So with winter sport in mind, it's time for some warm-up recs.
(1) Yuri on Ice
In the trackless wastes of A/B/O and AUs of every stripe that you can imagine that have taken over the Yuri on Ice tag on AO3 there are nonetheless still oases to be found. Or at least whatever the winter sport equivalent of an oasis is.*
nothing gold can stay by Naraht
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Yuri Plisetsky & Victor Nikiforov, Yuri Plisetsky & Yakov Feltsman, Lilia Baranovskaya/Yakov Feltsman, Yuri Plisetsky & Lilia Baranovskaya, Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov, Otabek Altin & Yuri Plisetsky
Characters: Yuri Plisetsky, Victor Nikiforov, Yakov Feltsman, Lilia Baranovskaya, Katsuki Yuuri, Otabek Altin
Additional Tags: Rivals, Post-Canon, Growing Up, Coming of Age, growth spurt, Injury, 2018 Winter Olympics, Aging, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Boston, London, Ballet, Wedding, Russian Orthodoxy
Yuri Plisetsky will never step out of Victor's shadow. Not if Victor has anything to do with it.
Or, the epic Nikiforov-Plisetsky rivalry in the run-up to the 2018 Olympic Games.
This is a rare fic that is sport-focused and gets the feeling of competition right. Much as I enjoy the comedy and the characters, the fact that the anime is about figure skating is also critical to my enjoyment. The sport isn't a random setting, it's a plot driver, and the characters' roles as international level sportsmen is critical to their characterisation.** And the same could be said of the fic: it's long, it's got great settings, and it's very funny, but most of all it matters that they are skaters.
The random and the ridiculous
The new year began with the Tour de Ski, which was nice of it since it also began for me with a viral infection and lying on the sofa watching people zip round the snow was just what was needed. Alas, the fourth race had to be cancelled due to terrible weather. But that was a small price to play for the glories of the fifth race, which thanks to pouring rain and a shortened course due to the fact that the rest of it was covered in the trees that had blown down was absolute carnage. Normally I like to watch people skiing, but every so often it's great to watch them falling over. A lot. (Especially when the UK's entrant didn't - spot him in the blue at the front in the vid.) And so I give you Chuck Norris shooting skiers.
*Untracked powder on avalanche-safe slopes, probably. Not that is much use for ice skaters.
**When I was off sick from work at some point earlier this year I finally caught up with Verdens Beste Skijenter, a series about the Norwegian women's ski team as they were preparing for the 2015 World Championships. Two things stick in my mind from this: firstly, how much if you want to succeed at the top level in an endurance sport you have to enjoy all the associated training as well as the fun parts, because there is a lot more training than anything else, and secondly a serious of responses to a question along the lines of 'who do you race for?' Parents, partners, siblings, grandmother were mentioned, but Marit Bjørgen, the most successful cross-country skier of all time answered in the way that a champion does: Me. Bjørgen appears to be a very warm and friendly person, but you don't get to the top without a ruthless streak.
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