(No spoilers, but it is a reaction to today's competition so there may be spoilers in the comments.)
Like many here (right, guys?!), I was one of those little girls gliding around my basement with my sister pretending to be our favorite figure skaters (Debi Thomas and Katarina Witt!). I haven't paid much attention to figure skating in a while, probably since Michelle Kwan's heyday. But I turned on the men's finals to root for Jason Brown, the delightful cousin of fellow GTer Celia, and so today when I saw that the women's long program was on, I decided to watch for old time's sake.
After having been reminded of awesome badass Surya Bonaly by Carrissa, I was interested to see another Black French skater on the ice today, Mae-Berenice Meite.
She caught my eye during warm-ups, actually, because she was wearing pants, which seems like a relatively unusual choice for women in figure skating. Her choice of music seemed unconventional as well, a medley of rock hits in a field of mostly classical pieces (with some musical theater thrown in). When she began skating the narrative was exactly what you'd expect: Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir were complimetary, but they talked about her athleticism. That she is aggressive (strange that I think this is the only time I heard this word in a 3+ hour-long broadcast of world-class athletes). That she is a strong jumper and has worked hard recently to improve her component scores.
From the perspective of this lay person, her performance today stood out for me because she seems to have her own style (I'm sure the music and costume played into this impression). It was as if she was saying, "You expect me to be different from the others, so I will be." I don't know if that's a misinterpretation based on seeing just today's long program and having recently read about the racisim Bonaly faced, though. What do those who follow figure skating more closely think?