Hello from Debrecen!

Today was a practice day for the dancers, while the ladies started their event, the men finished their event and the pairs skaters were on vacation following their FS event last night!  Speaking of that, congratulations to American pairs skaters Chelsea & Brian, Lindsay & Jacob and Joy & Max for skating strongly last night and for representing Team USA so well!

Our day consisted of an early afternoon practice on the secondary surface, with the rest of the day devoted to completing schoolwork, both online and with old school pen and paper.  Ellie is graduating from high school in May and Alex is a college sophomore, so we had to take this lighter skating day to devote to our studies.  Our FD practice went well — we had previously been in the final FD group with each of the other teams, so we were familiar with one another’s ice usage, element placement and speed across the ice.  There were a couple of near collisions as each of us is striving to do our best at this final event of the season.   The stakes are even higher, as tomorrow’s FD will be some teams’ final event at the junior level.  However, we are all competitors and this is what we are trained to do.

Standing at the windy bus stop following our practice, Igor entertained us with stories of his own Debrecen skating experience.  He competed here when he was about 14 years old.  However, the rink was outdoors, it was snowing while the dancers were competing their Argentine Tango, and their side patterns were alternately assisted or hindered by the blowing wind!  This story puts a whole different spin on skating through adversity, and reminds us of how fortunate we are to skate in state-of-the-art, climate-controlled arenas, where the ice temperature can be adjusted by degrees in only a few minutes.
The ladies had a great showing in SP — Bradie Tennell and Tyler Pierce are in 4th and 7th places respectively, entering the FS tomorrow.  Our Team USA men were amazing!!!  Tomoki Hiwatashi claimed the bronze medal and Vincent Zhou ended in 5th place with strong skates by both.  Congratulations to all the skaters!

Ok, so we know that you are trying to figure out if we’ve hinted at today’s Hungarian Innovation, and we will be the first to admit that our connection is a bit of a stretch.  But here goes…..one of the most impactful inventions to originate in Hungary is the ballpoint pen.  Budapest-born Laszlo Jozsef Biro was a journalist who created a ball and socket tip for fountain pens, in order to take advantage of the faster-drying, but more viscous printing ink used in newspapers.  The invention, called the Biro, was first patented in Paris and then in the US.  After Biro moved to Argentina, he sold the patent to the Bic company, and the ballpoint pen became a household item.

Thanks for reading!

Ellie and Alex