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I've been at the height of female sports fandom since Thursday night. This is when the US Figure Skating Championships, which decide the participants for the upcoming Olympics, began. I came home from class and sat down to watch the Men's and Women's short programs, which were good, but not great. Friday, I meant to watch more, but the 10:30pm start of the Pairs and Ice Dance finals coincided with a show on TLC about four of the female teenage hopefuls, called Ice Diaries. And Saturday I became confused and missed the Men's final, thought it was on at 7pm on ESPN2 (same as Thursday), reality was 4pm on ABC. I did however get to see the Women's final, which was great. Sasha Cohen rebounded from the flu to skate beautifully to Romeo and Juliet (including a triple-double-double combination) and Kimmie Meissner landed more jumps than I could count, including two triple-triple combinations. Both routines were spectacular despite the fact that they were very different. And both are headed to Torino, with Sasha finally winning gold after four silver medals.

However, the event was somewhat tainted by the absence of the injured Michelle Kwan. She has suffered from hip and groin injuries and last competed at the 2005 Worlds. However, her past successes, too numerous to name, netted Kwan a spot on the Olympic team pending a physical. This is instead of Emily Hughes, US bronze medalist, and younger sister of 2002 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes. However, Kwan was left off the 1994 team after earning a spot in the wake of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal. So I have mixed feelings. I'd like to see Michelle get gold, but wonder even if she is healthy, can she skate competitively enough to win, or has the sport passed her by when a new scoring system was added?