Competitor Blogs

2008 NHK Trophy – Tokyo Kara Nama-Chuukei – Competitors Blog by Cathy Reed

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Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday

Hello everyone again from Tokyo! The last day of NHK Trophy concluded with the men’s free skate, the Exhibition and closing banquet. I went to go watch the men’s, and boy, was it fun! There was a lot of great skating and huge jumps! Tons of great triple Axels and quads! It was very exciting to watch! And the stadium was full again! I told you so! I forgot to mention yesterday, that the Royal Family came to watch the ladies event, which was very special! And it was the best time to come too, because all three Japanese ladies skated so well! And they were all on the podium! Triple plusses for Japan!

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After the men’s event, the exhibition took place, but we went back to the hotel and rested. Chris and I did not participate in this year’s Exhibition due to his knee swelling after the competition. It was a shame, but hopefully we can do it next year. So, we went back to the hotel and watched the movie “Tropic Thunder” (lol…not my type of movie, but yes, it was very funny, especially Tom Cruise’s dancing!).

At 5:45, I went to room 1025 to get ready for the banquet! Yes, I was wearing a beautiful purple kimono! First they did my hair and make-up with four people attending to me at the same time!!! Then I went to the bathroom first, (lol…can’t go to the bathroom in the kimono :P) and then put the kimono on. Three women helped to put it on me. First there was a thin robe, and then they padded me up with towels and padding to fill out the kimono, since I’m too skinny for it. Then they put another thin robe over me, and then the final purple kimono over that. Next, they put several layers of material around my waist, before they put this hard, plastic, shell like material around the front of my waist. Then they wrapped this beautiful black obi around that and made a beautiful design on the back. Every obi is put on differently and is a different design. The whole process took about an hour and a half. After I was all ready, I went back to my room to get my camera and to get Chris!

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The closing banquet started at 8:00 and we took tons of pictures! And many people took tons of pictures of us as well! I was blinded by flashes! Then we sat down at our table, had a great dinner, and took more pictures with everybody: with the Japanese Federation, ISU Officials and members, and other skaters. It was a lot of fun! After that, we didn’t play bingo like we did last year. Instead, we had raffle tickets and there were tons of prizes just waiting for us on this long table! There were stuffed toys, bags to better gifts like iPod nanos, cameras, a $200 necklace, video games, and more. It was intense as everyone was hoping they would win something! The Reeds were lucky tonight! I won a little bag, towel, and stuffed toy. It wasn’t anything special, but at least I won something! Chris won a video game — how appropriate. My mom won an iPod nano chromatic, and our coach Nikolai Morozov won a digital camera!

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After the raffle, the banquet came to an end. Everyone got up, started talking and saying goodbye. It was an exciting competition and a memorable NHK Trophy, the 30th anniversary. Chris and I have learned a lot from this competition, and we can’t wait to get back to training.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it and got a good insight about NHK Trophy and our experience here!

:-)Cathy Reed

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Saturday, November 29, 2008
(A very long) Friday plus Saturday

Hello everyone! Sorry this blog was delayed, as yesterday was a pretty crazy day with a lot of skating!

I woke up at 5 a.m. to do my hair and make-up and to get ready for our practice at 7:10. We warmed up both our compulsory dance, Paso Doble, and our original dance. It was a great practice but we made sure not to tire ourselves too much, before this long day! We took a taxi back to the hotel since the bus service didn’t start till 9 a.m. We didn’t want to wait another hour for the bus, so we ordered a taxi instead! On the way to the hotel, it was so rainy and cloudy, and my mom said that the weather would be sunny later that afternoon. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” Hahahahaha, well my mom was right (and she always is, I might add, lol).

As soon as we got to the hotel, we dropped off our stuff at our rooms and headed on down to breakfast. Then we took a nice nap and relaxed before getting ready again for the compulsory dance event.

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From left, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Brent Bommentre, Me and Chris, Kim Navarro, Kaitlyn Weaver, and Andrew Poje after the compulsory dance event.

So the weather did a 180 turn, just like my mom said! Nice and sunny while we drove through Tokyo. It was as if I woke up again to a completely different day! The compulsory dance competition took off at 2:15 p.m. with costumes of red and black! The fierce, majestic, and powerful character of Paso Doble filled the arena as all the couples performed this sharp dance! Man, is it fun to show your teeth and look angry and mad!!! Hahahaha! That is what I love about ice dancing. I love interpreting different characters and expressing myself. Our programs this season show quite a diversity of character, from the sharp, powerful dance of Paso, to our funny, comical dance of Cabaret, to our dramatic free dance, “Il Mirto E La Rosa.”

The competition was successful, and everyone skated great! But, we had to save our energy still for one more event, our original dance, which would take place in about five hours!!!! So, we headed back to the hotel, took another nap, ate dinner, and continued to rest until we had to leave for the competition. We took the 7 p.m. bus and arrived at the rink ready to warm up. We were very excited — but also very nervous — since this would be the first time performing this program, but we warmed up well and made sure our bodies were relaxed and ready to perform. Now we had to switch characters from the angry expression of Paso to our happy, funny characters of Cabaret! What a switch!!!

The event was exciting to watch, as everyone’s programs were happy and lively. Unfortunately, we did not skate our best, but well, what can I say? We are only human, and humans make mistakes. Although we made several of them, I am happy that we still got out there and performed. We have been through a rough summer, with Chris’ third surgery, less training time and preparation. I am extremely proud of Chris and how strong he is to push himself physically and mentally despite the pain and restrictions of his knee. It is still the beginning of the season, so, of course, there is time to work more and improve. We just have to keep positive and never give up! Plus we have one more competition, the free dance.

So, I am back from the free dance event and the ladies, too! I can’t believe it is already over! It flew by pretty fast! We skated much better today than yesterday, which we were happy about :-), but of course, we are going back to training right away. This has been a great learning experience for us, and we know now what we need to work on!

The arena tonight was filled to the brim! It was unbelievable! Just tons of people! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera, so I couldn’t take any pictures today, but tomorrow I promise not to forget! The men’s competition and the exhibition will most likely be filled completely, too, as skating is just soooooo popular here! The Japanese people just love skating, so Mao Asada, Miki Ando, Daisuke Takahashi, Nobunari Oda are like celebrities here! Ice dancing in Japan is still not recognized as much, but we are in the process of changing that! We already have a lot of fans that ask for autographs and pictures, and who send us letters and pictures of us. The support from the Japanese people is just amazing.

Anyway, goodnight everyone, and I promise I will write again tomorrow and take more pictures!

🙂 Cathy Reed

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Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday through Thursday

banner-712489Hello everyone from Tokyo, Japan! I welcome you to an exciting event because this is NHK Trophy’s 30th anniversary!

Chris and I arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday afternoon from training in Moscow, Russia for two weeks. So adjusting to the time in Japan was very easy with only a six-hour difference! We took a nap as soon as we got to the hotel and then walked around Tokyo.

The next day, we had our first unofficial practice. The ice rink was still being set up for the event, and even the ice was not quite ready yet! It was still new and fresh so it had a lot of cracks! Emily Samuelson & Evan Bates and Chris & I were pretty scared skating that practice! With every step, we thought the ice would crack and break! But don’t worry, we survived and the ice did, too! Later that day, we registered ourselves and received our accreditation. Our mother also arrived that afternoon, so we met up with her and ate out at a nice Japanese restaurant having yakitori (yummy grilled chicken on a stick!).

ice-773232Today we had two official practices, one 7:40 a.m. and the other at 1:20 p.m. I woke up 5 a.m. to get myself ready, doing hair and make-up. As an ice dancer, appearance is everything, even for practice! I must always look my best, no matter how early 😛 I have to wake up! Then Chris and I caught the 6 a.m. bus for the rink, had a great warm-up, and a great first practice. We did our compulsory dance, Paso Doble, and then our free dance, which is to “Il Mirto E La Rosa” by Alessandra Saffina. The ice was so much better today, thank God!

After we caught the bus back to the hotel, we had a nice breakfast and rested until our second practice. We caught the 12 p.m. bus to skate at 1:20 p.m., where we did Paso Doble again and then our original dance to “The Money Song” from the Broadway musical Cabaret! We finally have a program that we can smile and act really silly in! Hahahaha, we have always had pretty serious and dramatic programs, but now, with Cabaret, we can have fun and truly enjoy ourselves! Money, money, money!!!!!!!!!!!

judgesstand-754465After our practice, we went back to the hotel. Chris decided to watch a movie and take a nap, while I went out with my mom and looked for a memory card reader so I can post pictures for the IDC blog! Let me tell you, Japan has everything you need! Especially with electronics! We went to this huge electronic store, and they had everything you could possibly want and more! Laptops, cameras, cords, cables, music and DVD players, and tons and tons of other devices. We got lost in the store, it was so big! Then my mom and I, of course, went to Starbucks and got non-fat caramel lattes, (YUMMY!!!!) and walked back to the hotel. Then I curled my hair and put make-up on for the Opening Ceremony!

ChrisLogo-760600We met up with Team Japan for pictures at 7 p.m. and the Opening Ceremony commenced at 7:30. All the countries were lined up alphabetically and walked onto the stage when called. However, Team Japan was last since this is NHK Trophy! We came out onto the stage and were blinded by thousands of camera flashes!!!!!! WOW!!!!!! It was cool! Then we sat down and listened to the all the opening speeches.

After the ceremony, Team Japan had to stick around a little longer for a press conference. The Japanese media wanted to interview the entire team and ask questions prior to the event. We explained our feelings, our conditions entering NHK Trophy, what our programs were, and what we need to concentrate on throughout the event. Chris and I are so excited to be here and to compete, despite a rough summer with Chris’ third surgery and less training time. We had to work extra hard to get our new programs together and prepare them for NHK Trophy in the limited time we had. But we accomplished what we set out to do, and we are here! Ready to compete and give our season debut here at NHK Trophy!!!

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So, goodnight and get ready for long but exciting day tomorrow with both the compulsory and original dance events!!!!

🙂 Cathy Reed

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