Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinsky Put on a Masterclass of Throwing Shade During the Doped-Up Russian Teen's Short Program
In case you missed the news over the past 12-24 hours, Russia's power move to take over a previously peaceful but vitally strategic area of the world - international Figure Skating - continues.
Olympic favorite Kamila Valieva, a week after leading Russia to Gold in the team competition and days after it was revealed the 15-year-old tested positive for a banned heart medication, proved you can't spell "Valieva" without "L-I-E" by giving Olympic officials the lamest excuse in the history of excuses:
And last night she performed her Free Skating in the Women's individual competition. And, predictably for the best skater in the world who just so happens to be all hopped up on goofballs, she smoked the competition. Despite an early stumble, she finished in first, followed by her two teammates on the ROC team (which, just as a reminder, can't compete as regular, everyday Russia because of other, blatant doping), finishing second and fourth. And while that might be a good time for everyone in Russia, America's greatest sports announcing duo was having none of it.
Thanks to NBC for not letting me promote their coverage except in 40-second snippets. But here's a flavor of how Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinsky called Valieva's performance:
NBC Chicago - Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski were uncharacteristically quiet during [Valieva's peformance and] expressed outrage and disappointment that the 15-year-old was allowed to perform amid a doping scandal.
The only time they spoke during the performance was to note Valieva's jumps.
"All I feel like I can say is that was the short program of Kamila Valieva at the Olympics," Weir said at the end of her skate.
"She had a positive test. We should not have seen this skate," Lipinski said after. …
[T]he duo both expressed frustration and disappointment over the ruling that allowed the teen to continue skating as her future remains in the balance, with Lipinksi contending the decision "will leave a permanent scar on our sport."
Lipisnki said the decision "makes me angry and disoriented by everything that I thought I knew."
"It makes you question everything," she said. "These skaters give up their lives for this moment, to get to this place. Why?"
So congratulations, Russia. Nice going, Putin. I'm sure you're feeling really good about Kamila's results. But at what cost? You're not only putting puke stain on the white sofa that is Olympic Figure Skating that no amount of spot cleaning will get out, you've alienated Johnny and Tara. Now you have to suffer their passive/aggressive silence. Which in this case, is the sound of integrity. Of caring about the sport they've dedicated their lives to. That they've promoted and made more popular through their insights, their personalities, and their colorful, fashion-forward sense of style.
Hopefully this will be a wake up call for all Olympic countries that either run dirty programs or are thinking about getting into the dirty program business. There will be a price to pay. Pump your teenage athletes with enough chemicals that they could Place at the Kentucky Derby, and you too might have to suffer seeing them get to compete because they're minors and took Grampa's angina medicine in a screwy mix up that could happen to any kid. Then you'll have to watch them go out and dominate the competition. Then probably sweep the medal stand. But you'll have to do it over the sound of America's favorite sportscasters rolling their eyes in disgust. Hope you're happy.