Monday, February 3, 2014
Master of his Art: Brian Boitano
On Thursday, January 9, I met Brian Boitano. Sometimes when you meet celebrities, you are disappointed that they don't live up to your expectations, but other times your expectations are exceeded. The latter is the case of my meeting of Brian Boitano. I waited in line to have him sign my copy of his cookbook, "What Would Brian Boitano Make?" and got to talk to him for a few minutes. He was so sincere and genuinely interested in what I had to say to him. He spent time taking a picture with me, and had me check the picture to make sure it was okay, or he would take another one with me. When I met Brian, it was one of the greatest thrills of my life. Such an inspirational athlete and artist. Brian's work ethic, focus, and passion for what he does, no matter if it's as an Olympic athlete or celebrity chef and author, is a great motivation. He approaches everything with such integrity and care.
The other evening I stumbled upon this video of Brian skating at the 1994 World Professional Championships in Landover, Md. As Sandra Bezic explains: "This program is not a commercial vehicle. It is a study of edges and turns." I was so taken with this subtle, soft, haunting piece of music and Brian's precision and power; his utter mastery of the simplicity of blades carving and caressing the ice. His first back crossover at 48 seconds was enough to make my heart swell. This program is everything that I truly love about Brian: no pomp or circumstance, just the flow of the edge, the lean of the body, the bold, sweeping movement of flight across the ice. By the end of this, I had tears in my eyes. It was the combination of stirring music, inspired skating, and the thought that I got to meet this man that I've watched for 20 years, and he was just as beautiful of a person as he is the skater who has given me so many moments of pure joy. Watching this programs was a celebration: a celebration of the fusion of sport and art, a celebration of a dream of mine that was realized, and a celebration of athlete and artist, gliding across his canvas as a true master; a true hero.