Crackle of static from an imperfect splice, then the picture clears.
A mostly anonymous female announcer chatters brightly in English about the upcoming competetion, commenting briefly on each pair of competitors.
' . . . And our most unexpected pair of competitors, Saotome Ranma, and her wife Ukyou.' The announcer pauses, and a faint intake of breath can be heard, 'CBS News was able to confirm the story, and obtain copies of the relevant documents.' She pauses again, 'The Saotomes have done very well, despite only having two months of formal training, with near-perfect scores on the technical routines. The artistic section looks very promising, if the footage we accidentally captured of their adopted daughter Makoto's routine is any indication. We have recieved permission to broadcast it, and will do so after this slight break.'
Another crackle, cutting from CBS's '92 olympic coverage eyecatch back to the eyecatch, then a different announcer, male, speaking over footage of a tall girl stepping out onto the ice, talking to three women, two of whom are taller than she, as she walks backward.
'This is Kino Makoto, the Saotomes' adopted daughter. She is not participating this year, but recieved permision to practice here. The song is "Godzilla" by the band "Blue Oyster Cult",' the announcer stumbles over both names, 'which, as you should be able to tell, is not the usual choice of material for,'
The announcer goes silent for a moment as Makoto settles into a pose. The opening chords of the song play softly, and she begins to move.
The announcer is silent for the first two thirds of the song, then, as the second chorus of 'Oh no/ there goes Tokeyo/go, go, Godzilla' finishes and Makoto lands her twelfth perfect quint-axle turn, begins speaking again.
'Makoto is thirteen years old, and has only been studying figure skating since last winter, when she was involved in a "Martial Arts Figure Skating" competition at her junior high school. Both Ukyou and Ranma are quite skilled in this esoteric art, and will be part of the demostration match next week.
'It was with grave difficulty that we obtained permission to show this footage, since none of her parents was at first willing. However Makoto eventually granted permision, which is why we are allowed to show this wonderful footage.' The announcer falls silent again. The song winds down and Makoto's spin drops slowly towards the ice, then, at the last moment, the music punches up, the singer yells 'Godzilla', the song ends, and Makoto lands, perfectly still, upright, and posed.
'Wow, let's look at those last few seconds again, in slow motion. As the last word begins, she actually dissapears from the camera's view. She says, and,' the main picture pauses, a sub-picture appearing and filling with the view from another camera, tightly focused on a section of the steel roof-supports, 'the evidence corraborates, that she shoved up with one hand, hit the roof skates first to kill momentum, then shoved back down towards the ice.' The inset picture tightens in on a pair of faint scratches, then disappears, as the main picuture resumes, not quite a second ticking by, then, her knees slightly bent, Makoto reappears, a few chips of ice slowly twirling through the air from where her skates are slightly embedded in the ice.
'Now, let's go over some of the other remarkable moments of this performance . . . ' the announcer proceeds to give the normal full-voiceover commentary on the entire performance, raving on about everything from the height of her jumps, nearly half a meter in almost all of the cases, the difficulty of her jumps, from the quad toe-loops to the quintuple axles, and wondering if the bar has not been permanently raised on all future competions.
After a bit he winds down, and the view shifts to a camera on Ranma, Ukyou, Kasumi, Makoto, and two young women who haven't been introduced, 'The final ordering for the pair figure competition has been announced, and our coverage will return after a few words from our sponsors,' the picture fades into the eyecatch.
1998: started thinking about these
1999: decided on form, started reasearch
2000 March 27: started writing
2010 July 10: mauled for ff.n