I shouldn’t be surprised by the skating at this year’s BMO Canadians; it is exceeding my expectations. I was a little surprised that a long line-up of ladies was willing to let me jump the queue in the ladies’ room in order to allow me to …ahem…powder my nose…as I had very little time to spare. There were two things that caught me by surprise:

The first had to be the incredible short program performance from Cynthia Phaneuf which left me speechless. Beautiful, artistic and powerful it represented to me the very best of women’s figure skating. She is leading after the short program and in some ways what happens tomorrow is irrelevant as the moment today was powerful enough to be “skating” memorable meaning I will always remember the details of the event and the skater and the music.

The second was my reaction to “the power of a family”. In the moments before Tessa Virtue and Scott Moirskated their original dance, the camera zoomed in on a group of fans in the stands wearing red t-shirts. A closer look and it was rows and rows of Moirs. Not all of them have the last name Moir to be sure, some are just honourary Moirs and likely a Virtue or 2 as well I would guess. Uncle Paul (Moir) told me yesterday, that on boxing day it was decided that they would have some t-shirts made up to support Tessa and Scott at Canadian. It started out to be just a few and the eventual number of t-shirts ordered ballooned to about 120 or so. The coolest thing was to see big brothers Danny and Charlie unfold a banner supporting their young brother unaware they were being observed by the camera. (Did I mention that Danny and Charlie were among the first to be invited to be N’Ice Guys? It’s a very small world! They weren’t able to come to Italy so had to resign themselves to honourary NG status)

In any event, Tessa and Scott skated to Flamenco music and were so powerful and dramatic I could feel my own heart thumping in my chest while I watched them. When the program finished I watched on the screen as the camera captured their excited embrace first and then went to where Scott’s parents were sitting. There is something about the faces of proud parents that gets me every time. Caught by surprise at the look of pride and love on their faces, I had to take a moment to compose myself.

This kind of surprise is my very favourite kind. – am still smiling.

My surprise at the typos I will find on Monday when I get a chance to proof this – less than favourite.

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