Thursday, October 8, 2009

Meissner: She'll Always Have Calgary

If you happen to follow The Amazing Race, you probably noticed that there was one of those “shocking twists” this season that we’ve, ironically, come to expect with this genre we call Reality TV. In the case of Race, there was a straight-out-of-the-gate challenge that resulted in one of the teams being eliminated, quite literally, before they even got started. The rest of the teams boarded planes to Tokyo; this one unfortunate team was last seen standing with Phil Keoghan at the site of that “Thunder Road” scene from Grease.

In figure skating this season… misfortune, thy name is Kimmie Meissner.

this article in Meissner’s hometown paper (The Baltimore Sun) reports, she has officially withdrawn from her GP events due to injury, which essentially means she’s out for the entire season. From the article:

The former world and national figure skating champion from Bel Air has not recovered quickly enough from a dislocated right knee cap and tendinitis, which forced her Thursday to withdraw from both of her Grand Prix assignments.

In a text message to The Baltimore Sun, Meissner, 20, said she is not retiring from skating."I want to thank everyone who has supported me," she said. "My heart will always be in Maryland with the people who cheered for me first."

Incidentally, the article also happens to mention that part of the injury came “when she attempted to pull out of a jump to avoid a younger skater who had drifted into her path… She landed on her right knee, which swelled and stiffened.” Can you imagine if you happened to be the kid who got in her way? Who probably idolized Meissner? Yikes. Poor thing.

Anyway, her coach Richard Callaghan indicated that it could be far from the end of the road, pointing out that Shizuka Arakawa was 24 in Torino when she won gold (among others that have peaked in their mid-late 20s). Of course there’s that FOUR MORE YEARS part… and keeping up with costs in the face of increasingly fewer exhibition opportunities… and wondering if she could find herself as injured in 2014 as she does today.

There is all that.

There is also the fact that she’s already found the kind of success most skaters of her generation—heck, any generation—can only dream about: successfully landing a triple axel in competition… national title in 2007… WORLD title even before that… thank goodness those achievements can never be taken away from her.

Could there still be a happy sequel in Kimmie Meissner’s future? If the injured knee proves anything, it proves that fate is an enigma, wrapped in a conundrum. But if she happens to make it back, she’ll be the most deserving graduate the School of Hard Knocks has ever seen.

Till then, we can always enjoy the good times… like this Calgary World Championship.

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