15ACI0236Hello again, friends! I’m back blogging, and I brought pictures!

Today had a bit of an earlier start with practices for the short dance. I woke up extra early to head to breakfast—I can’t function properly as a human being without coffee in my system. The hotel breakfast is lovely, and while I’ll probably stick to oatmeal and fruit while I’m competing, the French toast section of the buffet will be calling my name Friday morning when we have finished.

After eating, I went back to my room to get ready for practice. As you all probably already know, ice dancers are all glitter and glamour all the time, so competition-day practices call for full make-up, costumes, and hair. Since our short dance is quite dark (we skate to two different pieces by Prokofiev, and portray a story of zombies) I get to have a bit of fun with the make-up. It’s not every day excessive use of eyeliner and dark red lipstick is acceptable, so I take advantage of it when I can.

Practice went really well and without much drama. All the teams have been incredibly friendly. Maybe it’s the kind, Canadian atmosphere. Possibly my favorite part of this experience so far has been getting to know people from all over the world. It’s easy to connect with people you already share a huge commonality with: we are all here because we love skating.

After practice, I was able to meet up with my parents for the first time since arriving in Barrie. Joe, his mom, our coach Patti, my parents, and I, all went to lunch at an amazing restaurant by the bay. Barrie resides by a gorgeous body of water. I have never been to a place that more perfectly embodies the season of fall, with hues of warm-colored leaves rustling in tree branches everywhere you look. I think they may have called the competition Autumn Classic because this is the most charming, classically-autumn place on earth.

After lunch and resting at our hotel for a bit, we headed back to the rink for the competition. Joe and I were quite excited about our skate. We received a personal best score, and are in second after the short. I couldn’t have imagined a better start to my international debut, and I’m so excited to skate the free tomorrow. Our teammates, Danielle Thomas and Daniel Eaton, had a wonderful skate, and are sitting in third. After the event, we went to the draw, where choosing your starting number out of a bag is nearly as nerve-wracking as competing. I personally don’t mind any particular skating order all that much, but for some reason there’s a lot of pressure in having to choose it randomly in front of everyone in your event. Both American teams will be in the second warm-up. Danielle and Daniel drew fifth, and Joe and I will be skating eighth. Joe and I then spent a little time decking ourselves out in red, white, and blue attire, and cheering on the U.S. pairs after our event—both teams looked phenomenal and Joe and I are constantly in awe of those throws, and twists, and side-by-side jumps. It was an awesome event to watch.

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It has been a pretty great day, but I’m heading to sleep now to rest up for tomorrow!

Until next time,

Karina