Day 4: We got to sleep in a little, ate our typical breakfast of croissants, and set off on our way to a rink about an hour away. The drive there was so beautiful with a panoramic view of the mountains. Once there, we warmed up, and had a strong practice! We stretched and got back on the bus for the drive back. A nice lady from the area helped us get together our lunch of very tasty paninis. When we got back to the hotel we had a little time before the Team USA meeting with all the USA teams (Hockettes, Starlights, and us).
We all sat down at tables that had designated mixed up spots for each team in order to for us to mingle and get to know some girls from the other teams. We started out with an ice breaker where we had to go around and find someone on a different team who fit the categories listed (i.e. team captain, passed pre-silver dance or higher, has two brothers). The goal was to get all the blanks filled out the fastest and then turn the sheet into Jeanette (our team leader) for a prize. The funny thing is that one of the blanks that needed to be filled in was “is an only child.” This was the last blank for everyone and surprisingly no one of any of the teams was an only child. Jillian was smart and when she let Jeanette know that no one could find anyone who was an only child, Jeanette revealed that she herself was an only child! So, Jillian won! The prize was a funny yellow banana keeper to hold a banana in a skate bag without it getting old or crushed. Following the game, we sat down for a delicious meal– full of pasta, and other amazing food. It was a lot of fun getting to know some girls on the other teams and finding how similar we all were!
After dinner, as captains, we went downstairs for the draw. It was such a cool experience being with all the other teams in one room! The draw started on the U.S., so we were second to draw following the Hockettes. We drew a blue box that had the number on the bottom. We drew 11th! We were very happy with this number and excited for the following day. After the draw was over, we had a short off-ice practice and then it was off to bed to be well rested for the next day!
Day 5: We woke up at 6am excited and ready to go! We got ready, had a quick breakfast, and then it was off to the competition rink. We warmed up in the sunny outdoors which was nice with all the fresh air. We then went into locker room #5 to get ready for official practice. Official was great, leaving us confident for the competition later that night. We returned to the hotel to start makeup. After some time, we had lunch at the hotel, so then we could return to makeup after lunch. We had absolutely amazing spaghetti! Following lunch, we continued with makeup. Once everyone was finished, we all looked very much the part of Cruella. And we were off to the rink! Unfortunately, the weather became a little overcast, so we could not really warm up outside, but it turned out that warming up inside was just fine! We became very energized by our warm up. It was then off to the locker room.
We all got ready, making sure our skates felt good and we slid on our red gloves. We were so ready to go, feeling the benefits of all our run-throughs of our programs at home, we were no longer very nervous, because we had done our short program so many times. We were just excited to go out and perform for the audience and judges. We had a strong short that seemed to get stronger as it went on. Waiting in the kiss-and-cry felt like forever! We finally received our scores which was a total of 48.30 points! We were so happy! We got back to the hotel, had a once again delicious dinner, quick floor practice and we were off to bed, antsy to skate our long program the next day. We are feeling ready and prepared for the long program!
Sage Kelner & Jillian Christie
Day 6: Our final day in Italy has arrived! We were up and ready to go by 6:15 am and then we were off to the rink for our official practice! We had a great official practice, doing one full run-through followed by another half run-through. We had minimal mistakes, and it felt good to get those out before the competition later that evening! We arrived back at the hotel around 10:15, and we got right to makeup. We decided to try out a new makeup look for both short and long, and we were excited to be trying something a little bit out of the ordinary. It took us 4 hours to do our makeup, but that included lunch and a video practice somewhere in there. We made sure to put tons of sparkles on our faces so that the judges and audience could clearly see our makeup!
Once we were beautified and feeling like “Corpse Brides”, we set off for the rink for the final time! We had a great off-ice warm-up, thankful that we could finally hear our music over all of the noise and music from the various teams around us (Big thanks to Starlights for letting us use their stereo system!). We then laced up our skates, had our final team huddle and we took the ice for our long program! We all felt so confident, prepared, and ready to go out and command the ice! We felt like we went out there and did our job, and skated it just like we do in practice back home in Minnesota. We were absolutely thrilled after our skate! We skated and performed a really strong long program, and we were all so proud of each other. We were awarded second place behind Valley Bay Synchro, an absolutely wonderful Finnish Team with extremely sweet girls.
After watching the Senior competition, we all got to return to the ice for our award ceremony. What an amazing feeling it was standing up on the podium, watching the American flag rise above the rink. Following the award ceremony, all the teams (novice, junior, and senior) took a “Why Not Synchro 2018?” photo. We are so happy that we captured the Silver Medal this weekend at the Spring Cup! We are thrilled with our scores, and we feel like all of our hard work leading in has really paid off.
Our experience in Milan was one that we will never forget. Representing your country is the most incredible opportunity, and it was such a special moment for all of us. It was such a rewarding feeling knowing that we did our country proud this weekend! We are so thankful for the opportunity to have skated in Milan, Italy this week! Thank you to the staff, teams, and fans from Italy – You guys were truly amazing and kept the positive energy going all week! We are excited to train super hard this week, and be ready to go for Nationals in Colorado next week!
Go Team USA and Arrivederci, Italia!
Jillian Christie & Sage Kelner