by Mollie Kiven
This past week, my team, Starlights Junior, and I have been preparing to represent Team USA at the French Cup in Rouen, France, for our second international of the Season. Throughout the week, we started every practice with an official practice simulation, including the off ice warm-up, or started with a cold run of one of our programs. We had an added practice on Thursday and had a USA theme to show our excitement! Practices this week were a little different and more fast paced to prepare us for the time slots we would get in Rouen, to be able to take advantage of every minute. All practices we had, we got on the ice determined and ready to work, and got off the ice proud of the work putout. We feel very prepared and confident heading into French Cup.
We left for Paris Monday night and arrived Tuesday morning. Immediately following our arrival, we got to go on a city tour. We started at the Arc de Triomphe, on their main avenue Champs Élysées. We had about two hours of free time to grab a bite to eat and explore the area. Once we got back on the bus, we headed to a plaza near the Eiffel Tower where we had time to take in the views and take some pictures. After, we drove past river Seine, Notre Dame cathedral, and the Louvre museum. Our last stop of the day was on the ground right in front of the Eiffel Tower. We all went on a merry-go-round ride, grabbed some crepes, and took a few last pictures before we headed down to Rouen for the week. As we arrived in Rouen, after about a 2 hour bus ride, we had a bit of a harder walk than expected with all of our luggage through the cobblestones streets of the beautiful cathedral town. Upon check-in, we got settled in our rooms, had a team dinner, and went to bed to prepare for our early wake up call!
This morning, we rolled out of bed around 5:20 to get our hair and makeup ready for our practice. We had a quick breakfast, then headed to the rink. During off-ice, we rolled out on our lacrosse balls, stretched, and did our warm-up dance. Once we got on the ice, we worked on our short program and did a run, had an ice cut, then worked on long from the remaining time. At the end, we circled up and bowed. We are very proud of how our first practice went and cannot wait for the competition!