Photo by Barry Mittan

Keri Lotion Figure Skating Classic - 1998

Reviews and commentary which relate to the TV airing of the Keri Lotion Classic, December 11, on ABC.

 "Finally watched my Keri Lotion tape, and was surprised to see Galindo's "Over the Rainbow" on it. I didn't even know he'd skated it there. Many thanks to ABC for un-chacking this program. I do not know if homophobia had anything to do with the original chacking from U.S. Pros, but obviously all such suspicions must be withdrawn now.

 "To me, even more significant than seeing Galindo skate it was hearing Dick Button's succinct, matter-of-fact statement that the rainbow flag is the symbol of the gay and lesbian movement. That was it. No apology. No worries about setting back the sport. No misguided attempt to protect something or somebody by omitting this information.

 "Dick Button has always "gotten" what Galindo tries to do. He understood that the red ribbon in "Ave Maria" was enormous because Galindo felt enormous grief. His genuine pleasure in the clever "Macho Man" parody made viewer discomfort seem petty and backward. And now, he discusses the rainbow flag with very welcome common sense.

 "It is wonderful to see a real grown-up and class act running such a large part of the sport. Thanks to Dick Button for his perceptiveness and his level-headedness."

 ---Lorrie Kim

 "Yup, this impressed me too. Immensely."


 "'ve always perceived Dick Button as being completely accepting of homosexuals within the sport. He deserved the praise you laid upon him, but I'm surprised by your surprise!"


 "Dick's comments struck me as a sign that yes, skating really has come a long way. Hats off to him. He could have easily painted over the situation seeing as how it would have been perfectly believable to say that Rudy as skating with a rainbow banner because of his "rainbow" music, but he didn't take the easy way out. Bravo, Dick. (as the Internet goes bananas with comments...)"


 "I suspected that it was a "decency issue", and finally getting to *see* the program makes me reasonably certain that that's what it was. Rudy's white dance belt showed up rather well through those sheer pastel-blue tights. :-) Networks have been nervous about see-through tights ever since Alexei Urmanov at Skate America '93. :-)...I agree completely with the rest of your statements. Good for Uncle Dickie for just telling it like it is without dithering."


 "Poor Rudy Galindo. He was robbed I believe. His program had much more artistry than most I saw. His marks were pretty horrible! I would have put Eldridge first, Kulik second, Galindo 3rd, Weiss 4th, Petrinko 5th."


 "I think Dick has always favored skaters who have, as he puts it, "a point of view" in his own perception. I think he likes both Ilia and Rudy, but he likes Rudy more, and he likes what Rudy is doing more than he likes Ilia's fledgling moments in less-structured skating life. Ilia is disappointing Dick, it seems to me, while Rudy delights him, and he can't objectively assess the performances of the two skaters.

"And in fairness to his job as commentator, he's not *supposed* to be impartial, is he? If Dick's disappointed, he's allowed to show it, isn't he? And if he doesn't understand why objective judges place a skater above another, he's speaking as a man doing commentary. He's never been paid for objectivity, that's for sure. ;^)"

 ---Peg Lewis

 "Rudy also does the front catchfoot. He does it much better than Ilia. We have all seen Rudy do the front catchfoot many times. Just because he did not do it in this one program does not require that the whole world forget that he *ever* did it and admire Ilia for doing it so comparatively poorly.

 "Frankly, nobody *but* Rudy seems to be able to do that particular spin well - it's like the Biellmann spin, which only Denise Biellmann does "properly" despite many imitators." ---Maven

 "Amen! I think some of the other skaters should take lessons for this spin from Rudy and then come on back."

 ---Virginia Blalock

 "Rudy Galindo- Dick really didn't have a single thing positive to say about rudy, except for compliments on his spins. I disagreed with him though. I think this is one of Rudy's better programs. I felt he was underscored on the technical and even more on the artistic scores in this program."

 ---Kelly M. O'Connor

 "Rudy--Classic Rudy. I really liked it. I like the use of the rainbow at the end. Really impressive."


 Rudy apparently had a rough time in the short program at the Keri Lotion Figure Skating Classic finishing last of the six skaters. Reports from those in attendance at the event say he fell on the triple axel and left out a required footwork or spin sequence (only one, but both were cited--will clarify). Both reviews of this performance mentioned that it was "severely undermarked." Late reports indicate he finished fifth overall, passing Tim Goebel in the long program. The marks in this one seemed more reasonable. The other placings were Eldredge, first, Weiss, second, Petrenko, third, and Kulik, fourth. Perhaps we'll get more details this week. Things will improve!!!

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Last updated October 6, 2001