Monday, April 15, 2013

Watching Team USA

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the 2013 Synchronized Skating World Championships in Boston, Massachusetts.  Although there were several DREAM team members competing, I was not one of them, and this allowed me a very unique experience. As a competitor, I usually do not have the opportunity to relax and enjoy a competition, as I experience the blur of the event. As a spectator, my eyes were opened to all the other things that go on while I am “in the zone” and focused on my job to “leave it all on the ice”. As a member of the DREAM program, I had the amazing opportunity of not only painting spectators’ faces, but also signing autographs! My fellow DREAM team members Sharon Neff, Ashley Tomich, Dana Manson, Katilyn Peterson and I met with young skaters before opening ceremonies on Friday and signed cards with our photos on them as well as programs and tickets! It was a very humbling experience and one that I will remember for a very long time.

I also had the opportunity to watch two of my former teammates, Ashley Mulhern and Audrey McQuade, compete at the World championships. Ashley, Audrey and I skated together on Skyliners for many years. Our very first year together we skated on the juvenile line and that was the first year I competed at a national championship (in San Diego, which was a very long time ago). 

One of the greatest parts of this competition was the crowd!  Because the World Championships are only held in the United States infrequently, synchro skaters and fans traveled from all over the US to be in Boston. It was great to see friends that I’ve made over the years from all different teams come together to support our fellow Team USA competitors. Throughout the stands you could see several spectators sporting both historical and new Team USA jackets. One of my former coaches, Natalie Martello, wore the one she had received when she used to compete. It’s pretty amazing how all these skaters chain together from one era to another. 

A former Miami University camp counselor of mine, Lauren Magliola, brought some of her skating students over to the Athlete Development booth while my fellow DREAM team members and I were signing autographs in order for us all to meet and share our skating triumphs. It was adorable to talk to all of her young skaters and see how much enthusiasm they have for the sport at such a young age! One of them even told me that she wanted to skate for Miami one day!  It was great to talk to them and to tell them how I had known Lauren when I was just about their age and that my dream came true when I was accepted to Miami University.


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