Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir's Olympic Levels of Shade Are the Best Thing About the Olympics

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are almost over. The saddest thing, no doubt, will be have to wait four more years of Johnny Weir's and Tara Lipinski's olympic-level shade.  

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The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are almost over. The saddest thing, no doubt, will be having to wait four more years for Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski's Olympic-level shade. If you haven't been watching the Olympics in the morning, you have been missing out on some cutting, knowledgable commentary at the Games's figure skating competitions.

While their outfits and chemistry have been grabbing a lot of attention, it's their wit that has made them the darlings of the broadcast booth and rightful heirs to Dick Button's rink-side seat. Over the past few days we've seen them dispense shade as if they were cosmic entities. Bitchy cosmic entities. 

"He really reminds me of a hockey player that's also a really good dancer," Weir said during the men's competition— an example of the prickly wit that fills each broadcast.

During the women's short-program today, the two were once again on their game. Here's a sampling:

  • "Sometimes you can get very despondent and not improve because ... you have a free ride basically to every European/World/Olympics from your country." - Weir on a skater not from one of the powerhouse countries (U.S., Japan, or Russia).

Shade level: Palm tree. Woof. We took out the skater's name because this was kinda brutal.

  • "Oh no, Terry, will she? I'm not sure!" — Lipinski when Terry asks her if she's "done the math" on whether Lipnitskaya will be the youngest gold medal winner if she wins. 

Shade level: Willow. Of course, we would completely die if Lipinski showed up to tomorrow's broadcast with her 1998 gold medal around her neck.

  • "I was always so jealous of skaters with dual citizenships." - Weir on Isadora Williams, a skater from the U.S. competing for Brazil.

Shade level: Beach umbrella. Consider this Weir's warning shot to all Olympic carpetbaggers.

  • "She's 15 years old, but she ... skates like she's 15." Weir on Czech Republic's Elizaveta Ukolova.
Shade Level: Eclipse. Woof.

Terry: "Is there a particular way to teach jumping?"
Johnny: "No."
Tara: "Yes."

Shade level: Willow. Tara can get her jabs in too. Of course this shade has to do with the knowledge that Johnny was never considered a jumper and Tara was.

  •  "The ladies event doesn't always go the way you think it'll go." [Johnny subtly points to Tara].

Shade level: Visor. Lipinski wasn't really considered a threat to win in Nagano until she won it.

Johnny during the final group's warmup: "It is a mall in Paramus in Christmastime."
Terry: "For those of us who haven't been to a mall in Paramus at Christmastime..."
Johnny: "You know the scent I'm talking about."
Shade level: Sun hat. Johnny told Terry to stop acting like he's above a New Jersey mall.

  • "[She was] not even born when Tara won her gold medal." Terry Gannon on 15-year-old Julia Lipnitskaya. 
Shade level: Parasol. He's sorta calling Tara old here. And it's also proof that shade can be learned.

Of course, we weren't just taking in the skating through NBC's Olympic livestream. We were also on Twitter, and that's where we caught up with former skater and analyst Dick Button. Button, one of the most famous commentators in the sport, proved that you don't need to be in the broadcast booth to cut someone with words:

And he didn't discriminate by age...

...or ethnicity

The solution here, of course, is to get all three in a booth — sooner better than later.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.