by Lynn Kriengkrairut & Logan Giulietti-Schmitt
It is impossible to capture the stories, experiences, and lessons that we’ve encountered through skating in just a few words or paragraphs. However, we can say that we couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to discover a common denominator that lies beneath the happiness, successes, and dreams we strive for throughout our lives. Things will always be unpredictable. Sometimes, we will know exactly what we want. Sometimes, we will have merely a vague idea. And other times we simply won’t know what lies ahead. There may also be times when we know what we want, but we don’t really know how to get there. When it comes down to it, the most important part is doing exactly what we want whole-heartedly everyday. In both skating and life in general, we are restricted with boundaries to some extent, but there is also the opportunity to express ourselves beyond that. We don’t always have to follow the script of predictability. Instead, we can improvise as we go. The most beautiful part is doing what our hearts tell us to do and we will find ourselves exactly where we wanted to be, even if we didn’t quite know the destination from the start.
We will always remember the power and influence that each individual has had on our career, from our family and friends, to our coaches and training mates, to our fans and inspirations. With such an extraordinary network of people uniting in such a way to make something so remarkable happen, dreams became reality and impossibilities became possible. Thank you to our parents and siblings who have always been our number one supporters. They have made unbelievable sacrifices to allow us to pursue what it meant to “dream big.” Thank you to Yasa and Yuri who had a vision for us and through patience and impossible creativity, made us into the unique team we are today. Thank you to Igor and his accompanying coaches who have helped us find freedom and individuality in what we do. Thank you to Larry Veasman, our off-ice trainer, Steve and Susan McFerran, our ballroom coaches, Valentina Barsukova, our ballet instructor, and Dr. Hugh Bray, our sports psychologist, all of whom allowed us to see that we were always stronger than our mental limits. Thank you to the fans who have followed us and been committed to encouraging us as much as we have been to making something special for them to watch. Thank you to US Figure Skating for supporting us throughout our eight year career as Team USA skaters and giving us the opportunity to represent our country internationally. Last but not least, thank you to all of those who were so generous to us over the years, from the US Athletic Foundation and Memorial Fund to individual donors. We wouldn’t have been able to pursue our dreams without you. All of these individuals and organizations have had an immense impact on us—an impact that will last well beyond our athletic careers.
While skating will continue to remain an important part of our lives, it is with dignity and without regret, we have chosen to retire and bid farewell to a beautiful chapter of our lives. It has been a memorable and rewarding experience to have competed and trained among such great and diverse talent. Skating, which began as merely a recreational activity, has been an integral part in molding us into the people we are today. It is a sport of grace, detail and brutal physicality that has shaped our minds into malleable yet strong agents that will allow us to explore the world beyond the rink with unique insight. We congratulate all skaters of all levels on what they have accomplished so far to this day. Let today’s successes only ignite the desire to achieve more and allow yourselves to believe in achieving possible impossibilities. We have so much to be grateful for and are able to move forward from this part of our lives with peace and content, knowing that we gave our hearts and souls to the sport and the intrinsic qualities we have received in return are priceless. Although there may be unpredictability in our future, we know that the qualities we’ve obtained through skating will serve us well in our future endeavors. Lynn is looking forward to the transition to medical school and becoming a future doctor and Logan is looking forward to furthering his degree in geology and environmental sciences. He will also continue coaching and directing the Learn-to-Skate program at the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club.
Even though the dreams that lie ahead may shift and change as we continue our journey, and while the path to get there may not be linear, we will always remember to stay in the moment and love what we do. If anything, skating has taught us to cherish all our experiences to the fullest and allowed us to realize that anything is possible.