Friday, February 4, 2011

Twenty Americans in Paris (Rouen)- Short Program Day!

I’ll begin with our day on Thursday. It began with a few practice sessions, which were extremely strong. We took the ice with confidence and pride as we sported our black Team USA tank tops. The competition arena is amazing- we were thrilled to have the chance to skate on that surface before our official practice. While warming up, we started the flashmob dance, and before we knew it, we had teams in the crowd standing up and joining us. This was a fun, short preview of the events to come later that night.

We also had the chance to explore Rouen, which is absolutely gorgeous. The architecture is just stunning and the stores surrounding our hotel are adorable. The shoes here are what caught our eyes most frequently. Almost every girl on the team ended up with a new pair of French shoes!

Later that night, the competition held a special welcome parade and ceremony. They had a small marching band that played popular tunes while the competitors sang along. The parade featured all of the athletes, and we walked around the streets of Rouen chanting USA cheers behind our beloved flag. (Team Braemar and Crystallettes below)

Once we all returned, the fun really started. The song “The Time” by the Black Eyed Peas blared through the speakers, and Team USA immediately ran to the front to lead the group in the flashmob dance. Watching every country and every team perform the dance together was very special- a memory that none of us will soon forget. It was remarkable to see what a simple youtube video could produce- people from all around the world united as one.

After this day of fun and excitement, we had to calm ourselves down and approach the next day with a focused attitude. Friday morning began with our official practice, which was very smooth and confident. We left the arena in high spirits, with a restored sense of security and trust in one another. We were overjoyed to hear that Team Braemar had conquered the Junior event. We are even more excited to cheer them on in the long program tomorrow!

It seemed like a very long day, but finally it was our time to shine. We entered the arena in our beautiful royal blue dresses, ready to perform our “Rhapsody in Blue” and “I Got Rhythm” short program. Our skate was similar to our practice- smooth and connected. Our presentation (the element of our performance we have drilled the most) was top notch tonight. We left the ice excited and proud, which was our ultimate goal. The (mini) French fans asked for our autographs as we left the ice, which was another rewarding aspect of the experience. We are pleased with our scores, but are looking to move up in the free skate tomorrow!

Needless to say, we’re pretty exhausted from this eventful day. Make sure to tune into the livestream video tomorrow! We skate 10th, the first team in the third group.

here's a link to the video of the flashmob:

(this one features the USA teams)

(this one includes more views)

à demain (see you tomorrow)!

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