US Figure Skating Nationals--Finally!
Cleveland Travel Blog› entry 4 of 34 › view all entries
After landing in Cleveland, although I wanted to meet up with my sister as soon as possible and head into the city, I did pause to get some photos of the snow. This was the first major snow I had seen all season! Megan was waiting for me out in the tiny space beyond security. We stowed my bag in her car and then used the public transportation system to head to Tower City which is connected to Quicken Loans Arena. More importantly, it had a food court :) After our Subway lunch we trekked over to the arena. Inside we picked up our first set of wristbands (since there were three events going on there that day, people were color coded according to their tickets.
Our first event of the day was the a combination of ice dancing and pairs. The top six teams in each discipline were skating their final program. Pairs were up first. We watched the skaters warm up, spins, jumps, lifts. Then they cleared the rink to let the first group perform. Although I enjoyed watching all six pairs, I found the last two the most interesting. The team of Brubaker and McLaughlin won with their bright costuming and lively interpretation of "West Side Story.
I took advantage of the break to go purchase a program of nationals. This book had pictures and bios on all skaters as well as space to keep track of scores. It also had background information on the events.
Ice dancing was next. This sport has always been the least interesting to me. I like jumps and throws and other risky moves. The only team I recognized--Belbin and Agosto--were not competing in Nationals this year. However, after seeing ice dance in person, I am definitely a fan.
After ice dance wrapped up, we had three tasks: get our new wristbands, find our new seats, and get dinner. The wristbands were easy; a worker spotted my sister while she stood in line to get her dinner and asked for her ticket.
I did not recognize the names of the girls in the early groups. I did recognize the names of one of the coaches; close to my age the woman had been a top skater a few years prior.
On our way out, Megan and I each got a complimentary bag of three little jars, two of jelly and one of fudge sauce, from Smuckers, the cooperate sponsor of the event. The trip back to the airport was uneventful. Finding the hotel was pretty easy since my sister had passed it on the way in. Although around midnight, we relaxed for a little bit with TV and snacks before turning off the lights.