Spectators toss -- or try to toss -- roses to the French
Roses slid across the ice after the performances of French Olympic figure skaters Monday at the George S. Eccles Ice Center in North Logan.
There were roses, but not too many roses.
Brian Smith, a designer at Plant Peddler Floral in Logan, was sent out to the Ice Center to try to sell roses to the sold-out crowd.
Smith said his business received a call from Ty Newberry, executive director of the Ice Center, to provide roses for the spectators who had just paid $40 a head to get see the show.
"It's tradition to sell roses for the athletes," Smith said. "We thought we'd try it so we wrapped up some roses and came out."
Janet Borg, former executive director of the Ice Center and currently in charge of community relations, said, "You would traditionally give a dancer flowers, or a singer flower, after a performance. This is after that tradition. But I think that people around here don't really know that tradition."
Smith said he first arrived with 60 roses. They were sold for $3 a stem. Smith said considering how close Valentine's Day is, the roses were as much as $2 under the normal price.
"We thought that 60 would sell really fast and that we'd have to go back for more," Smith said.
However, halfway through the night, Smith said he had only sold about 20 roses.
Borg said one of the problems contributing to the lack of roses was the glass left up around the rink from a hockey game just before the exhibition.
More than a few roses, instead of being gently jettisoned over the glass to make a glissando across the ice, were slammed into the glass like so many toothless hockey players.
Another possible problem was the nature of the exhibition. The skaters would stop in the middle of the routine and review with their coaches. Often people simply didn't know when to attempt to launch the the rose over the glass.
Some, like young Brandon Squires, were very judicious with their gift of flowers. Brandon's mother helped him get a rose and he said he would only throw it "if they didn't mess up; no crashes; and good air."
Whether there were too many roses or not enough, the performers seemed to be very appreciative.
"They're wonderful," said Marina Anissina, a member of the French ice dance team. "I love getting flowers."