After the overwhelming excitement that the short program brought, stepping out onto fresh ice with the whole crowd dressed in red, white, and blue, we honestly didn’t know how it could get any better than that. Yet somehow, the night of the long program, this same thrill occurred again, as if we were all experiencing it for the very first time. I’m not sure that anything will ever be able to top the feeling of stepping out onto the ice and being completely overtaken by the roaring of the crowd and the blur of our country’s colors filling the air.
|DREAMmates Ashley and Ashleigh. Photo by Sarah Arnold|
As we prepared to compete, we completely transformed from ballerinas the previous night, into flirty, fierce, and fabulous flappers. At last it was time to perform and leave absolutely everything that we had out on the ice for our final time this season. The crowd was on their feet and roaring once again. Hearing them announce, “Representing the United States of America, Team USA 2” is one of the most powerful and touching things a skater will ever hear. The crowd was so unbelievably supportive, that as we stood in our warm-up block, it was almost impossible to hear the one skater screaming at the top of her lungs for us to begin. At this, we all pulled together and counted “5-6-7-8” as one, so that we could begin as a unit. Once we had done this, I could feel that it was going to be a great skate because it seemed that all 16 hearts were beating as one. We hit our opening pose and I was so completely in the moment that from there, our skate almost became a blur. The thing that I remember most clearly from our program was coming around in my 135 in the moves in the field element and just pausing for those few seconds to soak everything in and fully enjoy the moment. When we hit the ending pose, I knew it didn’t matter what the score was, but instead that we had brought America to their feet and made them proud with two of our best skates of the season.
|Team USA 2 overjoyed with their final long program skate of the season.|
|Ashley Mulhern and Audrey McQuade, Team USA World Team Members|
It was amazing to watch the final 8 teams compete their long programs and to be able to cheer on our fellow Team USA teammates, the Haydenettes, as they skated a wonderful long program performance, earning them their fourth World Bronze Medal. We couldn’t have been more proud of them or to be able to call them our teammates.
|Ashley Mulhern and number 1 Fan, sister Madison Mulhern.|
Just walking around the arena during the ice cuts was an unbelievable experience in itself. People from all over the country had come to watch us compete and we had made them proud to be from the USA. I could not believe that young skaters were asking me to sign their programs and take pictures with them, when just 3 years ago I was sitting in their seats, watching Team USA compete at the World Championships in Colorado, USA. This was such an honor for me and goes to show that dreams truly do come true. I was also incredibly lucky to have many of my family members there to support me as well. In addition to those from the US, I have made many friends from all over the world while competing on Team USA over the past 6 years. I was completely overjoyed to reunite with them and share this amazing experience in my home country.
The 2013 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships ended with an amazing competitors party at the Top of the Hub, overlooking all of Boston. It was amazing to see all of the competitors, from 15 different countries, come together to celebrate a common accomplishment, after competing against each other all weekend.
As a team, we did not set a goal of a certain place we wanted to get, but rather the goal of “leaving our mark” on the world, and I think that it is safe to say that we did just that! I am extremely proud of all that my teammates and I have accomplished this year was very happy to end on such a wonderful note!
Congratulations to Team Unique (FIN 1), Nexxice (CAN 1), and the Haydenettes (USA 1) on their medals and to all teams for such an extraordinary weekend! Thank you to all of the incredible fans for their support and for making this weekend truly unforgettable!
|Miami University Team USA 2|
Love & Honor,