By Kailyn Geter
Lake Placid. The site of the most recent Eastern Sectional Championships. Where miracles truly happen.
Even though it was my fourth time competing in this competition I don’t think I had ever been more nervous. Easterns is a scary moment for a first year intermediate team. Teams prepare the whole season to fight for an Easterns medal and a trip to the National Championships.
Miracle, one of my all time favorite movies, fueled my excitement to skate on the historical rink where a miracle occurred 35 years ago when the USA won against USSR in hockey, 4 to 3. The movie reminds me frequently of my team, what our work ethic is like, and how teamwork and determination can work hand-in-hand to make anything happen.
On Friday night the nerves started to kick in. This would be the last time to show the technical panel, the judges, and everyone in the audience that we deserved to go to Nationals. Like our coaches say, we had to start unknown and finish unforgettable.
Stepping out on the ice filled me with butterflies and the roaring of the crowd energized me. As we got to our starting position we took a deep breath and set. As the program started we performed element by element until we finally hit our ending pose.
The kiss and cry made seconds feel like minutes. The wait was unbearable. During those few seconds I was unsure whether my team would accomplish our goal.
When the announcer finally called our score the crowd roared, yet because of the noise my team and I were unaware that we had just won first place. We quickly realized that we had accomplished more than earning a spot at Nationals, we won our first Eastern Sectional Championship.
Once we realized I started to cry. I had forgotten that anything was possible. I finally understood why it was important for me take time off after an injury earlier in the season. Even though I just wanted to get back on the ice for practice, it was important for me to recover fully so I could perform and compete at sectionals.
As we left the kiss and cry to take our team photo we realized the magnitude of what we had done. We finally experienced the thrill of qualifying for Nationals.
As we received our medals it hit me. 35 years ago a different team experienced a similar miracle. That day I realized the messages in Miracle were true. The sweat and tears that go into practice are all worth it. The back-to-back run-throughs were all worth it because they brought us to the miracle. We can defy the odds, and teamwork does make the dream work. So now I ask, do you believe in miracles?