Greetings from Milan, Italy!
With a 4:30am wake up call, Synchroettes Junior walked the rainy streets of San Sesto Giovanni to begin the junior event with a great official practice. Despite the early time and chilly walk, we were able to put out a strong, clean run-through that set a great tone for the rest of the day. Upon arriving back to the rink, we took a quick nap and woke refreshed for off-ice and the short program competition. Entering the competition, we set a goal to accomplish great unison and strong upper bodies; we practiced this extensively in off-ice in preparation for the afternoon’s event.
After a delicious lunch put together by our team manager and assistant coach, we were ready to perform on an international stage. As we took the warm up area, an immense feeling of pride overcame the team. Upon entering the rink in our Team USA warm ups the magnitude of the competition became clear and we were ready to rise to the occasion. This pride and excitement continued to build as we put our skates on and stepped on the ice, intently listening to the announcer say, “Representing the United States of America…” and the roar of our parents as they chanted “USA”. Our coach reminded us of our love of the sport as we took the ice and began the program. We accomplished our goal of skating a clean short program with great unison, strong upper bodies, and exceptional presentation.
We left the rink pleased with our performance and hungry for more points in the long program. Upon leaving we took a quick trip for dinner where we enjoyed delicious Italian pizza before heading back to the rink to cheer on the Haydenettes. The Haydenettes had an incredible skate and we loved cheering from the stands, although we left immediately after in order to get to bed early in preparation for the long program. We are excited for tomorrow’s long program and prepared to put out another great program!!
What an eventful 24 hours! Our day began with another rainy, morning walk to official practice.
Saturday morning’s rain was especially bad so we took extra precautions in an effort to stay dry
—from umbrellas to plastic bags over our feet, we were willing to try almost anything. After
another strong official practice we headed back to the hotel to dry off and prepare for the long program competition. The day progressed as most competition days do: a nap at the hotel followed by lunch, video, and off-ice. During off-ice we focused on unison and sharpness; the energy was infectious as we boarded a bus en route to the long program event. As those of you who watched the live stream know, the Synchroettes Junior team was LATE!
The Synchroettes Junior team locker room is ridden with superstitions and traditions, however, once arriving in the locker room, it became apparent that one of our skaters was missing her skates, setting off an entirely unique series of events. In this moment we came together as a family as our assistant coach and team leader raced back to the hotel in an effort to retrieve the skates before we took the ice. They managed to catch a ride with a generous local who after arriving at the wrong hotel zipped to the correct one before racing back to drop them right in front of the rink. As the skates were being retrieved we began walking a spot sharer through the program incase the skates did not arrive in time. This unity and determination spread beyond the locker room as competition volunteers stalled in order to give us more time to walk through elements and the referee was understanding of the circumstance. We took the ice, differing from our original plan as we only stroked one lap before spending a few more seconds walking through the new spot. We took our starting pose, prepared to fight through the program, however, at the last minute the skates arrived! A roar of cheering came from the entire audience. Our skater was given 30 seconds as she swiftly put on her skates and took the ice. We took a deep breath together and skated a very strong long program with an incredible amount of support from the audience. As we exited the ice we were greeted with young girls and boys asking for autographs.
We finished the competition in 6th place, however, we learned lessons off the ice that far exceed the value of a medal. We saw the value of true teamwork and came together as a family when we most needed each other. No one was ever angry or frustrated, instead we stayed calm and confident, we trusted our training and our teammates because together, no matter the circumstance, anything can be accomplished. After difficulty getting our skates through airport security this morning we are now on a plane on our way home. We have been overwhelmed with gratitude over this weekend both due to the support from our parents, the audience, etc. and the incredible opportunity we have been given to represent the United States of America. We are more excited and motivated than ever and look forward to a great week of practices as we prepare to take on the next set of adventures at nationals.