We all woke up today excited to get down for breakfast since we have been looking forward to the croissants since we found out our international assignment! Next on our agenda was practice at the competition rink to get our legs under us and take in the atmosphere of the arena. Our practice session started out on the actual competition arena and we began with some drills to get down into our knees and ankles. Sections of short were next followed by a few sections of long before our time on that rink was
up. Our practice continued on the smaller rink next door where we continued on with sections of our long program. After our 90 minute practice we all felt good with cleaning up a few of our elements and getting some of the individuals kinks out. At our team dinner the girls surprised me with a cake and candles for my birthday and of course the oh so fabulous song of ‘Happy Birthday.’
It was another great day in France for the Crystallettes and getting close to competition time.
Another day filled with 2 practices in the morning and then in the afternoon, with just the right amount of time to get some shopping in! The main event of the day was the Opening Ceremony Parade of all the competitors though the town square of Rouen followed by the flash mob and the drawing of order for the short program. Our team really enjoyed the parade and showing our pride of being an American and getting to wear our red, white and blue! Representing our country is such a great honor that not many people get to experience and our team definitely made the most of the experience. As our captains went to the draw the rest of us proceeded to dinner. We found out when they met up with us that we were going to be skating 12 out of 17 teams. Once we found out our order it all became a little more real that we were competing the next day!
SHORT PROGRAM DAY
If someone would of told me 4 months ago that I would be skating again and competing at my 9th International, I would told them that they were dreaming! I thought that I hung up my skates for good last season when I became a Head Coach for the first time at the Collegiate Level. Yet, when one opportunity doesn’t work out or comes to an end another opportunity seems to always be there waiting for you to grab it. When I was asked to come back to skate with the Crystallettes I could not of been happier, I was still not ready to be done competing senior and I was given another chance for another season. And here I am now on a team with some girls who are experiencing their first International Competition and being able to be that person to show them the ropes and what to expect and the differences between International competitions with competitions back in the states is a great feeling know and hoping that I provided even just a little more comfort and settle the nerves for some of my teammates.
Our official practice went solid. We then had some down time to eat, sleep, do hair and make up and prepare for the evening to compete.
When we arrived at the rink the senior short had already begun. The stands were packed with people and the atmosphere was filled with excitement. We found a little corner to do our ritual warm up of running, stretching and some ballet before we walked through our program. It was then time to make our way to our locker room. As our favorite inspiring songs played in the background we got on our dresses and laced up our skates. Our Coaches Holly and Kathy said some last minute words of encouragement and then our music was played as we visualized the perfect program in our minds.
As we took the ice the crowd was roaring with U.S.A cheers and chants and hearing the announcer say ‘representing the United States of America, The Crystallettes’ is such an exciting and special feeling that makes this whole experience so special.
As the music ended the crowd went wild, we had skated a solid clean program! At the end of the event our placement was 6th going into the long program. Competing with the reining World Champions as well as other World-class teams our team was very happy with our placement, and cannot wait to show our long program!