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Thread: Tales from the front

  1. #16
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ Can you sneak into the practices for free if you don't have a ticket?
    There is absolutly no sneaking at any nationals I have been to. You are scanned in and out of the arena at this nats, for instance.
    What you can do during a day is buy a ticket for one event and just stay for the other two events. If they clear the arena, you hide in the bathroom.
    I dont reccommend this personally but then I am kind of an honesty freak.

  2. #17
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    Thanks so much, Chris! I was hoping to hear your right-there take on Nationals. And you're also going to 4CC? Take your notepad and write everything down! Lucky you--you'll see our bunch and Mao and Daisuke in the bargain, not to mention the best ice dancing on the planet.
    Last edited by Olympia; 02-03-2012 at 09:43 PM.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I have no idea how it works as I've never been there. While I would like to see Karen Chen skate or Nathan, I could never sit thru so much physically, nor do I want to see so many juniors/novices. The best seat if you can't be there is on your computer, reading the artiicles. Then one gets to find the best young uns on youtube. Still I am sorry I did not go years ago when they were very close 2 times, but it was not meant to be. I do think the Kwan thing was worth the hundred bucks, even if you later had to sell your pic with MK or autographed tix on ebay, lol.(sacrilege, i know, just kidding) Ah well, the world is very big, but for some of us due to factors we can't control, very small indeed.
    One of the great things is you dont have to stay for everyone. Lots of folks skip the lower flights of skaters, or their practices....sometimes we go to a good restaurant during one of these. Sometimes, you do fall asleep in your chair.
    I will say this though. Seeing an event on TV or the computer is NOTHING compared to seeing the drama live....feeling the wind as an ice dance pair wizzes by...having Mirai do a tripple tripple 10 feet away from you...sitting next to Todd E. or Brian B. Another thing you will note is that the TV does nothing for costumes. They look much better in person. Yu-Na's Olympic short program costume can only express itself in live viewing. I have noted this effect many times....
    Chris going through his pictures....

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Thanks so much, Chris! I was hoping to hear your right-there take on Nationals. And you're also going to 4CC? Take your notepad and write everything down! Lucky you--you'll see our bunch and Mao and Daisuke in the bargain, not to mention the best ice dancing on the planet.
    Oh yeah....I will be going to 4Cs.....and SkateAmerica, Nats Omaha, and, if my inside contacts have the luck of the Irish and I can get a ticket, Worlds 2013. Trouble is, those pesky Canuks are holding Worlds in a small arena so tickets may be hard to get....you wanna know how hard tickets might be? Dash tours, at their highest level of tickets besides VIP, the Platinum level, can only guaranttee you a seat in the first row of the nosebleeds.
    That would be $4,000 for me for a hotel room and tickets, or $600 a day. I was so shocked to talk to Dave Dash about this at SJ but he gave me a sheet explaining it which I even now am looking at. He does have seats to
    the lower bowel but he saves them for past customers.....

    Chris trusting other contacts

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ Can you sneak into the practices for free if you don't have a ticket?
    no, in order to get from the doors to inside the arena they scan your ticket... this is more an arena thing than a USFSA thing...

  6. #21
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    Thats exactly right. You get scanned in for all the tickets of the day, then scanned out for lunch (there were many restaurants 400 yards away from the arena) and scanned back in. But things change event to event.
    Practices at the Sharks practice ice were free. Practices at SkateAmerica Ontario this year were open to the public for free (no one came anyway but how many people live in the Los Angelas area anyway who like skating?). At SkateAmerica Portland, if you saw the final event, you could stay free for the exhibiton. I was told the exhibition at this nats, which I didnt attend, was not well populated. If it is on TV, I guess I will see. I was curiuos about that.

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    Lol and here I thought I was a hardcore skating fan. No way does my fandom come close to CoyoteChris, you take the cake.

    I agree about the costumes, up close & personal they are beyond stunning, like dripping diamonds & sapphires & emeralds & rubies galore. They fuel my fetish for jewels; I'm a girly girl and those costumes always make me go out & buy jewelry. How lucky they are to wear such exquisite costumes, I'm envious. Seriously people, I recommend just seeing them once up close & personal, nothing like it.

    But I have to be honest and say, for *me*, television makes it more glamorous, like a movie, leastways that was my experience at the Olympics.

    Still, if I had to choose between attending a competition versus a show, I would pick the competition hands down. This said from attending many shows over the decades, but only a handful of competitions. Jmho.

    Have fun and stay safe, CoyoteChris, love reading your reports.

  8. #23
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    Thanks, Coyote Chris, for starting this thread. I’ve been meaning to do so myself for nearly a week now. I thought I’d share some notes from my own Nats experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I had to rack my brains for bad and ugly.

    The ugly: As Caroline Zhang took the ice for her long program, a row of frat boy types above the K&C starting cat-calling and one of them actually howled “Me love you long time!” in a bad Asian accent. Yes, boys, the skaters are very pretty girls and I’m sure they like that appreciated, but you crossed a line there and it was offensive. Ah, youth and stupidity.

    As we passed the Visa salesman hawking his skating card, he barked out “Don’t you want to help the skaters?” Hello?! My companion had volunteered all week, thanks so much Mr. Visa Man, and when I’m able to help out I know how to do so in a manner that actually gets money to actual skaters. I know the federation needs whatever help it can get, but please. Stop.

    The bad: The HP Pavilion Stairmaster was quite a challenge! The staircase is very steep, and I’m glad I wasn’t drinking. It was also very long, but I’m certainly not going to complain about my spot. It was good to get some exercise after hours in my seat, though.

    I departed regretting things left undone. I’d been on the volunteer list but had to withdraw my name for economic reasons. I wish I’d been able to get more/better pictures, and brave the jostling crowds to get some autographs/face time. The smart phone is new to me and I get really uncomfortable in close crowds. I feel like I let you all down! If I ever get the opportunity to do this again, I promise to be prepared for Zamboni break reports at the very least.

    The other thing is silly, but I get that way sometimes. The Hilton Honors people had a fun area set up near the north entrance where they gave away promotional material. They also took your picture with USA jackets, gold medals, and flowers, with the option of draping yourself in the flag. Best random souvenir ever! The funniest thing about it wasn’t in the picture – I’d instinctively posed with my feet in the standard ladies’ podium position. I looked down and giggled like a fool. My Michelle Kwan Moment! It didn’t occur to me until we’d left the Tank, but I will regret forevermore that I didn’t even TRY to convince the Hilton people that it would be a great idea to don jackets and medals, grab the roses and flags, and run downstairs for a quick victory lap around the information booth. Next time, Hilton people. Next time.

    The good: FINALLY making it to my first Nationals! Those of you who’ve been there and care enough to hang out in the forums KNOW how exciting this is, and I hope all of you get the opportunity at least once. I felt like a kid at Christmas. I was near the skater’s entrance in the fifth row. The action took place right in front of me, and seeing it live was just breathtaking. The speed, the beauty of many of the costumes, and the drama and emotion of the experience just don’t come through on TV or the internet. Watching the coaches live the programs with their skaters was really fun. Seeing (but not hearing) Scott, Sandra and Tom was wonderful. Seeing so many faces of championships past in addition to finally seeing the current crop of skaters as Sport intended was something I’ll never forget.

    The folks sitting around us were just wonderful and added so much FUN to the experience. FS uber-fans are the absolute best! Everyone was so welcoming and gracious. We were seated with people who’d been to many events and knew everyone. We were noisy and a bit snarky but ultra-supportive. When the guy in front of me turned to ask breathlessly “so who do you like in the men’s event?” I knew I was among My People. A young woman from Japan came over just to throw a handmade teddy bear at Armin during the men’s final. I was surprised at how emotionally invested we all got in Armin picking it up as he left the ice, and how excited we were for her.

    The folks behind the scenes worked hard to make a memorable event. The Kwan tribute was really sweet. The guy they had working the Ryan Seacrest role kept the crowd engaged. The staff at the HP Pavilion is “top-notch”, as Uncle Dick would say. A more friendly, efficient and professional bunch would be hard to find. The sound system had recently been upgraded and worked well. The volunteers did a great job and the flower sweepers were beyond adorable. I wanted to tuck one in my pocket and take her home with me, but she would have had to change rinks. (“C’mon, kid, we’ve got Snoopy on our Zamboni…”)

    Speaking of volunteers, my friend was in the skater’s lounge during the Novice and Junior events and sent me brief reports via Facebook during her shifts. It was fun getting notes like “I just helped Evan Lysacek’s coach with his I-pad and he’s reading ‘Catherine the Great’” and getting a little inside scoop on who was “really nice” and who was “kind of douchey”. The game Apples to Apples was popular among some ladies who you’d think would be old for that sort of thing.

    The best part for us, though, was getting there early enough to watch the practices from the front row, because we decided to serve as official seat-warmers and kept moving as people came in. We Occupied the fifth row, two sections away from the K&C, for the whole weekend. I plan to do this at every event I attend. Maybe I’ll even make up a T-shirt: Official Seat-warmer. If you see someone like that in Omaha, come up and say hi. You never know.

  9. #24
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    ^ so glad you had a great experience...and thanks for sharing! All of the details are just so darn interesting!

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravyn Rant View Post
    Thanks, Coyote Chris, for starting this thread. I’ve been meaning to do so myself for nearly a week now. I thought I’d share some notes from my own Nats experience, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I had to rack my brains for bad and ugly.

    Gonna try something here and see if it works....reply in Bold

    The ugly: As Caroline Zhang took the ice for her long program, a row of frat boy types above the K&C starting cat-calling and one of them actually howled “Me love you long time!” in a bad Asian accent. Yes, boys, the skaters are very pretty girls and I’m sure they like that appreciated, but you crossed a line there and it was offensive. Ah, youth and stupidity.

    This COULD have been some of her skating friends and an inside joke...at Nats there is much cheering from members of ones own club, as I am sure you have noticed. Personally, I think calling anything to anyone out on the ice is improper...like yelling at Tiger Woods just before he putts. I have NEVER yelled at Miki Ando , "I want to have your baby!" Well...almost never.

    As we passed the Visa salesman hawking his skating card, he barked out “Don’t you want to help the skaters?” Hello?! My companion had volunteered all week, thanks so much Mr. Visa Man, and when I’m able to help out I know how to do so in a manner that actually gets money to actual skaters. I know the federation needs whatever help it can get, but please. Stop.

    OUCH! Boy, I wished he had done that to me! He would have recieved an earful...

    The bad: The HP Pavilion Stairmaster was quite a challenge! The staircase is very steep, and I’m glad I wasn’t drinking. It was also very long, but I’m certainly not going to complain about my spot. It was good to get some exercise after hours in my seat, though.

    Lots of folks complained but I would have said there needed to be more anti-slip paint on the stairs. I liked the arena pitch. But I am atypical. I like running stairs. And walking laps around the arena. I ate like a pig at the restaurants and lost four over 3 lbs on those stairs ! But I am 6 ft two inches so stairs arent a problem.
    I departed regretting things left undone. I’d been on the volunteer list but had to withdraw my name for economic reasons. I wish I’d been able to get more/better pictures, and brave the jostling crowds to get some autographs/face time. The smart phone is new to me and I get really uncomfortable in close crowds. I feel like I let you all down! If I ever get the opportunity to do this again, I promise to be prepared for Zamboni break reports at the very least.
    If anyone wants, I can put my pics up on my website...




    The folks sitting around us were just wonderful and added so much FUN to the experience. FS uber-fans are the absolute best! Everyone was so welcoming and gracious. We were seated with people who’d been to many events and knew everyone. We were noisy and a bit snarky but ultra-supportive. When the guy in front of me turned to ask breathlessly “so who do you like in the men’s event?” I knew I was among My People. A young woman from Japan came over just to throw a handmade teddy bear at Armin during the men’s final. I was surprised at how emotionally invested we all got in Armin picking it up as he left the ice, and how excited we were for her.

    These things are yet another reason why watching skating on TV doesnt cut it.


    The best part for us, though, was getting there early enough to watch the practices from the front row, because we decided to serve as official seat-warmers and kept moving as people came in. We Occupied the fifth row, two sections away from the K&C, for the whole weekend. I plan to do this at every event I attend. Maybe I’ll even make up a T-shirt: Official Seat-warmer. If you see someone like that in Omaha, come up and say hi. You never know.
    Maybe we need Golden Skate Hats?

  11. #26
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    One thing I forgot to mention that was kind of odd was the falling confettii. About once an hour all week long, and not so much latter in the week, a piece of confettee 5 cm by 2 cm (I have one on my desk now) would flutter down and land on the ice. I dont skate, but I have to wonder if this left over souviener from some past concert from the rafters wasnt a danger to skaters? On the last day, one fluttered down and landed by me. The first one I saw that hit the stands and not the ice. Kismet. I keep it in my wallet like a piece of confetti from the Sarah Brightman Concert, "Haram"

  12. #27
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadine View Post
    Lol and here I thought I was a hardcore skating fan. No way does my fandom come close to CoyoteChris, you take the cake.

    "The really scarry thing is that this isnt my main sport..."

    I agree about the costumes, up close & personal they are beyond stunning, like dripping diamonds & sapphires & emeralds & rubies galore. They fuel my fetish for jewels; I'm a girly girl and those costumes always make me go out & buy jewelry. How lucky they are to wear such exquisite costumes, I'm envious. Seriously people, I recommend just seeing them once up close & personal, nothing like it.

    Very true. I take pics of lots of th costumes...man, are they works of art.

    But I have to be honest and say, for *me*, television makes it more glamorous, like a movie, leastways that was my experience at the Olympics.

    Sorry, but looking at Ashley Cain or Madison Hubbel is glamorous. And they can SKATE TOO! (edit: Haven Denney is hot too)
    Still, if I had to choose between attending a competition versus a show, I would pick the competition hands down. This said from attending many shows over the decades, but only a handful of competitions. Jmho.

    My wife and I would attend lots of shows...seats on the ice...shake the skaters hands....it was wonderful. Then SkateAmerica hit Spokane. I was lost forever to competition.

    Have fun and stay safe, CoyoteChris, love reading your reports.
    Thank you. More tails from the front after 4Cs...
    Mao, I am comming.....
    Last edited by CoyoteChris; 02-05-2012 at 01:06 AM.

  13. #28
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    Chris, you and Ravyn make me feel as if we have our own personal reporters telling us what it's really like at Nationals. What fun it sounds like! I'm still chuckling over the idea of Ravyn poaching one of the little flower skaters to take home to her rink.

    Maybe one day I'll get to go to Nationals. By that time maybe we'll have GS hats, and I'll locate everyone else who's there. I'll be in the purple one.

  14. #29
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Just one more mindless brain dropping before I leave....at Nationals, if you have never been, every day a sheet of paper is handed out with the starting orders of the day's events and the results of the previous day's competitions and rankings. I always grab a few extras and take them home. They are easier to write down scores and comments on as the program is in color (for this year) and it was hard to write in the score boxes on slick paper. Anyway, I have a bunch of these sheets left over and I would be glad to send them along to others for a SASE. If you have any interest in doing this, just post here and when I return from 4 Conts, we will figure out a fair and just way of dibbieing up the sheets from Nats and 4 conts. If only three of you want the sheets, of which there could be 10 each, it might take two stamps on the SASE. If thirty of you want sheets, then we dibby things up as fair as possible. It is kind of interesting to take these to the next nats and see who dropped out, who moved up, and who stayed the same class.

    Perhaps an easier and less expensive option would be to post JPGs of the sheets on my website and let you download them. That way, all you folks in the witness protecton program dont have to give away your identity
    and spend a buck on postage.....let me know your thoughts....

    (This is what the sheets would look like...see the one that is labled "detail". Yes, I know this stuff is available on icenetwork but some folk are better at cutting and pasteing and massage than I am.....)

    http://s1217.photobucket.com/albums/...is303/skating/

    Old Coyote
    Last edited by CoyoteChris; 02-05-2012 at 02:13 PM.

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