Wednesday, August 15, 2012


It's that time again. Social media sources are abuzz. Tongues are twittering. Blogs are bulging; Facebook is frantic with speculation.
Duck and cover. With 500+ days left to Sochi, It must be skating season.
At least this summer there was a distraction - a little thing going on in London that for the most part deflected attention from the frozen tundra for 17 days. But fans pushed forward, making their voices heard about everything from diving and gymnastics scoring to costumes, makeup and hairstyles. An international  army of Mr. Blackwells was convened worldwide. Every nuance and nosepick was dissected like a frog in biology class. Nothing was safe in London; everything (except the broadcasts) was in real time. 
It was exciting, inspiring, exhilarating, sleep depriving. It was high Elizabethan drama. For London, "It was their finest hour." But when it ended on Sunday night, the blitzkrieg was over. A new plan was in the making. 
It was time to take aim at new targets. Time to refuel and reload; synchronize and strategize; pontificate and portend. Armed with rations, and a Google Map to the Black Sea of Russia, The Troops positioned and poised themselves for their next mission: Examining the terrain and determining a schedule for surveillance. 
For U.S. skaters competing in the Grand Prix series, it was time to break out the rucksacks and prepare bivouac at next week's Champs CampIf you're not familiar with this concept, here is a description: 

"Champs Camp is performance based. Athletes perform their short program and free skate programs (ice dancing teams: short and free dances) in a simulated competition environment. The camp also included technical feedback sessions, pre-participation physical exams, mental training sessions and nutrition seminars. Primary coaches of an athlete assigned to a 2012 Grand Prix Series event are required to attend."
Behind closed doors, It's the first real look strategists have at their elite SWAT team. After this week, (some) questions will be answered; a course will be charted. The generals will lay out plans and the lieutenants will begin to execute. 

Understandably anxious for details in the age of instant information, The Troops will be scouring all sources for leaks. Everyone will begin to circle the wagons as they prepare to catapult adjective-laden hand grenades. The season's "Rules of Engagement" will be scrutinized - then tossed out. Take no prisoners as the battle lines are drawn on a sequin-and-feather-filled frozen sea of  speculation. 

Duck and Cover. 
It's 500+ days to Sochi. 
The invasion has begun. 
Follow instructions. 

Let the games begin.

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