Oh my God! It's Irina!

Irina Slutskaya. One of the most powerful skaters in the sport. May finally be getting some of the respect that she has so massively earned.

It really is okay to be technically correct in this sport. It honestly is, guys. It really, truly, honestly, genuinely is.

A silver medal this young -- are they really ready to play fair now?

Let's hope.

Let's goddamn hope.

Five Minutes To Ice Time

Okay, Irina, let's go. You have focused, you have concentrated, and today is the day. Now is the moment. Now. In five minutes you go out there and make the Soviet Union proud. Hit another leg kick. Good. Up to the top of your hand? Fine. Your legs are warmed up. Back kicks too. You're gonna nail them with The Spin, aren't you? Pop that hand back there and put an icepick in it. Good. (I didn't mean that literally, Irina.)

Four minutes. You're stomping around waiting. Ice guards off? You tend to fly out there so fast, you sometimes tend to forget they're still on there. Coach's mind is somewhere else. It's your job. Good.

Three minutes. What are you going to accomplish for the Soviet Union tonight? How are you going to present yourself? How are you going to present your country? What one move are you going to focus on tonight? Who is out there watching you? And where are the cameras?

Good girl. Eye-spot every camera out there. They are the ones who take your image to the crowds. They are what most people see of Irina Slutskaya.

Good girl. You're ready to go.

Hang onto the railing -- this is when it gets most tense. You're ready to go out there and do some damage. Your coach is not. The other athletes are not. Most importantly, the arena is not. Stopwatch? Counted down? It helps calm your nerves. They'll have it figured out for you. That's their job. Good.

Two minutes. Leg kicks. To the side. Don't spoil your image. Head and neck muscles warmed up? Side to side. Watch the back stretches -- they've never been part of your Spin warmup.


One minute. Eye the result board. How did the last person do? You literally need to know. You're getting ready to go out there and blow their doors off, girl.

Memorize the numbers. You know the judges. One last look. That judge gave that number. That judge gave that number. All the way down the line. Good. You're ready girl.

Go get'em!

"Ladies and gentlemen, from Russia, Irina Slutskaya!"