Kiss and Cry Alternatives

January 15, 2010

The 2010 U.S. Championships are underway in Spokane, Washington and the Olympics are right around the corner. In the next six weeks, the sport of skating will reach its graceful tentacles into the minds of millions. During this time, we insiders may be called upon to answer some difficult questions, such as: What’s up with this judging system? And: Why did beautiful so-and-so get beat by that robot who fell twice? Or, one of my favorites: Is there actually such a thing as a “Kiss and Cry” area? Is that what you guys really call it?

Yes, as a matter of fact, this is where skaters and their coaches anxiously await their scores then react to them. This rinkside nook is usually decorated with black or royal blue carpeting and a few fake plants. The term Kiss and Cry apparently originated in Finland in the late 1970’s and was bandied about while they were setting up the rink for the 1983 Worlds. Believe it or not, Kiss and Cry is now an official term utilized by the International Skating Union.

I have mixed feelings about this term. As someone who grew up in the sport and has now made it my profession, I naturally want skating to be taken seriously. After all, we know this is a challenging, rigorous, and sometimes dangerous sport and this terminology makes it sound like fluff.

Then again, as someone who grew up in the sport and has now made it my profession, the term also seems…well, fitting and quite funny. After all, what everyone loves about skating is the human drama – witnessing the reactions afterwards is a big part of the show. Who can forget tiny Tara Lipinski leaping around like a baby kangaroo? Or the shock and awe of Sarah Hughes? I myself cried when the elegant Alyssa Czisny and her coach Julianna Berlin found out she won last year. When a synchro team discovers that they have won, the ensuing jumps for joy in the Kiss and Cry register on the richter scale; conversely, bad news can raise water levels for miles around.

Because the Olympics are looming, the emotions in the Kiss and Cry at Nationals this year will surely be amplified. True, some skaters won’t reveal much (they’ll hold it together until the camera moves onto someone else) and others will let it all hang out.

I’ve been wondering recently if there could be other names for this area and started to do some brainstorming. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

• The Hug and Sob

• The Smooch and Sweat (FYI, research has shown that Botox injections can calm down the sweat glands.)

• The Huff and Puff (This moment proves that you either just put in the extra effort, or that you probably should have done a few more run-throughs.)

• The Tears and Tiramisu (Submitted by my husband who I think is onto something: if the scores aren’t good, there should be complimentary tiramisu…)

• The Celebration/Devastation Zone (Doesn’t really roll off the tongue…)

• The Sit Tight-n-Smile (How much of your personality has been dampened by a media trainer?)

• The Squint and Try to See Your Scores (It may be time to get contact lenses.)

• The Land of High Fives and Regrets (I think this will be the title of my novel.)

• The Put Your Guards on Before You Ruin Your Blades Area (Sure, you can be a good girl or boy and put them back on right by the door, but isn’t it easier to do so while sitting down?)

• Gateway to the Rest of Your Life (After all, there’s always next year, or college, or coaching, or just some good old fashioned rest and recuperation… It seems like those previous four-ish minutes were the most important of your life, but there’s a whole world out there, and fortunately most of those experiences won’t be caught on camera…)


Well, I’m not sure I’ve come up with anything better than “Kiss and Cry” but perhaps you have suggestions? Please click on “comments” below.

Thanks for reading and good luck to all the skaters in Spokane!

If you receive the Professional Skater Magazine, check out my highly-informative article regarding the Olympics on page 11 of this month’s 25th Anniversary issue. 🙂


4 Responses to “Kiss and Cry Alternatives”

  1. skatergirl Says:

    First of all that crying skater picture is so funny.

    And I vote for the tiramisu one. But skaters should get tiramisu if they do well too.

  2. Figure Skeight Says:

    Well, other experiences in your life might be caught on camera in a police station if your name is Nicole Bobek.

  3. Ann-Marie Says:

    The Celebration/Devastation is the most accurate…”Kiss and Cry” puts the emotions involved too mildly…

  4. NBC Says:

    The Sit & Stew. The Wave & Wink (Hi Mom!, Hi everybody back home!). For skaters with scratchy costumes which caused a bad performance: The Itch & Bitch.

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