Okay, friends and frenemies! We have much to discuss — as ever! — about this year’s US National figure-skating championships, including but not limited to the fact that the ladies’ winner, Alysa Liu, is a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD CHILD and that I think skating needs to adopt the same rules that gymnastics has and require the skater to be 16 to compete in senior events. Additionally: There was a big story in the New York Times this week about Gracie Gold’s mental health issues, which was very interesting and revealing; I am glad she seems to be recovering, and Ashley Wagner gets a nice cameo as a person who Saw Something and Said Something. Also, in further very unfortunate skating news (on several levels), the pairs skater-turned-coach John Coughlin died by suicide right before Nationals, the day after he was suspended from coaching for allegations of sexual misconduct involving two minor skaters. The linked piece there is very thought-provoking: there seem to be a lot of questions about what happened with him, and how to handle it given his death. Regardless, this has to be a hugely stressful time for a lot of skaters and I hope those who need support are getting it, since that seems to be a real question mark in this sport.

Now, for a GIANT tonal shift: I have to confess something and it is that I screwed up my DVR settings and DID NOT TAPE the ladies’ skating somehow. I am VERY IRKED about this — and NBC Sports does have On Demand, and yet skating is not available thusly. Frustrating! I saw the men’s skate and some of the ice-dancing, and cobbled together a basic understanding of what happened for the ladies from YouTube, etc, but as ever, I welcome the insight of people who (a) know more than I do and (b) managed their lives better than I did and therefore saw more of this. To the ice!

[Photos:  STEPHEN BRASHEAR/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, MAURI RATILAINEN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, Aflo/REX/Shutterstock,  GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, Paul Sancya/AP/REX/Shutterstock, Carlos Osorio/AP/REX/Shutterstock]