Blades of Familiarity (Winter Olympics Reporting 101)

REPORTER: Outside the temperatures are below freezing, but the women’s Olympic figure skating competition is heating up, as American Jennifer ______ goes up against Russian ______ ________skaya.  While the skaters warm up, let’s take a closer look at America’s Ice Princess. [Exciting music, the skirr of skates]     

U.S Figure Skating Star Jennifer ______ has dedicated her life to the sport, waking up at _ a.m. every morning for practice, often training for ___ hours a day. At the young age of five, this determined athlete attempted to skate and leap over an empty _____. The result was two broken ribs and the nickname “Little  ______.” [Home video of Jennifer falling down] But her mother, Molly-Anne _____, is quick to point at that she’s just a typical teen. [Mother sitting in rink stands, wearing earmuffs]   “She is no different from any other teenager,” said _____. “She goes to the movies, talks on the phone, and even went to the Homecoming Dance last __ember.”  

Jennifer  ______’s father, a former ____-driver, suffers from ______’s  Disease, but with the help of nurses and a fund raiser held in their home town of  ______ville, Ohio, he made the trip to watch his daughter bring home the gold. [Father taking a walk using cane]  He told us last night, “My daughter is my world. Watching her on the ice is like watching an angel do a _____.” But Little _______’s parents aren’t the only ones cheering her on to victory.  

Jennifer _____’s colorful coach has been described as both ______-ical and ______-ed, but watching Little _____ skate tonight, it’s obvious that the hard work  and strict training were worth it. [Beefy coach waving arms around angrily]  Coach ______ Szabo is no stranger to these games. The former Olympian won the silver medal in men’s figure skating during the 19_8 games, and became a local hero in his small European town of ___tsch__v__burg. [Picture of idyllic mountain village with steeple] The ______-faced Szabo taught himself how to skate when he was just 3 years old, on the very same frozen pond that claimed his mother’s life. After retiring from skating due to a __-hormone scandal, he moved to America and became a citizen so he could pursue a career as an instructor, and help get his brother out of war-torn ________. [Brothers embracing tearfully]  Love him or hate him, there’s no denying his ability to make skating all-stars.   

Of course, controversy erupted earlier this year when the International Olympic Committee altered the rules of the competition, and allowed the judges to take _______ing into account for the first time. It will be interesting to see how this change will affect the performances. When asked if this new wrinkle would change her skating, Little _____ simply laughed and said, “Well, I came here to give it 1_ _%. I didn’t come here to get my _____ kicked.” Maybe this Little _____ isn’t so little after all.  From outside Olympic Stadium, this is ____ ____ reporting.  Back to you, Biff _______ and Nikki ____-____.

Dan Bergstein often daydreams to the song “Gloria,” from the movie “Flashdance.”