2018 Winter Olympics: A Look At Figure Skating

Credit: Mary Blake WBZ NewsRadio1030

BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- Matt Savoie, a professional coach at the Skating Club of Boston, began skating when he was nine.  He made the U.S. Olympic Team in 2006. 

He came in 7th overall in Turin, Italy.  After that, he practiced law for a time but in 2014 he returned to skating. 

 "It's something that I never really fell out of love for and, um, I like sharing my experience with people and watching them develop as well," he explains. 

He notes the sport has changed considerably.  "I think the last Olympics there might have been three quads ultimately  tried in the top skaters' programs, and this year they are looking at five and six quads and from a spectator's standpoint and someone who is involved in this sport, it's really amazing to watch."

Savoie says U.S. skater Nathan Chen is a competitor to watch in the men's singles events and the Russian skaters in the ladies' events are expected to do well.  There has not been a US woman winning gold since 2002.  

Savoie sees skating as a unique blend of artistry and  athleticism.  

"What I always liked about it when I was growing up is that it's very easy to see whether you are making progress or not and sometimes it feels like it's taking forever, and then in a split second, all of a sudden you're landing a jump that you didn't land before and that's very exciting."  

What is the question that he gets the most from his students?  

"Honestly, people still ask me whether I can do the jumps that I could do, and I have to disappoint them.  Unfortunately, I can't, it was a while ago, um, but I still wear the same skates that I did back then," he laughs.  

Andover native John McCarthy is lacing up his skates for the South Korea Olympics. He's a member of  the US Men's Hockey Team.  His story is coming up next.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Mary Blake Reports.

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