Last go-around at the Olympics, the star was Svetlana Khorkina. In Salon, Gary Kamiya praised her "first-we-make-love, then-I-kill-you, then-I kill-myself" antics and Cintra Wilson got a column out of her that was, even on the Cintra Scale, particularly brilliant. By the end of the 2000 games, my friend Alex and I simply referred to her as The Khorkina.
She's back! You may have missed it, with all the attention on the Americans. And you might not recognize her at first, now that she's abandoned her pixie cut and has long hair. But you can't mistake her glare. Neither man nor beast may resist The Khorkina. Bow down my friends, and submit.
Today NBC has a puff piece on her. If you hate the way the Olympics have been Couricized, then you'll come to treasure The Khorkina, because even NBC can't sand down her rough edges. She says of her rivals:
"These little girls don't have my experience, my maturity and my pleasure to the public."
To be honest, I'm not even sure what that means. But somewhere at Smith, a women's studies major just found her thesis topic.
41 minutes ago
Let me translate: I've been doing this longer, I'm older, and people enjoy my performances more than all these short minie-mouses.
She left out the part where she is able to vaporize them with that look of hers and how much skinnier her legs are.
I have to admit I softened to her after her final routine in the team competition. Earlier it seemed like she and the rest of the team (gymnists and coaches alike) shared separate realities -- they didn't talk, acknowledge (probably afraid of being vaporized), or even kiss each other (all the other girls got the two cheek treatment after every performance). But after The Khorkina nailed her final routine for the Bronze, she was all smiles, kisses, hugs, and high pitched russian. The rest of the team responded in kind gratefully -- no vaporization tonight! And then you realize she's just a high profile young woman in a high pressure sport.
The corner linked to a funny piece on this yesterday..
I watch her and am afraid. Very afraid.
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