Thank you, wonderful people of Detroit
Skate America was a wonderful experience for me - well run, entertaining, and of course the competition itself.
But adding to the whole experience, was the warm and friendly welcome everywhere I went, from the people of Detroit. In the streets, on the "people mover", at the Arena... people would say hello, strike up a cheerful conversation, offer advice on good places to eat, etc etc. THANK YOU DETROIT!
Wicked Yankee Girl
How nice is that!
On the Ice
I totally agree! Midwestern hospitality is great! Having Skate America in Detroit just makes so much sense - brings some visitors into the city, and it's convenient for the all the skaters who train there. It was also fun to spot skaters in the audience who were training in the area and just came to watch the competition...P/B, Narumi Takahashi, Jeremy Abbott, Caitlin Y, etc...
I hope USFSA will consider having future events in Detroit. Competition was definitely well run, and the only suggestion I would make is to make the schedule a little more spread out or have a bit more time in between events. For those with all event tickets, it was a little hectic between the practices and competitions to even have time to get food. I think we only made it out of the arena for food once, and fast food from the arena gets old rather quickly.
Overall a great experience though!
That's so nice to hear, Victura. Though I'm not from Detroit, I think about it a lot because I have friends there (and of course many from the skating community are centered nearby). It's a city that has taken a lot of blows in the last few decades, and anything that can help it out has to be good. So glad that the city and its people made a good impression on you.
I'm glad to hear that Detroit was so hospitable...I've wanted to move there for a while but don't have the courage...unfortunately the audience looked very small...doesn't really represent the way it should.
Tripping on the Podium
i'm happy to hear so many people loved detroit! i'm from lansing so i'm only an hour and 20 mins away from joe louis. i had an all-event pass and i too was surprised the crowd looked small...this was my first international event and i didn't know what to expect, but this was VERY cool! i LOVED it! i was surprised to see so many people from other countries...i think half the audience was from japan! they were so nice, and i loved that they cheered for other skaters from different countries.
i'm not sure where else to post this so i'll post it here...highlights.
meryl and charlie's free dance was UNREAL. SO MUCH ENERGY IN THAT ARENA. i could feel it literally going through me. they performed like they were never going to skate again. it was unbelievable.
maddie and zach's free dance was GORGEOUS, i have never seen them skate like that. there was so much emotion and beauty in that program. i could not take my eyes off them. youtube this if you haven't seen it already.
maia and alex's free dance to MJ! so fun and creative! it made me want to get up and dance! it fits their personalities so well. youtube this also.
ashley's short and long. her short was STUNNING. amazing choreo, sharp, edgy, so much ASHLEY in it! and that triple triple was clean in both programs! she can be graceful and flowing in romeo and juliet and there is still room to grow. lovely.
mao's short was gorgeous...clean except a two footed 3A, flowing, airy, graceful, standing O. close to her personal best.
tatsuki machida's short and long. beautiful jumps, great choreo, lots of heart in his skating. great to see him rewarded being the underdog.
adam's short was SO amazing. it was so good to see him skate clean with a wonderful program and get rewarded for it.
jason's short. filled with attitude, his usual flowing jumps and flexibility. loooooove jason.
tatiana/maxim's short and long, as usual they skate phenomenal. they win. booyah.
kirsten/dylan's short was really cute, i loved their costumes and choreography. they have very well put together programs.
samantha cesario's long was beautiful and clean, i love love love her choreo. she will develop into a great skater. she already is, but she will be fantastic in the next couple years.
friday night shortly after my mom and i had gotten to the arena, we were walking around and she says, look! and i look up and here comes ashley walking by, close enough i could have reached out and hugged her! so cool.
i watched the ladies short and long practices, and i sat about center ice three to four rows up, and for the short practice when i first saw them come out to the ice i was so star struck. they were girls i admired and had only watched on tv and youtube and i was actually seeing them in real life. ashley and elena i was very star struck by, but when mao took to the ice i was in a whole other world. she just floated. and i happened to be right in front of where her 3A is in her program so i got to see her practice it about 10 feet in front of me! it was so, so cool.
i also watched the men's long practice, and that is when i realized i have a gigantic crush on max aaron *swoon* we even made eye contact a couple times good gosh he's cute. anyway i saw some lovely quads, triple axels and triple triples by him and the others. he was also the last one off so i enjoyed it even more.
they had an autograph session on saturday and when i walked by i saw jason, max, and the shibs signing, and the line was a mile long so i didn't bother waiting so i just stood in front and watched. jason is the SWEETEST person ever, he was SO nice to every single person. he thanked everyone who congratulated him and wouldn't stop smiling. he was absolutely adorable. and of course i was trying not to look at max the entire time...but we made eye contact again
anyway the exhibition was so fun, there were so many awesome programs. adam's was absolutely beautiful. there was a lot of emotion and gorgeous choreo, as was ashley's. i can't believe he did her choreo. i hope he becomes a choreographer after his career is over, her program was stunning. max's was very fun *swoon* and engaged the audience, everyone was smiling. jason's was one of my favorites, u can't touch this was perfect for him!
one of the best things about this weekend was that it inspired me to skate again. i haven't been on my skates in a year and a half and today was the first time i put them on. those athletes reminded me of the joy that skating brings to you and there was something about this weekend that pulled on my heart but i can't put my finger on it. this was one of the best weekends of my life and i can't thank those athletes enough. my ticket was my christmas present from my mom and it was the best present i've ever had. i hope skate america or something else comes around this area again, i couldn't pass the opportunity up.
It wasn't my first time at an international competition, but it was the best I've been to, and I felt much the same as you. Great atmosphere, so many beautiful performances - some of them unexpected (who guessed Machida would shine like that?!)... and I am so glad Jason Brown was there. I did not know anything about him til Nebelhorn this year, where his artistry and personality immediately caught my attention.
Yes, shame it wasn't better attended, each empty seat meant somebody missed out on a great event. And yes, there were a lot of visiting Japanese fans... but I discovered that quite a few that appeared to be Japanese... were actually Americans! :-D
You must have been quite near where I was sitting - because I was also very close to where Mao landed her triple axels. Her 3A approach is very recognisable, and it's really something to see her start that curve, skate right at you, and throw that triple axel.
Mao was one of the many reasons I made the trip to Skate America... my last chance to see her in competition before she retires. I was worried that Mao had used all her best choreography, music and costumes last year with "I Got rhythm", Swan Lake, and MARY POPPINS (squeee!), and this year would be disappointing in comparison. I still don't think her programs this year have that kind of impact, but once they are more polished later in the season... they'll surely be classics. And her FS costume is made of Awesome and Win. Even better than her Swan Lake costume last year (her original costume of course - not that feathery nonsense that Tarasova gave her half way through the season :-P)
Tripping on the Podium
glad to hear it was the best you've been to being it was my first. reminds me of the last actual junior nationals which was held at my rink in east lansing; a lot of coaches were saying it was the most well put together jr. nats they had ever gone to. so nice to hear for both events being so close to home.
Originally Posted by YesWay
i agree, there were SO many gorgeous performances and i'm actually glad i got to see jason over evan as much as i feel guilty to say that...as you said jason is a natural performer and has a personality like no other on the ice. and his flexibility too! you don't see that anymore!
mao's 3A was the biggest treat of the whole event, especially watching her up front on the practices. that's cool you were sitting near me! too bad i can't post videos on here somewhere, i took quite a few! and now that you remind me that she is retiring after the olympics that makes me feel even luckier that i got to see her last weekend. wow. and her programs were great last year, "i got rhythm" was very cute, and her first "swan lake" dress was beautiful. i watched her performance at japan open on youtube the other week and loved her dress and even though the music is popular, she brings energy to it and engages the audience as usual! i couldn't wait to experience that at SA and see the dress in person and it blew me away. i can't wait to see that program at the olympics and the masterpiece it will be by then.