“An Evening with Champions is a student-run organization dedicated to fighting cancer by raising money for the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. By organizing a world-class figure skating exhibition at Harvard University we aim to unite skaters, fans and volunteers in the quest for the cure.”
Today started off with an early drive to the airport. After parking the car, I loaded my luggage into the shuttle and waited for the driver to pick up a group of 10 people got that were quite interesting to say the least. The guy sitting next to me reminded me of Larry the Cable guy. He was cracking me up the whole time with everything he had to say. I would say each pant leg was bigger than my waist, and he was using a cane with bandages around his shin. Turns out he was shot last night...couldn’t figure out if he did it himself by accident or what, because he said he, “went back and got that gun later and is now locked up in his safe with all the others.” Ok then...
The flights were uneventful and I made it to the dormitory around 3:30p.m.. Paul Wylie was hanging out in the big dinning hall with his wife and a few skaters. So I sat around eating and working on the computer for a while. They have me staying in the Masters house, which is this massive 3 story building that just rocks. On our floor is Dennis and Melissa, the Protopopov’s, and then Ben and I. Oh yeah, this is just one small wing that we are in that share a bathroom. There are other hallways with sections on this floor too!
At the rink the assistant choreographer grabbed me to show me the opening and finale. Well, there was a 3hr rehearsal earlier that day that I was on the plane for. The steps are pretty basic, but holly smokes there is a lot going on. I never heard the music on the loud speaker, and oh yeah, never even heard the music for the finale really at all. Meanwhile, what I didn’t know is that they had never had all the skaters off the ice and run the opening with everyone skating out. So why is that a problem? Well, we start on 1 of the 3rd count of 8. Yeah...everyone didn’t get out there in time, we are all sort of looking around at each other wonder what do we do? So we did the standard “step clap, step clap” through pretty much the ENTIRE opening! It was a disaster...to be fair, a disaster in our eyes as skaters, but fine for the onlookers. So the first show I dig into my pockets and what do I find, a bunch of big fat doubles. :) Eh, well ok, lets get that out of my system!
The next day was the best. We had the wonderful opportunity to skate with the Jimmy Fund kids. Man, my back is a bit sore, but that totally doesn’t matter. To grab some of these little kids (and some probably too big for me to do what I was doing) and zip them around the ice, hold them up so they can fly like super man with the ice zipping by 2 feet under them...very cool. You know when they are smiling and laughing asking to go faster that they feel truly alive by the same feeling that makes all of us life long skaters feel that way too.
SO, now I start to spread the word to all the skaters that we are going to go out on the ice early while they are doing introductions so we can get in our places ASAP and count out loud so we can all start on time. Now, we all still don’t totally match, but gosh darn it, it was a 100% better than the other day and we did pretty darn good! So this time I reached into my pockets and 2 triples were in there! You can view this video at the top of this page. Now I need to work on the speed of my spins....
OK, Santa is up next and I’m still working on next year’s COI’s new number...stay tuned!