Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who the heck is Ryan Bradley and what is a Shibutani?

Are you aware that Ryan Bradley won the U.S. Championships?

Who? You are thinking. Is Ryan Bradley?

And that the Shibutanis scored 4s on their elements?

What the heck is a Shibutani? You are also thinking. (If this is the case, BTW, you are really missing something and should look up Maia and Alex Shibutani on YouTube).

And that Sarah Meyer just defeated Kiira Corpi and Carolina Kostner at Europeans?

No, of course, you aren’t. Because this is an author blog. And none of these people have anything to do with books.

But honestly, I’m quite sick of talking books today, so we’re going to have to talk about figure skating. I LOVE figure skating. Watching it that is. From home. On TV. Or IceNetwork. Or, when I’m very, very lucky, in an actual arena.

No, I don’t skate.

But I love the stories.

You don’t have to read books to find stories. Stories are in movies, plays, songs, television, dance, life . . .

And figure skating.

Ryan Bradley won the U.S. Figure Skating National Championships last weekend. It was a mess. He botched two jumps (basically fell, though not technically), the most important jumps in his program. This was not a stellar performance by any stretch of the imagination.

But it was a story.

Because Ryan has been skating FOREVER.

Since he was junior champion way back in . . . it was more than 11 years ago.

And he ALWAYS falls down in every competition.

And he’s tried retiring twice, but he just can’t stand it.

And he has lousy speed and lousy spins and lousy technique on his triple axle.

But he’s HILARIOUS. He’s an amazing performer. He’s about the best modern skater on the planet at connecting with his audience, and totally deserves to be opening Stars on Ice (which would benefit from more performers and fewer medal winning Americans who don’t connect).

So it’s PHENOMENAL that Ryan Bradley won the U.S. Championships.

It’s just the best story! And apparently I needed to blog about it.


  1. LOL! That's awesome. :) I adore skating, even though I haven't done any form of it for years now. I used to love watching figure skating but always got confused on the when/where it came on so I stopped watching it.

    Congrats to Ryan Bradley for winning. :) I'll have to clue myself in to his performances. Yes. That will go on my To-Do List of Life. XD


  2. Hi Amelia,

    I recommend his 2011 Nationals performance of the short program and his 2010 Nationals long program.

    TV wise, you need Heather's tv schedule, available here:

    Start with her schedule & when an event gets close, then check your local paper/tv for time zone appropriate hours. Though since ABC & ESPN dropped their tv coverage, there isn't much available (unless you are blessed with access to Universal Sports--I'm not). has almost everything online, not at TV quality, but serious footage.

  3. I love this post! Especially since I just got back on the ice um... Thursday actually. I will admit that I'm very behind on my knowledge of the more popular ice skating figures (Excluding the really big faces like Michelle Kwan and the like) but now I will got find out about those names you mentioned and more (thankfully my mom and aunt keep up on these things, so I can always ask them. Google can be very unhelpful.) xD