Well, since it has been on TV, I will write the results of the mens long and ladies short. First up was the ladies short. Cohen Duncan and Alice Sue Claeys withdrew from the competition. I was upset to hear that Michelle Kwan did not attend the morning warmup. You can not imagine how nervous I was before this competition. I couldn't eat, I couldn't breathe, until it was over. Since it was on TV, I won't really write too much about it. Tonia was up first, and she did great. It was not as exciting as Nicole's, but still great. She was crying after, and so were many of the spectators. Unfortunately, Sydne Vogel fell. She is in 9th place. Nicole was amazing! I am so glad that she didn't leave her jumps on the practice ice. After Tara landed her combo, I thought everything else would be fine. Like everyone else in the arena, I was in shock. The arena went silent. I think we were still in shock during the next competitor's performance. I became even more nervous for Michelle after that. I don't think I saw Tara fall on that jump in practice, but Michelle had lots of problems with that same jump...would Michelle make the same mistake?

In the warnmup, she was landing the triple lutz/double toe combo, but not perfectly. When Michelle took the ice, the people behind me were commenting on what a beautiful presence she has on the ice. First up...the combo...landed perfectly! Next up, the double axle...beautifully done. Then, the triple flip was coming up. I was thinking...please land it! She did the jump right in front of me...and it was landed great! I wanted to jump out of my seat then! I was on my feet (and so was the rest of the crowd) during her final spin. The program was just breathtaking! She did a beautiful, almost perfect performance. I was crying, screaming, and clapping my hands so hard, that they became numb. Watching it on television can not even convey the emotions of the program, or even crowd. It was amazing. She was showed with flowers (including mine). When her scores came up....only one word can describe what I was feeling...AAAH! For the the long program on Saturday, the order for the final group is: Nicole Bobek, Tara Lipinski, Amber Corwin, Angela Nikodinov, Michelle Kwan, and Tonia Kwiatkowski.


Next was the original dance. If you do not want to know about the competition, scroll down to the line to read about the men. To tell you the truth, I don't really know much about ice dancing. Most of the couples seemed slow and/or boring to me, especially in the first group. I really liked the current Jr. World Champions, Jessica Joseph and Charles F. Butler. They actually moved up from 3rd in the Compulsories, to 2nd. I thought both Naomi R. Lang and Peter Tchernyshev, and Eve Chalom and Mathew E. Gates were good. But, no one came close to Elizabeth A. Punsalan and Jerod J. Swallow. Even though I don't know much about dance, you could see the difference between them, and all the other couples. They were very fast, and their footwork was complicated.
The mens long program started 20 minutes late, so the crowd started a wave, and, pretty soon, everyone joined in. I've never been to a skating event where the wave was done, so I guess we must have been pretty bored at that point! ;-) Most of this competition was shown on TV, so I won't write about it. I will say that I'm glad Todd tried the quad. I have seen him do it in practice (in combination!), and it is great. Maybe he just got his bad competition quad out of the way, and he can land a clean one at the Olympics. ;-) Michael Weiss tried his quad lutz at the other end of the rink, so it looked like he landed it perfectly from my point of view. But then, someone in the next section had a portable TV with her, and said that it was double footed. When I saw it on TV, it was very easy to see this. Poor Michael...two years in a row. I really hope he lands it in competition...he is so close!

I finally got to attend a medal ceremony! I never realized that the medal winners get so much stuff...medals (of course), flowers (well, the junior ladies got them, but the men didn't), pins, and a gift. Plus, Todd got a plate, and a bowl. They could hardly hold everything. Shepherd Clark was genuinely happy. He was posing for pictures, and slapping everyone's hands. Everyone is still talking about what a nice guy he is. But, of course, the big story is Todd. 5-time champ!! What a great day!! Tomorrow, I will be attending the ladies practice, and the pairs long program.


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Photo Heather Winfield