Budapest – April 6-10, 2016This trip was more about learning, with no actual coaching. It also involved some sightseeing, but primarily, we were there for the 2016 World Synchronized Skating Championships. This trip was a long time coming and by the time it arrived, it caught us off guard that we were actually finally doing it. The plan started coming together by late last summer, as we knew Worlds would be in Budapest (close by and very cheap), so we had to go.
The others I coach with in Stockholm with were the obvious answer for travel buddies, but then we were offered up a 10-bed place in the city center for 5000kr ($600) for the five days and it became obvious that everyone interested would be more than welcome. (The apartment we stayed at usually goes for quite a bit more, but is owned by the parents of one of my skaters, so they were happy to give it to us at a huge discount.) Here's the view upon entering the courtyard of our apartment:
|Eva, Kiva, Isabel|
Budapest was beautiful. We got incredibly lucky and had amazing (and hot!) weather the first couple days we arrived. The group I traveled with happily whipped off our winter jackets the second we stepped off the plane into the contrasting summer heat, compared with what we'd just left behind. Some of the group even got sunburns. (The last couple days we were there got a little bit cooler and had some rain, but at that point, it didn't matter, as all our activities were inside at the rink.)
On the day the majority of these pictures are from, we walked what was essentially all of Budapest. I tried to capture the majority of it...
And now, to the rink...
Overall, the competition was excellent. The rink was pretty small compared to what I've been used to, and while this worried me at first, when we arrived, we instead realized it simply meant there were almost zero bad seats to be had. The top teams to impress us (outside of the usual) were Mexico, France's short, Italy's long and Hungary overall. It must have truly been awesome for the Hungarian team, as when they got on the ice, the whole arena nearly exploded with cheers.
Ultimately, we weren't so thrilled with the results. I certainly wouldn't have had Russia in first. But, it's been a long time coming for them (their first World gold), so we couldn't help but cheer them on. We were so psyched that USA1 won the long program, so we'll take that at least.
And last but not least, on our exit from the competition, we bumped into our three apartment roommates who were filming the documentary. They were asking people for comments on the competition and all of us being as quick as possible to get out of the limelight shoved Kiva forward to do her thing.
Copenhagen – March 25-27, 2016Going backwards in time before that was our trip to Copenhagen, Denmark with a small group of skaters from our club. Two of them skate on the team I coach, so I primarily oversaw their activities, but helped with whatever other ways I could find as well. It was so fun to travel with everyone and see how the competition was run, but the best part of the weekend by a long shot was watching these two experience their first-ever competition.
The weekend was a blast -- super, crazy-exhausting, and awesome. I was so nervous for them to have the best first competition possible, with all fingers crossed that there would be no silly accidents or something. And very thankfully, it went off without a hitch. They skated superbly and we were so proud.