July 15, 2004

Masked Man in a Tutu Takes to the Ice
Beverley Smith
Toronto Globe and Mail

Dortmund, Germany ... Just as five-time world champion Michelle Kwan stepped onto the ice to skate her long program at the world figure skating championships, a young masked man jumped over the boards in a long black robe, stripped down to some colourful shorts, pulled on a yellow tulle tutu, and pretended to be a bad skater.
His naked torso had the name of a dot-com company scrawled in greasepaint ...
Off the ice, he told officials he was Canadian. He had the name of his internet gambling website painted on his torso ...
The same organization streaked the Super Bowl and Wimbledon. The incident delayed Kwan's performance for more than three minutes.

"I was surprised," Kwan said afterward. "I thought it was one of the flower girls, and then I looked again. It was an adult man, a man stripping down. It was a little distracting."
Suddenly, she realized she might be in an unsafe position, that he might want to shoot her and got off the ice.
"I realized safety is first. Get off the ice. Forget about concentrating on the long program when you might have someone shooting at you," she said.
Officials gave Kwan an option of having the ice resurfaced, but after the real flower girls picked up the man's refuse, Kwan continued.

It was her 11th world championship and now Kwan has seen it all. She said she's debating whether or not she will compete next year, but said jokingly: "I should compete next year and see what else happens."
Kwan said she had to concentrate and refocus, but she skated with fire ... when she finished, the crowd gave her a standing ovation for her grit and her aggressive performance.
Judges awarded her six perfect marks of 6.0, but it was not enough to win.
Who thought Ice Skating -- and Canada -- could be so exciting?

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