Monday, February 7, 2011

The Last Day in Rouen

Saturday morning was bittersweet; we were anxious to show our long program to an international audience, but we also did not want to go home the following day. Because we skated in the latter portion of the flight that evening, our official was mid-morning, which made for a happier, more alert team.

Our official practice was a little shaky at times, but overall a good, solid showing. We had reviewed our mistakes on video after the short program, and tried to apply these same technical corrections to our free skate official. Both the skaters and coaches were pleased with that morning’s practice.

Later that afternoon, we bussed to the rink to cheer on our fellow teammates in the junior free skate. This event was so exciting to watch, as there were many impressive teams from many different countries. However, Team USA again prevailed, and Team Braemar took home the gold. I had not seen their long program yet this season, and I was absolutely blown away. The Alice in Wonderland theme was interpreted and presented extremely well, and their skating skills were far superior to the rest of the flight. I was honored to be traveling with such a dignified, talented group of girls. Congratulations again, Team Braemar!

The audience for the senior free skate was very energetic and supportive. Stepping on the ice as “Team USA” is rewarding no matter how many times a skater has competed internationally. We felt like a different team in our newly beaded dresses and new hairstyle. Our program began with two falls in the angled intersection, but most of the rest of the program went along swiftly. With another fall at the end of the program, we left the ice disappointed. It is always difficult to recover from these types of performances, but I believe that we responded quite well to the scores. It was a learning experience for us, and I hope that it will only make us stronger in the future.

Team USA left the competition with a bronze and a gold medal, which we believe to be a favorable result. It was one of the best international competitions I have ever attended, and I was fortunate enough to share the experience with 18 girls that I love. We will be back to work shortly preparing for the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships, which are approaching quickly!

Hope to see you all in Ontario!

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