Tonight was a night that will never be duplicated. Simply put, the night was all about the love of the sport. Our coach, Saga Krantz, has always been able to give us calming perspective, and the words she spoke before we competed the short program were no exception. As a team we had prepared ourselves for a home crowd, but it was hard to imagine what that would really mean. When she was still skating herself, before coming to the United States, Saga had competed in a World Championship in her home country of Finland and her team took home the silver medal. Her advice to us was to take it all in, and we did.
This sport is unlike any other. You are not only working with others, you are becoming one large piece of a unit. That is what we were looking to accomplish in our short program skate. Our focus when stepping out onto the ice was not to grab a medal, but rather to skate for all those hours we had spent falling and getting back up. We skated for all the painful practices and all of the years of training. We skated for our families, who have all given so much for us to be able to reach our dreams. We skated for our teammates who were going to be right by our sides the entire time, and who had been through all of the tedious training. But more than anything, we skated for that little girl inside each one of us who dreamed of becoming a Haydenette and skating at a World Championship.
Stepping onto the ice was extremely emotional. The moment they announced “Team United States of America 1” the crowd was set ablaze. I had never heard such a roar of applause, and looking into the audience each face was covered with a smile. An overwhelming sense of pure joy filled the arena, but yet there was also a sense of serenity that allowed us to stay focused. We knew what we had to do, we stayed in our zone, and when we hit the ending position we were able to let the emotion fully sink it.
Both of the United States teams put out strong skates and we could not be more excited to share this experience with all of our team members on Miami! Best of luck to all of those competing tonight!