Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey into the Secret World of Figure Skating

Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey into the Secret World of Figure Skating

by Christine Brennan

Figure skating is the most beautiful and mysterious of all sports.

When the skaters are on the ice, every twitch of a muscle and every slip of a skate blade is visible for the world to see.

In Inside Edge, Christine Brennan chronicles--for the first time--a season on the skating circuit, intimately portraying the lives, on and off the ice, of the sport's current and upcoming stars.

Woven into the narrative are stories of figure skating luminaries past, present, and future--including Peggy Fleming, Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton, Kristi Yamaguchi, Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul, Michelle Kwan, Rudy Galindo, and Tara Lipinski.

There is no other sport like it.

There is no other story like theirs.The figure skaters gathered slowly in the mahogany-paneled lobby of the majestic Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, New York, flashing no smiles, barely saying a word.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Sports and Games
  • Rating: 3.82
  • Pages: 352
  • Publish Date: January 20th 1997 by Anchor
  • Isbn10: 0385486073
  • Isbn13: 9780385486071

What People Think about "Inside Edge: A Revealing Journey into the Secret World of Figure Skating"

It covers the nineties in figure skating--the times I used to watch. It even cuts out right when I began to abandon the sport--the rise of Tara Lipinsky, and the increasingly cut-throat competitiveness that has tarnished the sport. Here is (snippets really) of the rise and fall of Tonia Harding, the ambiguity of Nancy Kerrigan, the dark side of Nicole Bobek, (who actually became a drug dealer--not covered in this book) the artistry of Oksana Baiul and the controversial judging process (judges did not get instant replay in their decisions (!). Tonia Harding was a world class skater, but I would agree with the author that her self-destructiveness trips her up.

Tucked inside the cover were two ticket stubs: one from Disneyland, the other from Campbells Soups 1992 Tour of World Figure Skating Champions. Finding this was a coincidence since I was at the same time reading about the inception of the professional show in Inside Edge, which covers the goings-on of the skating world in the mid-80s to mid-90s. The general public is more likely to recognize the then twelve-year-old whom Vogel beat: future Olympic champion Tara Lipinski. Even though this was written fifteen years ago, Christine Brennans behind-the-scenes look at the sport is timeless. I loved reading about Janet Lynn, the most joyful of figure skaters, a long program aficionado, hampered from achieving Olympic and Worlds eternal glory by those infuriating old-school figures. As I lamented with Edge of Glory, I wish Brennan had continued to write about figure skating into the new decade.

It is interesting to note that Brennan's writing/style was actually better in this edition than the Edge of Glory, the "sequel" that covered the '98 Olympics. As a fan who eventually became actively involved in the sport, I have had run-ins with Bowman and it was sad to see the star falling.

Maybe this book was revealing in the 90s, but theres nothing in it to shock a casual fan of skating in this day and age. In fact, the major themes of the book are things we see again and again in the present day: the obsession with quads; jumps as the make-or-break elements of a routine*; the concern over a convoluted points system (since changed, but barely improved) and rigged judging; the disconcerting knowledge that stars rise and fall based entirely on chance and circumstance; skaters giving the performance of the night and walking away without even a medal.

I don't necessarily think this is bad - - the skaters featured definitely deserved the praise and focus she gave - - and I suppose that the scope of the book did need to have a narrowing to really get into the detail it did. But she definitely gives credit where she feels credit is due, so it doesn't feel like she preferred certain skaters - it does come across very objective.

I had fun with this book, because I watched figure skating with my mom when I was growing up, and those are fond memories I enjoy now that she has passed.

Inside Edge is very fragmentary: we get bits and pieces about a number of male and female skaters, ones that made it and ones that didn't, but the book lacks any real structure or overall cohesion.