Would we drink coffee with Katarina Witt?
Cammy: Before I lost my patience with sports that involve judges, I did enjoy figure skating, and one of my favorites was Katarina Witt. I can’t say I really remember the height of her career–my memories of the Sarajevo and Calgary Olympics are un-reliably foggy–but I liked her when she was in come-back mode. Maybe it was that she was German (and by Lillehammer, it wasn’t even East German), or maybe it was that she never came off like another damn pixie on skates. My most enduring memory of her is completely random. It was seeing her pick up another skater (don’t even recall who) who had taken a fall and put her back up on her feet. It was just the most no-nonsense random move I’d seen–grab the girl under the arms, hoist her up, set her down and skate off like nothing happened. At any rate, I think she’d be worth having a cup of coffee with because between the commercials, the Playboy posing and the interviews I’ve seen, she appears to be entertainingly nutty, There is no way she doesn’t have entertaining stories about the big name skaters of the 80s and 90s and I’ve a feeling she would tell those stories well. On a serious note, I’d like to get her to talk about her feels about the East German system. Clearly it provided her with the training to accomplish what she did, but she also had a Stasi file that started when she was 8….
Kristy: For the record, the skater she picked up was Tanja Szewczenko (also of Germany) who had collided with Oksana Baiul. Yeah, clearly I remember that moment too. I also don’t remember her prime, but I was a serious figure skating fan from about 1993-1998 so I remember her amateur return and a decent chunk of her pro career. If for no other reason, her 1994 Olympic programs would make me want to have coffee with the woman: First she skated her short program, knowing she would get a costume deduction because she refused to skate Robin Hood in a skirt. Then after a career as a coquette she suddenly went beautifully serious with “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?” as a tribute to Sarajevo. It kind of encapsulates why I love her: She has balls and makes her own rules and at the end of the day, she seems to have an amazing heart. Also, I think Cammy’s definitely right about the entertaining stories. I remember seeing a documentary where she looking through part of her old Stasi file, including an entry about her having “sexual intercourse” one night. I don’t remember the details, but it gave the exact time span and it wasn’t very long. She kind of shrugged and said, “Well that was a quickie.” Then she laughed and insisted that wasn’t even what had happened. Not that night at least. Someone has to have a pretty good sense of humor to laugh hysterically at Stasi files on their own sex life.