Monday, January 31, 2011

2011 Smucker's Skating Spectacular

This past weekend, the Skyliners had the privilege of performing at the 2011 Smucker's Skating Spectacular that took place in Greensboro, North Carolina after the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Saturday, we went to the rink for our normal practice, but instead of walking next door to the gym after we got off the ice, we all piled into our parents' cars and caravanned over to Newark Airport. Upon arrival in North Carolina, we went to the hotel for a quick dinner then went to the arena to watch the senior ladies free skate. The stands were packed. As we watched each competitor enter the ice, we realized how nerve racking and intimidating it must be to get on the ice all alone in front of so many people, including judges, spectators, and television cameras. At this moment we knew why we are synchro skaters. We love taking the ice as a team.

Sunday morning we had an early wake up and went to the arena for practice. Although it was very early, we had a strong practice and felt confident for our performance that night.

After practice, we went to a Waffle House for breakfast. I was hungry and in the mood for pancakes. Without checking the menu, and wrongfully assuming that all breakfast places had pancakes, I asked the waitress for chocolate chip pancakes. She replied, "This is Waffle House..." Oops! Then we went back to the hotel for nap/homework time.

After our rest, we went to the rink for the Men's Free Skate. We all especially enjoyed Ryan Bradley's program. His expression was amazing and you could tell he was really enjoying himself. I was so happy for him when he won. When the competition was over we walked around the arena and did a little shopping, then went down to our locker room for hair and makeup. When we finished getting ready, we put on our dresses and skates and did our usual locker room pump-up routine.

Finally, it was time to skate. On our way from the locker room to the ice we saw all the other skaters that were performing hanging out in the Athlete's Lounge. Jeremy Abbott and Ryan Bradley wished us luck, and when Even Lysacek asked us what we skate to, we all replied, "Phantom of the Opera." He laughed and said, "You speak in unison too?" We were star struck.

Skating was surreal. The audience was huge, full of people who had never seen synchro before. They especially enjoyed our moves-in-isolation and moves-in-the-field elements. The crowd responded to our program with a standing ovation.

Overall, going to Greensboro was an awesome experience. Watching the skating was amazing and performing was incredible. We had so much fun. And to top it all off, we got a picture with Tara Lipinski at the airport on our way home!

Ci vediamo a Milano! (See you in Milan!)


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