An Olympic Journey

A Ballad dedicated to my daughter Amanda, who overcame injuries and life's challenges to compete in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics
Up she goes ten feet high in the arctic air propelled by her partner
She spins with legs held tight, performing a world-class ten eighty
He catches her as she descends gracefully from the stratosphere
Her blade touches the ice quietly and she glides out effortlessly!
The crowd erupts into deafening applause, as they stroked down the ice
Straight into a triple toe loop, a few feet apart, after touching hands
At a musical crescendo and in unison, powerful jumps, lyrical otherwise
Fist pumps! Bright smiles! They’re oblivious to the crowd in the stands
The soulful delicate strings of Rachmaninoff’s sonata fill the arena
It’s the skate of their life; the best twenty years of effort can build
Element after another in rapid succession, acts in the unfolding drama
In the brightly-lit Olympic stage, where childhood dreams are fulfilled
Skating backwards on an outside edge, gathering speed and momentum
He holds her firmly, catapults her waist-high after she taps her toe
Into a giant triple Lutz, a feat defying gravity, a new found freedom
The clock moves not, a frozen moment in time; she wants not to let go
Yet she does, three rotations in a split second then a solid landing
The applause overwhelms as they stroke to the far end and into a spin
Side by side camels, shoot the duck, back camels; fast and never ending
They skate as one, their spins in unison, on the ice and on the screen
The serpentine spiral sequence breaks the quick pace as they go forward
Then backwards, legs straight up, toes pointed, floating across the ice
Blades barely touching the surface while dangerously close to the board
Thing of gossamer beauty but there’s steely determination in their eyes
Determined, they stand on a pair of double Axels in front of the judges
Her proverbial sword of Damocles with sheer will power she overcame
And as he lifts her into a side star he circles with sure precise edges
The joy in her smile is unmistakable, the happiness in her heart aflame
Excited, anticipation rising as they glide to the last jump of the night
From a spread eagle, he holds her tight and launches her toward the sky
Perfect triple loop, tight rotations, she nails the exit from the height
The struggle is over, the celebration begins, and down the ice they fly
Into their signature lift, reverse overhead lasso, sight breath-taking
Ten feet above the ice she’s St Andrew’s cross both of her arms spread
A smile for the ages, crowd cheers as she echoes words of thanksgiving
In quintessential serendipity five Olympic rings appear above her head
A perfect iconic picture to confirm a fleeting moment in the spotlight
Split second she will cherish for years to come if not for a lifetime!
The rest of the four and half minute work of art on that Olympic night
Becomes a blur for her, but to sing no ballads would have been a crime
The balladeer continues, death spiral on the back outside edge follows
Exquisitely low on the ice her hair almost touching the frozen surface
Then the pair spin, changes of edges and positions their bodies close
Sit, upright, camel and back camel, she exits with a hop full of grace
As they go to their ultimate element he kneels down and lassoes her
Overhead in a sweeping motion into a one handed lift, a move so near
Perfection; and after a somersault dismount their masterpiece is over
And they embrace on center ice while the appreciative audience cheer
They take their bow in front of the judges then the rest of the crowd
As happy tears cascade down her cheeks she felt ultimate vindication
For all the years she dedicated to her sport to make her family proud
All the hardship, pain and sacrifices morph into one giant celebration
Up in the stands the balladeer watches, tears streaming in his cheek
Happy for the skater in her singular moment in the spotlight’s glare
Proud of accomplishments in her sport that makes up her mystique
But pleased with what she’s done in life as a very loving daughter
© Vic Evora


This is the most difficult poem I have ever written and it took me over six months to finish it. At that time, it was the longest poem I have attempted. I had to re-watch their performance several times so that I could write it accurately, then find all the relevant skating terms. Despite that, it was the most satisfying project I have undertaken.


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