Nam Nguyen is Why the Vietnamese Will Be Watching Men’s Figure Skating at 2018 Winter Olympics

Nam Nguyen at the 2010 Olympics Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Skate

Viet Nam is a country in Southeast Asia not exactly keen on winter sports, never mind figure skating, never mind men’s figure skating in its macho patriarchal culture. I know. I’m Vietnamese. It also means I can also tell you it’s a hypocritical patriarchal society because everybody knows the Mother runs the house. That’s why our ultimate cursing is towards the Mother, and nobody cares much for cursing our Fathers.

Wow, that link was insightful! I just looked up a link to demonstrate what I knew of Vietnamese cursing and never knew there were so many. But trust me, all of it is mostly rare compared to the curses towards one’s Mother.

Anyhow, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, wherever it may be held, there just might be huge Vietnamese interest in men’s figure skating. That would be due to a kid named Nam Nguyen from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. At just eight years old, Nam was the youngest skater ever to become the Canadian National Juvenile Men’s Champion. His outstanding free skate there is below. The kid didn’t miss a jump and was also very artistic.

Just in January, Nam finished 3rd in the Junior Men’s category as an 11 year old, behind two 17 year olds (thanks for the correction by Britt in the comments #3 and #4 below). That placement earned Nam a chance to perform at the 2010 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Exhibition Gala Saturday night. He was quite the showman there, though nerves probably caused him to fall on his first jump. Watching him, the only show man in the building who could have outdone him was Evgeni Plushenko. Canadian champion Patrick Chan had better watch out! This kid could jump and punch the lights out and has a ton of charisma to boot!

That said, the nerdy get up they dressed Nam in didn’t exactly do his image a lot of good, despite tearing off a jump suit to start his routine.

It’s hard to predict the future, of course. Lots of people who try don’t do very well, whether their name is Nostradamus or Not a Damn Chance. However, if Nam continues to work hard, stays injury free and his Parents don’t make him study more than he skates as Vietnamese Parents are prone to do in a culture that values education so much, the kid has got an incredible future in figure skating. He won’t be able to compete until the 2018 Winter Olympics due to age restrictions. However, he should be able to make an impression on the Canadian national titles a few years before that.

Can’t wait!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.6


12 thoughts on “Nam Nguyen is Why the Vietnamese Will Be Watching Men’s Figure Skating at 2018 Winter Olympics

  1. #1. Nam was not the Junior Men’s Champion in December 2009, and not 2010, the champion was Liam Firus, Nam placed 2nd
    #2. That thereby proves your comment that he ‘earned’ a spot in the Olympic Gala is false
    #3. He did not ‘earn’ that spot, if one were to follow your line of logic, Liam Firus as the Junior Canadian National Champion would have been skating in the gala
    #4. Therefore, Nam did not ‘earn’ the spot. How did he get into the gala you might ask? Politics, simple as that.

    Is the kid a good skater? Yes. Did he win the Junior Nationals? No. Is your article verified, based in fact and full of journalistic ingetgrity? Short answer…no. Jounalism and bias don’t work well together.

  2. I am grateful for the correction by Britt above, and I have left it to give her credit. However, she neglected to mention Nam got 3rd behind two 17 year old boys when he was a mere 11 years old. Strange that the category should include 11-17 year olds. It doesn’t make sense to me to have 11 year olds compete athletically with 17 year olds. But Nam beat out a whole bunch of other older boys and even Liam Firus’s home town newspaper (see link above) called Nam a “phenom” despite Liam’s win. Fact is, there’s a champion every year, like there’s a #1 draft every year. Some are more special than others and I guess Liam wasn’t one of them. Good, sure. Great, no.

    The error I made was an honest error. I had a look at Nam’s website that wasn’t as up to date as it should have been. Not knowing enough, I took that as sufficient. However, Britt’s omission was intentional, followed by a number of overzealous claims and accusations, speaking on behalf of Canada, Skate Canada, accusing Nam, his family, his coaches and others of all kinds of actions from devious to criminal. She also got her friends involved. As a result, all those comments purely intending to defame Nam and those around him have been removed. I will not have those comments present to distract from Nam’s shining moment. I’ve advised them to go get their own blog to voice their unverified accusations, and have thanked them for the many hits they have provided this post with their throng of spam to help this post rise that much higher in the search engine rankings on Nam to appear before theirs in a search result. 🙂

  3. the reason that 11 year olds can compete with 17 year olds is because in Jr, it’s the jumps you can land (double axel) that gets you into the level, not age. There is a maximum age however, which is why he’s not competing against 25 year olds.

    And as to “he’s the future of skating”……just wait until he grows. Figure skaters worst nightmare (trust me, figure skater talking). Look at Cynthia Phaneuf. Took her 6 years to recover from her growth spurt.

  4. I never said that he wouldn’t get through it, I just meant that he’s 12 and only 4’9″ meaning he still has lots of time and space to grow. And it will probably be more of a challenge for him to work through the growth spurt because it will be discouraging to him to get knocked off kilter for a while. Not saying it will, but it could discourage him a LOT and trust me, its extremely frustrating to lose your jumps due to a growth spurt.

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