Thursday, March 8, 2012

Worlds 2009 Nostalgia: Part I

I had so much fun with my U.S. Nationals nostalgia series that I thought I'd look back at the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles, the only Worlds I've attended. The five days I spent in L.A. were in a word - insane. I'm so glad I kept a journal so I can remember all the moments, both big and small, that occurred. Scrolling through all my photos from the event (which I'll link at the bottom), I recalled things I hadn't written in my journal and had totally forgotten. On to the memories!

My sister and I arrived in L.A. on Tuesday morning, a few hours before the compulsory dance. I got some great shots of the city from the plane as we descended. It was a typical beautiful day, reminding me how much I love visiting California!

We hit up California Pizza Kitchen for lunch and sat outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. As we ate, we noticed lots of skaters and coaches walking from the direction of Staples Center, and we determined they'd rather enjoy the sunny walk than ride the bus from the arena to the hotel. After lunch, we checked in at the official hotel, the Wilshire Grand, and I couldn't get over the size of my room that I'd be sharing with a friend. We had TWO bathrooms! I'd never seen that in a hotel room.

Off to Staples we went for the compulsory dance (the Paso Doble), where Oksana Domnina/Max Shabalin took the expected lead. I just wanted Tanith Belbin/Ben Agosto to be in striking distance for gold, and they were. Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir took the third spot, again as expected, and Meryl Davis/Charlie White (who must've used an entire bottle of hair gel to slick down his curls) slid into fourth.

After a dinner break at the ESPN Zone, we hustled back to Staples for the pairs short program. We watched some of the early pairs, which included Caydee Denney/Jeremy Barrett, but then ducked out to walk next door to the Convention Center for ladies' practice. I'm not sure why I wanted to go to the ladies' practice since it's not my favorite discipline, but I'm so glad we went because of who we ran into on the way there . . . Michelle Kwan!!!! She was talking to someone outside the parking garage, and after she finished her conversation, I hurried over and asked her for a photo. She was very nice and gracious. I was totally untiffed and pretty much a zombie since I'd woken up at 4:00am for my cross-country flight, but it's still a photo I'll always treasure!

We returned to Staples after our brief visit to ladies' practice, and I had to practically hold my eyelids open for the remainder of the pairs short program. It lasted until almost midnight, and I was fading fast from the time change and being awake for twenty-two hours. I was happy to see Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy take the lead and even happier to get back to the hotel and finally sleep!

Part II will bring us to Wednesday, which included stops at men's practice, the men's short program, and the pairs free skate. Coming soon!

Here are Part I of my photos:

2009 Worlds - Tuesday Events

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