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Katarina Witt -- Mistress of the Skirts







Drop the neckline. Hike the leg. Land a couple of doubles and let your opponent make the mistakes.

Debi Thomas never knew what hit her. Nor did the rest of Calgary. Nor did the rest of us, apparently. Hmmmmmmm....

The Katarina Rule. In its original form. The ISU can rewrite it all they want to. But that's the original form.

Never mind the sequins. Never mind the lace. Quintessential skate-combat tactics distilled to one coherent law. And it's won more than one competition since then.

You go figure it out, tapehead. You're the one with the two VCRs and the full rack of boxes. Have fun. There's at least two.

The "K-Rule" (some skaters today don't even know what the "K" stands for anymore) cannot cover up bad skating. But it can give you enough flounce, bounce, and point margin to up your standings just that eensy bit to boost you onto the podium. Or maybe even a couple steps further. Right? (Yeah. You.) (You too. I see you. You know who you are.)

It is almost accepted now that when the K-Rule is properly invoked, the skater doesn't even have to come across later. It is a way of bringing dignity back to skating. (And no. I am almost positive Katarina didn't. So hush.)

I've seen a lot less proper ways of winning. All it is is a catfight. Which skating is anyway. It's honesty. Just maybe not the kind of honesty you expected.

It's never overdone. Always (somewhat) within bounds. And it is the K-Rule. That's Katarina Rule, girls. (And boys. It does work. And I could swear that's why....) (No, not Ilia. This was before.) (I promise. I "K-Rule scanned" Ilia so closely you wouldn't believe it. Not with that outfit!) (I promise.)

In order to talk about Katarina properly, you really have to talk about the K-Rule because it sums her up. Decent. Honest. Quiet. And a total sizzlebomb on the ice. With Kat you are fighting pure femininity. And she makes sure you know it.

That neckline was okay overseas. It was just the States that went nuts. Kat was just being herself. Not tacky. Not slutty. (Kat?) (Kat?) Just herself.

And then makes a career in the States....real European skating comes to conquer....really good edges, awareness of line and costuming...she did it. She really did it.

No wonder they used to call her St. Katarina. Owned the States two seconds after she walked off the plane. And hasn't looked back.

I'm still scratching my head.

I was ready for big news the night of Debi vs. Katarina. But even I didn't expect the bombshell impact of that performance. Optic costuming? Where? I didn't see any. And I'm inclined to holler "optics -- ya damn hammerandsicklers!" every five seconds or so. Not on that costume. That one of all things.

And she's never really Americanized her skating. She just makes it look like she has.

Go figure.....

And then comes back to the Olympics, totally reverses the K-Rule and still scores a knockout....sometimes it's greater than rules. Sometimes it's just Katarina. Stay tuned. She keps doing it. In the oddest places. And it works.

It always works. How? I dunno. I've been trying to figure it out for years. Oh well. It's still fun.

Isn't it?

(Stop it, Katarina. You're going to hurt those boys! Stop it!)

(Did she listen? Does she ever?)

(Katarina? Hah.)