Friday, February 21, 2014

"Thank you for all the health and all the experiences that I have lived. . . ."


The only event of this year's Olympic games that interested me enough to look up the TV schedule for it was the ladies' figure skating--the skating is the only winter event that ever seems to catch my interest, just as gymnastics used to be the one in the summer Olympics--and I found myself enchanted by one of the skaters:  Carolina Kostner.  One of her programs was performed to "Ave Maria."  I haven't found a clip online yet that shows yesterday's performance, but the video above is one of the same program from a competition earlier this year.  It is hauntingly beautiful, and all I have read about Kostner's road to this Olympics has only made the performance more touching to me.  Apparently, she has battled injuries the past few years, fell a number of times during her programs in the 2010 Olympics, finishing in sixteenth place--prompting the satirical newspaper "The Onion" to post a headline earlier this week that described her needing to be rescued after falling through the ice this Olympics--and had decided after 2010 to retire from skating.  She took time off but eventually came back to it, deciding to return for the pure love of it, instead of thinking in terms of competitions, judges' scores, and others' expectations.  Kostner, in her "Ave Maria" performance above, reminds me of one of those miniature ballerinas inside a music box.  I have watched this over and over.  In an interview after this Olympics--in which she finally earned an Olympic medal, at the ripe "old" age of twenty-seven--she commented that the this lovely performance "felt almost like a prayer saying, 'Thank you for all the health and all the experiences that I have lived.'"  Ah!    I think it more than shows. 

4 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

This is beautiful, Val. She truly looks like she is skating for the love of skating, as if no one is watching. And I love her quote.

XO,
Jane

Lisa said...

I also really like her, Val! There's something nice about her (plus she's Italian) A different way of looking at skating made all the difference for her. As it does for any of us, when we're fortunate enough to suddenly "get it".

Marie said...

I have always loved watching the figure skating, and yes, the gymnastics. This was beautiful. I missed the singles, only was able to catch the dance. As a girl I dreamt of being able to take figure skating lessons, but of course my parents could not afford them. I know that it takes a tremendous amount of time, training, dedication and money to get to the point where you can compete on an international level, and yes, sacrifice. I admire all who make it to that level. And if we can love what we are doing, how much better is that! xxoo

Val said...

A big "Yes!" to everything you three said here. :)