Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is Figure Skating a Sport?

Over the years, I've periodically had discussions with Tim McMahan of The Reader over various sports topics from across the cubicle wall.  One of the more contentious discussions over the years revolved around figure skating: Sport or Not?

Typically, this debate comes up at the Olympics.  Today, it was because the US Figure Skating Championships are in town this week. I take the position that it's not; Tim says it is. He gives his reasons in this week's "Reader".  He brings up some good points, but I still believe that while figure skating is a competition, it's not a sport.  Does it require talent?  Yes.  Does it require skill?  Yes.  Does it require incredible physical effort?  Yes.  But that, by itself, doesn't make it a sport.  Dancing requires much the same physical effort and similar skill, but even fewer people would consider it a sport.  It's a performance, meant to be judged.  It's an art form, not a sport.  Doesn't make it less than a sport; heck, when you consider how society views the winner of "American Idol", you might argue that it's more than a sport.

Emrick calling UNO Hockey earlier
in January 2013.

One thing we did agree on today is that poker, despite it's television deal with ESPN, isn't a sport.

Speaking of the Figure Skating Championships, hockey fans may recognize a familiar voice if they tune into NBC's broadcasts.  Mike "Doc" Emrick will be back in Omaha to be the host of NBC's broadcasts. Emrick was in town three weeks ago to call a UNO/Colorado College hockey game; I'm sure UNO hockey fans wish he were coming back to call another Maverick game.

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