After attending the competitions and the practices, the exhibition was kind of a let down. The most disappointing aspect of the afternoon was that Nicole Bobek didn't skate. I had heard earlier in the week that she would skate a tribute to Carlo Fassi, and that she didn't have a program...just Italian music. I don't know why she didn't skate. Maybe she changed her mind. I don't have much else to say about the exhibitions. Michelle skated to On My Own, which I love. Everytime I see it (especially in person) it is more breathtaking. For more in depth on the exhibitions, read my friend, Louis DiCesari's Report.

I just have to say that this was probably the best week of my life. I can't believe it is over! The two years I waited for this event seemed like 10 years, but this week went by in a second. I can't believe I have to go back to my boring life now! :-( I had become a little immune to seeing the famous skaters walking around, or in practice. I have said it 100 times, but every person here (skaters, fans, etc.) was so nice. I got over 30 autographs (although I missed Brian Boitano and Viktor Petrenko a few times!), and a ton of pictures. Hopefully, I will be able to put some of them online. I have to say that if you have the chance to go to Nationals (either a competition or practices), GO!!! Even if you can only see one practice, it is an amazing experience. I know that Nationals aren't coming back here for another 30 years, so I hope, one day, I will have enough money to travel to another city, and see the competition again. I love competition 100 times more than the shows and tours that I go to. I will never look at Nationals, or other important competitions the same way again.

I hope you have enjoyed my daily reports on Nationals (even if I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish them!) I have received almost 200 e-mails this past week. I haven't had a chance to answer them yet, but I promise that, starting tomorrow, I will try to respond to everyone.

Also, I have met so many people (both old and new friends) here. To Louis, Suzanne, and the rest of the group, it was great seeing you again! To Melissa and Lea, it was wonderful meeting you in person for the first time. And of course, to Regina, Jean, Sharon, and Elaine, it was great to meet you, and keep in touch. Can't wait until the tour! Finally, Karen (I hope that's how you spell your name!), I hope you enjoyed your time in Philadelphia, and thanks for making me feel like a mini-celebrity.

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Photo Heather Winfield