laurence-nik-nesquikcup14Laurence Fournier-Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen are competing in their first season as a team representing Sorensen’s home country of Denmark.  Earlier this month, they competed in Torun, Poland at the Mentor Nestle Nesquik Torun Cup where they won the bronze medal.  They were gracious enough to share their experiences at this competition with Ice-dance.com.

Tuesday 7th / Wednesday 8th (travelling)
We left Montreal on January 7th, which meant we would arrive at night on the 8th, just before our competition the following morning. It’s not the easiest to arrive only one night before the competition start with jet lag, etc. 

It became interesting already shortly after checking in at the Trudeau airport in Montreal. First, we didn’t get seats assigned at check-in, which is usually not a big deal, you will just get your seat when you board the plane. We received different boarding passes which we didn’t think twice about, we just took our things and proceeded to security. After waiting in line for a while, not too long, maybe 15 mins, the lady scans Nikolaj’s boarding pass and of course, it beeps red. The security lady tries manually and puts in 000 for the seat assignment that we didn’t get. Still comes up red, so she sends Nik back to check in to get the “proper” boarding pass.

Waiting in line for now a second time, I come up to a different security agent, he scans my boarding pass, and it still beeps red. At this point, I (Nik) was definitely getting my patience tested. The Security agent says, “Don’t worry, I’ll just do it manually.” As he is doing this, he is explaining to me that there is a special code to put in as seat number when you don’t have a seat appointed from check-in. So yes, it could all have been avoided, if the other security staff had known. Oh well, needless to say, we didn’t miss any plane nor did we have any delays.

We arrived after a long bus trip from the airport. It took approximately 3 hours to get the hotel because our driver thought we would all enjoy a 50-minute break at a gas station for him to talk on his cell phone.

The night of arrival, we had the official draw at the hotel, no need to explain this carefully. We were the last ones to draw and there was only #2 left in the sack!

podiumnesquik14Thursday 9th
Official practice started around 9am, 2 groups and 7 teams total. We had a great practice for our short dance, a bit too short, but it left us with a good feeling going into the competition later that day.

This is still quite new to both of us. We have a very different approach when it comes to warmup off the ice, stress level, etc. Laurence is very calm (at least on the outside), where I (Nikolaj) tend to get rather nervous during our warmup. Taking the ice for our 5-minute warmup felt really good. We went through the elements we had planned to do quickly to have a bit of time for ourselves to just feel the ice.

Our short dance performance was quite solid, nothing out of the ordinary. We held back a little more than we maybe should have, expression-wise, but all in all, it was a very satisfying beginning to the competition.

teamMontrealFriday 10th
The morning of the Free Dance, it was a little bit more stressful. It started when we were eating breakfast with our Spanish teammates, and our coach made all four of us realize that the practice was half an hour earlier than what we expected. We ate quite fast and went to the rink. We had a good thirty-minute practice and went straight away back to the hotel. We wanted to go see the city a little bit, but figured it was not the time to visit on the last day of competition. We went to the nice hotel restaurant and then took a nap to be at our best to perform the free dance. The competition was a pretty close in points after the short dance between the Russians, the Spanish, and us. There was no draw for this event, it was reverse order from the short dance results. We performed the Free Dance with little mistakes here and there, it wasn’t our best skate. We finally finished at the same placement as in the short—3rd. Our Spanish friends skated their best performance of the season, giving us motivation to skate better in our next big competition, European Championships. This day ended up with good dinner where we discovered Poland’s typical dishes in the company of our teammates and an Italian pair couple that came to Montreal to train during the summer.

Saturday 11th
We woke up early the next morning, because our coach found ice time where we could skate for a good hour and a half. It was our last real practice before going to Europeans, which meant our last chance to do some run-throughs before the competition. Even if we were tired and our bodies felt sore from the previous competition, we decided to work hard on our Finnstep key points and did a free dance run- through. We went back to the hotel and rested a little bit before going back to the rink to do the exhibition.

The exhibition started on time, but we were at the end of the show so we had time to sit in the VIP section and drink some good coffee, while discovering some pretty good young couples. We decided to skate the short dance, which was well-performed in front of a big crowd. It was nice to see that the rink was completely full of people, bringing a good atmosphere and giving us good energy to skate. After the show, we went out to eat at a restaurant in the middle of the city with the complete Spanish team and had a nice, funny night!

~ Laurence & Nik