The Gold Medal winner, a 19 year old Korean skater, who lives and trains in Toronto, has publicly said that she feels that if she did not win the gold metal, her country would abandon her. It doesn't sound like fun being a Korean standard bearer.
The Silver Medal winner, a 19 year old Japanese skater, followed the Korean, who had just been awarded the highest point score ever awarded for a long program. No chance of Gold even if she completed two triple axel jumps in a program for the first time ever in a women's competition. She did complete the jumps and became the first women to every do so in International competition. Good enough for Silver. Any other past competition, it would have been Gold. The Japanese probably won't harm her.
The Bronze medal winner's, a 24 year old Canadian, mother died of heart attack (age 55) last Saturday has she was arriving in Vancouver to watch her daughter skate. She and her mom shared the dream of skating in the Olympics, so she continued. I think in both the short and long programs, she skated to a personal best.
So maybe it is just those wussy human heroics applied to a competition where skill and nerves are the only things judged. But I think that the underlying setting aside of uncertainty and fear and the ability to perform under duress is probably the same for these kids as it would be for another kid in the military to pull a wounded buddy to safety or a professional firefighter to pull someone from a fire.
Personally, the feeling I had while watching was sleepy. It was on really late for me.
So, just for clarity, can you describe the feeling of "totally stunned?" How does it relate to partially stunned or just surprised? What happens to your mind and body if you are more than "totally stunned?" Do you ever get unstunned?
And don't forget the wonderful spirit of Mirai Nagasu who skated last! There was something powerful and moving (in a gamut of ways) in each of the last four skaters. I have always enjoyed figure skating, but it's not been my favorite by far. But this year was something else!