In sum, to become an Olympic-level figure skater, one has to have talent, composure, burning desire, financial backing, good looks, a compact body type, pain tolerance, and a lot of luck. As already indicated, I was lacking in many of these categories. Additionally, I had an aversion to cold. (Slate)I found this post interesting for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I have a relative that is spending incredible amounts of time and money (and sleep!!) on kids who are skating competitively (although I don't think they have Olympic aspirations, but I could be wrong). In a conversation with my wife, I realized that no kid of mine will ever be an Olympian. We just don't have the budget or the obsessive focus necessary to spend on a worthy but very difficult endeavor.
Besides, my daughter is a jack of many trades and master of none yet. As I have mentioned here and elsewhere, she skis and plays ultimate, but also is interested in other sports. Her school activities challenge our ability to coordinate (debate, drama, newspaper, yearbook, etc). I don't know where she gets this from--my major activity at her age was watching old TV shows (Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Hogan's Heroes, etc). I did play a bunch of sports, never getting great at any one of them, while growing up. I did specialize in college and since, as any reader of this blog knows, in Ultimate. But even there, I have not had the obsessive focus necessary to be the best. I never got serious about conditioning, as my teammates past and present can attest.
Anyhow, this slate post puts the games into some perspective.