I’m with the Band

By on Dec 25, 2017 in @SkatingPj, Olympics, Skating

What you see depends on where you’re looking!

For my skating friends around the world who celebrate today’s holiday, Merry Christmas! Regardless of your holiday tradition, it seems like this time of year is ripe for spending time with friends and family and I hope you enjoy every minute!

I have made a new e-friend and it’s a skating friend (the best kind!). Frazer contacted me through my friend and fellow skating blogger Ryan Stevens from Skate Guard. Frazer pointed me to his own YouTube channel where he posts old (and really cool) skating footage under the name of Floskate.

I came across this program from the 1974 World championships featuring Dorothy Hamill. I watched it and it brought back a ton of memories for a few different reasons. First of all, Dorothy used to come to Toronto to skate in the summer and as a very young teenager, I remember watching her in total awe. I had never seen anyone so talented. Talented AND nice.

Dorothy was someone whose career I watched from that moment on as if keeping track of her, and having said ‘hi’ to her numerous times in the dressing room, meant I was able to say with confidence “I know her.” I often talk about the “I’m with the band” people who want nothing more than to be associated with greatness (without having the peskiness of qualifying for it), and here I was one of them.

On Christmas Day in 1973, my parents gave me a trip to the 1974 World Championships with my Mom. I was beyond excited.

On the day in question, my Mom was across the rink in the Media Room, having persuaded a small-town Ontario newspaper to apply for media accreditation on her behalf. In those days, my Mom was willing to do just about anything, including 2 or 3 articles, in order to access a media guide and paper protocol of the event.

As it turns out, Producer Paul’s dad, David Dore was on the judging panel and I was sitting in my assigned seat, no doubt nibbling on something yummy.

As Dorothy was announced, it was in the midst of a rowdy response for the hometown girl to judging marks that were less than 6.0. The crowd went bananas and for a very long time. Even though it was a figure skating crowd, it looked like it might get ugly. Did I mention Paul’s dad was on the panel? Oh, and did I mention he was one of the judges who gave less than a 6.0 to the pride of Germany?

Dorothy was rattled, not understanding that the response was to the marks and not to her name. Thanks for posting this video Frazer, it brought my memories of my first trip to a Worlds into sharp focus. Wild. Click on the Time Magazine image above to watch the video on Frazer’s YouTube Channel.

This experience makes me think that your point of view is dependent on your point of view: Dorothy’s, mine, my mom’s and David Dore’s.

In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter @skatingpj and follow along with me on my Facebook page (Pj Kwong author) – just a reminder there is no Facebook Live this week.