Friday, February 8, 2013

Lexettes at Spring Cup

We started off our exciting route to Italy at our home- rink dressed in a “USA” themed Spirit Practice! Between the American Flag Pants, tons of flags, and great spirit, we were all prepared to take off for The Spring Cup in Milan, Italy.

After a very long flight from Boston, taking off at 10:15 pm Wednesday night, we landed in Milan around 12:30pm Milan time! We quickly got changed and headed to the rink for an hour practice. Though we were rather tired after only a couple hours of sleep, we had a great practice with Coach Saga.

We went back to the hotel after our late night practice, and then quickly went to bed to get some sleep before our very early unofficial practice this morning. Once again we had a great and very productive practice, working on both programs as the sun rose.


After our practice and our yummy breakfast, we headed off to The Duomo with Coach Saga and our Managers (thank goodness Regina speaks Italian J) The moment we stepped off the metro we were in awe being greeted by the beautiful Duomo, as well as our Team Leader and Team Doctor! As we climbed what seemed like millions of steps to the top, we realized it was extremely worth it. The view of the city was breathtaking and we were able to take lots of pictures.

We’ll update soon! Ciao!

-The Lexettes

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Summary of the French Cup

Feelings before the short

“Everyone has butterflies, champions are those who are able to make them fly in formation”. 

While sitting in the locker room waiting to take the ice for our first official practice (the short program) our Co-team leader Justin Dillon entered the room filled with excitement and spoke those words. We then took the ice and had a very solid official practice, really feeling the ice and skating as a team.

We began our week on Tuesday the 29th with an evening flight out of Boston that landed in the city of Paris around 8a.m. on Wednesday morning. The weather was cloud filled but the temperature was comfortable. We then began our two hour bus trip into Rouen. After preparing for our first unofficial skate we arrived at the arena and were greeted by the sun through the large windows that opened up to the city alongside of the rink. The feeling of skating a program you have been training extremely hard for while looking into a completely foreign land is magical, a dream come true.

Thursday morning began with a very early practice, (as we took the ice at 7:45 am) but due to jet lag,  none of us were too bothered as our internal clocks were already a bit off. From there we were able to get a look at the city. Rouen is extremely gorgeous, scattered with historical cathedrals and old French charm. In the evening we participated  in the competition parade. It was amazing to hear all of the different cheers in multiple languages while winding through the city filled with locals who seemed to be just as excited as we were!

Tonight is the short competition for the Junior and Senior teams from the United States and we could not be more excited and proud to represent our country. Best of luck to all of the teams!

After all was said and done

France was unlike any competition I have been to. From the beauty surrounding the city of Rouen, to the energy in the stands it was really something to behold. It was an absolutely amazing week for synchronized skating. So many teams from around the world illustrating just how far this sport has come. It gives me butterflies to think about where synchronized skating is headed.  After skating a free skate that I am sure the Haydenettes and I will never forget, we had the opportunity to get a look at our competition. As team after team came to the ice I was filled with emotion; what I saw was inspiring. There was so much talent and each and every step was finished with grace and power.  After the competition was over it was a mutual feeling between my teammates that we cannot wait to get back to work!
Before heading back to the United States there was one more place on our list of things to see: the Eiffel Tower!  We were filled with emotion as we stepped off the bus, taking picture after picture in hopes of never losing the memories we had made on this trip. We all took the ride up into the first level of the tower, and many of us continued all the way to the top. It was absolutely exhilarating to see all of Paris and its gorgeous landmarks from the Arc de Triomphe to Notre Dame.  There is no other feeling like that of representing one’s country and we could not feel more honored to be members of the United States Figure skating team.

Goodbye for now:]

Lindsay Grajek


Monday, February 4, 2013

Skyliners French Cup Wrap Up

Time flies when you’re having fun! Au revoir France!

Our trip to France blew by and I can’t believe we’re already home. After the first three days of sightseeing and practice it was finally competition time on Friday and Saturday. Friday was the short program. We arrived at the rink early and were able to get pumped to skate by playing our animal game and dancing around. When it was time to compete we entered the arena in our shimmering lavender dresses and I could see all the American flags waving in the stands. Although this is my fifth international event, it always seems surreal to see the USA section cheering as we take the ice. Our short program felt good. We had a minor fall, but otherwise a clean skate that we were happy with. The 46.66 we received was not as high as we had hoped and showed room for improvement in both our technical and program components scores. Only 4 points separated our current 7th place position with 3rd place. With such a small gap, we knew the competition was not over yet and were ready to make a come back in the long program. To end the day we headed to “Pizza Pai” for some delicious sundaes, continuing our team tradition of having ice cream the night before the free skate. We all headed to bed excited to bring it for the next day!

At Pizza Pai
 Saturday night we put on our game faces. Knowing we had nothing to lose, we focused on taking each element one at a time, putting our best performance out there and enjoying the skate. We had a blast and a few of my teammates joked that they made facial expressions they had never made before in our program! I would definitely say we brought it that night and had a lot of fun performing! Our score was high enough to pull us up three spots to fourth place overall, which made us incredibly proud.

Performing our free skate
After the junior competition we stuck around the rink to watch senior. We signed some autographs and traded pins with other teams. It was exciting to have a little slice of fame. I ended up handing out all of my American flag toothpicks to a local Novice team from France. We also met a lot of girls from Great Britain. Saying that the senior free skate event was amazing would be an understatement. The programs were stunning and when I thought no team could be better than the last, I would see even better skating. We enjoyed cheering on Team USA, the Haydenettes and Ice’Kateers, who both skated great! The arena was packed. Even the stairs were filled! During intermissions the entire crowd danced and I could see all the different countries’ flags waving. It was like watching the entire world come together, an unforgettable and unique experience. Anyone who bought tickets for senior World Synchronized Skating Championships in Boston is definitely in for a treat!

The crowd for the Senior free skate
Skyliners with Team Great Britain
Team France

Now that we’re back in the States, we are ready to work extremely hard in these last few weeks leading up to U.S. Synchro Championships and World Junior Championships! You’ll know where to find us: At the rink!

Good luck to Skyliners Senior, Chicago Jazz, and Lexettes at Spring Cup this week!

Au revoir!