Friday, January 31, 2014

Bonjour de Rouen!

Hello from Rouen!  

It has been a great week here in France so far for the Haydenettes as we represent the Team USA at the 20th French Cup along with the Crystallettes, Chicago Jazz, and the Lexettes.  

French Cup poster in the streets of Rouen. (Photo credit: Devin Wang)
We arrived in Paris on Wednesday morning followed by a bus ride to Rouen and an hour practice at the official rink.  It was nice to get on the ice right away, even though we were a little tired from our journey.  On Thursday, we had another unofficial practice, and then had a chance to explore the streets of Rouen.  Needless to say, we didn't mind the shopping, great food, and gorgeous architecture (especially the cathedrals), that this city has to offer!  We concluded the day taking part in the athlete parade.  It was a blast walking in the parade while mingling with our fellow US teams and cheering the whole time.  It was also really neat to see how much the people of Rouen support the event. 

DREAM Program members and Haydenettes: Lindsay and I showing our USA spirit before the Athlete Parade.
Cheering on the Lexettes!
Today we woke up ready to perform our bellydancing short program!  

We had a great official practice and then got a chance to cheer on the Lexettes as they competed their short as well.

We are very proud of our short program skate, and are currently sitting in 5th place, only .3 points out of 4th.  We are excited to compete our Count of Monte Cristo long program tomorrow and wish all teams the best of luck!

-Ashley Tomich

Haydenettes short program official practice at 2014 French Cup (Photo credit: David Brofsky)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Suiting Up in Salzburg

Hello again from Miami senior!

January has definitely been a jam-packed month for the world of synchronized skating! But for me, like many of you out there, I really wouldn’t have it any other way. As for us here at Miami University, we’re all back in the good ole USA and getting started in a new semester of classes (and maybe recovering from some jet lag).

Our final day in Austria was devoted entirely to the long program. We woke up and indulged in our final yummy breakfast at the hotel and began getting ready for official practice. We were 13th to skate in a group of 14 teams, so when we arrived at the rink we were able to watch a few of the other teams before heading to warm-up. I always love to watch teams skate, but it is especially fascinating to see teams from different parts of the world perform. The programs are so unlike any you see in the United States.  

Our first run of the program in official practice was a little shaky, little stumbles here and there, a fumble in the group lift. We exited the ice feeling a little disheartened that our program was not being performed to the fullest potential, a potential we had consistently performed in practices back home. However our coach was not worried about the competition that evening, she was confident in our abilities and gave us a short pep talk in the locker room before we left the rink. We returned to our hotel with a renewed confidence and soon began prep for competition. Before meeting up with our coaches for a video review, we came together as a team and went over the expectations we held for ourselves and talked about what we wanted to accomplish later that evening. When we arrived back at the arena we were focused and ready show our freeskate to an international audience for the first time. Before entering our warm-up area we were approached by several Finnish skaters who asked us to trade the mini American flags we had in our hair for the flags of Finland that they were wearing. It was awesome to see all of the different flags that the skaters had accumulated and were displaying in their hair throughout the evening. Finally, we “suited up” and took the ice for our “Deck of Cards” themed long program. The funny thing was that as soon as our music began, many of the audience members started to sing along with the music even though it is completely instrumental. As it turns out, the piece we skate to was written by several Austrian composers, and lots of people from Europe are familiar with it.
We completed the program and were happy with the performance. However we still feel like we want to grow even more than we have over this past month of competition craziness! Once the senior event ended, all of the teams took the ice for the awards ceremony and were all organized to come together to form the Olympic rings on the ice surface. This was a really awesome sight to see, but of course with this image and with the winter Olympics coming up next month, it brings to mind the ever present question: why not synchro? Over the past year I have definitely seen an increase in interest in this sport we love so much, in both social media (#WhyNotSynchro2018) and even in national news. It is always great to see progress being made towards this goal of having synchronized skating in the Olympic Games, and it is certainly something I hope to see achieved within the next several years.  Until then, we are always honored to have this privilege of representing our country in both international assignments and at the World Championships. Being able to see new places and interact with people from different countries, all while representing the United States is truly one of the greatest opportunities we are offered in this sport.

In closing, we left the beautiful city of Salzburg in the early hours of Sunday morning and headed back to the country and school we love so much. To summarize this trip, I will look to my teammate and fellow DREAMer, Ashley Mulhern who put it so eloquently; “Five countries, 2 buses, 2 planes, 20 skaters, and 22 hours… Finally back to the one country we couldn’t be more proud to represent.”  And now that we are back, Miami Skating is definitely ready and eager get to work over the next few weeks to prepare for the National Championships!

Congratulations to all teams that competed this weekend, either at the Mozart Cup or at the Midwestern and Pacific Sectional Championships, and best of luck to everyone over the next few weeks!

Love & Honor,


Monday, January 27, 2014

"Let it Be" Overseas!

Greetings from Austria,

As we prepare for our final day here in Salzburg, I would like to reflect on yesterday and competing our short program at the Mozart Cup.

DREAMer Dana Manson shows off her "Bun Flag"
We kicked off the morning with a fabulous European breakfast at our hotel and prepared for our official practice. Before leaving the hotel, we got the chance to review some video from our unofficial practice the previous day. As we headed off to the rink, I was sure to hand out American flag toothpicks to everyone for their hair in order to add just one extra piece of USA flare to our outfits. Arriving at the rink, we walked through the doors with extreme confidence and excitement for what we knew we were going to do out on that ice. After
warming up, we were led to a lock
er room that was not the most ideal of setups, but we were ready to make the best of it. We skated a very solid official practice, with our USA fan club cheering us on from high up in the stands. We were very proud of the way that we had just left the practice ice and felt extremely prepared to compete.

Visiting with former USA athlete Alex Boisselle, now competing for Germany
Back at the hotel, we got ready for the short program competition, twisting our hair, gluing on eyelashes, and sewing in brand new barrettes that we were very excited to wear to for the first time. We watched our official practice footage and an inspiring pump-up video made by one of our very own DREAMers, Ashleigh Ostin. We headed off to the rink eager to compete and accomplish our goal of leaving a strong impression on the not only the judges and technical panel, but the audience as a whole as well. As we stood rink-side, we could feel the energy of the crowd and could not wait to draw them in and engage them in our performance. With USA support on both sides of the arena, we skated a powerful short program to a rendition of “Let it Be”, each of us fully invested in every movement. We were very proud of our performance and the way that we had represented the U.S. through our skate. We also got the opportunity to watch the remainder of our division from the stands and cheer on California Gold, along with the U.S. junior teams, Skyliners and Saint Louis Synergy. With the short program competition behind us, we are sitting in 4th place with a score of 59.02, behind 3 past World Champions, Marigold Ice Unity FIN, Rockettes FIN, and Nexxice CAN.

Today is a new day and we are ready to transform and “Suit Up” to perform our “Deck of Cards” themed program to an entirely new audience, skating lucky number 13! Please feel free to tune and support Team USA from home by watching the Mozart Cup live feed at

More after the long program!
Love & Honor,

Ashley Mulhern
Team USA
Miami University Senior Team

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Salzburg nothing less than an adventure!

Hallo again from Austria!

Our first "real" day in Salzburg began like any normal day. My roommate Vanessa and I woke up, did our hair and makeup, had some coffee in the room and were pumped and ready to head to our unofficial practice. However there was a slight problem… it was 1am. 

Miami dreamers after practice
We just hadn’t realized that yet. It was about an hour after we had been up and about that we knocked on our teammates’ door to get something and were alerted it was the middle of the night. We insisted that that they needed to hurry up and get ready or they’d be late for breakfast. Unfortunately we were in for a surprise. At least we weren’t the only ones who made this mistake… our dance teacher Lana actually showed up for breakfast at 1:30am.

After laughing for about 20 mins, we briefly returned to bed for another 5 hours before we woke up and went to breakfast (hey, at least our hair and makeup was already done!).  We had a strong unofficial practice at the competition arena and enjoyed cheering from our fan club… Miami parents are the best fans!
Miami Senior in Salzburg

After practice, we were able to tour Salzburg for the day. Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the alps and castles visible up in the mountains, the city does not disappoint. One of my favorite things to do in new cities, especially in Europe, is find unique coffee houses and compare the coffee. In between caffe lattes, we were also able do a little shopping and see some sites from the Sound of Music.

Dreammates Ashleigh and Emmy
One of the best parts of my day was running into one of my best friends, Emmy from California Gold in the middle of Salzburg. Even in a big city, you can’t miss that red hair ;) We stopped for a quick chat and snapshot before we had to run back to meet our teams.

Tomorrow is the short program. We are looking forward to showing the world what Miami and the USA is made of! Good luck to everyone competing!

Auf wiedersehen!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Grüße aus Austria!

Grüße aus Austria! (Greetings from Miami Senior in Austria!) 
USA Spirit Practice

After 19 hours of travel from leaving school in Ohio Tuesday morning to arriving at the hotel here in Salzburg today, we are more than excited to have finally reached our destination! Before leaving for the trip, we concluded our winter term training with a USA themed spirit practice to pump us up for the competition and headed to the airport feeling energized. Right when we arrived in Austria, it was straight back to the ice where we had an unofficial practice at a rink outside of the city. Although we were all a bit tired from the flight, our practice was solid and we are definitely feeling ready and confident for the event!
In my opinion, the main highlight of the day was the bus drive back to Salzburg where we had the pleasure of driving through the Alps. One of my favorite things about going abroad is getting the chance to see things I have not seen before. The views of the mountains were stunning and I could not put my camera down! For the remainder of the day we all got the chance to explore Salzburg for a little while. Some of my teammates and I struggled with the language barrier because we do not know very much German, but hopefully we will learn some more new words before we have to head back home. Tomorrow we get to go sight seeing and the Mozart Cup Competition officially begins on friday, so stay tuned! It is sure to be a great week for Team USA here in Salzburg! 

Love and Honor,


View of the Alps from the bus

Mozart Cup Poster
Practice (Thanks to our athletic trainer Steph for the photo!)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

God Morgon! (Swedish for Good Morning!)

Hello everyone!

I am writing you from my hotel room in Goteborg, Sweden!  After a long flight to Paris, a quick layover and a plane to Goteborg, Miami University Junior has safely arrived in Sweden!  We are all incredibly excited to be here and represent Team USA!! On our first day here, as many other teams do, we tried our very hardest to keep our eyes open! After many hours of traveling we were all exhausted, but rallied and were excited and ready to start our first practice! Before we headed to the rink we got to walk around the area near our hotel and get ourselves some lunch.  My group and I found an adorable little Italian place right around the corner from our hotel over looking the water.  It was very cute and all of the staff was so nice and intrigued with why we all looked the same.  We chatted with some of the waitresses who were very nice, ate our lunch and then headed back to our hotel to get ready for practice. It was a short but very, very good practice.  It was a great opportunity to get our feet under us after the trip and get used to this new ice.  After our practice we had our first Swedish meal!  I loved it.  We got to try some fish that was caught locally and it was all pretty awesome.  By the time we had finished our dinner we were all practically falling asleep at the table. After a short team meeting we got to head up to our beds for a good nights sleep.
The next day was the most fun of all.  After waking up early and getting in another great practice, our team was allowed four hours to explore Goteborg.  Our whole team took the ferry ride together from our hotel into the heart of Goteborg and the shopping district.  The Ferry ride was very cold but so beautiful.  Luckily there was an indoor section! Although everything was in Swedish and we almost missed our stop, we had some help and got off at the right place just in time to meet up with our parents!  Everyone split off into small groups and headed around the town.  Goteborg is an absolutely beautiful city.  Our group started off getting some souvenirs at a tourist shop.  Everyone got gifts and t-shirts and some of us got some pretty cool looking jerseys! 

From there we stopped at a bakery and coffee shop where we got some delicious croissants and amazing macaroons! The food was delicious!! I personally had never tried macaroons before but I loved them!  After our little snack we walked around the streets for a while until we found a very cool meat and cheese market.  We got some free samples, which were delicious!  After a little more walking around, we stopped was a very cute chocolate shop.  We all bought some candies to bring home; my favorite was the salted caramel chocolate.  It was so good! 
After awhile it was almost time to head back to the ferry to meet the rest of our team, but not before we got a picture of all of us and one of our dads doing spirals in front of the train station! All in all it was a great day and were looking forward to the draw tonight!

Good luck to all teams!