Hmmm — artistry, theater, glitz, glamour, storytelling. Those are all perfectly valid terms, and they do indeed seem to be central to figure skating’s ethos, and even its scoring rules, which are completely subjective and include grades for “Composition and Choreography” and “Interpretation and Timing.” All of which reinforces a simple point I’ve been making for years (and feel obliged to make again, now that the winter Olympics are taking place):
Figure skating is not a sport.
Paul goes on to answer a few objections he knows people might have to his opinion - or, as I would put it, statement of fact:
Having winners and losers makes skating a competition, not a sport. Lots of things are competitions but not sports: ballroom dancing contests, battles of the bands, chess tournaments, American Idol, video games, fantasy baseball leagues, Uni Watch design contests, bake-offs, and so on. At least one of those things is athletic, but none of those things is a sport, and neither is figure skating.
(Of course, we could probably say that about half the events in today's Winter Olympics, but never mind that.)
Read the whole thing here. ◙