Friday, February 18, 2011

get up (m)

Last night, the skating community went to the premiere of a new movie called "Rise" which is a documentary about the U.S. Skating Team that went down in a plane crash en route to Prague for the World Championships.  This week is the 50th anniversary of the crash.  The movie was shown last night in over 500 movie theatres across the country.

The day began with Matt Lauer of the Today show interviewing Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Evan Lysacek, and Scott Hamilton.  Matt Lauer said it was "the most under-reported sports story of all time."  For perspective, imagine the entire NFL...players and coaches...going down in one plane.

Most of the skaters and coaches were from Boston.  Yesterday, the rink was somber.  I talked to one of the older gentleman there, a man named P, who has worked at the rink over 50 years.  He recalled a young female skater coming to the rink in February, 1961 saying she forgot her plane ticket.  P was working behind the counter in the office that day.  He was the one who handed her the plane ticket and wished her luck at the World Championships.  His eyes still mist when he talks about it.

Virtually the entire club went to the movie last night.  Parents met in small groups for dinner beforehand.  I went to Fresh City with my husband and another couple (the salad roll-up made me ill but was only 400 calories).

I have to say I both anticipated and dreaded the movie.  I wanted to learn more about the history of these people yet I did not want to cry in front of everyone (and we know how easy that is for me these days).

Not only did I not cry, I was inspired.  The movie does a great job bringing the athletes back to life, telling their stories of struggle, achievement, demanding parents, crazy coaches.  It segues seemlessly to athletes who succeeded those who perished, re-building the sport, bringing honor to them and to the U.S.

In the end, the stories all blended together.  Whether an athlete was part of the 1961 team or a former champion (Peggy Fleming, Dick Button, Michele Kwan, Scott Hamilton, etc.) or a current champion (Evan Lysacek) or an aspiring skater (Harrison is in the movie, but not identified), the stories are all the same.

Hard work.  Discipline.  Focus. Sacrifice.

Scott Hamilton summed it up beautifully.  "Skating is not about falling.  It's about getting up."

I need to "get up" from my slump.  This might have been the motivation I needed to get going again.

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