View Full Version : We're back from Nationals!!!

February 13th, 2000, 09:20 AM
My wife and I just got back from Nationals. We had an AMAZING time!!!! We are both on an emotional high. We attended 3 competitions: Ladies SP, Men's LP, and Ladies LP. We had "lower bowl" seats for all 3. We've not yet watched our taped (thanks to VCRs) coverage yet, but it was amazing being there. I could probably type for an hour, but here are the highlights.... Don't believe what you hear from some national media about MK not connecting with the audience. We were just behind skaters Paul Binnebose, Laura Handy, and Amber Corwin. Although PB + LH train at the same site as Sarah Wheat, they were so psyched for MK's LP skate that Paul and friends tried to start the whole arena doing "the Wave" during the TV time-out just before MK skated TRV. It was obvious to me the crowd was behind MK. I also think a reporter might think the nervousness by alot of fans could come off as detachment. No way! It was just quiet hope for MK to pull off an awesome performance. My wife and I saw up close MANY skaters/coaches from Friday to Sunday: Paul Binnebose, Laura Handy, Amber Corwin, Susan Ng, coach Audrey Weisiger, coach Richard Callahan (he's short!), Jennifer Kirk (who was very sweet and signed lots of autographs...she signed our program), Tiffany Stiegler, Johnnie Bevan, Michael Weiss, Tim Goebel...there may be others I'm leaving out. I took a bunch of performance pics of MK and a few candids (for the medal ceremony, we went down to seats above the entrance/exit off the ice near kiss & cry...). MK flashed the most amazing smile when a little girl shouted out to her "I love you, Michelle!" I'm not loving the hair, but everything else about her is GORGEOUS in person. We were probably only 10 feet away. Last but not least, my wife and I were having brunch in a hospitality suite at the Ritz-Carlton this AM when an woman and two teenage girls asked to sit with us at a table. It turned out to be Sarah Hughes' maternal grandmother and Sarah's cousins from Cleveland (whose father is a pediatrician...that's what my wife and I do)!!!! We talked for an hour (which went by SOOOOO fast!!!!!) about skating, Sarah as a great kid, other skaters (Grandma likes MK a lot), flutzes and lutzes, what the skaters do with their presents thrown on the ice...everything!!!! It was priceless. My wife is now prepared to go to Nationals (and 2001 Worlds in Vancouver) just to enjoy this all up close and in person. There is so much more to tell!!!!!! Ask if there are specific questions you want to ask.

February 13th, 2000, 11:17 AM
I'll see you in Vancouver!

February 13th, 2000, 01:30 PM
Hey! I think I saw you with Sarah at the Ritz! That's where I stayed - on the Club Floor and my mom and i went to the elevator and saw Sarah sitting with a few other people on Friday! Was that you? How exciting for you!!!!!

February 13th, 2000, 01:38 PM
Unfortunately, it wasn't us that time...this was Sunday from 10-11:30 in the same place, though. Grandma (of Sarah) said that the skaters were staying at the Renaissance (?sp). She was late getting a reservation (grandma of Sarah)...that is why she was at the Ritz-C. My "fantasy" is to parlay this "we've met the grandma" into a meeting with the skater(s) some other competition. Grandma goes to many competitions....hopefully we'll bump into her again!! She was VERY NICE and CHATTY!!!

February 13th, 2000, 01:39 PM
How interesting! Tell us anything else you can think of...if you have time:). Maybe how MK and the others appered during the medal ceremony. Did they all look pretty pleased? Thanks! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time.

February 13th, 2000, 02:26 PM
TTeller did you talk with Sarah too? How exciting. I've heard before about how friendly her family is. Feel free to type for an hr and tell us more! ;o)

February 13th, 2000, 02:50 PM

February 13th, 2000, 02:55 PM
tteller - I'm sure I'm not alone on MK Forum as I ask you this question...... What can we do to get you and your wife to attend ALL of Michelle's competitions so you can report back to us? PS - I just returned from Cannes and Nice, France in November and I'm sure you and your wife would have a lovely time there, in addition to seeing some GREAT skating. ;-) Thanks for the report. Any further comments you could make about your observations of Michelle would be greatly enjoyed and appreciated.

February 13th, 2000, 03:00 PM
About Michelle connecting to the audience. I was there with the other hundreds of people waiting for her autograph and picture!(I got both)!! She is wonderful and beautiful! I took pictures about two feet from her. Do not worry about the article that said she was not connected to the audience she was and she WON!!!

February 13th, 2000, 03:09 PM
Tteller, did you agree with the win for Michael Weiss? Very few people other than Michelle really get to me with their skating, but at the end of Tim's program, I was crying like a baby. I still can't believe he didnt win.

February 13th, 2000, 03:40 PM
I am so jealous right now! Maybe you can find out if MK has an email and give it to us so that we can all send her nothing but encouraging emails. Man, and meeting Sarah's Grandma?! Wow! Okay fess up what kind of stories did Sarah's Grandma tell you about Sarah? We want to hear everything! Please don't hold back. If it takes you three hours to type up everything then I say go for it!

February 13th, 2000, 07:15 PM
On Sarah Hughes (as told by her grandma!): --she now goes to school just 2-3 hours a day with the rest being completed thru tutors. But she loves school and classmates so much, it would be hard for her to give up --she insists on doing her own laundry! :) --she has a sister (Rebecca) who graduated from Harvard cum laude. --she gives many of the stuffed animals she receives on the ice at a competition to children's hospitals. On Michelle: --I've only now watched the competition's TV coverage (thanks to VCRs) and I'm baffled how negative all the pictures of Michelle looked. On TV, she looked like nothing went right. In fact, at the arena, every time someone yelled out encouragement or raised a "Go Michelle!" sign, she smiled and looked happy. She took almost 20 minutes to sign autographs and have her picture taken by fans after the medal ceremony. She genuinely looked happy and healthy and pleased most of time. I saw a very busy, hard working skater do what she loves best. I liked that she said at the news conf. that she might not always have a smile on her face. Our young lady is growing up. You go girl. On young fans: --I stood with about 100 fans (I'm sure I looked like some 10 year old's dad...not the fan himself...oh, well...I passionately yelled out "Go Michelle" with the best of 'em at the arena) at the conclusion of the medal ceremony hoping Michelle would come off the elevator Jennifer Kirk, et al were taking. After 30+ minutes, we left but the big conversation (btwn parents and kids, primarily) was "Is Michelle coming off this elevator?" What interested me is that Sasha or Naomi or Sarah might have grabbed the interest of these kids, teens, and adults there hoping for a "Brush With (Michelle's)Greatness" BUT no one mentioned any one but Michelle.

February 13th, 2000, 08:20 PM
Thanks so much for the report.

February 13th, 2000, 08:50 PM
Your reports sure lift our spirits a lot !!!!!! I was really horrified by Michelle's appearance on TV. My question is same as Deetlebug, "What can we do to get you and your wife to attend ALL of Michelle's competitions so you can report back to us? " Again, Many thanks for your reports :)

February 14th, 2000, 08:34 AM
THanks Tteller for giving us the truth.

February 14th, 2000, 09:45 AM
I read a lot of articles and reports and was feeling progressively angrier and more depressed. You made me feel a whole lot better. Does anyone else think the camera angles for Michelle's LP were strange and made you feel disconnected from her? I may have imagined this as I watched with every muscle in my body tensed and when she was finished I felt as if I had just run a 100m sprint :) Also the commentry had my pressure going through the roof! Just when you think it is safe to like D. Button.... MICHELLE I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! Jen

February 14th, 2000, 11:34 AM
I think I heard lots of people (especially young girls) yelling Michelle's name before LP started. Was it true?

February 14th, 2000, 11:41 AM
Jkirk, I also noticed that the angles were a little odd, the switches between camera shots were much more abrupt and choppier and generally that the camera work in general was not at the standard I usually expect from ABC.

February 14th, 2000, 12:26 PM
I have noticed that about the camera work all this year. I even mentioned to my husband that I hope they send their best(cameramen AND Director)to Nationals and Worlds. I have been spoiled by their excellent technical work for many, many years but have been a little disappointed this year.

February 14th, 2000, 02:42 PM
jkirk - ITA about the camera angles. It made Michelle's program look like we were watching it from the opposite side and end of the arena than we usually see ALL the programs. It made some of her choreography look backwards, out of place or out of sync. However, upon closer review of my tape I realized that she really was a lot more "on top of her choreography" than it appeared from the initial viewing. The only two glaringly obvious holes in the choreography were the missing steps/dead space after her triple flip into her combo spin and then again, I think, after her spin after her spiral before the music changes from soft to stronger with a beat and she gets ready for her second triple lutz. I really hope the camera angles are better at Worlds.

February 15th, 2000, 04:37 PM
I too attended both the long & short program at Nationals. It was wonderful, though a little nerve raking. I was so nervous during her long progam. The fans a behind Michelle 100%. You should have heard the applause & chears when she took the ice. I waited after the medals ceremony and came within a few feet of her. I wanted to get a picture with her, but it was not to be. She left right before she got there to go to the other side of the ice. I waited in the crowd outside of the elevator as well for a few minutes but when there was no sign we left. I should get to see Michelle in May at the Champions on Ice tour in Chicago. I have great seats =). I want to go to the 2001 world championships in Vancouver. Hope I can get tickets.

February 15th, 2000, 06:22 PM
The answer to the "What can [you] do to get us all of MK's competitions to report back?" is BABYSIT :)! In fact, we were lucky with 3 boys less than 5 years of age to convince the grandparents to babysit for us. It looks like we may need to make alternative babysitting plans in the future 'cause the 5 month old twins are a handful for anyone (us included). We may just take them all! (My 4 1/2 year old son got mad when his grandma said "Oh, Michelle fell" during the LP...he told her not to say anything mean because Michelle is his favorite athlete...hmmm, wonder where he gets that???) The truth is we had such an amazing time, I think we'll go to many more competitions in the future. GO MICHELLE!!!

February 15th, 2000, 08:01 PM
Hi! Can you report how she did in the exhibitions?

February 16th, 2000, 07:16 PM
Sadly, we were on our way back to Columbus, OH when the exhibitions were taking place....

February 16th, 2000, 08:06 PM
oh, ok. thanks anyway!

February 19th, 2000, 12:02 PM
tteller if this helps I will babysit for you for FREE! Yup just bring your boys down here to Atlanta, Georgia and you and your wife can go to all the competitions you want! I am being serious. We have one son and to have three more boys would give our son happiness. We can't have anymore children and our son doesn't understand that. It is kinda hard to explain it to a nine year old.