Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 28, 2011

Have you ever experienced something so utterly wonderful and amazing that you still can't believe that you were blessed enough to see it?

When I was a little tiny kid, it was one of my most favorite things in the whole world to watch the Winter Olympics figure-skating. It was the most beautiful thing that ever was. Then (I was very little.) I wanted to be an Olympic ice-skater. (I have at-least three very unskilled drawings to prove it...) It has been many, many years since I have wanted to be a skater, but all through the years, I still loved the art so very, very much. In fact, with the 2010 Winter Olympics, my love was renewed and figure-skating was dearer to me than ever.

This past week the US National Figure-Skating Championships was held at the Greensboro Colosseum, Greensboro, NC. Incidentally, only about half an hour from where I live. At first I just thought oh, wow, that is neat. And then I thought, wait a minute, one of the largest figure-skating championships in the world is going to be in my back yard?!? It would just be insane not to go. So I talked to my dear, epic awesome, most wonderful mother ever about it and she looked into it.

We could go.

I really couldn't describe how happy I was. I would get so excited that I would start crying for joy (Yes, it means that much to me.), and then I would get absolutely terrified that we wouldn't get to go. Luckily, we were going the day after the day we found out we could go, so I didn't have to much time to worry about it!

Friday, January 28, 2011, a day that I will remember forever, we went to the Colosseum, a giant building that I had never actually been in (I have been in other buildings in the Colosseum Complex.). We went in, got our tickets, wandered about a bit, and then went into the arena.

We had seats that were actually far, far better than I ever could have hoped for. As soon as we walked in and started going down this steep flight of stairs, I saw the skaters on the ice. There were five couples. (I found out later that they would be skating in the show after the one we were going to see.) We sat down and I really couldn't take my eyes off of them. I'd never actually seen figure-skating, real figure-skating in person. We were there, the seats were wonderful, the skaters were the most wonderful thing I had ever was too glorious, I started crying it was so wonderful and thanking my dear mother, telling her that this was the most wonderful thing in the world. Then I turned all of my attention to the skaters. One had a stunning blue dress, another wore a purple shirt and was kinda good looking. One wore a fabulous dress that I thought was black and my mother thought was green. One had delightful curly blond hair and made me think very much of that Charlie what's-his'-name that was at the Olympics. All of them were unbearably talented. I could have watched them for ever. But they had to leave and the show started.

We sang the National Anthem and it was the most glorious, exciting thing. It was one of those moments when you are just glad to be alive and so proud to be an American that you could just burst, and your eyes fill with tears because there is no other way to deal with feeling the way you do.

The announcer introduced the judges and other people of the like, the first group of skaters came and warmed up, and then it actually started. It was the Junior Pairs Free Skate.

Each couple was so wonderful, a few more than others, but all of them were very good. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I really don't know what more to say.

The winners were, in order first to last, Ashley Cain and Joshua Reagan (142.28), Andrea Poapst and Christopher Knierim (136.45), Cassie Andrews and Timothy LeDuc (129. 84), and Brynn Carman and A.J. Reiss (129.02). Andrea Poapst and Christopher Knierim were my favorite of the winners. She wore a cream colored dress with some red roses around the collar and he wore brown pants and a cream colored shirt that laced at the collar, and they were extremely talented.

We watched the awards ceremony and then started to leave. But we didn't want to. Not in the least little bit. We talked about it a bit and decided to stay and watch the next show, the Championship Dance Short Dance.

The first couple was indescribably lousy, but after that they got better. The ice-dancing wasn't half as good as the free skate. For me, I had to watch very, very closely to see that it was good. With the free skate, I just had to look at it to see that it was wonderful.

Most of them were pretty much the same, but two couples stood out very, very much. Maia and Alex Shibutani, an adorable brother and sister pair with seriously amazing talent. Out of 15 couples, only two got a standing ovation, these two were one of them. They did, needless to say, come is second. They were very, very good. But they weren't the best.

Remember how I said earlier that one of the skaters made me think of a skater I'd seen watching the 2010 Olympics? Well, after watching him and his partner for a bit I started to think that they looked more and more like them (I really couldn't remember who they were.), by the time they left the ice I was almost certain of it: these two were Olympic skaters. But they weren't in first show we watched, so I figured they'd be in the second. I looked on the piece of paper my dear mother and I had with all the skaters who would be skating that day. Sure enough, there they were, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Olympic silverists. Oh, I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it was to watch them skate. They are the best. The best of the best. Their performance was just utterly wonderful. And actually getting to see Olympic skaters. It was to glorious. I was about the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Not just the way they would dance, but their faces, the looks on their faces, they were so expressive. And when they finished, there was a standing ovation. It is an honor, to me, to get to stand up for someone so great, to applaud one of the greatest figure skating pairs in the world. It is an honor. An honor that I hope I may have again, someday. An honor that I will remember for the rest of my life.


Anne said...

Julie, what an incredible blessing and gift!! I am so glad that you were able to go, and that it was such a wonderfully unforgettable experience! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad you got to go. There is something about attending a live performance that just cannot be duplicated, even with the best video that can be made. Actually *experiencing* the atmosphere makes all the difference in the world.

~ A.K. ~

Julie said...

Oh, thank you both so very much! It was amazingly glorious.

Ruth said...

Julie, That is a beautiful post! :) And it was wonderful to spend your wonderful day with you! :)

Julie said...

Thank-you so very, very much. :)