Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More on Nationals

So, now that I've had time to get back into my daily rhythm I can expound upon all of you some other thoughts about Cleveland, Nationals, and skating in general.

The City of Cleveland...ghost town! When you go to a big city you expect people, traffic, hustle and bustle. None of that was happening in Cleveland. I didn't encounter traffic at all. When we left the arena all the downtown shops, bars, and restaurants were all closed (on a Saturday night!). I asked a woman whom I sat near in the arena, who lives, in Cleveland and she noted it had been like that for over a year now. "All the steel and auto jobs have left town" she said. Kind of a sad over-tone to the event.

So I thought I was ultimate skating fan! Ummmm, nope! A lovely couple and their two children traveled quite a way to catch the action in Cleveland. I gave the parents my blog address so I hope I spell the names correctly but their two daughters, Tomomi and Sayuri, I think are the ultimate fans. They came all the way from (again, I hope I'm spelling correctly) Takamatsu, Japan to attend U.S. Nationals. I asked them why they choose to come all the way to the U.S. for Nationals and not their own and I was quickly corrected..."Oh, we went to see them as well!" Apparently they just love skating, dad had to come to Chicago for a business meeting, so they decided to just make a family trip and stop in Cleveland before returning home to Japan. They knew all about the skaters too! I got in depth reporting about Johnny Weir and his medical troubles from Tomomi. Sayuri rattled off her list of favorite U.S. skaters (which was rather extensive) and said the judges were absolutely correct in making Alisa Czisny the winner! I had to know who their favorite skater from home was and both of their eyes got wide, huge smiles spread across their faces, and in complete unison..."Daisuke Takahashi!" They were great!

I've been going to these events for a while now and I'm still amazed at so many of the female coaches. So, a lot of the coaches look really fancy when they join the audience and sit in the stands and they always have these huge heels on. Girl, how you gonna walk up and down those steps in those? But they always manage somehow. I often wonder if the women coaches are as 'high maintenance' as they appear?

Finally, I didn't know someone could go to Senior Worlds one year, and the following year go back to Junior Worlds, i.e Ashley Wagner. And, in an unusual turn of fate, our 2009 Junior World Team is the same as our 2007 Junior World Team. Also, it will be the third straight year Nagasu and Zhang have appeared at the event. Also, a lot of buzz about Weir getting passed up for the World Team. I think US Figure Skating made a smart decision there...but who am I to decide what is and isn't a good decision?

Just for you...all the Pics I took from Nationals. Enjoy!

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