Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 U.S. Nationals Wrap-Up

I thought I'd use a photo that included as many skaters as possible for my wrap-up post :) I took the above picture at the Friends of Figure Skating breakfast, which was such a fun morning. It was great to talk to the skaters I've gotten to know over the years and to also meet some new ones. Rachel and Michael Parsons sat at our table, and they were an absolute delight! Marissa Castelli was there super early, and it was awesome to hear her determination to be on the ice at Worlds in Boston next year. I'm so excited for her and Mervin's future.

It’s hard to believe this year was my fifteenth nationals. Each year has its own special moments and memories, and 2015 is no exception. This competition was one of the best I’ve seen as far as the overall level and quality of skating. Maybe I’m biased, but I think we have the most depth in talent in the world when you look at all four disciplines together. I’m so pumped about what the next few years will bring as we journey toward the 2018 Olympics.

Thank you, Greensboro, for putting on another fabulous event! The workers and volunteers there are the nicest I’ve ever encountered at a skating competition. I thought I’d highlight my favorite moments from this year’s event, some on the ice and some off the ice, in no particular order:

1. Meeting my Twitter friends in person and getting to hang out and talk all things skating. This sport has brought such awesome people into my life!
2. Ernie Utah Stevens telling me he’s obsessed with my books
3. Tarah Kayne showing us her K-pop dance routine at the FOFS breakfast
4. Josh Farris’ brilliant short program - the breathtaking triple Axel, the jaw-dropping spins, the incredible musicality and emotion in every movement. It was perfection.
5. Josh Farris’ long program, when the spellbound audience sat in complete silence
6. Madison Chock and Evan Bates winning their first national title
7. Stasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus breaking through into the top five in ice dance
8. Seeing Tanith, Ben, Meryl, and Charlie looking fabulous as members of the media
9. Mirai Nagasu’s gorgeous short program
10. Tarah Kayne and Danny O’Shea’s incredible performance in the free skate after so little training time
11. The fierce look on Adam Rippon's face after he landed all his jumps in the short program
12. Watching Jason Brown and Adam Rippon practice for the exhibition while the Zambonis circled the ice around them
13. Seeing the adorable Fontana-Zimmerman family watching Frozen together in the Fan Fest Theater (and the little girls in their matching outfits every day!)

I hope St. Paul can live up to Greensboro next year! I greatly enjoyed nationals last time it was in Minnesota, and I'm really looking forward to returning there!

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