They're doing moves that are often reserved for women, layback spins and spirals, curving their arms and cocking their wrists.
One boy spots his upright spin, whipping his head to face the same wall with each rotation, a move classic to ballet but atypical in skating.
It's day four of the eight-day championship, and the juvenile boys — the lowest competitive level, most of them between ages 10 and 13 — are training at the Skating Club of Boston's frigid and charmless rink.
Even in their leggings and training jackets, the boys seem distinctly feminine, perhaps because they're younger and more flexible than the top male skaters.
There's Rudy Galindo, a ready-made hard-knock story who grew up in a trailer, abused alcohol and drugs, and lost two coaches and a brother to AIDS. Figure Skating Hall of Fame last year after having been rejected three times, his sexuality was not mentioned during the ceremony.
Galindo came out publicly a few weeks before the 1996 U. nationals; he skated last in his group (a position that made it harder for the judges to artificially deflate his scores), and to everyone's surprise, he won, becoming the first out national champion. A decade later, skater Johnny Weir brought exquisite technical and artistic performances on the ice, but he also brought a reality-television show, a pop song (“Dirty Love”), and an outspoken diva-worship of Lady Gaga; a word often used to describe him was "flamboyant," despite the fact that, until 2011, he kept his sexuality private.
These days, boys are so rare that it's common practice, in pairs and dance, for the girls' parents to cover both partners' training expenses — or, for older partners, to offer rewards like a living stipend and a car to the rare man who will skate with his daughter.
And yet, of course, there are still boys — and by the looks of them, they’re good.
The scale of his work was much larger, however: after the World Anti-Doping Agency released a report accusing him of tampering with dirty urine samples, Rodchenkov claimed that he had actually destroyed “several thousand” samples, saying that the entirety of Russia’s sports community was compromised. In Sochi, the steroid conspiracy likely had a direct role in the country’s medal sweep, winning 33 medals and 13 gold medals—the most in 2014, a vast improvement over their sixth-place finish in 2010.“People are celebrating Olympic champion winners, but we are sitting crazy and replacing their urine,” Rodchenkov told the . ”While Rodchenkov might be risking his life by revealing this information—two of his former colleagues mysteriously died within weeks of each other after Rodchenkov left Russia—the elaborate, practically absurd lengths to which the Russians may have gone to win elicit a sort of respect. Vancouver expectations: “In 2006, my goal was to medal, and I got silver. I really wanted to get the gold medal.” More important than the podium: “Landing my perfect run. It was all perfect until that fall.” Go big or go home: “I ran into some struggles with my signature trick, the Crippler Seven, all week, and so I finally got through that on the last run, and that felt really good to have gotten that back ... According to Rodchenkov’s account, the operation involved discovering a method to open a tamper-proof container of urine without being detected, overcoming several security checks, matching up specific athletes’ samples with anonymous samples, sneaking into a “shadow laboratory” with a blacked-out window late at night, and “passing bottles of urine through a hand-size hole in the wall, to be ready for testing the next day.”At the center of it all was a three-drug cocktail, in the most literal sense of the word: Dr. I think it would have been a bummer to not have gone for it and to have gotten third. Possible job change: “I want to be a public relater in New York City nightlife.” You mean do public relations? But I still need to work on my English a little bit, I think.” The tattoo on his finger: “I got it when I left Italy and moved to the United States. And last month, after 1988 gold medalist Brian Boitano was named to the U. Olympic Delegation to Sochi, he announced that he, too, was gay.Boitano's enough of an established legend to be on the safe side, but it seems that in general, gay skaters are just a tad too implicating of the male skaters around them to be seriously endorsed. One pump-up video montage at nationals showed clip after clip of top male skaters performing one enormous jump after another, but depicted Rudy Galindo crossing himself and Johnny Weir bursting into tears.