Going for the Gold

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We Need Same-Sex Couples – in Figure Skating

People don’t come only alone or in hetero pairs; neither should skaters

The Olympic figure skating pairs shimmered with grace and talent, but I just couldn't help it: Every time I saw a man hoist his partner with one hand or toss her forward, I thought not of Mikhail Baryshnikov but of Fred Flintstone. Watch the pairs if you must (I did, and even enjoyed them) but maybe the wide world of sport would take on a more contemporary shine with a new variation - same-sex figure skating pairs. Complementarity has its place (and it wouldn't necessarily be ruled out in same-sex pairs competitions) but think of the creative possibilities that might be unleashed if choreographers tried NOT to include elements of people-lifting or -hurling in pair-skating routines.

In figure skating, as in much of the rest of life, we seem to have a two-track mind: either you are in a boy-girl couple or you are alone. But that's all in our heads. In our real lives, we have our solo acts, our boy-girl events, our same-sex ties, and our groups. Hmm, come to think of it, why limit the number of simultaneous skaters to two?

Extra perk: Listening to the broadcasters, who so love to patter on about the romantic liaisons of the pairs, grope to fill in that space when the pairs don't fit the hetero mold.

Going for the Gold