As you are soundly sleeping, we are getting up after 8 hours of sleep and 24 hours traveling. My alarm clock went off at 8 and so did Anthony’s (but he overslept until 8:45) while our plan was to be on the bus at 9. As usual, I get on the bus, ready to go until I realized I had left my credential in the room. That’s how our day started! Today we had two practices, one at 9:35 and the second one at 1:30. Both practices went well. The rink is nice. The Saransk Skating Palace has one practice rink and the main rink.

We have a great team here. Lori Dunn is our team leader. She was with us in Poland last year. She’s very energetic and she’s always there to make sure we have everything. Rick Perez is the assistant team leader and Stuart Sanders is our Doctor so, as you can see, we are very well surrounded.

Tonight, at 6 PM, the draw for all events was held in a theatre. Usually, all disciplines have separate draws at the rink in a regular room, so tonight it was quite special and formal. It began with the opening ceremony [view video] of the competition where Russian folkloric dancers were doing choreography on different themes. Their costumes were beautiful! It was really special and everyone enjoyed it. It made the draw, which is not a very exciting event, something really special and memorable. Anthony did a good job again at drawing, we will be skating last of the third warm up!

The LOC (local organization committee) is very efficient and well-organized. The volunteers seem really proud to host this JGP. Everything works like a clock, there are volunteers everywhere even at the hotels. They are kind and always greet us with a smile.

Unlike France, where we felt completely cut out from the rest of the world, there is wifi at the rink and at the hotel, so it makes it easier to write to you.

I will go now for a small dinner with the team in the skaters lounge at the hotel and then get some rest. I have some serious sleeping time to catch up on.

Good night from Saransk!