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
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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/ Reviews and Reports
/ 1998 Nationals
Photo © Heather Winfield