Sunday, April 3, 2011

JWCC - An Amazing End to an Even More Amazing Season

Hey Everyone,

First I just want to start out by apologizing for the extreme delay in my posting this blog. These past few weeks since the Junior World Challenge Cup have been spent hard at work, trying to finish piles of makeup school work I have from missing 2 weeks in a row between the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships and the JWCC. That being said, the week spent in Switzerland for the 2011 JWCC is one that I know I will never forget.

The morning of the free skate, we were ready to go and knew that the points between 2nd place and 8th place were extremely close, so there was definitely room for movement. We skated an official practice that we were all very proud of, and were just hoping for a repeat performance with a little more expression that night. Before we knew it, our last day in Neuchรขtel had flown by and it was time to start our final hair and makeup of the year. Soon we were on the bus and heading to the rink, following tradition by singing the songs that we always sing. We had a fun and energy filled warm-up outside of the rink before heading into the locker room. Our expression was brought out during that warm-up and we knew we were ready to “get the job done!” To end our time outside, we gathered in a tight circle and belted “Proud to be an American” at the top of our lungs. This was just what we needed to remind us of the honor that we have been given to be able to represent our country in such a high level competition. In the locker room the energy continued as we sang and were read good luck wishes from skaters and families of the younger Skyliner lines. This meant so much to us and got us completely ready to take the ice.

Taking the ice was unbelievable. You could just feel the whole crowd behind us, hoping that we skated our best. For me, this performance was so important and special because it was my last skate with this team, which really became like sisters to me. After doing the signal and hitting my opening pose, I just had to slip in an “I love you girls!” before the music began. The program felt very strong and the performance factor seemed higher than ever before. I was literally skating my heart out and trying to leave it all out on the ice. Getting off the ice after another performance of a life time, I could not have been more proud of my teammates. Personally, I am not someone who ever cries, no matter how happy I am, but that night, after that program, with those teammates by my side, I cried. It was such a special performance and an amazing way for me to end 4 amazing years with the Skyliners junior team. We were all so proud of each other and all that we accomplished this season. It truly was the best season ever, and at that point it really didn’t matter to us where we ended up overall that night.

We quickly headed up to the stands to watch the final group of teams compete. As Braemar took the ice, we went wild and displayed our USA pride for our teammates. They skated their “Alice in Wonderland” program beautifully and it was absolutely the best performance of their season. We were so proud of them, and when their score came up, it was almost certain that they would receive a World medal. We could not have been happier for them. As the competition came to an end and Team Braemar took the ice to get their bronze medals, we all stood at the railing and cheered at the top of our lungs once again. This was amazing for both Team Braemar and the U.S. Congrats again Team Braemar! Way to make our country proud!

Looking back on my final season on Skyliners, I could not have asked for anything more. A National Championship and 5th place in the world… Wow! This was an unbelievable season filled with memories and friendships that I know will never fade away.

From Junior World Challenge Cup to the World Synchronized Skating Championships, from Switzerland to Finland, I want to wish the Team USA World Team, Haydenettes and Miami University, safe travels next week as they head overseas. Good Luck and I know that you girls will be beautiful and represent us well! I wish I could be there, but will be watching and cheering from home!

Love Always,

Ashley Mulhern

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