Guten Tag from Germany! We’re ice dancers Julia Biechler and Damian Dodge and we’re extremely excited to have the opportunity to blog for the wonderful this week.

Mechanical Issues
Good morning! It’s 10:30 here in Dresden and we just landed. Saying that our trip here was easy would not be the first thing that I’d consider when looking back at the past 16 hours. Our day started with an alarming  email stating that our flight to Frankfurt had been cancelled due to a Lufthansa strike. After multiple frantic emails and calls to USFS headquarters, and surrounding airports, we found a flight.

Unfortunately, said flight was at an airport three hours away. We quickly got to the rink to squeeze one more practice in and then we were off. In the past week both of our parents had some car difficulties, which became concerning since we wouldn’t be flying out of our local airport. Julia and her mom were in an accident last week, which means that their trip to the airport was in a rental car. On the other hand my mother has been having an issue with her A/C compressor, so our trip to the airport was in a sauna.

Julia, our coach, Yovanny, and I finally met up in the airport and were ready to go. I could see my mom’s car sitting at the terminal still, which was suspicious since she’s usually the “drop and go” kind of person. Not two minutes later I got a text from her saying that the weird noises were not related to her A/C compressor problem…. When she tried to pull out of the terminal, her engine blew.

14JGPDresden-1Thankfully this is when things started to get better, for us at least (sorry mom). We got to experience the funky looking shuttles that take you to your gate in the Dulles airport. For some reason, Julia and I were fascinated by them. I think I was just upset that the inside of the shuttle was bigger than my whole apartment plus it  had dorsal fins on the top!  After a short period of time, we boarded our flight and left the gate. After quite a few minutes, we were still on the ground. Next thing we heard was “sorry for the delay but we’re having some maintenance issues with the plane, this may take a few minutes.”


This was not what we wanted to hear after the blown engine in my mom’s car and everything else that happened that day. Luckily, after a short period of time, the captain informed us that everything was good to go. Problem resolved! Until the next flight….. We boarded our flight from Frankfurt to Dresden and after sitting on the tarmac for a few minutes, we were told that the door would not shut and had to be replaced. After the issue was fixed, we had a short flight. I couldn’t be any happier to be in Dresden! Julia and I are really excited to compete.