Thursday, February 11, 2010

Belbin, Agosto ready to savor Olympic experience

Often times, figure skaters will tell reporters that they are in a competition for the experience. The end result, they will say, doesn't matter.

Tanith Belbin is following that party line, but there's little doubt that she's going to have an experience in Vancouver all right. After all, she's planning on staying in the Olympic Village with Johnny Weir as her roommate.

"Yeah...'' Belbin said, trying to hold back her laughter, "it will be different.''

Weir, the enigmatic skater on and off the ice, is starring in his own reality TV series titled "Be Good Johnny Weir,'' which began airing on the Sundance Channel Jan. 18. Not many other Olympians can say they've had this experience.

Will she be a co-star?

"I don't think I could avoid it,'' Belbin said.

A U.S. Figure Skating official said the skating competitors, coaches and officials have one floor in the Olympic Village. Everyone put in their rooming requests to the team leaders.

The experience, as they say, should be one like no other. Weir called Belbin the other day to inform her of some packages that he has shipped to Vancouver.

"He said he already sent a box of decorations, curtains and rugs and some other things for the room,'' Belbin said. "He also called and told me he's bringing supplies for our hair.''

Suffice it to say, Belbin will remember her trip to Vancouver for years to come.

As entertaining as Belbin's time portends to be with Weir in the next couple of weeks, Belbin is also certain to have her share of memories with her longtime partner on the ice, Ben Agosto. The most accomplished U.S. ice dancing team has been skating together for almost a dozen years and plans to culminate its skating career at these Games.

"Ideally, I'd like to close the book in Vancouver and feel satisfied,'' Belbin said.

Neither she nor Agosto are ruling out the possibility of competing at the World Championships, set for March 22-28, oddly enough in Torino, where the couple earned a silver medal in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

"It depends on how we feel,'' she said.

Belbin and Agosto head to Vancouver on Thursday, but already, they are beginning to feel the magnitude of the end of their competitive skating days together. In a sport where partnerships tend to break up faster than Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show gig, Belbin and Agosto have pretty much endured everything possible. They learned the basics together and overcame injuries and citizenship snafus. They even had an act of Congress help them achieve their Olympic dreams.

Full article.

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