Dreams of Gold, Silver, and Bronze

Are you watching the Winter Olympics? I missed the opening ceremony, but I’ve been trying to watch at least part of the coverage of every event category. I’ve watched curling, speed skating, bobsled heats, all kinds of skiing, and even hockey.

By far, the skating events are my favorite. When I was young I became fascinated with ice skating, mostly because I grew up in southern California where snow and winter sports were uncommon. But my mother was a fan of Olympic skater-turned-actress Sonja Henie, who parlayed her three gold medals into a film career. My mom never missed one of Sonja’s movies when they were on TV.

The movie I remember most was “Sun Valley Serenade.” In it Sonja and co-star John Payne (who played Natalie Wood’s optimistic neighbor in “Miracle on 34th Street”) sang, skated and danced their way around an Idaho ski resort. Hi-jinks and romance ensued.

I tried ice skating once when it was about twelve. Unfortunately, I spent more time falling on the ice than gliding across it, so I never tried it again. But like Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I’m pretty certain that:

If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

Instead I’m content to watch Olympic ice skating on TV.

Pairs skating are my favorite events. I was mesmerized by USA’s Madison Chock and Evan Bates’ beautiful free skate performance; the same for France’s Gabriella Papdakis and Guillaume Cizeron (who earned a gold medal in the event).

So yesterday, when I was browsing Amazon for a new book to read, this one caught my attention:

Isn’t the cover gorgeous? I’ve never read this author before, but the book has some great reviews. And since I was in an ice skating mood, I didn’t hesitate to tap the “Buy It Now” button. It’s going to be my weekend read as we head toward the Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday.

What do you think? Have you ever been inspired to read a book based on real-life events?

(By the way, I don’t receive any compensation for directing you to Traci Hunter Abramson’s book; I just like to share interesting books I find with others.)