October 2009

Photo by David Carmichael

A month after Lake Placid, I was on my way to Croatia for my second Junior Grand Prix in Zagreb, where Alex and I roomed together again. This time Shibs did a video blog of the event – catch it on Ice Network, it's a riot! Stephen Evans (my teammate) and I really enjoyed the practice rink there, with all natural lighting and interesting architecture. Once again, we lucked out with superb weather. The country was very pretty and the Old Town was beautiful and charming. We saw the impressive cathedral (St. Marks?) with the red and white tiled roof and the cross – the national symbol for Croatia.

The Croatian fans were so nice – one of them even made a special Balkan salad my mother mentioned that she liked, and brought it to the rink for us, along with a box of chocolates. They also cheered for all the Americans, so it was great to feel welcome. We tried to be as accommodating as possible and signed a lot of skates, etc.

The competition went pretty well in Croatia, and I was a lot happier with both of my skates than in Lake Placid, even though I ended up in second. The biggest thrill of all was that it qualified me for the Junior Grand Prix final in Tokyo, the first week of December. And it also got me off the hook for both regionals and sectionals, so I was doubly grateful.

Since Croatia, I travelled to Vermont to watch New Englands to cheer on my skating mates from the Skating Club of Boston. It was fun to see everyone from Vermont, where I lived until 7th grade, before moving to Boston.