Hello from Debrecen!

This is our final “Innovation!” blog of the week and the events of today could not have been more exciting!  We hinted at the possibility of an explosive FD event, and it became a reality today.

Our day started with a fabulous warmup on the main rink, just prior to the ladies FS event.  We were laser-focused and skated with verve.  Our FD requires us to be simultaneously elegant to capitalize on our long lines, yet skate with fierce attack to highlight the emotional intensity of the storyline,  (while also developing the quiet power that is possible due to our long legs).  Candidly, this modern and innovative Romeo & Juliet FD is incredibly difficult to execute, as the intensity of it does not allow for us to simply coast, strike a pretty pose, and catch our breath.   That being said, when the program was initially conceived last spring, we immediately connected to the passion between the two characters, and we’ve enjoyed the challenge of fleshing out the nuances of the storyline ever since then.

Following practice, we went back to the hotel to rest, while the ladies competed.  Team USA skaters Tyler Pierce and Bradie Tennell attacked their programs and ended up in 6th and 11th places respectively, although we were not able to cheer them on in person.  Following an early dinner, it was our time to compete.  We won’t go into detail as to the event itself, since Icenetwork.com and YouTube already have the event videos available online.  However, there was significant movement in the top 8 places.  1st and 2nd flip-flopped from Short Dance.  Lorraine & Quinn won the event with a recognizable nod to  Bestemianova & Bukin’s iconic Carmen FD.  In a repeat from last year’s WJC, a Tango FD reached the podium, as Rachel & Michael claimed silver.  As we mentioned after Thursday’s SD, there was a virtual 6-way tie for 3rd place.  After FD, 3rd dropped to 8th, 4th dropped to 5th, 6th pulled up to 3rd and 5th, 6th and 7th all pulled up a place!  When the dust cleared, Team USA earned 3 of the top 4 placements and we couldn’t be more thrilled!!  We felt great about our own skate, taking control of our technical elements and letting our connection to the program create the performance and execution aspect.  Igor and Fabian were pleased!

We spend tomorrow around Debrecen before heading home on Monday.  We have already begun work for next season, but for right now, we just need to take a moment to breathe, then to reflect, and finally to choose our path for next season and beyond.  Many thanks to ice-dance.com for inviting us to blog from Junior Worlds and to each of you for reading about our experience.  If you enjoyed these blogs, Daphne has posted our other blogs on our team website.

We’ve learned about a number of Hungarian inventions and innovations over the past week, and we saved the most unusual one for last.  Hungarian physicist Dennis Gabor won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of holography using lasers.  However we chose Gabor, not for his holograms but due to one of his writings.  In his 1963 book, “Inventing the Future,” Gabor proposed that “the future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”  Restated by countless others, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  Looking forward through the next 6 years and on to the 2022 Olympics, we have likely seen the future here in Debrecen, whether we recognized it or not.  The questions to ask ourselves are, which of these skaters will be innovative enough to create something that the skating world hasn’t seen yet?  Who will push the creative limits of sport to bring something fresh to it?  Simply stated, who will be innovative enough to invent their own future?

Thanks for reading!

Ellie & Alex