The Inside Edge: The Buck stops by in Omaha

Galindo, Nichols relish Hall induction; Yamaguchi loves Instagram

Michael Buckley cherishes the chance to hang out with Paul Wylie.
Michael Buckley cherishes the chance to hang out with Paul Wylie. (Sarah S. Brannen)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(01/26/2013) - With the arrival of the weekend, the drama and excitement have turned up several notches, and people are bringing out their high-scoring looks. "Mitchell points" are rampant.


After the fantastic short dance and men's short program, the skating world's glitterati convened for the hall of fame reception. Spotted in the crowd were Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes and her mom Amy, Kristi Yamaguchi and her mom Carole, Evan Lysacek, Brian Boitano, Paul Wylie, Judy Blumberg, Frank Carroll, Karen Kwan-Oppegard, Peter Oppegard and the evening's honorees, Rudy Galindo and Lori Nichol.

Lysacek looked very elegant in a Ralph Lauren suit. He seemed surprised to be complimented on it, but we'd give it 12 Mitchells and four Johanssons for the blue pocket square. Yamaguchi brought out another stunning look, a black-and-white ombré leopard print dress. Kwan-Oppegard looked amazing, again, as usual, in a gray silk dress with silken cord straps, and Oppegard was complementary in a gray velveteen blazer.

Patricia St. Peter introduced the honorees, thanking Galindo for tuning out the naysayers and persevering in his career. Carroll listed Nichol's accomplishments, which include choreographing a mind-boggling 38 Olympic medal-winning programs.


Everyone who attended Michelle Kwan's wedding on Jan. 19 was sworn to silence until yesterday, when the People magazine issue covering the ceremony came out. At the reception, Kwan-Oppegard was finally able, and happy, to share details with us.

First off, she told us her lovely wine-colored, matron-of-honor gown was by J. Crew.

"We tried several different dresses," she said. "All five bridesmaids wore variations of the dress. It was sort of an eggplant color, with a bit of fuschia -- it changed when you moved."

Kwan-Oppegard told us that the ceremony and reception were wonderful, of course.

"Everyone was crying for four days straight," she said. "It was such a beautiful event. It was a reunion of a lot of people in our lives, from when we were skating, everything."

She said groom Clay Pell's house in Providence, R.I., was the site of the rehearsal dinner.

"We went into the library," she said, "And there was a tattered flag, with holes in it -- it was a Civil War flag that had been in battle! And there was a picture of Clay's grandfather, on the Cape, sitting with JFK in Adirondack chairs. And a picture of Clay when he was about 9, with President Clinton."


If you're reading, you already know that Michael Buckley has arrived to cover the championships in his own inimitable style. We spent a long time catching up with Buckley, who was delighted to be seeing so many skaters.

"I met Kristi Yamaguchi!" he said. "Besides Carol Heiss, she was the only Olympic ladies champion I had never met. I've met Tenley Albright, I've met Dorothy Hamill, I've met ... OK, no, I've never met Peggy Fleming. I'm lying."

"I'm so happy to be here now," Buckley said, "Just feeding off the energy of all the skaters. I met the kids who won the junior pairs title in the elevator (Britney Simpson and Matthew Blackmer) -- they were super-cute -- and I met a boy named Tim who's sixth in the pairs right now (that would be Timothy Leduc) and I ran into the 'Shibutinis' who I've been Twitter friends with forever. I waved at them at an event in Boston but we finally met and hugged.

"I met Agnes [Zawadzki] and gave her a big hug. It's funny, because I've been tweeting at her for two or three years and I feel like I know her so well. And they look at me like they know me so well, too."

And at that moment, someone came up and wanted their picture taken with Buckley.

While we were chatting, Wylie stopped by to greet Buckley, whom he has known for years. The two both have houses on Cape Cod and spent a long time swapping notes about restaurants, as well as indulging in the popular Omaha pastime of analyzing the competitive men's field.

Bits and Pieces

Ashley Wagner was out and about Friday, looking as lovely as could be in a black matte jersey dress with black tights and cute shoes with healthy low-ish heels.

"I know it's a little heavy for daytime," Wagner said of the look. "But it's so comfortable."

Wagner sat with Zawadzki and Christina Gao during the men's short program, and all three ladies clutched at each other for support as the guys skated.

"I'm so nervous!" Zawadzki kept saying.

As we noted earlier, Yamaguchi and her mom Carole were in a VIP box for the men's short program, having a wonderful time. We took an Instagram picture of them for and passed the phone to Kristi to pick a filter.

"I love Instagram!" Kristi said. "But sometimes, the filters make it look worse."

Kristi said her kids are at home this time. They are 7 and 9, which we can barely believe!

Olympic champion sightings: 7

In addition to Lipinski, Hughes, Boitano and Scott Hamilton, we saw Marina Klimova in the hotel lobby, and Yamaguchi and Lysacek at the men's short program. Yamaguchi and Lysacek were there not just to watch the skating, but also to watch as Galindo and Nichol were inducted into the Hall of Fame in an on-ice ceremony. Both took videos of the moment on their cell phones.

See you tomorrow,
Sarah and Drew