Five-ring Circus

Forget Tara and Johnny. Dick Button Is the Best Figure Skating Analyst in the Game.

(L-R) Silver medallist Russia's Evgenia Medvedeva, gold medallist Russia's Alina Zagitova and bronze medallist Canada's Kaetlyn Osmond celebrate on the podium during the venue ceremony after the women's single skating free skating of the figure skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 23, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
(L-R) Silver medallist Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva, gold medallist Russia’s Alina Zagitova and bronze medallist Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond celebrate on the podium during the venue ceremony after the women’s single skating free skating of the figure skating event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 23, 2018. ARIS MESSINIS/Getty Images

Dick Button is an 88-year-old two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist who spent decades providing commentary for figure skating broadcasts on television. He is also an avid Twitter user, firing off skating-related missives under the handle @PushDicksButton. Button’s tweets, which have been one of my chief delights of these Winter Games, clearly come from the man himself. They are irascible and blunt and insightful and occasionally bizarre. Button knows figure skating, and he knows what he likes—and what he doesn’t. Let’s take a look at what Button had to say during Friday’s women’s free skate.

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He began the night, as old-timers sometimes do, with a long and rambling story about a deceased choreographer:

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Having visited memory lane, Button laid out his hopes for the evening:

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His next tweet was apparently composed from one of those refrigerator-magnet poetry sets:

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He had some thoughts on some of the early skaters:

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And also some thoughts on overly weepy athletes:

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And he has some tough talk for people who fail to realize that second place is the first loser:

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Midway through the night, Button, like many of us watching at home, was dissatisfied with the quality of the skating he’d seen:

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Finally, Button started to see some skaters whose work he enjoyed:

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Then it came time for the face-off the whole world had eagerly awaited:

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First came Alina Zagitova, and Button appreciated her excellent routine:

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Then, as a sort of palate cleanser, the Canadian skater Kaetlyn Osmond:

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Finally, the night’s last skater and Zagitova’s great rival, Yevgenia Medvedeva:

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When the results came in, Medvedeva took second place and Zagitova took the gold. This outcome was perfectly fine with Dick Button:

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Sleep well, Mr. Button.

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The Best Moments from the Gold-Medal Duel Between Alina Zagitova and Evgenia Medvedeva

• The Sadness of Watching Evgenia Medvedeva Get Overtaken by Her Younger Rival

• Evgenia Medvedeva Is the World’s Best Skater and She Loves Dancing at the Mall

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