My amazing day at the Nationals!!!!
It is going to be long, but I have to gush, at a venue where people will understand high high I am feeling!!!
First of, this is my first Nationals, and I have been planning this trip for as long as it has been announced that it will take place in STL (where I grew up and have most of my family). I am going to all the senior events but I am trying to spend some time with my family as well (translation - no sleep whatsover). We got 2 passes though so my mom and occasionally my grandmas get to go with me.
Today was the most amazing, brilliant day!
First of, I hooked up with lovely Golden Skate folks first thing there, we had a group shot taken by some members and by State Farm (major sponsor) too. State farm gave us an access code where we can retrieve a photo on-line. I am sure somebody will post it later. If not, I will as soon as I get home and sort through the photos that I had taken. It was great to meet Joe, Toni, Heather, Doris, Doggygirl and sk8addict and convert!
So then we headed for men's short program. We went up to our high seats, stayed there for the first flight and since the arena was half-full, have decided to move downstairs. Just so it happens that the section we picked is populated by the figure skaters, families and coaches (Sections 120 and 121, if anybody from STL is reading - go there!). So I scored some sightings and a few authographs. I also saw Randy Gardener outside. The competition went fantastic, Johhny Weir rocked the house and Matt Savoie had a wonderful performance. Ryan Bradley was amazing, so was Rohene, Mike Weiss surprised me, but all of this has been covered already...
I had dad's digital camera and it was a bit frustrating trying to figure out how it works (I am a bit behind on the times with gadgets). I only figured out that there's an option for taking photos when the subject is moving, but it was too late for today's events. But I will use it Fri and Sat! I ended up with some nice photos though.
Ladies were great too, especially the very different and refreshing Stephanie Rosenthal. I heard some grumblings that Emily should've been in 2rd and Bebe 2nd. It was very cute to see the replay of Ken G jumping for joy when she hit her last jump while they were sitting in the K&C. They all started laughing!
Last edited by STL_Blues_fan; 01-13-2006 at 12:05 PM.
Gotta Have Music
Wow, Yana! What a terrific experience! Glad to here that you're there. Keep having a fantastic time at Nationals!
WOW STL!!! What a night you had!!
It sounds so thrilling and I am really happy for you. Thanks for taking time and stayng up late to describe your experience in detail. It was great meeting you and the others at the GS get together and photo shoot. I wish we would have had more time to hang out before scurrying off to the Men's SP.
I think I'll do my report from yesterday in reverse. As far as figure skating media coverage goes, there is a huge picture of Sasha on the front page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch right at the top. That's nice to see for the sport.
I feel like I was at a "star studded event" too after the Ladies SP. Several of us from GS got together at the Key West Grill in Union Station. It was fun to spend more time getting to know Joesitz, Dorispulaski, Hockeyfan2, sk8fanconvert & addict, and beebee51. (hope I didn't miss anybody) It was fun to discuss the skating like we do on the board, but in person this time!!
In the No Teknik department, I met Legg's brother at the Sheraton sports bar where I went for food and beverage between the men's and ladies events. I can imagine it's fun sitting amonst the families as STL did. It was just fun to talk to him about how the family is supporting her here. We've all heard the stories about what families go through to support their kids in skating. It was interesting to hear first hand about their decision to move Abigail from Iowa where they are from to Indy to train. You can see the joy of skating on her face when she performs. Her brother also told me that she coaches kids, and really loves that too.
I also met another interesting man from California. He has been to 19 of the last 20 Nationals. The only one he missed was due to illness. We talked a little about skating, but also about business. He is an attorney, and was on the "partner track" with a big firm. (this was 20 years ago) He made the tough decision to go out on his own. It was hard work, and he might have made more money in the big corporate world, but he has never regretted that decision. That was wonderful to here since me and Mr. Doggy are in the beginning stages of a similar adventure. Success stories in similar circumstances have a wonderful way of giving me hope that we can achieve the same thing.
I'm having so much fun where I'm sitting. There are several people around our little section that are here for the whole event, and also several seats that were sold individually, so different people are in the mix for each event. I mentioned that last night the parents of one of the Flower Kids (I really hate the term sweepers ) sat by us. As it turns out, for the Ladies SP a family sitting right in front of me included a young lady who was a flower girl in Atlanta. They confirmed that it's a "big deal" in terms of tryouts. For Haley, she earned one of 54 spots out of over 350 kids who tried out. So....Haley became my technical caller as I was taking notes during the Ladies event. She's only 10, but she has on ice, National experience. What a cute girl and nice family.
Dorispulaski's report mirrors my impressions, so I won't duplicate all that. I guess the only difference is that I was more impressed with Sasha than others were. But I really think that's because this is the first time I've seen her live...so people who have seen her multiple times have a better basis to compare this performance to others on a "live to live" basis. Now I'm really hoping she skates up to her best during the LP so I can experience that.
Stephanie Rosenthal absolutely got the biggest applause and ovation of the night. She is just a natural entertainer. Having watched her practices, I don't think she will ever be a solid jumper (unless something changes dramatically). I hope for the benefit of skating fans everywhere, the folks who run shows are seriously negotiating with her. She is something else.
The young girls in the audience have clearly bought the Kiimmie hype. At least that's how it sounded from my seat. "Kimmie!! Kimmie!!" I agree with Doris that she ain't all that and a bag of chips.
A few Men's notes.
Lysacek must have felt sick to his stomach after falling on FW. I really appreciate his skating more now having seen him live. He really does have a presence and flow on the ice that I don't think fully translates to TV.
Johnny was wonderful, and I'm so glad I got to see a beautiful clean skate from him live. I hope we get to see another one in the LP.
I'm glad for Weiss, and sad for Timmy. Timmy and Kimmie have a bit in common - if they have jump mistakes, there isn't enough "it" in their other elements to help them.
I was so sad when Rohene fell. I was also disappointed that he didn't hold the cantilever position even close to the length of time he held it in practice on Tuesday. I will be forever grateful that I was there for that practice session to see the best of Rohene. It was really cute - when he was leaving the ice three little girls called out to him from the bottom of the stairs right next to me. He heard them, and skated over and gave them a big smile and "Hi Babies!!" and a big group hug to the girls. They were so thrilled!
Savoie - boy the picture in the catalog must have been taken when he was 14 or something. You wouldn't recognize him from that picture. I know many won't agree with this, but it's my opinion which isn't worth a hill of beans anyway. I really enjoy watching him skate, but I'm more convinced than after practice that I understand why he's always ended up just off the podium. He has really nice qualities in tons of areas, but what he lacks is a couple of these qualities being truly superior. Matt has lovely flow over the ice, but Evan has more. Matt seems very musical, but Johnny has more. Etc. Still love to watch him though.
Setting the top skaters aside, my favorite performance was Ryan Bradley's. Yep that's old war horse music, but man does he work it. The music is so conducive to clapping that you can't help yourself from clapping along right from the start. Ryan works it, and I think the program is well constructed so just build and build on audience excitement. It was an exciting program to "participate in."
I have to leave soon for Jr. Ladies FS, so I'll just note a couple things about Jr. Pairs. I really think there are several young pairs with great potential. I think the next 4 years might be more exciting than the last 4 years in the US pairs department.
I felt so sorry for the first pair to skate. (Trombley / Hess) They got a rough start when she sort of stumbled on their opening move. She fell on the first SBS jump, then on the throw. The scariest thing was the first lift, where he lost his balance and she crashed to the ice. I am so thankful that she didn't land head first. Still....I have to think she has pain from this fall. We all held our collective breath when they went for the second lift, where he couldn't get her up over his head. Thank goodness she got back to the ice on her feet. Seeing this really gave me a deep appreciation for how difficult pairs skating really is, and how very dangerous it can be. Watching a skater fall on a jump looks painful to me. Seeing a fall from a lift is positively gut wrenching.
Seriously gotta run now. Hubby called which was very nice, but I'm late for Jr. Ladies!! More later..
Thanks so much for these wonderful observations!!! I'm glad you (both) are having such wonderful experiences and so appreciative that you are sharing with us.
Thank you for the reports! I hope one day the Nationals are in Pittsburgh so I can go. I think it would be a gas to hook up with you folks.
Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport
I was lucky enough to see her in person too and no matter what I think she's great.
Originally Posted by Doggygirl
I got home today and had a phenomenal time. I am tired since I was lucky to get more than 5 hours of sleep pernight for the past 5 days but it was so worth it!
We sneeked in water and snacks so I did not buy anything at Savvis except for the program. Did anybody get the broan bag snack pack after the men's LP? That was nice of whoever was sponsoring it.
More highlights - I got a bunch more autographs, including Scott Williams (HOTTTT!!), Carol Heiss and Hays Jankins, Evgenia Shishkova and Vadim Naumov, Christine Zukowski, Stephanie Rosenthal and Denis Petukhov. I saw numerous other skaters passing by as well. It was an unbelievable experience. I am so glad that I went. Now I understand why some of you go to Nationals every year. I don't know if I will get a chance to do something like this again but I may got for Skate America or maybe even Skate Canada, since I live fairly close to QC and ON.
It was great to meet all GS folks and to chat with you guys in the hallways.
Gotta Have Music
Thank you Gail!!!! I hope one day I will run into you at the Skate America - they seem to be taking place in your neck of the woods fairly often!!!
Originally Posted by iluvtodd
Yana - It was great meeting you and I think everyone was pleased with St.Louis - a reall nice city with real nice people. Hope to see you in Spokane!!