GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Often, the names of retired legends lurk in the background of sporting events, alongside the word “since,” as in, “No man had repeated as figure skating gold medalist since Dick Button in 1952.”
Less often, that legend sits at home and live-tweets the event for the rest of us, a rare phenomenon that did occur during the men’s figure skating programs of the past two days.
Still less often, that tweeter is 88 years old, thus entitled to candor.
Here, then, are the top 20 tweets from Button’s irresistible Twitter account, @pushdicksbuttons, which helped narrate the two dramatic competitions, short and long:
20. In this entry, our guide gives us a glimpse into his home from which he will opine, and it appears he’s a big-hearted friend to various species.
19. Here, the tweeter has seen a costume, and he has become appalled enough to alert us to a grim yet novel possibility.
18. The man won gold medals at St. Moritz in 1948 and at Oslo in 1952 in a big stadium (especially difficult), and it appears that in neither case did he utilize a certain move.
17. We all understand the following. Occasionally, a performance such as Nathan Chen’s six-quad masterpiece of the Korean Saturday (and the American Friday night) is compelling enough that we can’t tweet much, even if we can manage to push down the crucial all-caps button.
16. An expert can always point out something obvious, something that even might have caused a viewer subliminal agitation, yet something that had not occurred to a viewer in full.
15. An expert reserves the right to want to take someone’s arms through the TV and . . .
14. Eventually, an expert can see enough flailing arms that he starts to develop metaphors.
13. He might wade through a stream of compliments before delivering a verdict.
12. Sometimes, the old master leads the youngsters to YouTube.
11. And sometimes, he edifies the novices about something about which they might have wondered.
10. Priorities in order, palpitations going around the world, he stops for the last break of the competition.
9. Before that, though, he shares salient advice from the other side of the world.
8. He helps us with nuance, explaining what makes Adam Rippon’s program valuable while it’s less difficult than other programs.
7. He gives the very young a category on which to work.
6. Having watched bronze medal winner Javier Fernandez’s sublime short program of the first day, he explains, even if he succumbs to the strange new human tendency to capitalize non-proper words amid sentences.
5. He makes a rave you might call elegant, quiet, musical and exceptionally pleasing.
4. Beholding the great Yuzuru Hanyu, now a two-time gold medalist, he pinpoints one of the numerous becoming aspects.
3. In an attempt to bolster Chen on the second day after the 18-year-old skater’s nightmarish short-program performance on the first, he stirs an unusual question: How many 88-year-olds know about this?
2. And then he followed up that appropriately.
1. And in the end, when Hanyu tied him after these 66 years, he brought on the grace, if not quite the “d.”
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