Tuesday, March 31, 2009
That’s a wrap!
It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write about my Worlds experience! Since I came back home, school just hit me with more work than I could possibly imagine. As I sit here this evening, I decided to quickly blog about my last few days at Worlds as a final synopsis so I don’t just have an abrupt end to my blogging.
Friday was the free dance competition and even though Graham and I did not qualify, we were obviously going to watch the event and cheer on Vanessa & Paul! 🙂 Before the event, I had briefly gone with my parents shopping at the Macy’s down the street from my hotel! After the free dance event, we did our usual hanging out at the hotel with friends and then the night was over!
Saturday was an extremely fun day as my family wanted to spend some quality time with me! We had full day’s plan as we first did a tour of Hollywood and the celebrity homes of Beverly Hills and Bel Air! I can’t tell you how amazing this tour actually was! We saw so many houses! Probably one of the most exciting houses I actually got a picture of was the Fresh Prince of Bel Air mansion!!!! 🙂
We even saw the school’s field that Grease was filmed in, and all I could picture was the cast singing “Summer Loving” on those same old bleachers!
After our tour, we decided to see this amazing Greek Orthodox Cathedral that was absolutely spectacular! The whole entire inside had parts that were made of gold and it was just a beautiful church! We found out that Jennifer Aniston was baptized in it, and Tom Hanks and his wife also attend services at this church!
After visiting the church, we decided to head out to a couple different beaches. We first went to one beach where we had lunch at an amazing seafood restaurant, but sadly I can’t remember the beach name or the restaurant name! After we had lunch, we drove past Malibu and then head down to Santa Monica beach and to walk along the pier.
It was so beautiful actually being on a beach again and looking out onto the ocean! I must say, though, I found the water absolutely freezing when I put my legs into the water!! I got back to the hotel in time for dinner and then the night was filled meeting new people and hanging out with the usual gang! 🙂
Sunday was another day of enjoying L.A. My family and I also brought Graham along this day to Hollywood and walk along the main strip!
It was at this time that we got to walk in front of the Chinese Theatre and see all the handprints and footprints! I took a picture of my feet inside Will Smith’s footprints, and my hands inside Marilyn Monroe’s handprints!!!!
It was so exciting seeing her handprints and her footprints were actually her famous high-heel shoes!! We also got to see the Kodak Theatre where the Academy Awards are held annually! It was so exciting seeing all the starts on the sidewalk and walking on that strip! I brought two adorable t-shirts that are lovely memories. They are a “Lil Miss Hollywood” and “Lil Miss Beverly Hills.” We then went back to the rink to watch the Gala which was actually really awesome. Seeing all the medalists perform their exhibition numbers was amazing!
After the Gala, my family wanted to treat me to a dinner, so I went with them and then came back to the hotel around dinner time and met up with the usual crew to hang out. We made sure we played some car racing in the skaters’ lounge before the competition was over! Unfortunately, there was no banquet or even disco for the athletes, which was sad, but we all managed to have fun on that last night anyways!
Monday slowly came around and we had an 8:00 a.m. bus ride to the airport. Graham and I went down for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and then finished getting ready to check out of the hotel rooms! It was a weird feeling to think that we were actually leaving L.A. and that Worlds was officially finished. It was nice that our room keys were specially made to say World Figure Skating Championships on them, so we got to keep the keys as a nice keepsake! Graham and I had a flight to Montreal and then Toronto. It was a long travel time back home and it was so upsetting to say goodbye to the sun, the heat, the competition, and to everyone.
Worlds was the greatest experience, and I have to admit it was nothing in comparison to Junior Worlds!!! I’m so happy that not only did we experience Junior Worlds — which was amazing — but Worlds was the ultimate competition! It was just something else! It was day and night to Junior Worlds, but in a good way!
I hope everyone enjoyed my blogs, and sorry for the delay of my final entry! Worlds was absolutely amazing and so was L.A.!! Thank you for reading my blogs!
The Greek Ice Dancer, Nikki Georgiadis =)
posted by IDC Staff at 11:42 PM
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Woke up to an early OD practice, and then it was time to get ready for the big day! I wasn’t really nervous to compete the OD. I was just excited to compete again. I had really enjoyed skating the Paso, and I was excited to perform Thoroughly Modern Millie! We were skating second in the second group so we did our usual warm up, and then it was time to get ready.
Going into OD being 26th was slightly difficult, but we were hoping to raise the two spots to end up making it to the FD. Right as we got on the ice for warm-up, within the first minute Graham and I start to do our stroking exercise, and we totally wiped out and smashed into the boards. After this, I had felt shaky on my right foot (the one that my blade smashed into the boards) but I brushed it off and we continued to warm up as usual. Once our names were called, it was just so exciting to compete again. I was really looking forward to skating our OD.
The run-through actually went fairly well. I felt slightly shaky on the twizzles and on our mid-line footwork but other than that, I really felt we had skated well! I vividly remember at the end of our mid-line looking up at the Jumbotron and just savoring our Charleston dancing moment! It is probably my greatest memory while doing our OD!
Unfortunately we did not qualify onto the FD, but we were extremely happy in our performance and our feedback from the audience and our coaches. For our first year as a junior team, and to compete at our first senior competition — the World Championships — we were unbelievably happy! It was obviously a disappointment, but what made us feel extremely happy was how spectators really enjoyed our performance and program. There was one lady who had pulled aside Graham and I and asked us what we do (because she saw us carrying our skates after we had already competed), so we told her how we are the Greek ice dancers and that we had just competed the Thoroughly Modern Millie OD. Her face was just priceless. Her mouth dropped and her eyes widened and she asked for our autographs. Then three other ladies congratulated us on our skate and told us how much they liked us. This actually really made me happy because even though we didn’t make it onto the FD, we had entertained the audience and people remembered us!
During the OD event, we realized that we were able to sit in the VIP area, so Graham and I watched the rest of the event with my family in the special seating.
After the competition was finished, we went back to the hotel with Vanessa and Paul. Then after we ate dinner, the four of us headed back to the rink to watch the last two flights of the men’s long. It was an extremely intense competition and the crowd was extremely packed as well! It was amazing watching the men’s event live as the audience gets really into the programs, especially when they successfully land their quads. The crowd goes wild!
Once the intense men’s event finished, we all headed back to the hotel. It was time for Graham and I to relax. We didn’t have practice the next day.
posted by IDC Staff at 11:59 PM
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Ice Dance Day Break
Today was the ice dance day break! We had a 35 minute practice at 12:35 p.m. in the practice rink and then the rest of the day for ourselves!! We had planned for an amazing tour that afternoon. After a really good practice, it made it even more exciting to have lunch and then head off for our tour!
I was extremely excited for today, because we had planned to do the Warner Brothers VIP Tour with my whole family and Graham.
We booked online so we could reserve a specific time slot. We decided to play things safe with practice groups and go on the very last tour of the day which was at 4:00 p.m. It is a 2 hour and 15 minute tour, and we were told to arrive approximately 30 minutes early. We had to show ID so that security knows who exactly is on the property, but we didn’t know that, so I didn’t have any ID on me except for my Worlds ID. So while everyone showed their passport or drivers license, I showed my Worlds ID. It was so funny because the lady partially didn’t know what to do when she saw it. Obviously they accepted it, and on my ticket it has my Greek name I compete with, so it was a nice little memory. Once we all got our tickets, they show a 15 minute video on the history of Warner Brothers and then some funny and memorable clips of movies, TV shows, and cartoons.
Once the movie was finished, we were directed to our guide and led onto the cart that would take us around the property. Our first stop on the tour was the Warner Brothers Museum where we weren’t allowed to have our cameras with us. Inside the museum on the first floor were costumes, the actual Oscars and envelopes, and props. The main interesting things on the first floor were the Joker’s outfit that Heath Ledger wore, the real Batman outfit that Christian Bale wore, the masks that the fake Jokers wore at the beginning of the movie during the bank robbery, three outfits from Sweeney Todd (two of which Johnny Depp had worn), a tray of meat pies that were used in the movie, the whole entire underground cave for Corpse Bride, the three Oscars and the envelopes that were opened, and the Miss Congeniality dress and crown.
The whole second floor of the museum was dedicated to Harry Potter. It had absolutely everything from the first five movies. It was absolutely amazing to look at all the props and outfits used. It would take forever to explain but it went from the Sorting Hat, to the brooms, to all the different treats that they get, to the different books that were shown, and just many more things. There was so much on this floor and I missed seeing a couple things as I was having a conversation with the Sorting Hat lady. On this floor you can get sorted, and I was sorted into the Gryffindor House, and then I had a whole discussion on how we are sorted. The lady ended up letting me actually sort someone and hold the real hat that was in the movie! It was unbelievable!
After the museum, we were taken to the Friends set that was set up. We took many pictures in there, especially seeing that my sister is a crazy huge fan and because of her, I love Friends as well! The only thing that is still set up is the Coffee Shop, but it was still amazing to see the whole shop set up.
The only downside is that we are not allowed to sit on the couch. It was quite upsetting not to sit on it, but I definitely touched it!
Once we departed from the Friends set, you could see down the street that The Ellen DeGeneres Show was being filmed (right outside her sound studio, a red light kept flashing meaning not to come in or to disturb). One downside to the tour was that we were not allowed to use our cameras out on the streets when we were driving to different things. We were also not allowed to have them on any set that is still used for filming or anything that is still on the air.
We actually got to go on the set of a sitcom called The Big Bang Theory. We were extremely lucky because usually all the rooms and sets would be covered, but because we had gone to see the area right after the actors finished practicing for filming, we got to see everything. Our guide explained how things worked, and we were sitting in the area where the studio audience sits during an actual taping of the show. It was really exciting sitting there, and I wish I had my camera just to have had a picture of me sitting in that area.
After sitting in the actual sound studio, we were brought to an outside set that a new show called Eastwick, which is based off the movie The Witches of Eastwick. Because of the fact that there is filming being done and the show hasn’t premiered yet, we were not allowed to take pictures outside, even though the church in the little town was used in other movies.
Once we left the new outside set of Eastwick, we were taken to a really exciting set where our cameras were allowed to come out! We were taken to the exterior hospital set of ER. We were allowed to have the cameras out because as everyone knows, ER is finishing. The outside of the hospital was still set up, but right when you go inside the hospital, things were being taken down (but we took many pictures on the set).
It was really cool seeing all the hospital things that they have in there and how they had organized things.
Inside the hospital it was slightly messy, and our tour guy had told us they were moving most props room into storage until they need to use more hospital equipment.
Before the tour was officially over, right around a random street that would be used as Chicago, we got to stand at one street corner and see them film a scene from a TV show Cold Case. I took a video of the buzzers going off and them saying “Cut!” Sadly, I don’t think “cut” is heard, but it was really exciting seeing all the cameras and actors from afar during a taping.
Right before we were taken back to the office buildings and Warner Brother shop, we were driven down a street that many parts of movies were filmed. Probably the one that everyone wanted to see is the side of the building where the upside down Spiderman kiss was filmed!
I wish I had photos from where we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but the tour, in my opinion, was amazing!
My parents then drove Graham and I back to our hotel, and we met up with Paul and Vanessa for dinner. Then it was time for bed as it was OD competition the next morning!
posted by IDC Staff at 8:56 PM
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The day has come!
When I woke up this morning, it honestly did not feel like we would be competing at our first senior event — especially not at the World Figure Skating Championships!!!!! I think it was because of the combined compulsory and program practice we had at 8:10 a.m. I found that the 40 minute practice was too long and that the competition needed to come. The compulsory event started at 1:00 p.m. and we were scheduled to go on the ice around 1:30 p.m. so after practice we had a large breakfast as we would miss lunch yet again!
Now all I can say is that Worlds is extremely different from Junior Worlds. Not only was security really high for the first event of the competition, but the atmosphere is completely different as well. The thing that I found really weird was the video people that were situated at our warm up area. It felt really weird to be warming up and having cameras being put really close to your face and then follow you. Graham can do front flips and back flips so we made him do a couple but the camera people never ended up taping them. After our usual warm up before competition we got ready and then waited to get on the ice after the last couple skated. Again, this is where it really felt that I was actually competing at Worlds. There were obviously more camera people by the boards and as we were waiting to go on, they were filming us. Because I’m not used to it, it felt extremely weird to be waiting to go on the ice for warm-up and having cameras watching us. It was actually a really nice feeling at the same time, because it’s what really made it feel like Worlds.
I had drawn us to skate 6th (first in the second group) so after we had warmed up the dance, we just waited till we were announced. As we were waiting for them to announce our names, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of just looking out at the stadium and the flags. It was such an amazing feeling competing at Worlds. Even our Paso felt different as we were competing it.
After we got up from the Kiss and Cry, it is policy that we have to go through the broadcasting/interviewing area. When we went through, it was very much like a quick tour of the area as they were still setting up all the different booths for people to go in and be interviewed. Because we skated right at the beginning of the event, we sat and watched all the rest of the Pasos and I must say that it was an extremely long event! It was really nice watching all the top teams’ Pasos and seeing how they interpreted the dance. I really liked some of the different arm movements of some of the tops teams that were done throughout the dance.
Once the whole competition was finished, we went to the draw area to draw our positions for OD. Graham and I had decided that I draw for compulsory and he draws for OD and then if we make it onto the FD then we decide that day who draws. Graham ended up drawing 7th which was great!
It was such a beautiful day outside, so after the draw we walked back to the hotel with Carol, Juris, Vanessa, and Paul.
Graham and I had dinner with Vanessa and Paul, and after dinner we decided to watch the first two flights of Pairs Short. It was fairly crowded for the short programs.
Once the first two groups were finished, we caught the bus back to the hotel and slept. Tomorrow was our day off from competition and an opportunity to sleep in!
posted by IDC Staff at 9:45 PM
Monday, March 23, 2009
Practice Day #2
Finally a day to sleep in… and it’s a beautiful sunny day!
Our first practice is just a 20-minute compulsory practice in the main rink at 12:20 p.m. and then second practice is at 2:50 p.m. We also had our compulsory draw at 10:45 a.m., and Graham and I decided I would draw for the Paso and he would draw for the OD.
For the draw, we were ranked 26th out of the 30 teams so we got to draw 4th last. I ended up drawing us to skate 6th, which I was so happy for (as 1st to skate was still able to be drawn) At Junior Worlds I drew us 3rd to skate, so I was quite happy I got us into the second group this time! 🙂
Right after the draw we had to warm up for Paso and then it was practice ice. After practice ended, Graham and I quickly came back to the hotel, switched our costumes, and then went back to the practice rink to warm up for our free dance practice. Because on our second practice on Sunday we did not do a FD run-through, our second Monday practice we did the FD run-through.
Other than the two practices, Monday was a fairly boring day. After our second practice, Graham and I relaxed at the hotel, met up with Vanessa & Paul for dinner, and then we all departed for bed fairly early as it was compulsory competition the following day with an early 8:10 combined Paso and OD practice as well.
Oh, and I took a picture of the ice cream at dinner just because I still find it funny how we get an assortment of ice cream to choose from!
Competition time tomorrow! =) 30 Paso Dobles to watch! 🙂
posted by IDC Staff at 8:33 PM
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Practice Day #1
Welcome back to L.A.! This is where the blog will get interesting because I can actually talk about the rink and how amazing the competition really is!
Sunday and Monday are practice days for every discipline. Ice dance and pairs had the one early and one late practice, while the men and women had the two middle practices on Sunday, and then we switched for Monday. Graham and I were assigned in practice group 3 so thankfully, we did not have the early 6:00 a.m. practice on Sunday. Instead, our practice was at 7:30 a.m. which isn’t too early as we are usually on the ice for training everyday at 6:30 a.m. Our very first practice of Worlds was in the Staples Center (known as “main rink”) and it was the combined practice (compulsory and one of the programs). I’m not going to lie — this was probably THE MOST exciting practice I’ve ever been on in my life.
We caught the 6:20 a.m. bus, as they run every 20 minutes, and the bus ride was less than 5 minutes away from the rink. Sadly, it was raining this morning which was quite upsetting, but the excitement starts once we got off the bus. The busses drop us off slightly to the side of the rink and we walk to one of the back entrances. I was shocked to see the cops standing right in front of where the bus drops us off, but the biggest shock came when we tried to get into the rink.
There is a tent set up and then right inside the doors to get in, there is a metal detector we have to go through. The security guards check our bags and then we have to walk through. After we go through security check, we have to go to the lower level of the rink and it felt like it was taking forever to walk around the bottom of the ice. At every major area, there are security guards that check our credentials to let us pass.
Finally, as we were walking with Carol and Juris around the ice, we found the change rooms and the warm-up area. The warm-up area is where the Zamboni is kept and is filled with mats and about 8 bikes. I forgot to take a picture of it, but I’ll get one another day! Our change rooms are the official L.A. Lakers and L.A. Clippers basketball team visitor change rooms, and they are absolutely amazing!
We also have a security guard standing in front of the change room to check our ID.
The skaters’ lounge in the Staples Center is the real L.A. Kings (hockey team) change room!
It is huge! They took down all the name tags, but going into the first part of the change room, they have pictures of Wayne Gretzky, as he used to play for their NHL team.
Practice was unreal! I don’t know if I can actually describe the feeling of stepping on my very first Worlds practice. It felt so amazing to skate on the ice and just look up to an endless stadium!
I couldn’t believe it but you can actually see the 300-section fairly decently from the ice.
Our practice went well and, as always, Graham and I did our OD run-through which surprisingly went really well!
After practice, we met up with Paul & Vanessa and had an Asian-themed lunch. Then we all hung out together until our second, later practice which was in the practice rink. Finally the sun came out!!!
The practice rink was hilarious because it was a fake rink. It was built in the convention center (which is right beside the Staples Center) and it looked so funny because the ice was in the middle of a huge room.
It was weird skating on it because as we skated, it seemed as if every movement echoed through the ice.
During warm-up, I was so surprised to see a whole squad of policemen walk into the room. They were all told to surround the building and rooms. I’ve never been to a competition with so much security, but they really make sure we are all safe.
posted by IDC Staff at 10:07 PM
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Welcome to Los Angeles, U.S.A. for the World Figure Skating Championships!
It’s Saturday, March 21st and Graham and I arrived in L.A. around noon along with our training mates, Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier, and our two coaches, Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs. We didn’t have the greatest L.A. weather greeting as we arrived to a cool, overcast day. Our hotel, Wilshire Grand, was around 20 minutes away from the airport but the bus ride felt so much longer as I was getting so anxious to just arrive at the hotel and register.
Arriving at our hotel, one word for me — shocking! Firstly, we were taken to the lower entrance of the hotel as that’s where the bus drop off is, and all I could see when I walked out was the huge World Figure Skating Championship signs on every column and huge circular stickers on all the glass windows.
Seeing all the signs made me even more excited as I knew this experience was going to be extremely special. After we checked into the hotel, we went to register for the competition. I had the usual name trouble, as my proper Greek name is “Niki Georgiadou” but I skate with the more English name “Nikki Georgiadis,” so I had to give my usual explanation of how the Greeks write my name and how when it is transferred to English, it’s slightly different. Other than my name, the registration went extremely smoothly. We got our pictures taken again for our credentials and, sadly, I feel as if my hair went crazy on me.
The very last part of registration totally made my day. At every competition this year, we’ve been given a bag as the gift from the competition but this time, instead of a bag, we all got extremely nice jackets that have to Worlds logo on them and the Staples Center logo, as well. The jacket is by far, my favourite gift I’ve been given at a skating competition!
The Scarboro Figure Skating Club group (Graham and I, Vanessa & Paul, Carol, and Juris) decided to explore the general area where we are located and visit the Staples Center. To start off our journey, we had lunch at a nice restaurant called California Pizza Kitchen. After we finished eating lunch, we went to the Staples Center and took some pictures around the building. We then took a nice long walk to find a grocery store and just see what was around the area.
I must say, I noticed so many pizza places and Starbucks! Once we arrived back at the hotel, the four of us (Graham, Paul, Vanessa, and I) ended up going down for our first dinner at Worlds, and it was very delicious. We all love how instead of meal tickets, we have a meal ticket that is as big as our tag and they punch a hole through the meal you are eating. There was a really exciting yet shocking part of the buffet that we all love, and it’s the ice cream bar fridge! Inside there are drumsticks, Haagen-Dazs Raspberry-Vanilla Sorbet bars, and many more ice cream choices! I also have to add that the pineapple is very delicious here! 🙂
Once we had finished dinner we weren’t tired and wanted to check out the “Athletes Lounge.” It is absolutely amazing! It almost should be called the “Games Room” or “Arcade Room,” as it has…
2 car racing arcade machines,
a Pac-Man arcade machine with an assortment of games in it,
four computers, a huge TV, and leather couches.
We all took turns playing games, but I have to admit that the car racing was extremely fun. We had stayed in the athletes room for such a long time and then finally departed for bed — early practice at 7:30 tomorrow morning!
posted by IDC Staff at 7:48 PM