December 16th, 2001


Synchronized Skating Disaster

Well, we had our second skating competition of the season yesterday. We won, but there was no honor in winning this time. We only won because the other 2 teams we skated against do not normally skate in our division; they skate in divisions which aren't supposed to be as good. We disgraced ourselves, made a terrible blunder, probably the worst error I've ever been involved in during my entire skating career. Ugh, it was awful.

Basically what is supposed to happen at that particular spot in the routine is: two rotating circles, one inside of the other, come apart to form a 5x4 block of skaters. I am supposed to be in the front line of that block. Well somehow, as we were coming out of the circle, about half the team got disorientated and started skating in the opposite direction from where they were supposed to. Our line was a bit behind where we were supposed to be, but I think we were going in the right direction. I'm not even sure anymore. But there was another line in front of us! I was confused about what was happening at this point, because everything was off, nothing looked like it was supposed to; I only knew that I was supposed to be in the front line, and there was a line of skaters in front of me! Oh my God, what's going on?

So the girl on the end of our line (also knowing we're supposed to be in front) ducks through the line of people in front of her. I didn't know what else to do, so I let go of the people on either side of me and attempted to duck under the front line also. I had a bit of difficulty doing this, as the angle was all wrong, and got slowed down. When I stood up, I was completely disoriented. I was basically thinking, Where the hell am I??? There was half the team going one way, back behind me, and half going the other way in front of and away from me, and at this point I didn't even know which side was correct anymore. Then I saw the girl I'm supposed to be connected to, off on the other side of the ice with the other half of the team. I didn't even know if it was the correct side, but they looked fairly organized and I decided it was a good a place to be as any. So I skated over there and hooked up, started picking up the program again, hoping that somehow we would pull the dang thing back together. We were supposed to then move down the ice in 3 lines (this is where I joined the group), then form a 3-line spinning wheel. By the time we started up the wheel, almost everybody was back with my group, where they belonged. It turned out we were on the correct side of the ice, but we wasted a good 20 seconds in this disorganized mass chaos. Our program is only 4 minutes long, so it was a large fraction. And it felt like forever! It was awful. The rest of the program we kept skating and performing properly (in fact that rest of the program was fairly good), but behind my plastered-on stage smile I just kept thinking, Oh my God, what the hell just happened?!

Anyway. So we got first, but didn't really deserve it. Two of the five judges placed us second, I think mostly to chastise us for making such a horrible error. I still can't believe it happened. *shudder* My mom taped the performance; I'm going to watch it soon, just because I have to know what it looked like. It's like a highway accident, where you can't quite avert your eyes....