, there is one image that has prevailed in the Winter Olympics since 1908: the one of a woman in a sparkly costume, smiling to the crowd, while performing on the ice. That woman is competing in the ladies singles event in figure skating at the Winter Olympics.
     
    Ladies singles is arguably the most popular figure skating event at the games, and might be the most popular event overall.  When something is popular, of course, it is also lucrative, not only for the sport in general but also for the participants.  Winning the gold usually translates to making the money.  Norway’s Sonja Henie, who won three straight gold medals in the 1920s and 30s, went on to make movies.  Germany’s Katarina Witt found fame and fortune after winning the title in 1984 and again in 1988. Then, of course, there are the USA’s Peggy Fleming and Dorothy Hamill who became America’s sweethearts after their wins.
     
    Most of these former champions won by skating in both a short program and a long program. The short program lasts about two minutes and, in it, the skater must perform a list of required moves, or, elements.  In the long program, the skater has the freedom to choose some of the elements.  The elements include jumps such as flips, loops and axels, and spins like the camel and the layback.  Each program is judged by both a technical panel and a judging panel, a system that replaced the old 6.0 system in 2004.
     

    American women who could stand before these judges at the Sochi Olympics include Mirai Nagasu, who finished fourth at the 2010 games, Ashley Wagner who won gold at the 2013 US National Championships in Omaha, NE, and Gracie Gold who won a silver in Omaha.  They will be hard-pressed to make it to the podium in Sochi, however. The competition will be stiff. The US women should acquit themselves well, though. The Ladies Singles competition should make for great watching at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

     
    www.JanetTV.com< Sport: It’s A Female Thing!

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